On this website, you will find all my work from the Narrative unit. Last year we did a narrative unit as well, however, the goal was to write a story without words. This time we had a dialouge driven story. My story is a murder mystery that takes place over the phone. This meant a large majority of the story had to use dialouge, otherwise it would not be very exciting or interesting.
In English we wrote a dialouge driven short story. To read my story and learn more about the process of writing it, visit the Short Story page. In Design we creat
ed a book jacket for our story. You will find my book jacket and artist statement for that piece on my Book Jacket page. Also in Design we created a work of surreal art based on our dreams. You will find that on the Surreal Art page.
In WebAudio we created a trailer for our book. It was similar to a movie style trailer, but for a book. To view my book trailer, click on the Trailer button. In WebAudio we also created a website using responsive web design. This means the website adjust for phones and tablets, as well as when someone adjust their browser size. This means pictures and videos get smaller and larger with the browser. I set specific rules for phones and tablets, so the button fonts get smaller for phones, and the space between them shrinks so that it will fit across a phone screen. In the creation of these websites we drew out three different website designs, one for computers, one for tablets, and one for phones. Each one was a little different as each screen was a little smaller and different. The purpose of drawing these out is to know how you want your website to looking before starting so you are not designing it while you are putting it together. This also helps with making the website responsive if you know how it looks on different size screens.My story is a murder mystery that takes place over the phone. This made things difficult because when I decided on my story idea, I was not sure how to tell a story over the phone, much less make it a mystery. However, by taking my idea through with other people I was able to work out the difficulties I was having to end up with a successful story. Read my story below:
The Tipping Point
Roger was an average man. He had a job, an apartment, wore suits to work, ate frozen meals for dinner, and drank in bars in the evening. His day went as follows: wake up and drink coffee, go to work, drink more coffee, eat lunch (usually a ham and cheese sandwich), continue working, head home, heat up a frozen meal, go out to a bar, have a beer or two, go home, go to sleep, and in the morning begin the whole process again.
Roger had a desk job at the police station. He was in charge of answering the phone, but not just any phone. Roger answered the anonymous tip line. However, he lived in a sleepy town where nothing ever happened. The tips were often pointless, if there were any. This meant he spent a lot of time doing paper work, or reading the newspaper. He often saw adds for “Hiring!” but he was not the sort of guy who liked change, even if it meant doing something more interesting.
One morning in late August, Roger was reading the newspaper, since the phone hadn’t rang for what felt like months. He was done with all the meaningless paperwork, so he spent his days at his desk reading the paper. He took a sip of his black coffee and turned the page. An article struck his interest. It talked about a serial killer. How intriguing, he thought.
When he was younger, Roger had wanted to be a detective. He had dreamed of the magnifying glasses and dusting for fingerprints. That was how he ended up at the police station, wanting to become a detective. However, he had never had the motivation to go through all the school and training, so he stuck with his desk job, which he had grown to despise.
Roger still felt that nervous excitement when he read murder mysteries or about murderers in the paper. He read the article carefully, so as not to miss a single word. He was in the middle of reading this article when he heard an unusual sound. The phone was ringing. He paused to listen for a moment, to make sure it wasn’t his imagination, before reaching for the phone.
“Hello, Police Department, anonymous tip line.”
“Hello?” a nervous voice on the other end replied.
“Hello, do you have something to report?”
“Um, yes, um, I believe I do. I’ve never really done this... I’m not really sure how to do this… um.. do I just, er, tell you what I know?” The voice on the other end sounded shaky. Roger had never had a call like this before.
“Yes, this is completely anonymous and this call is not being recorded.” He tried to sound big and powerful, as a real police person or detective would sound.
“Okay… well… this might be a bit…. um… long… it’s, yeah, long.”
“Alright, I’m listening.” Roger sat back in his chair and propped his feet up on the desk. The person on the other end took a deep, shaky breath before starting to speak, but then they stopped, took another deep breath and began.
“It started a while back. We were in love… we were, I know love never lasts. I, um, we…. we were going to get married. We were in love…. I think I still am?” The voice paused, and Roger groaned softly to himself, concerned that this was another person looking for relationship advice. However, the voice on the other end continued,
“So, um, we were in love. But, um, my almost mother-in-law mother, my fiancé’s mother, she, she got sick. She was so sick that we went to see her because they, the doctors, they didn’t know how much time she… they didn’t know if she was going to make it. I, I stayed here, because, well you know money...” The person on the other end was growing in confidence after each sentence, though they still seemed unsettled. “Um, yes, off… off to see her, and I, well I stayed behind. I should’ve been more supportive.” It sounded like tears. Roger sighed, not another waterworks display.
Roger picked up his coffee and took a sip. “Excuse me, sorry to interupt your story, but is there a crime to report or are you just looking for advice?”
There were some sniffles. “Um, no, sorry...I-I just, there’s just some background you need to...” A loud sniffle and slight snort of the nose sounded through the receiver, “just some background you need to know. I’ll skip this part, I guess. It’s, it’s just making me cry. And it’s, well, it’s kind of unimportant in the big picture.”
Roger drained the last of his coffee and tossed the paper cup into the trash. He sat up in his chair, slid up to his desk, and shuffled some paper. He held the phone to his ear with his shoulder the whole time. “I’m listening.”
“Okay, so, well, um, I guess… I’m here to… I-I’m… I’m calling, just to tell you… I just want you to know… about, there was a crime… an-an incident. It, it was… a, a murder.” The voice on the other end paused. Roger sat up a little straighter in his chair, dropping his pen to the table.
“I’m, yeah, I’m calling to report a-a murder.” Roger was hanging on every word.
“Do you have any other information or details that you would like to share? Remember this is completely anonymous.”
“Yes, yeah, there is more.” The voice on the other end had stopped shaking. “There’s a lot more.” A piercing silence filled the air while Roger waited, his full attention now on the voice in his ear.
“It started when I messed up.”
Roger could tell that there was a well rehearsed story coming.
“I messed up. I lost my job, I had to move because I could no longer afford to live in my house. I moved into a tiny apartment. I thought it was the end of the world. Then I met someone, but as I tried to explain earlier things went south, both literally and figuratively.”
Roger felt like the person on the other end was smiling to themself.
“It felt like my world was ending again. I ended up in some bad situations, people were after me. I saw some things I can never unsee, some things I wish I had never seen. Nothing as awful as this mu-....” The voice paused, obviously unaccustomed to the feeling of the word murder in their mouth. “This murder.”
Then there was complete silence for a bit. Roger listened, waiting for a tip. This was still very intriguing, but it wasn’t about the murder, and that’s what Roger was waiting for. He didn’t even know where it was, for all he knew it could be somewhere down south, where the fiancé had gone. Maybe it was the fiancé, he had no clue. Roger waited while silence filled the other end. He thought about getting more coffee, but the cord on the phone prevented him from leaving a couple inch radius around his desk. After a while he spoke,
“Hello, are you still there?”
“Oh, yes, I-I am. I, sorry, um, yes, This…” another shorter pause, “murder, horrific. I was in, I guess I still am in, a bad situation, as, you know, as I was explaining a moment ago. Things were, are, tough. It was not completely on purpose, I think. Somewhat out of rage, I think. Somewhat out of sadness. I think. I-I think.” The voice began to stutter again. Roger began to feel a bit like a real detective. Okay, so this person probably knew the murderer well or the were good at reading emotions. He was began to analyze the speaker on the other end of the phone using the skills he had picked up in his mystery novels. He knew he was not supposed to do this, but no one would ever know if he never mentioned it.
“This murder, um, it was out of rage, and um, um, sadness, yes. And it happened here, you know, um, yeah, in this town. You, you were probably, um, asleep, unless, unless you work nights, because, um, er, well it was at night, I think. Late. It was dark. Yeah, so either, um, night, or well early morning. I-I don’t, I don’t have a watch. I, um, I don’t know the time, you know. I didn’t.”
“It’s okay, for now the time is not important.”
“I-I was just surprised? No, no, not surprised. It was a lot to take in. There… there was… you know. A lot of blood. Everywhere. Unavoidable. The murderer, they, um, they, I think they probably ran away. They, they ran away, yeah. I watched… from, from a-a spot, where they, they couldn’t see me. I-I hid. I-I was hiding. The weapon, they, they killed him with a knife. Cut, cut out his heart. Burned his fingertips… Slashed up his face… I-I, it, it, um, it was gruesome.”
Roger listened intently, feeling like a real detective. This person on the phone sounded very flustered, yet they knew a lot of little details. How closely did they watch? Did they examine the body? Did they… Roger paused in thought. What if? Roger let the sniffling on the other end slow a bit before he spoke.
“May I ask you just one question?”
“Did you kill this man?”
There was a long silence on the other end. Then all Roger could hear through the receiver was the dial tone.
In Design we created a book jacket based on our short story. We had several items we had to include to make it seem more realistic. This included a barcode, a price, and quotes from other sources. We had to take an author photo using 3 point lighting. Then we had to write an author bio about ourselves in 5-10 years time. I included elements on my book cover that you might see at a crime scene, as well as a phone because that is a key item in my story.
My story is about an average man named Roger who has the job of answering the anonymous tip line at the police department in a sleepy town. One day Roger gets a call unlike any call he has ever gotten before, the person on the other end sounds very distraught. Roger listens intently as this person tells him their story. He can tell they are leading up to something big, but for a while no crime is reported. Until the caller reveals something big. The speaker on the other end of the line witnessed a murder. Roger wants to be like a real detective and begins to analyze the words of the speaker as they explain the details of this murder. Based on the details this person is giving, very precise details, Roger begins to wonder if this person was involved in the murder. This leads him to do something very risky, ask the caller if they killed the person they say they witnessed being murdered. However, Roger is only left with a dial tone when the caller hangs up. This leaves him to wonder, and probably get fired. Below you can watch my trailer for my book. We had the option of animating our story of creating a trailer for our story. I chose to create a trailer as I felt as though this gave me more creativity and I could create something more dramatic this way. We learned how to animate things in 3D in Adobe After Effects. This included creating light sources, moving a "camera" through a scene rather than moving the objects, and more. This was challenging in itself, however it was very interesting and allowed me to do more with my trailer.
Before we created our trailer we drew out our frames to figure out what we wanted to include in our trailer and how we wanted the whole thing to flow. For mine I drew an image and described the transition to the next scene as well as the sound effects and what would be happening on screen. The purpose of this was to know what was happening going into the animating. This made it easier to start because I knew what things I needed to draw out and what sound effects I was looking for.
In Desing we created a piece of surreal art based on our dreams. This was created using photos and putting them together in a way that the photo appears as something impossible. We had to make one image black and white. We also had to use one HDR photo. This was something we haven't done before. It includeds taking three or five photos of the same thing. One at the right exposure and one or two over exposed and one or two under exposed. Then in Photoshop we layered them all to get a interesting photo.
The story behind my piece is about a lonely dog, as she has no other dogs to play with. She finds out she has a connection to the underworld, and when she sleeps she can play with the ghosts of other dogs. Her dreams are the connection to those dogs and the underworld.
For my surrealism piece I took pictures of three different dogs. I made the two dogs in the clouds low opacity so they appear more dreamlike. I also took a picture of a bed, which I eventually made black and white. I took several different shots of the bed from different angles, and with the sheets messy and straightened out so I could pick what looked best with the rest of my photos. Then I took a picture of a blue sky for my background. I put a Photoshop filter on my background to make it more interesting. My clouds are HDR, which means high dynamic range. This means you take three-five pictures; one at the correct exposure, and one to two at a higher exposure and one to two and a lower exposure. You do not move your camera. Then in Photoshop you combine your images into one to make a very cool looking shot.