The focus of the Narrative Unit was to show us how to create a story with an effective storyline without dialogue carrying it along. We were required to write a flash fiction story, which is a short fiction story without dialogue. In English, we wrote our flash fictions and made sure it had an affective storyline. In Digital Media, we created an audio of our flash fiction. We recorded ourselves reading our stories and then created three musical themes. We created one for the story's climax, a main character motif and a story theme. We then added these motifs where we felt would be most effective and impactful to the listeners. Lastly, we added SFX sounds to set the location of the flash fiction. In Design, we created hybrid creatures, which was a blend of animals that we felt best embodied our main character's personality. Once we created our hybrid creature, we made the location where the story was taking place.
Here are some of the applications I used to make this website:
This is a screenshot of Dreamweaver which I used to code this website.
When this project was assigned, it was in the midst of all the fires in the Napa Valley and when here in Mountain View it always smelled like smoke and smog littered the horizon. I was lacking in inspiration for my story so I decided to write my story about the fires happening in Napa and a possible scenario. I had been reading about families that had been seperated in the midst of evacuations so I decided to write about that.
The sky was an angry red and the haze that surrounded the small town consumed them. The smoke was everywhere. It snuck through the cracks under doors and between the floorboards. It made your nose crinkle in distaste and your throat itch. There was no escape. Everyone was long gone by this point. No one wanted to stay and take the risk of losing everything if the fire got too close.
Except for James.
James, however, didn’t really understand what was occurring; most five year olds wouldn’t. In the hustle and bustle of packing up their most precious belongings, buying supplies from the store and loading it all into the car, including the rest of the family members, James’ parents had forgotten one of the most precious items of all – their own son. By the time they had remembered that they’d left James in his pack-and-play for a nap, officials wouldn’t let the family back and promised they’d be on the lookout for a small boy with dark brown hair and curious green eyes.
Meanwhile, James was left to his own devices. Red had always been his favorite color. It was so bright and angry and loving and full of hopelessness all in one. Waking up from his nap to an empty house and the raging open sky outside, it only seemed logical to go outside for a better look around. James managed to use the walls of the pack-and-play and wiggle over the top of the pen to achieve newfound freedom. Making it down the stairs was an easy feat, passed all of the photos of his vacant family members that littered the walls, a family favorite being everyone sitting squashed together in the old family subaru as they went on a cross country trip. James giggled and pointed to his mother and father’s smiling faces, searching for familiarity within his newfound freedom. The doorknob was a bit too high to reach, so going through the dog door worked just as well.
It was snowing. Bits and pieces of paper and ash fell from the sky in the most graceful embodiment of destruction. James grabbed at them and stuck out his tongue like he’d seen his parents do on Christmas Break when they visited their cousins and aunts and uncles up at their cabin. This snow didn’t taste as good.
Soon there were larger pieces of debris making their way to the ground. Stuffing, cloth, paper, cardboard all made their way to the abandoned streets and roofs of the neighborhood. James made his way down the street, closer to the burning mass of red. Picking up items he thought to be interesting along the way, James found a picture, singed on the edge and black spots of soot covering its surface, obstructing some of the details of the image from view. James ran his fingers over the faces in the image. It looked like a family at a birthday party; reminding him of his very own only a couple weeks ago where dinosaur toys had littered the floors and his mother had created the most realistic T-Rex cake he had ever seen. It had been the best day of his life. As he contemplated the smiling, glowing faces immortalized in the image, James never took care to notice the individual slinking up behind him, gloved hands reaching out and cinching around his waist.
At the start of this project, we brainstormed two to three animals that we felt best embodied our main character's personality. I sketched my hybrid animal as a cross of a sloth, gorilla and fawn. I wanted my hybrid to be youthful and innocent just like James; how even though he was in immediate danger, he never took notice and went on having a fun adventure. The sloth and fawn, I felt, I captured his innocence and frailty in the situation. I chose the gorilla to represent to sort of independent spirit that he has to explore and be curious. In the story, he is abandoned in his neighborhood as a forest fire begins to ravage the surrounding buildings and houses so I placed my hybrid character in a neighborhood with a raging forest fire in the back.
As we were brainstorming what animals we were going to mesh together to create our hybrid creatures, we began to make sketches of our creatures to help us visualize what it would look like and to help us figure out what we wanted. We then had peer review sessions where we explained our ideas to our group and they gave us feedback and suggestions. We also explained the personality traits that each animal had and why we chose them.
We took photos of dogs to help us get the proportions right of our creature. The main four I focused on (shown on the right), were all of the dogs sitting or lying down since originally that's how I wanted my creature to be situated. Later, I changed my mind and my creature eventually was standing up rather than sitting down, ut these pictures really helped me to visualize the proportions needed and how large I needed to make each body part.
I wrote my flash fiction about a five-year old boy, named James, who in the chaos of evacuating, gets left behind alone as a forest fire begins to engulf his neighborhood. Throughout the story James is constantly in danger, however he proceeds to go on, completely ignorant of what's occurring in his surroundings and goes on a mini adventure.
We began our design projects by creating sketches of our main character by creating a mixture of animals that we felt embodied our character and their personality. I sketched my hybrid animal as a cross of a sloth, gorilla and fawn. I wanted my hybrid to be youthful and innocent just like James; how even though he was in immediate danger, he never took notice and went on having a fun adventure. The sloth and fawn, I felt, I captured his innocence and frailty in the situation. I chose the gorilla to represent to sort of independent spirit that he has to explore and be curious. In the story, he is abandoned in his neighborhood as a forest fire begins to ravage the surrounding buildings and houses so I placed my hybrid character in a neighborhood with a raging forest fire in the back. I am really pleased with my work as I tried to make each detail specific to the story and make my hybrid creature embody my character's personality as much as possible - which I believe I did successfully.
Making the music for my audio book, I wanted the overall theme for all of the motifs to be light, innocent and a little bit fun but when an undertone of a darkness or sadness to remind the listener of the constant danger that is presented to James throughout the story.
For the story's climax, I wanted to build the tension that the listener was feeling and have the anxiety grow within them as they heard the predicament that James was going to find himself in. I also wanted it to be aloof and somewhat mysterious so that the listener had some time to theorize what was going to happen next before they heard the next part of the story.
For the main character motif, I wanted it to be fun, light and innocent just like James. It's supposed to represent his carefree nature and curious personality throughout the story.
For the story's theme, I wanted there to be some darker undertones but over that light, delicate music. The darker undertones are to remind us of the ever present danger and the lightness and delicate nature to show us how that's James main thought and mindset and the danger is the last thing on his mind.
In Pro Tools, I created the main theme music for the story by using instrument plug-ins that allowed me to replicate the sound of a piano among other instruments. I used the plug-in, Xpand!2, to create the music for this piece.
In Pro Tools, I created the character theme for the story by using the plug-in, Xpand!2, and simulating a piano, harp and underlying synth.
In Pro Tools, I created my story's climax by using the plug-in, Xpand!2, by simulating violins to add to the tension in that portion of the story.
Exquiste Corpse is when a large array of things are all collectively assembled into one piece. In this case, each individual in Digital Media made an eight bar piece of music using various instruments and utilities in Reason and then our teacher put them all together randomly to create one main EDM song.
Here's our final song that we created:
Here's a screenshot of how I created EDM in Reason.
To add to my story in my audio book, I added in the musical themes I had created and also some SFX sounds to make it feel more like the listener was actually there in the story with the character. I valued adding the music and the SFX's to my story because I think it added another dimension and overall made my story more interactive and fun to listen to I think.
I created the audio book in Pro Tools by recording my flash fiction and then adding in the musical themes I had created in the appropriate sections of the audio book. I then went through and added the SFX's to add to the story and help carry the story along.