Let me tell you a story

This Week, we took a Nohzdyve into reading, writing, and hypertext fiction. Some of the questions we had to ponder were, “If digital writing is different, how does that make digital storytelling different?” and, “How do we make that work for us?”

I think the best way to answer that is with a GIF:

With the ability to add hypertext, video, sound, images, tweets, GIFs, and just about anything else you can think of, digital storytelling differs from the traditional in that it is not a static way of writing. I could have simply put some words on this page without any embeds or links to click on, but that wouldn’t have taken away from a certain amount of viewer participation. For the reader of this post still has the option of leaving a comment, sharing the post with a friend, screenshot-ing the post, Google searching terminology and/or references used in this post, etc.

So how do we make this work for us? Well, I for one took full advantage of the embed and hypertext abilities this week and power-packed all of my posts with extraneous digital information. I came to the conclusion that, while the average reader will ignore the labyrinthine branches of links, they will still get the basic gist of the post by letting the story thread them through in a linear fashion. Further, the inclusion of GIFs and images serve to give a mental break to the reader. Reading and clicking on things is work! But if one adds images, GIFs, video clips, different fonts/headings, etc., then they are allowing the reader to, well, keep reading. It gives the reader’s eyes a break and makes the post that much more fun to read (and write)!

Writing is a Battlefield

♪ No promises
(No demands)
No demands
(Writing is a battlefield)
Writing is a battlefield
Whoo ♪

Melody Benotar

Story Analysis:

How do you graph the shape of a story? I intended to find out by analyzing this week’s movie choice: ‘Weird Science.’ I was originally inspired to watch this movie from Saturday’s Daily Create: Favorite Nerds. I thought of Gary and Wyatt from ‘Weird Science,’ and since I like to take a theme and run with it, the only thing left to do was to grab some popcorn and hit play on this crazy story.

I think what surprised me most about the movie was that it was more…risqué and colorful than I remembered it being. It felt like watching the 80’s version of National Lampoon’s ‘Van Wilder.’ I considered choosing another movie, but the storyline, characters, and unique graphical elements were still on point. (I love the scene where chaos breaks loose and a missile appears in the bedroom, the kitchen turns blue, and furniture spews out of the chimney). I couldn’t deny the fact that there was still something about this movie that makes it a classic story.

In my post, The 80’s are alive! ALIVE! I explore the ways in which ‘Weird Science’ captivates us with its all-over-the-place plot points and cast of relatable characters. In my analysis, I link back to the reading, THE NEW DIGITAL STORYTELLING, as well as The Machine is Us/ing Us. I also take a stab at a Vonnegut graph from on the Shape of Stories.

Featured Image:

Writing Assignments:

My stars! We had to write 12 stars worth of writing assignments this week. While the posts themselves were all very enjoyable to write and think about, I did have some qualms with the assignments themselves and the rating system. To me, the rating system is arbitrary. Some of the 2 star assignments seemed fairly involved, while some of the 4 star assignments seemed not too terribly involved. I can see how the stars are supposed to work, but it feels like it is only successful in theory, because:

1) The opinion on the level of difficulty of an assignment will vary from person to person
2) The execution of the assignment will vary from person to person

I tend to put a lot of thought and research into all of my posts, be they 1 star or 5 stars, so the star rating doesn’t tell me much in terms of difficulty. I have a feeling that this may be the case with other Ds106-er’s, so I thought I would share my 2 cents on the matter.

Onto the actual assignments though! I did 4 writing assignments: Two 4 stars, and Two 2 stars to equal 12 stars total. (But they were all equally challenging)!

Writing Assignment #4


Stars: ★ ★

From Assignment: Quote Me On That

Featured Quote:

can a story be a labyrinth, or should it be the thread that leads us through?

Zacharias Szumer

Writing Assignment #3


Stars: ★ ★

From Assignment: What’s In A Name?

Featured Quote:

My first name is sooooo frustrating. It was a hugely popular baby name when I was born. I was never the only Jessica in class at school.


Writing Assignment #2

Post: ANOTHER DAY: Take it Fast, Take it Slow

Stars: ★ ★ ★ ★

From Assignment: Another Day

Featured Quote:

The bells tied to the door handle jingle as I slide the door open. I pull on it with effort- the door doesn’t slide as easily as it used to.
I walk down the patio steps and take in the sights. I always did think that our yard looks like a jungle.


Writing Assignment #1


Stars: ★ ★ ★ ★

From Assignment: Monologue Of A Household Tool

Featured Quote:

The moment is over in a flash. I can capture another moment, but that too will fade away.

An 80’s tool

I went to The Danger Zone (of commenting)

Read, read, and read some more! I was influenced to try the assignment, ‘Monologue Of A Household Tool’ from reading Blue Butterball’s post, What 80s Household Tool Am I? It was challenging to come up with dialogue from the perspective of a household tool. I was also influenced to try out the assignment, ‘Another Day’ from reading Maddie’s post, Another Day With The Dogs. I thought it would be interesting to split this assignment into two parts, where part one shows the ‘before’ we stop to smell the roses, and part two shows the ‘after.’ For my next assignment, I chose to do ‘What’s in a name.’ I was inspired to try this out after reading a post from RAMBLING ROSES (from a previous semester), whom shares my given name. And for my last assignment, I chose, ‘Quote me on that,’ which is in response to the reading, I link, therefore I am.

I was especially inspired by the posts, A Top Quality Tale from A Little DS106 Blog, and Log On, Log Off: Digital Karate Kid from Tom Foolery. The former was a great movie synopsis and highlighted what makes the movie ‘Top Gun’ storytelling-worthy. The latter was an impressive analysis of ‘Karate Kid’ in relation to GIFs. I agree with his conclusions; users need not even watch the movie to get a general idea of the storyline. GIFs by no means replace the movie, but they do tell a very shortened version of what happens. (i.e., The best moments from the film). I only wish that I could comment directly on Tom’s blog. (Tom, if you’re reading this, please add a comment option. Your posts are great, and I love your corgi logo)!

(Also, I had trouble commenting on blogs that required a WP login to comment, which is apparently different from the cpanel login??? It was a missed opportunity to comment on Abby’s blog, since I, too, like the movie ‘Secondhand Lions’).

Here’s the break down of my community building:

Featured Comments:

Community in response to STRANGER TALES, from post: YOU REMIND ME OF THE BABE

\(◦’⌣’◦)/ みんなありがとう !
(Thank you, everyone)!

Commented on:

A little Ds106 Blog: A Top Quality Tale and Mr. President
Calm Down: Another Day With The Dogs
Blue Butterball: What 80s Household Tool Am I? and Steve Jobs: An Inspiration In The 80s
Life Through the 80’s Today: Veggie Burger? Is it worth it?

Wrote a tutorial in comments:

STRANGER TALES in response to Danielle Erika, from post: DAILY CREATE: Week 2

Here I Go Again…with Daily Creates

I don’t know where I’m goin,’ but I sure know where I’ve been with this week’s daily creates! We had to do a total of 3 this week (but I did 6, just because I wanted to). They are all compiled in my week 3 post:

Post: DAILY CREATE: Week 3

Featured Image:

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Abby

    Hi Melody, I just checked my comments settings, and I think I fixed the problem so that you could comment!

    1. admin

      cool! :- D

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