Weekly Reflection: 9/10/21

by Thomas Pulsifer

Third time’s the charm! Once again, we find ourselves at the end of another week in DS106. Time flies when you’re working hard and having a good time!

The first assignment of this week was to read either the first chapter of The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media, or I link, therefore I am, an analysis of the history of hypertext fiction. Due to my preexisting interest in hypertext stories, the choice wasn’t difficult for me. In my response to the reading, I lamented over the fact that the medium of hypertext storytelling has yet to be used to its full potential.

Next up was to respond to a couple of videos, the first being Kurt Vonnegut on the Shape of Stories, and the second being The Machine is Us/ing Us. Both of these videos were incredibly interesting, and even a bit enlightening. I responded to these videos and the readings by describing how hypertext allows storytellers to create amazing stories that don’t have to follow the basic templates outlined by Vonnegut.

Finally, we get to the part of the week I enjoyed the most: The writing assignments. It’s no secret that I’m passionate about creative writing, and it’s not often I get an opportunity to do it for class. First, I chose to complete Martha’s 3-star assignment, “The End is For Everything.” In my story, I describe a post-human civilization of aquatic creatures that have become the dominant species on Earth, told from the perspective of one of these organisms. I love creating fictional words, so writing this was a lot of fun.

The second writing assignment I chose was Ashleigh Duque’s 3-star assignment, “SuperStory Generator.” Having used online word generators for inspiration in the past, I was excited to see what I could do with what I was given. My superhero is Daredevil Slush, a man with the ability to liquify at will. Despite his reckless nature, he does everything he can to protect others using his powers. It was uniquely challenging to connect multiple random phrases through one cohesive story, but I think it came out pretty great.

For my third assignment, I chose to do a 5-star fanfic assignment created by Joey called “Creating Your Own Character.” Outside of writing, character design is something I love doing and have a lot of experience in. Any excuse to show off a character of my own creation is something I’m more than happy to jump on. I decided to show off Rainbow Fairyfloss, the protagonist of the animated series I’ve been developing. I had to stop myself from making this particular post too lengthy, since I surely could’ve rambled on about this character for a hours.

Lastly, I thought it would be fun to do the 2-star assignment “Never Fear – It’s The Words Of The Year.” Poetry is always fun to write, and doing so with a pre-established word bank sounded like an interesting challenge. Having been born in 2000, it was interesting to see what words first began being used in that year. Many of these words and phrases were shockingly topical, such as “transmasculine” and “climate change denial.” Writing a poem using such specific and often silly words was surprisingly difficult. Because of that, I decided to take the route of comedy for my poem. It follows the tale of Molly, a girl who’s taken issue with her boyfriend’s choice of hairstyle.

Of course, what would a week of Digital Storytelling be without Daily Creates? The tasks this week were a bit less engaging than last week, but that’s alright. It’s good to have a balance between the simpler prompts and the more involved ones. From the three Daily Creates I completed this week, I’d say my favorite was the Bob Ross Godzilla assignment. I’ve already made clear my love for both Godzilla and Bob Ross, so mashing up two of my favorite things was a ton of fun. I’m liking this apparent trend of Godzilla Friday’s, so I hope it continues into next week’s Daily Creates!

This has been my favorite week of this course so far. The subject matter was interesting, and the assignments were fun to complete. On top of that, I finally feel as though I’ve managed to properly balance the workload. It took a bit of getting used to, but now I’m in a much better place and feel way more confident. I’m sure next week will be even better!

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