Five features of e-lit that I’d like to use for my story, “Let there be light”:
1) I’d use Flash to animate a candle.
The candle was a big part of my original story, what with it being the central motif that lit on to symbolize hope at the end. It would be interesting to have, possibly, with each paragraph of the story, a candle accompanying it that attempts to be lit when the paragraph turns, but is extinguished immediately. The effect would definitely bring the candle to the forefront of the reading minds and reflect what’s happening in the story, both physically and figuratively. If played right – and I see the paragraph on the left and the candle on the right of the screen with forward and backward arrows under the paragraph that can advance a page – it could be a very subtle reminder of the themes of the story that wouldn’t be present otherwise.
I want it just as subtle as the trees were emphasized in the “Little Red Riding Hood” e-lit in the first collection that we read last week. Just slightly moving back and forth.
2) Audio voiceover
Since in my story, the power is out, it could be cool to have the audio narrating the words (because it can’t appear since there is no power and it’s all darkness) but every time the word “light” comes up, the word “light” in golden yellow flashes onto an otherwise black page.
The effect would again emphasize for the reader the importance of the metaphor but also give a nod to the setting and the importance of the power outage to the story.
3) Audio of everything as it happens, but narration on the page
The narration will move with the clicks of arrows, but the narration will be synced with audio of things as they happen. The patters and crashes of the rain; the creaks of the floorboards in the house; the thud and breaking of glass when the tree crashes into the living room, etc. It would be interesting to add this background noise.
It would paint a better picture for the reader of what’s actually happening, just as radio does, and make him/her feel as if they are there. It is also more engaging for the piece as a whole.
4) In the e-lit “Twelve Blue” from the first E-Lit collection, the story comes together by snippets pieced based on the clicks of your mouse. One click somewhere can take you to one side of the story, and another click will take you elsewhere – sort of like the choose your own adventure. I want to borrow that “choice” element of randomness but with photos of the rain. The story progresses traditionally, but depending on which photo is chosen, the visuals tell a different story each time.
This will emphasize the power of light and continuity in the storm and yet the chaos of the rain and the predicaments it brings, which is a side unexplored in the plain text version.
5) Embedded video
If there’s a way that I could replicate the emotions of the rain juxtaposed with the emotions of Johnny in the story through video, I want to do that. I’m thinking with a color, as the text flows in a voiceover with the video, the frequency of colors appearing on the video screen will ebb and flow to the tide of the rains. For example, in heavy rains and high emotions (such as when the tree crashes), the colors on the video will be dark and fierce. But at the resolution, the colors will be few and will be lighter, happier.
This is a totally new reading experience that adds color and a sentiment of higher chaos and higher stakes to the story. The visual element brings out the emotion and the action in the story and will emphasize climaxes and ebbs and flows in the story better than any other medium described previously. It will shape the story and really connect the dots for the reader in terms of why it was structured in that particular way, showing them how it all comes together in the end.