When thinking of possible ways to re-imagine my short story from last week, I immediately thought of the assigned pre-reading from last week, “These Waves of Girls“. I feel that my story, “Reflex” would work well if modeled after Caitlin Fisher’s webpage. My website would take my story and divide it into smaller paragraphs, placing hyperlinks throughout the text providing backstory, extra information, and insights into characters’ psyches and motivations.
As I just mentioned, one of the primary features of the e-lit version of my story would be hyperlinks. The hyperlinks would be based off of selected words in my story and would direct the reader to other sections of the website, which would include more information behind either the story’s inspiration, or the character’s mindset and motivations. For example, the word “tear gas” in my story might link to a diagram of the way that police officers are trained to fire tear gas in riot situations, as an example of explanation; in a contrasting way, the phrase “beads of sweat” might lead to a second, shorter narrative describing why Pete was nervous and contributing to the character’s overall ’roundness’. These links would serve the purpose of both educating the readers and contributing to making rounder, more relatable characters.
Another feature of my e-literature would be the images used and the website design. I found Caitlin Fisher’s website to be interesting, as the haphazard and sporadic images really created a unique style that I feel would be very effective in demonstrating the chaotic and dangerous nature that I tried to create with my short story. My e-lit would feature pictures of riots and images of items used in my story, distorted and altered to create a reading environment more in tune with what my narrative intended.
Additionally, my e-literature would include embedded videos or .gif images of riots taking place and police officers making arrests. These videos would be placed in the corners of the screen, even slightly out of view so as to not distract from the actual text of my narrative. Again, these would serve the purpose of creating a really solid image in the reader’s mind of what Pete is going through and why he may have acted the way he did. This would ideally create a stronger reaction in my audience, and in my opinion, create a better story experience.
A fourth feature of my re-imagined narrative would be an incorporation of social media, such as facebook and twitter. Essentially, I would have screenshots of tweets and status updates of imaginary mob members, describing the riots and the events of my narrative in a more common way. This would create a greater connection between the reader and the narrative in my opinion, as the audience would recognize the screenshots and be able to imagine an event like the riots actually happening and how the community might actually react to them.
The final feature of my e-lit would be more difficult to do, but I was inspired by the e-literature “Whom the Telling Changed”, which was a text-based interactive story where the reader controls what part of the story is told at what time and progresses the narrative themselves. Ideally, my e-lit would include some interactive feature (maybe written in java?) that would allow readers to ‘discover’ the next event by directing Pete’s actions, such as “exit van” to progress to the part of the story where he is facing the mob, or even give the reader the choice to pull the trigger on the perceived assailant or not. This would add an element of interactivity to my story which I feel would really captivate the reader, and I believe it could be incorporated without losing the previously mentioned features as well.
Overall, I feel that those five features could really create a successful narrative and make my story much stronger than it is.