Scatter-brain’s back again

OK, I’ve kinda forgot to post during the weekend. It’s not that I’m goofing off or anything, the opposite really. I get so absorbed in whatever I set out to do that everything else kinda flies out of the window (I was doing some fantasy world building and I spent a good 4 hours working out the scale the other day, and now I’m trying to figure out time lines). Also, we finally got our hands on a Wii, so we spent a fair bit of time testing it on Friday before putting it away for Xmas (ok, so I sneaked in a bit of Wii Sports Tennis while I was at it – can you blame me?). So I was a bit distracted. Although you could say I was investigating the interactivity of the control system – I just forgot to take notes (granted, it consisted mainly of making the cursor go 360 degrees by tilting the wii-mote).

Learnt a bit about the next module in Tutorial. The Identity project is about representing yourself. That’s going to be interesting.

We’re on an individual project for Narrative now, which if I’m honest I’m very happy about. Running around to meet up with your group is a pain when you have to take an hour’s bus ride there and back. In the lecture (where the pc was still being stubborn – the only one on campus without Google SketchUp btw) we were discussing what is narrative, and whilst there was a bit of confusion over it (I’m still not sure what ‘agency’ is) it kinda made sense. Funny coincidence that I’d been reading about the Three Act Structure recently as I’m working on writing a story, although my info was different to what Jools said. This was the page I was looking at.

We’re having to a interactive piece consisting of still images where the user is required to make decisions – a bit like those Pick Your Own Adventure books which I read a fair few of at school. And I’ve been kinda stumped how to go about it. Then I had an eureka moment while reading a book I brought recently: John Howe Fantasy Art Workshop. There’s a couple of instances where he mentions narrative, and one sentence in particular about a painting of Beowulf’s funeral for me sums up the whole narrative.

Beowulf’s Funeral

“The rest is left to the imagination.”

And that’s precisely it. Narrative is the same as Story, but Story is not the same as Plot. Think of it like a journey. Plot would be the roadmap, it gets you from A to B with minimal fuss and total understanding. Story, and indeed Narrative is more akin to setting off in the general direction of your destination and using your own knowledge and understanding (and in some cases imagination) to arrive at it, and maybe if you’re lucky happen across a few extra things that you normally wouldn’t have considered doing so. With Story, you could have a roadmap, but there’s always the option of taking a detour to look at something not on the main route.

Look at most fantasy art and you’ll find a narrative just below the surface, which is why I love it.


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