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Storytelling in Gaming

Gaming in many ways is another medium that requires writers, and yet the approach to story telling in writing is unique and quite different as opposed to traditional storytelling via books. I propose an article that might entertain looking into the deeper facets of story and writing in the gaming industry and the unique approach that is taken in completing a script as opposed to traditional writing. Focus could be placed particularly on discussing the need for adaptability in characters, characterizing empathy and emotion within a character as we follow them while also playing as them, the duality of the protagonist and the gamer etc. which while coming naturally in traditional writing, have to be balanced against what is possible within the given game dynamics

  • Love the topic! May I suggest profiling Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery as part of the article? I'm an avid player and enjoy a lot of aspects of the game, including story. But I also find that the writing is somewhat lazy, and a lot of my fellow players complain that the story has dragged out way too long (because chapters aren't released every week, so there can be 2-3 weeks that you go without information and get a side quest instead). I think HM lends itself well to analysis. – Stephanie M. 6 hours ago
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Fragmented Literature: What Does It Achieve?

Modernist texts are often heavily fragmented – the plot is jumbled and does not follow a simple beginning to end chronology. This can be off-putting for many readers as it can make a story hard to follow and less immersive.

However, what are the benefits and what does writing in fragments achieve? An article could look at a selection of texts that are fragmented and offer an analysis of what this particular structure is doing.

For example, in Kaddish for an Unborn Child by Imre Kertesz, the plot keeps circling back to the same line, its repetition representing the repetitive trauma it has caused the protagonist. Or, in The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon, the plot is broken up by page long chapters detailing the nightmares had by the protagonist which can show how they interject in his life just as they have interjected into the plot.
There are many works of literature that fragment the narrative and do so for thoughtful and strategic reasons. Thus, exploring texts that do this meaningfully could be an interesting read!

  • I suppose in literature that would be food for thought. But, I can emphatically say that it occurs in film as well. Take for instance the film Raging Bull. To the untrained eye or first time viewer, the boxing scenes appear fragmented, or improperly edited. In fact, it is a deliberate technique known as image collision. Effectively what it does is arrange a sequence of scene cuts with no apparent flow between them. The viewer is left to fill in the gaps or smooth over the perforations in the actor's activity and the camera movement. In the process, the audience is drawn into the cinematic spectacle before them. I would be interested in knowing if this a common practice in literature as well. (Aside from the obvious example, Alice in Wonderland.) – L:Freire 4 hours ago
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The Novella, a forgotten medium?

I propose an article that looks at novellas. The article could describe first what they are, explaining the length and conventions, explore how they differ from both a novel and a short story.
It could be worth looking into the history of this medium, when were they most popular and why? What were the first texts classified as novellas and what purposes did they serve? Perhaps offer suggestion as to why they are not big in the literary scene today.
Then, the article could offer analysis of some famous novellas, The Metamorphosis, Heart of Darkness, Jekyll and Hyde, Of Mice and Men, just to name a few.
Offer suggestion as to why these in particular were popular, was it their content? Context? Were their authors already published writers so fans would read anything of theirs?
If so desired, contrast the good by offering examples of novellas that are perceived as not good and offer reasons as to why. Are they not given the space to be fully developed? Does its brevity mean it is missing something?
Use this analysis to draw conclusions regarding the novella’s place in literature including, if possible, whether this medium is likely to regain popularity or merely survive as a medium at all.

  • Cool topic! I very much prefer long novels, but I have read some wonderful novellas, including Jekyll and Hyde and Of Mice and Men (although I have mixed feelings there b/c of outdated disability representation). Do you think serialized novels might fit the topic as well? – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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  • Serialised novels could absolutely fit the topic, if they can be logically incorporated into the discussion. Perhaps, they could be used to substantiate the length argument. Are novella-length texts enjoyed more when the reader knows there'll be one or two more instalments to follow? – Samantha Leersen 2 months ago
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Should Season 2 of The Mandalorian Include Characters From Other Star Wars Properties?

The Mandalorian Season 1 has been a huge critical success for Disney . One of the key factors for the series’s success was the lack of prior Star Wars knowledge that was necessary for viewers of the series. The series was largely accessible to new audiences who may have never watched Star Wars film before, though it still contained many references and connections for long time Star Wars fans. For season 2 (which debuts October 30th), there have been many rumor circulating that the series will include characters from other Star Wars books and animated series. Rumored among the cast include characters from The Clone Wars and Rebels like Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan and former Jed Ahsoka Tano. While these characters are popular among Star Wars fans, their appearances may required more complicated explanations/exposition for those who have only watched The Mandalorian. Should The Mandalorian remain largely separated from other Star Wars stories, or it should it integrate characters from the wide Star Wars universe, at the risk of losing some of what made the first season so refreshing and distinct?

  • This is a pretty interesting topic. Unfortunately, I can't see this discussion ever being anything more than an opinion piece. There will always be an argument for including characters from the extended universe of Star Wars or simply creating a new character for Mandalorian. If you write on this topic it would probably be best to write about the pro and cons to either choice. And use criticisms fans have had for either decisions to support your arguement. – Blackcat130 3 days ago
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Film Adaptations Better than the Book

In almost every ‘which is better, book or movie?’ debate, the book wins. For a plethora of reasons, from intense detail to unique character-building, books are almost always dubbed better than their adaptations.

But what about the film adaptations that are better than their original book?
Offer several examples of adaptations better than their original. Discuss what they do so correctly that allows them to win this battle.

Do they take away the difficult language of a book to make an important story more accessible? Are the characters better rounded and more realistic? Does the film cut out unnecessary details that are included in the book? Is there a changed detail that improves a film — different setting, different main character, different conclusion, perhaps. Is it simply a case of visuals portraying the content better than words can (say, an intense action sequence for example).

There could be ANY number of reasons and ANY number of films to be discussed.
This topic does run the risk of coming across as too subjective though, so ensure that sound analysis is offered to justify your claims.

  • I like this topic, but I would hesitate to characterize any movie or book as "better" than the other adaptation, because that's strictly a matter of opinion. What I would do instead is, focus on how books and films are completely different mediums, as well as how and why certain books lend themselves better to film adaptations. I might start with longer-form books, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The books are great, but as someone who read them, I'd say they're also a slog. The movies definitely communicate the books' messages more clearly, and leave more room for discussion/exploration. – Stephanie M. 1 week ago
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  • I'm so glad you brought up this topic! I don't believe books are always automatically better than their film counterparts. Perhaps it is also a matter of upholding whatever came first. As you mention, there are many films which are based off of an initial written text. What about the case, though far less common, of films where a book was written in conjunction with or second to the film? For example, one of my favorite films is The Third Man. The screenplay was written by Graham Greene, who also developed a novella version. The book does a good job of illustrating certain details one might miss in the film, but the film is a masterpiece when it comes to "underplaying." It only says what it needs to, which makes it so memorable and striking. I also prefer the film adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's to Truman Capote's novella, despite the fact that the film departs quite a bit from the source material. One of the reasons is I found Audrey Hepburn's version of Holly Golightly far more vulnerable and sympathetic a character. Truman Capote lingered on the superficiality of his characters, which left me feeling uninterested by comparison. – aprosaicpintofpisces 1 week ago
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  • You managed to rehash a contentious issue among art lovers. As has been stated in prior posts, adaptations are analyzed ad infinitum. Yet in terms of this topic, I think you could argue slightly different, for a change of pace. All writing goes through drafting phases and all authors go through periods of productivity and delay or self-doubt. That said, how can we destroy a film adaptation that is merely going through a rough phase, on its merry way to the final version? Doesn't sound fair to the director. As far as adaptation goes, an author that is true to his craft and steadfast to the theme will inevitably produce the elusive masterpiece,followed by an equally acclaimed film adaptation, one may argue. Another incumbent will fumble the narrative by second-guessing the motive and the medium, failing to strike a vital chord with the audience in the process.Nevertheless, it's a valid concern. There is a documentary on The Virgin Suicides that makes the case for inclusion of the writer within the filming process. Of course, Sofia Coppola has the ultimate say over the characterization of the narrative. But the author of that novel, Jeffrey Eugenides, was a vital component behind the dialogue, the mood, and the setting. Also, it is not uncommon for the reverse to occur and achieve rather successfully. For instance, the Star Trek TV episode "All the Yesterdays" made a seamless foray into a series of acclaimed novel tie-ins by A.C. Crispin. The onscreen romance between Spock and Zarabeth translated into two compelling novels on time travel and a supposed offspring between the pair.A compelling factor in this debate is circumstances. The ancient Greeks wrote dramatic recollections of events that moved audiences of the time and to this day in practically every discipline that has emerged since then. But, in those times there were no motion pictures to reclaim those texts. Then, Shakespeare entered the picture with an equal fervor for shining light on the pressing matters of his day. Presently, we submit to the same appetite for literary escape with authors such as J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins, probably as eagerly as the Greeks and the British did in the early days of the art. In those times as is today, the stage was the medium for the written script. I venture to guess that audiences had their preferences for certain actors and theatres when reading the written play was not a viable option nor a preference. Perhaps, it may be that reading the plot in the comfort of a familiar setting with pleasant music or refreshment is the reason why some people opt for this method of entertainment. Indeed, the pace of a book or the flash of color and splash of sound in a film is what draws fans to each particular venue. So, an author's style or an actor's appeal may be the reasons why people turn to different sources of entertainment, including the online variety. I suppose radio producers had the same challenges in their respective field that could be incorporated into this topic. – L:Freire 1 week ago
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  • I feel like this topic has been discussed over and over again over the past year. I believe there may be an article about this topic on the site over the past year. – Sean Gadus 1 week ago
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  • I feel like we have almost moved past the "which is better?" question. Growing up it was always comparing the film to the source text, but as I become older I find myself comparing the media less often. I focus on if the adaptation did the source text justice, and if the changes that were made were justifiable. The film version of Gone Girl, for example, sticks to the novel pretty nicely, but with some detail changes that both enhance and take away from the book. While films like Annihilation and I'm Thinking of Ending Things are different visions from the source texts, and I respect them both for what they are. They almost become separate stories, but so long as the intent of the source text is respected, then I can happily enjoy the film versions. – Benedetto 5 hours ago
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Analysis of the "Very Special Episode"

In past decades, situation comedies and dramas were often known for their "very special episodes." These stories took a break from more lighthearted fare to discuss serious topics or issues, often those facing young audiences of the day. Special episodes could often be categorized thus:
-Featuring "special" characters (often disabled), who rarely if ever appeared again but existed to educate audiences and teach the main characters lessons about compassion and tolerance
-Analyzing the dangers of teen life (peer pressure, drugs, drunk driving, child/teen molestation)
-Focusing on particular current events (the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, the AIDS epidemic, 9/11, etc.)
-Teaching young audiences when and how to give or seek help in serious situations (eating disorders, abuse, CPR, etc.)

Pick a few "very special episodes" to focus on from sitcoms or sitcom/dramas (Diff’rent Strokes, Punky Brewster, Seventh Heaven, Full House…) How has the "very special episode" evolved? Why are they often mocked, even by those who enjoyed their affiliated shows? Is the "very special episode" still around now, and what does it look like?

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    Touchable Art in a Time of No Touch

    My article investigates touchable art and introduces artists who recover in their practices the bodily needs for physical contact. Amongst the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 are ‘no touch’ policies and the closing of art institutions for unlimited periods of time.
    But our crave for touch grows with the passing of time, and so does our need for seeing new, beautiful things.
    My article suggests different ways in which the public can soothe their desire for physical contact by experiencing art in the virtual space. It engages with the works of British artist Lucy Clout, Berlin-based Americans Claire Tolan and Holly Herndon and American artist Julie Weitz. Most recently, Australian artist Michelle Vine was awarded a residency with Museum of Brisbane for which she produced work that brought together touchable art and participatory art forms.

    • Very intriguing and topical idea! You seem to already have artists and/or touchable artworks in mind, though. Perhaps you could mention them in the topic already, to guide the reflection? – Gavroche 3 months ago
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    • A query, Crisia. Is this a topic suggestion, i.e. for other writers to consider writing about, or are you announcing your intention to write about this subject? – Amyus 3 months ago
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    • Thank you for your notes!I'm announcing my intention to write about this subject :) – Crisia 3 months ago
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    Will living through a pandemic change the depiction of disease in movies

    Besides HIV/AIDS, there has been no wide-reaching pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Influenza and, from a movie point of view at least, it’s pretty boring to live through. Despite what zombie movies might suggest, viruses are relatively slow moving and the deadlier a virus is, the less transmissible it tends to be. And the vast majority of people remain uninfected. It doesn’t make for great storytelling. However, up until now, the majority of people had no firsthand experience of living through an epidemic / pandemic and so could more easily suspend reality while watching these types of movies. But what happens now? Will the genre move away from the thriller type movie towards to personal suffering, either in lock down or the loss of loved ones?

    • I feel like there's a lot of potential here. For my part, I'm someone who thinks this particular virus has been blown way out of proportion, and that various unscrupulous actors are trying to use it to spread fear for their own gain. So, with that in mind, I think the idea of disease as a tool of social control would be a fascinating plot line that I hope someone tackles at some point. – Debs 2 weeks ago
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    • Debs: So I'm not crazy! Whew! I'm with you...but I am curious as to how COVID-19 will affect creative industries. For instance, I'm a fiction writer, and my fellow writers and I are getting tips like, "Don't come to agents/publishers with pandemic-centered material." It's too soon, apparently. But in a decade or two, who knows? I'd also like to see a comparison/contrast between COVID-19 and, say, the influenza epidemic of 1918. We still don't have much entertainment material about that...I wonder why? – Stephanie M. 1 week ago
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    • Stephanie M: I'm currently working on a research assignment regarding the influenza pandemic of 1918 (more pertinent to my research, it didn't reach Australia until 1919). From what I can understand, the pandemic arrived at the conclusion of the First World War and so, amongst that, it was forgotten. Many simply perceived it as the final, deadly battle of the war. That could potentially answer your question regarding why it isn't covered in entertainment media. But that then raises the question, will today's pandemic be forgotten by the film industry amidst 2020's other significant events - bushfires in Australia, wildfires occurring currently in the U.S., mass protests in the U.S. and other Western countries, etc.? – Samantha Leersen 7 days ago
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    • I really like the questions at the end of you post: "But what happens now? Will the genre move away from the thriller type movie towards to personal suffering, either in lock down or the loss of loved ones?"If someone chooses to write on this topic, I hope that person will either avoid making blanket claims about pandemics or will take some time to understand the topic and to support all of the major claims with good sources. We already have all sorts of distortions and misinformation out there; we don't need to add to the pile.I'm really not sure about the truthfulness of this claim in your post, for example: "the deadlier a virus is, the less transmissible it tends to be." There are specific terms found in most any serious, informed discussion of a specific virus: virulence (deadliness), replication rate (or growth rate, which I understand to be ultimately tied to the ease of transmission, the length of the contagious stage, etc.), and so on. At least one credible source says there's no certain connection between a pathogen's deadliness and its potential to spread: "contrary to common assumptions, virulence and replication rates can evolve independently, particularly after the initial spread of host resistance." (https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16927)I'm also a little unsure about this claim: "Besides HIV/AIDS, there has been no wide-reaching pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Influenza." The 1957-1958 H2N2 pandemic probably caused some 1.1 million worldwide and some 116,000 deaths in the United States.– JamesBKelley 4 days ago
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    • All of these notes are so dismissive if the disease itself. The 20 and 30 somethings poo-poo the deaths of their grandparents and just not caring. Sounds to me a diseased based tale of Sodom and Gomorrah is what you guys need. How about that?200,000 dead and those not enough to raise even a glimmer of recognition of man’s humanity by the citizens of Sodom. God gets pissed and destroys the insensitive cretins. The special effects would be WILD .. imagine .. fire, hurricanes, people forced underground where it’s cool enough to survive. Now that would be something to see .. oh wait .. – beaublue 3 days ago
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    Film

    Disability and Narrative: an Analysis of On-screen Characters
    Disability and Narrative: an Analysis of On-screen Characters
    Who Will Be The Next Face of The Marvel Cinematic Universe?
    Legally Blonde: A Classic Case of “Never Judge A Book By Its Cover”
    Religion in The Wicker Man and Midsommar

    TV

    The Heartbreaking Symbolism of The Clone Helmet In Star Wars: The Clone Wars’s Final Episodes
    The Heartbreaking Symbolism of The Clone Helmet In Star Wars: The Clone Wars’s Final Episodes
    The Donald Show: Trump, Television, and Manufactured Reality
    The Portrayal of Feminism in Fleabag (2016)
    The Good Place: Philosophically Sound?

    Animation

    Story of Will Vinton and Laika Studios
    Story of Will Vinton and Laika Studios
    How Princesses of Color Have Improved the Disney Princess Narrative
    The Legendary and Cautionary Tale of The Simpsons
    Ray Harryhausen: The Monster Maestro

    Anime

    The Promised Neverland: A Dialectical Analysis of the Antagonist
    The Promised Neverland: A Dialectical Analysis of the Antagonist
    Made in Abyss: Gender Politics
    Anime in America: The Adverse Affect on Women
    The Religious Politics of Hellsing Ultimate

    Manga

    Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
    Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
    The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
    One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
    Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions

    Comics

    Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
    Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
    Why Has Batman’s Origin Remained So Iconic?
    Feminist Criticism of Society and Comic Books’ Past
    The Batman/Catwoman Wedding Is Supposed to Upset You

    Literature

    The Odyssey: A Father and Son Quest for Kleos
    The Odyssey: A Father and Son Quest for Kleos
    Why Do Readers Enjoy The Detective Genre so much?
    The Long-Term Positivity of Multi-Cultural Children’s Books
    Themes in The Book Thief

    Arts

    Indian Food: A Multicultural Enterprise
    Indian Food: A Multicultural Enterprise
    Expressing Mental Health Through Street Art
    Anonymous Graffiti in China: a New Form of Demotivational Culture?
    Moomins and the Finnish Culture

    Writing

    The Impact of Writing on Well-Being and Self-Development
    The Impact of Writing on Well-Being and Self-Development
    Riddles in Rhetoric: Learning from Bilbo and Gollum about Linguistic Segregation
    Susan Sontag and her love of photography
    The Relationship between Travel and Creative Writing