Methods of Storytelling

Aurelia West
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Methods of Storytelling

Post by Aurelia West » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:57 pm

I've just finished up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and the story progressed via various documents such as interviews, files, emails, etc. rather than chapters and a continuous writing style. I've also just started Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel which tells the story in a similar fashion. What are your opinions on how the text in a story is formatted? Does a style including documents take away from or add to the story? I sometimes find it difficult to catch my bearings in a story told in documents at first, but eventually understand the style and infer on my own in-between documents.
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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Methods of Storytelling

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:37 pm

I've read books written in a non-continuous style and, while it sometimes took me a while to catch on, I ended up enjoying them.

The first book I think of reading which was 'different' is Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. This was written, quite literally, as a series of letters back and forth between the authors.

I've since read others which are more like what you mention and, once I got used to them, they're great. (Well, they're great if the story is great. The method of telling the story wasn't a reason for me liking or not liking them!)

I think that, a lot of the time, using an alternative method of writing style introduced elements to the story which otherwise might have been difficult to get into it. Michael Crichton would often put in 'scientific documentation' which, at first, I look at and boggle, and then find out ... oh wasn't that clever!

A very great story told is that of Dream, in the Sandman books by Neil Gaiman. This is all 'comic books', and yet, the very structure of the art, the lettering, the placement of the panels -- the whole thing -- all of that adds to the richness of the story he told (story cycle).
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Scarlett Lacarnum
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Re: Methods of Storytelling

Post by Scarlett Lacarnum » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:27 am

I also read Illuminae and I found this method of storytelling appealing. It's different and creative. As long as I can follow the story and there are the elements of character development and plot progression I am fine with it. Overall I think it's a great way to explore plot twists.

Maybe I wasn't a big fan of the swirling writing but this method felt refreshing.
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Shiloh Adlar
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Re: Methods of Storytelling

Post by Shiloh Adlar » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:41 am

I recently finished a re-read of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. It had been years since I read it, and it's always been one of my favorite novels. The way this story is told is through narrative storytelling. Mrs. Dean, a servant at Thrushcross Grange, tells Mr. Lockwood the history of Catherine and Heathcliff after he visits Wuthering Heights to talk to his landlord and experiences a very strange and rude welcoming.

Many stories no longer use this method of storytelling, at least none that I can remember reading as of late, and it's quite an interesting way of doing so. While we do only have one point of view throughout the story, that coming from Mrs. Dean, Mr. Lockwood does put in a word here and there through first person view inbetween narratives.

Wuthering Heights is also known not just for this method of storytelling but for the story told which is in a way that dares the reader to hate the characters. It involves a haunting romance that I tend to describe as near demonic. There isn't one character in this story that I can find easy to love for their personality. They are cruel and rude to each other and the abuse that occurs is horrendous, yet somehow all of that ties into a beautifully dark story that keeps me reading for hours.
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