Power in Simplicity


Form: The form of the story is to jump right into an immediate emotional situation.  (Structural) There seems to be an element of inviting some mystery, but it doesn’t seem as direct as a hook. (Structural) After telling the story, it seems to leave with a reflection or a “punch.”  (Structural/Rhetorical) Perhaps reflection isn’t always the right word but many have a “this is the bigger picture” effect.  (Rhetorical)  However, “Pralines” seemed to end with a punch.  (The story was about the narrator uncovering her family’s history with the KKK, and in the end of the story she sends her father a box of pralines made by an African-American member of her church.)  (Rhetorical) Regardless, each story ends with almost the purpose of the whole story. (Structural)

Format: The actual media of the stories are short (2-3 minutes) videos.  (Technical) Most have very simple music that reflects the emotions of the piece.  (Technical/Rhetorical) There are pictures that either reflect what the author is saying, or pictures that you can tell are trying to say something the author cannot say.  (Technical/Rhetorical)  For instance, “Unable” when the narrator explains about her siblings she shows a picture of them, but when she’s describing a happy family, she places a professional photo of her father, mother, and self (in which she is very young.  It could be a comment on faking looking happy or perhaps she felt that happy when she was young.)  (Rhetorical)  Some pictures flash by quickly, while other images are almost hung onto–staying on the screen or panning in.  (Technical) They seem to follow the narrative pace.  (Rhetorical)  Also, only one voice tells the story and no other.  (Technical)


Form:  After reading the excerpt from the Cookbook, it seems the narrative form is to treat the story as a short journey with the destination being the point or punchline.  (Structural) While I didn’t think of each story that way, I did notice the punchlines at the end.  (Structural)  The Cookbook understands that everyone’s personal style is their own way of storytelling, which I did not state because that seemed self-explanatory.  (Rhetorical)  There was a large emphasis of experiencing the story as a witness, both for the story teller and the listener.  (Rhetorical)  This is an interesting aspect of the form, and I think this is the subtle hook I was referring to–putting you in the story is a hook on its own.  (Rhetorical)  The most important form is to tell your story so that the listener experiences with the speaker.  (Rhetorical)

Format: It seems that I was spot-on with the format–it is a little bit easier to notice.  (Technical) The only thing I noticed they stated in the Cookbook was that they emphasized choosing the photos after the story was already written, to emphasize either what was said or what couldn’t be said (which I sort of picked up on). (Technical/Rhetorical)

-Aly Ferguson


~ by notsinthetix on February 14, 2011.

%d bloggers like this: