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The Art of Sims Storytelling

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  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @mastressalita I promise you're not alone. I talk a lot about working with the game and what it gives me, and I see it as a co-writer too.

    If you are weird, I seem to be weird in the same way. :)
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    I will answer the other questions when I am home on my desktop - on mobile right now.

    But I have actually cried today because I don't know what's wrong with my story. Valley had thousands of readers. I think maybe five people read Surreal Darkness. I am having a lot of trouble adjusting to that.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,994 Member
    edited November 2015
    "While it may sound odd, when I write Sim stories, I actually think of the game as a co-author, which is why I always go in game first, and do the writing second. I might drop into the game with an "idea" of what I'm going to guide into happening that play session, but I never set anything in stone, because I like to see what the game is going to throw my way, which could be incorperated into the story as a result. I think the fact I think of the game itself as my writing partner is probably from my background in play-by-post writing."-- @mastressalita

    I very much feel this way. This style of writing I call "Wrimmingfun" for the writing and Simming are so interconnected.

    Most of my SimLit is like this--the short stories, some of my collaborative projects, and my fanfic aren't; they're story-driven--but pretty much all of my other SimLit writing is 90-100% game driven. I love that style of writing!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    edited November 2015
    @MedleyMisty WOW! That is INCREDIBLE that you had thousands of readers on one of your stories! Dust to Dust is so weird. It's like it has a "cult following" or something :lol: My readers were so passionate and loved it so much, but I never had anywhere near those kind of numbers! Maybe 30 or so active readers (that I know of/made themselves known). My blog has 50 followers but I don't think all of them actually read :lol: I have 21,000 views on my blog but only 1,500 visitors, meaning the average person reads less than 20 chapters haha

    I COMPLETELY understand how discouraging it must feel so have so many less readers, by comparison. But know that I'm super envious of you haha I would kill for that many readers of my story!

    If you keep writing, I'm sure you'll get more! Maybe not as many as Valley, but more! I'm sure of it! :)
    snvAF3B.png
  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    edited November 2015
    I think, of recent, I've read a lot of TS3 stories that are obviously the product of heavy pose-mods, and I started reading about a lot more authors writing their chapters before going into game, so I started thinking that was a more prevalent method... I guess it is a bit of a comfort to hear there are quite a few folks that actually do let the game have quite a bit of control and do their writing second to the gaming. All these stories have been quite interesting. ^_^

    As far as the relationship between the pictures and the words, I have always been the sort of person that kind of felt like the pictures told so much of the story that a lot of text wasn't really necessary... sort of like children's picture books. So I always left my text quite sparse. It really hasn't been until recently, seeing works that have far higher word counts, that I've felt the need to reassess my way of doing things.
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    Have a Sim story site? Please submit your link to the Stories and Legacies Index!
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  • KitDragonFlightKitDragonFlight Posts: 6,219 Member
    I think, of recent, I've read a lot of TS3 stories that are obviously the product of heavy pose-mods, and I started reading about a lot more authors writing their chapters before going into game, so I started thinking that was a more prevalent method... I guess it is a bit of a comfort to hear there are quite a few folks that actually do let the game have quite a bit of control and do their writing second to the gaming. All these stories have been quite interesting. ^_^

    As far as the relationship between the pictures and the words, I have always been the sort of person that kind of felt like the pictures told so much of the story that a lot of text wasn't really necessary... sort of like children's picture books. So I always left my text quite sparse. It really hasn't been until recently, seeing works that have far higher word counts, that I've felt the need to reassess my way of doing things.

    I can never plan out my chapters except for a loose outline! Because it's when I do that planning that my game surprises me lol!
  • InfraGreenInfraGreen Posts: 6,660 Member
    I think, of recent, I've read a lot of TS3 stories that are obviously the product of heavy pose-mods, and I started reading about a lot more authors writing their chapters before going into game, so I started thinking that was a more prevalent method... I guess it is a bit of a comfort to hear there are quite a few folks that actually do let the game have quite a bit of control and do their writing second to the gaming. All these stories have been quite interesting. ^_^

    As far as the relationship between the pictures and the words, I have always been the sort of person that kind of felt like the pictures told so much of the story that a lot of text wasn't really necessary... sort of like children's picture books. So I always left my text quite sparse. It really hasn't been until recently, seeing works that have far higher word counts, that I've felt the need to reassess my way of doing things.

    @mastressalita: I actually got the opposite impression on one of the communities I originally posted on. Most of the stories were game-driven, and also didn't use any mods or custom content. I tried to match the style, but I didn't feel quite at home with it either.

    I still allow the game to surprise me a bit, though. :)
    A thousand bared teeth, a thousand bowed heads

    outrun / blog / tunglr
  • roseinblack69roseinblack69 Posts: 4,070 Member
    edited November 2015
    I am also not popular @mastressalita, but I always appreciate those, who read my stories and I always read and comment myself. I know how it's important to others and maybe even to me, because I like to share my thoughts :) But honestly my book's handwriting is most important to me, so sims stories is like some relax to me, something new I've never tried before. But if I start to write something I always fall in love with my characters and then I try to work hard on my stories... Game is game, you never know, when it will ruin your plans for the story, it happened to me already few times :D That's why my amazons story is "under constructions" at this moment :) I think numbers is nothing comparing to sincere readers, who follow your stories, and if even it sounds very selfish, it's the best to do everything for yourself.
    By the way, I read your story about darkness @MedleyMisty, but I didn't finish it :) I'll do that :) I just need to find a time for that.
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,311 Member
    edited November 2015
    @CitizenErased14 I really liked the dialogue between your pictures and your text in the PNN scene you mentioned. I kind of like to sometimes do that too, let the pictures focus on one thing and the text to some other aspect of what's happening.

    @MedleyMisty Aww, Surreal Darkness certainly deserves more readers! I'm kind of bummed about my own low reader count as well sometimes. It has like, what, ten readers or something, and only about two or three are active and give me feedback. Oh, well, I kind of knew this would happen the moment I started writing it.

    @mastressalita I really like reading well made children's picture books! I don't think you need to change your style just because others do things differently. Of course, if you feel like you want to try something different or feel like some other style might be better for you than what you're doing now, then you can go for it!
    Post edited by RipuAncestor on
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    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @MedleyMisty WOW! That is INCREDIBLE that you had thousands of readers on one of your stories! Dust to Dust is so weird. It's like it has a "cult following" or something :lol: My readers were so passionate and loved it so much, but I never had anywhere near those kind of numbers! Maybe 30 or so active readers (that I know of/made themselves known). My blog has 50 followers but I don't think all of them actually read :lol: I have 21,000 views on my blog but only 1,500 visitors, meaning the average person reads less than 20 chapters haha

    I COMPLETELY understand how discouraging it must feel so have so many less readers, by comparison. But know that I'm super envious of you haha I would kill for that many readers of my story!

    If you keep writing, I'm sure you'll get more! Maybe not as many as Valley, but more! I'm sure of it! :)

    Not sure how much longer I have to keep writing, since Valley took eight months and I've been writing Surreal Darkness for two years.

    It's not the story. It's the changes in the community. There's just not that many people interested in Sims stories anymore.

    Also I cannot update as quickly as I could back in those days, and that's part of it. Along with not having the time or the energy to read and comment on other people's stuff as much as I should if I really want readers. A lot of getting readers is building relationships and investing in other people and their work, and I don't have the capital to invest that I used to.

    My job is a lot busier than it was, I'm also juggling WoW with Sims these days, and also all the stress from writing that intensely for eight months plus all the hate and drama that comes your way when you have a story that popular ended in me developing an ulcer that hemorrhaged and I very nearly bled to death, and to this day if I get too stressed I get hardcore chest pain. I had to take a step back, and that results in less readers.

    Also all the places where I used to advertise are dead, the majority of the people who read it have moved on and left the community, and everyone who is left has moved to Tumblr and YouTube, so unless it moves or it's just pictures they're not interested anymore.

    To end this post on a less bitter note though - this is the one place I've found in the community where people do still care about stories. I am trying to invest here.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,994 Member
    I think, of recent, I've read a lot of TS3 stories that are obviously the product of heavy pose-mods, and I started reading about a lot more authors writing their chapters before going into game, so I started thinking that was a more prevalent method... I guess it is a bit of a comfort to hear there are quite a few folks that actually do let the game have quite a bit of control and do their writing second to the gaming. All these stories have been quite interesting. ^_^

    As far as the relationship between the pictures and the words, I have always been the sort of person that kind of felt like the pictures told so much of the story that a lot of text wasn't really necessary... sort of like children's picture books. So I always left my text quite sparse. It really hasn't been until recently, seeing works that have far higher word counts, that I've felt the need to reassess my way of doing things.

    Yeah--I really like there to be a dance between the pictures and text--I don't like for the text to describe what the pictures show, but I like both to sort of collaborate to tell the story. @JordanNicoleJJ does an amazing job with this in her SimSelf Legacy, especially in some of the Gen 6 and Gen 7 chapters.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    @MedleyMisty The community here is very passionate, so even if you don't get a lot of readers, I guarantee you that the ones you DO get will be so passionate about your work and will be truly devoted readers :) I felt sad for a while that D2D wasn't more popular, but I came to appreciate the readers I did have, because they really cared about my story and my characters and the quality of readers matters more than the quantity, I think! :)
    snvAF3B.png
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,994 Member
    I sort of like being side-stream, not mainstream. I got into working with the web through teaching online at a community college and being a web editor for a school district (two separate jobs that both use the web) back in 1997, when using the online medium for both jobs was not mainstream at all--and I loved it! It's mainstream now, and, while still rewarding, it doesn't have that wild type of freedom that side-stream stuff does.

    I would freak out if I had 1,000's of readers. I like having just a handful--and knowing most of them! I would feel so exposed with that many readers, and I don't think I'd have fun.

    My favorite story to write is the one that hardly anyone reads or even knows about! I feel like I can just express whatever I want with that, without even thinking about how readers will respond! There's something so liberating about just writing for writing, not for readers.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,311 Member
    CathyTea wrote: »
    Yeah--I really like there to be a dance between the pictures and text--I don't like for the text to describe what the pictures show, but I like both to sort of collaborate to tell the story.

    I really like the way you worded that. And I think I like to do the same, although I do like to describe the things in the pics sometimes too because I feel like my text would be really naked without a lot of descriptive parts.
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @RipuAncestor

    The relationship between the images and the text in my work is like the relationship between space and time, or nature and nurture. Extremely intertwined and existing together and in relation to each other and impossible to tease apart. ;) Even in Surreal Darkness with just the scenery pics.

    That's also why the 12 image limit in this short story I'm trying to do for the challenge is haaaarrd!
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,994 Member
    @RipuAncestor

    The relationship between the images and the text in my work is like the relationship between space and time, or nature and nurture. Extremely intertwined and existing together and in relation to each other and impossible to tease apart. ;) Even in Surreal Darkness with just the scenery pics.

    That's also why the 12 image limit in this short story I'm trying to do for the challenge is haaaarrd!

    I was thinking about this yesterday--I can't remember if I read your story first and then commented about the dance between words and picture, or if commented first and then read... but during the afternoon, I kept flashing back on your story and the space between words and picture.

    You know what's so awesome (to me as a reader) is that in your story, since we don't see Seth or the darkness (personified), all the screenshots seem to be from the perspective of the narrator--as if we're inside their mind looking out.

    I have to be really careful when I read your story, because my perspective tends to be really fluid, and it would be so, so easy for me to get lost within the POV character.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    @MedleyMisty : Oh man, I go through absolute h*ll every month trying to cut down my screencaps to only 12 for the short story challenges! My method is to use a lot more imagery, so that sparse amount really takes its toll on me. This month I had it down to 13 and really didn't want to cut just one more... but it was that or not enter, so... I feel the pain!
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    Have a Sim story site? Please submit your link to the Stories and Legacies Index!
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    My Simlit Discussion/Updates | The Fringe | Short Story Challenges
  • PsychoSimXXPsychoSimXX Posts: 4,403 Member
    edited November 2015
    I have a story I have been working on for almost a year now. I know what I want the characters to endue, their growth, hardships and the how I want it to end. I have problems with the build up. You know the stuff that makes people grasp the story and want to keep reading until the good stuff gets there. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,994 Member
    I have a story I have been working on for almost a year now. I know what I want the characters to endue, their growth, hardships and the how I want it to end. I have problems with the build up. You know the stuff that makes people grasp the story and want to keep reading until the good stuff gets there. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Here are some goofy ideas--and maybe they'll open the way to some good ones, too!

    What if you started from the end? Start with the good stuff--and then just fill in the back story as you need to.

    What if you skip anything that's not "the good stuff?" (This is actually not a goofy idea, but a serious one.) A lot of my favorite stories--those that really grab me as a reader, including work by several writers who contribute to this thread ( @CitizenErased14 , @InfraGreen , @MedleyMisty , @ra3rei ), leave out large chunks in their story. Sometimes, this is filled in later through flashback, sometimes, not--and what happens for the reader is that we're able to really engage to figure out what we need to know to fill in the gaps. As a reader, I love the gaps almost as much as I do the story itself! :)

    So.... what if you just used what you're calling "the good stuff" as the pillars. Start with that--leave out the rest--and see what happens! At the very least, you might be able to write with motivation and enjoyment--and that's what really hooks readers. Then later, if you needed to fill in the connecting points (and you might not need to) you could!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 7,017 Member
    edited November 2015
    I am so glad I found this discussion. I have written other stories outside the Sims, but I was thrilled to find a new storytelling platform with the Sims 3, and find other Sims writers who want to get deep.

    Do you have any preconceptions about how SimLit is supposed to be? Or did you used to have some, but you've grown past them as you've read and written more Sims stories?
    I thought it was supposed to be fun and lighthearted and easy. It turned into a much bigger project for me and a much deeper story. I definitely found I enjoyed stories that looked more realistic (a.k.a. no thought bubbles or other headline images), but I did expect that others wouldn't agree with me, know how, or care. Some Sim stories I've read lack depth and detail. I don't like reading these kinds of stories.

    If you did have any preconceptions, how did they affect your writing and reading?
    I had no idea what my end goal was when I began writing my Kass's story. I started out with the story of a girl who's parents are divorced and this has affected her life. If I had any intentions, it was just to follow her around and see what happened, writing the story around the gameplay. But in chapter 4, I threw in her Dad's serious illness, a subject that explains the supernaturals and aliens, and a subject that interweaves with the plot. This was the beginning of my journey to go deeper, push boundaries, and stretch myself.

    Are there any stories in particular that made you realize that Sims stories could be more than what you thought they could be?
    I started reading The Torres Legacy by @Blythelyre and was immediately sucked in by her storytelling ability. Honestly, I was excited about the depth of her stories, her character backgrounds, the details, and her writing talent. At times, I'd forget that I was reading a Sims story. I hope to write characters with just as much depth, personality, and intrigue.

    How does the game influence your work?
    Initially, I'd play the game and just see what happened and write a story around it. As I gradually started adding more depth to Kass's character, I wanted to know more about other base game Sims. I wanted to make connections between Sims, get to know other Sims better, and solve the mysteries and understand the complexities of the Sims world. I did this by switching perspectives at times, and playing other Sims in Kass's world. I had her interact with well-known Sims and I changed base-game Sims, made them fit my story, or expanded on their backgrounds. I gradually started planning and outlining what would happen in the story and then staging gameplay and using screenshots instead of the other way around. While it was ultimately more work to do this, it definitely was more challenging. Now I get an idea and I run with it, outlining a concept, and then playing it out in the game to see if it works, and allowing the characters do the storytelling. It is definitely the most fun and authentic this way.
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  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    I have a story I have been working on for almost a year now. I know what I want the characters to endue, their growth, hardships and the how I want it to end. I have problems with the build up. You know the stuff that makes people grasp the story and want to keep reading until the good stuff gets there. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Hi @GoddessSims ! I think @CathyTea made a great suggestion (and thank you for the mention, you are sweet!) about leaving some things a mystery for readers. It will keep the readers guessing and make them want to know more! I think this works pretty well!

    Another (kind of obvious haha) suggestion is to make sure you have well-developed characters that are easy to connect with. I know that as a reader, the more I understand and care about a character, the more I'm invested in their story and what happens to them :) So using those "good stuff" as pillars (as CT suggested!) and also having strong characters as a "foundation" of sorts can help you build an engaging story that will keep readers wanting more :)

    Happy writing! I look forward to checking out your work in the future!!!! :)
    snvAF3B.png
  • InfraGreenInfraGreen Posts: 6,660 Member
    I have a story I have been working on for almost a year now. I know what I want the characters to endue, their growth, hardships and the how I want it to end. I have problems with the build up. You know the stuff that makes people grasp the story and want to keep reading until the good stuff gets there. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    @GoddessSims: This is where In Medias Res might come in handy. If you don't want to get lost in TV Tropes and don't know what it is, the gist is: don't start at the chronological beginning. Start at something good, and let the rest be revealed how you see fit.

    Or in another wording: take everyone else's previous advice before I saw your post. :p
    A thousand bared teeth, a thousand bowed heads

    outrun / blog / tunglr
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    edited November 2015
    InfraGreen wrote: »
    I have a story I have been working on for almost a year now. I know what I want the characters to endue, their growth, hardships and the how I want it to end. I have problems with the build up. You know the stuff that makes people grasp the story and want to keep reading until the good stuff gets there. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    @GoddessSims: This is where In Medias Res might come in handy. If you don't want to get lost in TV Tropes and don't know what it is, the gist is: don't start at the chronological beginning. Start at something good, and let the rest be revealed how you see fit.

    Or in another wording: take everyone else's previous advice before I saw your post. :p

    Yeah, this was pretty much what I was going to say. Kind of exactly what I was going to say - I was thinking about in media res earlier today.

    I've been going around reading past short story challenge entries, and that's definitely something I noticed. People would start at the wrong place, and they'd tell you all about the character and their life and who they are before getting to the actual story events.

    Well, maybe I shouldn't call that wrong, and maybe it worked for what they were trying to do. In general though, it's best to just start the story where things start to happen and show who your characters are and what their background is as you go and as it's relevant to the plot.

    Okay, like, speaking of short story challenge stories, here's how the one I'm writing right now starts:
    Daddy could tell they were coming. He said it was in the shape of the waves.

    I said, "There ain't no waves."

    He nodded and called me "astute", and then he said, "That's how you know. When the water gets real still and calm and the fish don't bite. The fish know they're coming too."

    Hopefully anyone reading at this point wants to know who's coming and what's going to happen when they come. Also hopefully the narrator's voice tells you some things about her and her background and who she is, and then later on in the story there are some little details that fill in a bit of her past and her family relationships. But they are little, and they are relevant to the plot. Because you only need the things that matter to the events of the story.

    So you could try starting the story right in the middle of whatever it is that the characters have to endure.

    Other examples of ways I've started stories:
    Seth Morrigan’s very own personal dark night of the soul had taken physical form, and it lay in wait for him on his bedroom floor.
    He didn’t dream about the fire.

    He didn’t sleep, most of the time. It hurt too much to sleep. But that wasn’t why he didn’t dream about the fire.

    “Seth?”
    I think they call it an imprint. When something real tragic happens, they say it leaves an imprint on the air and that sometimes when folks come by it replays itself. Like a moving picture. I reckon maybe the people in the tragedy leave a bit of their soul there. I think maybe that’s what I am. A bit of a soul. And I replay when someone comes and knocks on this stone here.

    Mighty nice of you to come. No, no, don’t leave. I’d have to come up there, and it ain’t so easy to climb up through six feet of dirt. ‘Specially when you ain’t got no head.

    Well, I’m using yours, of course.

    See, all of them start the story where the action of the story starts, and hopefully also they interest readers in finding out what's going on.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    edited November 2015
    @CathyTea Oh my gosh! Thank you! :)

    Seth isn't in Surreal Darkness though. The narrator is definitely not Seth. The narrator is way too emotionally healthy to be Seth, lol.

    Oooh though! I hadn't thought of the scenery pics that way, as being what the narrator is seeing! I guess they are though, except for the stylized pics of Death. And sometimes the caption goes way beyond the pic, like the pic of the empty table and chairs and the description of the party with the five baby unicorns and their giant unicorn father with all the spikes that change color and the winged kittens and the thin strips of universes playing Twister in front of the bass machine.

    But then, with those sorts of pics, I think you could wonder - is the description what's actually happening, or is the narrator perhaps not that all tied into reality at the moment? And what the pic shows is reality but the description is what the narrator is seeing inside their mind?

    I think you're the second person to point out the narrator could very easily be a stand-in for the reader, since the narrator does not have a gender or a name or a physical representation. Which I didn't think about it that way at all - but then I never consciously think about what I'm doing when I write. I get out of the way and let my subconscious control my fingers.

    @mastressalita Well, of course you feel the pain, since our process seems to be so similar! Like I'm taking all these pics of conversations and of each bit of the main character getting out of bed, and I want to use all of them!!!! But I can't! *flips table*
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,994 Member
    @CathyTea Oh my gosh! Thank you! :)

    Seth isn't in Surreal Darkness though. The narrator is definitely not Seth. The narrator is way too emotionally healthy to be Seth, lol.


    Oh! my bad! I thought I'd picked up on that in one of your comments somewhere...


    Oooh though! I hadn't thought of the scenery pics that way, as being what the narrator is seeing! I guess they are though, except for the stylized pics of Death. And sometimes the caption goes way beyond the pic, like the pic of the empty table and chairs and the description of the party with the five baby unicorns and their giant unicorn father with all the spikes that change color and the winged kittens and the thin strips of universes playing Twister in front of the bass machine.

    But then, with those sorts of pics, I think you could wonder - is the description what's actually happening, or is the narrator perhaps not that all tied into reality at the moment? And what the pic shows is reality but the description is what the narrator is seeing inside their mind?

    Right, exactly. There's that disconnect between what the narrator sees and what the narrator sees.

    But where it became really poignant for me was that time in Granite Falls when the world that is seen becomes not real--a prop.

    I actually have this experience sometimes--I get the multiple layer of reality experience sometimes. Not exactly what this narrator experiences, but akin to it.

    Then it seems like maybe it's real, just not real to the narrator at that time. Maybe the narrator sees beyond the illusion of form. Or maybe the narrator is so caught in a different order of reality, that the consensus world is seen to be an illusion.
    I think you're the second person to point out the narrator could very easily be a stand-in for the reader, since the narrator does not have a gender or a name or a physical representation. Which I didn't think about it that way at all - but then I never consciously think about what I'm doing when I write. I get out of the way and let my subconscious control my fingers.

    mmmm... I wasn't exactly meaning that the narrator is a stand-in for the reader, more that, as a reader, it's very, very easy for me to enter into the narrator's perspective, because it doesn't have gender, name, or physical representation. I feel very much that the narrator is not me--those aren't "my" thoughts or experiences, exactly, but I also feel it's really easy for "me" to enter into and share the narrator's experiences and perspective. I feel I can get inside the narrator's skin and look out of the narrator's eyes and that the space that is within me can become the space within the narrator.

    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
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