Writing is Painful
YEAR 2, WEEK 16 1/31/21 - Narrative writing and exploration
Current thesis thoughts:
I began this week with my exploration into storytelling. I had dabbled a bit last semester, writing a traumatic experience down as a form of narrative. Then I found it a lot harder to ascribe events to linear storytelling stories, gripping ones, I was taught had a beginning middle, and end. but this writing had none of those elements, they were flashes of painful memories sort of etched in my mind. it brought this idea that there is just this bundle of negative emotions tied to things that don't even directly connect to the painful event.
Sort of like how one time you eat your favorite meal and it makes you sick then you can look at it without gagging. in my case, I can look at a theater without being filled with this intense fear that I will be told someone in my life has died.
I've decided that I wanted to create some kind of game centered around my own way of grieving. the current idea is to lead the player down the same beats of finding out someone you love has died. and then follows the process of coping with that. but done in a sort of collective conversation with the narrator has with a spectre of their departed friend.
I actually am looking into my experimental writing for inspiration this time around. I've spent half a year delving into what it means to feel grief over losing someone you felt a familial bond with. as a result I have a lot of angsty self-writing which works as a good starting point to creating a narrative for my story.
Loss is walking to a movie theater with your friends on a boring Saturday afternoon and knowing that the day has nothing new is store for you. That gentle calm you associate with everything being right with the world while all the way a few hundred miles away providence takes something precious.
Loss is a phone call in the middle of a horror movie in which you watched people leap to their deaths, only to find out that your best friend fell to theirs in that same phone call.
Loss is appreciating that irony as your cry in the hallway as your watch people file in and out of their respective rooms. Taking with them their assorted movie time snacks.
Loss is reaching out and grasping for any sense of normalcy only to be met with more alien concepts. You are told that’s what trauma is. Shaking of your world view. The sun may as well be in the moon for all the good it does.
Loss is waiting patiently for your partner to finish watching the movie so you can tell them the horrible news.
Loss is the profoundly heavy experience of knowing something those you love don’t.
Loss is none of those things, and all of them at the same time.
Loss calcifies itself in your mind like a spore or a barb, anchored in your mind for a long while only to be jostled now anytime you have the briefest instance of feeling human.
This is an excerpt of my recount of being told my friend had fallen into a coma. In the writing, I was able to look into visuals that stick to an individual when moments are sort of carved into my mind, I think this something that everyone deals with. but the narrative of coping after is what I'm focusing on which is where my writing is going to happen
The story of La Llorona- this is the story of a woman who had her heartbroken by the man she loved. As he left her and her two sons he drove her to the point of madness, and she actually killed her sons.
many stories talk about her looking for her sons and as a result, steal children away. it was said because at the gates of heaven she was asked where her children were, and unable to answer she was sent back to earth to look for them, never to find them because they already passed on.
this story was one used to scare children into behaving but it's such a pervasive story that it stays even when adults. because it's such a well-known story.
my approach towards this project I thought about playing towards a narrative-based game like the night in the woods game. The story has a magical quality to them and because of this, it allows the player to let the game tell them the story of Hispanic coping tactics, like talking to the dead or having parties during days of grieving.
In this game, the narrative would follow a person entering the city of the dead. it would run sort of like crossing the Mexican border. The character would visit with a few people and suffer through some pain as a result of being in the city of the dead for too long, symbolic of dwelling on the dead for too long something that I've been warned of for too long.
"it's ok if you think about them, but don't do it for too long because it might make you forget how to be alive." this was something my mother told me.
in another version of the game, it would be a low poly virtual reality story. in which the player sits in a car driving down scenery as a conversation is being had between the player and a ghost of their fiend. over time the background changes, going from real-world areas to more fanciful places. the reason behind this is because the car is where I find it safe to experience this aspect of my Hispanic culture, only feeling safe to indulges in the tradition alone and on the road.
Work was done and Choices made:
currently, I've started writing the narrative for the game. while the narrative is important I do also have to start coding. so tomorrow I'm going to ask my friends what kind of game they think would be useful. I'm leaning the side-scrolling still narrative but I need some pushes to get it down.
the narrative writing does feel a little, narcissistI'm not the first person to have lost someone but the writing of this makes it feel that way. but I think that's the design question to answer, this isn't a new feeling, it's not a new loss, but the narrative is what's new. where I'm thinking is "where can this narrative provide meaningful stories."
Likely next steps
my next steps are to keep on working with my narrative and then opening up unity and staying to do some basic coding so I don't end up stitching together haphazard code at the last second.