The narrative fiction project was unlike anything else I’ve ever done at this university. It was such a change of pace for me as a journalism major that it was, at times, uncomfortable but also an interesting feeling of freedom with what I was doing. I’m not used to that kind of freedom in what I’m writing on a day-to-day basis. It’s obviously important to get out of your comfort zone in life, but something like this is not what I expected to be doing in this class. I assumed “New Media Writing” would be a bit more of adapting the old school style of what I had been doing in a new way. So, all in all, it’s been a very fun surprise.
The readings and such helped a bit in the writing process, but nothing really earth shattering was contributed by them. There were probably things I subconsciously took from each one. Thinking back, there isn’t anything I was trying to copy or draw from that we looked at, though. Mostly I was drawing from the specific characters I used and just my personal history of readings and pop culture.
The easiest thing about the project was the actual writing. Which kind of sounds weird to think about if you approach it from the beginning, but it was helped greatly by the outline. The outline was, far and way, the hardest part about the project. But as soon as you had the table set it was simple as can be to do the rest. The outline was so difficult because I felt the need to establish this as something that was sort of believable, but at the same time had some sort of intrigue to it. The story itself doesn’t have all that many big plot points so it was a struggle to make sure people still would want to read it. It’s probably the main issue with most writers of fiction, but it’s a problem I’m not really used to.
The strengths of this style of writing can be utilized in different ways. If you’re doing it on Twitter or something over several months, you get constant interest and anticipation with each new bit of story. You can also do a lot of things with feedback from the audience that is much harder to do in traditional fiction writing. If you write a book and release it, it’s hard to get feedback for months because the publishing process takes so long. In this realm, you’re able to send out that story immediately and the comments just start rolling in. It’s pretty amazing and I think that can be a useful tool to use as it can help you steer the story where the audience seems to be the most interested.
I’m not sure if this project will seep into my other forms of writing. I really do enjoy fiction writing so it’ll undoubtedly be nice to get more experience with it. It’s the type of thing where, if I ever developed something I thought would fit really well into this arena, I’d pursue it, but it’s not something I plan on putting into my writing rotation. I do really appreciate that it’s a project I did, though.
The ebola project I did before this one certainly helped with structuring this project. It was nice to get a solid picture of what was expected before anything really started. Because if this project just would have been dropped in my lap two weeks ago, I would have struggled to complete it at the level I ended up at. There are little sections of my project that I thought were good ideas and there were some that I thought were too trope-y and bad. I’m fine with the final project, but I’m such a nitpicker that I could easily struggle over small details for weeks on end.