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Pros and cons of writing as storytelling medium?
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:07 pm
Okay, so I've been exploring other storytelling media and I'm starting to become more and more familiar of them. Today, as I was binge-watching anime reviews, I stumbled upon a video by Super Eyepatch Wolf on Junji Ito and how various media scares us. For those who don't know, Junji Ito is a sp00ky comics artist and writer.
I learned there that Junji Ito used to his advantage one of the printed comics' most powerful weapons: the page-turn. At first you'd be reading his comics like, "Okay, this is pretty sp00ky." Then when you turn that next page you just uncovered ONE GIANT PANEL FULL OF PURE NIGHTMARE FUEL AAAAAAAH. Then you go to sleep with the lights on and with your momma sitting beside you.
Discovering this made me question what the strengths of writing as a medium are.
So, yeah. What are the pros of writing as a storytelling medium? Aside from making the reader build the story's world in their own image, 'cause I know that already. Also, maybe add in the cons as well?
Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:32 pm
I think the really great thing about writing is that you get to be in the character's "head". You get to experience the flow of their thoughts, their reasoning, and feel their experiences.
While most other forms of storytelling can do this, books do it best.
For me, the biggest con of writing is not being able to simply show the heart break, or the love, or the beauty. It's having to "describe it" instead of see it. The best writers can overcome this in wonderful ways(Tolkien for example) but it's still one of the weaknesses of writing.
My rat terrier has excellent taste in books.
Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:26 am
For me, writing is a much more internal medium, with more opportunity for character filter. A visual medium lends itself to a certain amount of objectivity, because there's an assumption that everything you see on the screen is how things are. There's a grounding in reality that doesn't happen with writing, and this can be good or bad. You can toy with it for some massive shock value, but it's not the norm (that's why the twists work).
Writing, meanwhile, runs on unreliable narrators and heavy introspection— even if the character spends hardly any time in their own head. Most of the writing advice I give is boiled down to "I want this very specific character's view in everything that happens to them, give me less objectivity."
While you can create a certain amount of this with a visual medium, you lack the genuine total-capture-of-thoughts that happens with writing. The written word gives you an exactness into internal worlds, while a visual medium is more likely to suggest the character's thoughts and filters on the world around them. Thought bubbles can only take you so far.
If you want a lot of background stuff that characters don't notice, like the ability to throw flashing teeth in the dark behind the oblivious character so readers know there's trouble, pick graphic media.
If you want a lot of filter so everything is seen through the character's eyes and you get a fairly open window into their head, so you know exactly what the character is planning when no other character knows, pick written media.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo
Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.
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