This week for Collective Narrative our assignment was to construct a story in three parts, or with three voices, using sound. I’m an avid listener of public radio and I really love radio documentary, so I was excited about this assignment. One of the first things that came to mind was to bring my friends into the project. Over the years we’ve had a lot of collective experiences and we love to reminisce.
I emailed my friends and asked them to participate — I wanted to interview them but I also wanted their input about the best story to tell for this project. We decided to tell the story that has become our origin myth, the story about the development of our group persona. I spent a day making house calls and recording everyone’s version of this story.
While editing, I ran into some complications. I was getting caught up in making sure that everyone was equally represented. At times, this was taking precedence over the narrative. I wanted to include everything: all parts of the story, all of the side stories, all of the tangents and the piece started to get very long. At one point I realized that there is probably no way this story will hold the attention of someone who doesn’t know these people, but there was no turning back. I was on the road to making a very long inside joke.
And that’s how it stands at this moment. What you hear here is a draft: Draft of First Halloween Story
I’d like to make the following improvements:
- create an introduction to the story and the characters. Right now this doesn’t work in any way.
- tighten up the story either by ditching the tangents or cutting out some of the segments where people agree (instead of disagree), reduce redundancy.
- figure out how to tweak the content to make it more generally interesting and not only of interest to those involved; create a more universal piece. (I think that outside feedback will help with this. I’ve heard the story so much that I can’t tell what is actually funny and what is insider funny.)
- finesse the transitions between speakers and within a speaker’s story better.
- add more pauses where appropriate to pace the story better.
- edit on paper to make sure that each element supports the narrative and moves the story forward.
- make the reveal more impactful by varying the pace (or something) in a unique way.