For the last few weeks, there’s been a certain annoyance for me every time I watch/read something. To a degree, it might had something to do with my just found awareness toward storytelling craft. And also, who am I as a media consumer before that.
For further clarification of that statements though, we need to go back around two years ago.
I was more or less a regular media consumer. But as of high school, I became more and more absorbed on internet surfing. During those moment of internet surfing, I accidentally stumbled upon a certain aniblog named ‘Wrong Every Time‘. In there I was awed over the blog’s content of storytelling analysis. Incidentally, that’s the first time ever I’ve discovered storytelling craft. I’m no stranger to thematic analysis and reviews and I do aware about the three act structure in which a story commonly constructed around, but I never knew there’s a real craft/knowledge involve to construct a story up until that point.
As someone who has a certain fondness for narrative and who always dream/imagining on creating narrative, the discovery of this gives me a real sense of joy.
As such, after the wonderful discovery, I decided to be more and more critical of what I watch while simultaneously trying to learn more and more about storytelling craft. Characterization, structure, etc. Through Bobduh’s (Wrong Every Time’s blogger) twitter account, I also began to discover many other bloggers such as Guy, Frog-kun and Iblessall, and so I began to learn more about storytelling from their posts as well.
Unfortunately, my new found awareness for storytelling puts me in an awkward phase of media consuming. Meaning, while I do became aware there’s a certain trick or mechanism on how a certain narrative is crafted, whether it was actually good or not are somewhat still beyond me oftentimes. Putting together of what a piece of fiction central idea/ what’s its trying to ‘say’ into a coherent and cohesive sentences are even more of a challenge for me.
So you can imagine there’s always a certain niggling sense every time I watch something, but I couldn’t precisely elaborate why is certain storytelling choices works or doesn’t. The words are ‘there’, but I couldn’t quite wrap my finger around it. I also still have the tendency to put ahead my visceral reaction on certain plot points instead of analyzing whether it was well executed
There’s also the fact that I still retained some of my suspend of disbelief from my pre-aware times, meaning that I can take at face value what others consider as a bad storytelling choices or a stupid twist. For all of my life of watching/reading fiction, despite the fact of my own awareness the events and the characters are all made up, I’ve always assumed any event and any characters actions are ‘realistic’. To put it more accurately, borrowing what Film Crit Hulk said on his Gone Girl essay, that I “STILL REGARD THE EVENTS OF THE PLOT AS JUST THESE INSTITUTIONS OF STORY, AS MATTER OF FACT AS ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE.”
This is one of the few reason why I didn’t thought Guilty Crown to be as a laughable mess as other people frequently said and why I managed to tolerate both Aldnoah and Valvrave (it did immensely helping my enjoyment of it). In fact, it comes as a genuine surprise for me when many people thought of them they’re a stupid show. While I can see the reasoning behind both season of Valvrave and the first season of Aldnoah, I especially surprised on how the second part of Aldnoah is badly received whereas my overall thought about the whole season can be summarized at most with a sigh.
In some ways, it does made me wonder about my own thought process on things. While in one hand, its quite clear that I haven’t experience enough ‘good’ media to understand what’s a good storytelling or not, on the other, I sometimes wonder if its just my brain parsing things in a different matter. This becomes more frustrating when seeing how several anitwitter folks could spotted several questionable element in writing that I actually thought just okay.
Of course, by the end, this is all part of my own learning process. To some degree, there’s always a certain lingering regret on why I never aware about this faster. But, hopefully, as times goes on and as I keep writing for this blog, I’ll be more effective at analyzing fiction.
Thank you for reading my inferiority complex rant, I shall be returning with your regular blog post shortly. 🙂