Please go on this link to see my infographic about a comparison between the effectiveness of film vs. text in creating good characters.
I have quite a big list of struggles during ZIP, even though I am not good at assembling lists. Here are a few:
In the past weeks, I have found that it is very hard for me to brainstorm a big list of items. I was trying to do a prereading list of the benefits of text vs. visual presentation in terms their ability to present characters. I got to around 5 for each, but can’t get any further no matter how hard I tried. Later on, in a similar exercise, I could concentrate for the first 10 minutes or so, but I lost my focus soon after. Even then, since it is on my mind, during the day I will sometimes get an idea that I will forget before I can write it down. A few cycle of that drives me crazy. So I began carrying a notepad at home, which helped a lot.
I also found that it is very hard to analyze too many works, so I will just focus on one piece. I have watched the movie and read the book both twice, and I will create an infographic later.
That said, I realized that infographics are very hard to create on a slow computer. My usual browser, Opera, is incompatible with canva, the design website I am using, and on top of that, using Firebox often crashes my computer for whatever reason. Even with Chrome, I have to slowly carry out any operation or else the browser freezes and doesn’t respond. So I will still try to create as many as I need, but I may replace some of them with mind maps or other things.
I am going to talk about our in-class focus block for the past week. On Monday, I spent that entire block watching and finishing the Ender’s Game movie. I didn’t take notes because I will probably watch it again, and also because I just want to get an overall impression without missing anything while taking notes. On my second work block on Friday, I brainstormed what the second piece of literature I am going to analyze is, as well as made some notes on the movie. I used just my memory of the movie to write down the “big idea” of the movie; the key differences between the movie and the book. This is focused on the movie, so I won’t present much in terms of solid compare and contrast. I also did a bit of organizing for my binder, since the rings opened in my backpack and the pages all fell out. It was another productive block…
Here is an interesting quote that I found while researching:
“I cried when I saw [the movie]. I said, ‘Oh, God, what have they done?'”
– P.L.Travers (Mary Poppins)
At this point in my project, I have realized that my initial plan is way too ambitious. I could still complete it, but it would require a lot of effort during the break, which I prefer to spend relaxing. I made a new calendar, attached in image below.
Changes: I am going to scratch the compare and contrast essay for a couple of mind maps/infographics. There should be one pre-reading guess, two after reading comparisons, and one master comparison. I could do compare and contrast notes still, but no specific notes for each one. I am also going to change the second novel vs. film comparison to maybe a short story vs. short film comparison (I still need to find it, recommendations accepted).
The biographical novel sets out to document this truth, for character is plot, character development is action, and character fulfillment is resolution.
Last Friday was a ZIP work block and a not so productive one at that. I knew my inquiry question, and I was starting to read my first book. However, I couldn’t concentrate amid all the noises that crept up during the block. After 20 or so minutes and only finishing the prologue, I gave up and started to do some research. It might be bad luck, it might be just research skills, but I couldn’t find a website that has comprehensive information about PEE (PQS) or character building (list of key points to a successful character). Having no extensive knowledge, I spent the rest of the block, a short chunk of time, brainstorming what makes a good character.
The moral of this story is that we shouldn’t expect to find everything online. Something that is easy enough to do on our own should really be done on pen and paper. This way, we also have a more thorough understanding of the information.
For my next ZIP focus block, I will try to use different strategies such as going to a quieter corner/ library, listening to music (immerse myself in my own world), or doing things that don’t require as much focus (taking notes or brainstorming some more, perhaps). One goal to set might be to finish the first third of the book, or in case that is not working, finalize a list of character traits and create an outline where I can fill out book and movie analysis.
The area that I want to focus on for this ZIP project is character development and characterization in different medias. Characters are at the heart of any story (without them nothing will be happening!), and they have the power to move readers through connections. The effective characterization of characters is something that may indicate a good story, whether conveyed through books or other mediums. It raises the question, then, of:
What are the criterias for a successful character in stories, and how does different media (film, book) differ in their ability to develop successful characters?
I hope to get out of this project a thorough understanding of the elements in creating an intriguing story through vivid characters, as well as the knowledge of how written and visual works differ in their ability affect the audience and convey meaning. I will also have acquired more analytical skill in literature. I plan on reading at least 2-3 titles.
I cannot say that I am a seasoned reader and movie critic, but I love reading and know how to use various strategies to aid in my reading. I also have access to a lot of movies, since we have many subscriptions to various services, so it will be easier for me to find movie adaptations. I may need the librarian to recommend to me good books, focusing on character, with film adaptations.
I am not exactly sure right now, but I think I will demonstrate my learning by doing a presentation (more likely), or by writing a compare and contrast essay. I probably have to write something during the course of the project, but I don’t want to make that my final, simply because I will probably have to do another ZIP on essay writing.
Below is a rough draft of my plan: (subject to change)
- Dec 8-13: background research, select the first book and finish reading. Write character notes, analysis
- Dec 13-15: watch film/others and collect notes (compare/contrast)
- Dec 16-18: select second book and finish reading
- Dec 19: watch film, notes
- Dec 20-22: presentation/final project