Reflections on Narrative

When we first got the assignment to create a narrative, I was apprehensive for I didn’t know what was expected.   After reading various articles about color psychology and synesthesia, I felt the best way to present the case would be through the words of an individual diagnosed with the neurological disorder. Thus, I chose to write a first person narrative of a young man who had been hiding under a shell till he finally decided it was time to break through.

I think the first person narrative was extremely successful, for it allowed readers to empathize with the victim.  Even when I was writing out the narrative, I got a whiff of what it might be like to be in the shoes of synesthete. The positive feedback I received from my peers and professor was reassuring. I think the key to my “poignant” (one of the words a peer used to describe my narrative) was the inclusion of fairly real life visions or sensations a synesthete may have – this made the narrative more real and almost made the reader (or perhaps in this case, listener) able to feel the sensation.

The first person narrative was definitely more stirring than an objective story. After hearing a third person narrative in class, I was happy with my decision for I didn’t connect as much hearing about a “him” rather than another “me”.

Although I was more than satisfied with the outcome of my narrative, I could have perhaps gone a step further regarding creativity. After hearing the narratives of my peers, I jotted down various other ways that I could have expressed the thoughts of a synesthete.

1. Poem: Two of my classmates wrote poems and songs about their research topics. I felt this was extremely successful for while it still expresses emotion, it is slightly more abstract, thus making the topic or feeling more mysterious.  Although challenging, a poem written (hypothetically) by a synesthete would allow the writer to creatively use various figurative language such as methaphors, similes, hyperboles and juxtaposition to delineate and personify the experience of various sensations.

I particularly liked Brianna’s use of staccato sentences in her narrative. Staccato phrases help increase the pace of a written piece of work and can also create mystery and suspense. I thought her narrative was great for although short, it was moving. And its short length made it even more meaningful for all that was to be said was comprised into concise sentences.

2. Diary entry: I think a diary entry of an individual would also be a successful way to record one’s experiences. The content of a diary entry wouldn’t deviate too much from my current narrative. However, I could have broken it down into multiple diary entries, with different experiences recorded on different days. Or perhaps recorded the development of the phone conversation over a period of time. The style of a diary entry would be more casual and more reflective, and perhaps easier to write.

3. Moth diaries: When thinking of different ways to create a first person narrative, the idea of a moth story crossed my mind.  The envisioned situation would be a storyteller narrating his experience with synesthesia to an audience at The Moth.

4. Stories before narratives : I liked Amanda’s approach of drawing up narratives after interviewing the people concerned with her project. This was effective for the narratives were first hand and not from her imagination of what the situation may be like.

5. Script: I think one of the most interesting narratives in our class was the script. This was definitely something I would have probably not thought of. It was refreshing to hear something different. The idea works great when there is scope for conversation or interaction between two or more people. I’m not sure if  a script would have worked well in my case, for I’m not sure who the second character would be. Perhaps I could have a ‘normal’ person trying to understand the view of a synesthete. Or perhaps I could create a monologue.

While a script could be just text, such as perhaps a dialogue in a play or a movie, it could also be visual, such as creating a comic strip.

I think a plethora of creative stimulating methods of expressing one’s idea or research topic exist.  This definitely urges me to look for inspiration all around me.  If we do not have a formal option of creating another narrative, I could perhaps later present my collated interviews in one or more of the forms mentioned above.


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