straight down the line

Review of Week Two: Reading, Writing, and Writing Some More!

Well, Week 2 of DS106 was certainly exhausting to say the least. It really took a lot for me to get the ball rolling with my characters and story development, and although reading helped me better understand how to develop my noir-y story, I know it is going to take a lot of work for me to write in this suspenseful and dark type of style.

First on the week’s agenda was customizing my WordPress blog and adding an About Me page. I was very particular, almost paranoid, about finding a theme that I absolutely loved, and once I found “Leather Diary” it was a match made in heaven! Not only were its colors my favorite, but it also seemed very appropriate since I have been scribbling stuff in numerous notebooks and journals for about as long as I can remember. I then installed all the various plugins that were recommended for us and was overjoyed that one of them defeated spam once and for all. I also installed a Twitter widget through the Jetpack plugin, which pops up on the side of each of my posts. My only question is, is there a way to get the Twitter widget on the main, home page?

Then came the real work, the “reading, writing, and writing some more”. My tasks this week included reading three examples of noir, developing a character based on those found in these works, completing 8 stars worth of Writing Assignments (3 of which had to relate to said character) and of course, three daily creates. It certainly was tough, in my opinion. Below I’ve linked to each of my assignments from this week:

Daily Creates

Writing Assignments

Reflection on Readings

Character Dossier

If that looks like a lot to anyone happening upon this blog that has never taken a Digital Storytelling class, my fellow DS106ers will attest that THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS. Even just compiling all of it into a list and linking properly, it was hard keeping everything straight. For example, Daily Creates and the Weekly Assignments sometimes feel quite similar to each other. This week I did not do as well as managing my time as I would have liked, and I would like to start doing a lot better at that.

On the other hand, I had a lot of fun studying the list of different character tropes commonly found in noir stories and then developing my own character, Cat Loveless, into the Femme Fatale, Chanteuse, and Anti-Hero all rolled into one!  I also found myself inspired by the often vintage vibe and allure of real-life actor Holland Roden, who became my muse for Cat.


Though I struggled initially in coming up with Cat, I think having this visual will aid me greatly. I was intrigued by my fellow classmate Janelle’s Sebastian Crane and am thinking that Cat’s and Bas’s worlds might collide at some point within my stories. Janelle also helped me realize that our characters’ appearences could be inspired by real-life people! So thanks Janelle, for helping me get those sparks of inspiration igniting :).


Something I am interested in exploring in the coming weeks is the style of noir and how it works within the genre of superhero movies and television. I have recently ventured into the superhero fandom due to the birth of the CW’s latest show The Flash, and when studying the list of character tropes found in noir, I thought about characters from other superhero worlds as well. In Megan’s post “Film Noir, Ya Filthy Animal”, our conversation about the protagonist’s constant struggle between darkness and light, and how that struggle is also found throughout the themes of noir itself, also reminded me of many a classic superhero. When I was developing Cat’s backstory, I had a sort of Captain America vibe in mind as to what happened with Wally and what might be happening to Beau, so I am going to continue to go where my intrigue takes me by really starting to study superhero movies and shows and research how the style of film noir might apply to the world of superheroes.

This week I ran into some major writers’ blocks, which again comes from continuing to stifle my creativity. I think that is going to be my biggest challenge, because it still seems a bit strange to me that when it comes to DS106, practically anything goes! But I am certainly learning and developing as a writer and a character, along with the ones I create, as I continue to figure out where the adventure that is DS106 will take me. I just have to keep on truckin’ :).

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