The Rings Of Saturn
The Rings Of Saturn is a book that is quite different from the books that we have read in the past 3 weeks. This is a narrative just like the other books, however, the format of this book is written as if the viewer has an inside look into the narrator’s mind as he recounts his adventure of Suffolk. As the narrator goes on his walking tour, he delves into the history of the places he visits. As I read this book, I found it very hard to follow the story and keep my interest. Because of this, I’m not sure what I wan to talk about since nothing peaks my interests.
Before I start accusing the book of being crappy or pointless, I want to first talk about where I’m coming from as student. First of all, my educational career has been focused on visual storytelling. Most notably animation as the form of storytelling. And what inspired me to pursue this interest of mine were from watching animated movies and tv shows. Because of these interests, I have grown to the typical 3 act stories and having a target audience. I took this class to learn techniques that could make stories interesting, capturing the heart and minds of the audience. Techniques that I could help me out in my dream goal of being an animator for Pixar. Needless to say my knowledge of literature storytelling let alone artistic exploration of writing.
When I began reading this book, like all the books in the past few weeks, I went in with an open mind and eagerness to learn storytelling techniques. As I read the book, I found it very hard to read. The book is written in a form where the viewer gets an inside look into the narrative’s mind. Meaning that it reads off as a bunch of thoughts of different topics seamlessly together. Because each chapter has anywhere between 5 and 15 subjects, the overarching story becomes fuzzy and hard to follow. The amount of times the chapter switches topics, I find myself difficult to continue reading. It could just be what I find interesting to read, but when I read this book I find myself falling into random thought, in the same way that the book is written. This is why I find this book to fail on its form of writing. It could be because I’m not in the “target audience” that the author had in mind but as far as finding a technique that can capture a wide audience, this one did not work well for me.
If I have to give a compliment to the writing, it would be the vividly described passages. The writer would have a whole page dedicated to describe a mountain top or the room of an office. The reason why I appreciate this is because I am a visual person. As an artist, especially one that works with movies, we come across projects where we have to create an image based on written description. Not only was this book descriptive, I could imagine the scene playing out in my in my head, being painted as I read. This is important because I can use this technique in my screenwriting. In screenwriting, visual description is important because it helps lay out the scene, set the mood and even the characters. In a live action movie, this type of description can help out greatly with designing sets and getting establishing shots. In an animation, it helps the artist capture what the writer and director envision. One thing I have to worry about is having too much description in a script. Each page on a script is suppose to translate to one minute on screen, so having a page long writing to describe a scene won’t fly to well with a director.
All in all the book is very confusing. The format makes it hard to follow, the story is hard to figure out and there are no characters I can relate to. From my background and goals for learning storytelling, I would say this book book failed at writing compelling story. The book did succeed on describing visuals and painting pictures for the viewers to imagine and the individual history stories stood alone on being interested. Overall I’m disappointed in the fact that I was unable to learn much from this book nor can I use this book for future references.