Saturday, September 14, 2019

Comment Wall

Over the Rainbow

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  1. Hi Kaitlyn,
    Project Feedback:
    I really love your premise, and I'm really curious to see where you go with it.
    The suggestions I have are largely around the pronouns and names given the genderless universe you're aiming for. Baba is the masculine parent in many middle eastern cultures and with the M in Maddy, that is going to bring mama to mind in almost many reader. Have you considered choosing something completely different. Perhaps stealing from the "zhe" idea, you could use Zozo & Xexe or something. I think it will need to be significantly different in order to signal to the reader what's going on.
    Also, pronouns are tricky. Using the plural for actions "Taylor pushed their hair our of their eyes" is super confusing. Talking about themselves in plural third person really took me out of the action. Check out this site on this topic for some ideas. The zhe or ze ideas were here as well.
    Love your great extinction idea and can't wait to see what the world is like in two thousand years!

  2. Kaitlyn,

    I loved the intro to your project. I thought it was fantastic how you did more than just a general intro, but made it an engaging story to get readers interested in your project. You did a great job getting readers already connected to the characters, which is important!

    I am a little confused why the mass extinction happened. I read your Author's Note as well, but I would like a few more details why they are living in this world and how they got there. I was also a bit confused why the children were allowed to go out and play again right after they had taken a bath.

    What if you put a small portion at the end that explained a little bit more about what specific stories were going to be told? Will they be stories of the extinction and how it happened? Or maybe they are stories of life before the extinction?

    I thought this was SUCH A FUN intro. I can tell it will be a great project!

  3. Hi Kaitlyn!

    First of all, your homepage put a big smile on my face. The images and theme of your storybook is whimsical. It has a playful and youthful tone, yet it is still mature due to your writing style. Some of my fondest memories as a child was snuggling up in bed with my brothers as my mother read us a bedtime story every single night. Your introduction took me back to this place, and you used fantastic literary devices to really develop the characters of Taylor and Emry and the relationship they have with each other. Your stories will be relatable and nostalgic to many readers in this course. I think for this reason, many people will be invested after reading this introduction. After hearing bedtime stories as a kid, they stuck with me for the rest of my life, so I cannot wait to read some of your own stories.

    I would consider perhaps changing the background of your introduction to a lighter image. It is somewhat dark and harsh compared to your light cover page. Overall though, I am so excited to read these stories. Great work!


  4. Hi Kaitlyn! First off, great work so far! I really like the direction you are going in with this StoryBook and think that it is so creative! I really like the set up of your website so far and the photos that you have chosen to use. I particularly like the photo on your introduction page and appreciate that the stars correspond to the “bedtime stories” theme. One thing that I was slightly confused about is the great extinction. I think it would be nice to have a little more background about what exactly happened with that and how you are going to incorporate it into your stories. Just an idea! I LOVE how your introduction is written. Your writing style is so unique and descriptive, making me feel like I am watching the story unfold firsthand! I can’t wait to read more once you add more stories. Great job!

  5. Hi Kaitlyn,

    This is a cool double frame to have the story of Taylor and Emry’s world on one level and the stories inside that world at another. Clearly you’ve put thought into the world of your frame characters, and I’m curious to see how you choose to have that world influence what I will assume will be retellings of real-world stories from the class. Since you have those ideas already, the best advice I can offer is just to feel free to put as much of that world into your interpretations as you can.

    Are you planning to focus mainly on a certain kind of story from our readings, or are you planning to take from a wide variety of sources? I wonder whether, that long after the catastrophe in your timeline, society would still be localized or more global, and how that catastrophe would affect the mixing of myths and storylines so far down the line...


  6. Hey Kaitlyn!
    Reading your first story, I was instantly pulled in with the very prevalent issues that you conveyed within it. Gender norms are an issue within this country that needs to be address – people should be allowed to wear whatever they want and do whatever they want (as long as it doesn’t hurt others). By comparing the archaic belief of the townspeople believing the boy was a witch simply because of the clothes he wore shows how that type of viewpoint is seen today. I was somewhat thrown off when you switched perspectives to show that it was a story being told to a sibling – panning out like this can yield some interesting plot points that I’m very exited to continue to read about. Overall, I liked your story, it’s prevalence to modern times is without a doubt very refreshing.

  7. Hi Kaitlyn!

    I really like the format of having a framing story/characters and then stories within that world. I also like the removal of gender from this story. I do agree with Sam that the names "Baba" and "Maddy" come off as gendered, so if you're wanting to eliminate the reader's mind from reaching those assumptions I'd opt for more androgynous names! I also want to know so much more about this Great Extinction, I hope you'll weave in some lasting affects from this into your stories!

    Some suggestions: I think it would be helpful to have the author's notes on the same page as the stories so that all the information needed is in one place. I also think that the image on the second story made it difficult to read the text, so I might pick a lighter background for the dark text. Overall, I think this is a really interesting idea and I'm excited to see where you take it!

  8. Hi Kaitlyn!

    I thought your story was pretty great! It took some crazy turns that I didn't expect at all. I really liked how your story, while being concise, also explored bigger themes such as gender roles and stereotypes. The fact that accusing people of witches was actually something that was very common also made the story quite ironic, because it was something that absolutely could have happened. I wonder how you got the idea that it would be a story within a story, as I think it really added something. The story kind of cut off at the end, which I loved, because it left the rest of the story up to the reader's interpretation. I did think that it was interesting that, after all the subjugation and discrimination that the main character faced, you chose to have him be a King instead of a princess at the end. My only suggestion would be that it was very difficult to read the black text against the dark and distracting background.

  9. Hi Kaitlyn!

    Your storybook is such a great idea! I am really excited to see what else you do with it. You touch on so many important cultural issues and political topics and this is a wonderful way to explain them. The introduction is already so fun and pulls the reader in really quickly. The writing style is fun, simple, and perfect for this type of storytelling.

    In "The Witch", I love that you started with a single sentence to introduce the story. Also, the breaks in between the story where Emry and Taylor talked really helped to break up the story, and the dialogue was fun to read, too. I'm doing frame tales as well and I might have to borrow that idea! It did not ruin the flow of the story at all which was really impressive.

    I look forward to reading your storybook again soon! Great job!

  10. Hey Kaitlyn!

    The layout of your storybook website is very nice. I am a bit confused about the title, however; will the stories have something to do with rainbows, or another world on the "other side" of a rainbow? Or is the rainbow a metaphor for the idea of the LGBTQ+ community?

    It's very cool that you've based the two main characters on you and your sister! I also really like how you've decided to create a pronoun-free world. This is something you don't see very often in writing, and allows the characters more freedom to develop outside of gender roles. The King with all the dresses in your first story was very refreshing - how long will it take people to realize that all humans can and should wear any and all clothes they like!

    I'm happy to see that you've been inspired by the idea of the "dark" stories. Although they may not be light material before bed, they have very valuable morals to offer and can help shed light on history.

  11. Kaitlyn,

    I want to start off by saying that I love the picture of the rainbow you used on your homepage since it ties into your storybook title. I also love your introduction. It's so fun and exciting, and the way you ended it was perfect for a smooth introduction into your first story. You appear to be a very creative writer, and I found your story very easy to read. The layout of it reminds me of the Princess Bride, where the grandfather is reading to his son, and the son keeps interrupting. I can't wait to read more stories!

  12. Kaitlyn,

    I want to start off by saying that I love the picture of the rainbow you used on your homepage since it ties into your storybook title. I also love your introduction. It's so fun and exciting, and the way you ended it was perfect for a smooth introduction into your first story. You appear to be a very creative writer, and I found your story very easy to read. The layout of it reminds me of the Princess Bride, where the grandfather is reading to his son, and the son keeps interrupting. I can't wait to read more stories!

  13. Hey! I just looked at your storybook and the different stories you have on there. First of all, I love the image you chose for your intro, I have always been obsessed with lady bugs. Also, in the intro, your use of dialogue makes the story come across as casual and user friendly; it helped bring life to the characters and show more of each of their personalities. I also really enjoyed how you discussed yours and your sister's preferences for story endings: dark vs. happy! You mentioned you were trying to get that across here with the story, does that mean you will have some dark endings and some happy endings? Or, does that mean you are choosing endings all of one type? Either way, I feel like this will be such a great storybook.. You have done a great job on the organization of the whole thing, it was very easy to find the introduction and jump from one story to another! Great work!

  14. Hi Kaitlyn! I just read your story and WOW! You are a phenomenal writer. The Witch was a captivating story that was broken up very well by the dialogue between the kids. I loved how you started the story with dialogue too. It was a quick sentence that pulled the introduction into the story. Will you from one story to the next, or will they go to bed after the first story? You have it set up great to keep going story after story. My only suggestion would be to consider the story's wording. If you are having a nine year old as the narrator, their language is not going to be perfect like in a novel. You could even play around with the dialogue. An example would be just to say "Pleaseeeeeeee" instead of saying "Please" and then explaining the e is drawn out with another sentence. Right now your story is like a novel, which its awesome, but you may want to consider the wording if you want it to seem like a nine year old is speaking! Well done.

  15. Hello Kaitlyn!
    First off, I absolutely love the way you set up your story book!! The introduction and story has a separate links to the author's note. It seems very organized and I like the unique that layout. You are the first person I have seen to do something like that.
    Your introduction was super cute too! I loved the detail that you provided for your characters and that the sisters tell bedtime stories. It led into the first story very well.
    For the first story, my suggestion is to break up that large paragraph when Taylor is telling the story because it seems very big and jam-packed. I do like the way you broke the story and the comments between the sisters though. Will Taylor be the only one telling stories or will Emry jump in and add dialogue? I cannot wait to read more. Your stories are unique and exciting.

  16. Kaitlyn,
    Wow, wow, wow. This is incredibly creative and I love it. I was completely interested on what was going to happen next! I will be reading the rest of your stories. I also wanted to comment on how well you did your storybook. I did not use the wix site but it seems you can be a little more creative with it. The way you make gender roles something of the past is so well done. I also really enjoyed how you go back and forth between the story and real time. What job did the boy do with his father? What did the mom think of her son? Did the boy's father think the same way? Was the father a close part of the family? I would love some more detail about how the boy was feeling through all of this. Maybe give more detail of the boy's fear when he was being taken away from his mother. Just some thoughts. You did such a great job with this one. Keep it up!

  17. Hi Kaitlyn,

    To start of, i really enjoyed your story from page. It was very eye catching and pleasing tp the eye to look at. i like that the bottom tab moved which gives it an extra wow factor. that was a very creative move on your part and very out of the box idea. I love your overall concept. It was a unique idea to make to post futuristic. I like that your authors note provided ample details in why you did what you did and your inspiration behind your idea which was based on you and your sister. I was impressed with your writing content. It kept be fully engaged and I like the exploration of gender roles and what that means in our society. I like then blend of dark and light concept that weaved throughout your story. I am excited to read more of our stories as you add on to it!!

  18. Hi Kaitlyn! I really enjoyed visiting your website! I originally clicked on it because I was interested to see what Over the Rainbow was about and I was thrilled to find that your page layout is so much fun and so aesthetically pleasing. First of all, I loved that you used a picture of a rainbow on your coverpage. It is both very fitting and makes for a very colorful cover page. I also love the choice of font that you used to organize your different stories. The background images that you chose to use for each of the different pages was also fun! I especially liked the star background in your introduction. Overall, I really liked your design choices for your website and can tell that you put a lot of effort into it! I am personally not that creative when it comes to this stuff, so I can really tell and appreciate when someone knows what they're doing!! Overall, great job!!

  19. Hello Kaitlyn

    Your stories are very cute. The idea of two siblings telling each other the stories is adorable. Especially the part where the younger sibling asked to finish off the story. I like the background images for each of the different stories. They really set the scene for each story. I really liked the story about Robin and Marian. It was an interesting story about Robin Hood that I had never heard about. The great extinction kind of confuses me though. It doesn't really seem to be a big part of any of your stories. You mentioned it in the first sentence of your first story but that was kind of it. I'm interested to see if it'll have a bigger role in the third story. However, as someone that studies a viruses, the idea of a virus epidemic sounds like a interesting subject to write a story about. Great job and best of luck!

  20. Hi Kaitlyn,

    Your home page is amazing! With the moving bottom banner image and the overall website, the layout is very well done. I really loved the concept of having the world start over due to a disease outbreak and that canceling the gender roles of society. I also enjoyed that you put yourself and your sister as characters into your story, I feel like that helped bring the story to life so much more. I also thought the pop up of the new words for the stories was a wonderful touch. I would possibly add them somewhere on the website just in case the reader would like to go back and reference them again! You've done a wonderful job on this project, keep up the good work!

  21. Hi! Wow, your project is awesome! It's clear that you put a lot of work into creating not only the site, but the world in which you set your storybook.
    One design suggestion I would make is that for someone like me who has a neurological disability linked to eye strain and light sensitivity, a small change that would make a huge difference would be to darken the background of the text box by decreasing the transparency. I totally appreciate the awesome background image, but it was difficult for me to read the text because of the busy background and font color, particularly on The Witch story page (but I experienced difficulty on the Robin and Marian story too). Without blacking it out entirely, making a small adjustment to increase the contrast between text and background would be a relief for people like me who struggle with eye strain.
    I love the exploration of gender fluidity and neutrality in your stories. It was really fun and unique to read about gender neutral characters.
    Great job!
    - Cate Howell

  22. Hi Kaitlyn,
    I am so happy that I came back to read more of your StoryBook. I am still so impressed with the layout of your site and the amount of detail that you put into it. I also really liked how you used the site to provide some terms before diving into your stories. I think it cleared up a lot of confusion that I had the first time when I read your Introduction! Your first story, “The Witch” is phenomenal and kept me intrigued in the whole time, wanting to read more. I appreciated how you separated the text in each of your stories and brilliantly meshed together the present story of Taylor and Emry with the stories that they were telling. The differently sized text made this blend well! In some instances, your text was slightly difficult to read with the busy backgrounds you chose. I loved the images you used, but in some areas, it was hard to read. Good job!

  23. Hello Kaitlyn,
    This week I chose to read your story book and I am very glad I did. I was drawn to the "Over the Rainbow" title thinking I was going to get a classic telling of the Wizard of Oz stories but I was severely mistaken. Initially I was taken by the design of this page, I truly dont know how you managed to make it look so good. from top to bottom throughout all of your different pages this design was breathtaking.

    I also noticed your characters were gender neutral. The funny thing is that I didn't notice that until I came to the comment section. This just goes to show that gender isn't a necessary storytelling aspect in every story, and this story works very well without it.

  24. Hey there Kaitlyn! I got the chance to take a look at your project this week, and I am really impressedwith what you have accomplished! Like a couple other people commented, I too expected your project to have some sort of spin on the Wizard of Oz as well, but I was happily surprised. Your site is absolutely gorgeous, and I could never make something look that great online (I struggle with computers)! One of the things that I really thought was different from other stories I have read was the breaking of the gender barrier. This is something that can be really difficult to do, as traditional gender roles have been typical in most stories written to this day, and so all of your stories were honestly extremely refreshing. I also really loved how you put the author's notes in a separate page from your other stories. Sometimes it can take away from the overall feeling of the page, and so I really appreciated the way you split it up, but still gave us the background information that we needed as readers.

  25. Your web site is absolutely gorgeous! It is clear that a lot of hard work and care went into creating your page and I think you did an amazing job. I love that each story has its own backdrop. I think that that makes the stories all the more interesting. Beyond that, you also added a semi transparent dark layer for the text sit on so it could still be easily read, brilliant. I love how you have your authors notes set up. I think it is a great idea to have a simple link to them at the bottom of the page, rather than a paragraph at the bottom that muddies up the story. I also noticed that there is a small banner at the bottom of the page that looks almost like rain or sparkles or something. I am curious to know what exactly it is, but regardless, it is beautiful and adds another nice little touch. I also like your use of banners to outline the stories as well as the font you used, it’s fancy. An absolutely stunning webpage!

  26. Hey Kaitlyn,

    First off, WOW. You're website is actually soooo cool! I love it. The colors combined with the font selection is amazing, and I can tell you put a ton of work into so great job. I also love the way you wrote your author's note. That's a great way to "clean up" your formatting, and it is does a ton for your project. I read your first story, and I loved it. I loved learning about the witch, and getting to know her through the way you described her, her dialogue and her actions. Great job and I look forward to reading more.

  27. Hi Kaitlyn!

    I really enjoy your story line and the direction you went with it. It really reminds me of my childhood and still seems like its a mature story. Your vocabulary is phenominal and the introduction is intriguing. I like howyou describe this and a genderless world and make it your own. I think its very creative and I feel like this is a great storybook with such thought and effort. The only thing I would like clarification on is the account of the wipeout that created this world. I would like to see a little background on that and the type of thing that could have caused it. I enjoy the little extra things you include and you can tell you spent a lot of time on it. Great job!

  28. Hello Kaitlyn!
    First off, great job on completing your storybook, it looks great! I loved how you had a little dictionary of helpful translations that pop up on the screen before your reader gets a chance to dive into the stories. I also think the way your website is set up is brilliant and makes it easy for your viewer to navigate. As for your stories, I found them all refreshing and easy to follow. My favorite one was The Witch story. I found it refreshing that the Witch was a boy, something you do not see very often in stories. Also I found that your introduction and author's note setup and provided good background for each story you told. Overall, I found that you used great vocabulary and transition flows perfectly. Your stories are very well written and your storybook is executed perfectly.