• Charles Breach

Term 2 - Week 11 - Narrative Strategies and Story Adaptation

I haven't read ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, but I have watched the Charlie Higson TV show adaptation 'Jekyll and Hyde'. Although I enjoyed the show, it was a little lacklustre in most respects. Regardless, I understand the premise of Jekyll and Hyde, and I was intrigued to hear we would be creating our own adaptations of the original story, excited to consider the many potential captivating stories that could blossom from the themes the original source contains. It was important to note this wouldn't be a recreation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, nor could we completely stray from the story of course, linking our own back to the original somehow. The themes are of course not limited to the Jekyll and Hyde story, and can be probably be adapted what is near enough an infinite amount of ways, even keeping to the original plot structure.

I have bought an audio book version of the Jekyll and Hyde story, and intend to listen to it over the next few days. Being a reasonably short novella, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

After discussing the requirements for submission, and watching a few other different adaptations of the story, including 'Jekyll & Hyde: Direct from Broadway' starring David Hasslehoff, which was fairly entertaining, we quickly tried an exercise for inspiring story. We imagined a door, any door we remembered from real life, and described it, how we felt about it, if perhaps it was locked, and whatever else we could think to talk about. The passage I created within the 10 minute time limit is as follows:

The door is stained by age, not decrepit, but where you stand you know hundreds have stood before. A warmth emanates through the cracks in the sun dried wood. Alas I stand here in a biting cold, my torso protected by a thick coat, but my extremities deprived. Annoying as it may be, it is easily shrugged off. The warmth beyond is friendly, I have been here before, always crossing the threshold the door protects. Ivy surrounds the frame, crawling up an aged brick wall, I have watched it grow since I was able to remember. The thatch that covers the roof exudes a musky odour, wet from rain. The similarly drenched, aged apples that cover the surrounding grass smell of cider. I consider knocking again, but before I can, a familiar face greets me through a now open door, and my Grandma ushers me inside.

I was able to really considered all the details that I usually notice when I go to my Grandma's house, having been there many times, always greeted by the same nostalgic stimuli, It was clear what I could write about that door. I could have written more, but we had a limited time to write our passage, and it is definitely possible to create too much detail. I see the potential for creating aspects of your story through your own experiences, where you can really relate to an idea, and passionately talk about it to create a similar experience for your readers. In year 0 film, we were advised that recreating our experiences and passions, although effective, can be a pitfall for anguish. This of course depends on what you write about, you can draw upon experiences like your Grandmother's house, and apply the related feelings to your setting, but if you were to write about really personal events, perhaps a family members passing, you risk disappointment. Not everything you make and do is guaranteed to be a success, and if you were to pour your passion into something like this, seeing it fail can be devastating. But there is of course so much else to write about, and from these, really effective storytelling can be born.

We also covered quickly the language of the period of Jekyll and Hyde, Victorian English, which was of course different to modern English, especially regarding it's slang, which the original story is rife with. As weird as the words we come across may be, Lindsay insisted we wouldn't have to look up every word, instead perhaps drawing meaning from their context. The slang is also drawn from actual words of the period, which could provide some insight into it's meaning, like enthuzimuzzy, which describes other people’s gushing fandoms, worthy of very little but a raised eyebrow and a light sneer, http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2014/08/20-victorian-terms-seem-oddly-modern which fairly clearly draws from the word enthusiasm.

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