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For my project, I've chosen to do s storybook about ghost stories from around the world.

Oooooohh....
Ghosts of the Bunyas. Source: Wikipedia Commons.


As it progresses you can find the StoryBook here, and please leave me comments on this post. I welcome your criticism and ideas! 

Comments

  1. Hello again, Samantha! It’s been a while, but I’m excited to read your storybook this semester! I’m eager to see what influences you will use in your storytelling, and how your interpretation will be different from the original source.

    Your writing style is very strong, and I like the way you presented your narrative! From what I can gather, it looks like you will be writing about ghost stories and how this reflects our feelings on life and death, correct? It wasn’t referenced much in the beginning of your introduction, but it works because it leaves the reader in anticipation, wondering what direction the story will take. If this was not your intention, I would suggest bringing up ghosts early on in your intro page.

    In short, I’m excited about the progress of your storybook and can’t wait to read the finished product!

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  2. Hi Samantha!

    I just finished reading the introduction to your web page, and I'm really interested to see where you take it from here! I think you do a good job of opening up the discussion of the thematic material you're planning to deal with, and I liked that your intro page had links, images, and little descriptions of all the stories it's going to include. If you'd like a little bit of constructive feedback, though, here is what I have to offer:

    Your introduction as is seems sort of short and incomplete, and the tone shifts a bit partway through the last paragraph. I think it could benefit from you adding some on, particularly to tell the reader what to expect from the website. Right now, it doesn't give me any hint that you are going to be offering retellings of stories on this page; rather, it appears as the intro page for a website that might share links to the original source stories and then facilitate discussion on them. I think if you expressly state somewhere in the introduction what the purpose of this website is - a platform for your own retellings of Native American ghost stories - then readers will have a better idea of what they should expect. Good luck!

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  3. Ooh, ghost stories are always fun. Me and my roommate have been watching a lot of ghost stories on youtube and I’ve really enjoyed that. I also really enjoyed the Indian who wrestled with a ghost, that was my favorite of the first few stories we had to read. I really like how you give us a taste of all the stories that are to come, and I especially like how you tell us what lessons they are teaching. I like the lessons that can be learned from stories, and those that are passed down tend to have the best lessons. Your intro had a really good vibe to it. It felt nice and spooky, really getting you ready for the ghost stories to come. I also really like your choice of image. It looks kind of creepy, but has that nice nature vibe that sets the mood for a native American ghost story.

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  4. Hello Samantha!

    I love how you set up the beginning of your story! The image and use of language really set the vibe for some good scary stories! I'm also really excited that you chose Native American ghost stories as the subject for your project! I had thought about doing Native American ghost stories but chose something else so I'm glad that I'll at least be able to read yours! What if you added one more sentence to the 4th sentence of your story to connect death and ghost/ghost stories? It was a little confusing because you talked about death and the unknown then begin to talk about ghost so I think a single sentence connecting the two would really help out there. I wonder what the story of the ghost women teaches? In the other two story descriptions you specifically state what the lessons of the story are but you didn't do that for the last one. Maybe you could add just one more sentence to keep all the introductions uniform?

    I'm excited to read the rest of your project!

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  5. Hello Samantha!

    Your first story was soooo good! I really enjoyed reading it! For it being a ghost story I was kind of expecting something scary but this story was beautiful. I also really like how you modified the story to leave out the pranks. I think focusing on the relationship between the boy and his sister was really good. I also really like the short introduction for the story. I thought that how you made the introduction from the last line from the actual story was really neat too. I felt sad for Brown Bear in the beginning, not being able to talk and hang out with his sister like he used to. I did wonder how he sister arrived to the camp of the dead though? The story says she was married to the chief in the middle of the night while Brown Bear slept, but the story starts off with him mourning? So it made me wonder if she had actually passed away as well or if she really was the only living person living with dead? Maybe she had to die to go live with the chief? It was a really good story I have so many questions lol. Great job!

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  6. Hi Samantha! Great job on the start of your storybook. Your introduction does a nice job of setting up the stories that are going to be featured throughout your book. The language that you use in the first part of the introduction is somewhat eerie, and really made me interested to know more about the stories you are going to tell. I think that the format you used on the introduction page with the three images and columns was a great way to give a preview of the stories and allows the reader to access them individually if they want.

    I enjoyed reading your first story as well. Your writing is very descriptive, and the dialogue that you incorporated really made it easy to understand. I wonder if you could add some information that would lead this first story into the following one, or connect it back to the narrator of the introduction. I’m looking forward to seeing how your storybook progresses.

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  7. Hi Samantha!
    I love the idea of telling Native American ghost stories in your Storybook! I also really loved your first story as well and found it very engaging and easy to follow. I liked the repetition at the beginning of your introduction but I think it might help to clarify at some point that the "some" you are referring to is ghost stories. The opening kind of looses its impact because it is not initially clear what you are talking about. Something else I was kind of confused about while reading your first story is the use of the word "tenas" at the end. Is this the narrator addressing her audience? It's somewhat hard to know what this means from the context so it might be helpful to include a definition to any non- English words you use in the story. Speaking of the narrator, it could be nice if there was a more attached and colorful narrator. If you are going to give her a name and tribe in your Introduction I want to know more about her and see how she impacts the version of the story being told. I'm excited to see how you Storybook all comes together in the coming weeks.

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  8. Hello Samantha!
    I really enjoyed the vibe I got from your storybook. I really liked the spooky tone of your home page photo. However, I do think your storybook could benefit from different banner images on each page. I did like the use of other photos to help tie your stories together in the Author's Note section. I also think another thing you could to make your storybook better would be to keep consistent your font size and position of the names of your stories displayed across the banner photo. Also I think your stories would become more easily accessible if you included links to the introduction, first, and second stories on your homepage. Overall, I think you have a great theme going for the rest of your storybook and I am eager to see where it goes.
    -Sam

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  9. Hey Samantha! I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to read your storybook. I think you have done such a great job so far. Upon first impression, I really enjoyed the opening page. I thought it was neat how you made the header photo take up the entire background of that page. It was very engaging and allowed me as the reader to get a good image in my head of what this storybook might be about before I even started reading. Something I might suggest would be to change the names of the tabs at the top. If you were able to give them names that said a little bit about the story (instead of intro, story 1, etc.) this might engage readers even more and help them decide which story to read first. In you writing, I really enjoyed how much dialogue you used. It makes the stories feel more realistic and easy to read, which is awesome. You are doing great so far!

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  10. Hey Samantha! Your storybook is great! I know the focus this week is on the author’s note section but one quick thing I noticed about your layout. I think that your title on story 1 is difficult to read because the letters are dark, and the background is dark. The background you have on story 2 is a lot easier on the eyes. I did like the background though because I felt as though it set the mood for your stories. The Author’s note on story 1 was very detailed about what you were wanting to achieve with your rewrite. I think that on both story 1 and 2 the author’s notes could use some more detail about the original stories. I know that I have come across this on mine where many people do not know what the original story is about, and my author’s notes did not give details about it. Overall, I really enjoyed your ghost stories, the theme, and the presentation of your storybook!

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  11. Hi Samantha,

    You write very well, and your stories are focused and impactful — nicely done! You build a sense of atmosphere and tension well — are you planning to continue the slightly creepy theme through your third and final story?

    Just a technical note: in your second story, I found the line “Dropping the hoe, she ran!” to be a little bit awkward and out of place; compared to the rest of your writing, which has a very nice flow, it seems strange and a bit “See Jack run!” Maybe drop the exclamation point and add some detail, like: “Dropping the hoe, she ran back towards the wigwam.”

    Also, at the beginning of your second story, the Ghost says “I see that you are not a rich woman” but there’s a period between it and “the Ghost said,” which you might want to correct.

    Looking forward to story 3!

    Best,
    Alby

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  12. Hello Samantha,
    Your writing is amazing. It creates such a great story with an amazing focus to them and it creates such an impactful story that is entertaining and fun to read the whole time. This week is an author's note focus week so that is mostly what I will focus on. Your stories in general are fantastic and have great storylines. The stories show the flair of your own writing, but you keep the original story intact which is always hard to do. I have found it hard sometimes to not go off on my own story with my own details and try to stay on the path of the original story. Your author's are awesome to and really do help me see what you got from the story that you are basing yours off of. It is nice to see the origin of the story and then a new twist comes in and gives it new life, and gives it an opportunity to grow into its own story. All in all your stories are awesome and the only tip that I would have for you is to read through it outloud. There were just a couple mistakes here and there. I am excited to what comes of your stories!

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  13. Samantha,
    I think ghost stories are really fun and I like this village of ghosts. I really like the idea behind the story. Changing the bird to a bear was a good idea. It made for a kinder character. I was confused reading this story. There were so many different parts going on. It was difficult to stay on course. Maybe you could be more detailed in your story and make it a simpler thought. Maybe you could keep the story within the ghost town instead of the ghost town, Bear dying, and then meeting with his sister again? At the beginning of your story you mention Bear asking, "Where we go when we die?" Before this you could mention why Bear is so curious about this. When you mention the sister it would be good to mention her name at that time as well so we know who she is.

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  14. I really like the author’s note that you have on the second story. I was curious as to what would happen to her children if she were to continue to dig and if that is the very thing that happened to the other mother. I think your author’s note was able to answer both of these questions I had well. Was the ghost only playing a trick on her, and there was no way for her to get the money? I think the first story had a good message. It is important to not focus your time on the dead and be present with those still living. I like how you removed the part of him playing pranks on the ghosts, it would have greatly cheapened the story and the message. At the end you mention the mouse’s warning of never seeking the dead, but is the mouse not the one who led him there? It may be worth while to have the mouse warn him at the beginning.

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  15. Hey Samantha,

    I just finished reading the first installment in your story and I loved it. I have some thoughts and I'd love to share them with you. Wow. This story was really good. That ending - perfect. It brought the story together so well. I would have loved to see some reaction from brown bear after he learned that he was dead. I think the ending was great, but if you decide you want to add some more detail, including an "AH HA" moment from brown bear that ties everything together and explains everything would be great. I think your detail of the conversations were great, but I think your story would really benefit from detail in the settings. Spending some time describing beautiful mountain scenery would be a really good strategy for cementing your readers in your story. Good luck, and I can't wait to read the next installment.

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  16. Hello Samantha!
    I believe this was my first time to come across your portfolio! I found it nice that your stories were connected following the same theme of ghost stories. I think your layout made it easy to read and you used a good amount of separations between your paragraphs. I think maybe if you would want to consider a change in layout then I would think about changing the photo banner displayed on each page. I also think I would consider using a consistent font size and positioning of text on those banner images. I think this would make you page look more clean and concise. I also think if you included more detail and embellishment then it could add another great element to your stories. Overall, I was really impressed with your stories and theme of you page! I think you have shown a great amount of creativity.

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  17. Hey Samantha!
    Wow! Your story was so well-written and heartbreaking! I loved the vivid details you were able to provide throughout, some of which gave such a great emphasis on how bitterly cold it was that night the woman tried to find shelter. The fact that something like this has probably happened during those times is terrible to think about, but it’s something we need to remember so it doesn’t happen again. The fact that the child let the woman/baby in the house, only for them to be booted out later is terrible. The way you told the story truly makes the reader (naturally) empathize with the woman, especially since she’s a mother. I also liked how you gave no explanation as to why the woman was outside, away from her tribe, as it gives the story a greater sense of urgency. Overall, a wonderful/heart-wrenching story, great job!
    Andrew Barton

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  18. Hey Samantha,
    I just read your second story, “A Mashpee Ghost Story”. Wow! That was honestly one of the best written stories I’ve read during my time in this class. First off, I love the vivid detail that you provide throughout. Examples of this were, “kind face” and “As if he was made of the mist that had surrounded him outside”. Sentences/phrase like these add such depth to a story, making it believable and all that more scary. Another sentence I quite liked was, “The young mother said nothing for it was not a question”. This shows that the mother is patient, intelligent, and shows that her people are afraid of ghosts, that they can do harm in the mortal realm. The ending of your story was haunting, yet it contributed so much to the theme of the story. So if she kept digging for the gold would her children have been killed? Or would it be if she didn’t help the ghost out he would have harmed them? It’s questions like these that make your story so great!
    Andrew

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  19. Hi Samantha,
    I read all the way through your storybook for the first time. The way that your website is set up is really great. The large images at the beginning of each page really set the tone for the stories. I really like your introduction page as well. I don't know if you had the plans written out before hand or if you added as you went along, but either way, it is a really great way to give us a taste of what you are going to tell us. I REALLY loved your second story, but they were all phenomenal.
    The style of your writing fits really well with these stories. I really love the terms that you choose to use and the short paragraphs.
    I don't know if you are done with this class or with your project, but it doesn't really matter because I can't think of any suggestions for improvement. I enjoyed reading your stories!

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  20. Hey Samantha,

    First off, I want to say that the style and appearance of your storybook goes very well with the overarching theme. In your introduction, you were able to grab my attention as well as inform me of what to expect in the upcoming pages. I also love your "sneak peak" feature you added on your introduction page of the several different stories you added. The images were also on point.

    You began each story with an invitation for the reader or listener to hear the story, and I thought that was a very comforting element. It did feel like an older wiser person was about to tell me an interesting story around a campfire.

    All three of your stories were incredibly interesting. You have a talent for writing, and a creative mind.

    You rocked this project!

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  21. Hey Samantha,

    First off, I want to say that the style and appearance of your storybook goes very well with the overarching theme. In your introduction, you were able to grab my attention as well as inform me of what to expect in the upcoming pages. I also love your "sneak peak" feature you added on your introduction page of the several different stories you added. The images were also on point.

    You began each story with an invitation for the reader or listener to hear the story, and I thought that was a very comforting element. It did feel like an older wiser person was about to tell me an interesting story around a campfire.

    All three of your stories were incredibly interesting. You have a talent for writing, and a creative mind.

    You rocked this project!

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  22. Hi,
    I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading each of your stories! I also liked the way your storybook looked when I clicked the link to open it. It gave me a very eerie sense of what I was about to read. I think it fit well with the stories that you went on to write. Your introduction page gave me enough knowledge to know what to expect out of the following stories. The first story I found to be very interesting and a very quick read. I then was shocked when I read of the presence of ghosts and the main characters sister insisting, he go on a trip with them to learn how to fish and hunt. At last I loved the ending of how we must accept the passing of a loved one. The following stories were just as interesting and well written. I must commend you on your use of grammar! I was blown away. Great stories I wish there was a way to read more!

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