There will be 4 post analysis’, focusing on examining and evaluating my current work. This is to expand upon and show how I have used particular writing skills for my benefit. Each analysis will be 500 words long, and focus on only one post, one character or one story decision, with differing topics each time.
The first will look into the story’s opening!
This is the Tumblr blog on which the story is hosted! Click ‘start reading here’ on the right to read from the beginning!
To those not familiar with visual novels, Danganronpa or interactive fiction, the style of the story may appear confusing. Everything starts off suddenly, with the main character – whose name we don’t know, thus she is marked as ‘???’ – waking up in an unfamiliar place. Gradually, she remembers her name as Miki Kageshita, and remembers more about the world she lives in and what she was about to get herself into – thus, opening more up about the setting of Danganronpa.
Characters speaking are noted through a pixel icon and their name (if revealed). As fans of the visual novel medium know, the POV (point of view) character and the narrator are almost always one in the same. Here, the POV character is Miki Kageshita. She is the narrator of the story and every observation made is from her perspective – meaning she has the most time to connect with the reader.
Something I noticed in my research of Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2 was that the stories always began with an info dump. An explanation of Hope’s Peak Academy, the protagonist and their views on life. I found that, while serving their purpose, these intros could be somewhat stilted. They’re not the best, in my opinion.
While mine is definitely not the best either, there is a more gradual flow of information to introduce people to the world of Danganronpa. We do not even know Miki’s name at the start, and her nametag ‘???’ changes to ‘Miki’ once we learn of it.
Another quirk of this style – but moreso a character quirk – is that after this, Miki gives strangers a ‘nickname’ based on their appearance. Autumn, Scholar, Cosmic, etc. It’s merely a touch of flavor. ‘???’ could have worked fine, but the fact that Miki observes their appearance and can come up with a basic idea of them from that is important – she is a perspective girl.
Do I think this was effective? Yes and no. The style of ‘icon -> name -> dialogue’ may be hard to grasp for those outside the target audience. The idea that Miki – the protagonist – is the narrator clearly establishes the story as ongoing and from the eyes of a character as it happens. Even though I’ve tried to make it welcoming for those new to visual novels and Danganronpa, it may not always work.
Something I’ve already noticed is that choices need more clarification – is this flavor text that adds to the scene, or is this a skip button to go past the (mostly) fluff choices? For the Tumblr blog specifically, I could add an explanation of the writing style on my ‘About’ page! That way, people will be able to understand.