I chose to analyze a series of books my ten to twelve-year-old self read so many times that I still have the plotline of the original six books memorized, and that ended up inspiring my love of reading other books. I know for a digital storytelling class, I probably should have chosen a piece of media that was more, well, digital, but print books tend to be the way I consume most stories. I chose Warriors: Into the Wild.
The first book in the series was about a housecat who went to live in the wild with a bunch of other wild cats called warriors. However, he quickly learns life in the wild isn’t so perfect. Someone within his group is willing to do anything for power. The storyline can be graphed out like the storylines in the video. It starts with a normal cat who is living a normal life, then things get worse, and finally, they improve somewhat, leaving things open for the next book. What worked well for the story (as far as I remember, it’s been a while) is that it slowly expanded on itself and didn’t spell everything out or give you a massive info dump. It also was one of the first pieces of media I chose to consume just for my own enjoyment. It served as a soft introduction to the fantasy storylines I love now. However, as the series expanded past the original six books, it became a less well-crafted story.
I am relying on what I remember of the series, so my feelings on it might be different if I went back and reread them now.
I think one reason I loved this book so much at that point in my life was that it always gave you just enough to keep you engaged and didn’t overwhelm you with the entire backstory of the setting right off the bat like some books do. It also (in the original six books) didn’t do the one thing I’ve come to hate most, undoing the character’s development for no reason except to have them go back through the same plot points and growth all over again. To me, this shows that the characters and how you set up a story matter greatly.
I guess, in a way, the books do connect with the digital realm and use it to provide more of an experience for fans. There is a warrior cat website that contains extras, the entire lore of the world, and games you can play set in or based around the world. Much like in the reading, the website makes use of hyperlinks. I checked it out again for writing this post, and it seems that since I last visited it years ago, it has expanded quite a lot. I can see how developing these stories into the digital realm helps improve them in ways that would not be possible with the print books.