Friday, June 30, 2006

JED's Song to Story

Link to Original Story: Song to Story - JED

First thing I noticed, the damn narrative voice changes. It goes from being an adult reminiscing to a child remembering recent events. It isn't jarring but it bothers me nonetheless. So, in case you don't know this story is based on the lyrics of "Through the Door" by Toad the Wet Sprocket. This isn't my favorite song in the whole world, though I am a TWS fan. I chose it because it's obviously telling a story, and I think I always wanted to know what that story was. The phoenix idea came to me smack dab out of the middle of nowhere, and to be honest I love it. It's weird, I think it's creative, and it's damn fun. I did a little phoenix research online and found out that they were rumored to build nests of cinnamon and other spices. Details like that are fun to toss in, just to give the story a little more substance. Again, I think it rushed at the end, but at this point we were still sticking fairly close to the 2 page limit, so I'll cut myself a little slack there.

Have to admit, this isn’t my favorite piece. JED gets points for going with a song I wouldn’t have thought of (though I, too, am a big Toad fan), and major bonus points for accurate detail into the phoenix myth. Also, I think the voice is well done, though perhaps a little sophisticated for the boy’s age. But overall, this one fell a little flat to me. It tracks very closely with the song, almost to the point where it doesn’t add much new, and what was really original here, the phoenix, was a little confusing. I do like that David was blind, and the phoenix gave him sight, but only for that single second. If this story were developed a lot more, I think it could be a winner—I can just imagine a Henson-esque phoenix, like from the old Storyteller series (if you haven’t seen it, go find it now), and vivid descriptions of the dusty old house, the neighborhood; oh yes, there is potential here. More interaction with the phoenix would be cool, though it would depart from the song. But in its current form, it needs work. Still, all told, whenever Glen Philips sang “Through the door, what do I see?” I always wanted to scream, “I don’t friggin’ know! Tell me!” Now, I no longer have to do that.:


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