JSLBrowning

Wall of History Compilation Philosophy

Sep 30th, 2019
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  1. Terms to know:
  2. "Compilation philosophy" — the general guidelines for compiling the story that developed as new content was being added to Wall of History. This has not been formalized before now, so the ordering on the site may contradict this at times, especially in the earlier chapters.
  3. "Narrative braid" — The compiled narrative itself. Almost all story content on the site is woven into it, but there are a few things left out — see BIONICLE Synopsis for examples of this.
  4. "Narrative rhythm" — The pattern that media is compiled in, which was designed to keep the reader engaged, as well as not allow any one plot thread to sit on the shelf too long and be forgotten about.
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  6. Below is a quick summary of the compilation philosophy I assembled Wall of History under, which will be useful when addressing questions or suggestions regarding how content is structured on the site. Basically, Wall of History is meant to be a bit more archival than compilations like Biological Chronicle or The Legend of the Bionicle, and as such, typically prioritizes accurate preservation of the media (all media — including redundant or contradictory media) over forming a completely seamless narrative (although I try to strike a nice balance between the two). From this philosophy, a few ground rules arose, which I've almost never deviated from:
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  8. 1. Chunks of media should not be broken down into smaller chunks — for example, comics or chapters of novels should never be broken down into parts, unless some other media absolutely demands it (see chapter four of Downfall).
  9. 2. Sequential chunks of media should always be ordered in the order they were originally published in — for example, the Wall of History entries should be ordered as they originally were, even if rearranging them might make the narrative flow a bit better.
  10. 3. All meta-textual information should, if possible, be mirrored from official sources (see the chapter titles for an example of this — they were taken directly from BIONICLEstory.com, and are the only official way the story as a whole was ever divided).
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  12. In accordance with these rules, several trends have developed, which I feel give Wall of History a nice narrative rhythm:
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  14. 1. In the cases where comics mirror events from the novels (most of them do), comics are placed directly after novel chapters that cover those same events. Here, they serve as a "Previously, on BIONICLE" kinda thing, reiterating the most important plot points of preceding readings.
  15. 2. In the cases where novels coincide with multiple serials, chapters of each are spaced out as evenly as possible, as to not let any one plot thread sit on the shelf for too long and be forgotten about (see the Mata Nui Rising chapter for an example of this).
  16. 3. In the cases where novels are completely contradicted by other media, the other media is spaced out as evenly as it can be within the novel, with whatever overlap there is being used as anchors (see Makuta's Revenge and the Wall of History entries for an example of this).
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  18. While I wouldn't feel comfortable violating the rules, as I feel that would compromise the integrity of the media and contradict my goal of accurate preservation, the trends can be deviated from if readers generally feel they should be.
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