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(Sea of Dreams. Source: Pixabay)


  1. Hi Heath! From reading the introduction page to your storybook it looks like you have a really good plan and idea for how you want everything to flow in this project. I feel like it would really interesting to see these stories come out as you write them just to get a different perspective on what is happening. Even if the stories as you said going to be a little altered, I feel that is okay because truly how many times has something changed in the originals from each time that they get retold or rewrote from a different author.

    I feel like the character that you have chose to write about and the concept you are writing about will be interesting to anyone that really followed the battle between Rama and Ravana. I will be checking back on your storybook to see the stories progress because I feel like there were a lot of gaps in the story between Rama and Ravana.

  2. Hi Jacob! I really like that you chose a character that had a small part in the Ramayana but will now have the main part in your storybook. I remember reading about Kumbhakarna's part in the battle of Rama and Ravana. I really loved the images that you used on the home and introduction page. Your writing on the introduction page gave me good insight into what your story book will be about while also not giving away too much. I am looking forward to learning more about Kumbhakarna. I also really like how you are going to set each story as a dream about his past. What a great way to tie all of your stories into a single theme. You really got creative about how to tie all the stories in and make them your own. I am really excited about getting to read some of your finished stories.

  3. Hi Jacob! I really enjoyed reading your introduction. What immediately captured my interest was the really nice image that you used for the home page of the site. I think it's cool that one of the more minor characters in the Ramayana is going to be one of the main characters in your story. I think the introduction does an excellent job at setting up for your stories, we get a nice brief description of each to give us an idea of what each story will be about. Judging by the way your Introduction is written, I'm going to assume that your stories will be an anthology of stories? Mine are going to be like that too. I don't really have an suggestions for you, this was well written and I'm excited to see how the finished stories turn out. I think this is a very interesting topic to do for your final project.

  4. I think the idea for your storybook is very interesting. Using his dreams as the source for your story is going to give you a lot of creative freedom to retell them in your own way. I am excited to read about your interpretation of this character and his feelings. I think the one about the nightmare will be the most interesting. I think it was a great idea to add the links to your actual introduction. This gives the reader the option to read some actual history on the stories that you are going to tell. The only thing I would have loved to read more about in the intro was some more history on the character. I think the small descriptions about each story made me want to read them. I do not know much about Kumbhakarna so I think using him for your storybook will be a very interesting read.

  5. Hello Heath,
    I really like that you are giving a voice to a “minor” character. I personally really like when the people that are important but not the protagonist are given a story it adds dimension to a story that has already been told. Kind of like the movie hoodwink that told one story from like five sides so you got to see the same story but you get something new each time. I also like how you mentioned in the gatekeeper story that age means nothing to wisdom. I think giving Vijaya more of an outburst and having it to where the kumaras or vishnu cannot modify him out of the curse and then going on to how he still ended up with the same predicament. I think the story was very well thought out and that you did a really great job modernizing the story. I also really enjoy that you mentioned that you know that he has layers and you would like to explore that element in your storybook.

  6. Hi Jacob, Kumbhakarna is one of my favorite characters from the Ramayana that never really got the spotlight! Him and his brother's are all such unique characters that I hoped would get more attention, but it seems that they're pushed to the side for Rama's story. I'm glad you've decided to do your storybook about him, and I really enjoyed your take on his past life as the gatekeeper! It provides another layer of complexity to his already interesting life and I am excited to read more about him!

    I've always wondered if his personality changed after his mortal lives, which I think is what you're trying to convey. Is his time as Kumbhakarna going to make him more forceful and authoritative? Will he even remember his past lives? These are things I'd love to see later on!

    Finally, your style of writing flows well and makes for a good reading experience! Keep up the good work!

  7. Hi!

    For the introduction, I really liked how easily it read. It was clear and concise and explained in simple detail what your storybook was about. I also really liked how you included links to your sources for the stories as part of the text. You didn’t list them below in a separate part, but rather made it part of your narrative for that part of the text. I enjoyed this because it gave me an opportunity to click on it right away to read more information about the story you were summarizing.

    For the gatekeeper story, I really liked how your stories will be in the perspective of dreams. I think this is an interesting point of view. I also like the formatting of the paragraphs. Since they are broken up into a few sentences each, it makes it a lot easier to read. I think my favorite part in the story is the line where he says he takes a deep breath to calm his anger. You can see the back and forth from the dialogue in the story, but this line gives a personality to the main character. You can see his internal struggle with letting these kids in the gate or not. It also shows his frustrations with his brother and how this is an ongoing issue between the two. I like that you continue to go back and forth between what the brother is saying and the internal struggle the character feels inside.

    Overall, I really enjoyed your page so far. I think you have a great writing style!

  8. Hi Jacob! I love the topic that you've chosen, it's these characters that have a bit of mystery to them that have such potential since you can do some speculating to create an imagined backstory of your own. Considering Kumbhakarna's curse of sleep, how you came to be inspired by this to tell stories through the point of view of his dreaming self is so creative. The Gatekeeper was a great first story since it sets up for the reader some background to his previous life so they can get a sense of who he is through a story of who he once was. I wonder if you realized you forgot a "?" in the sentence "who do this kids think they are[?]" Perhaps you purposefully wanted this to be a statement, but I think this would be an opportunity to show the emotion behind this comment. Likewise with the sentence that includes "what have you done, brother[?!]," some punctuation change would give the scene a sense of distress that I think would be appropriate. This is the only suggestion I can think of since you've got a great start here to your Storybook and am looking forward to read more about Kumbhkarna's dreams!

  9. Hi Jacob! I think your story book has a really cool premise. Kumbhakarna is a really interesting character who I would like to know more about. I am looking forward to reading more of your story book because of that! In your intro, you do a good job of prefacing your stories and giving the reader a good idea of what to expect from your story book. I like how the stories follow Kumbhakarna's life through different lifetimes; I think this is a really clever way to incorporate other stories and other characters into your story book. Your first story is really interesting, but the narrative style is a little hard to follow. You could definitely use some revision with grammar, and I would consider changing the point of view and tense from first person present into third person past. I think this would help our story flow a lot better.

  10. Hey Jacob! I found it very interesting to read your story about Kumbhakarna because we did not learn much about some of Ravana's siblings in the Ramayana other than the brief battles with them. I thought your introduction did a magnificent job of laying out the framework for your storybook. I am interested in learning more about Kumbhakarna's past. I get the sense that your stories are going to align with the actual events in Kumbhakarna's life, but are the dreams going to contort any of the events?

    I really liked that you included imagery separate from the text to set the scene. I really enjoyed that you used so much dialogue. I think it really helped me get a sense of what each character was thinking and feeling. In your introduction you said that Vijaya and Jaya become Ravana and Kumbhakarna, but in your author's note you say that they become Rama and Kumbhakarna. Which of these is correct? Also, was there a reason Vijaya became Kumbhakarna instead of Ravana? I think it would be helpful if you could find a way to incorporate the reasoning that Vijaya became Kumbhakarna. But overall, you've got a great storybook started!

  11. Hi Jacob,

    First off, I want to say that your choice in pictures for the banner and story really stood out to me. I think an image can help elevate the portrayal of any story, which you do a great job of. I appreciate that your rendition has the view point of Vijaya. I like that you incorporated dialogues in your story, however, I would suggest that you try out action beat dialogues as opposed to traditional dialogues. Instead of writing "one of the four steps forward and replies" you can just simply write "one of the four steps forward." That action beat dialogue gives a better image in the reader's mind. Overall, you did a great job on your first story. I look forward to reading more!

  12. Hi Heath, I was happy to get your name again for the story book because I was interesting in how the stories were going to be. Reading the first story, I thought you did a really good job on being specific and detailed with each thing. The dialogue between the different characters was done really good and it was easy to keep track of the conversation and who was speaking at each given time. When reading the story there was nothing that really stood out to me that needed to be corrected. As far as the author's note the only thing that I found was a word missing in the line, "I know what is like..." it just needs to have "it" added to line.

    I also agree anyone that has siblings can easily relate to this story, we have all had these issues of our siblings throwing us under the bus at any chance they get.

  13. Hey Heath, your storybook seems like it is going to be a very interesting one because of your introduction! I absolutely love the theme you are going with; it is very creative and thought out. I like how you know what you want to do but at the same time, you have the freedom to write your story however you want. I cannot wait until you add the nightmare story! I feel like that story is going to be the most interesting one to read, so I will definitely check out your storybook later in the future to see what you have in store for us. I do not think I have any useful feedback to leave for you because your storybook looks great so far! Like I said before, I will check up on your storybook frequently to read the other stories you come up with. I cannot wait to read more!

  14. Hi Jacob! I really enjoy the concept of your project. I remember reading about Kumbhakarna and wanting to know more, so I’m glad to see someone is doing a project on him! Your introduction does a good job of explaining the stories that you’re going to share with us. I like that you’re adding your own creativity to it as well. Your use of dialogue was great. It really stood out to me. It gives the reader a better image of the characters and scene. I also enjoyed the way you wrote the inner dialogue, if that makes sense. I like that you’re using Vijaya’s point of view for these. I think that’s an interesting addition. You really have the creative freedom to write and do whatever you want with this, within reason, so I’m excited to see what else you do! I look forward to reading the rest of your stories!

  15. Hi Jacob! I have already commented on your fabulous introduction and I was very excited to read your first story. I love how you told the story in a way that allowed us to see Vijaya's inner thoughts but also the dialogue that happens between all of the characters in the story. Your writing was so great! It was fun to read, easy to follow, and flowed really well. I like how you are giving the backstory to how Vijaya became Kumbhakarna. It really gives you an insight into the characters and how their story began. I hated that Vijaya's fate fell into the hands of his brother who was not willing to give the children a chance even though Vijaya suspected them to be of importance. I also really liked how informative your author's note was. It really helped me get the backstory and understand your story on a different level.

  16. Hi Jacob!
    I read The Curse story this week. I really like that you added a little blurb at the top of the story to set the scene for the reader is about to read. You tell us about his dreams and give a little hint on what to expect next. I really like how you split the dream into two different parts. The part of conversation back and for between Kumbhakarna and his brother, Ravana, and the parts where Kumbhakarna narrates part of the dream with his own thoughts. I think this is a unique way to tell the story. You hear the words he is saying, but then see that he feels differently. I also really like the details you gave in the second part of the dream when he returns to Brahma’s. The way you describe it is eerie. Which is definitely warranted when Saraswati transforms into her true form. Overall, fantastic job on this story. I don’t have any feedback for things that I would change. I like it the way it is.

  17. Hello!

    Looking at the overall organization of your page I think that it is very easy to navigate. I love all the banner images that you used and that you are keeping with the theme of dreams. If I were to change one I might consider a different picture for the introduction. I think that the picture is great but it has modern buildings in it and since your stories are not in modern times you could possibly find one with just the mountains. I like that you added pictures for both of your stories and that they are in the same location and the same size. Overall I think very minor changes could be done but I love the look of your storybook.

  18. Hello again! I've come back after reading your two stories. These look amazing! I really enjoy that you're taking one of the more minor characters in the Ramayana and giving him the spotlight. It's so interesting to get to learn more about his past. I think that your storybook is easy to navigate and the pictures are nice. I don't really have any advice to give you, just keep working hard and make sure that you revise your stories. Re-reading it slowly helps me catch things, and our professor usually catches the rest. I loved the story about the gatekeeper. I felt so bad for Kumbhakarna, his brother completely threw him under the bus. He had no chance to speak up for himself and avoid the punishment. I guess it happened for a reason though since he goes on to help Rama. Great work, keep it up! You're almost there!

  19. Hey Jacob!
    First I really enjoyed your introduction page, the cover picture was gorgeous. I appreciated how it lined out exactly what to expect. Moving to "The Curse" it threw me off a bit since the text in the header was "The Favor". That seems conflicting to me, and I had to double check the tab I had chosen. I really enjoy the detail throughout. Some backstory on who Saraswati is may help. I am clueless to her role. The Authors note on this was helpful in that it discussed clearly why changes were made. I also agree with everything said about dreams and how nightmares tend to build. I liked the Authors Note for the Gatekeeper as well. I love to think of the extra layers of characters and reasons as to what could make them do the things they do. I think your notes were very well written.

  20. Hey Jacob!
    This is my first time visiting your profile and I really liked your set up. Your comment wall was easy to find and the graphics on your page were really neat and looked professional. I thought that your theme was really interesting and unique. I have not seen a page or storyline like this before so I am glad I was able to visit your page. This week's focus was on the Author's Note and for each of your notes I was able to follow along with what the original story was, then how you made it into your own. I also liked that in your notes you were able to discuss what revisions were made and why you made them. I like that for the Gatekeeper story you made the decision to cut out a character because you felt like they did not add to your story. I think that was a smart move! Overall, great job!

  21. Hi Jacob, I'm really enjoying the overall theme of your storybook with the different dreams and nightmares! Your idea to have him unable to wake up from a nightmare works incredibly well in the story; not being able to wake up during a nightmare is something I bet a lot of people can understand and empathize with! Like I said before, Kumbhakarna is an incredibly interesting character and you're doing an excellent job teaching more people about him. I know that you mention that including Vibhishana didn't necessarily fit into the story, but I think providing additional information in the author's note as to why this is would be helpful. Vibhishana is an interesting character on his own that, like Kumbhakarna, is only briefly mentioned in the Ramayana.

    I would love to see the final scene where he asks Lord Brahma for the boon. I think it could be a good closure for the scene. Even without that scene, I'm loving the direction you're going and can't wait to see more!

  22. Hey Jacob, I really like the overall idea and theme that you have created for your storybook. I like how you created the idea that these are all nightmares or dreams that Kumbhakarna has to experience. The theme of making it not possible for him to wake up is a very interesting touch to add to the theme of dream. I like how you set up your story The Favor. You really set the stage and the mood with your introduction into the story. Setting the mood for a story is very important and I think you did a good job with that. I really like the flow of your story. The dialogue that you have to tell the story is very creative. You have a really nice website. It flows very well and the images that you have selected add to that nice look. I was not sure you would be able to tell enough of a story here but you managed to tell a fantastic story. I am really excited to read more of your story book!

  23. Hi Jacob!

    The overall view of your website looks good and everything is really easy to find, the user doesn't have to hunt around to find where we need to go.

    This week we are looking at the use of paragraphs in adding to the overall flow of the stories. The dialogue between all the characters in the story is well done. When each character is talking you added them to their own line and then switched to another line for the next character. By doing this the dialogue between all the characters was really easy to follow when reading. I thought it was interesting how you took the story and made it where he could never wake up from the dream was a really nice touch to this story. I also liked the use of the parentheses to add context to the story to give the reader a chance to actually set up in their head what is going on and how it is suppose to look. Overall, really good job on the stories and good job on the website.

  24. Hey Jacob, this final story may have been my favorite! I always love stories that include a huge twist; it is even better that this happens to be a "this is not real" one. I have never had the time to really look into Kumbhakarna's life and you've given me a glimpse into this character. In the Ramayana, I imagined that he was as evil as his brother but you have done a great deal in changing my perspective. I really enjoyed the idea of Kumbhakarna being a not so evil person that happened to be caught up in the whims of the gods. The only thing I would change is the formatting. While it can flow naturally in some places, there are others in which it is difficult to tell whether it is something being said or thought. Overall I loved your storybook and hope you have a great rest of the semester!

  25. Hello,
    I have to say I love the idea for your stories. I enjoyed the writing style of the first story. I was wondering why Jaya was so arrogant and obnoxious the whole time. I understand he is to stand guard but to not even listen to what you brother has to say when he could be right is foolish. As for Vijaya I do not understand why he is so calm through it all. He needed to stand his ground more. As for your second story it was just as interesting as the first one! I like the dynamic that is played between brothers through out your stories! The older thinking himself to be more than he is and the younger brother suffering through it. Finally, the third story I liked your twist on the story. I think it ended the three stories quite nicely. Overall good job! I wish you could have written a fourth story.


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