Reviews for Alter Ego
GreyMoon.Mistress chapter 1 . 2/22/2013
Update soooon! x3
S.A chapter 1 . 2/22/2013
Wait! i want to know the story! and i really dont like carmen, but that's the whole point, right?
Uzziel the Acidhead chapter 1 . 1/17/2013
This is a beautiful piece of work. The dialogue is fluid, the characters are believable, and the setting feels very realistic. It's the sort of play I'd want to perform if I were a professional actor or director. The dialogue is especially good. I like how the characters are reinforced by the things they say and do, which adds depth to their personalities.

I also really liked how there seems to be a whole world revolving around the characters, even though the audience/reader only gets to taste a small portion of it. The characters feel alive. Even if (this being a very short piece of art) the audience/reader doesn't get in on all the specific details of individual characters' backstories, there's a lot implied, which keeps the play alive. I always look for that in fiction, because it can make or break a story. Some writers do it wrong or just don't do it at all; either way, the story ends up smelling wooden and dead.

I actually spent a few years in mental hospitals and residential treatment centers for issues similar to Caroline's, right down to the imaginary friend constantly talking shit, offering to "help me out", and taking over my body (although, to the best of my knowledge, we never actually murdered anyone). The portrayal of Caroline's mental health was fairly realistic, although in my case (and in all of the cases I've spoken with) the hallucinations were much more intense and tormenting than you could portray accurately onstage. Snarky comments from my "friend" were annoying, but the visual hallucinations were what made my life hell back then... But then again, maybe Caroline is just polite enough not to share what she sees in her head with the audience.

The part about the chaotic RTC classroom also hits close to home. I attended "school" at long-term treatment centers twice and didn't get shit done. All hell was constantly breaking loose. The teachers and staff didn't enforce many of the rules, because they usually had to worry about whichever patient was going on a rampage at that moment (there one a day, at the very least) and/or calm down agitated patients who could snap and go on a rampage at any moment. The education itself was a bad joke when we actually did get around to it, especially for a high school: Sixth-grade geometry, reading children's books for English, playing with dogs for science, etc. I guess they didn't see the point of giving us a proper education since people in those places rarely make it anywhere in life other than coffins, prisons, and asylums (cold, but true). Some stories don't have happy endings - you got that part right for sure.

One thing that I'd also like to point out is that Caroline seems to be suffering from schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder, not multiple personality (disassociative identity) disorder. From what I understand, people with MPD can't converse with their alternate personalities, and in some cases are even completely unaware of their existence. Some doctors don't think MPD is a real disease or believe that it's actually a form of schizophrenia. Of all my years in the mental health system, I only met one girl diagnosed with MPD, and her personalities were completely separate and unable to talk with each other (though one of them was incredibly violent). Don't quote me, because I don't know much about MPD other than that, but I had Caroline-like symptoms, and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Anyway, your writing style is excellent. I'll definitely check out some more of your stories when I have the chance. I hope I didn't rant too much about the mental health system IRL. You can only know how terrible those places (both the physical places and the ones in your mind) can get if you've been there, and because more patients end up like Caroline than they do creating, it often gets portrayed inaccurately in fiction. Your story was accurate for the most part, but I still felt need to go on a rant. Keep up the good work! I'd love to read more like this.
Grace chapter 1 . 8/9/2012
Omigosh I really enjoyed reading this. (: How about Caroline interacts with a bunch of crazies? And if Carmen has like this war with another alter ego?