|Reviews for Evil Personified|
| wisedec4u chapter 1 . 9/16/2015
RG - Depth
- Scene - I like how how you showed her change in attitude once she was infected by the Evil Al. She the different incidents of her taking pleasure in squishing the life out of insects and vandalizing bikes was good way of showing her doing things that I assuming she would never do. I’m sure these small act of bad doing will only be the tip of the iceberg the longer she is exposed to Evil Al’s influence. Great way foreshadow to the reader what is to come.
- Dialogue – The dialogue I wasn’t to keen on. It seemed a bit stiff to me for a college student, but that probably has do more with me being used to certain patterns of speech compared to other regions of the world.
- Characters - I don’t think this first chapter established the characters enough for me yet \\ to decide whether I like or dislike them. They seem nice enough, but I don’t think I know much about Lucy and her new schoolmates enough to care what happens to them. The only thing I gathered is that Lucy is pretty vanilla and her mother is bit overprotective. Perhaps as I read more, my opinions will change.
- Ending The ending was pretty creepy and does make you want to read on to find out what comes next. I just wondering with the tone you set in the first will this be more a creepy comedy than horror? Nice job though.
| Ventracere chapter 10 . 7/11/2015
And we're at the end, yay!
Other: it's been a journey - a fun one. Overall this story was well written and well thought out. I wouldn't have predicted the things that Lucy would have done, nor would I have suspected that Gemma was behind it all. I think my favorite part would have to be finding out Gemma's side of the story and all the psychology behind it. Let's be honesty, I would have been interesting to see her get psychoanalyzed. But I digress..
Opening: This constructed the "beginning" of the end kind of feel. We're back where we began. Except this time, It's Lucy watching the freshmen go through Fresher's week. It's like the group has begun to split apart. I'm glad that she still has Amy and that she's no longer in touch with Gemma. Who knew she was the one who was going to be so toxic? haha.
Scene: The scene as the bar was pretty well constructed. I still think the dialogue lacked a bit of realism, but I think that has to deal with my love of dialogue tags and iffyness with Caps and exclamations points. I'm glad that Al stepped in, but at the same time, I feel a bit disappointed with him. "Oh I just can't stay mad at you" - felt a bit cliche in my opinion, but that might have to deal with the fact with how I don't agree with them getting back together. hahah. Anywho.
Ending: I think it was a great idea for you to write, "I won't say we never looked back, because we did and do to this day". That's poignant. If Lucy has said that they never locked back, it would have felt like the whole experience was trivialized and the experience was anything but trivial. That said, the ending was fitting to the whole feel of the "coming to age"-type. It's an experience that made Lucy grow, and the penultimate paragraph captures that well.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 9 . 7/11/2015
And we're getting to the heart of it I think.
As for the dialogue, I think parts of it didn't really wring with me. I think some of it reads to me a bit. Stunted? Again, for me the emotion doesn't carry through. The part that stuck out to me the most has to be when Jack and Lucy were discussing the diary. It felt like the dialogue was pushed along there, a bit more than usual.
That said, the dialogue is a solid way of opening the chapter. It drops us back into the flow of the story. We're vividly reminded of what's happened as Jack curses and Lucy tries to reconcile with the fact of what she's done. What I do like is how you immediately set up how Lucy knows that she's also at fault and she can't just push off the responsibility to Gemma.
Scene: I actually really appreciated how Alan stuck by himself. That said, I'm glad that he did read the diary, but it was nice to see how he doesn't forgive her right away. Had he done so, I would have thought it was too easy for Lucy to reconcile with him. The way she has to work for his and everyone's forgiveness is realistic and not a cop-out.
As for the ending. I'm liking how you're wrapping everything up. She is slowly reconciling with everyone, making right of some of her wrongs. She's using Jack to her advantage, (well, hopefully) in order to counter the rumors later on. It'll be interesting to see how Alan responds. At the same time, I kind of hope that they don't get together? I don't know, it seems like a fitting punishment. Anyhow, you're doing a good job with tying all the lose ends together.
Thanks for the read!
| Timbo Slice chapter 7 . 7/9/2015
Ok, so I feel as though the plot has taken a complete 180 as far as the character dynamics goes and that's a great thing because it prevents characters from becoming too static and it helps to keep the plot on edge. I've now come to truly sympathize with Al and his pain at being betrayed while feeling little sympathy for Lucy and her attempts to win him back. The development with Gemma being the one spreading the rumors came out of left field but it lacked the emotional punch a revelation like that should bring about for the main character, probably because the plot is advancing at a brisk pace, I think that maybe more of an insight into Gemma's character can give us a better idea as to why she would want to ruin her friends life.
| Timbo Slice chapter 6 . 7/9/2015
I feel as though the pacing of this story is moving at a break neck speed and that's a good thing because you offer a consistent whirlwind of emotions that the characters experience, culminating in a very tense temporary breakup of our favorite power couple. Al's reaction was not only realistic but also justifiable in the sense that he felt not only cheated but also pitied by the girl he thought that loved him for who he was.
The letters also bring about a interesting situation because we figure that someone has been watching Lucy and Al but on the other hand maybe Lucy, in a fit of delirious guilt, placed the letters herself in a form of punishment.
| Timbo Slice chapter 5 . 7/8/2015
This chapter does a great job of characterization for Al but also humanizes him in a way never seen before. Despite my reluctance to him I have to admit he's growing on me because in a way I find him relatable. He's a loner who has no real animosity to the outside world but would just prefer to keep to himself, he's somewhat socially aloof but has a sharp mind to the world around him AND he likes metal! Damn you just described me in a nutshell! lol
For critiques sake I would change the "none of your business" line as it comes across as mets in a story that hasn't had any real self references and for the fact that it kind of is our business thank you very much! It would've been nice to see their passion and lust for each other shown to give us a better understanding of their growing affection for each other but I have a strong imagination so yeah. :)
| Ventracere chapter 8 . 7/8/2015
Strongest chapter by far.
I liked that Gemma's voice was strong here, but I can't help but wonder if proving to Steve that she is right is the only thing she has as a motive. Considering how she is trying to break up Kevin and Louise (and did so) and broke up Lucy and Alan, I want to say there is something else in her. There's something else about her character that I like. For all that she is an antagonist, I might have to say she is my favorite because what she does is well though out. We're all getting this from her diary, but I feel compared to lucy's POV, Gemma has more persuasion and more character in this passage alone. It's easy to pick out her frustration here.
Another thing I liked is how we can see the progression of all seven chapters in this chapter alone. This way we rehash the entire year in just one chapter while filling in the missing pieces that we didn't have before. great tactic.
Only squick I have is the first couple of lines. I know you were trying to get us into the diary, but I felt like that was a bit unnecessary. Why? We know that it's Gemma's writing from the previous chapter, and it sticks out a bit compared to the rest of the chapter. Perhaps interweave it into some of the diary instead so it doesn't stand out as much? This is just me nitpicking, haha.
Thanks for the read.
| Timbo Slice chapter 4 . 7/8/2015
Hey! So it's been a while since I got into this story and I'm glad to see its still going strong. This was a nice soft chapter that did away with the mounting tension of the previous ones but this chapter is highlighted by the growing relationship between Al and Lucy. I loved their natural interactions with each other as it came across as them as just a couple enjoying their time together without all the melodrama (not that that's a bad thing) that took up the majority of the story. What I like most about this chapter and story in general is the ambiguity of their relationship and how much influence Al really has on Lucy. Call me cynical but I believe that not all is as it seems with that guy and Lucy's sudden turn around to me suggest she is in some way...compelled to Al in a way that's not entirely natural. You really are a great writer at presenting a seemingly docile coupling of two very different characters while still leaving a hint of suspense just under the surface.
| Ventracere chapter 7 . 7/8/2015
The pacing is fantastic here. It's speeding up once again, and it's great to see that Lucy isn't wallowing anymore and is legitimately trying to get on Al's good side again. I like that she's not just waiting for him to forgive her and is actually proactive, as it keeps the plot and pace moving. Furthermore, she deserves to work for his trust back, considering the things that she has done.
Plotwise, I think this is a great turn. This was something that's been lurking around all day, and I'm glad that it's slowly coming to light. It turns into a fantastic hook at the end, because we don't know what's inside Gemma's diary. Naturally, I want to see what that is, haha.
That said, I think the only squick I have is that we don't exactly see much of Gemma's character. She doesn't have too much depth in her, so all we have is that she's one of Lucy's flighty friends. Jack is pretty much the same, considering we don't see him much until now. All of her friends are quite similar (they don't want her to spend time with Al) and for me they blend together a bit.
Thanks for the read!
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 3 . 7/8/2015
I'm still on the fence regarding the writing style: I like how you write rather well, but my own personal approach would be present tense/with more active writing involved. That, however, is fully something that I would attribute to personal taste, so please don't pay too much heed to this. The big news, IMO, regarding this chapter is that I felt that the writing was noticeably far more involved and active: there were less of summary-like activity going on, and I felt that you were finally diving a bit into the action. The effect was palpable: I liked how the writing/plot got even more interesting, and how much easier the flow seemed; I really think that your writing reads better - a lot better - when you have a healthy mix of dialogue, introspection and action :3 I understand why you're telling the story via a more reflective narrative approach, and it works well for this chapter, because it's not the entire way you rely on telling us/delivering this chapter :)
Anyhow: I'm really enjoying the plot, because it's not entirely predictable. Actually, I am beginning to see something of a twist that I sort of thought might be possible, but wasn't entirely sure about: namely that of Alan maybe not being evil at all, and Lucy (finally remembering her name :P) being the one who's sort of projecting her own evil-doings on him. I love that: it's a very interesting and psychologically compelling plot-twist, because it shows how we're far more willing to blame someone else for our misdeeds/misdeeds than confront what's actually going on inside. Further interesting - and what I adore - is how your story brings to light how easily we are blinded by appearances: Alan must be evil, because he's weird/wears black, and Lucy must be innocent, because she's not as entirely obvious as Alan is. It's kind of upsetting as a trope, but then I heartily love that you're subverting it by showing, towards the end of this chapter, how Alan is more of a lonely, sad boy. That really makes the entire story different, and I'm honestly curious where you are going to take this (especially how Lucy will further justify her obsession with Alan).
Romantically, I'm not entirely sold on Lucy and Alan yet, because Lucy has been really unfair towards him, but I am rather fond of how you are unfolding their relationship. Lucy's obsession towards Alan is very evident in this chapter, and it's interesting how she tries to destroy him, but how - at the end - she also realises how he's not what she considers him to be. I especially like how her obsession actually leads to her actively seeking him out, trying to see what kind of person he is. I'm definitely intrigued where are you going to take this :)
In a nutshell: very interesting story, with an intriguing premise/plot :)
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 2 . 7/7/2015
Coming back to read this story after a long break, and I'm still intrigued. What I'm kind of spying is the beginning of a 'romance' here: it seems that the narrator is drawn to Al, and I'm kind of intrigued by this plot, especially because I like how you hint at the attraction/distraction the narrator hints at. I also like the helplessness she feels towards her situation - it makes the plot so much tenser, and so much worse, because you get the feeling that she can't escape the curse/touch of evil that she's been sort of tossed into. What really makes me wonder is: why was she chosen in particular, and will she be forced to bear Al's child? (There are hints pointing towards this.)
I do enjoy the plot a lot so far: it's grown even more exciting, especially due to the recent developments of the narrator not being able to escape it, both physically and mentally. It's especially bad, considering that she's haunted by Al in her dreams, and it's kind of heartbreaking to see how she's slowly but surely finding herself attracted/drawn to Al, because of how he's slowly becoming a fixture in her life - actually come to think of that, that's a tactic I really like. I like it, because of how subtle it is, and how it slowly but surely makes the narrator far less likely to actively fight against Al for a long time. Psychologically, she's just no longer capable of fighting against him, because of how he's part of her life at the subconscious level too. What's interesting too though - and I love this - is whether the narrator is just projecting her own desire to do evildoings at Al (despite his 'curse'), and her dreams merely reflect the fact that she has always been evil, in some way or the other. Maybe, Al has chosen her, because of how she is drawn to evil in some way or the other.
I like the fact that her stabbing of bikes does not remain without consequences - it shows that you're aware of issues like pacing, and that things do not remain a secret forever. At this point, I am curious when people begin to realise that she is 'evil' too - it cannot remain a secret forever, surely, that things go wrong while she's around. It will have to blow up.
The only thing I'm sort on the fence about: the slightly summary-like writing style does take some of the excitement away. I would like to see things happening a bit more actively - but maybe that will change in the next few chapters :)
| Ventracere chapter 6 . 7/6/2015
I think this chapter was a good one to break things to Alan. Had Lucy gone on a little longer in her delusion (that's not the right word - I can't think of the word I'm looking for), I would have been a little worried. I'm glad that she pushed forward and confessed to Alan - it would have gotten worse had she waited longer.
That said, I was a little unconvinced with their "fight" of sorts. I think this was just me, but the argument went a bit fast, and felt brushed over. For me, it felt like the argument lacked energy? You didn't have dialogue tags - which is a good thing, so it wouldn't slow things down - but at the same time, I think the lack of description didn't help as much in this chapter. Perhaps put a little bit to show us how Lucy feels.
The pacing of the chapter I think was one of the best that I read. It was fast, but not too fast. This way, it helped make sure nothing was too brushed over or swept under the rug. Another thing I liked was the lack of jarring time jumps. This allowed us to focus on the scene as a whole without too many distractions.
| lookingwest chapter 8 . 6/29/2015
Writing - The language of someone writing in their diary, I think, was well captured. It felt like a realistic narrative voice as far as the writing was concerned, and a lot different from Lucy's. I could really hear the excitement in Gemma's tone even though this is only her writing and it's not specifically meant to tell a story like a book would. The use of exclamations and even the smiley face were a good device to realistically bring the idea of a diary entry to the forefront of the reader's mind.
Character - Well, Gemma's awful. What a terrible person! What I think is done well here is the way that Lucy not once suspected her as up to something - therefore reinforcing the more psychological themes of this story. It would almost be cool if you could actually work in Gemma saying these things a lot to Lucy in previous scenes, and attempt making it so subtle that the reader doesn't even notice. For instance, I don't think we see the scene with the "Evil Albatross" line - so it'd be a cool experiment to see how many people are so focused on Lucy's obsession with Al earlier on, that they miss the foreshadowing of Gemma earlier, too. But so far, I liked the blindside from Lucy's POV.
Pacing - This went quite swiftly, but I didn't mind that. I think it's the use of the page breaks and the narrative voice. That's okay though because I think it also snowballs into all the terrible things that Gemma has done to those around her. I find the pacing of the actual entries interesting - it seems there was a huge gap between when Lucy pushed Gemma down the stairs to then Lucy and Al dating - like, I mean in the story it feels like there's more time between those events, but in Gemma's entries, most of them deal with the first two or threeish chapters of this, and not many deal with the latter ones. Still, I think that's fine and it makes sense. More just making an observation on what her observations were! It's clear she takes breaks though too, as evident by the last paragraph.
Enjoyment - Glad to see that this all wasn't on Lucy. She still did the things that she did, which were horrible as well, but to find out that they were manipulated out of her is a very interesting turn I didn't expect to this extent, and I'm enjoying wondering what might happen now that Al and Lucy have discovered Gemma's secret (or wait, Lucy and Steve, right? Not Al. Been awhile since I've been here!). Going to someone authoritative would risk unveiling Lucy's bad deeds, but I'm sure there has to be some sort of confrontation. I also feel really bad for that couple, did not enjoy watching Gemma ruin their relationship, but I'm hoping it can be mended, like the rest of the things she's done. Especially things between Al and Lucy, of course!
| Ventracere chapter 5 . 6/28/2015
The opening is characteristic of Lucy as a whole. She's changed after finding out who Al is (coincidentally, not evil) and the way you open up with them spooning - or attempting to - on her bed shows that. They've essentially gone from avoiding each other (lucy's part) to being stuck together. It's a nice change, honestly, like the hazy cloud that's been running around Lucy's head has been cleared up a bit. Funny how it's Al who does that.
Characterization wise, like I said in the previous chapter, we're now getting to see Al more and more. I like how he's human, he's like everyone else in the story. He's unlike how Lucy described at first, with the Evil floating around him. Another thing is how alike the two are, and that's the nice thing. You make Lucy and Al separate enough with the way they talk it isn't easy to confuse them together. Sometimes with the two main/minor protags, it's a little difficult for me to distance who's who when I'm reading, but it was easy here.
Pacing: you're moving a little fast again, but like the previous chapter, this isn't jarring. The time jumps are smoothed out by that idea of natural progression. We don't really get to see how Al changes much, as opposed to Lucy telling us outright, but that I feel like that works better here. It took me a while to get used to the pacing, haha, but I think I get it now. Without too much description, you don't slow down the pace that it's difficult to read, and now I think the fast pace you go here fits well.
Ending: So much for a passive chapter, hahah. That's ominous. There's a change when you mention the anonymous notes in the middle of the chapter, but I didn't really take it into account until I hit the last sentence. Now I want to know who is the one sending that, haha. It's a strong, level hook, and it definitely makes me want to know how Lucy is going to take that with her semi-fried mind.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 3 . 6/27/2015
I feel like this chapter flowed a lot better overall which made it easier to read. There weren't as many jolting time jumps. Not only did it make it easier to read, but it helped me like Lucy and Evil Al slightly more. In particular, the end, we get to know about Al, how he's probably just as broken as any other person. It's as if he's trying to reach out to Lucy. I like how instead of running away again and again, Lucy finally decides to try and get rid of him, only to find out that's the opposite of what she needs to do. Turns out Evil Al isn't actually all that evil.
Something else I liked was how roundabout it seemed that Lucy was going about her ways to sabotage Al. You didn't make it seem like she was "controlled" or out of her mind, which I appreciate. She's fully in control, even if the "evil" that she feels is plaguing her might be influencing part of it. But in doing so, you make it seem more realistic, make her seem like a real person instead of a young girl who is prone to feeling something that other people can't sense..
Thanks for the read!