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 Cameron Blackwood - Beginner
Ben! · 16 · 5th · · · 5"11
Hufflepuff Beginner
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May 16 2018, 02:27 AM   Link Quote
Rank Applying For: Beginner
Link to character workshop topic: Here you go!
At least two of your recent role play topics:

So here I am folks, back again, with a new boy for rankin’!

🌙o sullen son w/ martin marzan
Cameron just wants to sit by himself, okay?! In this thread, Cam is interrupted by the ever-charming Marsy boy. I chose this thread because Mars is someone that Cameron would typically be very nervous around, seeing as he’s about as teenage-boy as someone can get! At least in Cam’s opinion. He’s awkward and questions himself a lot here as he typically does socially, so I thought it was a good choice of his typical state.

🌙it lingers w/ piotr tunnehill
In this thread, Cameron seeks some alone time when he’s interrupted by a very wild boy he met during a Quidditch match. I chose this thread because it pokes around in Cameron’s soft squishy feelings a little more, and addresses how easily he can become attached to people who are at least somewhat kind to him. It’s also starting quite the friendship that I can almost 100% guarantee will show up in more threads/plots/arcs of Cameron’s!

For context, I’ll link the posts in which Piotr and Cameron initially met- but I won’t ask for them to be judged. In them, Cameron is drawn to Piotr because he sees that this boy is having trouble connecting people like he is, and that’s part of why he hasn’t stepped away from Piotr despite them having vastly different personalities and interests.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
It goes on for quite a while longer, so I’ll spare you! I just wanted to link some so you wouldn’t have to go digging!



Commentary: Woo boy where to start! I feel like Cameron is a lot more solid than he was when I made him. He changed about two million percent from his initial application- so honestly he’s nothing like that character anymore. I wanted to address that head-on because he’s moved rather far away from it, but I think it’s a change for the better, and shows that I’ve found solid ground with him now.

Other than that, I switched around his history for future plot and revealing of past that’ll come in later revisions, so everything is a bit more rounded out. I followed some advice I got in Isaac’s ranking and offered more backstory on his parents this go around, but I’m not sure if I added too much?

Per usual, any tips and advice is sooooo welcomed! Thank you!

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I took a little journey to the unknown,
And I come back changed, I can feel it in my bones.
I fucked with the forces that our eyes can't see,
Now the darkness got a hold on me.
🌙🌙🌙
Stells Artois · 16 · 6th · Viridian Guild · Pureblood · 5'11
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May 16 2018, 03:33 PM   Link Quote


Application Accepted!

Thank you for participating in the Ranking System! Your application has been added to the review queue. You can expect your reviews sometime within the next two weeks.

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Robin · 15 · 5th Year · Viridian Guild Leader · Pureblood · 5'
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May 27 2018, 05:56 AM   Link Quote
Hi Ben! You know me, but this is the first time I’ll be reviewing you. ^^ As always, let’s start with the requirements!
QUOTE

what we’re looking for at beginner

  • At least 4 posts by your character over 2 threads. Your most recent post must be made within three months of the date of your application.
  • Have your character profile in the workshop with at least one revision of each section posted by you. (If you choose not to include an appearance section at sorting, you must include it when you post your workshop profile, and then provide a subsequent revision for this rank).
  • At the beginner rank, we are focused on building up your character. We will give you suggestions on how to expand your profiles and posts, particularly in regards to content, in order to gain as complete a picture of your character as possible. We're looking for a general grasp of grammar (punctuation, paragraphs, apostrophes, etc.) and spelling, and that you follow the rules by giving us at least five lines per post. Additionally, we'd like to see that you have made an effort to expand all areas of the profile (i.e. not just personality or not just history).

That looks good! I’ll be taking a close look at your profile first, while your second reviewer will talk more about your threads. So let’s get started with that profile then, section by section. ^^

Appearance
QUOTE
Like you can see the shadow of something else where there should just be a boy.

What a great phrase! This definitely made me curious and eager to get to know Cameron. I like this idea of… finding the special within the normal, the extraordinary within mediocrity. After all we’re all ordinary people, yet extraordinary and unique in our own way.

I like how you describe his face, and mention how his short hair brings out certain other features. Even more important than the features someone has, is which ones are drawn attention to – which ones people notice, and you emphasize this splendidly. I also like how you already say that he has things in common with his mother, already forming a bridge to the next sections – like how his expressions also already give us a glimpse of his personality.

The shape of his lips, jaw, the appearance of his teeth, the description of his posture and common expressions, the comments on his voice… This is all fantastic info, Ben! I can tell you have a clear image of this character in your head, he feels real. Of course you can always say more, but that’s what the next revision will be for! For Beginner, this is an impressive Appearance section, I’m both glad and impressed that you expanded this section to be above the 600 word minimum that your other sections had to be in the sorting application. It gives us a really good idea of Cameron to start us off with!

I’ll try to spark some muse for next time by mentioning things you could add – some of these you might even already know about Cameron, just didn’t think of adding it to the profile yet, and some others might be fun to think about! For example, you mention the colour of his eyes, and how they stand out underneath his brow, but what about the shape of his eyes and eyelids? Are they heavy, drooping, large or small? You know how he walks, but how does he sit? What are his hands like? – That might seem like an odd one, but it can be something noticeable, not only because they might be large, or slender, but also because certain hobbies can have an effect on hands. You do a lot with your hands after all! Speaking of… How does he carry his wand? Does he have a backpack or a messenger bag or is he the kind to stuff everything in his pockets? Oh, and you can try to mention his height somewhere. ^^

The more you write Cameron, you’ll probably also discover new parts of him – while that might seem especially relevant for the Personality section, this will give you the opportunity to expand the Appearance section too, because you’ll learn things like… What does anger look like on his features? Joy? Fear? What does he do when he’s nervous? Absent-minded? Are there gestures he repeats a lot? Well, I definitely can’t wait to see more of him! So let’s move on to…


Personality
QUOTE
Where most of the world is hard corners, he is a bruised individual floating through life.

Another fantastic line. Your profile is very well-written, and this section is also nicely expanded on. I like how you very clearly keep in mind that he’s a teenager, often emphasizing it and linking his age to certain traits. And once again you establish connections with the other profile sections, like mentioning his family, and how his personality developed since childhood.

I feel the need to quote these parts because it’s oh so relatable:
QUOTE
In the middle of the night, he can't help but remember the awkward thing he said at breakfast. He thinks of a million different replies and words that would have been better to use, but in the moment he chokes.

QUOTE
On his worst days, he is stuck with the howling in his head and nothing to block the sound from matching his pulse and consuming him. On his best days, it is a subtle background noise, and he can meet the world with a determined but somber brow.


And of course…
QUOTE
There's a certain brand of self-hate within Cameron, the kind that has to do with not accepting his own limits. He has not reached a point where he works with what he has rather than what he wants to have, and because of this, he suffers. He rests in a eternal cycle of why can't I be better? It's the hitch in his stride, the reason he cannot truly smile when his mothers tell him they are proud of him. He cannot see why.

Ohhh this is beautiful ;-; So much is quotable in this section, and Ben, that ending… Ahhh I wish Cameron all the best. I can tell you’ve found your footing with him, and I’m sure that you’ll just discover more and more of him to add to this section as you continue RPing – by placing him in different scenarios, you’ll find out how he behaves in those. How he responds to anger, or fear, for example, can be something interesting to learn. You’ll also have more to add with every connection Cameron makes, because we behave differently in different roles. We are different as a friend than as a mentor, or a student, etc. In the history section, you also mention that Cameron was a picky eater – Is he still? It’s a small thing, but that’s the kind of details we love, so you can add that to the personality section too. ^^ In his first thread, Cameron is seen writing poetry, and you imply that he does this a lot, that his desk at home is covered with poems – that’s another thing you could mention in the profile, just like anything else he likes to occupy his free time with. ^^

Oh, there was only one thing that threw me off a little, namely:
QUOTE
he is very opinionated, and has very strong beliefs (not necessarily religious)

Does “not necessarily” mean that he does hold some religious beliefs? I read “beliefs” by itself as any kind of belief, like belief can be in justice, honour, etc. Just anything that you think is right. So it’s only because you specifically added “(not necessarily religious)” that I wonder. If he has some religious beliefs then of course that’s also something you can add! ^^ Oh actually, elaborating on what values are important to Cameron would be interesting in general. You could even link it to his sorting – why he was placed in Hufflepuff! ^^


History
You clearly put so much work into his history, and I gotta say – I love Roksana and Elizabeth. Both of them have such captivating stories, it’s obvious that you treated them as characters in their own right and not just as shadowy figures in Cameron’s life. They live and breathe and that makes Cameron’s backstory all the more richer.
Here are some of my favourite lines:
QUOTE
Elizabeth had been an accident, but a happy one, until she began to form opinions of her own.

QUOTE
Roksana, her blonde hair messy, a speckle of mud on her cheek, her grey eyes full of edges that have never been sanded,

QUOTE
They got chickens, per Roksana’s request, because she had chickens all throughout her childhood that had arguably been her best friends. Elizabeth was at once confused and more in love than she had ever been.

Pure poetry.

Everything about this history section is amazing, Ben. What he was like as a little boy, his friendship with the girl next door, the brother babysitting him, his relationship with his mothers – it’s so full of detail and so wonderfully written. Of course I want to know what happened on the trip to Roksana’s family – but I’m sure we will one day and this section is already incredibly long, I really can’t ask more from you at beginner, and I have no doubt that your next revision will elaborate.

Since I have to give you advice, I can say that for your next revision, you can go into detail about his life at Hogwarts, and what it was like for him to meet the wizarding world. For example, did he go to Diagon Alley to buy his wand and other supplies? And what was his first impression of the castle? What was on his mind during the sorting? By then you’ll also have some established relationships for Cameron that you can weave into your history sections – characters he met at Hogwarts, how and when they met… The kind of stuff you’ll surely find along the way. ^^


Posts
I’m briefly going to comment on your posts, while your second reviewer will look at your threads in more detail. They’re of good length and you give your RP partners enough to work with. I think you also set the scene well in your starters, which isn’t always easy to do, and you continue to draw in the environment in your replies.

I can clearly see the traits you mentioned in Cameron’s profile show up in his posts, and you do a great job of describing Cameron and his body language. I love how you mention his handwriting in the first thread, and how you allow us to see the poetry he’s written. In the second thread, I especially like your descriptions of the forests and the trees, and this analogy is just fantastic:
QUOTE
But forests were like brothers. If you looked at them, you'd be able to tell they were related, you'd distantly see qualities from one in another. When it came to forests, he liked the familiarity. When it came to brothers, he felt a prickle up his spine as he thought about it.



Verdict
You clearly have a solid foundation for Cameron, your writing was captivating and his story interesting. His profile was really a joy to read, well done. I think it goes without saying that I APPROVE you and @Cameron Blackwood for BEGINNER. Good luck with your next review, and if you have any questions you know where to find me. ^^

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T.J. · 16 · 6th · Undecided · Dating · 5'10"
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Jun 12 2018, 02:11 AM   Link Quote
Well hello there, Ben(no)gas! It is I, the mysterious and often mischievious Teej, finally here with your second review! Robin has already covered the specifics and broken down Cam's sa-weet profile, so I'm just... Gonna... Go ahead and jump right into the posts! Aren't you so blessed to have me in your life?

Don't answer that.

sullen son

We write together (I mean duh), so you know by now that one of my more favorite things about your writing is the way that you set a stage. You are really, really good at it, as shown by the example below!

QUOTE
The sunrise was beginning as he stepped onto the lakebed, his shoes sinking into the loose stones, soles slipping a little from where the grass had made them slick. He carefully picked his way onto the dock and walked all the way to the end, where the weak morning sunlight was dancing off of the water's surface.


It's a very small, subtle sample size of the magic that you have shown the consistency in writing, but I wanted to highlight this for a few reasons. One, you did a really great job of painting the picture of Cameron's surroundings, but the real amazing thing you did here was you made me feel it. Reading that I felt as if I was there with Cameron, trailing him and experiencing every bit of what he did, and that's one of my more favorite details in a person's writing. I often say that this isn't something that can be faked (it isn't), but what really sticks out to me about it is the strength of your conviction. You are thorough, wholly committed to what it is that you want your readers to see, and I feel it.

I keep saying that, but, it's something I want to make it abundantly clear:
You make your readers feel, not just read, and that is so, so, important.

QUOTE
He turned to face Mars now, seeing the sweat sheen off of his angular face, the way he did look godly from up close. "I... suppose, so, seeing as... You're here," It was more of a dismissal of Mars' comment than it was a compliment, but Cameron realized belatedly that it sounded like an attempt at flirting. His cheeks went pink (well, pink-er, seeing as it was already cold enough to nip at them.)


Nothing to see here, just more of me admiring your words.

QUOTE
"Then what type are you?" He asked, finally. "Coining yourself after a Greek God is a bit ambitious."


Okay, so why I'm quoting this (it feels random, I know!) is that it shows a certain playfulness to Cameron that is still very new to me as a reader. Most of what I have seen from Cameron is a timidness, an almost perpetually brooding nature-- and that's not a bad thing! In all actuality, it further strengthens the versatility that you are building with Cameron. There's no doubt in my mind that he's mysterious, but what I love is that it's not all he is, as evident by the way we see him take a playful dig at Martín. It really only makes me want to know more about Cameron, and honestly, I can't wait to see just where you take him. It definitely feels as though only the sky can limit you-- and even then, maybe it can't!

it lingers

Given that this is a thread between the two of us, I feel as though I need to be careful in the advice and in the notes that I give. Which, again, isn't a bad thing, but given that I am your writing partner in this thread the advice I can give you on situations and your writing is very different. It's a... Different angle, a personal angle, and I want to be careful in the way that I do that. So, in the vein of doing things differently and dragging this monologue on a (wee bit) longer, here's what I'm going to do. Or... Yeah, I'll just show you instead of telling you.

What I have enjoyed most, both in your first thread and the one between Cameron and Piotr, is that you pay the utmost attention to even the tiniest of details. Your strongest trait in writing is your knack for complete details, and not only that but in the way that you make it seem so effortless. There's no strain evident, at least to me, in the way you write Cameron. Everything just feels... Well, complete. There are a lot of details that we as writers tend to overlook, and yet when I read Cameron it's as though you've not left out a single thing. And honestly, that's beautiful.

What you have managed to do in your construction of Cameron is nothing short of refreshing, if not for how effortless it feels then certainly for the way that Cameron reads so strongly. You've managed not to be too wordy, or to bounce from one detail to another, instead managing to always complete your thoughts in a very pleasant/readable way. ]

I fear that I'm not making much sense, and for that, I apologize... But what you have done/are doing is just so impressive. Cameron, at the beginner stage, reads like a nearly complete character. Which is to say, obviously there is still work to be done, but the path you are going down right now is undoubtedly the right one. You've got a clear, complete (how many more times can I say that word?) vision of where you are going with Cameron, and if it was at all acceptable to label myself a #CamSuperFan I would do so.

But it's not-- so I won't, yet.

final ramblings & verdict:

I know this is a short review, but honestly, I've been a bit miffed from the beginning on what it is that I need to tell you about Cameron. It's not every day that I read a character as complete as Cameron feels in the early staging, and while that's refreshing it's every bit as impressive. His background, both what has been communicated to me in threads and through skimming his profile, reads as a complete story-- and yet not complete at the same time. There is so much more you can tell us, whether that be the full dealings of his family and how that ties into the rest of him, or smaller, simple things about why it is that he adores poetry so much (if this was included in his profile, I apologize). I've spent so much of my time here talking about how "complete" Cameron is, and while that's true-- and I'm gonna make a comparison here I think you'll understand-- there is just as much capability in your writing for Cameron that he could unfold like a series instead of just one, riveting novel.

What you have now is good-- better than good, it's great-- but there is an endless amount of opportunities for you to take Cameron's story by the horns and turn it into something truly spectacular. More spectacular than it already is. BUT ANYWAY! I have rambled for long enough (I think my beard grew a few inches), and as your second reviewer, it is my distinct pleasure to give you your final approval for @Cameron Blackwood's beginner rank. You have something really magical (pun intended) working for you here, and it's my hope that things will only get better for both Cameron and you as a writer. You have more than earned it! As always, though, if you have any more questions about Cameron's rank then please don't hesitate to ask. You know where to find me.

Congratulations again and good luck with your future reviews!

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gryffinclaw
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