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Posted: Jun 11 2016, 06:41 PM
Rank Applying For: Beginner
Link to character workshop topic: x
At least two of your recent role play topics: Take Me Down to the Paradise City: Cleo and Henri stumble upon the shipwreck in Bora Bora and Cleo's hopeless romantic takes hold when she gets upset about Henri's rejection of the ghost's marriage proposal.
Home is Where the Prank is: After Bora Bora, Mitch comes to Cleo's home to visit her so he can avoid going home to his parents right away. She takes him to the Cathedral to explore and hunt for clues to the history of her town.
Commentary: Cleo is about to go through a really big change in her personality as a result of her father's death, her instinct to run away from her grief, and her eventual break down. I really want to make sure that I have a strong grasp on who she is and how she operates before sending her on that journey. I'm mostly concerned with staying consistent with her personality and giving her a little bit more depth.
Posted: Jun 16 2016, 10:46 AM
Hello Becca, I’m Tine and I will be your first reviewer today! Before we have a look at your ranking app, we have to check the requirements for Beginner:
This looks all fine, so no need to wait any longer to check on your profile :3 My first impression was that the appearance is a little short compared to the rest of your profile, and you know what that means? There is a lot of room to expand, of course! I see you added a bit to your original appearance, so let me have a closer look at these things.
Appearance: I have seen your first edit of this, and now we are back and I am a lot more content with this one. You have some very nice ideas here, and now you need to expand on those. Why does Cleo dye her hair blonde? Does she tan or burn? You give an overall expression and cover the basics, with some really nice details, such as the earring part:
I really liked that part, and I think you can include even more of those moments, because they really show a lot about Cleo!
Think of what Cleo wears, how she moves, and how both her gestures and her facial expressions change during the day or depending to whom she is speaking. And while you are at speaking - does she have an accent? Does she say certain things a lot? Does she speak loud, or deep, or very quiet? What colours does she dress herself in, does she have any habits or even nervous ticks? Try to paint a very clear picture of her, so we can imagine her. You know Cleo already, but we do not - and we want to know how she moves along in a corridor, how she laughs, how she cries and how she carries herself!
Posture, gestures, movements, facial expressions, speaking patterns - all those and details, details, details on the things you already mentioned are very important to bring a character to life, and you can definitely expand this first section of your profile. Even if it’s “just” the appearance, you can look behind the reasons of her choices - why does she feel so comfortable without make-up, where does her choice of clothes come from? You chose a scenario where someone else is watching her, but how does she see herself? I know the way you chose makes it a little different, but I am sure you can think of a way to explain Cleo’s behaviour :3
I noticed you switched between past and present tense a lot in this section, and you should have a closer look at this when you for for Intermediate, where we look at your profile again. If the person who watches her in the woods sees her right now, then you should use present tense of course. Here is one of the examples where I expected present tense, and the things that followed were set in the present as well:
But enough for this part now, I think you did a good basic job so far, and now you have to dig deeper into Cleo. Let’s move on!
Personality: My first thought was that the way you describe her sounds a little...subjective? I am not quite sure if that transfers what I mean, just by the way you describe her it sounds biased - because, of course we all love our characters. But I feel like with the kind of freestyle profile type you chose, you need to keep the whole thing a little more neutral - praise her, but praise her gently, and don’t go overboard with it. I do like your choice in words and the variety of descriptions you are using.
Now, for further thoughts, you need to dig deeper. I feel like I say this a lot, but if you state a fact, always ask yourself why it is this way. For example:
-> Why is her mother ill, what does her mother suffer from? You know, but we don’t - and that is quite a statement to make without offering an explanation!
-> Same case. Wow, what a statement - but why?
-> If her immature nature frustrates her, why does she keep acting like this? Or does she do something about it and you didn’t tell us?
You talk about a divorce, and then you don’t say what happened her. I know this is probably a part of the history section, but you should at least give a little more information about it here, too. You also mention Cord, but we don’t know who this is yet - introduce him!
You have an enormous amount of information about Cleo and in my opinion, you covered both the flaws as well as her advantages, and I don’t have much to complain about it content-wise :3 My only point is really the whys behind each statement you make. In your next edit, you might as well consider rearranging your paragraphs, as there seemed to be pretty large jumps in between them. You talk about her mother’s home, and pick it up again two paragraphs later - same with the divorce. Try to tie them closer together so the structure makes more sense to a reader who is new to Cleo and so it reads smoother in the end.
History: Aw, I love how the start of this history sounds like a fairy tale - especially with fairies mentioned in the frame you placed your profile in, good job right here. And finally, here come the explanations I have been asking for. It is fine to keep them here in full detail, but I still suggest to drop at least one, two sentences for context reasons in the personality as well.
This is so pretty. Let me just leave that here.
And I have reached the end of this, may my complaints begin again. No, seriously, I feel like this section is your strongest, and there is so much detail in here, I love it. The end seems a little rushed and therefore I sit here like GIVE ME MORE ABOUT THE SUDDEN ACCIDENT AND THE DEATH AND THE AFTERMATH OF IT. Basically, expand on this part and offer more, because that’s not quite enough! Also, Cleo has been at Hogwarts for four years now, and I assume a lot has happened. Fill the gaps and tell us more about her years in Hogwarts, and about the magic in her life in general. When did she get her wand, and how did all of that make her feel? Further edits should definitely include more of these things, and more of how Cleo was personally affected by all of it? Pay attention to not excluding her of her own history and always wonder how she feels, too. But so far, I really like it, yes :3
Posts: I won’t look too close on those and leave that mostly to your second reviewer, so you’ll just get a few words from me here :3 Looking over them I see you have a good post length and give your partner enough to react to. I don’t see any grave grammar errors or typos here, so well done, yes. As inspiration, you might look into more more diversity when it comes to threading. Throw her in different situations with boys, girls, professors, younger and older students, friends and foes - and maybe even lovers, if you plan something here.
Verdict: And we have reached the end, aye! I don’t know if that just looks long or is really long, but I hope my advice is helpful to you! I approve you for Beginner! Congrats and good luck with your second review <3 If you have any questions, feel free to pm/skype me :3
Posted: Jun 23 2016, 12:50 PM
WHAT'S UP BECCA, I'm Lily and I'm here to
SO, taking a second look at your profile. Tine gave you a lot of content things to think about, so I'll look more into the style/structure here.
I think you have a lovely concept for how you're framing this profile, and I really like your use of descriptive phrases -- well done! I also love that you put Cleo into the context of her surroundings; it's definitely a way to help picture her, so if you ever want to expand on that, please do. For now, I'm going to suggest that you proofread a little more carefully. As Tine mentioned, there's quite a bit of tense inconsistency -- try to stick completely to either past or present -- in this case, I'd probably go with present. It's pretty easy to switch between the two, especially if you're describing a scene, so here's a less obvious example: you're starting off with "there is a young girl" and "she is of slightly below average height" (which I'd actually try to keep simple and just use "shorter height") but in the next sentence the past tense shows up out of nowhere, i.e. "[her] wide mouth was stretched into a crooked grin" ... you see where I'm going with this?
I'd also think about who you're addressing throughout the entire profile -- in the second paragraph of Cleo's appearance it's pretty third person ("told observers") but in the third, you start talking directly to the reader, and it was just kind of jarring -- so again, consistency! Breaking up something like POV or tone kind of pulls a reader out of the zone of the piece, so it's just something to think about and touch up. I see that you bring back the second person throughout the profile later on, so maybe start off there, speaking directly to us? Aaand marginally related to consistency is flow! Now would be a great time to start thinking about the rhythm of your sentences and paragraphs as a whole -- maybe play around and see if you can't merge of expand some of the shorter sentences just to make them more seamless. That's not to say you shouldn't use one-clause sentences ever, but read your writing out loud and see if you can't ease up how you're breaking things down.
I do think your profile speaks volumes more than what is actually stated (which is something I'm personally a big fan of), so if you're having a hard time really fitting in more explanations, think about them in broader aspects, and think about how much you can imply with your word choice. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to shoot me a PM about all this! (Or ask for my Skype, whichever is easier for you.)
And moving onto your threads. I'll try to focus on personality and depth and see if I can come up with some things to help.
From reading your threads, I can comfortably say you're doing just fine with portraying Cleo consistently. Nothing jumps out at me like "WTF IS THISSSS" so yeah, don't worry, just keep doing what you're doing.
As for depth, I would say I can definitely get a deeper sense of Cleo with home is compared to paradise city -- which, again, isn't completely unexpected since the circumstances of the two threads are different and paradise city is definitely more action driven than introspective. But if you're looking to develop that depth further, I'd actually recommend doing a close reading Ruthie's Mitchell posts and trying to figure out what she's doing there -- she's not actively writing anything like "Mitchell was ___" but you're still getting a really strong sense of what he's like and everything that he is; I think you can work towards a similar direction with Cleo. There are a lot of ways to go about depth without actually trying to analyze Cleo herself in a post, and I honestly think a lot of it has to do with how things are described. The fastest way to hone in on a character -- for me, at least -- is to bring yourself inside her head completely instead of just looking into her thoughts from the outside, if that makes sense? It sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes it helps to take the long way around a decision, or a description, or an action to make sure the drive and motives are there in the right place.
So for future threads, my best piece of advice would be to consider Cleo's motives and having them play a more active role in your narration. I think you're doing great with her traits, but what motivates her to do the things she does, or will do? How will this affect her when she looks back on past things that she's done? All of this is explained really well in her profile, so I think pulling these things into your posts would be the next thing to do.
Mechanically, your writing is fine -- again, it never hurts to proofread a little more, but you're pretty solidly at/above beginner level, so I'm going to approve Cleo for beginner! I FEEL LIKE... this is a lot to take in, so again, if you have questions, comments, concerns, etc, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm looking forward to your future plans for her; I think putting her through some tougher situations will actually make it easier for you to settle into her head. Congrats Becca, and keep it up!
✕ POUR ME A HEAVY DOSE OF ATMOSPHERE
Posted: Jul 19 2016, 04:02 PM
Rank Applying For: Novice
At least three of your recent role play topics:
Subtle as a Brick in the Small of my Back
So it's no secret that Cleo and Henri Woodbane are the best of friends and part of what is now a FOUR-GIRL GROUP of Gryffindor babes. Originally, I thought that Cleo and Melanie, who hates Henri, would generally just butt heads because Cleo's a feisty little thing but then I realized that Melanie is also obsessed with healing though in a different way from Cleo and had Cleo not become bffs with Henri she and Melanie probably would have been because they counteract each other in a cool way. Melanie is severe and serious where Cleo is laid back and sweet and together they could have made a really cool healing team BUT Melanie felt betrayed (I'm putting words in Amber's mouth, honestly, but it was talked about I promise) by Cleo's friendship with Henri and since they both work in the hospital wing this thread is kind of just the culmination of a weird ex-friendship. This one is cool because I don't get to have Cleo fight with people ever (I say this later in this thread sorry apparently I do get to do it) and because Cleo's kind of reacting toxically to both the situation at hand and the feelings she's been hiding about her dad's death. So she's just in a really stressful situation that's not allowing her to act like herself and that's an interesting thing for me to get to write. Cleo really wants to be friends with Melanie but she doesn't understand her issues with Henri and she's fiercely loyal to her best friend, but this whole thing just breaks her heart.
Streets of Gold
This one is from Bora Bora and is in fact so old that I was still bolding dialogue. BUT I like it a lot for Cleo because I never really show her making new friends because all of her friends are people she attacked years ago and is just cool with now? And I also like it because back in Bora Bora she had just found out about her dad and I think that this thread really shows just how much she was ignoring it and pushing it down because really what human in their right mind just sees a sunburnt kid on the street and decides, you know what? Let's be best friends and go to a spa. One that's looking for distractions, that's who. I also really just included this one because it shows how much her grief has kind of started to sneak up on her since then.
Here's Cleo being a bad influence on a young'un. I'm including this one because a lot of the time even I forget that Cleo is actually a pretty problematic troublemaker. I play her as a really sweet sunshine bear a lot because she's interacting with people like Henri or people she's just met and baked cookies for and that's not totally true to her because she really is kind of reckless and a problem-child.
These Were Not My Intentions
Leave it to Lyx to make my babies cry. This is also an older thread but I'm including it, again, to show a darker side of Cleo. She actually hasn't been much trouble lately because she's tired, isolated, and really just clogged up by sadness. So I wanted to remember that she's immature and gets in trouble a lot. This thread in particular speaks volumes about the delicate balance in her personality between the caretaker who mothered her own mom and siblings and the girl who just wants to have fun and play pranks and can't really cope with being told that she did something bad. It just shows that she has a lot to learn about other people and about boundaries and it's really important to her integrity as a multi-faceted character.
EXTRA: (these are all posts that don't have three replies to them)
Hearts Beat Together
This is the first time that Cleo is telling anyone that her dad is dead. It's been months since he died, and she's finally decided just to rip off the bandaid and tell her best friend. This thread was kind of me just exploring Cleo's emotions at the time that she finally accepts her grief so that I can provide a foundation for how she'll unfold as she starts to process it and to test the waters with her and interacting with the people she loves in her home away from home.
Whoa look at this Cleo likes a booooyyyyy? This thread is part of a really long story arc that I won't actually divulge all of the details about because one of the people involved isn't even on wurr yet and spoilers, you know? But this thread I think was really fun and was really important to my development of Cleo because I've never actually played with her and having crushes and stuff before. She's always been way too busy and distracted but Kiichi kind of drew her in and so she's experiencing that for the first time. And I'm also setting her up to get her heart broken here so it's kind of just the first and last time she's really truly innocent in love?
Friend Not Foe
I LIKE THIS THREAD A LOT. It's with Grayson Drache and Alien and I are planning to very slowly possibly turn them into friends. I don't get to do this with Cleo a lot where she has a conflict with someone and so this is really fun for me. I say all the time that "she's resilient and persistent" when it comes to friendships but I've never actually gotten to write her facing down someone who doesn't like her and still pressing for friendship. And I get to do that here so it's really cool. This is also another thing that's kind of showing how she's dealing with her dad's death. She's not actually dealt with it yet and so the threads leading up to what will culminate into a huge sort of meltdown are all really just the deterioration of Cleo's personality and you can see that here when she's sort of jut not sure of herself and kind of scared of going to talk to Grayson, both of which are definitely out of the ordinary but she's just not aware yet that she's started to change.
Cleo, back at it again with the ad venture!
This one is short but I'm throwing it in because Hero is coming at you live with another adventure, this time dragging along Clodagh and Florence in what will be an epic bat race I'm sure. I just love feisty, adventuring, leader Cleo and I needed to include this when she's all beat up and sad.
into the woods to find the egg
Here's another adventuring Cleo that you really don't need okay I'm putting too many threads on this list but this one is important because it's a good mix of crazy adventuring Cleo and kind-of-sad idk what i'm doing with my life Cleo.
Where will this ability apply? Both Hogwarts Era and Clash, but it will be played more often in clash!
What would you rank your character's skill in this ability? It'll eventually become developed but is weak right now.
From whom did your character inherit this ability from? Cleo has no knowledge of any empaths in her family, though she knows it is quite likely that there was at least one at some point. Since I'm her writer and not Cleo I can tell you that she's going to find out she has magical family on her dad's side and that's where it came from.
Do your best to describe how this ability functions for your character: Cleo's empathy manifests as an ability to see (and eventually read) other peoples' "auras". When it first starts, she can't see them at all. They're just a sort of vibration that she feels as the four basic types of emotion (happy, sad, angry, scared). She doesn't always pick them up, but they usually manifest during extreme situations. She learns that she can do this through adventuring with Henri because emotions change so rapidly when they're together in high-risk situations and because she can pick up on Henri's vibrations pretty easily. After a while, she begins to notice that she can see halos of light surrounding some people at certain times. They're in different colors and it takes her quite a while to figure out, basically, what each one means. Through a bit more work and development, Cleo can eventually call out an aura at will and read it pretty accurately.
How will this ability benefit your character? Or how do you plan to use this ability for development?It helps a great deal when she becomes a healer at Hogwarts to know whether or not a student has ended up in her office because they're truly sick or not. She never does learn how to manipulate emotions, but she does feel that some stronger auras can affect her at times. She learns magic to help construct a barrier around her own aura that stops this from happening.
More than being practical and beneficial in her line of work, the aura-reading is a huge double-edged sword for Cleo. On one side, it explains a lot of the pain, frustration, and heartache of her past. It does a great deal to help her learn about herself and why she is who she is. Learning how to control it means that she can benefit from it rather than suffer from it. On the flip side, it introduces a new frustration to Cleo; the inability to help other people feel better immediately. This is especially daunting because she knows that others with the ability can and might not use it the way that she would. Though this does make her fight harder to be a better healer, it's something she'll never be entirely content with.
Anything Else? I don't plan for Cleo to always use this power for good, which I think is a key point that I should make. As much as she would like to think she's not prone to human weaknesses like nosiness and meddling, she certainly is. She'll definitely be susceptible to these temptations while she's still figuring out how the power works or even before she knows that she has it. Though the majority of her intentional interactions with others because of it will have fantastic intentions, not all will be perfect and golden with her.
Commentary: I've been sitting on this app for a long time because I wasn't sure what I was doing with Cleo, but recently I've just felt really close to her. There's a lot of myself in her which is something I try not to do but it just happened this way. I didn't think she would end up like this at first. But I've explored a lot of the avenues I set up for her and gotten really deep into them and I just feel like she's ready to move up. She's a completely different character while staying true to her core values and that's a beautiful thing to me. I know I wrote way too much and supplied way too many threads but I'm just really happy about feeling this comfortable with her? She's important to me. I have a weird attachment to her. Don't judge. But, yeah. I really just can't wait to start being able to explore even more parts of her and stuff with the empathy. I think she's ready for it.
Posted: Jan 11 2017, 10:38 AM
Hello Becca, nice to see you again as I was the first person to review you on wurr \m/ Let’s get nostalgic together. Nevermind. Here are the requirements for Novice:
That looks just fine, so I will have a look at your posts first and then move on to your special request. I still have not plotted with Cleo myself so this will be fun - I hope :3
First of all I am glad you dropped the bolding of your dialogue because that is
I can definitely say that you moved on since the first time you ranked, and I can say that very confidently because I reviewed you back then, too, yas. You have a good post length and do post-match very good, even if there is not much offered to you sometimes. There is a very distinct tone about Cleo that strikes me as very bold, confident and so full of life. When I compare threads like Streets of Gold to your newer ones I can see you took on the advice to vary your sentence structure more, and you have a great variation of different situations (although she does seem to bake cookies a lot, but I have the same problem with Tilda).
As for structuring your app the split of main threads and extra threads confused me a little because my brain immediately deemed the “extra” ones as less important, although they just put Cleo’s story forward, so I think you don’t have to do this split next time and just count these threads as regular ones as well. But that’s just something to keep in mind for future ranking.
This amuses me a lot but I will also use this quote as transition towards Cleo’s “darker” bloods, and even in the thread with James, she seemed to be so sweet and did not strike me as a troublemaker at all? I can see the darker side soaking through when she is sassing Professor Dorian for treating her unfairly, but I would like to see an even darker side. Give me the angst. I feel like you could dig a lot deeper in Cleo’s emotional spectrum especially when she is talking about her father’s death? Are there memories tied to it, how does it feel to talk about it?
I just really liked this explanation of how Cleo’s speaking patterns change sometimes, and I did notice this earlier while reading so it was just nice to have this as a note for see what you did there.
All in all I feel you are in a good place with Cleo. I like how she changes when she is with Henrietta and I just need more of this friendship but I would also encourage you to catapult Cleo straight out of her comfort zone. You do have a great variety of who you are plotting with already and your plot lines come along as realistic and easy to follow without having much of a backstory, which is awesome. Keep doing what you do but do think more of internal processes Cleo might have - as I mentioned before, childhood memories or memories tied to her father that wake when she thinks of him, scents and textures, all those tiny tidbits that fill your posts with life.
Now to your special request. As I am reading it her empathy shows just like basic aura reading and only works one-sided unless the emotion is very strong. I do like the idea of it being beneficial for her healing work, especially in clash. I also think it is realistic that she is starting off as weak and goes through learning. Now, what do I expect of you to do with this and what came to my mind:
While I think you could dig a lot deeper into this and figure the work of Empathy out more, I will approve this request.
Verdict: As you can already guess from my words, I APPROVE both your REQUEST and your NOVICE rank and I am curious of what you are going to do in the future. Congrats and good luck with your second review. If you have any questions, feel free to pm or skype me <3
|♥ Bill Walker||
Posted: Jan 14 2017, 03:11 AM
♥ Bill Walker
Hi Becca! Bolt here to jump all up ons the healthy pile of threads you've offered and see what cool directions things are going in for Cleo. Tine's already had a good read through and made some comments on things, so I'm gonna see if there's anything helpful I can follow up with regarding Cleo's arc and voice you've crafted for her.
So first off just looking at how the older threads you've provided stack up against the new, I feel I can really get that sense of the greater closeness and comfort you said you've been feeling to Cleo and her voice. You started off in a pretty good place with your post lengths and general style, as well as making sure to respond to the cues and information put out there by your writing partners, but as later threads have moved on that's really started coming together with greater cohesion. Cleo a really genuine sense of fun in most of her threads, she's always feeling and reacting, and you never fail to make sure the reader knows where she's at in the moment.
Paragraphing/grammar wise you're also appearing to be in a pretty good place -- there are a few typos and little wobbly bits in tense but they're certainly not the norm. One thing I would recommend watching out for is when homophones accidentally slip in (eg: reigns instead of reins) -- this sort of stuff can sometimes be done to you by autocorrect functions being a bit of a jerk and thinking they know better, or just general slips when you tend to need the other spelling more often. Still, not a biggie and overall your writing is flowing along pretty comfortably.
Just putting this here cause it made me smile. I'm...not very good at segues.
At this ranking we start looking out for the beginnings of a more focused plot arc, and having tootled my merry way through your threads and looked at the helpful context you've provided on future plans it looks as though you've got Cleo well on the right track here. The sudden death of her father and her coming to terms with that grief has provided a chance to flex another side of your cheery Lioness -- always awesome to see. The beginnings of the reveal in hearts beat together looked really promising, and I hope you and Jinx are able to flesh that thread out further to really explore how the two friends handle that confession. It might also be cool to get to see some more of Cleo's family as part of this personal struggle -- a oneshot or longer thread visiting her siblings perhaps? (Assuming you haven't already done this and just not linked it here, of course. If you have, lemme know cause I'd like to give it a read!)
It's also good seeing the flipside with Cleo's new feelings of young luurrrve, and I'm intrigued by the rough idea you sketched out with how things are going to play for Cleo, Kiichi and this mystery person ooo. Looking like two very sound plot arcs planned out here, and when counting in your request there's the potential for a full third, as well as room to more closely knit all these things together! At this point you're also in a good place to start really messing around with your metaphors and playing about to see if anything new is right for you. Pushing the boundaries out on your descriptions while Cleo is experiencing such new feelings -- that sense of sudden unfair loss, the rush of first love and first heartbreak etc -- gives you a bit of wiggle room to see what works when trying on new wording too, and if you don't like how it sounds you're able to just draw it back in to the voice you've already established for her.
Okay I've been waffling a bit so....request time. It looks as though you've given some sound thought to what you'd like empathy to be for Cleo, reading feelings through sight/proximity rather than the usual touch/proximity deal we tend to associate with the ability by default. Building this as something she'll be learning through her time with her friend, and gradually growing makes sense, and I as well as Tine like the sound of Cleo potentially using her power for something a little less than the best intentions every now and then -- keeps things interesting!
All that said, I'd say you've reached all the requirements for this level, and so all that's left is to APPROVE you and Cleo for NOVICE as well as APPROVE your special request of EMPATHY. Well done, Becca!
Posted: Apr 6 2017, 05:16 PM
Rank Applying For: Intermediate
Link to character workshop topic: x
At least four of your recent role play topics:
CLEO GETS A BOY?! -Cleo has the sweet misfortune of falling in big sloppy puppy love with stupid no-good Kiichigo Sato. (sorry amber, her words not mine) They kind of almost date just a little and Cleo really genuinely considers him her boyfriend until he proves that he's just really not worth the trouble.
Pumpkin Spice Dance: x x x x - ft. Thierry Prejean
So I waited until now to submit this one because it was the first time that Kichi and Cleo met and it's also the first time that I ever wrote Cleo's confidence wavering even a little bit. Kichi comes up to Cleo at the dance while she's talking to Thierry and asks her to dance and then whisks her off her feet. This one will probably be the oldest thread in this app, so I'm also using it to point out some things that I know I've worked on since writing it. I blatantly state, in this post, like "cleo's usually confident but now she's not!!!!" which is something I've gotten comments on about her from Lily, I think, in the past. While I was writing these posts, in particular, I really struggled to kind of figure out how to make that work because I wasn't sure how to write Cleo outside of her comfort zone. As confident and bubbly as I write her, she has a ton of insecurities and a lot of innocence and naivety which makes throwing her into these kinds of situations a challenge but also a really good tool for developing her. After struggling with her here, I continued to toss her out of her element over and over to experience with the nuances of getting into her head even in tough situations and used it to help me grow with her.
Heartstopper - I used this for her novice rank so I'm not submitting it, just mentioning it here to keep this arc chronological. This is just a really cute thread where Cleo actually starts to consider Kichi her boyfriend and they bake together.
Midnight Madness x x x x x
This is the end of their relationship. Well, what Cleo thought was a relationship. She and Kichi go to the New Year's ball thing together and at first things are kind of magical. For both of them, even. And then Cleo realizes she made a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mistake by ever thinking that Kichi could settle down. She realizes, actually, that there are a lot of red flags she should have paid attention to and didn't. I like this a lot because Cleo doesn't react to his betrayal the way I originally imagined. I don't see Cleo as an angry person but I always knew before writing this ending that she wasn't going to be sad or hurt right away. That will come later. This is just what she said to me when we got to that point. It's another avenue of Cleo that I haven't explored yet but that I'm going to. This is the conclusion to an arc that sparks a huge change in Cleo and kind of sets off the fire she's been building by keeping everything bottled in up until now. That's why I think it's so appropriate that she reacted so differently from what I expected. It gave me direction for how to handle this next chapter of her life that I didn't have before.
journal entries x x
These entries are both concerning what happened at the New Year's ball. From Cleo's own perspective, she writes down her first thoughts the day after it happened and again a day later when it all finally hits her how sad she is about it. In the second entry, she addresses it to her mom and honestly and openly addresses a lot of topics that she normally doesn't think about or mention on a day-to-day basis because she's still trying to seem normal on the outside.
CLEO AND THIS THING CALLED GRIEF - Cleo is finally starting to address what's going on with her father in a few ways that are maybe not so healthy.
you ain't ever had a friend like me - featuring timothy wilde
Cleo helps her friend find Snowman pieces but he can totally tell she's not feeling like herself. This thread is really different for me because up until now I've had a lot of Cleo either with her friends acting normal or Cleo thinking about her dad and freaking the hell out and so this is a really solid in-between space that I enjoyed writing and experimenting with. She can't control how she appears in front of Timothy the way she would like to because her grief is too heavy but she still tries.
CLEO AND WTF IS THIIIIISSS? - Cleo has not yet discovered her empathy but she is starting to experience it a little. Also in here, a little bit of background on her family's mysterious magical past.
life's not as fragile as me - oneshot
Cleo and her sister are snooping in their dead aunt's attic and Cleo finds an interesting journal she can't quite make heads or tails of. This piece is meant to give some brief insight into how and from where Cleo got her powers as both a witch and an empath. I plan on revealing more later, but this is going to be important to refer to later so that's why I wrote it. I also wrote it because I wanted to see more of Cleo as a child and with her family because it's so so so important to who she is and how she makes decisions now.
is this just my imagination - featuring Erik Dwight
Cleo can sense that something is wrong with Erik but she's not quite sure how she can sense this. For clarification, the only reason she can even sense this is because she's sick and so her defenses are down. There are also moments where it sounds like she's seeing auras but she's not. It's just the way that she knows how to describe the vibrations right now. This is the first time I've experimented with Cleo and her empathy. This would not chronologically be the first time she ever experienced it but it would be the most significant time up until that point. She's going to learn about it pretty slowly. This is also the beginning of what Tine and I might develop into a longer arch that reaches into clash concerning these two and Cleo's empathy combined with Erik's mental health issues.
not a creature was stirring - featuring Martín Marzán
Cleo's pleasant dream turns into an outright nightmare when Mars wakes up from his own nightmare in a fit of anger. This could belong to both this category and the one above for a few reasons. First, it's all about Cleo working off of her empathy but still having no idea that that's what's happening. If you don't know that Cleo has empathy, this just reads like a weird coincidence and a little bit of poetic freedom (see the hot burst of air) but if you read it knowing about her power, it makes a ton more sense. It's also a point where she's got this opportunity to sort of figure out things about her dad and grief but is kind of terrified by the idea of having to deal with it forever and actively decides to stifle her feelings even more. Sad. This is a post that allowed me to experiment with a lot of things about Cleo I'd previously not touched at all. First, her being sleepy and irritable. She's exhausted by Mars's extreme emotions and irritable because of his anger. It's affecting her like this because she was asleep and therefore more vulnerable but also because she knows him and was in close proximity to him. This is something that helps me figure out the aspects of her empathy and, when she learns what she is and starts to look back on stuff like this, will help her learn about herself. This is also my first time discussing how terrified Cleo is of being like her mother and how bad that makes her feel onscreen.
fox posession - featuring the kitsunes
I originally planned for Cleo to be really into quidditch but never ever mentioned after like a week or two into writing her, but I am not finally realizing her dream of being a total goofball on the pitch with her. This is the first team practice thread where Cleo is being a total idiot because she doesn't really understand team sports yet. This was a weird thing for me to think about because she's so oriented towards helping and caring for others, but on the pitch that didn't feel right. She's playing for herself, because she needs to slough off some energy and because she loves the fact that she can fly. That doesn't leave a ton of room to be a team player. She's also a little bit cocky here, because on the pitch her maternal instincts turn very ver naggy and helicpoter-mom like.
So, listen. Cleo has my whole heart and nothing but my heart. When I first started to write her, she was this cute bubbly little fool and, as much as I adored her, I had no idea what I planned to do with her. There were things that I knew about her but hadn't yet developed--at the time, the big one was the whole healer/caretaker dynamic in her family. She changed a lot and I got to know her, but then I tried to incorporate her father's death into her makeup and it kind of affected my ability to write her. I was in a slump because I wasn't ready to take my sunshine bear and turn her into an honest-to-God monster. But I am, now. I can see the way that her grief is going to take over her and how it's going to play into the development of her empathy and I just feel her. I'm writing this what's likely to be a full few months before I actually put her up for rank because I wanted to express that. This near-fully developed Cleo is very much alive in my head and so I'm ready to start pushing her and myself to become well-rounded, full, and boundless without compromising what I know to exist in her center, which is her sunshiny goodness. I'm there.