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 Gretchen Kirke-Faust - Advanced, -muffled screaming-
Robin · 15 · 5th Year · Viridian Guild Leader · Pureblood · 5'
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Jun 15 2016, 03:48 PM   Link Quote
Rank Applying For: Beginner
Link to character workshop topic: Have a freeform profile ^^;
At least two of your recent role play topics:

All can see what’s in the light, mysteries are better veiled in night (with Njord Vikernes)
Njord is related to the Nilssons, a family that has been enemies to the Faust family for generations. Gretchen, now Ravenclaw prefect, decides to follow Njord to see what he’s up to.
This thread offers some insight in Gretchen’s distrusting and scheming personality and introduces the feud between the Fausts and the Nilssons, which will be delved into in later arcs.

Eat Pray Murder (with Lenny Plunkett)
Gretchen isn’t the only fifth year who hides behind a fake charming persona, and Gretchen and Lenny are both perfectly aware of each other’s phoniness. Somehow their dislike for each other turned into some sort of weird competition, with both refusing to be the first to drop the act, and constantly trying to one-up each other with thinly-veiled insults.
In this thread they ended up in the same bungalow in Bora Bora, so now they’re constantly stepping on each other’s toes. I included this thread because this petty, juvenile behaviour is a different side of Gretchen that I don’t get to write very often.

Streets of Gold (with Cleo Delaney)
Cleo reaches out to Gretchen when the latter is feeling and looking miserable and decides to cheer her up with a girl’s day out. I included this thread because Gretchen doesn’t have a lot of friends, and seeing her interact with someone that she is not distrustful of is therefore rare.

Commentary:
I had trouble with Gretchen in the beginning, and it took me a while to ‘find’ her, but I’m a lot more confident in writing her character now. I feel like there’s already a difference between my earlier threads with her and more recent posts, but I think this change is for the better as I understand her a lot better now. I mostly want to see if I’m on the right track with her, because she is slowly becoming my favourite character to write (this might even be as a result of having struggled with her in the beginning) and I've got some character arcs lined up for her.

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mayo horse · 16 · 6 · · muggleborn · 5'10
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Jun 30 2016, 06:08 PM   Link Quote
HELLO ROBIN, it is I, here to be your first reviewer, assuming your other reviewer doesn't beat me to it. Today, I will be focusing on your profile so I'll put the requirements up when my internet comes back, and we'll just get started!

QUOTE
· At least 4 posts by your character over 2 threads. Posts 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).


appearance

intro
I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I clicked the word freeform, but I'm laughing. Nicholas is quite entertaining. I feel like the only part I can really pick on is:

QUOTE
Nicholas floats over to the family portrait. It is painted in a rather archaic fashion – two people are seated on an antique chaise lounge, and a third member is standing behind it. Barely any of them move, all cordial smiles but stiff demeanour. You should ask about the others later, but for now your attention goes to the girl.


IDK I feel like you're going to tell me exactly what I want later on, but I'm thirsty for it now, so I think you should be a liiiiiitle more descriptive about the family portrait! Tell me things about it, like the people in it, how is it archaic? Is there, for example, a cat in it?

appearance
I think it goes without saying that you definitely expanded on this section from your app, haha. I also think that it can be expanded a lot further from what you already have. For example, there are a lot of places where you can slip in little details - you say 'curling brown locks' and I ask what colour brown? Is her hair glossy and shiny or oily and limp? Does she take care of her hair as much as she takes care of her eyebrows? Does she like her hair (and her eyebrows?) Why does she wear her hair in a braid or a bun and not leave it loose? Why does she like pointy hats? What does she like wearing her uniform? What kind of dress is she wearing in the painting? Blue, black, pink, purple, mauve? Give us a few more details to like...paint a picture...hahaha...sorry

ANYWAY how does she feel about her body? Does she like her figure or hate it? Is she insecure about the way she looks at all? Does she like her height or hate it? I'm actually going to cut myself off here and just say that you could definitely stand to tell us more about how Gretchen feels about the way she looks, if there's stuff about her appearance that she wants to change, or if she's happy about the way she looks, why she feels that way, etc.

(Also you wrote 'chubby tights' instead of 'chubby thighs' so proofreading!)

One part I don't quite get is at the end of the paragraph where you've written:

QUOTE
Surely, the teenager must always wear tights or leggings under her skirts and dresses to be comfortable.


I...don't know, must she? It doesn't really...tell me anything. I don't know what I'm meant to be inferring from this link. Rewording or changing it might help you a bit, I think. Actually, I'll dump throw something else I was gonna pick on later in here too. You don't need to hyphenate 'only child' or 'impressive looking' but you do need an s on the end of 'two third' and I'm not sure if a conceited expression can be plastered on Billy's snout but I think I'm being overly critical there. I'm pointing it out anyway because it did make me double take.

Why does her lipstick stand out? Does she wear blue and purple and black lipstick? What kind of make-up does she like doing? Like...is she into keeping it simple and just doing concealer + eyeliner + lipstick, or does she contour, does she go for outrageous colour combinations, does she know what looks good, is she really invested in make-up, does it matter if she doesn't do her make-up that day etc. Is she tanned, is she pale, does she burn in the sun? Does she have good skin or does she have a lot of blemishes to erase? Just keep like...drawing into these traits and exploring all the possibilities, and remembering that the person reading the profile most likely doesn't know the same kinds of things about Gretchen as you know about Gretchen.

There are a lot more things you could tell us about Gretchen, for example: what colour of her eyes? I assume the other people in the painting are her parents, does she look like either of them? Does she smile a lot, or is she more miserable looking (I mean, I guess not, but you didn't tell me yet so it could go either way), is she happy in general? What's her voice like, how does she talk, what kind of accent does she have? What words does she like to overuse? Is she quiet, loud, does she yell and scream a lot, or? Does she, by any chance, have an RP accent? How does she sit, stand, walk, move in general? Graceful or clumsy, or nothing really special? Does she have any scars, or habits, like twirling her hair or pulling her sleeves over her hands or fidgeting, etc.?

I feel like I said a lot here, but what you wrote wasn't bad! There's just a lot of places where you can expand and turn it into a really good appearance, which is what we're looking to have you achieve c:

personality
Okay, so! I think this is the best section in the profile because you've given a lot of content, and it actually has a really good start to it. You specifically talk a lot about her as a student, which is nice to read, especially since that comes through in the rest of her life, but as always, there are some questions and whatnot that I'll have.

One thing that I noticed when I was skimming was that you referred to her as 'the girl' three times in a row. While it's good to vary what you call her, I think you could ironically stand to use her name a little more often. Other than that, I think my main question for the personality section is 'why?' more than anything else. You start off explaining the whys, which is good! But the further in we get, the less detail we get, which is hopefully what we can fix in the next revision.

So when you're writing, always ask yourself why. Like, why does she suck at respecting rules and why is she so argumentative? I know she got it from her father, but why does she not view it as a negative trait, so to speak, and try to change her attitude? Why does she always look for a favourable outcome? I get that it's a result of her upbringing, but is she aware of herself doing this or has she never really noticed her behaviour? Why is she detached? Why does losing control make her angry and ruthless? What happens when she's angry and ruthless, like, how far does she go? What's the worst thing she's ever done when she's been angry? What makes her dedicated/driven? What fuels her? What's the thing ticking away inside her that pushes her to keep being who she is, doing what she's doing? What is Gretchen Kirke-Faust really made out of?

Things you could add are other things that let us get an insight into more of her as a general person, like...what does she like, what does she dislike, what does she do in her free time? You said she has no respect for rules, but what does that mean? She breaks them at every opportunity, or she breaks them when she has a purpose to do so? Does she have friends, a lot of enemies? Does she wish she could act a different way, or be like someone? I don't think there's a lot for me to say here, because you already covered a lot, and I think this section is doing alright as it is. Though that's not to say that I don't want to see edits and expansions!

history
I haven't done French for three years now but isn't it 'petite fille' or

o u o this looks like a fun read.

OKAY SO FIRST THINGS FIRST I'll get all the picky bits out of the way: You don't need an apostrophe when you use the surname; when you write Kirke's and Kirke-Faust's, that apostrophe is unnecessary because it's a plural and not possession. West London doesn't need hyphenating. You write 'their Received Pronunciation' which...needs the word 'accent' tacked onto the end of it to make more sense though I'm wondering why they would have an RP accent and not a German accent if their first language is German and they're from Germany?

QUOTE
For one thing, the household also consists out of a vampire named Anthony Hall who serves as, or perhaps “pretends to be” is more appropriate, their butler, and the ghost of Nicholas de la Fontaine, a student who perished during the French revolution.


'consists of a vampire' and your sentence also gets a bit wild there, so I think it would work better as:

QUOTE
For one thing, the household also consists of a vampire named Anthony Hall who serves as (or perhaps 'pretends to be' is more appropriate) their butler, and the ghost of Nicholas de la Fontaine, a student who perished during the French revolution.


Also you need to capitalise ministry as Ministry. It's a proper noun, so it needs that, just like Department of Mysteries and Unspeakable.

And now onto the content:

QUOTE
The girl doesn’t know how to make friends but she knows what spoon to use. You know what, I’ll fetch him for you, because I am so nice. Actually this conversation is boring me and I want to leave. Anthony is good at idle chit-chat, and he wouldn’t want to seem rude, so he’ll comply. EUH, ANTON! GET OVER HERE.


asjdkfd I'm laughing so much. I love these parts, though I kind of feel like you need more indication of who is speaking when, like when Anthony was speaking and not Nicholas anymore, because it threw me until I got a few sentences in. I kind of felt the same way a bit later on as well, so maybe something to think about.

You certainly have a lot of information about the family here, and the Kirke-Fausts sound like a very interesting family but I feel like the problem with the history is that you've told me more about the Kirke-Faust family than you have Gretchen. To an extent, there's nothing wrong with having a lot of information about the family, but since there's more information about the family than the character the workshop is actually supposed to be about, it becomes a bit of a problem. Like I read ahead a little bit, and I think I can safely say that I've learnt more about the history of everyone else besides Gretchen. What like...happened in her childhood? Did she show magic as a kid? Did she have friends, did she see her relatives a lot, does she speak German, does she go to Germany if she has family there? What happened when she got her Hogwarts letter? What has happened during the entire time she's been at Hogwarts? You're missing like...basically everything that makes Gretchen's history her history.

You say she went to a primary school, but that's it. That's like, seven years of her life that you've glossed over, I guess. What happened there? Did she like it, did she hate it? Was it weird for her? When did she get her cat? What I want to know is who's her mother? What happened to her mother, why is her mother not around? I'm assuming that Gretchen literally wasn't delivered by the stork, so she has a mother, right? How does Gretchen feel about all that as well?

In terms of structure, I feel like it might help if you grouped all the stuff about the family at the beginning - the history is a story, so you can use that to like, set the scene I guess? There's definitely nothing wong with having it there, and it's definitely all relevant, but it's a matter of like, making sure that the history is about Gretchen and not everyone but Gretchen. I know I've said a lot about the history already, but I don't really have anything to say about it besides include more Gretchen tbh.

posts
Not what I'm here for, but I'll take a glance over them anyway and see what's up.

Gretchen's so cute. In a 'would probably skin you while you slept' kind of way, but cute. She reads pretty consistently over her threads which is nice, and your posts are definitely at beginner level. I'm not gonna steal all the fun away from your next reviewer though, but I want you to like...take how strong your posts for Gretchen are, and use that to feed into your profile for her. That's what I want to see.

verdict
Well. We're at the end. I'm going to approve you for beginner but I also recommend that you get a profile check before intermediate. Having said that, if you want to hmu to talk about profiles/what I've written in this review at any point, feel free to! I'll be happy to help you out if you want. But yeah, congrats + good luck with your next review!

@Gretchen Kirke-Faust

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♔ king of kings
Bolt · 17 · 6th · · Halfblood · 6'2"
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Jul 1 2016, 06:39 AM   Link Quote
HI ROBIN! I most certainly did not beat Mayo to it, so I'm here to be the runner up in the reviewing race. That's fine though because I have gained the enjoyable duty of rolling all around in your posts for Gretchen. So let's see what's waiting for me there!

Okay so generalities out of the way first -- you've got a great command of your sentencing and grammar overall, just a few points here and there with awkward phrasing or typos showing up, but for the most part your posts flow very strongly. They're consistently of a good length too, lots of meat involved with you responding to the hooks that your RP partners leave out and offering some of your own to keep threads rolling. Keen beans all round!

One grammar thing I will mention is that very occasionally you have sentences which aren't quite complete. Here's a quick example from 'Eat Pray Murder':

QUOTE
With palm trees swaying, clear skies and an ocean so blue it must’ve been enchanted to make it appear that way.


Starting the sentence with the word 'With' implies that there's going to be more to this, as in -- "With <this list of things>, this happened blah blah etc." An easy fix for things like this is to just attach what you're describing to one of the sentences on either side, or to pop slightly different wording at the start -- something which includes the 'subject' or what you're talking about in the sentence. So it could become either...

QUOTE
The island was beautiful, at least that much was true; with palm trees swaying, clear skies and an ocean so blue it must’ve been enchanted to make it appear that way.


or...

QUOTE
The island was beautiful, at least that much was true. It had swaying palm trees, clear skies and an ocean so blue it must’ve been enchanted to make it appear that way.


So yeah, something to think about, but again overall you've got a very nice flow going in your posts that makes for a compelling read! And now for some more specific thoughts --

I really like the slice of Gretchen's psyche you've put on display in 'All can see...'. The calculated way that she's mentally working through the advantages of her situation as prefect and how she processes what she sees, relating it to her own understanding and assumptions of Njord's family. I particularly liked that her first thought on seeing the Hedgehogs was that they were going in a potion -- that gave me a good giggle.

QUOTE
Talking without speaking was the witch’s specialty. She could walk on eggshells as comfortably as in heels.


I liked this quote too.

One note related to all the inner-views we're getting. You do incorporate some of the environment and Gretchen's actions in your posts, but see if you can work a little bit more of that stronger tactile and environmental sensation in. With so much going on inside of her head this external stuff can occasionally seem a little dwarfed in comparison.

You've provided some good variety in the threads you've offered up here, showing Gretchen not just in her judgmental and calculating standard but also with direct antagonism and then a slightly more vulnerable and tentative side to her in 'Streets of Gold' with Cleo. This is awesome to see, really shows a nice round picture of her and makes Gretchen feel like a more real and grounded character. I'm intrigued to see where your plans are going forward with the family feud you've hinted at, and also the possibility of her making some more genuine friendly connections in the future too.

ALRIGHTY QUICK PROFILE CHATTER -- Mayo's already gone into some depth on areas to consider going forward with your expansions and refinement, so I won't pile on any more of that. I will say that I really like the idea that you've got going here, having a bit of fun with these two figures in Gretchen's home-life, and it's definitely playing to your strengths with storytelling taking this route. As was mentioned by Mayo, taking more of that storytelling energy and pushing it back into the profile as you expand will definitely be a good way to go.

In terms of layout and structuring, Mayo did quickly mention that some way of defining the transition between the two voices might be helpful for reader comprehension and I'd agree on that point -- text colour would be an easy way to do this, but can get weird depending upon the background of the skin. I'd also suggest, on an aesthetic note, that doing some cropping/coding (or commissioning a talented individual to do so) in order to make the gifs and pics a little more uniform in size and style would be a good idea for having the profile come across as a more comprehensive piece. On the whole though, liking what you've got so far -- it's a good foundation and definitely reflects the same personality I was seeing in the posts.

Aaaaaand that's likely enough of my rambling for now. Post-wise I reckon you're in a really great place -- Gretchen has a lot of personality to her already, and it looks like you've got some sound plans for unfolding her story further. Your profile is off to a solid start, and I'm sure you're up to the challenge of incorporating the suggestions Mayo made above. Obviously that means I'm approving you for beginner. Well done, Robin! See you next time!

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@Gretchen Kirke-Faust

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Robin · 15 · 5th Year · Viridian Guild Leader · Pureblood · 5'
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Aug 28 2016, 12:53 PM   Link Quote
Rank Applying For: Novice
At least three of your recent role play topics:

You're still the same, whichever way you act the part (with Preben Nilsson)
This starts the plot arc Faust VS Nilssons. The two families have been at odds with each other for generations, and when Gretchen sees Preben surrounded by adoring fans in the Great Hall, she can’t help but comment on his family. Some awful things are said, and it fuels the hatred.

I know I was wrong when I said it was true (with Severin Larsson)
Severin does not appreciate the likes of Gretchen’s family either, and the feeling is definitely mutual. In this thread, they have to work together for Ancient Runes.

All dressed up and naked (with Florentin Deschamps)
All Gretchen wanted was to take a bath in peace, but Flo accidently interrupts her bathing time. They don’t get along for a number of reasons.

A Menace at the Sky (with Noel Bishop)
As you’ve probably noticed by now, Gretchen is a lonely and unhappy child. Luckily she isn’t hostile and distrusting towards everyone – She likes hanging out with ghosts, and here Noel reminds her of the beauty of poetry. For a short while she gets to be a wide-eyed kid.
PS: this thread is completed

My irregular heart beat is starting to compact itself (with Timothy Wilde)
Gretchen has more negative relationships than positive ones, but here’s another exception! In fact, Timmy will be one of the first characters she’ll stop being her usually defensive self around, and become friends with.

By the pricking of my thumbs (with Bortwick Mandelbaum)
Gretchen is making a potion and notices another student experimenting with his. Since she doesn’t have anything better to do, and really likes potions, she strikes up a conversation. I included this thread bc the previous relationships were either distinctly negative or positive, while Bort and Gretchen could really go either way, as they didn't know each other before this.

Gretchen is also attending Avalon Yaxley's pureblood party in Long May She Reign.
When I ranked her to beginner, you could see Gretchen slowly getting over her distrust of Njord, and they're now allies - on their way to friends.

Extra: Potions class: Amortentia
bc when isn't what amortentia smells like significant?

Special Request: Billy: Kneazle-hybrid
What type of ability is this? Special Pet
Please describe the ability and what it will entail: I’d like her pet Billy, now a cat, to be a Kneazle-hybrid. It would make sense for a pureblood family like hers to get her a kneazle companion instead of a cat, but they do live in muggle London, and a kneazle’s appearance - according to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - differs enough from a normal cat to be suspicious to muggles, so the Fausts would have to buy hybrids, bred to look more like normal cats.
Where will this ability apply? Both
How does this ability fit into HP and WR canon? They’re a canon species of magical pets, and can interbreed with normal cats to create hybrids. Kneazle-hybrids are common in HP canon, as Arabella Figg breeds them.
How will this ability benefit your character? Or how do you plan to use this ability for development? I want Gretchen to still have this very same pet in The Clash, and kneazles live longer than normal cats. ^^; It would also be beneficial for someone with a lot of enemies to have an intelligent pet who notices distrustful people and things. And since she doesn’t have many friends, she treats Billy as one – which is sad, but would be a little less pathetic and more understandable if he was more intelligent than your average cat.

Anything else?
Commentary: I feel like I have a solid grip on Gretchen now, and an idea of where I want to take her. Aside from the plot arc with the two Nilssons, she will also have a character arc in which she struggles with her aloofness and starts opening up to people more – actual living people, who aren’t ghosts, even. =’D
Currently I'm also trying to incorporate the environment more in posts - both in Gretchen's and others' ^^;

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Tine · 16 · 6th · neutral · Pureblood · 5'7
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Sep 15 2016, 02:33 PM   Link Quote
Surprise, it is me again, Tine. Hi Robin, by the end of the week you will be sick of me, I am sure, but for now I will be your first reviewer for Novice today, isn’t that a party? Yes, it is. I have not reviewed Gretchen yet, so this will be fun. I hope. But first, let’s check the requirements:

QUOTE
At least 9 posts by your character over 3 threads.Some variation in who you're posting with (ie. threads should not all be with the same character).The beginnings of a long-term plot arc, or at least an idea of where you would like to see your character move towards.A special request (if you'd like one) and your justification for the request. Make sure to highlight any changes you have made between Beginner and now.At Novice, we are focused on consistency in character and writing.  At this stage, we will take a break from your profile, and look solely at your character’s threads and plots, with a focus on your character as they have now had time to interact with others. Having had time to develop your character, you should be comfortable writing some common situations they find themselves in. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation should also be consistently correct at this stage, if not always perfect.


Looks good, so let’s get started! I’ve scanned your former reviews concerning posts so let’s see what you did there this time :3

Whoo, the Nilsson arc we were waiting for finally kicks in, and I think this quote:

QUOTE
When does legacy become indoctrination?


shows pretty much what is going on here. I like how she regrets that she opened her mouth and how much of history is going on in this post, because I think at this level, it is important that your history and personality peeks through in posts as well, because there is no profile to read. We get a good base of what will happen here, and I am looking forward to see more of this feud developing. The thread with Severin seems to be almost a contrast to the first one you listed, at least in the ways she is handling herself, because there is no open attack from her side. I like the passive-aggressiveness that is going on and I think that Gretchen’s emotions are better displayed in this one. Also I liked this:

QUOTE
Guess even weeds wither and die out sooner or later.


I am very biased when it comes to the thread with Florentin, because it amuses me so much, but it makes me think of a bit of critics I have - no, not real critics but more some ideas for future rankings if you want to climb this ladder with Gretchen: In the I know I was wrong.. thread, there seem to be a lot more emotions she is dealing with, and while not everything has to see the light of day, I think it would be interesting to have a bit more of an insight into the actual teenage girl’s mind. There is a naked boy - and she is naked too. How does that affect her? What is she thinking of this? How does she physically react apart from backing off I would do the same, seriously. What I am also thinking of are physical reactions. Does she have any ticks, does she tug on her clothes or fiddle with her hair? These things make her more vivid in a situation, because you already do a good job on the balance of internal and external happenings. I never see Gretchen floating freely through the room, and that is already good :3

I think we’ve been through her enemies now, so let’s continue with some more positive threads. There is really a lot of poetry aside from the actual poems in the thread with Noel, and it shows how familiar she really is with ghosts. You pick up on the mood others are setting for you quite well, and I just love the mentions of Summanus. All in all I have to say that this is definitely one of your strongest threads, because it is - in my opinion and experience - always a bit of a challenge to plot with a ghost, and you did well. Let me drop another quote here because I liked your ways to describe the storm raging:

QUOTE
Shades of grey and blue spilled into each other like watery paint, as if the artist accidently knocked over some cans and chance created something more beautiful than the artist’s hands could ever have crafted artificially. There was something about looking up and watching the rain fall without it pouring down and touching you. You could see lightning strike without being in any actual danger.


I am making this really long by commenting on all your threads, I am sorry, I will shorten it down. I think there is a lot of potential to develop Gretchen further and her relationships with people in the threads with Timothy and Bortwick, because one goes for friendship and the other is pending, I am curious to see where you are taking this. Also I like that you continued the started arc with Njord in here, because I love them, no shame. The Amortentia post is just a cute glimpse into Gretchen’s personality, and I like it a lot.

So general things before I keep on talking, let me pull out a handy list for you:


  • You are good at both setting a mood and picking up on the mood someone else has been setting for you, which is a+. You also give your partners plenty to react to and pick up what they are offering to you in return.

  • I really like the well-researched details about Hogwarts you mention, like locations, portraits and all these things, because they really set a certain mood and just fit Gretchen well.

  • I like your descriptions of her make-up and clothes, always so nice and neat.

  • I haven’t found any typos, and I’m not going to dig too deep into your grammar, but it looks all fine. I only found two things I want to mention because I’m gonna be picky on you now, ha.:

    QUOTE
    The room were potions was taught wasn’t so much a classroom as a large dungeon, and a familiar sight to every student at Hogwarts, but only a few spend their free time there willingly.

    I think we spell subjects with caps, so Potions it is.

    QUOTE
    Although the Larsson family did have ties to the Nilssons, at least they used to, when there was still a family to speak of.

    Starting the sentence with Although… makes it seem like there is something coming afterwards, but there...is not? Do you see what I mean?
So I think Gretchen has definitely arrived at Hogwarts, and you have started establishing relationships and first arcs with her, which is awesome. Keep going like this, throw her at more situations and keep exploring her emotional range - also out of her comfort zone. Throw her in wild situations! Grab a professor for her, an ickle to look after, more friends and enemies. But you are already on the right track with her and have a steady voice.

Special request: I think this request fits both Gretchen and Billy, and I like your reasoning for it well enough - also with the extraordinary lifestyle of the Fausts, a pet like this would not be unusual, so go for it.

Verdict: I said everything I wanted to say, and I am sure your second reviewer has plenty of advice for you, too. Hereby I APPROVE your special request and Gretchen for NOVICE, congrats and good luck with your second review. If you have any questions, find me <3

@Gretchen Kirke-Faust

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Bolt · 17 · 6th · · Halfblood · 6'2"
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Oct 23 2016, 04:00 AM   Link Quote
HALLO ROBIN IT IS I, BOLT

I've spent the day having a good long slobber and nom across all your threads and I am sure you are eager to hear what the dealio is so let's plough past all the formalities. GO GO REVIEW TIMES


Let's start with some general character thoughts. Gretchen had a really interesting personality that was peeking through in your early threads, with her distrusting and aloof nature, her careful manners and preoccupation with family history. You've really powered ahead and strengthened this, and it's super awesome to see. Across threads, in different situations, Gretchen clearly has her own distinct and consistent way of addressing what's thrown at her, having settled properly into her voice. GOOD JOB TWO THUMBS UP HERE

Tine's already talked a bit above about some of the other things you're bringing through strongly in your individual posts, so I'm just gonna have a quick look at where things are with your arc plans. You've spent some time really establishing the idea of the unfortunately Kirke-Faust legacy around Pureblood society, and sown a lot of seeds showing their feelings on families such as the Nilssons. This is a great place to start with really diving into the conflict between the families, and I'm really keen to see how this plot arc evolves!

Having a more personal journey kicking off for Gretchen also sounds like an excellent plan. You talk a little bit about her past, the very different girl she used to be when first arriving at Hogwarts and her inexperience in making friends, and we can infer a lot about how the last five years have changed Gretchen into the more guarded person she is in her fifth year of schooling. As you go forward putting her in situations where she learns to open up and goes through those changes it could be really cool to do some more looking back on who she was back then at the start as well, or what sort of encounters taught her to shut down and armour up the way she did. Just a thought! On the whole the plans you're moving into here sound awesome and I'm looking forward to seeing where they lead.

Now I wanna just point out some cool things and thoughts that came up while reading.

Tine pointed out a little quote from your thread with Preben, 'You're Still the Same...' which really got to the heart of what that feud is all about, but for my own part I was very taken with what came just after...
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No matter how right the Fausts felt they were, no matter how bloody the Nilssons had been (and still were), and how persecuted the Fausts had been, the latter were the textbook example of how injustice inspires hatred, only spurring more injustice. The idea of the quiet martyr, who suffers in silence and stays kind throughout all hardships, is a myth, enforced by muggle and wizarding fairy tales alike. Pain and sorrow turns people cruel, because in a cruel world, you learn to swim or you will drown. Gretchen couldn’t see how kindness would get her anywhere.

Good stuff. It defines a lot of what Gretchen is and what she's been doing with herself, keeping everyone at arm's length and pushing to advance herself in her dealings around school.

I thoroughly enjoyed 'A Menace at the Sky'. It was a softer counterpoint to most other situations Gretchen has encountered, and even with such a short space of time you were able to get across a lot of depth and change in her outlook, particularly at the ending. However, it was the beginning which really struck me --
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It wasn’t uncommon for the students to dine to the sound of thunder rolling in the background. In Gretchen’s opinion, the Great Hall’s enchanted ceiling was actually most beautiful when it showed a thunderstorm unfolding above them. Shades of grey and blue spilled into each other like watery paint, as if the artist accidently knocked over some cans and chance created something more beautiful than the artist’s hands could ever have crafted artificially. There was something about looking up and watching the rain fall without it pouring down and touching you. You could see lightning strike without being in any actual danger. Thunder did roll, there wasn’t a better way to describe it. Its dark, swollen clouds didn’t drift peacefully like they would during a nice day, they bumped into each other and tumbled over each other, a certain hastiness to their movements, as if they too were running from the oncoming lightning.

This was such a great description! Drawing in an iconic piece of the Hogwarts setting to help in portraying the scene for the day, as well as telling the reader a little about Gretchen herself and how she perceives the world around her. Love it.

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Gretchen barely recognised that girl, who wore frilly dresses and let her hair fly behind her as she ran. It was a girl who had been excited to start her magical education, and create new memories – memories set to music, so she had joined the choir. Looking back at her younger self was like watching an old photograph, the person in it had a life of their own, inside their square, two-dimensional, world. It couldn’t possibly be her. Gretchen had once heard someone say that you only really remember the moment a photograph was taken if you can see the person behind the camera in your head, not just who it was but what they looked like, what they were saying. If you can't picture that, if you can’t see yourself standing there as the photograph is being taken, you don’t really remember that moment. You remember the memory. Constructed of photographs and throwaway lines.

Here's an example from 'My Irregular Heartbeat...' that shows what I was mentioning up above, where drawing in more little snapshots of just how different Gretchen used to be could create a great contrast as she starts to undergo a little more personal growth. it's also a super pretty paragraph too well done such writing much description wow

Okay time for a look at your special request for Billy. I think this is an awesome idea. Billy is a regular feature in your Gretchen posts, often as an active participant in the story of the thread, and you've taken care to give us a regular peek into his psyche and the reasoning for his behaviour. He's a fun addition to Gretchen's life and has loads of personality, so adding this bit of extra flavour to him seems more than appropriate to me! I'd be a little bit sad seeing Gretchen without Billy.

I think I've rambled enough for now and hopefully this hasn't been a huge waste of your time! You've clearly got some strong plans ahead for Gretchen's development, and writing-wise she's really come into her own in terms of voice and personality. I'm going to approve you for Novice rank and also approve your special request. Grats, Robin!

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@Gretchen Kirke-Faust

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Here Duke! G'boy!

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Robin · 15 · 5th Year · Viridian Guild Leader · Pureblood · 5'
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Jan 29 2017, 09:42 AM   Link Quote
Rank Applying For: Intermediate
Link to character workshop topic: I'm sorry

At least four of your recent role play topics:

Plot Arc 1: The Terror of Tradition.
There's been a family feud between the Fausts and the Nilssons for generations, and now it's time for the youngest to pick up the axe - because if you think this conflict will be burried and put to rest any time soon, you're wrong. For novice, we saw her interact with Preben Nilsson, now we see her interact with Sigurd Nilsson. This Arc interwines with Plot Arc 2 thanks to the group thread Bad Blood.

- You're Much Better Looking When You're in Disguise with Sigurd Nilsson
Gretchen and Sigurd are actually alike in a lot of ways, one of them is how socially inept they are when it really comes down to it. When a curse ruins the boat party on Bora Bora, they both want nothing more than to escape. Since the curse makes everyone unrecogniseable, they accidently team up.

- My Mind Was Flung Wide Open - Found That Demons Danced Inside with Sigurd Nilsson
Previously, On The Feud: Gretchen and Preben got into an aggressive argument, and Gretchen got back at the teenage superstar by spiking his drink with Hate Potion, forcing him to show all his awful traits to everyone who adored him. His younger brother and Gretchen's classmate Sigurd is convinced the Faust was behind this, and decides to get back at her. As feuds go. Unfortunately, Sigurd isn't aware that he's an empath yet, and accidently hurts himself with the hex he aims at Gretchen.


Plot Arc 2: It's not Me, It's You!
Ah, yes, remember way back at Beginner when Gretchen and Lenny Plunkett were forced to spend pretty much every waking hour together as they were assigned the same Chalet at Bora Bora, and it drove them insane? Fate has decided that she really like the combo Lenny & Gretchen, whether they like it or not, so they keep getting stuck with each other. Will this end with someone getting murdered in their sleep, or will they finally see things eye to eye? Tune in to find out.

- First of all, I believe a flashback is in order to really see how they've progressed, SO: throwback to this summer and how much they annoyed each other. There’s this absolutely disgraceful display in DADA class that demonstrates just how much Lenny gets under Gretchen's skin. I fished out my posts since it was a class thread:
1. http://wizardingrealm.net/?showtopic=20758...ndpost&p=114837
2. http://wizardingrealm.net/?showtopic=20758...ndpost&p=114953
3. http://wizardingrealm.net/?showtopic=20758...ndpost&p=115098
4. http://wizardingrealm.net/?showtopic=20758...ndpost&p=115458
5. http://wizardingrealm.net/?showtopic=20758...ndpost&p=115665
6. http://wizardingrealm.net/?showtopic=20758...ndpost&p=115823

- Gordon Ramsay vs Julia Child with, ofc, Lenny Plunkett
Fall Term has arrived and Lenny continues to be a consistent thorn in Gretchen's side. In this thread he purposely messes with Gretchen’s cauldron during Potions, causing the concoction to explode … all over them. And gluing them together. Like the plot of a 90s cartoon.
(In case anyone wants to know, the thread title is a reference to this, because it kinda sounds like them xD)

- Bad Blood with Sigurd Nilsson, Florentin Deschamps, and Lenny Plunkett
During the winter holidays, the Hogwarts students are invited to spend Christmas at a charming chalet in Switzerland. Unfortunately, Gretchen has to spend it with her least favourite people: Sigurd Nilsson, Florentin Deschamps (remember how he walked in on her in the prefect's bathroom @ Novice? Because she does), and of course, as fate prescribes - Lenny Plunkett. Except, she really hates Sig & Flo, while Lenny... well, they surely started off on the wrong foot, but suddenly they have something in common - it's them versus Sig & Flo.
As for Gretchen and Sigurd - things are incredibly tense after the events in the bathroom. Gretchen knows Sigurd is an empath - and since feelings are kind of her Achilles heel, she really wants to stay clear of that. On the other hand, Sigurd knows she knows, and doesn't exactly want that information out publicly either. They've reached an impasse, an incredibly awkward impasse.

- Midnight Madness On page 2 of the event thread for Gretchen, and is with Lenny Plunkett.
As to be expected, Lenny and Gretchen are once again paired up - this time it's for the New Year's Eve curse, which requires them to kiss to break the spell. That'll go well.

- #sixseasonsandamovie with Lenny Plunkett - shocking
We're not done yet lmao. This is their... 7th thread, so it's the movie? Idk. Anyway, we're back at the chalet! Yeah, we're pretending they stayed there for way longer so the order of our threads would still make sense, shh. Anyway, the hostiliy between Gretchen and Lenny has been mostly replaced by awkwardness by now. Now the question is whether they're going to talk stuff out or just shut each other out again.


Over-Arching Character Arc: You're Spilling Like an Overflowing Sink.
The following threads either offer some insight in Gretchen's psyche, and how she struggles with her emotions, or demonstrate how she is slowly starting to open up to people, even if it's inch by inch. This is the turmoil that colours Gretchen's every waking moment right now, and ties everything together. Of course the above arcs have a severe impact on this, but I just want to show that it isn't contained to those threads, it's everywhere.

- I'd like to start with a relatively older thread, even though there's only one reply, as a throwback to Gretchen's generally distrusting nature:
the case[s] of the missing prefect[sssss] with Rex Bannister
Rex is convinced there's a secret plot that causes atleast one prefect to go missing after every term. Gretchen was the current Ravenclaw prefect, so he calls her in to investiage the case.

- You can see the same inherent distrust, and even some insecurities, in this thread:
Pictures are getting dirty with Liljan Leander
Ickle Ravenclaw girl Liljan approaches Gretchen for photos, and Gretchen doesn't really know how to respond to that.

- Now, I think Gretchen's inner turmoil really shows in the following thread:
Convallaria Majalis with Erik Dwight
Gretchen witnesses Erik being all miserable over a broken flower crown. Gretchen loves flower crowns ad their magical properties, and the boy's background allow her to emphasize with him - but the flowercrown was made by Erik's ex, Sigurd Nilsson. A bunch of conflicting emotions, thus.

Now onto the few people who've managed to make her somewhat comfortable around them:

- Njord Vikernes:
Remember back at Beginner, when Gretchen was convinced Njord had to be up to something fishy because, after all, he was related to the Nilssons? Then Njord, with his never-ending patience and empathy, kept gently putting up with her until he finally convinced her they were on the same side. As you can see in my Novice rank app, he even took her to the Yaxley ball, despite knowing that his parents wouldn't approve.

The Shore is Close (OWL)
And I would've gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you!


Njord's family bought a real, actual mermaid to put her on display, and Njord's caring heart can't handle it, but he also can't actively go against his parents - at least not alone. Gretchen is more than willing to help, and they start their midnight quest to break into the Vikernes home and free this mermaid. Except, Njord neglects to mention that it's his home.

- Timothy Wilde:
Timmy became Gretchen's friend by simply being himself - a relentless ray of sunshine, who choses to see the good in Gretchen even when she does not. They met thanks to their shared interest in music, Gretchen being part of the choir and Timmy playing piano - and of course, they're classmates too.

Uptown Girl
Timmy invites Gretchen over for a sleepover during the holidays. This is completely new to her, as is this entire friendship, really.


Commentary: For this rank, I mostly focused on my plot arcs. Everything is really starting to happen for Gretchen now. There’s the escalation of the feud, only to discover that Sigurd is an empath, which makes things difficult for both of them. Combine that with the alliance between her and Njord, and being confronted with Lenny’s insecurities, Gretchen is starting to question herself, including how she’s been living for the past 5 years. Her friendship with the ever-positive Timmy, all the confusing feelings regarding Lenny, and just generally seeing people in different ways as she gets to know them, is chipping away at her walls. I believe that the threads listed show clear character development – her feelings towards Njord have obviously changed in comparison to the thread that I used for beginner, and every thread in the arc with Lenny creates a slightly different attitude in the next one. You can also see paranoia and distrust in the post for Rex, then distrust mixed with insecurity in the post for Liljan, and then nothing but conflicted feelings with Erik. She’s no longer certain of herself, or anything. I also think I have a good voice for Gretchen, and a good grip on her psyche. Writing her is easy now (as you can see, I mentioned having trouble with her at beginner), the way she thinks and feels just flows for me now, and I am in general a lot more satisfied with her posts than with those of my other characters.

Gretchen’s special request, Billy’s kneazle-ness, is present in most threads, and his kneazle intelligence is apparent in Gordon Ramsay vs Julia Child, And I would've gotten away with it too, #sixseasonsandamovie, and My Mind Was Flung Wide Open. As evident in the latter, I try to find a balance between using Billy and making him useful, but also getting him out of the way when he might impede on what my RP partner wants to do, since I obviously want to avoid godmodding.

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Tine · 16 · 6th · neutral · Pureblood · 5'7
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Mar 6 2017, 12:35 PM   Link Quote
Hello Robin, you know exactly who I am and I will be your first reviewer today. This is actually my first Intermediate review with the new ranking system so I will see what I will be commenting on as I go. But before we get started, let’s have a look at these requirements:

QUOTE

what we’re looking for at intermediateAt least 12 posts by your character over 4 threads. *Have another revision of your character profile in the workshop. Some suggestions given at Beginner, as well as any other workshop review suggestions, should also be incorporated into the profile revision.†A thread in which you use your special request (if you have one). We will evaluate the use of your request and give you tips on how to improve. This thread can count towards the topic number requirement. **Please note that the Review Team reserves the right to revoke a special request if it is being misused. We will only do this under extreme circumstances, but we do reserve the right to do so. Continued variation in the people you're posting with (this refers to both characters and writers).The beginning, middle, or end of a long-term plot arc. Preferably, but not necessarily, a continuation from the one used in your Novice application.At Intermediate, the focus is on development. While this doesn’t mean that your character needs to have changed drastically, we should begin to see them come out of their comfort zone. Consider the way their relationships with others have affected them, and how their plot arcs will begin to shape them. You should now have an idea of the direction you want to take your character, and your plot arc should reflect this direction.By now your unique style should be more apparent and consistent. We are looking for writing that matches the mood and pace of the thread. Grammar, spelling, and overall post structure should have improved from Novice, and apparent errors should be minimal.The content of your profile should contain more depth than that of your profile at Beginner. While we do not expect perfection by any means, we are primarily looking for an expansion that highlights how the character has grown since the last revision. The profile should feel more cohesive and polished than the Beginner profile and make use of the suggestions given by the review team in the first set of reviews if still applicable. Grammar and spelling, at this stage, should have minimal errors.As you are developing a voice in your posts, think about how your character reacts to their environment, and consider their inner dialogue, vocabulary, memories, etc. These are all things that contribute to your character's unique voice and will help develop your characterization.


Now, let’s get started with your profile and your appearance in general as I decided to comment on the basics later on. Told you I was improving. No, not really. First of all you did a very good job on including all the advice that has been given to you, and I really like working with photographs and looking at Gretchen through the eyes of another person instead of letting her describe herself or doing the second-person thing once upon a time I have been told that’s tacky, but each their own I’d say. What I really like is that there are still pieces of Gretchen’s personality already shining through, such as in the following paragraph:

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But even without a hat, she usually wears her hair in a bun or in a braid, anything that keeps it all neatly together. Probably because she’s such a bloody control freak. Someone should just introduce her to hairspray, but then again, she has all those magical brews to tame her hair – an you can bet she uses them. Anyway, her hair is as well cared for as the rest of her appearance, this girl probably spends hours in the bathroom. On the rare occasions that she lets her hair loose, she usually straightens it, but can you keep a secret? Neither can I. It’s curly, I’ve seen it. I bet she doesn’t like curly locks spinning out of control, like how she doesn’t like anything out of her control. Cracked it.


I also love those little details like shaped like a cello because I know that most people run with pear-shape or the simple description of curvy, but it just makes sense with the narrator and is very fitting. I also love the magical pet hair repelling spray and all those explanations you give about her, because it draws a very bright picture of Gretchen.

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She owns a Stardust ’15, which is a regular family transportation broom. She uses it as a chair a lot, just hovering a few feet above the ground. I’ve seen her pull it out of her bag once. Y’know, the leather messenger bag that she carries. There’s a lot in there. It’s full of secrets.


You definitely expanded a lot on this profile and there is nothing that struck me as lacking in here, so I have exactly two little thoughts or suggestions for this before I am going to move on already. This will be a short touch up on all the work you did, but so far I found nothing to complain about so short does not mean that it’s bad. I wondered if the Fausts are somehow tied to the colour purple as it struck me as a repeating motif - apart from being Gretchen’s personal favourite colour? It might have been coincidence, then just ignore me - but if there is a reason I would like to read about it if you ever decide to go for Elite. And you mentioned that no one apart from her dormmates has seen her without makeup - and I know it will be hard in this style of writing a profile, but I would be interested in how her face looks without makeup nonetheless? My immediate idea was to put it in a photograph as well - but this will be left to your discretion as I move on with your profile :3

Personality: I like the French in here because how could I not like the French but if you ever want to edit this profile again, I personally would put the French in italics because I stumbled over it while reading. Ben? Who the fuck is Ben? Ooooh, ben.

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The girl doesn’t know how to make friends but she knows what spoon to use.

This sums up Gretchen so nicely and I really like it?

The explanations about Gretchen you are giving towards the end are also very nice, and you might notice a pattern of me mainly trying to say what I thought could be added, so I wondered about all those things that Gretchen actually likes to do - apart from reading and studying? But this is definitely such a detailed and widely spread personality that I do not have a lot to say and will leave that to your second and third reviewer to poke on.

And on we go to your history:

QUOTE
Gretchen’s really not Disney princess material. Disney princesses sing to animals and find joy in everything. While I’ve seen Gretchen sing to her cat, joy always seems to slip from her hands. She’s more like a well-meaning Alice who stumbled through the rabbit hole, but instead of saving Wonderland, she became the Queen of Hearts.


Just let me leave this here.

Okay some brief words on your history, if you intend to edit again I would say something about timelines because it is easier to follow the structure when you go by age and Gretchen being six does not follow onto Gretchen being ten if you know what I mean. Otherwise I really enjoyed reading it, and I also enjoyed the additional portrait room - because it reminded me a lot of the family temple in Mulan, he he.

I touched on everything here very shortly and I think you did a lot of work on this profile and it shows Gretchen as a really well-rounded character already, with so many details and such great narrators. All those pop culture references are really great as well and I do not have a lot to complain about so I am just going to move onto your arcs and posts and see what I can do there.

Plot Arc 1: The Terror of Tradition: You know I have been stalking these threads with great passion, but what I really love about them is the detail and how well-built this feud arc actually is - starting at the Preben thread from your Novice arc and now these threads with Sigurd that go in a completely different direction. I also like how she recognises Sigurd because of his wand, as this is the Gretchen I have just read about in her profile - the one who studies her enemies so they can’t do her any arm. The angst in the second thread here is just amazing and you did very well. I really want to see what she is going to do with her newly-found knowledge about Sigurd and how the family feud will be going on.

Plot Arc 2: It's not Me, It's You! I am just giving you tiny tidbits on each arc now so you see where you stand and what is going on. This arc with Lenny is - in my opinion - definitely your strongest one, as it is widely spread and just so full of different situations and emotions. I can see real development here and I just really love how their opinion towards each other are slowly changing. If this keeps going and you want to keep it as an arc, I would suggest you draw more people in - be it by Gretchen confiding into someone or adding more group threads like the Bad Blood one, as they offer a lot of great opportunities to dive deeper into your characters’ interactions.

Over-Arching Character Arc: First of all I think this is a very good idea to have as an arc, as it really matches her characterisation in her profile, so good thinking right here.


QUOTE
“Would you mind telling me what this is about?” She asked flatly, as if she had somewhere else to be. A hairdresser’s appointment at three and picking up the kids at four, no doubt.


I am only leaving this here because I laughed a lot. I am also going to comment on your special request use as I really liked Billy’s reaction in the thread with Njord, and how you are using him in general - so no issues there.

Now, I think you definitely have a good post length and a good grip on grammar - funnily enough I found typos in your app and some messed-up codes in your profile, but that is about it. I think you could do with a little more environment use in general, although Gretchen is already very aware of herself and her surroundings, which is great. For future ranking - if you want to go there - I would really like to see her interact with some kind of authority, be it school staff or a oneshot with her family members, although we got a glimpse at Anthony and her already. I can see the development from your last rank and how much work you have put into this app, so I can happily say that I will approve you for Intermediate. I am sure your other two reviewers will pick up on things I did not comment on, so for the moment congrats and good luck <3 If you have any questions, come find me.

@Gretchen Kirke-Faust

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ALICE · 17 · 7TH · CUPCAKE · SINGLE · 5'0
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Mar 16 2017, 06:21 PM   Link Quote
Hi Robin~ I’m Alice and I will be your second reviewer. biggrin.gif I’m skirting close to the deadline because of the flu and the relapse of a cold that came right after… so bear with me if anything I say seems a bit wonky. I’m on a lot of meds/antibiotics right now. Alright, Tine ensured that you met the requirements for your application so let’s dig into everything.

I’m going to be upfront and honest here - I’m having to dig pretty damn hard to give you a wealth of constructive criticism because I was blown away by everything that I’ve read. In a good way, of course. You and I have never personally threaded or anything, so going through all of your stuff - both your profile and posts - was a brand new adventure for me. One that was incredibly thrilling and I don’t say that lightly.

As someone who does freestyle apps on another site, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when it came to freestyling an app on WR. That said, I absolutely adore the way that you wrote this. Also, I must mention that - if you’re familiar with Black Butler - I read Anthony with the dubbed Sebastian’s voice the entire time. It was terrible. And great. Overall, it flows nicely and reads incredibly well. Your narrator is fun and engaging and, at moments, hilarious. Don’t let that go to his head.

By the time I was finished with it, I was sad that it was over! That’s not something I find myself saying often. Not that other profiles aren’t interesting, but traditional ones are cut and dry. You’ve taken something that would have been very straightforward and jazzed it up to fit your style and Gretchen’s style. It was entertaining and awesome and hell, I could gush about everything that I loved for at LEAST 5 more paragraphs, but I’ll relent for now. The fact of the matter is that to me, this is an elite level profile. This is the sort of wow-factor that I’m looking for when I review people for ELITE, let alone intermediate. Congrats, sweets, you knocked it out of the park.

Which is why I’m struggling on what to tell you to add. You’ve already covered all of your bases. Sure, there are a few typos and some coding errors, which Tine also pointed out. I can also agree that it would be interesting to see an expanded description on Gretchen without make-up. I’d even go so far as to say you could maybe explain her personal feelings and the why behind why she goes to such lengths to keep her bare face concealed. I can infer pretty easily from everything else in the app, but a direct correlation is always nice.

I just combed through a fifth time to try and find something to add to the above and all I could come up with is what does she sleep in? Which just sounds a bit creepy, but it is pertinent in the sense of vulnerability. How does Gretchen, someone with strong barriers, protect herself when she’s at her most vulnerable - during sleep? Add if you want, or don’t. Your profile stands on its own without any additions.

Now, onto your posts and arcs. What I really loved about reading your posts AFTER reading your profile is that I could see all of those little tics shining through. Consistency is key. It made me happy to be able to sit there and go OH OKAY THERE’S THE ANTHONY INFLUENCE! Etc. I’m not going to break this down by arc because I don’t really feel it’s necessary. It’s clear to me that, in each and every thread, Gretchen is evolving and acquiring her own voice through your writing style. It’s pretty amazing how well defined she has become and she still has so much growing left to do. Both with Lenny and with Sigurd, each thread is a building block in their part of the story.

Personally, I think you conveyed description of the environment exceptionally well, for the most part, and the thread where Gretchen figures out that Sigurd is an empath is a shining example of that. I could practically feel the pain and disbelief right along with her. Maybe try and expand that sort of -feeling- of getting into Gretchen’s head into some of the other threads to a stronger degree.

Billy just feels like another character to me. Like, I’m sort of semi-attached to him, especially after his description in the profile. I think you’re doing a phenomenal job of including him in your threads and such. Great use of a special request and no complaints from me.

Gosh, here we are at the end, and I feel like all I’ve done is rain down compliments on you. Which is totally fine, you deserve them, 110%. It should come as no surprise to you that I approve Gretchen for Intermediate. You go Gretchen! Purple lovers unite~

I actually didn’t see any typos in your threads when I read them, but I could have easily missed things. Just make sure to give that profile a once over to catch those other errors. Expand if you’d like. And… I would suggest doing something that’s pretty heavily centered around her family itself. Perhaps some interactions with Arthur that lead to threading the aftermath. Perhaps her getting caught doing something ‘illegal,’ be it another rescue mission or something else and the real consequences of that? Unwanted publicity? People catching a glimpse of who she actually is? Gretchen has so much potential and so many different routes to take, I’m sincerely excited to see where she’s at when you apply for advanced.

As always, if you have any questions, my inbox and skype are always open <333 Thanks for your patience, too.

@Gretchen Kirke-Faust

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Jinx · 17 · 6th · Neutral · Pureblood · 5'11"
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Mar 17 2017, 03:06 AM   Link Quote
Robin, hey! You know me. I know you. So let’s get started, because this is probably going to get very, very, wordy (and in all likelihood be a little bit overdue). And in advanced, I’m sorry for that. But let's just go ahead and get the news out of the way: I also APPROVE you and @Gretchen Kirke-Faust for Intermediate.

Bam. No more nail biting, no more waiting through four million paragraphs to see what I think. I think you’re at Intermediate level, and clearly these beautiful, talented ladies before me think the same. If that’s all you wanted, you’re good to go and congratulations! But if you’re looking for advice and feeling up to reading a couple of long, winding paragraph, well, continue on anyways c:

Just so we’re both not confused, I did things a little out of order for this review, and will thus review your threads and general writing / plot things before your profile.

First off, in regards to plot and character development, I can’t honestly offer you much because you’re already set right on that yellow, brick road to elite. From the very first thread, I already knew that Gretchen was a well-balanced character who had the potential to develop and grow with the right interactions. As notes to yourself and for those looking out to apply to intermediate next, what do I think you do right that makes you a shining example for other people at this rank? Well, for one, and this sounds silly, but you actually thread your development as opposed to letting me infer what happens next. I myself struggle to do this, especially with people dipping in and out and site activity waning and waxing, but you’ve worked hard and it shows. With every thread you've got with Sigurd, I can see which values Gretchen holds true to her heart as her rivalry with him never wavers. And on the opposite end of the spectrum with Lenny, I can also see that Gretchen is capable of growth and change as her opinion of him slowly transforms. They’re both very realistic, very human behaviors, and we didn't even mention all that delicious development in between.That being said, you’re brilliant and it’s very obvious that you know what you want to do (and if you don’t, well you’re certainly fooling the rest of us c: ), so continue with what you’re doing and keep throwing Gretchen into all these different scenarios.

Next! It’s hard for me to describe voices and writing style, but I’ll take a stab at it. To me, the voice you have for Gretchen is cautious and analytical, but engaging and clear. In every post, you don’t really leave much for inferences, which, contrary to the popular idea of “show, don’t tell” isn’t bad at all, because that’s the point of Gretchen really. She’s cautious, has a reason behind everything, goes into most things with a game plan, and needs to be control. Likewise, you always make it clear to the reader what her motivations are and why she reacts the way she did, and in a way it’s as if it’s Gretchen herself justifying her actions. Additionally, you’ve got the added talent of never coming across as too clunky with all that information. For example, in your first post of the party boat with Sigurd, you manage to tell me how Gretchen approaches most social situations, the way her family influenced her to act that way, as well as how that applied to the current situation. But all of that happens so smoothly it was like reading a simple train of thought from the inner workings of her mind. And, on top of that, even when you make everything about Gretchen transparent to me, I never feel bored or like you're holding on to my hand way too tightly. So, yay! <33

And on that topic, the more I read about Gretchen, the more her desire for control becomes obvious, which is ironic because, despite that desire and the want to know exactly what to do in any given situation, there are so many things that happen to her that she just can’t help -- being stuck to Lenny, her relationship with Sigurd, and even just dealing with the general overprotectiveness of her family for things as little as riding the train to visit a train (which, of course, she also had a game plan for). They’re all things that she just has to learn to deal with, things that she can’t ever anticipate, or is just powerless to help and I absolutely love it because it’s such a simple, realistic lesson to learn: sometimes life just throws shit at you and you have to deal with it without being prepared. Anyways, you’ve built Gretchen’s world to be so clear and, at times, so suffocating. That’s how I feel when I try to imagine being Gretchen, and I don’t have any particular reason as to why, and I don’t know if it’s intentional but yes. Maybe, you didn’t plan any of this at all and maybe I’m just spouting bull, but this is what I get from reading the beautiful stuff you’ve provided and I love it all.

For the future, I will echo Tine’s suggestion on some more interaction with authority, because it kind of ties into that overarching theme of “control” I was talking about. Having an authority figure or seeing how Gretchen reacts to that would be interesting, because in my head she’d probably react by acting a certain way around those authority figures to get a favorable outcome, but if she has to compromise herself in order to get what she wants, is she actually in charge as she thinks she is? I love that you explored that concept in #sixseasonsandamovie by the way. My favorite tidbit of all your posts in that thread is probably this:

QUOTE
Then what?

She would recollect herself, be the confident, unyielding girl she always had been and come up with a way to get back at Sigurd? She would focus on her studies, get herself back together, have it aaaaaaall under control? (The wooden floorboards creaked softly under her bare feet as she paced.) Had she ever had it all under control? Or had she just been better at hiding it, bottling up every slight against her, all of her insecurities, all of her fears? (She snatched the hairband out of her hair and started braiding a-new to undo the damage she’d so carelessly wreaked earlier.) Yes, of course that’s what she had been doing. But it worked – right? She could stay calm and collected while letting the anger fuel her when she needed it, and storing it when she didn’t. Together with all the other feelings she didn’t need. (Slender fingers tied the hair band back, now around a new braid.)


The reason I love this in particular is because it’s Gretchen, unwavering, know-it-all, always-has-a-plan Gretchen, doubting herself. And the funny thing is, even when she’s doubting herself, subconsciously she’s still trying to align and fix what she can, in this case, her braid. In this moment, Gretchen is uncertain and her first reaction is to correct what is in her power even though it’s small and insignificant. Tying this into what I said previously, it would be interesting to see her behavior with someone who has obviously more power and control than she does.

Again, maybe this isn’t what you were going for at all, but regardless of what you were going for, Robin, you’ve got a great character on your hands. In general, your writing is also wonderful. You take the environment in as you explain Gretchen’s inner workings, and rarely am I ever left wondering where the heck the current scene is taking place. In some cases, you could stand to provide a little more detail -- not necessarily the layout of the setting so much as sensory details. I know you’ve got it in you because when you do have us focused on the environment, your details can be very beautiful such as (forgive me if I’m misquoting as this is from memory) but “golden ink on black velvet” when describing the night sky on the Bora Bora party boat. It’s just that I’d love to see a little bit more of that kind of stuff c:

As an example, one great place you could've done this is in the thread with Erik and his flower crown. You do a great job of bringing details (god, and that line about the broken flowers being a crime scene that was both Aska’s and Sigurd’s was very beautiful to me [random but I wanted you to know]), but setting can be a great tool to displaying emotion which Gretchen, perhaps maybe against her will, experiences a lot. At one point, you mention that Gretchen is uncomfortable, and then shortly afterwards that she’s on the carpet waiting. Maybe Gretchen’s internal discomfort makes everything else in the room even a little more uncomfortable. Maybe that carpet against her bare skin is itchier today than remembered, but Gretchen is a lady and very much concerned about outward appearances; so rather than itch it, she ends up struggling to ignore the sensation, causing her discomfort to grow even further. With this example, what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to manipulate your writing so that can fit in more of the environment; instead, manipulate the way that Gretchen perceives the environment so that it enhances your writing instead. Again, I wouldn’t dare say you’re lacking in this part! Your posts are gems on their own, but maybe with this little additional bit they can shine and sparkle even more.


Okay, with all that out of the way, we're going to move on to profile finally! (Gah I’m so sorry this is so long ;_; )

Admittedly, the reason I wrote so much before providing my thoughts on profile is because, I wanted to show you that I have put a lot of thought into this review and read everything with as much attention as I could before forming this next opinion. Naturally, a lot of the things I’ve concluded from your writing are things that you discuss in your profile, so on that note, amazing job on consistency. (But if I’ve somehow terribly misconstrued your character in any way during my inner ramblings, I’m sorry, and please personally message me on skype and tell me I’m crazy.)

That being said, there are many things that I think your profile does great: it’s got small details, in-depth descriptions, connects all three sections of the profile, provides us with undeniable proof that you know Gretchen, AND it incorporates previous suggestions from your reviewers. Content wise, I honestly don’t even think you need to add anything because what you have already is great. There’s a good flow, you explain the “why why why’s” of everything, and I feel like if you just kept tacking on more and more of the little things, it might be too over the top. So like Tine and Alice, I believe you’ve got a really strong profile.

However, unlike previous reviewers, I personally don’t agree with keeping the current narrator in latest revisoin. Please, please don’t take this as an “I hate him, he’s awful” :c like I said, reading your profile, I think it’s a great example for many reasons and if it wasn’t clear enough I love Gretchen, too. And honestly! This is just my opinion on style; Alice is elite, while Tine is advanced, so maybe I’m just really crazy and thick and don’t get it. Besides, the style of something is obviously not something everyone is going to agree with, so you can just completely disregard this and not let it affect future revisions at all and I would not be offended in the slightest.

Anyways, apologies and explanations and excuses for my thoughts aside, it’s just... the current narrator you have for Gretchen’s profile, to me at least, seems very unfitting.

I spent a lot of time talking about how Gretchen is secretive, cunning, careful, and again, that whole bit about control. So to read a profile whose narrator is very… blunt, open, uncaring in words seems off. When I try to figure out the benefits of the current narrator (and trust me, this specifically is why I waited till the very last minute to post this, because I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out on my own), I think the biggest thing is that his sort of omnipotent, all-knowing perspective makes it easy to discuss the otherwise guarded Gretchen. He does a great job of pointing out things that a casual reader of Gretchen might not notice and clearly explaining what you as the author knows and would like to get across.

But to me, it’s sad because, I feel like, aside from the fact that’s it’s entertaining to read and makes it easier to discuss the more vulnerable sides of Gretchen, the current narrator doesn’t do much else. You don't need someone to blantantly explain what Gretchen is like, because you already do that simply with your writing. Your narrator, however is a character that’s entirely his own, and his in-your-face-personality can be a bit distracting. That and, even if he makes things easier to discuss and if this were the main reason you chose him, I don’t think you need that handicap. Everything I read about in your profile, I was actually able to somewhat get from the posts that I read prior. This shows me that you are capable of explaining the "real Gretchen" even without this unique perspective. I personally, would’ve loved to actually see Gretchen seen through Billy’s eyes, because he is her best friend and protector, sees her when she’s most vulnerable and is really just vital to Gretchen’s character. But again, these are just stylistic opinions that don’t matter at all, but I thought I would share so that maybe we can chat about it on Skype later and I can learn even more about Gretchen than I already have.

Anyways, that was just my personal opinion. I hate to feel like I ended everything on a bad note, but again, Robin you've done an amazing job so far. Congratulations on reaching intermediate! I can’t wait to see where you’ll go with advanced. (I'm sorry for any typos by the way, I wrote this at 2 AM and I'm very tired x3 will probably proofread this again in the morning! Also sorry again for how long this got .-.).

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thank you evan for pixel <3 and thank you so much lacey for the secret santa banner c:
Robin · 15 · 5th Year · Viridian Guild Leader · Pureblood · 5'
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Jan 14 2018, 12:29 PM   Link Quote
Rank Applying For: Advanced
At least FIVE of your recent role play topics, including a group thread:
(Please read Commentary first)
    Stop that thing [It's got my...] with Liam Andrews
    In this thread, Gretchen meets Liam Andrews for the first time, which will become relevant later as he joins her small circle of allies, particularly the little group I’ve affectionately dubbed The Scooby Gang. However, in their first meeting Gretchen is her usual distrusting self.

    I was raised to be charming, not sincere with Andre Elkins
    This is a stand-alone thread of just pure classic Gretchen. I figured I’d include it because a lot of the other threads dig deep into the fears and insecurities she’s dealing with now so sometimes it’s easy to forget where she came from, and who she still is to most strangers.

    Two sides of a very dated coin with Teddy Faust
    Gretchen’s first thread with Teddy! Okay so, Teddy is Gretchen’s foster brother. Like the rest of the household it’s complicated. In this case, Teddy is a half-blood being raised by his muggle uncle in a town in the Scottish mountains that Arthur Kirke-Faust frequently visits. When Teddy started showing signs of magic, Arthur was asked for help, so he took the boy in to introduce him to the wizarding world. Teddy now still lives in both worlds, sometimes with the Fausts and sometimes with his muggle family. Gretchen and Teddy used to be close in their childhood, but have drifted apart since they went to Hogwarts. However, they still occasionally honour the Fausts’ pagan holidays, which is what they’re doing in this thread. You can also see that even now, Gretchen is still noticeably more comfortable around Teddy than other people.

    Spring ‘17 Prefect Event: Dunk Tanks with Lenny Plunkett [First 2 Posts]
    Remembering their talk in the chalet, Lenny runs all the way to the Ravenclaw tower to alert Gretchen to the fact that Preben Nilsson is in a dunk tank. The two hobbits then try their hand at dunking Gretchen's arch-enemy, and Lenny actually succeeds. This is just a bridge to the next thread.

    Let's talk about spaceships with Lenny Plunkett [Completed]
    Lenny dragged Gretchen down to the carnival just to dunk Preben, but now that they're both there they might as well take a look around... right? To everybody's surprise, they actually end up having a good time. I probably don’t need to spell out what’s happening here lol though Gretchen is in denial for a couple more threads.

    haglhrið slær høgg i aks with Liam Andrews, Njord Vikernes, and Nasha
    First thread with the Scooby Gang! In a thread used for intermediate, Njord and Gretchen broke into Njord’s family home and rescued a mermaid from her tank, releasing her in the Black Lake. They now continue to take care of her, but what they don’t know is that Nasha has met Liam by now – who also cares about the mermaid and her safety. At first, Gretchen and Njord are wary of Liam, but once they realise they all have Nasha’s best interests at heart, they team up – and so, Gretchen’s small circle of allies grows.

    könig sommer führt den tanz dem ich folg' im blütenkranz with Erik Dwight [Completed]
    This is a continuation of a thread used for Intermediate, in which Gretchen finds Erik in the Ravenclaw common room, crying over a broken flower crown that his ex-boyfriend (Sigurd Nilsson) gave him. That was a very jarring experience for Gretchen, because she didn’t see Sigurd, being a Nilsson, as a person – and there she saw someone with a broken heart over him. She dealt with this by making Erik a new flower crown, with healing properties. In this thread, Erik is going to burn the old flower crown and invites Gretchen to watch. Between the carnival and this, Lenny entrusted her with a doll that he asked her to get rid of, so Gretchen takes this opportunity to burn that, too.

    Make up without a fight with Lenny Plunkett [Completed]
    When the Hogwarts Express comes to a stop thanks to a fight between centaurs and trolls, Gretchen gets seriously injured, leaving it up to Lenny to get them out of harm's way and stop her bleeding. Now that for once Gretchen is the one in need of help, she needs to rely on Lenny – and most importantly, accept that. This is a big deal for her because she’s used to always being in control, and has been taught not to trust anyone. This thread really kicks things into gear for Smolstice.

    Will it wash out in the water or is it always in the blood? with Teddy Faust and other (NPC) family members
    After the previous thread, Gretchen arrives at Platform 9 ¾ in terrible condition, obviously worrying her guardian. This isn’t the first time Anthony shows up in a thread, but from here on I’m going to really dig into their relationship.

    All We Have Is Words with Lenny Plunkett [OWL]
    After the fateful train events, Lenny and Gretchen awkwardly write each other over the course of the summer and agree to meet at Diagon Alley for back to school shopping.

    LDVD with Teddy Faust
    Gretchen is cooped up in her bedroom because her father didn’t want to take her to St. Mungos as he doesn’t trust the facility (like he doesn’t trust anything), so instead he’s treating her with potions at home. She recovers, just much slower. In the meantime, she’s writing letters to Lenny, which gives sociable Teddy the opportunity to chat with the mailman while he fetches Gretchen’s mail for her. Now that the two finally have the time and the opportunity to talk to each other again, they might finally tell each other some of the things that have happened to each in the past year, like Teddy’s budding love life and Gretchen’s run-ins with the Nilssons, and start including each other in their lives again.

    After Today – with Lenny Plunkett [Completed]
    As planned in their letters, Gretchen and Lenny meet up in Diagon Alley to buy school supplies for the new school year – though really they just want to see each other. Things are a bit awkward, but… not in a bad way.

    Ribbon bows around my shoulder, and I'm only getting older [One-Shot]
    Anthony Hall is Gretchen’s “real” parent in the sense that he truly raised her. While Arthur Kirke-Faust has some ridiculously high standards that he holds his daughter to, he’s also mostly absent, making Anthony the number one authority figure in her life. It’s… not easy. But hey, parenting never is!

    Fundraiser [Single Post]
    Back at Hogwarts, Lenny, as Head Boy, organizes a Fundraiser which Gretchen briefly attends. She supports the charity and buys tickets for her friend Njord. She regrets attending, however. Even though she isn’t quite ready to admit her feelings for Lenny yet, they’re undeniably there, and she ends up heartbroken after hearing Lenny harp on his infatuation with Theodora Koenig.

    Poor Unfortunate Souls with Talya Reich
    It’s been a while since Gretchen had a thread with a ghost so obviously it was time for one! Fittingly, the starter of this thread references her thread with Noel Bishop, which I used for Novice. Although this thread didn’t develop further, I’m including it because, like the next one, it covers the period between the fundraiser and the next Smolstice thread, and you can see her struggling with her (seemingly unrequited) feelings for Lenny. Though of course, Gretchen’s way of dealing with that is avoidance.

    Trust your heart if the seas catch fire with Njord Vikernes
    After all they’ve been through, Gretchen really considers Njord her friend – which comes with some new vulnerabilities.

    Sorry I'm not made of sugar with Lenny Plunkett [Completed]
    This is where all the build-up insecurities and miscommunication explodes. This is another jarring moment for Gretchen because she’s a mess – but a different mess than in the train thread. This isn’t the result of some external attack, these are her own emotions reducing her to this, and I think getting to a moment like this, as negative as it seems, was very important for Gretchen’s development.


    CLASH
    I have multiple arcs planned out for Clash!Gretchen, which are currently being set in motion – starting with Gretchen’s role as a VG leader, and her political marriage to her co-leader Severin. After Hogwarts (and Lenny breaking up with her), Gretchen spent most of her time travelling to study reclusive magical communities in continental Europe (read: running away and avoiding the people she used to know). Her father, Arthur Kirke-Faust, worked for the VG when it was still in its beginning stages, and disappeared about a year ago. This prompted Gretchen to return and join the VG herself, initially to find out what happened to Arthur, but as she rose in the ranks her motivations became muddied, something power tends to do.

    For how could I refuse? with Severin Larsson [Completed]
    This thread starts the arc of Gretchen and Severin’s political marriage, and it also demonstrates the kind of cold, analytical person Gretchen is now. It’s a good place to start for Clash, because I think it showcases her motivations well, as well as showing what she thinks of both Factions, and the kind of strategies she uses as a VG leader.

    Colder than this home with Eudora Spitznogle
    Eudora was Gretchen’s favourite professor at Hogwarts, but now she’s a Headmistress who insists on keeping the school neutral, and Gretchen is leader of one of the factions. She visits Hogwarts in an attempt to establish a bond with her former Potions Master.

    Wedding Ceremony - Main Event Thread #1 with Severin Larsson and others [Completed]
    Wedding Reception - Main Event Thread #2 with Severin Larsson and others
    Gretchen and Severin are getting married, and of course it needs to be a public spectacle – as PR is the biggest reason why they’re even doing this. They want the attention on them, away from AEGIS… and they think the price for that can’t be high enough. With the wedding come obstacles though, like disapproving friends and family members, secret affairs and ex-lovers.

Special Request:
Ability: Occlumency
Where will this ability apply? Clash
What would you rank your character's skill in this ability? Fully Developed
Are there any known relatives with this ability? Who? Her (adoptive) father, Arthur Kirke-Faust.
At what age did your character begin to study this ability? After graduation, probably starting at 18.
Who was his or her mentor in this ability? Or who will be his or her mentor? Arthur Kirke-Faust. Her father would’ve certainly emphasized the importance of being an occlumens. After all, Arthur was a very paranoid person, always seeing enemies everywhere, and he passed this on to his daughter. Arthur, an Unspeakable by profession, was also one of the first scientists who worked with what would later become the VG to find the Cure, thus knowing full well what kind of political landscape could be on the horizon. For all of these reasons, he would’ve certainly pushed the matter as soon as his daughter graduated… but more importantly, once Gretchen finished Hogwarts, she would’ve wanted to learn occlumency, as guarding herself was once more her priority.
How will this ability benefit your character? Or how do you plan to use this ability for development? As a Clash Faction leader, deceit will become second nature. Even with her co-leader, there is the tension of secret agendas and schemes, with betrayal always a possibility just around the corner. Moreover, her co-leader is now also her husband – a purely political marriage with no place for affection or trust. Severin is a legilimens – Gretchen being an occlumens would give them an equal playing field, and allow for some of the plots Tine and I have planned. We want an atmosphere of secrets and distrust to be possible, fuelling paranoia and thus inciting more secrets like a vicious circle.
Additionally, it would also suit Gretchen’s Clash persona, and symbolically represent her change from HWE – Gretchen’s development in HWE is all about opening up more, letting those walls down bit by bit. The Gretchen in Clash has come to regret that, and closed that book firmly shut.
Anything Else? Just for emphasis: I’m only requesting occlumency – not legilimency.


What are your three biggest RPing tips for any member?
1. Write. None of my other tips, or anyone else’s, will help if you don’t write. Even if your post is mediocre, post it anyway. Don’t be too hung up on the quality of your writing all the time – keep writing, have fun with it. Writing isn’t some kind of magical pool of Artistic Talent at the end of the rainbow that you need to tap into – the truth is, it’s a skill, a craft. You need to hone it. Don’t wait for the stars to align and deliver a perfect post – just keep writing, and you will get there eventually. If this is something you struggle with, look at this fun comic.
2. Read. Allow yourself to learn from others – writing styles, narrative techniques, and even how to tell a joke. Read a different genre sometime, maybe you’ll be struck by something that could work for your character. Let yourself be inspired.
3. Think of your favourite characters, whether they’re from books, tv shows, movies, or comics, and consider what makes them who they are. What kind of details did the writers put in that makes them unique? Are there ways in which their background shows through in their personality without it having to be spelled out? Thinking of what you like about other people’s characters can show you what’s ‘missing’ in yours – maybe it’s a nervous tick, or a specific way in how they form their sentences. Think of the development these characters went through as well, what you liked and what you didn’t, what you’d do differently or what you’d want for your character too. There’s a sea of content out there to give you ideas!


Commentary: Usually I organise my threads by Arc/Relationship, but now I’ve ordered them chronologically (IC-wise) – I hope that works out for the reviewers (please tell me if it doesn’t). My reasoning for this is because, since Advanced doesn’t have a Profile Revision, the focus is fully on Character Development – so I want to show Gretchen going through the motions, growing gradually. Since a lot of threads have an influence on Gretchen as a whole, it was also hard to divide threads into categories, because the effects of one arc are often seen everywhere.


The Arcs are like threads in a tapestry, intricately woven together, but they are still separately distinguishable:
Smolstice: Gretchen and Lenny’s relationship, which includes a lot of obstacles to overcome, such as their very different backgrounds and all their own insecurities. This wasn’t even planned, but it became Gretchen’s most important source of character development, and her main arc. Lenny has, either directly or indirectly, challenged many of Gretchen’s beliefs, most importantly that she only has herself to count on, and that empathy and kindness will get her nowhere. Ever since Lenny’s outburst on New Year’s eve, she truly regrets how cold and callous she’d been acting - which is significant for Gretchen, because she never questioned her own behaviour. As she’s developing feeling for Lenny, she also needs to accept that she can’t always be selfish and insensitive, because now she has someone she cares for and his feelings matter. This will definitely be a learning curve for her. Letting her walls down will also be a slow, step by step process. At the moment, Gretchen is still very much afraid of her own emotions – having been berated for them occasionally by her father during her childhood, she thinks her emotions are a threat to her self-control, and thinks lesser of herself when she lets them cloud her judgement. This is another thing she’ll have to overcome, and her feelings for Lenny are already starting to make her question that belief. I’ve always seen Gretchen as actually being a very emotionally-motivated person – intensely so, even – who’s simply been fighting her own nature because she beliefs she should be more like her stoic father. This relationship gave me the opportunity to finally delve into that potential.

Family: Something that’ll happen mostly in the background because it regards NPCs, but as Gretchen changes, the dynamic at home will change too. Arthur, her adoptive father, is a stoic man who barely ever has time for his daughter, and whose approval Gretchen is so desperately trying to get. She’ll have to start learning not to determine her self-worth by how happy or unhappy Arthur is with her. Anthony, the household’s live-in butler, is someone who naturally closely guards his own emotions, and is somewhat of a fish out of water being an ancestral vampire who lost his clan and has been living with the wizard who saved him ever since. He’s emotionally unequipped to deal with the troubles of a human teenager, but he genuinely cares for Gretchen. Everything from Anthony’s behaviour to a large part of Gretchen’s personality points to Anthony being her real parent figure, the person who really raised her in Arthur’s absence. They’re both in the habit of purposely policing their own emotional expression, and they’ll have to overcome this to become closer and understand each other better.
This arc will also include her relationship with Teddy, her foster brother, as they will start becoming closer again after having drifted apart. Teddy and Gretchen get along just fine – but very superficially. He used to be Gretchen’s only joy in her childhood, every good memory from before Hogwarts included him in one way or another, but since she enrolled, she has isolated herself. Still, if they are together, Gretchen noticeably behaves different, more sincerely, with Teddy than with other people. This arc is in its beginning phase, but it will lead to them becoming closer again, and sharing things again – learning to truly be a brother and sister

The Scooby Gang: This arc is both new and a continuation: it is a continuation in the sense that it builds on her relationship with Njord, but now also adds new people (Liam and Nasha). For Gretchen, this arc is about learning to accept allies when all she has ever known were enemies. Lately, she has even started thinking of Njord as a friend – and is finally starting to drop her act around him, showing some genuine pieces of herself here and there. Njord was the first person who made Gretchen change her mind about someone, and he was also the first pureblood who approached her with an open mind, so he’s always going to be important to Gretchen.

The Clash will introduce a few new arcs, some building onto these HWE arcs. What I was looking for in Clash was the opportunity to delve into an entirely different potential of Gretchen – in a way, to write her at her worst. Because let’s be honest, Gretchen is most suited to be an antagonistic character. >> This doesn’t mean she can’t develop positively again later on, but at the moment I wanted to show this negative development and the new side of her that it brings with it.

To conclude, I think I should say something about this journey. Intermediate was a turning point for Gretchen – significant things started happening in her relationships, and that’s what I’m seeing the consequences of now. Most noticeably, at least to me when writing her, is that previously, Gretchen was mostly defined by her guardedness. Now, it is her insecurities and fears that set the tone. She’s become more vulnerable, and that’s something she really struggles with. These struggles show up everywhere now, like a red thread running through all her plots. In a way, Gretchen’s plot arcs all support one big over-arching character arc: it’s all about Gretchen learning more about herself, starting to question her own behaviour and what she beliefs in, and learning to give her emotions a place instead of unhealthily supressing them.

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Stells Artois · 16 · 6th · Viridian Guild · Pureblood · 5'11
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Jan 25 2018, 12:24 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 three weeks.

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Tine · 16 · 6th · neutral · Pureblood · 5'7
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Jan 28 2018, 01:39 PM   Link Quote
Hi Robin, you know me by now and we are meeting for another fun round of ranking, this time Advanced. Exciting, right? But before we can take a look at all those threads, here are the requirements as per usual:

QUOTE
what we’re looking for at advancedAt least 20 posts by your character over 5 threads. *A group thread** with at least 2 posts by your character. This thread will count towards the total five threads and 20 posts required.The beginning, middle, or end of a plot arc that spans over multiple threads. While only one plot arc is required, multiple plot arcs are encouraged, especially arcs which are connected to each other. Continuations of previous plot arcs are encouraged, however, not mandatory, since time lapses tend to be greater between higher ranks.At Advanced, we are looking for the full-package character. This character should be three-dimensional, nuanced, and have depth. Your plot arcs should highlight this roundness of character, as well as any changes from previous ranks. We should see more of what is going on inside your character's mind in addition to your character’s reaction to outside stimuli.Grammar, spelling, and overall structure should be near-perfect at this stage, and reviewers should not have to comment on any issues. We will look for your distinct, identifiable writing style, as well as a distinctive character voice projected through this style.


I only now realised that this is the third time I am reviewing Gretchen, so aside from knowing some of her threads as they are with me, this will be interesting. I honestly don’t have a true system so I will simply mark which threads I drew quotes from when I do, so you will know what I am talking about as I go. I was actually thinking if there would be any way to mark the threads concerning which arc they belong to before starting to read them, but I feel like colour-coding is a bad idea and so I am just going to expect that I will notice which arc I am dealing with based on the characters that appear in there. But I can already compliment you on your thread descriptions, as they are detailed enough to make sure an unprepared reader knows what is going on and give the necessary links to previous threads and rankings if someone wants to dig a little deeper or see the direct comparison in between the older threads and the current ones.

This first thread of Liam is just a good way to introduce Gretchen to the reader in general, especially for someone who isn’t as familiar with her as I - due to the third review and plotting. I don’t know if you deliberately chose it because of that, but I like how we see her in a comfortable position, doing her regular Gretchen things: homework, studying, dealing with Billy and being distrustful and judgemental #justGretchenthings. I also like the small remarks about the brooch, as pictured here:

QUOTE
Anthony had bought it for her when she first went to Hogwarts – the little witch had been oh so enamoured with her kneazle-cat, it seemed like an appropriate present.


It made me wonder though if Gretchen feels emotional attachment to objects like this one? But I also feel like we will explore this further on in your threads.

Moving on to the thread with Andre, I like her thought process and how much names and backgrounds really matter to her. It shows that she does have a mental file on everyone, and how little she trusts those around her. It is striking that she judges others by appearance, such as thinking about the blue strands Andre has.

QUOTE
Andre Elkins was a scrawny boy – perhaps too scrawny to come from wealth, but then Larsson was a pureblood and he walked around like a living corpse.

Oh Gretchen, that is a bad giveaway. This amused me too much, but I also like how the pattern in her head does not match reality quite as much as she wants it to, because her theories cannot always be applied to the practice of the real world.

I’m always a sucker for family backgrounds, and especially at ranking stages where we have no profile at hand I always find it interesting to see dynamics and traditions displayed through actual interactions with said family members. I vaguely remembered having read this thread before, and I just like the sleepiness and how sceptical Gretchen seems to be concerning deities while still performing the rites. I think that if you want to strive for Elite one day, I would like to see more threads like Two sides of a very dated coin, because it gives such a nice vibe.

QUOTE
Knitting her eyebrows together and slightly biting her lower lip as if it would help her concentrate, Gretchen took a furious swing and threw the ball at the target with the ferocity of an Erinye and the skill of a teenager who could never pass her Primary School gym class.

Just leaving this here for entertainment, oh my god. And right afterwards I am catapulted into the wonderful world of awkward teenage romance. I just loved the unicorn and the whole interaction between Lenny and Gretchen, but I am sure I have more to say towards this as we move on.

Now there isn’t much new to discover in Haglhrið slær høgg i aks for me, but what is striking is how many emotions and different faces goes through as she tries to figure which course of action would be the right one to choose now, and how she turns into a mediator between Njord who for once is not as trustful and Liam, given she knows both boys separately, yet not together. I feel like this is a true skill and also a danger that gives us a first taste of what Gretchen could get up to once she’s an adult.

As I love continuity, I really love you continued many of your threads and arcs started at Intermediate and before already. I feel like you are lucky to have the same people around again and again for interactions, because I find myself reorganising almost all my arcs with very few exceptions for each rank, so congrats and that and good luck for the future actually.

Now the Make up without a fight thread was definitely all the rage back during the event, and I don’t know how many times I clicked it because I wanted to see the process. I also feel like it is one of the heaviest ones in your HWE threads, and definitely a turning point in the relationship between Lenny and Gretchen. There is just so much happening and it is so well executed without being too much, and I live for the angst here. It’s especially threads like this that give us such a distinct sense for Gretchen. For example how she goes from calling Lenny Leonard to Lenny, and how she tries to keep control despite having been shot, like JFC GRETCHEN CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

This will be a long review but it is also a very long ranking app, please bear with me here. As I cannot keep gushing a little, I stumbled upon this little piece and it made me wonder - especially given I am familiar with Martín’s rankups and the Ares/Mars metaphors:

QUOTE
Ruled by Mars, her family said. Well, if it was up to Gretchen, Ares was going to get some of his own medicine.

→ Do you use Mars and Ares interchangeably, or does the meaning change depending on how her family perceives Gretchen and how she sees herself? I really like the links to the Fausts’ background that comes with such metaphors, so I was wondering if there is a meaning behind it. It’s definitely one of those things I would love to see you doing, so maybe a bit of food for thought if you are going for the Roman or the Greek Gods in here.

I also really like how this thread led into a mini arc, because I personally love using events as kickstarters for a character’s development, and always try to use as many parts of the butchered pig as possible if you know what I mean. The follow-up with Anthony is just awesome, and you will find me talking about it once I am done again because I have things to say concerning perspective and focus, stay tuned. Reading the threads that followed definitely confirmed my thought of the train thread having been a turning point for Gretchen, as for me it seems that she is not only changing her ways about Lenny, yet about herself as well. She becomes more self-aware about how different she is - though she knew before - and that very teenager-like awkwardness is definitely what I live for.

In my opinion, oneshots at the stage above Novice are always awesome to complete arcs, and I really like the tone and the general atmosphere about this one.

QUOTE
Muggles read on the Tube – the witch took note of that and would make sure to bring a book herself next time. Everyone on the train had had their eyes glued on their novels or newspapers, even the ones standing up. When the Tube came to an abrupt halt, they’d sway, but they never stopped reading. Aside from a few glances, nobody seemed to care much that there was an oddly dressed 5 foot tall girl with a massive cat on her lap seated in their midst.

This is just so cute ;_; The whole interactions with Anthony are very cute, and I like how her injuries had an impact on the whole family and how she is slowly growing up my making her own decisions. Especially without a profile, this gave an awesome overview over her doings and her background.

Much like Make up…, I feel like Trust your heart… is one of the turning points for Gretchen when she finally opens up to someone. I like your her trust in Njord progressed with time, and how they are now at a stage where they engage in boys talk.

QUOTE
This is another jarring moment for Gretchen because she’s a mess – but a different mess than in the train thread.

This just made me laugh in your descriptions so let’s put that here. It also pretty sums up the thread, and I love how Gretchen’s anger showed and how the plot took such a sudden turn.

And with that, we already reach Clash, and that’s super exciting of course. I wonder who Gretchen marries. Enough joking, we have to finish this review after all. What I already loved as unbiased reader who did not have to review you before was the fact that Gretchen always has to remind herself that Severin is alive. For once because it kind of confirms I am succeeding in how I portray him, and also because Gretchen is a mortician - she would know how a corpse feels like. Here’s an example of it, and I know it’s a repeated motif at the wedding itself:

QUOTE
A part of her had expected his hands to feel cold, as frigid as their attitude towards each other, but the warmth of his skin was an unpleasant reminder that there was another person there, made of more than calculated plans and tactical moves.


There is not much more to say about the wedding itself and its proceedings, but I love all those little details like the thorn of the rose bouquet cutting into her finger, and her general judgement, as well as the hints at the worst day of her life. That brings me to a point I want to suggest to you for future clash plots: don’t be afraid to work in more flashbacks to Hogwarts happenings. I think there is still plenty of room to work these things out, and you should definitely go for it. With that, I already want to move towards the part of the general factors about your writing, now that I have read it all and have written quite a lot about it down already. You ready for it? You better.

What I love is how you make your roleplay partner thrive for higher aims, as in: offering them enough to react to to expand their own posts. It is something I noticed in the niffler thread with Liam, because Kenzie’s posts doubled once yours came in play, and that is always awesome to watch. I am also a huge fan of referencing happenings in the past, such as the bathroom incident with Sigurd, the mermaid saving, and the feud between Nilssons and Fausts in general. It always impresses me how much canon references you make towards places, books and people, and it’s just a very Gretchen thing to do by now.

Overall you have a very good grip on Gretchen and all her emotions, as you showed a wide range of them throughout all the threads I have been reading now. Pain, fear, anger, but also embarrassment and happiness, as well as comfort and insecurity are always displayed in very authentic ways. I also like how you show her nervous tics and describe her clothes without relying on polyvore sets for it in most cases. I barely found any typos - one, actually, therefore not worth a mention - and also nothing I would remark on about grammar. Your posts are always long and meaty, and I think the balance between outer happenings and her thoughts is given.

I already quoted a lot, but I do enjoy your use of metaphors, as they still seem very grounded and not overly flowery, which wouldn’t match Gretchen as the practical little witch she is. So here are two more examples I enjoyed a lot, as they are quite telling about Gretchen:

QUOTE
Though she was so rarely allowed to spread her wings, the tiny eagle had never had a problem with heights.


QUOTE
No, Gretchen’s mind was like English weather, and even after the rain the grey clouds were still there, seemingly just as heavy as before, merely waiting for a chance to unleash another shower.


Now after all that praise, I do have a few critics points as well. I know it is a question of personal choice, but I think that a chronological order (kudos to actually having timelines, because mine sure are a mess xD), my personal preference is a separation in arcs, because I feel like for someone who is not as invested and involved in Gretchen’s plots, it would eventually be harder to follow them. I see your development, I see how your arcs are overlapping and I understand the choice, but if you would find a way to keep it chronological and at the same time formatted in arcs, that would make it easier. I see the three arcs in there, and a fourth in clash, and I see all the development within this rank as well as judging from previous ranks as well.

My second point is a question of whether it is intentional style or just a slip, because I did only notice it in the Let’s talk about spaceships thread. Sometimes your perspective seems to slip from Gretchen’s teenage judgement to your own voice, as in calling Lenny and Gretchen the two nerds. That wouldn’t be Gretchen’s choice of words, right? If that was intentional, ignore I ever said something - if not, consider when you do it, and why! Same goes for focus when there are NPCs around. Especially with Anthony I noticed you tend to shift your focus on him rather than Gretchen - intention or slip? Definitely something to keep in mind.

As for your plots, I think you know where you are taking her and how far you can go. Keep your variety up, and eventually throw her at a professor and in more interactions with people she neither likes nor is comfortable with? It shouldn’t be hard for Gretchen, am I right? Two things came to me while reading, and I actually noted them down as more food for thought for you: Did you consider giving her any complications with the wound from the arrow? Does it hurt when the weather changes, does she still have a scar there? And my second point was triggered by that quote:

QUOTE
She needed a Calming Draught. Again.

→ Is that potion abuse I see? Think about it.

I think your special request is befitting for Gretchen. As someone with the same request I want to encourage you to let her consider it pre-clash already, as in engaging in research for it etc.

So after having talked for almost four hours of work straight, I think I can definitely APPROVE your request and also APPROVE you and @Gretchen Kirke-Faust for ADVANCED. Congrats and good luck with your other two reviews. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on skype <3

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Stells Artois · 16 · 6th · Viridian Guild · Pureblood · 5'11
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Feb 16 2018, 07:08 PM   Link Quote
Hey Robin! You know me, I know you, and I’m pretty sure you already know why I’m here. As I was writing this, I realized that this is my first time reviewing you, and I’m really excited about it! This is also my first time writing a review for Advanced in general, so uhmm… here’s to hoping I can at least give you some helpful insight, right? xD Since Tine already did a wonderful job at telling us all the requirements, let’s jump right to the review!

Like I said before, I’m really excited to have the opportunity to review you and Gretchen, because – as I have told you personally in the past – I think you’re an amazing and talented writer, and you’re also one of the writers I really do admire in WURR. You have a very unique style that is easily identifiable in each of your posts, and most importantly, your narration of Gretchen herself is incredibly consistent and quite different from all your other characters. Something I always find commendable and worth praise as I read a character’s posts is when the writer has the ability to convey who the character is through the narration. By this, I mean the way in which you give glimpses of your character’s background as well as their daily life, allowing the reader to get to know them without the need to go look at a profile. This is something I find to be really important when writing a character and which I also noticed as I read Gretchen, because, being someone who has never had a thread with her other than main event threads, and also someone who has never really read her profile, I feel like I have learned a lot about her simply by reading her posts. So, congratulations!

Now that all that has been said, don’t expect me to give any grand advice regarding style in this review, as I think yours is definitely at Advanced level, and given that style is something that is unique to every writer, it also isn’t something I often feel comfortable giving advice about. You will probably also not find any advice regarding grammar, and that’s because, rather than spending this review nitpicking about small grammatical mistakes I may encounter here and there, I would like to focus my comments on your plots and arcs, as you clearly proofread your threads and I see no point in commenting on things like those given that that’s the case. Now, given that I will focus on your arcs, I decided to organize this review by arc rather than chronologically, so I’m sorry if you get a bit confused when it comes to which thread I’m talking about, as I will likely make comments on plot development and the arcs themselves rather than going thread by thread. Although, on that note, I would like to agree with Tine on that your thread and arc summaries are incredibly detailed, and they definitely tell us a lot about what to expect from each particular plot and also how much time, effort, and dedication you have put into planning your arcs. Good job!

The ‘Smolstice’ Arc

Well well well… If it isn’t Gretchen and Lenny. Smolstice is a ship a lot of us are definitely very familiar with, and I personally remember having clicked on a few of their threads when they were on-going because I really wanted to know what was going on. Hell, I still do it (I’m watching you -insert suspense music-). I think that the plot itself is incredibly well executed and – as your mentioned in your summary – fundamental to Gretchen’s character development. Furthermore, I really enjoy the dynamics that exist between Gretchen and Lenny, and how often their vastly different backgrounds cause them to clash and not understand each other, yet even if such is the case, they work pass all that and are able to become friends and even develop feelings for each other. It tells a lot about what “falling in love” as a teenager, and most importantly, what “falling in love” as an insecure teenager is like, and I would like to congratulate you and Ruthie on it, because I find it all to be quite relatable. (Here I use the term “fall in love” loosely, as I’m not completely sure what kind of relationship you intend for Smolstice to be and what kind of feelings Gretchen really has, as I’m not one to assume every relationship is romantic by default.)

Throughout the arc, we see Gretchen encountering feelings and situations she is unfamiliar with; things that confuse her, and she doesn’t know exactly how to deal with them. But, why would she? After all, she’s 15, and you do a great job at writing just that: a 15 year old girl “falling in love” for the first time. Aside from that, I like how, through the development of her relationship with Lenny, Gretchen begins to trust other people more and let this “stranger” in. Though reading her posts, it’s rather obvious that she’s a character who doesn’t trust people easy, and so things that may seem insignificant – like the way she begins to address Lenny by his nickname instead of his full name – are actually quite significant and proof of how close they have (or had?) grown. You put it pretty well in this particular quote:

QUOTE (Sorry I’m not made of sugar)

There were only three people in Gretchen Kirke-Faust’s life whom she addressed by anything but their full first name, and all three of them were part of the Faust household – [/i]family.[/i] [...] Nicknames, in Gretchen’s opinion, or even shortened versions of names, were a sign of familiarity, or informality in the least. The witch was taught to always keep her distance – something she was clearly failing at. Lately, with Lenny… using his full first name had become a conscious effort, desperate not to betray herself.


”Using his full first name had become a conscious effort, desperate not to betray herself.” Excuse me while I cry? We see a Gretchen that realized that something was going on, that something was changing, and that was desperately trying to cling to what she knew because, as I think we all know, change can be a terrifying, especially as a teenager. Yet she had grown close enough with Lenny to be willing to make that change for him and call him by his nickname… until she felt like she couldn’t trust him anymore. The fundraiser, and everything that results from it, is a great development for this arc to have, specially because Gretchen finds herself dealing with even more feelings she’s rather unfamiliar with, such as as a jealous that is only increased by her own insecurities.

Now, while conflict is always good for an arc and it can provide a great way to explore negative feelings and have the characters in question develop as a result, I’m sure you know problems don’t just… vanish into thin air. I don’t know what you and Ruthie have planned for the future of this arc, but I have no doubts you must plan to address the issues that came to existence between Gretchen and Lenny in the future, as you two seem to have a great grasp on the development of Smolstice. I really look forward to seeing how they overcome all this and how their relationship develops from here, but truly, what I really want to see more of is why does Gretchen have feelings for Lenny. Let me explain myself a bit better: conflict is great, it provide for amazing opportunities for development, but conflict is not what feelings of fondness arise from, right? I want to see more of the good moments like the carnival and their time at Diagon Alley, moments when Gretchen and Lenny are happy and that she can look back to in a “this is why I like Lenny Plunkett” kind of way. For example:

QUOTE (Let’s talk about spaceships)

Blink and you’d miss it, but her lips curled slightly, faint dimples forming in her round cheeks. She didn’t understand most of his humour, that was just fact, but this was made for her to understand, for a change, which was nice. More than the joking nature of the remark though, she appreciated that he wasn’t making a big deal out of it, which he easily could’ve.


QUOTE (Trust your heart if the seas catch fire)
A memory of Diagon Alley on a late, cloudy summer day drifted by, casual conversation over Leaky Cauldron food.


It may seem silly, insignificant, like a detail that would be dismissed by most, but it’s in the small things, you know? This is just my case, but if I were to think about the reasons I have feelings for my fiancé, it isn’t the grand gestures that come to mind, its things like how he would message me good morning everyday back when we lived at different sides of the world, or things like those. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone, but my point is that I would love to see more of those moments that… show how Gretchen begins to grow more and more fond of Lenny, you know? Moments when he makes her smile, or laugh, or just have a quiet day by each other’s side.

All that aside, I think that if you plan to aim towards Elite it would be good to see some of Gretchen’s interactions with Lenny in Clash, along with their relationship before it and further explore the reasons why they broke up. I don’t know if this is something you planned on doing or not, but I figured the advice was worth the mention, because so far, I think Smolstice is going on the right track, and that appears to be leading to a huge change in Gretchen’s character. I love it!

The ‘Family’ Arc

So, remember how I said your reader can find out a lot about Gretchen by looking her threads? Well, one of those things is obviously how important her family is to her. Which is why I’m glad that you dedicate them an arc of their own, as I definitely think the developments and changes in her relationship with her family are extremely relevant to her as a character. I like how you show us her interactions with them further than just what “being a Faust” means to Gretchen, and how even a character like her is affected by things like having a father who never paid her much attention, etc. It’s all really telling of why Gretchen is the way she is, and why she behaves the way she behaves, so I’m really looking forward to the changes in her relationship with her family in the future! Now, I get that having developments concerning a character’s family can be hard when most of them are NPCs, but truthfully, you do a good job with it, especially because Gretchen’s family and her feelings towards them (specially her father) are something you make sure to constantly mention throughout your arcs. In this sense, we begin to see how the arcs intertwine and overlap, and that none of these factors in Gretchen’s life (be it her family, her friends, or Lenny) are independant. All of them influence each other, which is, of course, great!

I was a bit sad to see that the threads with her foster brother didn’t develop any further, but I understand that this is something that is out of your control. I’m not sure if you plan for it to continue being a relevant factor in Gretchen’s family arc, but I definitely find that speaking of her feelings towards Theodorus is quite important for her character, especially considering how Gretchen is much more comfortable with her family than with most people. If you do plan for it to continue being a relevant part of the arc, I think it would be great to see more of the reasons why they grew distant, how this affected Gretchen and how beginning to rebuild her relationship with him helps her when it comes to trusting people. Who know, maybe he could become someone she could open up to and discuss her feelings for Lenny, or such a role could be taken by one of her friends or even a completely unrelated person, but I think it could be interesting to see her speaking of her vulnerabilities, doubts and insecurities with someone she really does trust.

If I’m being completely honest with you, the one-shot with Anthony was one of my favourite threads to read in this rank up. After reading your summary for this arc, I was really looking forward to seeing Gretchen’s interactions with him and I was not disappointed. I really really loved this thread, because while doing an awesome job at displaying that vulnerable “kid who is afraid of getting scolded” side of Gretchen, it also shows that she’s also beginning to grow up and seek that independance that has never really been granted to her. I enjoyed seeing how despite how obviously hard it is for her to go against the wishes of her family and how afraid she is of disappointing her father and also Anthony, she tries her best to explain that she’s not a little girl anymore and that she can in fact take care of herself and do things like take the Underground and go to Diagon Alley. Like this bit over here:

QUOTE (Ribbon bows around my shoulder @ and I'm only getting older )

“no, no, I have Billy, remember? He’ll always guide me home.” Her guardian fell silent again as he glanced down at the kneazle-cat, and Gretchen took the opportunity to keep talking. “That’s why papa got me one, he’ll keep me safe. I should be able to go out now – and once I’m in Diagon Alley I can even use magic. I can defend myself.”


As a note, I’m a big fan of how often you make mentions of Billy’s actions and his presence in Gretchen’s threads, given that he’s not just a simple pet cat: he’s a witch’s familiar, and as you show, he definitely serves that purpose and is a fundamental part of her life. Seeing Gretchen justifying herself was great, but I mostly really like how this thread displays such clear and necessary character development while also serving as a link between the Smolstice arc and her family arc. It made me very happy to see Gretchen telling Anthony about Lenny, and it was also awesome to get those glimpses of Anthony’s perspective on the whole situation. I particularly liked the this last paragraph:

QUOTE (Ribbon bows around my shoulder @ and I'm only getting older )
It was incredible how fast humans lived, and how much they could change in such a short time. Anthony had known Gretchen as a wide-eyed, curious child and a reclusive, wary teenager in the span of less than ten years. As she walked out of the room with a spring in her step that he hadn't seen in a while, the vampire dreaded the day that he wouldn't know her anymore.


Is this foreshadowing I see?

’The Scooby Gang’ Arc

I think that the fact that this arc adds new people already comes as proof of how Gretchen’s character has developed in the aspect of trusting others and beginning to open up. It seems as if slowly but surely she’s realizing that it’s alright and even good to have other people around, and she makes a genuine effort for these people to actually like her (however minimal it may seem to her). I really like how the first thread with Liam displays her initial distrust of him, which continues onto the thread with him and Njord until she realizes he means well. She definitely begins to seem much more comfortable around him once his intentions become more clear, or comfortable enough to at least lower her guard just a bit. What I did find interesting about the lake thread, however, is that Gretchen’s thoughts on Nasha’s behaviour seem to parallel really well with her own distrustful nature:

QUOTE (haglhrið slær høgg i aks )

However, the mermaid was good at hiding – she had been through enough to know what was at stake, and that she needed to protect herself. If she saw her visitors waiting for her, she’d come. If she saw a potentially dangerous stranger was with them, Gretchen trusted she’d know to stay away. Did she worry about the mermaid's safety? Yes, absolutely. But she was not so arrogant to think that the mermaid was helpless, or any more a child than Gretchen was herself.


It seems to me that, in a way, Nasha’s behaviour about people is quite similar to the the one Gretchen used to have. In the sense that, while she was not necessarily afraid of others, she was always cautious and wary, while also not being helpless. The feeling I get out of it is something like: Gretchen – largely because of the influence of her father and her own insecurities – seemed afraid of the damage people could potentially cause, while Nasha – having been victim of the wrongful actions of people – seems afraid of the damage that could be done to her once more. I’m not sure if this is something you did on purpose (kudos if so) or if it was just a happy accident, but I think that maybe her interactions with Nasha could be a good development point for Gretchen in a “I used to be very distrustful of people too but there’s some people you can trust” sort of way. I hope that makes sense xD

On the other hand, aside from this people she’s beginning to trust, there’s Njord, who she’s starting to think of as a friend. I really loved how much Gretchen cherishes his friendship, respects and admires him, to the point that she’s afraid that he may not want to be her friend anymore because he’s close with Archibald, to the point that she feels the need to thank him for spending time with her despite this. Like you said in your description: she’s vulnerable, and a vulnerable Gretchen definitely doesn’t seem like the kind of Gretchen she wants to be, but hey....that’s the price to pay if she wants to tear walls down and begin to let some people in. Actually, I think the following quote describes this sentiment perfectly:

QUOTE (Trust your heart if the seas catch fire )
Gretchen preferred the sphinx over Oedipus and the rage of the Erinyes, wanted to be the Gorgon whose gaze could turn people to stone.


You know I always love me some good Greek mythos references.

That being said, I think that Njord is an incredibly positive influence in Gretchen’s life, and their friendship seems to have the potential to really develop and be even more meaningful to her. I really hope you and Tine continue to further develop their interactions, because I find their dynamics to be really interesting, especially considering the backstories of both characters and how Njord is involved with Archie, who’s family also isn’t fond of the Fausts. On that note, maybe towards the future it would be good to see Gretchen making certain “sacrifices” for the sake of these friendships that are taking shape in her life – be it spending time with these people she dislikes and that they care about, or things like those. Why? Well, when we’re close to people, sometimes that means we have to do things we dislike in order for them to be happy and well, and we’re willing to do them because we care for them. Perhaps, learning more of the costs that come with becoming close to people could be beneficial towards her development, especially now that she’s beginning to let more and more people into her life.

The Clash

Let’s start this one strong! With a quote!

QUOTE (For how could I refuse?)
She advanced with swift, determined strides, head high and back arched, more like a conqueror than a young woman – the heels of her shoes echoing like a war horn.


Yeah! Gretchen is a strong, independent woman, and she don’t need no man… unless, of course, it’s for a fake marriage for the sake of PR. xD Jokes aside, I picked this quote because while its right at the beginning of your first Clash thread, it’s also really telling of Gretchen’s personality in Clash and her role as a leader for the Viridian Guild, which she totally owns. This is strong, “not here to deal with shenanigans”, Gretchen, and I love it. Also, given that Tine mentioned it about another thread and because my mind instantly makes the link when mentioning war horns: how about that ruled by Mars side of Gretchen? As you probably already know, Ares and Mars metaphors are a grand centerpiece in my arcs with Martín, that being the case and given that I use Mars metaphors for him in Clash, I wanted to make a small comment on it. Romans – as I’m also sure you’re aware – were known for the prowess when it came to warfare and military strategy, but most of all, in an ideal form, Romans saw war as a means to secure peace. Security and stability was brought to the people of Rome through war, and in that sense, Mars, God of War, was considered the protector and guardian of the people, for he was the force that drove war and who delivered peace when victory came. He was the father of the Roman people, and I think that having Gretchen, ruled by Mars, as a leader in a war context, could provide for an interesting metaphorical analysis. See, if Gretchen is ruled by Mars, then what is her Rome? Is it the Viridian Guild or is it something else? What does she seek to protect? This is something I personally analize with Martín in my Clash threads, but I figured I’d mention it since, quite obviously, it’s of great interest to me, specially because in the thread with Severin, Gretchen’s initial reason for involving herself in the Guild and climbing up ranks was honouring her father’s legacy. That makes it seem as if being a Faust is still what is the most important to her, but later she gives up on the Faust name for the sake of the VG. You said it yourself, “her motivations became muddied”, so yes, I think it’s a point that would be interesting to further explore this!

Here are a couple of quotes I also really like about this thread, as they seem to showcase Gretchen’s attitude in Clash quite well, along with her behaviour as co-leader of the Guild:

QUOTE (For how could I refuse?)
She didn’t stop to greet her co-leader, she didn’t even pause, and the word ‘hesitate’ was no longer in her vocabulary.


QUOTE (For how could I refuse?)
As leaders, they were the face of the Guild, so they had to become likeable, trustworthy, mild-mannered citizens. Not a Faust witch, and not a wizard who once dated a part-Veela.


In Clash, Gretchen is strong-willed, determined, and willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of her goals. She’s definitely not the girl we see in your Hogwarts Era threads, and that’s great, because after all… 8 years pass, and people can change quite a lot during that time. Personally, I love how she seems to have reverted back into being guarded and cautious and being so even more than before, and I really look forward to seeing what you will do with this towards her future arcs in Clash!

QUOTE (Wedding Ceremony - Main Event Thread #1)
It took an iron will for Gretchen’s smile to not turn wry as she stood under the rose arch, next to her future husband. Fortunately, iron and steel was what a Viridian Guild leader was made off – hard, unyielding, and cold to the touch. Still, the irony of it all didn’t escape her. A Faust marrying a Larsson, a Larsson marrying a Faust. [...] Passing on the Faust name, even if it belonged to the mother, had become tradition for that very purpose.

Gretchen was discarding both names today.


Like I said, personal sacrifices. Having participated in both wedding threads, I can say they both give an incredibly tense atmosphere, and you do an amazing job at portraying that this is, in fact, the worst day in Gretchen’s life, as opposed to how happy and joyful a wedding day is supposed to be for most couples. If I’m being honest, my favourite part of it all is that despite everything she’s going through and the emotional toll that the whole event has taken on her, Gretchen puts it all aside for the sake of pretty much scolding Severin for his reckless actions, and puts the success of the event first and foremost in her mind. It shows that emotional maturity that is expected from her by this point, along with how invested she is in having everything go well for the Guild.

Now that I’m talking about Clash, I wanted to say that your Special Request really does seem like a good and well thought out choice for Gretchen’s character, especially given the reasoning behind it. Distrustful as she is, it makes sense to me that she would begin to learn Occlumency once finding out that Severin is a Legilimens, especially after making the decision to marry him. I’m not sure if I would encourage her learning of Occlumency to have began before Clash, as her doing it as a consequence of wanting to protect herself, and, as you say, “give them an equal playing field” makes more sense to me, but given that Arthur Kirke-Faust would emphasis on the importance of Occlumency, I can also see it being something she took interest in before Clash. I’m sure you know what is best for you character and have thought this out really well, but that’s just my opinion on it from an outside perspective.

- The Verdict -

Looks like I’m finally running out of things to say (about time, right?). Gretchen is an incredibly well thought out and complex character, and from reading her posts it’s quite obvious that you have put a lot of dedication into her arcs. Seeing her display all these newly discovered vulnerabilities and begin to lower her guard throughout her threads was great, and I definitely think she has changed quite a lot based on what I saw from your previous reviews. Honestly, one of my favourite things about Gretchen and that I hope you never lose through her narration is the fact that, no matter who she is talking to or where she is, it’s always clear to us that Gretchen is a witch. I know it probably seems silly, but its a factor that to me is incredibly relevant, because it’s also something that is relevant to her character: Gretchen is a pureblood witch, and magic is always a center in her life. I really enjoy that about her, and I had an amazing time reviewing her.

So, with the sincere hope that I was able to give you some helpful advice, I’m more than happy to APPROVE your Special Request and, of course, APPROVE you and @Gretchen Kirke-Faust for Advanced. Congratulations, Robin, you’ve done – and continue to do – a really wonderful job with her as a character, and I can’t wait to see how she will develop in the future. Consider this ranking glittered. Best of lucks with your next review!! You know where to find me if you have any questions at all ♡ Sunshine!

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Feb 24 2018, 04:17 PM   Link Quote
Hey Robin! So first and foremost, I have to apologize for this being so late. A lot happened, but I won't bog down this review with my own excuses. The great thing is, with two approvals, this is pretty much just all gravy, isn't it? Since I was a punk and made you wait so long, I will break that traditional review fashion and let you know right away that I approve you and @Gretchen Kirke-Faust for Advanced. I also approve your special request, as I see it as something that is perfectly aligned with Gretchen and her motivations in the Clash Era. Phew, that makes the rest of this a little bit easier to read, am I right? Right. So. Let's get down to business.

"In a way, Gretchen’s plot arcs all support one big over-arching character arc: it’s all about Gretchen learning more about herself, starting to question her own behaviour and what she beliefs in, and learning to give her emotions a place instead of unhealthily suppressing them."

What you said above, to me, summarizes this ranking application in full. From the moment I begin to read, I can tell that Gretchen is on her own personal journey. Something she both recognizes and doesn't recognize, depending on the situation. LEONARD - LENNY! While with other characters, sometimes the focus can be on more external actions and how they react, I find that Gretchen actually drives a lot of her change. She seems to surprise herself quite a lot as she pushes forward, doing and questioning and opening up to let people in. Sure, external actions can spur some of that on, but she seems to keep a decisive grip on her destiny and fate and that is something that just seems so Gretchen. Even when things are out of control and even when she feels like she is a mess, she's growing. She's standing tall. I love it!

When it comes to style, your writing has always impressed me. I believe I said this in my last review - it was hard for me to find anything to constructively criticize. You have a way of writing that sucks someone in and paints a perfectly clear picture. You have great analogies, as were recognized by your other reviewers, and they are always fitting for the scenario. Be proud of that because it's tough to pull those things off sometimes without looking completely silly. And you do it! There were several lines that I loved as I read and I will quote those here -

"People were an open book, but they weren’t always written in a language she understood."

"She then squinted while Lenny babbled on, as if that’d help her understand the sentence he was trying to string together, the brightness of Gretchen's eyes only seeming to increase as she narrowed them – like how a desk lamp seems brighter in an otherwise dimly lit interrogation room. Where were you between ten and eleven?"


“I don’t particularly like Bertie Bott’s, but that’s alright. I’m not planning on eating them,” she replied lackadaisically, taking her time to let the words roll off her tongue with crafted listlessness, the way some people blew chewing gum. "

"Gretchen Kirke-Faust seemed out of place in the summer, with her tights and tweed skirts, and a colour palette that matched a twilight rather than a sun filled noon. She was a child of winter through and through, cold, harsh and unforgiving. Unyielding too, lacking the adaptability of spring and autumn, clinging at what was familiar in fear of change. "


“There we go. That wasn’t such a disaster.” Her hooded lids lowered, and her characteristic ghost of a smile appeared – the one that moved the corners of her mouth only ever so slightly – and tried out this new, fancy trick called reassuring."


"Gretchen was successfully engrossed in what she was making when Lenny entered the dungeon that served as their classroom, his voice cutting through the brittle comfort she’d found for herself like a severing charm. "

Not to mention, you used 'whimsical' to describe some of the more unpredictable months of the year and I really enjoyed that. You see things from a perspective that should make any aspiring writer sit up and pay attention. Truly. Your one-shot with Anthony picking Gretchen up after she was injured was just... I felt like it was an excerpt out of a novel. Like it was sneak peak that the back of another book that I had really enjoyed reading, a suggested snippet of something similar that would keep and hold my interest. Then again, such interactions are already present in most of your threads as Billy always makes an appearance. You transition between the two of them effortlessly, as if you are actually writing chapters in a book. Just to illustrate my two favorite things about Billy and Anthony -

"Somewhere from a tree at the edge of the carnival, Billy watched and disapproved. "

"Meanwhile Anthony was completely out of his comfort-zone. They could just replace the blood right? Hell, their bodies made blood. By themselves! She’d be fine, she had to be, or at least that’s what he told that tightening feeling of panic in his chest. "

I legit giggled out loud over that. By Themselves! Anyway, I think you get the gist. I think you've got mad skills as a writer and I've thought that since I first reviewed you at intermediate. You're at the advanced level, no problem, no question.

I'm not going to go thread by thread or arc by arc - as both Tine and Stells have done a good job of hitting the finer details in such a way. I will say that I feel as if the interactions between Lenny and Gretchen are definitely the strongest and most fleshed out. Those threads seemed to have the most replies and the most depth out of all of yours, and as such it left me feeling a little bit more satisfied than... say... the threads with Teddy. For Elite, I'd love to see some more attention to the Scooby Gang and their interactions. I'd love to see that even expand - if it makes sense for the plot - to include some other people as well. Maybe even different people OOCly as well as ICly. That's not always something you can control, of course, and I understand that. But I think it would help bring this plot up to feel just as developed as Smolstice.

I actually preferred reading the threads in a chronological order ? Maybe because I've always just preferred things chronologically in any format, really, but... I just think it makes it easy for me to see how each things leads into another and affects Gretchen. It isn't difficult for me to discern where each arc begins and ends. But in the end, I think you should do whatever works best for you in the application process. You had wonderfully detailed descriptions, as both Tine and Stells mentioned, so even if something was confusing at first, it quickly became clear by what you wrote out.

I think the biggest thing I suggest to see for Elite... is a bit more to the threads you present for Gretchen. In no way did the lack of responses hinder you during this round of ranking - I will just be upfront and clear about that. What you gave was strong enough to stand on its own and display Gretchen and the journey that she has gone through over time. But Elite requires awesome in every aspect - style, characterisation, arcs, profile, etc. I would just make sure that you give enough, in variety, for your reviewers to read through and get a good grasp of what you were trying to convey with the threads. For Elite, as best you can, you want to leave them wanting for more because they enjoy reading it and not because they need more to understand in each interaction. Does that make sense? I hope it does xD That was really the only complaint I had this time. I just know it's hard when you can't control when people reply, so please don't be discouraged if you don't have epic lengths in every thread. I definitely don't mean that.

You already do reviews and we already know that you give great advice, but your tips for fellow writers are spot-on. They are things I tell myself, personally, everyday. Even when I want to fight against them haha. And actually, writing characters based on canons has made me a much between OC writer... or at least I think it has. It trained my mind to look and think about those details where it might have forgotten them before. So. Very good point. Even for people who don't write canons, it's great to think about the amount of detail they have behind them.

All in all, Robin, I think you're a phenomenal writer and though you were unsure of your direction with Gretchen way back when you first started ranking her, you've found it. You're doing awesome!! You are on your way to elite and I look forward to the day that you apply for it! smile.gif You know my decisions already, so there is no need for me to say them again here. Just know that if you have any questions at all or need any help, you are always welcome to reach out. Thanks and have a lovely day!

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