Hi! magnolia_magic here with your requested review! I'm so glad you asked me to review this. I'm studying psychology right now, so it cracked me up to see all the terms you used. (And I'm not such a fan of Freud, so it was fun to hear Lorcan gripe about him :P) I had fun reading this!
I love that this story doesn't take itself too seriously, like you say in your author's note. You did play up the non-romance, but you did it in a funny way, which I think was a good move. It's kind of like a crazy alternate universe :) At the moment it does kind of look like the start of a romantic comedy, though, but that may just be because I primarily read romance stories, lol. We'll see how things develop from here!
I like the way you make the most mundane of events--like a Gobstones game--seem like life-or-death situations. That's where a lot of your humor comes from in this, and I really enjoyed it :) The exaggerated description of Cassiopeia is great too; you make her seem like a fearsome monster, and I think it's funny that Lorcan thinks of her that way.
I thought your description/dialogue balance was spot on, and I never felt any distracting breaks in flow. So you're doing fine there. As for the question of whether your characters are likeable, that's a definite yes! I had laugh-out-loud moments when Lysander talked Freud (reaction formation :D), and I look forward to seeing how Lorcan and Cassiopeia resolve their tension over the rematch.
As to whether they're believable or not, I'd say that depends on what your goal is for this story. It seems to me like you want to write something that's silly, light reading, and that might get us to look at an overdone genre in a different way. I think you're accomplishing that with your cast; they're all great comedic characters! But if you decide you want to go beyond humor, you might flesh them out a little more. It just depends on the direction you want to go :)
I loved reading this! Thanks for the request, and feel free to PM me if you want to talk further. Great job!
P.S. I just noticed your chapter summary! Is the "blot of ink" a play on the Rorschach test? Love the subliminal messaging...very Freudian ;)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I'm sorry it took me a while to respond. :)
I'm so glad that you were able to appreciate all of the psychology references that I threw in. I wrote this first chapter at a time when I was reviewing like mad for a Psych final, and it kind of became a vent for all things psychological. :)
This first chapter does seem kind of romantic, as do some of the situations in the other chapters, but what I was going for was an anti-romance: It looks like romance, it feels like romance, but uh oh--It isn't! I hope that it didn't seem TOO romantic, though, because I wouldn't wish Cassiopeia upon anyone as a girlfriend--not even Lorcan. :)
Thank you for spotting all of the hyperbolic situations! That was one thing that took me a while to get right, so I'm glad that it came across as such.
I guess that asking if the characters were believable wasn't really a good question for this kind of story. It's meant to be a short story that accomplishes its mission in three chapters, so humor and satirizing romances are my main goals. I'm glad you think that the characters are comedic! :)
The blot of ink thing... Oh my goodness!! I didn't even realize this until you mentioned it!! Psychology has taken over my brain, augh!! Thanks for pointing it out. I think that's pretty interesting, because I didn't even mean to do it. :D
Thanks so much for all of your lovely comments!