Hello! :) Thank you for entering my challenge and providing such a thoughtful, poetic entry!
I was so excited to read your entry about Pansy, since she's such a one-dimensional and irritating character in the books, and I love this voice and identity you've given her. But the beauty of your story is that, in a way, Pansy doesn't really have a voice or identity. She has who her mother wanted her to be, who others expect her to be, and then these personas and qualities that she tries to embody and project onto herself, like not only being a rebel but making others perceive her as a rebel. It was brilliantly written and made me feel so sorry for Pansy: her own lack of self-determination or worth, her longing to be rescued while trying to appear tough and strong on the inside, her frustration with her own failures.
I enjoyed the repetition of the imagery of being angular and jagged throughout the story, and it suited both her internal self and her sharp, physical appearance of wasting away and being skin and bones. Also, your writing style really complimented this, with the short, fragmented sentence structure, choppy statements and the use of present tense. Another thing I noticed was how unhuman Pansy actually appeared in my mind: she's not a body made up of curves and skin and eyes and a smile, but a sort of collection of parts which don't fit together and are sharp and dangerous at the edges, even to herself, and she fits together awkwardly and almost mechanically. One aspect I loved was when you were describing her putting on lipstick, you didn't say "she put on lipstick," but gave this detailed, mechanical and almost grotesque description of the act of putting on lipstick, which was so powerful in showing, not telling.
Again, I liked the projected narratives Pansy tried to make up for herself, like wanting a more interesting story for her scar. I think, in a way, this is something many people can relate to: being unsatisfied with one's self, projecting fantasies and other identities in the hopes others will see us this way. It's a very important, universal story, and you told it very well in the context of this specific example.
Thank you for giving me this chance to get to see a fresh side to Pansy. This was a wonderful entry and a piece I very much enjoyed! :)
Author's Response: Well, thanks for creating such a great challenge and giving me these wonderful compliments!
I think her portrayal in the books was the main reason why I decided to write her, because, as you said, we really don't get to see the real Pansy so exploring her here was really fun. You got exactly what I was hoping to convey so that makes me insanely happy! I'm also glad that you felt a little sorry for her too because I do believe that she's just so confused and lost you can't blame her for those actions.
Yay, it didn't turn repetitive and boring then :P I have quite a fondness for present tense so admittedly I chose it mainly due to a personal preference, but I'm glad that the other structural choices paid off. I loved writing the lipstick part so it was great that you enjoyed it too! I'm not sure why I chose to make it so grotesque I think it was just the idea of beauty in Pansy's warped reality and it came out like that.
I based that a little on myself when younger as you always try to be the most impressive one. It's just sad that she never really grew out of that stage so, as you said again, has to rely on the little things to make her feel something.
Thanks for this amazing review, and I look forward to finding out the results! ♥