Date: 02/29/20 09:27 am Title: Chapter 7: The Elegant Tortoise
Tina sucks...She needs to be wished into oblivion..
Author's Response: In hindsight, I should have given readers more insight into her motivations. Currently, it just seems like she wants to be mean for meanness' sake.
Date: 02/29/20 09:26 am Title: Chapter 5: The Day After, Part 1
I have a feeling that the trial will be interesting...
Author's Response: It's really not as interesting as I should have made it. If I wrote this story again, some deeper truth about Clark's character would be revealed via the trial.
Date: 02/15/20 06:32 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Okay, I see where you were going there and I have to admit I liked how you worked it out. I take back most of what I said earlier and I should have had more faith. My compliments on a terrific story. A few things I would like to point out that I thoroughly enjoyed are, I thought the story had great balance. Many times [when magic/speculative science are involved] stories get carried away with possibilities and spend less energy on irl ramifications. I felt that the sacrifices made by the MC mitigated the 'fantastic' elements, and for me, made the story more relatable. Also you have a clear comfort with English, and through talent or hard work [or both] have managed a respectable vocabulary you use to great advantage. There was one possible hiccup I saw in chapter 21 where you use the word 'opaque' in reference to a cough when it seems to me you wanted to say that it was in fact quite obvious [like my knit-picking] The detailed knowledge you displayed with gaming speak also earned some points in my book. Finally, what what I enjoyed most was the 'hush' aspect and the road to empathy it wove [brilliant!] with the Yorkie's and grandmas spoon as the cherry on top. A really nice touch. [ I got a little misty over the spoon.] By the way. Wasn't there some kind of stone hunter journal found on the corpse? You were so good at closing the loose ends I wonder if I misread something. So thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with me, and I will be sure to come back and visit some of your other stories.....From an old man living in the pacific NW USA
Author's Response: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Also great spot on the misuse of 'opaque' in Chapter 21. I went back and revised that line, so your feedback has already helped to improve this story :D I'm glad that you enjoyed the 'slow burn' of this story and Johanna's meandering journey toward becoming a more empathetic person, as well as the tiny story-telling elements like her grandmother's spoon. I'm also glad that you brought up the stone-hunter journal! I added this part after the rest of the story had already been written, in an attempt to explain why there would be a random skeleton with a wishing stone buried behind within the walls of a school. (This was also referenced by Johanna's teacher, who pointed out that the school had previously been rumored to contain stones. This would explain why a stone hunter would visit the school at all.) As you noted, the stone hunter journal did result in a loose end...though it may also be a plot point for a prequel! Again, it means a lot to me that you enjoyed this story and that you provided such thoughtful feedback. Cheers...from a girl also living in the NW :)
Date: 02/14/20 11:16 pm Title: Chapter 15: Forks and Spoons
I kind of wonder how everything couldn't be better by MC telling everyone the whole truth. Seems like it would clear up so many problems. You would think with societies love of scandal and the fore mentioned 'wish stone ethics police' That it would be a no-brainer. As far as the protags supposed immunity. From my experience with scandal, his social status would be much more a liability for him. [ask Bill Cosby- hero to zero faster than Flash on crack] [or OJ who won the battle but lost the war] the saying "The bigger they are the harder they fall" should apply here, especially since MC's new persona seams to fit so nicely to the 'victim' stereotype. If this is all cleared up in the next chapter I apologize. I brought it up because it caused a significant cognitive dissonance for me [ I had to reread half the chapter when I realized the distraction had caused me to blank out for awhile ].....Not a deal breaker or anything. More like, I am a life long 'old school' reader who has discovered a new toy [easy discourse with the author]
Date: 11/21/19 04:02 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Great fantastic touching nice story, I think your story of yours will make a fantastic great touching moving, dramatic anime if it was made to an Anime, like your story is like Silent Voice, with a tg twist, Like the girl who gets bullied, who is deaf in Silent Voice gets bullied by the protagonist, but in the past, and now the protagonist of silent voice is a person with no friends like Josh, Like when I read your story it was like I was reading a manga or watching an Anime for Johanna looks very similar to many anime characters with her black hair and blue eyes, even when she was a guy, and her persona, personality, how she behaves, acts is similar to many anime protagonists, and Jarvis is like many anime villains, or baddies of anime like his persona, and background is similar to many terrifying hateful anime villains, which make the anime good/great, and the drama, and what happens tin the story the events, dramatic events, the tension, development of character of like Johanna, and her connecting, and establishing good relationships with her father, sister, mother, and friends which she previously did not have,reaching out to make friends, and establishing a good relationship with her sister, who she hated like all her life, after so turmoil after emotional sad moving tensions and conflict and her loving Romance with Clark would truly make a wonderful plot that could make a great wonderful anime movie series or anime movie or manga. If your story was an Anime movie, I think the Box Office will hit over 200 mil, and if it was an anime I think it would be one of the most memorable High School coming of age Anime, like Ouran High School Host Club. Clarity I have questions is Johanna and Clark will they marry, Will Clark make it to the NFL or no spoilers, Did Jarvis deserve a Worst Punishment, for his actions, and bad things he caused to happen to Johanna and the sad moments he made/cause Johanna will likely have in the future? Did he get punished for accidentally turning Josh into a mute girl, did the Judge charge Jarvis with turning Josh into a mute girl amongst his wishing abuse charges. If not I would of love to see Johanna, I guess despite being mute testifying against Jarvis for the wishes he made that made her a mute Girl, and show Jarvis, just because she is mute she won't be silent, maybe the Judge did but he was lenient towards Jarvis for he’s a minor. This is the best TG story/media, I’ve ever came across, better than Kimi No Wa, Do you like BTS? I hope I can write tg stories almost as good as yours, kudos. Sorry for my poor grammar. I have a D currently in English 2A, Sorry.
Author's Response: I'm so flattered! Thank you so much, you have far more faith in my writing than I do! Unfortunately, I haven't watched much anime so I don't know how my story would fare in an adaptation like that, but I'll take your word for it. For Jarvis' punishment, rest assured that judges don't take wishing stone abuse and near-murder too lightly. As far as Johanna and Clark's futures go, I haven't fully thought that through. I imagine that they'll be together forever and love each other deeply all the while. They'll have bumps in their road and voiceless arguments, as we all do, but their mutual understanding will help them pull through...or maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic. Again, I can't tell you how reassuring your words are, and I do hope that you write some stories of your own! Even if you don't share them with the world (I didn't share my first story with anyone), the act of writing out your creative thoughts can only help you in life. Like everything else: the more you write, the better you'll be!
Date: 11/03/19 02:12 pm Title: Chapter 8: The Elegant Tortoise - Part 2
"What if I told them, but then I later realized that I wasn’t actually...you know?"
Clarity this is too real lmao
Author's Response: Haha yeah. Unfortunately that line is inspired by my experiences irl. Self-doubt is something that I feel isn't often discussed, but always lurks in the back of someone's mind when they're coming out of the closet.
Date: 09/12/19 01:05 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
This is a review for my second read through. Strange, right? I work in customer service and the cashiers have been passing around a bug. I lost my voice for about a week, and the first thing I thought of was Johanna. I started reading and this story made me appreciate my loss of voice for a week in a way someone whonhasnt read this can't. I stopped to listen. Thank you for writing a book that stuck with me long after I read it.
Author's Response: That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you so much for reading and enjoying this little slice of myself. All of my main characters (and especially their flaws) are drawn from elements of myself, but Johanna and I always had the most in common. Her condition drives her to feel dis-empowered and useless. We all feel like that sometimes, but she powers through and turns that negative into a positive, which is something that I often try and fail to accomplish. It's more of an aspirational story for myself, then, and I'm glad it's had a similar resonance with you. That's why, after writing several long stories and books and whatnot, Hush still has the most special place in my heart. <3
Date: 03/16/19 09:26 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
I very much enjoyed this story. It's just so tight the way it's put together. Incredible writing too. Thanks for writing this story.
Author's Response: Thank you! I've always loved reading stories that have a tight plot and story structure, and I'm glad that you've enjoyed those characteristics in this little tale <3
Date: 03/02/19 07:16 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
I sweet ending for a delightful story. Im proud of you for not waving all of her problems and trauma away with a magic wand and the focus on the real consequences of trauma is refreshing in a gut wrenching way.
I maintain that the attempted murder episode was far more than this story warranted but its presence in the narrative was handled well. That's a straw more than i think anyone should have to deal with and it sours the last act for me but i guess its good for there to be some representation of trauma in fiction? Its apparent that you were deliberate and careful with how you handled all of the aggressors and victims of the story and if anyone is going to write such trauma its good that it was someone as responsible and careful as you. I just selfishly wish it was some other well written story for my own pitiful comforts sake.
You did a great job on this story. Im sure you know that. Your skill at bringing life and color to the settings of your stories is masterful and the emotions/actions of your characters play as very real. I do have my complaints (because im a whiny stinker) because giving Johanna fantastic memory and beauty does seem to outweigh the disability of not being able to speak. Sure it gives her a rough time but between the focus it gives her and her already inborne aptitude it makes her a bit impossible to relate to? Like i don't know anyone like her. Shes almost too special?
Beyond that i feel compelled to criticise how hard her personality flipped. Sure she had a bunch of moments of im not joseph but the contrast in personality is a bit sharper than i think should reasonably be brushed away as "im happier now so its okay". Joseph was a bad guy and a lot of times in this story Johanna comes across as having dropped a lot of baggage Joseph had a lot easier than seems human. Maybe its the trauma. Maybe its just having a different innate personality. I just dont relate to seeing such a massive wealth of personal growth happen so internally so incredibly quickly. Her family even calls her out on it so im sure you are intentional and recognize how fast you have her growing. Its all a little staggering.
All said and done, i feel enriched by this story. It fills me with determination and nostalgia for stories like "the little mermaid" and my childhood memories. I've spent more than a little time, particularly at her age, wondering how i would react to losing my voice, whether i would grow as a person or become bitter and stagnant. It's hard to say. This story reminds me of the frame of mind i have then and it makes me feel. Lesser? Inferior? As if my definition of average was skewed because of how this extraordinary girl is living an average life. Its a mess. And not your problem. Im ranting now so ill stop taking your time with off topic musings.
Story was good. Good job. Thanks.
Author's Response: You're absolutely correct about the pace of the personality change. I've always been on the fence about that pacing detail, and this comment inspired me to go back through the story and make it a slightly more gradual development. You're also correct about Johanna being gifted with a lot of enviable conditions, along with her troubling one. I did this because I'm probably a bit too nice to my characters, and I didn't want the story to be too heartbreaking. Thank you so much for the feedback. It's reviews like these that push me to become a better writer. <3
Date: 03/02/19 06:45 am Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
I... Did not like that... I have a hard time understanding what the home invasion did for the story and i generally just felt sick reading it. Not to mention the foreboding feeling leading up to the incident.
I dont like that it happened and i dont know why you did it and im sad. I still like the story but im sad.
Author's Response: Yes, I know that it was one of the tougher chapters to stomach. I felt compelled to include that scene, since all of the tension with Jarvis seemed to be mounting and mounting, and ending it without some sort of major confrontation would have made that tension fizzle into a weird resolution.
Date: 03/02/19 06:27 am Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
Truthfully, ill be a little dissapointed if she gets ANOTHER eraser stone. That was an admirable use of the spoon though. I dont know that it was the best but regrettably, it makes sense...
Author's Response: Absolutely. That was off the cards from Chapter 1. It would have been a classic case of a main character being rescued by a deus ex machina device, and I think it would have ruined the story. The spoon, on the other hand, is all-knowing :D
Date: 03/02/19 04:55 am Title: Chapter 15: Forks and Spoons
Hmm... Its nice that shes enjoying herself but i do get an odd foreboding sensation from all of these "i like my new life" feelings. Looking forward to the drama that may or may not arise in that realm.
Like... Being happy is well and good... But she seems happy to be conforming? And idk how i feel about that.
Author's Response: I've always been of the belief that people are more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for. I definitely see your point, though.
Date: 03/02/19 04:07 am Title: Chapter 12: Love
Such a cute first date! Im ready (totally not ready) for the relationship with clarke to have drama and... Im optimistic about how stuff goes with jarvis. Like. The pov from the beginning made him seem unredeemable but i think theres hope? Of some resolution?
As far as the summary goes... I didnt get the sense of self loathing in the early chapters? That seemed like an "upon reflection". So a summary centering around how "Joseph, an unlikeable and an antagonistic loner faces losing his body, sexuality and voice" would be pretty succinct. I dont think specifying that it was a wishing stone was a useful detail. But its relevant to the universe so idk. At the beginning it seems like a quest to regain the lost gender and voice but since in practice its shaping up to be a story of personal growth and self acceptance saying so in the synopsis isnt my favorite thing.
Since the real hook is how she handles losing her voice and strength to handle confrontation, a bit about how she fares without her primary methods of expression would be the big thing. The delight of this story for me is seeing her grow and learn the more nuanced skills of communication: listening and being a pacifist instead of shouting and dominating.
Im not an experienced voice here so i hope you dont weigh my oppinion too heavy. Im honestly just so happy to be reading this.
Date: 03/01/19 10:33 pm Title: Chapter 8: The Elegant Tortoise - Part 2
Oh god oh fuck hes cute and kind oh shit goddamn it clark seems decent.
Whew. I mean im obviously concerned that hes in dickbag's pocket but this is so fucking cute. Im waaaay too okay with these two getting along juuuuust fine.
Author's Response: He's certainly the 'prince charming' of this story. Maybe I could have added a little more faults to his character, but as for now he's Mr. Feelgood :D
Date: 03/01/19 09:46 pm Title: Chapter 6: The Day After - Part 2
This story... Is going to destroy me. I can tell. Its gonna be so worth it though. And honestly? Im not even super committed to wanting her to get her voice back?
Author's Response: I hope you're okay! :D
Date: 03/01/19 09:21 pm Title: Chapter 4: The Darkness
This is some stellar character design and storytelling. Wow. I hate to say it but... The summary and title might not be giving the story the justice it deserves. Idk. I didnt feel drawn to either and i mostly picked this up because it made the editor's picks list.
I might drop some opinions as i read through. So far, im very impressed. Im eager to see what you have done with a world where wishes are real and understood so articulately.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm constantly editing this story based on feedback, and I'm quite proud of the character design. I'd love to take suggestions on how to spice up the summary, too :D
Date: 09/20/18 11:09 pm Title: Chapter 6: The Day After - Part 2
I've been out for a while, but I promise I'll try to finish this story by the end of this year. Anyway, Chapter 6, let's go. I'll stop summarizing the chapter as it takes up too much time.
6. A big problem that needs addressed with almost every single story on this website (at least the ones that try to be taken as real pieces of literature rather than fetish porn) is that they are hypocritical on a very basic level. You know that stereotypical neckbeard that doesn't actually exist in real life? The one that carries their guns everywhere, hates gays, chews every day, and preaches that white men are superior? That's what a lot of these stories feel like with characters that pretty much force the main character into their new life. They have no sympathy at all for them. They force traditional female values on them, and never even once ask them if they wish to take testosterone. They force them into being what they want them to be, which entirely contradicts transgenderism as a concept. By the logic that most of these stories go by, then someone who actually is transgender is misguided and should just suck it up and act like the most stereotypical version of whatever their birth sex was. It's fine in a fetish porn that's not trying to be anything of actual quality, but in a story that's actually trying to taken as a serious piece of literature, it's incredibly cruel. For a Girl revolves around this concept. It also states that not enough boys are randomly transforming into girls for society to change to accommodate them but there's apparently enough for them to create an entire school that they force all of them into just to teach them how to be stereotypical feminine, which doesn't make any sense but that's not the main point. The main point is that this story avoids this problem almost completely (for the most part), which in it of itself is an achievement that should be celebrated. As for the actual chapter itself, I don't have much material. It continues the story and develops Johanna's character by making her begin to realize that most people want to help her. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about the change in Jarvis's character in which apparently Johanna bullied him in middle school, but as long as it goes somewhere it can work.
How You Remind Me by Nickelback is slightly enjoyable
Author's Response: That's a great point, and one that has bothered me from time to time. There is definitely an assumption in many stories about newly transformed women having to comply to their new gender roles, and that's not absent from Hush. After Johanna transforms, her mother and sister pressure her into wearing feminine clothing and she decides to take a more feminine role at their family functions out of comfort. Are her mother and sister cruel for doing that? Maybe...but maybe they think it would make her happy, because they assume that they know what's best for her. From my perspective, the difference is between story-worlds where individual flawed characters try to encourage the MC to conform to their new gender role, and story-worlds where institutions are created to ensure that transformed characters conform. Neither is a great way of viewing transgenderism, and I do think that this notion could benefit from being challenged...I may do just that in a future story. Thanks for the food for thought!
Date: 09/10/18 04:42 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Another really great work and a super interesting angle to take. I know tons of trans women who have basically wished they were mute due to the difficulty in mastering voice so it was interesting seeing what living life with that physical condition would actually be like.
Super sweet story and the character arc and growth were very believable. It was also neat to see a story like this where the gender change, while front and center, isn't the main concern the character has to deal with and puts things into sharper relief. I also liked the little throwaway references to the minor differences a world with wishing stones has from our own haha
I would have loved to see a bit more conflict in the transition period where Johanna was getting used to her new situation at school - I would have thought someone who was so hostile and superior before hand would have reaped more of a whirlwind from any number of others after she became so helpless. Still though, what was there was excellent and the change it created in her personality was quite believable. Really resonated with me as I saw a lot of my angsty teenage self in Joseph, before the fall!
Author's Response: Thanks for the awesome feedback! I do enjoy writing stories where the gender changes aren't the most pressing issue in the character's life. I don't like to dwell too much on the physical adaptation, since that's where most other stories on this site (naturally) choose to focus, and it can feel overplayed if you read enough works in this genre. Glad you liked my attempts at subtle worldbuilding, and I'm flattered that you enjoyed my story! I'm also glad that you identified with Johanna's journey. We've all been angsty and negative at times - sometimes it's hard not to be - and it often takes a true challenge to get past those emotions.
Date: 07/30/18 10:43 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
This was a very sweet story and I thoroughly loved it. Definitely a new favorite. Only flaws I could see were a few minor inconsistencies in details, such as exactly which side of the family the grandparents were from and whether the other side were alive or not, which was confusing. Also, I think Johanna and Clark’s first “official” date was originally supposed to be Wednesday, not Tuesday, but these are small nitpicks in an otherwise flawless story.
Author's Response: I'm so glad that you liked the story!! Thank you so much for pointing out those little issues, I've gone through and tried to fix them. Most of those little mistakes are due to the fact that I've gone back and edited the story, after posting...and - while I've fixed character issues and such - I've also left a few new mistakes behind. Thanks for catching those! Because of you, this story is a tiny bit better :D *Hugs*
Date: 07/04/18 12:39 pm Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
What great storyline about positive thinking and looking at world around in postive way. Two thumbs up!
Author's Response: Thank you for reading, and for the feedback! This is definitely a story about mindfulness and positive thought (both positive thoughts about others and ourselves). Everyone struggles with these sorts of issues, and I'm glad that this story's message has resonated with you! *Hug*
Date: 06/17/18 12:05 am Title: Chapter 5: The Day After, Part 1
The changes that are being made to this story will require a few adjustments later on. I came to notice this just by reading Chapter 5 for this review, noticing a few inconsistencies through out. Besides that, I don't have much to say prior to the actual review other than I most likely won't have time to make one of these long reviews every day, but I'll try to get at least two out every week. With that all in mind, this is my review of Chapter 5 of "Hush".
5. I don't actually have much to say about this chapter in particular. There is a small attempted suicide by Johanna in the beginning that is completely understandable given the context of the story, but it wasn't anything too unexpected. Johanna then proceeds to acknowledge the similarities between herself and her mother, and that people have called her mother "pretty", making her feel pride, as she herself looks a lot like her mother. She then brushes this off, not thinking anything of it. It would be repetitive for her to have the same angry and concerned feelings as she did before in the previous chapter, however a reaction should have occurred. Not a huge reaction, but certainly still some kind of reaction. The best route Clarity could have chosen would be for her to get slightly concerned then brush it off and think nothing of it. This even would have served as build-up for another part later on. But even then, this is still largely a small missed opprotunity. Johanna then begins to put on the outfit chosen for her by her mother yesterday. Remember when I said that adjustments would need to be made in this story due to the changes? Well this is one instance of it. In the original draft, this outfit was specifically chosen, while in the new draft, this outfit was nothing more than a reccomendation. A tieback is going to be necessary for this part to not feel out of place. Also, Johanna mentions "other girls" when referring to her wearing the outfit, which creates a very similar response to the one from the changed previous chapter. This reaction would need to adjusted a bit so as to come off as repetitive. Johanna then realizes she is going to be late for school while also realizing she isn't content with her hair. She begins to panic, and rushes to get hair done, before panicing again about the way she has been acting. This houses another missed opprotunity. This part would have had a much greater impact if Johanna's moment of panic was pushed to a higher degree. It would have made Johanna's acceptance seem much more natural, as it would demonstrate that she wouldn't just go along with her changes without a second thought. She ends up being late to school, attracting a lot of attention as she goes to her first class. This part of the chapter also introduces Clark, who will go on to become a very important character. I could discuss what I feel about him as a character, but I'd rather wait until he becomes important. The last part of the chapter is, what I would say, handled very well. Johanna becomes increasingly nervous about being chosen to read, which does indeed happen. It takes a while for the teacher to realize that she can't, but not before the other students in the class break out in laughter. Not only does this demonstrate the challenges that Johanna will have to face, but it allows for further sympathy toward her. At this point, Johanna is pretty much a complete wreck, being in an unfamiliar body with troubling thoughts without the ability to speak, including the fact that many people believe it to be a result of her clumsiness rather than Jarvis's malitious intent. This part gives off enough pain to add a deeper emotional connection, but it also doesn't paint the other students as malitious abusers, which would have made the situation seem off puttingly cruel. Overall, even though not much could be said about this chapter, it was still very well written, as it added a very real emotional connection to Johanna. It did suffer from some missed opprotunities and the changes from previous chapters will require this one to be adjusted, but the overall picture was still amazingly solid.
Author's Response: 'The changes that are being made to this story will require a few adjustments later on.' Yup! I realized that when I first made edits to Jarvis's story arc. The clothing stuff and Johanna's slower adaptation will definitely need fixing. Glad that you brought that to my attention! I'll try to iron out those issues as my editing progresses. No need to hurry, on your reviewing. Everything takes time, and I appreciate your careful reading style and your great suggestions. Thank you so much!
Date: 06/13/18 10:16 pm Title: Chapter 4: The Darkness
Upon reading the responses to my review, I noticed that Clarity stated that they would make a few changes to Chapters 2 and 3 based on my criticisms. Sure enough, upon reading those chapters, changes have been made. This poses the question of: Do these changes make the story better? The short answer is "Yes", but it gets a bit more complicated than that. The changes themselves mainly make the story flow better as a natural chain of events rather than a random one. One change made in Chapter 2 is the addition of a book that has a woman in a crocodile hunter outfit on the cover. Jarvis then looks at this, distracted for a short while, before finding the wishing stone, where the rest of the story continues as it originally did. While this does not fix the whole situation of the main character being pushed into a wall that breaks and somehow leads to a secret room with a wishing stone conveniently being there, it does fix the issue of Jarvis randomly wishing for Joseph to be a "hot chick", as it subconsciously puts the thought of attractive women in his mind. Also, Chapter 2 features an interaction between another character, Caroline, and Joseph. This change allows the reader to get a clear idea of how Joseph would actually act and respond in the presence of another person in his school. Also, it's later revealed that Caroline actually had a crush on Joseph in his male form, and this interaction portrays that. Caroline acts as if she is having a hard time simply interacting with Joseph, which accurately depicts someone with a nervous crush. This change does bring with it a probably unintended effect on the story however. When Joseph interacts with Caroline, his thoughts portray him as an absolute piece of shit. His thoughts make the reader hate him. In the original version of this chapter, Joseph was portrayed as being kind of a dick, but now he is a complete piece of shit. While it may sound like I'm criticizing the change, I'm actually praising it. Beforehand, the reader would be left feeling sympathy for Joseph at the end of the second chapter, but now the reader would most likely not care for his condition straight away. However, at the end of the fourth chapter, when Joseph realizes how poorly she treated everyone before, and thinks that she derserves what happened to her, is when most readers would begin to feel sympathy for her. This interaction between Joseph and Caroline not only gives the reader a clear indication of what Joseph would act like around other students, it also allows for a gradual buildup of sympathy toward him from the end of the second chapter to end of the fourth. To make a comparison, the effect of the change is a bit similar to how the mother in "Coraline" changed from the novel to the film. In the novel, Coraline's mother is simply unattentive, but in the 2009 film adaptation, she's straight up mean. In this case, the change from the novel to the film gives Coraline more of a reason to want to go to the Other World, which is for the best in the long run. Chapter 3 also went through a few changes, mainly that Joseph's mother gives Joseph privacy when changing, and that Joseph is far less willing to wear female clothing straight away. These changes make the interaction between Joseph and her mother feel a lot more natural and less jarring, allowing for the characters to appear more human. The mother even has a slight breakdown after Joseph throws so many of her sister's old clothes in the trash. Her breakdown is believable, as she is being thrown into a situation that she doesn't know how to handle, and she also can't tell what Joseph is wanting her to do because of Joseph's condition. All the changes are mostly for the better; making the story flow more naturally, as well as making the characters more human. Of course, these changs being implemented will require some revisions in future chapters in order to account for them, but it would only be for the best. Also, regarding Jarvis and his motivations, I have an idea. Maybe Jarvis's family could have some bad encounter with Joseph's family earlier in their life that both Joseph and her sister aren't aware of. Maybe Jarvis could have something against Joseph because of family history, but then again, this would require an entirely new plot element to be introduced and a huge chunk of the story to be changed. It also hasn't been thought out completely and is still an incomplete idea.
4. This chapter begins with Johanna's sister (who's name is Megan, which I don't think I've mentioned before; rather strange) coming home exicited that someone at school has found a wishing stone, only to be angered upon seeing Johanna in her new form. Megan shows her anger by spitting on Johanna and then leaving. This specific reaction is a great way to incorporate the many different reactions upon seeing Johanna. As stated by not only myself, but also Clarity, it would be repetitive to have each character have the same surprised reaction upon first seeing Johanna. Megan's angry reaction is a great way to keep believable, strong reactions within the story without becoming repetitive. Her being angry also makes sense, as she has just heard about a wishing stone at school, only to find out that her younger brother has now become her mute sister because of that wishing stone. It is also important to keep in mind that Megan does not know that Jarvis was the reason for these wishes to occur, and not Johanna herself, so from her point of view, Johanna accidently blew away three wishes instead of carefully giving thought and wishing for things that would benefit their family, or possibly a huge chunk of the world population. Megan spitting on her sister is a great way to demonstrate her anger toward Johanna. After Johanna gets spat on, she gets emotionally destroyed, which she points out has never happened to her. While one can assume this is because she is going through a hard ship, which even Johanna herself assumes, another possible cause is that her mentality has changed a bit. I'm tempted to call this a cop-out, however I will not because Johanna has pretty much had her life ruined, making it reasonable to assume she's more emotionally vulnerable than she was before. Johanna becoming emotionally destroyed makes sense in this regard, and seems more as a result of her being forced to live under bad conditions for the rest of her life rather than an easily written mental change. Johanna later receives a circular pin with her new name on it from her mother, which she describes as "cute". She notes that she would have not described anything as cute before, and just brushes it off. This begs the question of how much did the wishing stone change Johanna's mental state? Realistically, Johanna's mentality should not have changed that much due to how male and female brains are very broad in their differences. But this isn't where the problem lies. Instead, the problem lies within how Johanna just casually brushes off the fact that she subconsciously described something as cute. She should be at least concerned about her current mental state, especially considering that she hasn't accepted being female yet, in fact she isn't even anywhere close. This isn't a major issue, and it's completely fine if Clarity would choose for Johanna's mind to be altered to a significant degree, but at this point in the story, she should at least show some concern. On a more positive note, Johanna describes her mother as being very "mothering", indicating that Johanna is beginning to appreciate other people; a solid first step in her development. The last portion of the chapter is the process of how Johanna comes to realize her past mistakes and her poor treatment of other people through out her life, and the way the process is done is rather clever. When she goes onto Battlefield, she notices that her online friends are in a much more relaxed mood than usual, leading her to realize that she was the reason why the atmosphere was so tense during usual play. She then replays most of her life in her mind before breaking down and saying that she deserves what has happened to her. While this process could have been longer, it is still a great way to show Johanna her past mistakes utilizing her inability to speak. Overall, while this chapter did have two minor flaws, it still managed to be very well-written and kickstart the development of the main character, as well as make the reader feel sorry for the main character, which with the changes in place, would probably happen here rather than at the end of the second chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you for the vote of confidence regarding my edits. I intend to keep them up, as you continue to review the story. I've always wanted to revisit this story, and you've inspired me to do just that. I know that it could have used serious editing, as I edit all of my stories by myself and a second pair of eyes always catches more than just one pair. I haven't seen Coraline, but your description of its characters makes me want to check it out! Regarding Jarvis, I like your idea of a long-standing vendetta and I don't believe it would be too difficult to work that into the story. However, I'll think a while on this before I add any such vendetta. I agree that it would alter the story in numerous ways. For the Megan scene, I was worried that it would appear too over-the-top to give Megan a spit-at-first-sight reaction. As pointed out by earlier reviewers, spitting at someone is a fairly strong reaction and I wasn't sure if I properly justified Megan's reaction, with the context of the story. I agree with your assessment of Johanna's use of the word 'cute'. That should trouble her a bit, but not too much. She has 'bigger fish to fry', after all, with the myriad of issues on her plate. I also agree with your assessment that the Battlefield scene was too short. It's the most pivotal moment in the story, from my perspective, and I'll certainly be adding to it. Thanks again for the thoughtful reviews. You're beyond helpful!
Date: 06/12/18 08:16 pm Title: Chapter 3: Unbelievable
Before I get too deep in my review, I would like to say that I have decided to make a few changes to how these reviews are going, mostly in response to Clarity's direct comments on my first post, and I also will be referring to the author as Clarity from this point forward. I will be reviewing each chapter seperately and giving each one its own seperate score, and I will eventually review the entire story as a whole afterwards. If you are curious as to what the first two chapters would have received, then this is your answer:
Chapter 1: 4/5
Chapter 2: 4/5
With all that being said, here is my review on Chapter 3 of "Hush"
3. The chapter starts with Joseph on the ground practically defenseless, both physically and mentally. By every definition, she is defeated, and her thoughts successfully communicate that to the reader, as well as a feeling of hopelessness. She then gets taken to the nurse's office, where the first instance of Joseph struggling to communicate arises. She can't talk to the nurse, and is instead forced to write what's wrong with her on a piece of paper. This first section of the chapter introduces the severity of Joseph's situation extremely well. A hopeless tone is created, and the reader is given a clear picture of how difficult Joseph's life will be from here on out. The message written by Joseph also mentions Jarvis, in which the nurse responds in fear, stating that Jarvis's family is too powerful to be accused of anything. This plot thread will continue for the majority of the story, and it's arguable as to whether or not it's necessary. It does help to make Joseph's bad condition even worse, but it also forces Jarvis to be a crucial part of the plot, which is definitely for the worst. Jarvis feels like a contrived plot device. Most of the time he's only there to put Joseph in some kind of pain and nothing else. Even then, Joseph's condition by itself should be enough to lend itself to unfortunate events, which does happen in the story quite a lot. When the condition leads to unfortunate events, it leads to emotional tension, but when Jarvis leads to unfortunate events, it feels forced. This is mainly due to the fact that Jarvis seems to have little to no reason to constantly torture Joseph, nor does he have anything to gain from it. He only tortures Joseph because that's what the plot told him to do. These constant actions get in the way of the plot many times and they don't add much to the plot, as the story usually continues normally after the action, as if next to nothing happened. Personally I feel that this story would have done best if Jarvis was completely removed, but if he had to be incorporated, a clear motivation should have been given. As it stands, the reader is left with a huge sense of disbelief when there didn't really need to be one. Eventually, Joseph's parents come to meet Joseph at school in his new form, which results in another problem that is very common among a lot of these TG stories: there is little to no reaction to the transformation, and in fact many characters simply continue with their lives as if that character had always been in their new form. Looking down at some other reviews for this story, I have seen that someone else has pointed this out, with Clarity's response being that it would be repetitive for each character to have to go through the same surprised response upon seeing the transformed character. While this is understandable, and is in fact, for the better in terms of pacing, the parents should have had a more shocked reaction, or at least had one that lasted for more than one line, as it would be the first time the reader would get to see a reaction to the transformed character, and it would be the reaction of the parents, who would have known Joseph as a male for their entire life up to that point. The mother even refers to Joseph as a "she" only minutes after encountering her in her new form. Though I must praise how the father explains that reversing the wish isn't a possibility. In the previous chapter, not only were wishing stones introduced, but loras stones were introduced. These function as a way to reverse a wish, and the reader would probably be asking why Joseph doesn't just try to find one of those to fix his problem. As such, the father's explanation on just how rare and hard to find these stones are gives the necessary clarification as to why Joseph can't just try and find one. After the characters arrive home, the mother asks Joseph to come into her sister's room to find clothes that suit her. The mother even asks Joseph to take off her clothes right in front of her. I do not claim to be an expert on human pyschology, but I can't help but feel that this entire sequence is extremely jarring. The mother is not only completely over the fact that her son has become a mute girl, but is also fine with giving her clothes that were originally her sister's. It's understandable that the mother would want to help Joseph out with her situation, but she rushes her into finding clothes without even asking first. Again, I am not an expert on human pyschology, but this sequence still shows how weirdly quick the mother has accepted her son's transformation. To make matters worse, Joseph herself seems completely fine with being in female clothing and even decides on a female name for herself ("Johanna"). At this point in the story, we can assume that Joseph has been female for about thirty minutes, and she's already okay with having feminine clothing and a feminine name. This would make some sense if Joseph acted as if she had Gender Dysphoria in the first two chapters, but she didn't... at all. This is another problem that many TG stories run into; that the main character accepts their transformation to quickly. It's very jarring to see a character that has been one sex their entire lives and doesn't express symptons of Gender Dysphoria suddenly become okay with their new sex. One could say that this is due to the mental transformation of the character, but I'd say that that's a cop-out. It's lazy to just say the character's mentality has changed rather than actually developing their acceptance. Even then, the brains of males and females are not as separated and "set-in-stone" as many people believe. In fact, many brains seem to fall somewhere in the middle between a typical male and female brain. There are a few differences that are apparent between every male and female brain, but other than that, most brains do not fall into the "all-male" or "all-female" category. But even with those rather large flaws, there is still one thing this chapter does extremely well; introduce how Joseph will struggle to be taken seriously as a real human being. The mother talks to Joseph as if she is deaf before being told she didn't need to, and even pointed at her in a manner similar to an animal once the mother first saw Joseph's new form. This is a plot element that will come into play later in the story quite a bit, and it is a great element. It adds sympathy toward Joseph, since she is being treated like a pet or a very young child simply because she can't talk. In turn, it will make Joseph's rise to superiority even more satisfying than it would be otherwise. The chapter ends with Joseph seeing herself in the mirror, which was pretty much necessary as the reader would need to given a clear picture of their main character, and with Joseph learning sign language, which is a plot element that will again come later. She also mentions CS:GO, which makes me extremely tempted to make a Leafy joke, but I'll hold myself back. Looking back at this review, I'm quite shocked at how many negative things I had to say about this chapter, because it was still decent. It introduced some really good concepts but sadly had too many glaring issues for it to be any better.
Note: I will be referring to Joseph as "Johanna" for the rest of my chapter reviews.
To Be Continued...
Author's Response: Thanks again for the feedback. Based on your earlier notes, I made a few minor revisions to Chapter 2. I agree with you that Jarvis needs stronger & clearer motivations. At the time when I wrote this story, I didn't know how to write a convincing villain, and I couldn't just get rid of Jarvis after he orders the transformation. I considered removing him early, but it felt like a cop-out from a difficult situation, and the definition of bad writing. I'd love to hear your thoughts on possible changes which could make Jarvis's motivations more clear. I intend to revise Chapter 3 as well. 3 stars is a bit disheartening, but I understand that it's far from perfect, and I'll see if I can improve the scene between Johanna and her mother, by making his clothing-experience more believable. I won't delay the name-selection, though. I think it's a human reaction for the mother to want her to pick a new name, and it's understandable for her to choose one rather quickly.
Date: 06/12/18 02:53 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
If there is one type of story that has consistently been done poorly, it is the TG story. It's honestly depressing that so many TG stories suffer from the exact same problems, without any sign of progress or improvement. It makes you wonder that with so many stories suffering from so many of the same problems, that there isn't a parody of a TG story anywhere on this site (though I might write that myself) Regarding this specific story however, it's probably the best one on this entire site, which sadly isn't saying much, but I will give credit where credit is due, which brings me to my review of "Hush":
Note: I will only be reviewing a select number of chapters of the story in each post, as it would be too much to fit all my thoughts on this story on one post. I will eventually be reviewing every chapter, and giving my final thoughts in my last post. Also, the score on every post will reflect my final score on the story, and not the individual chapter or chapters.
1. The story starts out fine enough. It introduces Joseph as well as the kind of person he is, a self-centered asshole. It also introduces his family, and the relationships he has with his family, which are unsurprisingly fairly bad. While I do believe that Joseph's personality and relationships should have been explored more in this first chapter, I will not deny that what was done was done well. The chapter went on to show Joseph being an asshole, rather than simply telling us that he's an asshole, which is already proof that thought and work went into the writing of this chapter. Overall, a fairly well done introduction.
2. The next chapter goes on to depict Joseph at school, as well as his typical routine at the school. This chapter does two things well, introduce the concept of wishing stones, and further Joseph's bad attitude. As for the wishing stones, they serve as this story's McGuffin, and while I am dissapointed that there wasn't a more clever or though out way to trigger the main transformation, it could have definitely been handled much worse. But as for simply introducing the concept of wishing stones, the story does well. It would have been much worse if the wishing stones just randomly appeared without any context, so having a class where the lecture being given is one of wishing stones is a great way to introduce the concept without making it feel forced. As for Joseph's attitude, his smartass comments regarding the other students in his class perfectly show how he is as a person. This gives him a clear personality and perfectly sets up his main character arc. By this point in the story, the reader should be able to clearly understand Joseph's main character arc, as he goes from being a selfish dick to learning to apperciate life and other people more. Yes, this character arc has been done to death, but the way it is done here is very interesting and new. The simple fact that the author was able to take an age-old character arc and make it fresh and interesting should be applauded. One flaw I have with this chapter however, is that we don't actually get to see Joseph interact with the other students that much. This would have furthered Joseph's piss-poor attitude, as well as give the reader a clear indication as to what the other students think of him. Despite this missed opportunity, this part of the chapter was well handled. This brings us to the second part of the chapter, where the actual transformation takes place. For one, the build-up to the transformation is alright, though I can't help but feel it leans a bit too much on the contrived side of things. Another character, named "Jarvis", pushes Joseph into a wall in the locker room that just so happens to break apart, with a wishing stone just so happening to be there. It all feels too convenient, though it is interesting to see Joseph interact with another student and actually get in a fight with him, which proves to add some fairly good tension. This is when the transformation actually occurs, as Jarvis accidently wishes for this to happen. Again, this feels a bit contrived, as Jarvis just so happens to wish for Joseph to be a "hot chick" at the moment, something that he'd probably not be thinking about in the middle of a fight. Not only that but this goes to a problem that I have seen many TG stories get themselves into: the transformation occurs too early. In fact, this is probably one of the better instances of it, as this transformation at least happens toward the end of the second chapter, but in stories such as "For A Girl", and "X-Chromosome Therapy", the transformation begins in the middle of the first chapter. We never get to really see what this character's life was like before their transformation, instead only receiving a bit of information to go on. More time should have been devoted to Joseph's life and what he was like around other people and his family before the transformation occurred. We mainly did not get to see Joseph really interact with other students before his transformation, which would have gone a long way to not making the transformation seem like to happened too quickly. After the transformation, we get to see a twist thrown onto the story, and a very welcome one. Joseph's voice is taken away, meaning he can not speak at all. This twist is straight up genius, as it helps to make him feel extremely vulnerable and weak, working to make his eventual rise to superiority much more satisfying and well deserved. It's amazing how this one twist can add so much to a story. The last wish is one that grants Jarvis's family ownership of the town they live in, giving them power, a plot element that I feel mixed toward. On one hand it helps Joseph feel more weak and vulnerable as a character, while on another hand, it opens the door for by far the worst element of the story to take a primary role in the story. This element I am referring to is Jarvis, and I will get into why he is such a bad part of the story, but for now I'll just leave it at that he ruins a large chunk of the plot. At the end of the chapter, Joseph, now a mute female, is left practically defenseless, which serves as a great way to end the chapter on a hopeless, and rather depressing note. This also means that the author managed to make the reader feel sorry for a character that had been depicted as an asshole for pretty much the whole beginning of the story, which definitely deserves praise. Overall, while this chapter did have flaws, mainly that the whole transformation itself felt quite a bit forced and early on, it was still a solid chapter that successfully introduced the main character arc and made the reader feel sorry for a character that had been depicted as an asshole beforehand, something that isn't very easy to do.
Note: I will now be referring to Joseph as a "she" for the rest of the chapter reviews
To Be Continued...
Author's Response: Thank you for the thoughtful review. I am sorry to hear that you have not enjoyed other stories on this site, as there is plenty of good work to be found. I encourage you to rate each chapter individually, or not to include a rating with each review, due to the way that the rating system is structured. You have the option of leaving reviews without accompanying ratings. / / Regarding your notes on the first few chapters, I acknowledge that this story launches into the transformation rather quickly. This is due to a rather basic principle of writing: people have short attention spans. Get to the chase, and don't spend excess time on elements that aren't essential to the story. If you're telling your readers about events that are not some of the most critical events of the main character's life, then those events are better left unwritten. Every story begins with a precipitating event, and TG stories, predictably, begin with TG events. / / I understand your notes about the convenient body location, and I intended to present that as a prequel-opportunity, but I unfortunately never followed through on that. In hindsight, I realize that Jarvis's motivations could have been better explained, or that his character could have been further developed. I left some parts of Jarvis as assumptions for the reader to make. Namely, he was portrayed to be a giant idiot, but he began to make rational decisions (not good decisions, but rational ones) as the story progressed. This new-found rationality coincided with Tina's blossoming relationship with Jarvis, as she added a bit of calculated deviousness to him and held a great deal of persuasive power over him. I tried to make this clear without making it too obvious, but perhaps I could have been more explicit about this development. As to why Jarvis chose to wish for a 'hot chick' during a fight...Jarvis is easily distracted, and - upon the break in combat - that was the first place his mind went. Perhaps that could have been better explained, but I honestly couldn't work out a better way of achieving both changes to Joseph in a wishing stone setting, and having it be believable. There is likely an elegant solution out there, but I'm not creative enough or an advanced enough writer to find it.
Date: 05/09/18 08:37 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
This was extremely well written, your descriptions really suck you right in to the story. For example, the parts where history is different than we remember such as the British putting the first person on the moon or Norwegian being the worlds trade language and not English. Little details like this really add to the the world and it makes you realize just how powerful those wish stones could be. I really love the ending especially, since not everything was perfect and all. To be honest I went to this site planning on re-reading "For a Girl", but I'm glad I looked around because now I have 6 great new stories to read.
Author's Response: I'm so happy that you appreciated the tiny details! I tried to make the world-building aspect of this story as minimalist as possible, with most explication provided via classroom lectures and a few interspersed and seemingly unimportant facts. Since we're seeing the world from Johanna's eyes, I figured that it would make more sense if she never focused on the quirks of her own world, since she was so accustomed to those quirks. Thanks for the encouraging words, and I hope you enjoy my other stories, as well!
Date: 03/23/18 06:44 am Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
This was fantastic!! I didn't want it to end!! I just love how far she has come as a person and love how things played out! Part of me wanted her to get her voice back, but the other part of me really likes her this way and is completely part of her charm! (Perhaps in the squeal, right? lol) Your descriptions of her expressions are amazing!
Author's Response: Oo that makes me happy to read! Because of this story's lack of dialogue, I tried to focus on both Johanna's expressions and her ability to read the expressions of others, since she begins to notice more nuances as the story progresses. In doing so, that makes her a bit more empathetic and perceptive as to how her own behavior impacts others. Thanks for reading!
Date: 02/05/18 07:07 pm Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Oh man, this was absolutely fantastic! Great protagonist, tight plotting, just plain solid storytelling. I absolutely loved it!
Author's Response: Awesome! Thanks for the lovely review and the kind words, and I'm happy to see that her journey resonated with you :)
Date: 01/03/18 08:49 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Wow! Really beautiful story. When I started reading I couldn't get my eyes off screen. :) I like that you focus on some stuff other people don't.
Author's Response: Thanks! I spent a lot of time on this story, and it still has a special place in my heart. Glad you liked it ;)
Date: 10/10/17 02:58 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
I am in awe.
This story is simply beautiful, and the message it caries is heartwarming.
Had almost given up searching for more good stories on this site and i find this masterpiece.
It was simply amazing, made me very emotional.
Cried my eyes out and it felt so very good!
You are the best Clarity!
Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much. Reading this made me all kinds of happy! This story means a lot to me personally, so I'm glad that it resonated with you, as well. Love ya!
Date: 09/06/17 12:50 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Yeah, the last chapter has always been my weak spot, too. I've read where some authors will write the first and last chapters, and then write the middle to fill it in. That way, they know where it's going. Then again, I heard Stephen King say in a lecture that he has no idea how the story is going to end until he gets there. Then there's Ernest Hemingway, who reportedly wrote the last page of Farewell to Arms 39 times. Regardless, I'm looking forward to your next story!
Author's Response: I realized that I can't make up endings on the fly, and I need to know where I'm going beforehand. I can't wait to start posting my next couple stories!
Date: 09/01/17 07:33 pm Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Great character arc! I like that all her problems weren't solved, but she learned to love her life.
Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad that you enjoyed the story. I'm really proud of this ending, given that I historically have trouble wrapping up my stories, and I was experimenting with a 'non-fairytale' ending. Thanks for the review!
Date: 08/10/17 11:22 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
One of my favorite story. I love the optimism and love between the characters. I really hope you continue to write story similar in feeling to this, this site could use more wholesome stories.
Author's Response: Yay! Thank you for your kind words. I know that some of my older stories have been dark, but I'm trying to lighten up my tone. The world has enough darkness, as it is.
Date: 08/09/17 01:03 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Submitted it before I wrote something. Dumb move on my part. I just remembered that I never got around to reviewing this story when you completed it. So, great job with an idea not often explored.
Author's Response: Yay! Thanks, Paradox!
Date: 08/07/17 07:02 pm Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
What a Norwegian story!
Seriously, that was a very good story, sweet and heartbreaking by turns, and it had some really clever worldbuilding. It's definitely better than "Iraden", the only other of your stories I've read so far (which was good too, though less to my taste with its explicit sex). I look forward to reading your others sometime soonish.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm flattered by your words, and I'm glad that you picked up on the little Norwegian details that I left here and there. I tried to build this world as subtly as possible, weaving the peripheral impacts of the wishing stones into the fabric of the story without having it distract from Johanna's journey. Generally, I write two stories at a time: one heartfelt character-driven story, and another that's more sexually charged. Iraden, of course, was a member of the latter group. That being said, I realize that I made several mistakes in the crafting of Iraden. Hell, I made mistakes in the crafting of everyone single one of my stories. I've already noted three or four major changes that I would liked to have made to Hush, which would have completely restructured the story. That being said, I try to never repeat those same sort of mistakes, and focus on making each story better than the last. I think that you will enjoy both of my upcoming stories, and I can't wait to begin posting them. :D
Date: 07/22/17 03:53 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Simply amazing. It was perfection to the highest degree possible. I loved it.
Its saddening to see your favorite story end because you start to grow a connection to the characters... And then you have remind yourself that the characters aren't real, and that it was just a story, so that you can move on and read a new story and do things in your life.
I think the ending could have been stretched a bit longer, as it felt a bit crammed, but the way it is now was pretty amazing as it was.
In a way, i was really hoping she would find another loras stone, or be able to use the wooden spoon more than once, to not only eradicate Jarvis and Tina's rain of terror, but also to allow herself to speak again... Simply because there is so much that is lost not being able to speak up for yourself... Though at the same time, being passive and quiet can make you the one of the friendliest, because you tend to listen to other people more and you can't get into long and boring conversations.
Author's Response: Aw! Thanks for the thoughtful review. Like you, I fall in love with stories and get sad when they come to their conclusion...I'm just glad that Hush evoked that sort of emotional connection. As you pointed out, one of the key morals of this story was that listening is an invaluable and underrated trait. There were a few major morals in this story. For example: it's better to tackle a problem head-on than allow it to fester, and that sad conditions don't necessarily lead to sad existences. Another important moral of the story, and something that I hope I presented in a succinct manner, is the idea that the hardest part of improving one's self is simple awareness. Listening plays a role in awareness (although it is not required, as those without the ability to hear can be just as aware as anybody else), so I'm glad that you picked up on that. To quote the late David Foster Wallace: "The world will not discourage you from operating on your default-settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the 'rat race' — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing."
Date: 07/18/17 02:56 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
I loved this story!!!! It's so nice to read a truely happy story when so many people (myself included) write stories that are a lot meaner and more forced and the like! As I read this, I imagined so many ways that I couldve made this story a lot more Deviant and I am so glad you didn't go that way!!!The world you created is amazing and the attention to detail and such was great! The characters were real and the decisions and plot were engaging! Great job!!!!
Author's Response: Yay! Thanks Vicky, I'm glad that you enjoyed it! I'm glad that you found the characters to be believable and 'real'. Since I began writing, that has been an area where I've intended to grow, so that feedback gives me a degree of validation. You're the best!
Date: 07/17/17 08:24 pm Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
This is or rather sadly was by far the best story posted here in 2017 or maybe the best of all-time... can u at-least write a sequal or crossover so we can have johanna again?
Author's Response: Aw, that's a very kind thing to say. I'm glad that you liked the story, and that you rate it so highly! There are many excellent pieces of writing on this site, so that means a lot to me. It seems like many people want additional stories in this same universe. In the future, I hope to write a story with Johanna in it (although she probably won't be the main character).
Date: 07/17/17 05:04 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Well, it's over, and Johanna didn't get her voice back. After reading this chapter, re-reading much of the story, and re-reading my last review... I have to say, I'm okay with that. I'm _more than_ okay with that. Even with her disability, she's happy. In fact, she's far happier now than she was when her voice was taken from her. Happier in part because of it, most likely. And now I'm starting to think about some things. For most of my life, I was just like Joseph. I was a "negative asshole", as the story put it in chapter 7, and my own conflicts with my family resembled Joseph's. I even expressed the same contempt for my fellow students that Joseph did and that Johanna realized was unwarranted. That "negative asshole" attitude was especially true for me before my transition, and it's still true for me to a lesser extent even now. And I look at Johanna's attitude in the epilogue... when she reminisces about her friendship with Megan and Sarah and talks about all the fun things she did with them... I'm hit with a realization: Johanna is enjoying her life with her disability far more than I've ever enjoyed my life without any real disability. In fact, she got to have a lot of experiences that I never got to have and I deeply regret not having (I transitioned at 28, I'm 32 now, and I'm still bitter about not getting to be a teenage girl). She really is better off for having lost her voice, and by damn, I'm honestly jealous of her. Voice or no voice, she was exactly like me at the start of the story, and by the end of the story, she's become exactly the kind of person I wish I was. Maybe if I encountered a wishing stone and had the same wishes inflicted on me, I'd be just as happy as Johanna.
So, thank you for giving me this opportunity to reflect on my life and realize what's truly important. Have extra stars!
P.S. This attitude Joseph had at the beginning of the story, the same attitude I've had my whole life, is not uncommon among deeply closeted trans people. Much like depression, it's an indirect symptom of gender dysphoria. I'm now starting to wonder if "Joseph" was trans all along. Maybe the wishing stone didn't make her act or think more femininely, but rather it let her realize that it's OK to act or think femininely instead of presenting a masculine facade. After all, most deeply closeted trans people don't even realize they're trans until later in life. So the first wish may have given her something she's subconsciously wanted all along.
Author's Response: Wow! This was a really powerful review. I'm glad to see that Johanna's journey means so much to you. Addressing your P.S. note, Johanna's path and personality were pretty closely tied to my own, and my journey as a teen (I suppose we've led similar lives). I am trans and I transitioned at a fairly young age, so your interpretation makes a lot of sense. Truth be told, I hadn't even thought of Johanna in terms of being trans, but you're right. She might have gotten what she wanted all along.
Date: 07/17/17 03:57 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
It's definitely a nice ending, but a part of me had hoped that Johanna would have gotten her voice back in the end.
Author's Response: Thank you, and I'm glad that you enjoyed the story. As far as Johanna's voice is concerned, I decided that she wouldn't get her voice back before I even put pen to paper (figuratively). That's all just part of her journey. That being said, I tried to make the ending epilogue fairly bittersweet and full of love, to offset her loss.
Date: 07/16/17 04:19 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Somewhat happy ending. I say somewhat because she still has her disability. It would have been too convenient and unbelievable if she got another stone to give her voice back. But I would like to think she wouldn't give up hope.
Maybe when they are much much older she would eventually get one, and her first words would be "I love you" to Clark.
But that's just my thoughts. The way it actually ended was good.
This is an interesting universe. I would like to see it revisited sometime, with different characters.
Author's Response: Aww! That's an incredibly sweet idea! I'm glad that you enjoyed the ending, and I agree that another stone would be a bit convenient, without some sort of foreshadowing and additional plotline. I've learned a lot since I posted my first story (ever) on this site, and I think that you've illuminated the most critical learning (which I wouldn't have learned without helpful reviews): always think about how to frame things so that they aren't 'unbelievable' and 'convenient'. Even in a world with magic stones and reality warping, it's still very possible to have 'unbelievable' plotlines, simply because they aren't carefully constructed in a digestible manner.
Date: 07/16/17 02:01 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Oh wow it's over... no more hoping for new chapters. Thta has me a bit sad... but a bit glad too. I'm glad Johanna could truely grow from this experience and become the kind of person she wanted to be. That last line was so powerful, glad that such a change occurred wow. Never thought I'd see that at the beginning. This has been a fun ride, thank you for this story no matter how short it was lovely. I hope someday you revisit this series, maybe not Johanna's story but someone else touched by a stone and needing it's help.
Author's Response: Oo! I certainly want to revisit this Wishing Stone universe in the future, and Johanna will definitely make a guest appearance. Currently, I haven't even thought about what that continuation would look like. Do you have any ideas for plots?
Date: 07/15/17 08:15 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Really enjoyed this story! Great writing and character development.
Thanks for all your effort and sharing!
Author's Response: Thanks for your kind words! I try my best, and I try to get a little better with each chapter I write. I'm happy to see that this story brightened your day, and I'll be posting more stories, going into the future.
Date: 07/15/17 03:03 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
This was so sweet I think it gave me diabetes. Not that i'm complaining. Love it to bits, especially Johanna. Glad she stayed unable to speak, so cute :3
Author's Response: Oh dear, I hope not! In all seriousness, thank you. I'm glad that this story brought some happiness to you. Believe it or not, but my intention in writing this story wasn't to make it super cute. That was more of a side-effect, a 'happy little accident', as Bob Ross would say.
Date: 07/15/17 09:18 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Perfect ending just wow and thanks so much for the amazing story clarity you are a star. Excited for more new stories and yes you deserve a break take care and hugs 😻😘💐👌👍
Author's Response: Aw! A star! Thank you very much for your kind words. They warm my heart. Also, I already took my break! I went on a fun backpacking trip before posting the final two chapters, so I'll be focused on the future stories for the next month or so!
Date: 07/15/17 09:06 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Everything is good that ends well, I would normally say, but this story is even better because it end well in spite of some of it ending not exactly not well, but ...
I love the fact that Johanna remains silent. That finally validates itself, not as an impediment, but as an incentive to improve herself. It would spoil the story, in my opinion, if she got her speech back, so I do not agree with those who are disappointed. On the contrary, congratulations, Clarity, to your beautiful story arc. So well done.
And many thanks to the cute little dragon on your shoulder, for whispering encouragement and giving help.
Here is an extra stars for this wonderful tale *
Author's Response: Aw! Thank you so much, and I'll gladly take all of your extra stars! I'm happy to see that you enjoyed the ending. Before I wrote the first word of this story, I knew that I wanted it to end without Johanna regaining her voice. I'm happy that you enjoyed the ending, as that validates my whole reason behind writing this story: the idea that disabilities can foster strength. Thank you for your wonderful feedback, and I'll be sure to feed the little dragon on my shoulder. *Hugs*
Date: 07/15/17 07:44 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
Great story. I miss her already :(
One of my favs. Poooo now I'm sad with her cuteness gone what ever shall I do now
Author's Response: Her cuteness lives on in a distant, magical world! Even more importantly, her journey lives on within you. Thank you for being a critical part of this journey, and I look forward to posting more stories! I always love hearing your feedback
Date: 07/15/17 05:22 am Title: Chapter 23: Epilogue
I will not lie, I am pretty sad to see this end. However, this was a wonderful and cute story that I found to truly be a pleasure to read! You are a talented author, and I cannot wait to read what else you come up with! *Hugs*
Author's Response: Aw! *Hugs* You're a talented author, as well, and I really appreciate your help on this story. You're the bestest
Date: 07/15/17 05:13 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Thank you for this wonderful story, I had a great pleasure to see every updates.
Contrary to some I'm quite happy with the fact that she didn't recover her voice. The whole premise of it was quite original as it was and i would have been disapointed if all her growth would have been somewhat diminished by her recovering the ability to speak. This is inconvenient, yes, but not insurmontable. In fact, 90% of our communication is non-verbal. And with our modern technology it is only a mild inconvenience. The first wish I wouldn't have been bothered by it in the slightest so I feell she did the right choice by choosing to reverse the third one.
On a side note, you mentionned Khan's trial again but correct me if i'm wrong, you didn't say what was the result of it.
Again, great story, Thank you.
Author's Response: Thank you! I totally agree with your points about non-verbal communication. The sheer amount of non-verbal descriptions in this story made it an absolute joy to write. Did you enjoy the regular updates? I was kind've experimenting with the 'once a week on Friday/Saturday' strategy, and I think I might employ that same posting pattern for future stories.
Date: 07/15/17 02:05 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Ahh... I hadn't paid attention to this story when it started coming out because usually orientation changes put me off. But I got curious and decided to take a chance, and I'm so glad I did. I marathoned the whole story last night, and it was wonderful. I can't believe I almost missed out on it.
Just please please pleasepleaseplease find some way in the epilogue to give Johanna her voice back. Yes, I'm glad she made the selfless decision to use the Loras Stone to help the city instead of helping herself. It was the right thing to do. But that kind of selflessness deserves to be rewarded. She should get something for ending Jarvis's reign of terror, even though she expected nothing in return -- nay, _because_ she expected nothing in return. Kind of like Androcles and the lion, I guess, but if Androcles sacrificed something important instead of just helping the lion. And, yeah, it kind of got to me earlier in the story when she realized that she didn't even _remember_ what she sounded like in that minute or so between being turned into a girl and having her voice taken. She deserves to recover that memory that at least.
Thank you for writing this!
Author's Response: Thanks for reading, and I'm glad that you liked the story, Sunset! So far, all of my stories have orientation shifts. However, I'm currently working on a story that doesn't have any orientation shift. That will probably present a bit of a challenge to me since, well, I like men...but I'll try my best and see how it goes! I hadn't heard the tale of Androcles, as I'm not very well-versed in my classics, but I looked into it and I see where you're coming from. Perhaps Johanna would be placed on some government short-list for when they find new Loras Stones, as an act of returning the favor for her sacrifice.
Date: 07/14/17 12:31 pm Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
Oh wow I was shocked about the attack but there was so much love around her I'm the end that I am happy and accept this ending. Thanks for the story and keep writing more dear clarity.😻😘
Author's Response: Yay! Happy to hear that you enjoyed the ending, despite its brutality. While writing this story, I kept wondering whether or not the plot strayed too far into the darkness. Originally, the scene where Johanna gets beaten up in the hallway is much more graphic and cruel, but I decided to change it and make it a slightly lighter shade. Thankfully, Paradox helped me out during that process, and suggested hair-cutting, which was emotionally traumatic for Johanna, but not horrifically so. Thanks for reading and reviewing, Sanro! Your feedback helped me a lot throughout Hush's development.
Date: 07/13/17 10:27 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Please give Johanna her voice back and let us see a romantic relationship with Clark :)
Author's Response: hehe, I'm glad that you've enjoyed the relationship between Johanna and Clark. Their interactions were fun to write, because their dynamic was almost entirely nonverbal. Thanks, Green friend!
Date: 07/13/17 07:37 pm Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
OMG!!!! I hope she'll be okay, a baseball bat to the head can be FATAL, those two are monsters! But wow... even when being nearly beaten to death she stilll had kindness and nice thoughts towards those two. Johanna is a national treasure.
Author's Response: Don't worry, she's hard-headed! I'm glad that you enjoyed the story! I know that you've read several of my stories, and you probably noticed that the main character forgiving villains at the end is a theme that I've used before. It occurs in both this story and in my first story (Game, Set, Match). That has roots in my personal life, and my experiences growing up with a now-deceased tormentor. Forgiveness is a code that I try to live by in my daily life, and often fail. Luckily, I can write about characters whose willpower is stronger than my own. I'm glad that you've enjoyed the story, and I hope you will find enjoyment in my future works!
Date: 07/13/17 01:34 pm Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
Yay! Your story is amazing! Are you going to do another after this?
Author's Response: Yes! I'm working on two more stories right now, and I intend to begin posting them as soon as I have them half-complete...which could take a while. I'm glad that you enjoyed the story! You're wonderful!
Date: 07/13/17 12:41 pm Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
No No No NOOOOOOOOOoooooo please do not end this story in just one quick epilogue.... This is my saturday morning fix since chapter 3... Pleaseeee
Author's Response: Aww. I'm sorry, friend! Luckily, this won't be the last story that I post, so you needn't fear! More will come, but it will arrive in different shapes, sizes, and plotlines. So it goes :D
Date: 07/13/17 09:02 am Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
I would love to take this opportunity and thank you for bringing this amazing story. So far, I'e loved every moment of it!
Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words, Sjouke (I may have snooped your profile)! The fact that this story has brought happiness to people means a lot to me. I saw that you're interested in putting together some longer stories and posting them. My advice: carve out a few hours of time (easier said than done, I know), go somewhere quiet, and put all of your focus into writing. No extra browser tabs. No distractions. You can do it! P.S. If you want me to edit any of your work or give feedback before you post, feel free to contact me on the TGS Discord
Date: 07/13/17 04:01 am Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
Oh noooooo I love this story I'm so happy her hell is over but I'd love to see so much more x.x
Author's Response: I'm sad that it's over, as well! Thank you for reading and thank you for sticking with the story and with Johanna. I might write another story in this wishing stone universe, and Johanna may make a guest appearance xD
Date: 07/13/17 01:35 am Title: Chapter 22: Better Angels of Our Nature
This chapter was amazing! I LOVE this story! You are an amazing writer Clarity! (So glad to see Jarvis and Tina get exactly what they deserved!)
Author's Response: Thank you, Shadow! You're my special Dragon!
Date: 07/04/17 06:48 pm Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
Probably my favorite part of the whole story is that the MC is small enough to fit perfectly in a hug from her sister. I don't know why, but it makes me feel happy reading it every time.
Author's Response: Yay! I grinned while I wrote that part. There's something beautiful about the simplicity of puzzle pieces fitting together in perfect harmony, isn't there?
Date: 07/03/17 07:08 pm Title: Chapter 18: Fleeting
Wow. After chapter 18 I was really sad. You got me to be extremely connected to each of the characters and for that I thank you. The grandmother dyeing was sad but very well placed. Extremely impressed, well done
Author's Response: Thank you! I know that the story becomes a bit of an emotional rollercoaster toward the end, and I applaud you for sticking through it! Johanna's relationship with her grandparents is one of the few story elements that I took straight out of my own life, from playing Twenty Questions with Grandpa down to the two little dogs without voiceboxes.
Date: 07/03/17 02:18 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
Don't listen to the other reviewers. You should drag this out a bit more, its a really good series.
Author's Response: I've ruled out a sequel, but I am considering writing another story in this same universe. Would that interest you?
Date: 06/30/17 04:19 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
My God I loved this chapter! I was literally ready to scream out that those asses needed payback... Thank you for that! Cannot wait for more! Amazing story! 💯
Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad you like the conclusion, as I know that constructing good endings is one of my weak-points as a writer. Thank you for being so supportive and lifting up my spirits. I'm already working on two new stories, and I'll be posting them in the mid-future ;)
Date: 06/26/17 08:00 pm Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
How was this not the end? It so feels like the end. Either way it was great. Don't drag on too much though just like, sum stuff up or something idk. But this would have been an okay ending.
Author's Response: There will be 1 more chapter, followed by an epilogue...so we're pretty close to the end. This chapter was my original pre-epilogue ending, but I received feedback that this ending would leave too many strings untied, so I went forward and wrote an additional (and hopefully resolving) chapter. I agree that it would have been an 'okay' ending, but a common piece of feedback from my first 2 stories was that my endings were too abrupt, so I'm trying pretty hard to avoid that. Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you've enjoyed the story!
Date: 06/26/17 03:46 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
I do not recommend seeing "South Park". Some chapters are disgusting and disturbing, in addition they are parodies of known series and films.
But if I recommend to see "Death Note": was considered, one of the best series, with thematic detectives.
Humanity, has suffered because of evil, for too long. To destroy evil, it is necessary to kill those who are evil. With 37 chapters and 4 films (live action)
If you like to laugh, I recommend, "No Game No Life": a comedy, in which every bet is possible in a game. It makes you think: if you can modify the body and the mind of your opponent, by means of a bet, imagine the possibilities.
In Chapter 9, they alter the memories of the whole nation (or kingdom).
Author's Response: Alright, I'll check it out! I've heard of Death Note before, but I've never really watched that genre before
Date: 06/25/17 08:09 pm Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
Just amazing chapter. loved it and I want to see justice served cuz Johanna suffered too much and Jarvis needs to pay. Thank you clarity👍😘😻 *hugs*
Author's Response: Thanks, Sanro! Justice will be served, that much is certain. *Hugs*
Date: 06/25/17 07:25 pm Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
The stone of Loras seems to be, very small; Maybe that's why they're hard to find.
Reconstruction of memories.
People do not remember, that the family of "Jarvis Duncan" owned the city. But remember everything else: remember the bad behavior of Jarvis, remember the abuses of Jarvis. What they do not remember, is because they allowed it.
I think of the following repercussions:
Tina, remember she's Jarvis's girlfriend. But, he does not remember, because he is his girlfriend.
Jarvis's parents; They buy a lot of expensive items, including cars and sound equipment. But they do not remember, because they spent, so much money.
The saddest thing is the nerdy boy, beaten by Jarvis. Remember that his parents did not defend him, but he does not remember, because. This can cause, big problems with your psyche. Imagine, what would happen, if he found a Stone wishes
This reminds me, to a certain chapter of "South Park," in which Butters' parents punish Butters, but they do not remember, because they punished him.
It also reminds me of other series:
Mirmo Zibang !:
At the end of the second season: the protagonists lose their memories, related to the fairys, but retain some manias, behavior that can not explain.
The protagonist gives up his memories. So he does not understand, because I confess, a crime he does not remember to commit.
No Game No Life:
In Chapter 9: bet your memories, and memories of the whole kingdom And their own stocks
Author's Response: Hmm, this gave my something to think about. I haven't seen most of South Park, so I'm not familiar with that plot arc, but I have been contemplating the impact of the Loras Stones for some time. Rest assured that I will explain the impact of Johanna's wish-undoing in the coming chapter.
Date: 06/25/17 06:14 pm Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
This is the perfect time for one final revenge attack. But overall, the story feels quite successful, and very complete.
Author's Response: Yay! I've been working on improving my story-endings, so I appreciate that piece of feedback. Thanks!
Date: 06/25/17 10:21 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
Sorry this is late but FINALLY CONSEQUENCE! I'm still scared of those two, even with police there I don't think that'll stop Jarvis, he is seriously bad news and probably should be wished to be a baby or something so he can grow up not to be a self righteous douchebag. Same with his girlfriend >.
Author's Response: Haha. That'd be an interesting solution, Lil! As they say, "the wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine."
Date: 06/25/17 09:37 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
I was literally counting days to read the next part of your story since 5th part.. This maybe the best story here in present... Please add a full part about clark and johanna too...
Author's Response: Aw! This review made me grin. I'm glad that you rate my story so highly, and I'm going to continue writing stories on this site (and hopefully updating them weekly). I'll try to put out a chapter sometime next week, but then I'm going on a backpacking trip for a couple weeks, so the final chapter won't be out until mid-July, unfortunately.
Date: 06/25/17 07:10 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
I can only agree with shade, Clarity. Such a wonderfull tale.
Author's Response: There aren't any tails here! This isn't a Shade story xD Just kidding, of course. Thank you for your kind review, and I'm glad that you like my story!
Date: 06/25/17 04:29 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
Thanks for the chapter! I love that Jarvis is finally getting what he deserves.
Author's Response: Justice can take a while, but I'd be a cruel writer if I never let the good guys have some sort of win. Thank you for reading!
Date: 06/25/17 04:24 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
I really love this chapter. I love everything about this story. I can't wait to see what else you are gonna do with it!
Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad you enjoy it, and thank you for reading it. This story is going to have 1 more chapter, and then a sort of Epilogue. Rest assured that both of those chapters will be exciting!
Date: 06/25/17 03:22 am Title: Chapter 21: Eye of the Storm
Awwww!!! *Sniff*, so many feels! YES! Finally Duncan and Tina are gonna get exactly what they deserve! Granted, that last sentence seemed a little ominous to me... ;)
As always, you have shown yourself to be an excellent and amazing writer Clarity!
Author's Response: Shadow! You're wooonderful! Also, yes: Tincan is going down
Date: 06/24/17 06:01 am Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
Wow.Good twist.I expected that Johanna would find a Loras stone but didn't expect her to find in her grandmother's heirloom.Also it looks like the story is going to end soon.Good effort and continue to write more stories like these.
Author's Response: Thanks for reading! I had a tough time figuring out how exactly the Loras Stone situation would work, without seeming too convenient or gimmicky, and I'd like to thank Shadow Dragon for helping me figure that out. Also, I'll continue writing stories as long as people are enjoying them.
Date: 06/20/17 10:36 am Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
Victory! This feels like a deserved, earned, well executed chapter for both Johanna and the story as a whole. I love the themes of trust and temptation here.
Unfortunately it also feels like we've got the climax (maybe one more confrontation with Jarvis and Tina?) and then this story is winding down.
Author's Response: It is indeed winding down. There will only be a few more chapters, sadly. That being said, there's always a climax in Act IV. Don't think that this story will end in a sleep-inducing fashion.
Date: 06/19/17 04:49 pm Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
Well now, that was an interesting twist... So is this the begining of the end or the end of the begining?
*if ya not sure what I mean, you can always PM me on Discord...xD
Author's Response: The climax is yet to occur, but the story should only span 3 more chapters. I had a different ending planned initially, but Shadow helped me piece together a prettier way to bring things together.
Date: 06/19/17 03:08 pm Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
OMG! Such a moving chapter. I cried my eyes out during the first part, then I was so nervous something bad was going to happen, my heart was beating so fast and my hands were shaky during the middle part, then I was crying my eyes out again. Such a roller coaster of emotion. Thanks for the chapter! I have said this before on other reviews but this is one of my most favorite stories on this site. I cannot wait for more.
Author's Response: Aww! I'm glad that this story has been memorable and special. Never forget: tears are good! Without them, the world would be repressive and fake. Thank you for reading and enjoying. I write a new chapter of Hush every week! Also, I took a look at the other stories that you have reviewed, and they are all very good :)
Date: 06/17/17 06:30 pm Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
Oh wow Jarvis will meet his fate nOw and hopefully get asswhooping from everyone and so happy that she choose this option and I loved it 😻😘
Author's Response: I tried to make her decision reveal a lot about her character. Deep down, she's somewhat self-less and has a strong sense of moral righteousness.
Date: 06/17/17 05:12 am Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
Another Hush chapter! Oh Clarity, eben though it was a tearful statt, You have made my day, what a wonderful read!
Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad that I made your day a bit better :) You're the best
Date: 06/17/17 04:49 am Title: Chapter 20: Willpower
I can't even say how happy I am for this! This defenetly one of your best chapters but, and maybe it's just me, but during the will reading I was able to guess the ending. And are you planning on giving the MC her voice back?
Author's Response: Thank you! I try to improve with every chapter I write. I've only been writing stories for about a year now, and it's been loads of fun! Unfortunately, Johanna will only be able to get her voice back if she finds another Loras Stone. If she was able to find an additional Loras Stone, I fear that it would break the suspension of disbelief, and readers would be peeved. Extreme coincidences like that are hard to justify as resolutions.
Date: 06/15/17 06:11 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
I remember reading this before. You have changed it and made it better, much better. I love this story, almost perfect!
Author's Response: Every review helps me refine my mistakes! I'm glad that you like the story, and I'll try my best to make it more perfect.
Date: 06/13/17 10:23 am Title: Chapter 19: Slice
This continues to be a very inspiring drama; I love reading Johanna fight her fate. Also, the other wishes that keep getting slipped in unnoticed. Trying to think of justifications for the consequences of wishes is half the fun.
Author's Response: Hehe yes, sneaking in background wishes is my favorite part of writing this story.
Date: 06/11/17 10:26 am Title: Chapter 19: Slice
Omg noes this sucks so bad I thought her days of torment were over but those dochebags were so mean to her. Cutting her hair and hitting her with punches is too much. No wonder she vomited in the end. Hope some happiness comes her way thNks 😻😘
Author's Response: "Gotta have a little sadness once in a while, so you know when the good times come."
Date: 06/10/17 12:13 pm Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
"New chapter of Hush and 930310 had an exorcism" Not a bad post in Reviewer's Club if I have to say so myself, do you agree? Anyway, I would not blame them given the heart wrenching circumstance happened in the story and I certainly wouldn't clap my hands celebrating their erred critique. This chapter is depressing but a good chapter nonetheless.
Author's Response: Yeah, in hindsight, I feel like a b**** for writing that response. Oh well, time only moves in a single direction! I'm glad that you've found light in my dark chapter.
Date: 06/10/17 04:12 am Title: Chapter 1: Objective Apples
I really love the way that this story has developed. Like all good fiction, each chapter leaves me worrying about the characters until the next one is posted. Thank you so much.
Author's Response: Thank you for reading! I like your name, by the way
Date: 06/10/17 12:24 am Title: Chapter 19: Slice
Oh my god I wanna knock them both out. And why her hair I loved her hair..... grrrrrr
Great chapter though. Like always
Author's Response: Everything that begins to exist has an end, her hair follicles included. I'm glad that you're enjoying the story :)
Date: 06/09/17 07:11 pm Title: Chapter 19: Slice
While I mostly have enjoyed this story I am beginning to grow tired of everyone being able to guess what Johanna mouths. The last time I checked none of the family members were lipreaders.
Also, the family still feels fairly stiff. Even with the passing of the grandmother everyone is pretty much a background character with no personality. The sister comes across as egoistic and uncaring, it's more like she's playing pretend with Johanna.
Also, it feels like the explanation for why she chose to become a cheerleader is a bit weak. She didn’t have to stick with her sister before and after school, she could have hung out in the computer room and done something she enjoyed rather than started cheering out of partial boredom.
Author's Response: Usually, your feedback is enlightening. This review, however, seems to have missed the mark. For all four of your points of criticism, I encourage you to re-read the story. (1) - Lipreading. Your interpretation here reveals to me that you've haven't spent much time with deaf people. It's far easier to detect mouthed words than many people believe, and I went out of my way to make Johanna's mouthing as simplistic as possible (also, there are a few misinterpretations of her words, so I suggest a closer reading of those). (2) - Family Characterization. I really can't help you here. I spent a ridiculous amount of time building the characters in her family, and if that's your take-away, then that's too bad. I went far, far, far out of my way to bring these characters alive. I feel like your criticism on this topic is broad, non-actionable, and forced. (3) - Megan's personality. She's written to be egotistical. That's the whole idea, and that's why Johanna had so much trouble getting along with her in the past. Despite her ego, she's trying to be a better sister to Johanna, and she's having her own case of guilt. If you didn't detect this in the story material, I (once more) suggest a closer reading. (4) Why Johanna chose to be a cheerleader - What you pointed out as the SOLE REASON for Johanna joining the cheer team is not actually the sole reason. Once again, if you re-read the story, I'm sure that this will become clearer. Johanna's primary reasoning for becoming a cheer leader is that she wanted to start an extracurricular, in order to 'impress' Clark's parents. That's how the possibility of cheerleading even entered her mind. This roused her curiosity and tempted her to watch a practice. From there, she was peer-pressured into joining the team by Megan and the rest of the team. So she actually had multiple points of pressure, all aiming her toward the same conclusion. This is basic decision-making. There are 'pull factors', drawing a person toward making a particular decisions, as well as 'push factors,' pushing them away from alternatives. In the real world, big decisions are seldom made based on one single factor. Even so, the factor that you saw as the 'sole factor' was tertiary at most. All in all, I'm going to have to give this review 3 stars out of 5. Don't take it personally, since I am a very critical counter-reviewer. :)
Date: 06/09/17 06:38 pm Title: Chapter 19: Slice
Wow, it can hardly get any worse now, can it? That video should go on the net for all to see everywhere, with a special copy to his parents.
Author's Response: It can always get worse
Date: 06/03/17 04:25 am Title: Chapter 18: Fleeting
Great as always, however there's a continuity error. In chapter 17 Johanna forgot to bring her whiteboard to school, but in chapter eighteen used it at school the same day. Just thought I'd let you know :)
Author's Response: Fixed! I don't even know why I added that line in the first place! Thank you very much for catching that
Date: 06/02/17 09:17 pm Title: Chapter 18: Fleeting
This was so precious and so tragic at the same time. I hope she can forgive herself for missing the call. Poor Johanna...
Author's Response: Sometimes 'not being there' can be just as devastating as 'being there'. :(
Date: 06/02/17 05:10 pm Title: Chapter 18: Fleeting
I am still absolutely in love with this story, Clarity.
Author's Response: Glad to hear it! This story's climax is soon approaching, so prepare yourself!
Date: 05/28/17 09:04 am Title: Chapter 17: Practice Makes Perfect
Yeeeeee cheerleader bonding, that's so sweet! I knew a cheer leader in high school and she was so nice to me and always was kind to everyone.e A complete opposite of the stereotype. I loved that because she opened my eyes to the fact, people are people and people are complicated :D
Author's Response: People are indeed complicated. I try (and often fail) to portray that complexity through writing. It isn't easy :(
Date: 05/27/17 08:11 pm Title: Chapter 10: A Touch of Vengeance
"Body language poses"
I can't believe I have been fooled this long by her innocent look! This chapter is just the right ingredient for a particular cartoon's meme, I wonder if you're aware?
Author's Response: what
Date: 05/22/17 09:41 am Title: Chapter 15: Forks and Spoons
Another fun chapter, and another positive uptick in Johanna's life. The cheerleader piece seems a little typical, but could be a good experience for her. Of course, nothing in her life is ever good forever, and I'm expecting something unfortunate to happen soon — like Tina's promised revenge.
Thanks for sharing.
Author's Response: I agree that the cheerleading can be cliche, and that's why I'm attempting to add more depth there, and actually detail the team dynamic and the particulars of the routines. Cheerleading is more than just pompoms and revealing clothing.
Date: 05/20/17 10:26 pm Title: Chapter 16: Into the Breach
I can't wait to see how this story plays out. After all the drama with Jarvis and the wishing stone it would be really nice if you somehow wrapped the story up by having Johana find another wishing stone and resolve things, but keeping the lessons learned and perhaps teaching Jarvis a lesson, but at the same time not ruining his life. I can't wait to see where you take this.
Author's Response: Oh dear! That's a spicy theory :D
Date: 05/20/17 07:39 pm Title: Chapter 16: Into the Breach
I hope Jarvis parents if they really are good people will seriously take into account the way he is torturing poor Johanna. I doubt it though, that much power and Jarvis already being like he was since chapter one? It's possible it's not their fault but I cant believe they'd just sit there ignoring his crimes and consider them good people.
Author's Response: If they don't put a stop to Jarvis' actions, then they're definitely enablers
Date: 05/20/17 02:26 pm Title: Chapter 16: Into the Breach
Very cute chapter loved it except the dodgeball part where she got hit. But maybe Jarvis and Tina will leave her alone and she can be a happy cheerleader. 😘😍 Thankyou clarity
Author's Response: We need some dark times in our lives...they bring out the light :)