byzantium
Better known as Dormammu12 elsewhere.
Member Since: 07/07/18 Membership status: Member


Reviews by byzantium
A middle-aged businessman stuck in a tortuously boring meeting finds a way out... right into the body of a high-school student with a burden all her own.
Rated: Explicit 94 Reviews starstarstarstarstar Completed Story Reads: 147997 Words: 81296 Chapters: 24 Table of Contents
Categories: Magical Gender Change
Characters: Male to Female, Teen (13-19 yrs)
Turned Into: Teenager
Locale: High School
Motivation for Change: Unknown
Personality: Fights Change
Sexual Orientation: Changes to be Attracted Only to Men
Story Theme: Everyday Living, Pregnancy
Type of Change: Age Regression, Body Swap, Stuck
Warnings: Bodily Functions
Series: None
Published: 06/28/18
Updated: 11/20/18
Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 07/07/18 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Begging For a Change

Fantastic story! Are you the "reprobate" who wrote "The Strangest Halloween" and "Hailey's Curse"? May I know where your works are stored? I've found an author called "Kim Ott" on FictionMania but not sure if that's yours.

Author's Response: lol, that's me. i've written some as reprobate and some as kim ott here and there. as far as where stories might be... i'm not sure? not every website lasts forever and i don't keep hard copies i'm afraid. anyhow, this has been no help at all. thanks for the compliment. i'll try not to mess this story up. xo, Charlotte

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 07/25/18 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3: Gregory Dobson, I Presume

OK, this is great. I keep having this recurring image in my head of this heavily pregnant slip of a girl acting like a stereotypical Male Chauvinist Pig, including lots of swearing, leg-spreading and authoritative speech patterns. Would be really interesting to see Greg!Kennedy wandering around Greg's apartment, living Greg's life (going to the gym? going for a shower? watching TV? the possibilities are endless), though the shopping 'episode' would probably be quite interesting as well. Greg seems to be the sort of fellow with a high opinion of himself; does that extend to the physical body he's occupying, I wonder? Because if so, Kennedy will find herself the proud owner of several extremely expensive maternity smocks shortly.

Author's Response: thank you!! and your 'recurring image' is exactly what I'm going for. a lot of what you hint at here is in the works one way or another. and spoiler alert, our hero is going to drop *a lot* of money 'fixing' what they see as this body's 'unacceptable' aesthetics. thanks for the kind words! xo, Charlotte

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 08/01/18 Title: Chapter 4: Chapter 4: My Lunch With Kennedy

As far as I'm concerned, this story is proceeding quite nicely. But one quibble: would you mind not making Greg too girly?
This might seem a bit odd, given that he IS a girl, but what I mean is, there are some patterns of thinking and acting which don't, strictly speaking, limit themselves to one gender. Greg-as-Kennedy might, for instance, still cut people off mid-conversation, or refrain from blushing whenever something happens that prods his presumably nonexistent modesty. (I've seen a fair bit of Greg blushing in the three previous chapters, but none in this one, so that's good.) He is, after all, a middle-aged macho dude who's presumably set in his ways - simply in a different body. While I allow that a different body might lead to some changes in his personality, I don't think we should expect a radical overhaul which results in some frilly-pink princess-type personality. He simply hasn't gone through the decades of socializing and conditioning that most women have.
I don't know enough about Kennedy to say yet, but I do dislike her apparent smugness. Her smugness is understandable, though. Presumably she may not want her own body, her child, her boyfriend and her life anymore, but surely she doesn't think that her mother's situation - a "dead-end job" - might be preferable. There are far more possibilities available to her in her original body than in her mother's.
That said, if Greg were to stay in Kennedy's body (and to all intents and purposes BECOME Kennedy in the eyes of society and its related systems), I don't think he seems like the type to violently reject being female (dysphoria seems like a fairly recent phenomenon mostly due to an intensifying in societal pressures). I can imagine her giving the baby up for adoption and (maybe) getting with the boyfriend (given that their personalities mesh and Greg is able to get past his own male sexuality, which seems likely), as well as devoting her newfound youth to rebuilding a career and finances - a do-over, basically. She probably wouldn't be shortsighted enough to look out for her own immediate needs (as a young woman), having the mind of a fairly mature chap. Greg's outlook on life ("I wouldn't have a kid in high school, I'd rather go to college" or something like that) probably would transfer to new Kennedy.
[Speaking of which, if Greg does stay in Kennedy, he should really take control of his money properly.]
I imagine the new Kennedy would be a lot more assertive and a lot more high-maintenance. Feminine, yes, and the sort of person to maintain a walk-in closet filled to the brim, but not a frilly pink type. Playing up her sexuality and looks from time to time, yes, but not one of those "stuck-up flat business bitches" which Greg talks about in Chapt.2.

Author's Response: PRECISELY the kind of criticism i am looking for and that this story depends upon. your quibble is completely valid. and entirely the result of me not writing 'bad guys' very well. i really need to let Greg's inner douchebag shine, and that is not my instinct as a writer. or at least showcase his 'hard' qualities. I'm honestly glad you find Kennedy relatively unsympathetic (or smug as you say). lots of character development ahead, so i'm hoping i can both subvert and deepen what you have noticed, if that makes sense. as far as 'preferable situations' go, my hope is that all 3 main characters have ended up in undesirable situations (to some extent). they have left some things they disliked behind, but that doesn't mean they got everything (or even most things) that they wanted. the money angle is a complicated one and a thing we'll get into more. Kennedy and Gretchen would have needed to scrape by if the former was to keep the baby. it's one of the reasons why i outed the adoption angle so early. however if Greg receives even a fraction of his former wealth, the kid would want for nothing. then again everyone will need to play nice in order for this to happen. thank you thank you thank you for the wealth of feedback!! xo, Charlotte

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 08/06/18 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter 5: The Glow

Come to think of it, those misogynists who like to criticize women's looks would make excellently catty bitches. Greg is one of those people.
Besides that, though, I feel like (perhaps) Greg ought to be less quiet. He's an executive, isn't he? So perhaps he's accustomed to speaking up and berating hapless salespeople into submission. I don't think he'd be the type of person to just stand there and allow other people to, say, call him "Honey", etc. though it may be because he's just unused to the unfamiliar environment of a maternity shop.
All these tidbits Greg's dropping about Kennedy's appearance (e.g. "drop a coin down that cleavage and you're not getting it back") are going to come in handy if he gets stuck and needs to rely on more than Kennedy's youth and ostensible vulnerability to get his way. His outlook on fashion is really different, isn't it? I kinda want to see an inventory of those three large shopping bags. Though such an activity perhaps ought to be split over a few chapters; having one whole chapter devoted to modelling maternity wear wouldn't be too interesting, I guess.

Author's Response: i wouldn't go so far as to describe Greg as an out and out misogynist. he is certainly critical of appearances (and what they imply about a person's self-worth, etc) but this is true for both men and women. Likewise, Greg treats everyone (more or less) on a scale of 'how useful are you to me'. Irrespective of sex. The only thing that complicates this (of course) is the fact that women are 'useful' to him (or were) for sex. However I don't think Greg would think less of a woman who turned him down. In fact it might impress him all the more. He certainly isn't the type to think that a female colleague at work is less capable just because she is a woman. Is he going to act, as you say, 'catty' as Kennedy? Sure. Sometimes. Where appropriate. As Greg grows into this new life as Kennedy more and more I expect he'll get 'louder'. Right now he is still feeling all of this out. Thanks for all of your feedback! xo, Charlotte

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 08/14/18 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter 6: So Not at Home

I'm really liking the way this story is going so far. Not bored at all. So few stories really get into the minutiae of life, much less the intricacies of a mind. You have a knack for describing the intimate, blow-by-blow details of things as monotonous as dressing or examining oneself in the mirror and making them into true epics.
Greg's sense of self-worth is really quite interesting, and quite clearly tied to his sense of identity. No wonder that it would carry over across bodies. Greg knows who he is, regardless of his appearance.
It also looks like he managed to get a good look at Kennedy's breasts after all, as was mentioned in Chapter 2. It's great that you're cross-referencing with previous chapters.
Come to think of it, in a number of TG stories I've read, there is a tendency for the fellow getting TG'd to have a very plum corporate job, or otherwise be significantly materially endowed in some way or another. The TG involves him losing his resources as he changes (something about the power differential, probably); on the contrary, here, Greg retains full control. But for how long, I wonder? We don't know how devious Kennedy is yet - so far she seems content to enjoy her life sans baby - but there is the possibility, as I see it, of her and her mother conspiring to fleece Greg of as much money as possible while they still can. No doubt Greg's snide comments re: "Does Mrs Garner live in a McMansion?" would rankle very much. Perhaps Mrs Garner is the sort of person to avoid confrontation but also to ruminate at length on perceived slights?
Greg also continues to labour under the impression that this is all a bad dream and will be resolved forthwith. Yet he has also begun to develop a "midway point" - as you have said - to handle the sheer unfamiliarity of being Kennedy. Might I posit that the shock of not leaving Kennedy's body after, say, a few hours, will lead to this "fictional identity" of Greg's becoming a lot more substantial, perhaps justified by Greg deciding that since he's probably going to be here for a while more, he may as well enjoy himself, in so doing developing said "fictional identity" further. In which case we have two personas: the original Greg, and a different Greg - a Grace, if you will - considerably more at home in Kennedy's body and maybe even willing to think of it as hers, but otherwise 100% Greg.
So far everything is realistic; no major plot holes. Thanks for your effort.

Author's Response: I'm glad the pace is not wearing you guys out. I feel like I'll be able to jump forward a little faster eventually, but only after everything isn't so incredibly new to everyone involved. My guess is that it is Greg's strong sense of self that will get him through this. I wonder if the others will be so lucky. We'll see how the money issue plays out. A lot will depend on how these folks continue to get along. I'm also glad that Greg holding two simultaneous and contradictory points of view, namely that this will be over soon vs his practical way of dealing with the near future if this is his fate, comes across as believable. I think with every second that passes he will slowly merge that aforementioned strong sense of self with this new body and all that comes with it. Finding things he likes about this new life will help. Admitting to himself that he is allowed to like them will be something else altogether. Keep scanning for plot holes. I'm sure they are there somewhere. xo, Charlotte

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 08/25/18 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter 7: In Over Her Head

First things first, love the worldbuilding so far. You really account for even the smallest movements. It really gets you thinking - those little tics that every person has - would they carry over if they occupied another's body? Most people are comfortable in their own bodies, so to have Greg overanalyzing every little movement in an unfamiliar context is quite believable.
I wonder if Greg is an ambitious person? Perhaps the mere fact that he keeps updated on what's going on above (metaphorically and literally) his objectively fantastic apartment might signify a repressed desire to one day enter and enjoy the "grand reception space at the very top".
Good to see that Greg is starting to appreciate that being Kennedy has its perks.
Greg has social media? I'd imagine it's just an Instagram account with 0 posts and a WhatsApp account with no profile picture.
I'm hoping Greg manages the "confrontation" with minimal fuss. Not saying that I want him to "win" or anything, just to stay in control without having Kennedy or Gretchen knock him out of balance. The power gradient he's used to has already been altered, whether he likes it or not, but even as a girl, Greg is probably still more assertive than either Gretchen or Kennedy. He's (mentally) older, after all, and I'd imagine his position at the company isn't too low either. If he acts like he's in control, then he will be.
The way I see Greg's sense of self changing across this chapter is very interesting as well. It's almost like swimming - he pulls away from the comforting familiarity of the shallow end and dips his toes into the deep, unfamiliar end of being Kennedy and then quickly returns to the shallow end. There are some interesting strategies that he leverages to reaffirm his sense of being "Gregory" - calling himself Dobson, for example. Perhaps when he's not using masculine terms - to refer to himself or otherwise - that is the time when his "separate personality" is starting to develop further.
It feels like Greg's speech patterns are starting to change towards a more youthful kind of pattern - "he's not even good looking", "so not the point" - though I think he was already using such patterns even at the start of this story. I don't know.
I also note that this chapter came about five days later than I was expecting. It wasn't a rude surprise, of course - I know you have your own life - but it would be good to know if we might expect such things in the future. A simple confirmation that you might take a fortnight between updates would suffice.

Author's Response: thank you, byzantium! your comments are always very helpful and appreciated. it is nice to know that people look forward to future chapters and i am sorry this one took so long. i wish i could say that i will have a new chapter up each week, but every two weeks is much more likely. it all depends on variable life stuff that i have a difficult time predicting. as far as ambition is concerned, one of the central unspoken premises of this story is that Greg has gotten to a point where he finds his life to be 'too easy'. could he rise higher than his already privileged position? i think is actually inevitable. but would he feel like he is earning it? i think most of his 'earning' days are behind him. i think you are spot on about his social media presence. i highly doubt he has ever posted anything, but does check some form of social media once in a while. call it morbid curiosity. much of the upcoming confrontation is already written--which doesn't mean it's ready to be published. it's an important chapter and i want to stick the landing. and honestly, as is hopefully evident, the most crucial confrontation happening right now (and in the future) is not Greg vs Ken and Gretchen but Greg vs This New Life. or Greg vs what Greg would be like if Kennedy's body were permanently his. it's a battle our protagonist will obviously win, but what kind of Greg will emerge? thank you for reading. xo, charlotte

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 08/29/18 Title: Chapter 8: Chapter 8: The Mind ~ Body Problem

Yup, er... it's very introspective, so I don't have much to say here. Great update, though, and waiting eagerly for the next one, etc., etc.
Are you planning to have Pete show up again? Greg can definitely do much better than him, so I'm hoping he doesn't show up again. He's already served his narrative purpose of getting Greg to question her sexuality, anyway.

Author's Response: as i said in the notes, i debated whether to show any of this or not. i'm not sure if this chapter is 'great' but i'm happy it's at least not redundant. i confess, in my early drafts Pete didn't even have a name, so that should tell you all you need to know about my overall plans for him. as you say, Greg can do better.

Reviewer: byzantium Signed
Date: 09/06/18 Title: Chapter 9: Chapter 9: Hard Truths

Wow, that was a doozy.
I hate to say this, but I don't really have anything constructive to offer. I feel like I'm better at offering my thoughts on how Greg functions when alone, and I'm rooting for a Greg who's in control - neither of which appeared to really shine through in this update. On the other hand, this confrontation was a long time coming, absolutely necessary for the story's progress, and very vivid, so there's that.
Kennedy is either a very mature teenager or knows something Greg and her mother don't know.
It's worth noting that Greg-in-control is not necessarily masculine!Greg. I think that if Greg were to grow more comfortable with her new body, she would find herself managing much better. In other words, since she's already found herself to be unable to push herself out by sheer will alone, it's perfectly possible that she'll try going in the opposite direction and find that it helps with her self-control.

Author's Response: this is all subject to change at a moment's notice but it bears keeping in mind that this might be Greg's lowest moment so far. He's vulnerable in a way he's not sued to being, though I would not say he is weak. he's just been shown or had a difficult truth dumped in his lap, and it goes against a lot of what he thought about himself. do i think he will rebound and acquire more self-control? absolutely. given a long enough timeline some quintessential Greg traits might become exacerbated by him being in a teenage woman's body. as far as Kennedy goes, i at least hope she's believable. the way i see her, she had to grow up waaay too fast and was more or less an adult at 15. probably has some disdain for peers who are more frivolous / shallow. lots more to come...

Two best friends witness an unexplainable transformation in childhood. Now, with adulthood rapidly approaching, they reunite by chance. But are they the same people they once were? And what does this bizarre change mean going forward?
Rated: Adult 54 Reviews starstarstarstarstar Story Incomplete Reads: 40077 Words: 47898 Chapters: 11 Table of Contents
Categories: Magical Gender Change
Characters: Male to Female, Child (0-12 yrs), Male to Female, Teen (13-19 yrs)
Featured Items: School Uniform
Locale: Formal Dance, High School, Road Trip
Motivation for Change: Unknown
Story Theme: Coming of Age, Everyday Living, Romance
Type of Change: Fast/Instant Change
Series: None
Published: 01/22/19
Updated: 06/02/20
Reviewer: byzantium Signed starstarstarstarstar
Date: 07/03/20 Title: Chapter 11: False Spring, Early Winter

I LOVE this story! One of the best I've seen in a while, even on a purely technical basis. The quality of your writing really is superb, and the descriptions in particular are magnificent. Hope we see more soon!

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