Peer Review by Ash (United States)

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Alice's Infinite (Not Really) Bag

By: Kat Sparks

PROMPT: Inventory

Alisande Baker, 14, London, England

Inside of her worn, brown fake-leather messenger bag adorned with patches and keychains and evidence of her horrific sewing skills are...

An old umbrella from when she was five, black and designed to look like a cat, complete with ears, that she couldn't bear to throw in the trash, even after it decided to turn itself inside out as opposed to blocking rain a large part of the time.

A sewing tin full of biscuits: Tim Tams, Oreos, sugar, any and every type that she can fit into the tiny thing engraved with butterflies and flowers all over that her brother gave to her from his mother's collection.

An assorted set of school chalk, in case of emergencies. (Can't leave home without it; not after last time with the mad sorceror in search of blood and- you know, it's best to sum that situation up as one that demonstrates the importance of the saying "better safe than sorry".)

An athame for all those "forbidden" rituals but hey, never know when a sharp, stabbity object is needed.

Books; and yes, that is supposed to be plural despite the bag's small size. She never wants to be bored so she always changes up the available selection and number when she manages to get home.

A jacket that her sister-in-law, Eulalie, made for her out of Alice's brother David's old military jacket, complete with a picture of Alice, Eulalie, and David sewn into a pocket inside the jacket, above the heart.

A pair of blue and white checkered DJ headphones, unplugged and folded up to conserve space.

Her silver and ruby pendant, too big and gaudy for her taste, which she keeps only because it was a gift from her only teacher in alchemy and it now houses a store of magical knowledge along with her magic.



Message to Readers

Does Alice sound like a character that I could write a novel about and make it an interesting one? Do you get a vague idea of what she's like and what her life is like from this?

Peer Review

She's very sentimental. She likes most of the stereotypical girl things, butterflies and flowers, but not all of them (sewing and jewelry). She enjoys music like most teens and lives a little dangerously (the athame). She likes to be prepared (chalk and lots of books).

The umbrella. She's sentimental and still very much a child. It could almost become a flaw, if that interests you as a story topic. It would be cool if as she develops more in the story, she maybe does throw it away, to show she's become an adult. Or maybe she just debates throwing it away and decides against it again, reaffirming that she prefers to keep her emotions and child-like faith in people rather than growing detached and cynical. At the very least, it's a cool object to include.

Reviewer Comments

Are the patches, keychains, and/or sewing patterns magical or do they have any ties to magical elements?
You could definitely write a story about Alice. I'm not sure if you have enough info here to write a novel, but she's fleshed out enough to warrant quite a few short stories at the very least.