Peer Review by ALangford (United Kingdom)

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The Significance of Being There

By: -annie rooks

PROMPT: Open Prompt

    People change. But contrary to popular misconception, people don't change when they're with others, they change when they're alone. When they're in the shower and the water knocks on their elbows and crashes on their shoulders. They change when the water rushes through their hair and forces out the shampoo, as it clunks their skull and presses itself against their hairline. They change in those moments when they're deciding who they want to be, not when they are that person. Then it's already too late for them to revert back. By then they're gone. 
     They change when they are lying in the deepest dark, through the layers of blackness their eyelids shield them from. When they are isolated in the warm blankets that soothe them. When the coziness of night cascades over them. They change when their mind drifts and wanders down an unfollowed trail until they are up all night trying to get back to where they came from. People change in the nicest of times. When they've made the decision to change themselves, they're already lost. They're already different. They're already changed. So when people change, out of what seems like nowhere, don't feel like you should've been there in the bad times, because that was just the aftermath, the outcome, the repurcussion to a better time. A happier time. A nicer time. Think about how you should've been there for the good times. Because that's when the wheels are turning. That's when they're contemplating just how much they like their current life and how much they need to change it. The measurements of the alterations are being taken so be careful with your words, your actions, your presence. Be there when it's good, and try and keep it that way. And then, maybe just maybe, people might start to change for the better instead.

Peer Review

I'd tell them it's about how important it is to be with people during the good times and prevent them from falling into that self-defeating narrative and to help them to progress and become better individuals. Preventative measures are more important when trying to stop people from changing in an adverse way.

There are so many! Your choice of topic is really interesting and your structure is also excellent - however, it's the language that really, really drew me in. You write so beautifully, and your blend of frank points and poetic crafting of phrases was really well-achieved. I especially liked your description in relation to the shower, because you picked a certain mood or theme that would run throughout and the language you used adhered to that. Consequently, it had a massive effect on me when I first read it.

I think you sometimes forget that we aren't as familiar with the idea as you are (given that you've clearly been thinking over it) so we need more background to the idea and sometimes the different aspects need to be stated in more simple terms. For example, could you clarify 'people change in the nicest of times. When they've made the decision to change themselves, they're already lost'? I didn't feel that this related really to what I'd read into the rest of the text - although that could, of course, be my error. There were a few other areas in which I thought some further elaboration on the point could be effective, for example 'not when they are that person' and 'be careful with your words, your actions, your presence'.

Reviewer Comments

Well done - you're clearly a very talented writer who has a really good sense of how words can fit together to have a powerful effect. I look forward to seeing more of your work on the site in future.