Here's my freshly written draft. Tear it to bits as you see fit.
Hi author :)
Edited a bit, but I also have a few things to clear up. (Spoilers!)
- The entity in question is meant to be the test subjects themselves…however, it may also be a being trapped inside SCP-XXXX and only made visible by having humans near. It is up to you, the reader, to decide.
- "I am not you, you are not me" is meant to be adding to the mystery I wanted to convey with this article. Is it an actual entity? Is the phrase cognitohazardous? Again, it's all up to you.
- I was thinking of writing a Serpent's Hand article to go with this, but I changed my mind.
Thanks for the critique!
Summoned by PM, working on what you have changed.
You haven't changed a lot to reflect on my feedback, and that's fine, but I feel like I'm essentially reading the same article as I did around 24 hours ago. There weren't any huge SPAG issues, nor tonal ones, so that's okay. But the meat of the article, which I uhmed and erred about in terms of originality, also stayed pretty much the same.
Until you mentioned the spoilers, I didn't see them as that - maybe you need to be a bit more explicit. For example, what if someone remembers seeing snatches of themselves? I actually find doppelgängers terrifying; whilst I appreciate this is not exactly the same, you could write a suitable unnerving effect where someone only remembers seeing something that looked like them. I know you're trying to give the reader the option to read it how they want, but honestly, I didn't see it beyond 'there is another humanoid creature in this room' - I never thought for a second it could be the current or past test subjects.
I would advise shopping your draft around the IRC (without the spoilers) to see what other people think of the actual meat - maybe they can see it and I just missed it, or maybe you do need to drop more hints.
Thank you. I'll get to work right away.
Summoned again :)
Okay, I like the more subtle hints towards the possibility of a doppelganger (damn creepy things) without it being an out-and-out 'I saw me standing there!' sort of thing. I'm concerned that for something that would be unnerving to at least the subjects, if not the reader, it may need to be a little more explicit. Not a lot, just a tad more, such as the Researchers also seeing the doppelganger - maybe even thinking they're doing an interview with the subject, but it slowly falls apart as it becomes clear this is not the subject at all. This is a list of supposedly real doppelganger sightings from history that are suitably disturbing without being over the top. I'd also recommend looking at the idea of a tulpa - no, not the average Creepypasta of the same name, but the actual practice of tulpa creation. There's just something missing from your text, an oomph that makes you have that moment of fridge horror later on. I can't quite pinpoint it, and you have done well so far in general.
Reader, since I'm the only person I can see who has given you feedback, I suggest you also shill your draft in the IRC chat and also other staff members. This is purely because I feel you need to get other opinions on the work rather than just mine, and also because I can't identify the little oomph I feel it still needs, and I may have lost my subjectivity due to how often I've read the basic concept.
Best of luck.
I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED BY PM! TREMBLE IN AWE OF MY- *cough* Nevermind.
Currently, I see no significant issues that pop out at me, nor any subtler errors. Not saying they're not there, just that I can't see them.
The only real issue is that I feel this falls a bit flat, like there isn't enough to it- that lack of "oomph" as the reviewer above noted. Maybe exploring the history of the room/building as it relates to the entity would help, or historical information on people who were successfully copied by the doppleganger (s).
Right, got a PM, gave you a quick skim because it is late, I am tired, I have to go to work early tomorrow, and my fish and I could use some sleep.
- "was discovered in a state of disrepair." > but what is its current state?
- "no more than 2 human beings" > write out all numbers less than 10 when not measurements with measuring units.
- "upon this event, subjects will" > Don't refer to an individual as a "subject" unless you've established the experimental protocol they're being subjected to. If there's no research design or observation ongoing, they're not a subject of anything and shouldn't be called such.
- "a degradation in behavioral pattern" > just "behavior".
Overall… it's a little boring. I feel like I'm missing something here… what does this entity have to do with performing arts? Why does it manifest at this particular location? Why does it only affect people in twos with the doors closed? The hallucination/compulsion effects aren't particularly new on the site, so I think the way to make this stand out is to have some sort of internal consistency as to why all this is happening and how it's connected.
Also, the interview at the end gave me vibes of this episode of the X files. I'm not sure what to make of it, just a gut reaction.