::BEFORE YOU START READING::
Hello everyone! This is Oaura here. Pretty much, I've written all of these notes on the original version of 'Jeff the Killer'. Originally, this was intended for the judges only. However, my attention has been drawn to the fact that I should make this public knowledge. Parts of this may be me looking way too deep into the story, but I wanted to evaluate it as thoroughly as possible. Anyway, enough about me and more about what you're about to read.
These notes are divided into three sections: Section One (the Plot, [questionably significant] Characters, Themes and Tone of Jeff the Killer), Section Two (the interviews I conducted on my friends who are not repulsed by the story [fans who are not rabid], therefore the results are in no way to be thought of as fact [it's just a sample, interpret it as you will]) and Section Three (my conclusions on Jeff the Killer).
Disclaimer: In no way should this be used as a guide for your submission to the Jeff The Killer Re-Write Contest, all rules that need to be followed and plot that needs to be kept/stuck to can be found on the Contest Page.
::BASIC PLOT OF 'JEFF THE KILLER'::
(story found at: http://www.creepypasta.com/jeff-the-killer/)
News Article: Foreshadows the events yet to come and is also a glimpse into the future after the main story arc takes its course. This is our first glimpse at the killer Jeff will inevitably become.
New Neighbourhood: The story begins with Jeff and his family moving into a new neighbourhood. It is at this point that the characters (Jeff, Mom [Margaret], Dad [Peter], Liu, Barbara and Billy) are introduced. The family is invited to Billy's party by Barbara (Billy's mother).
The Next Day: Jeff and Liu are waiting for the school bus. They are suddenly antagonised by the three bullies (Randy, Keith and Troy), who demand a 'little extra' in exchange for Jeff and Liu's safe passage on the bus. They get into a fight after taking Jeff's wallet and he belts them to the ground without receiving a single scratch.
A Visit from the Police: The next day the police visit Jeff's household regarding the attack on the three bullies. Jeff says the bullies initiated the fight, but the police don't buy it (despite the fact that it is true). The evidence is stacked against them. Jeff tries to take the blame to protect Liu by confessing to the crime but Liu sacrifices himself to save Jeff. The parents also believe it was Liu and Liu is taken to 'Juvy' (Juvenile Detention Centre).
Saturday - Billy's Party Day: Two days later, Jeff is still trying to sleep off the guilt. His attitude is starting to annoy his parents, but they hide it. He gets dressed into the trademark black pants and white hoodie. They go to the party, the parents mingle outside while the kids are sent to the backyard. The bullies jump the fence to finish their 'unfinished business' with Jeff. They get into yet another fight, the parents and kids go into a panic. Troy and Keith threaten everyone with their guns: '...No one interrupts or guts will fly...'.
The Fight: Jeff is getting beat up, he tries several times to leave without causing too much damage. The bullies provoke him about Liu rotting in the Juvenile Detention Centre. '...That’s when it happens. Something inside Jeff snaps. His psyche is destroyed, all rational thinking is gone, all he can do, is kill...'. Jeff goes insane and kills Randy. He then bolts, dodging the bullets shot by Keith and Troy. They run into the bathroom, Jeff defeats Troy before moving into Keith. A bottle of bleach falls onto the two of them. Jeff is covered in bleach and alcohol, Keith sets him on fire. Jeff passes out after running around in agony for a bit.
Hospital: Jeff wakes up covered in bandages and thick casts. There are stitches '...all over his body...'. Jeff's awakening alerts a nurse to his bedside, Jeff's parents come in. They tell him that, because there are witnesses saying Randy initiated the fight, Liu is free to leave the Juvenile Detention Centre now. A few weeks pass before Jeff can take off the bandages. Jeff's face is pretty much ruined, and he loves it. The parents suspect that there is something wrong with Jeff, but the doctor palms it off as being the effect of Jeff's heavy painkillers. They gather Jeff's trademark clothes and go home.
The Final Night: Jeff carves the smile into his cheeks and 'burns out' his eyelids, leaving his eyes with black rings around them. His mother walks in and sees him. He asks if he is 'beautiful'. She says yes and then goes to tell the father to get the gun. Jeff is right behind them and 'guts' them both. The story ends with Jeff about to plunge his knife into Liu, before whispering his catch phrase 'Go to sleep.'.
::SIGNIFICANT CHARACTERS OF 'JEFF THE KILLER'::
By significant, I mean they are named. They are as follows:
Jeff: The protagonist of the story.
Liu: Jeff's brother.
Margaret: Jeff's Mother.
Peter: Jeff's Father.
Randy: The leader of the bullies.
Keith: A bully.
Troy: A bully.
Barbara: A neighbour of Jeff's family. Mother of Billy.
Billy: Son of Barbara.
Side Note: Upon reading deeper into the fan stories and fan canon, it appears that Jeff's full name may be Jeffrey Woods. However, I'm disregarding this on the basis that (although it appears to be commonly accepted among the fans and the fan canon) it is not a part of the original story.
::THEMES OF 'JEFF THE KILLER'::
The primary themes of 'Jeff the Killer' are as follows:
Mental Illness: Yes, mental illness is obviously represented through Jeff's quick descent into madness. However, mental illness also seems to be portrayed through the bullies as well. This is in regards to their fixation on Jeff and the fact that they can kill, hurt and threaten people without feeling a shred of remorse: textbook sociopaths.
Loss and Grieving: Liu is sent to the Juvenile Detention Centre, a topic that causes much sadness and grief in Jeff's family. Jeff loses his brother and possibly only friend, and the family don't receive any communication from Liu until he is released. Loss can also be linked to Jeff's old life (when they moved houses at the start) and even the loss of his sanity (and, by extension, humanity).
Murder:I shouldn't have to elaborate any further here, the title of the text is 'Jeff the Killer'. The text begins with a newspaper article about an attempted homicide. This theme of killing and murder is present throughout the entirety of the text (i.e. when Jeff kills Randy, when the bullies attempt to kill Jeff, when the bullies threaten the party-goers, etc.).
Familial Love: The connection between Jeff and Liu (brothers) is a strong representation of familial love, especially when each of them tries to take the blame for a crime Jeff committed so the other may walk free.
::TONE OF 'JEFF THE KILLER'::
The overall tone of 'Jeff the Killer' isn't very easy to distinguish. The text doesn't really keep to any one tone, as it builds itself on Jeff's morals before blowing that away with his insanity.
The tone taken towards Jeff's character isn't one of fear, but of almost admiration. He's built up in the beginning as being a 'hero-like' figure (defending his brother from bullies and confessing to his crime) and no matter what the situation is (if we discount the ending and the newspaper article in the beginning), Jeff always seems to be in the right and his actions can be justified as self defence to an extent (albeit, his actions are a bit drastic for the situation).
In the sections of the story where Jeff is a deranged serial killer the tone changes. It's almost as though the story is still trying to glamorise Jeff's actions, and the only real trigger words and phrases (i.e. gutted) used in these sections aren't really used effectively to create fear. Overall, the tone almost comes across as being calm and a little happy even.
::INTERVIEWS, FEEDBACK AND RESPONSES::
The DeviantArt post/conversation I started can be found here:
The questions I asked my friends and acquaintances who are fans of 'Jeff the Killer' are as follows:
What do you like (specifically) about 'Jeff the Killer'?
Why do you think 'Jeff the Killer' is such a successful story?
If you could change anything about the story, what would it be?
If aspects of the story were removed, which aspects do you think would ruin the story upon their removal?
(Yes, these are all the questions I also asked the DeviantArt Creepypasta Community)
I received pretty standard results overall. To summarise, I'll dot point the different responses I received (if two people answered the same thing it would just be wasting time to put it here).
Side Note: The responses have been edited to fix capitalisation and fix spelling (also, I've taken out unnecessary banter and skipped straight to the important bits). Added words/replaced words (that I add/replace for better understanding) will be indicated with '[ ]'. I've also added the response of a friend who also absolutely despises the story (in italics). I'm not factoring his response into my conclusion or anything, I just think it would be cool to have some variety.
'...I like the character [Jeff the Killer] mostly...'
'...It's not so much the story. It's more to do with the character and what it has created...'
From my friend who hates the story: '...The story was bad and so was every aspect...'
Note: Not once was a plot point mentioned, at all.
'...it was there first and it became the most popular... It is the face of Creepypasta...'
'... Jeff the Killer is one of the most identifiable characters out of all Creepypastas, like Slenderman...'
'... Jeff [the Killer] is one of the first stories you find when you search 'Creepypasta'... its fame makes it so that people new to Creepypasta will find this story almost immediately... it creates a cycle...'
From my friend who hates the story: '...It's only popular because of its fan base...'
Note: The responses here were pretty varied, but overall they kept to the same principle ideas.
'...sometimes it is laughable how unrealistic [Jeff the Killer] is...'
'...don't get me started on the [original] story. How does one just suddenly become insane [Oaura]? The police are morons!... [The story] doesn't make sense...'
'...the fact that all of this [expletive] happens to Jeff and he doesn't die. Like how? He burns his eyelids off for crying out loud...'
From my friend who hates the story: '...The fact that the kids try to MURDER [Jeff]...'
Note: Most answers were in regards to realism, especially in regards to how there appears to be nothing wrong with Jeff before the traumatic event and then suddenly he is insane (the bleach and the plot conveniences have also come up at times). One person brought up the spelling and grammar errors.
'... I personally don't mind if the story is changed all that much... you can't really mess with Jeff himself though [in regards to his image]...'
From my friend who hates the story: '... I guess if the build up was removed that would be bad...'
Note: The majority of replies were about the character and not the story itself. So I guess that's a huge thumbs up to a rewrite?
::MY (SHORT) CONCLUSION::
The story itself focuses not on time or place, but on building up one character: Jeff the Killer. The primary Themes of the text are all focused on Jeff the Killer, the Tones of the text are all centred around Jeff the Killer (as well as his actions) and the plot and every other character in the story just seems to centre itself (and themselves) around Jeff the Killer. The text, coupled with the responses you will have read above, highlight that the story itself was never really all that important. What is important is the character (Jeff). The fans don't all necessarily like the story, but the character and the character's image is very important to them.