|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
It's not that the chapter is boring - there's too much in it to be boring - it's more that it dragged a bit. Maybe it's that I have issues with whiny first-person narrators, or that I have trouble understanding Albus' position on a personal level, and therefore can't relate to him well. An "A" mark isn't the end of the world, especially if he already knows that he has learning deficiencies - so wouldn't he be pleased that he didn't get a Poor? Or is he constantly expecting a miracle (which would characterize him as pathetically optimistic :P)? I don't know, I just get the feeling that you went too far in making Albus fail at life - that could be part of his first-person narrative, that he has absolutely no self-confidence, but that all the other characters also recognize his inability to succeed is depressing (poor kid).
You might want to be careful with the first person narrative as you continue writing this, so that it doesn't become too overpoweringly depressing and self-depreciating. There has to be something that Albus enjoys and excels at - this epilogue missed that. It's cute that he's epically in love with Sienna, who seems the typical "nice girl" - maybe she'll actually love him back eventually, haha.
Granted, you did do something different with Albus than most fanfiction writers have, which is refreshing to see and makes this a far more unique story in that sense. With what you have here of Albus's narrative, you could actually show him, later on, to be wrong about his ideas on how others perceive him - that really people do know him and maybe regard him positively in some way that he's never fathomed. Of course, this is only the prologue, and they can be misleading in how they frame the story, so I'll have to buckle in for the ride. ;)
One thing that really bothered me about this was how you characterized McGonagall. She's far more motherly and kind to her Gryffindors than that, and wouldn't stuff in Albus' face the long history of his family's success in her subject. She is stern, but not cruel, and that's the vibe I was getting from this. You might want to reconsider either her position as a teacher (JKR did mention that MM retired before the next-gen went to school) or the way you've characterized her here. She would, also, never call him "boy" - I believe she would use "Mr. Potter" or just "Potter". I can see what you mean that she would appear cruel to him, but her dialogue is what I'm pointing to most as being OOC for her (unless Albus is entirely manic and I just missed that. *looks suspiciously*)
I feel evil now. :/ It's not that I didn't like this - it has great potential and an interesting plot line starting up - it's that I know you can improve these things and make the story even better, CJ. You have the writing skills and talent, and I think you could make this story something very unique and exciting. ^_^
Author's Response: OMG. You have just left me one of the most amazing reviews I've ever gotten in my entire life, and you feel evil? o_O Seriously, this review helped A LOT. There is no reason to feel evil. At all. You were being honest, and I completely understand the necessity of it. I'm so ashamed of the way the chapter turned out.
I wrote it in a hurry, because I was lazy and wanted to get to the actual action. Very silly of me, I know. It didn't turn out like I intended it to, at all.
First person is really hard for me - I had issues with it in Incandescence, where I only wrote small bits of first person, so I'm not very confident with it yet. I don't intend to write the entire story on 1st person - I just wanted the comparison between the way Albus sees things and the way they really are, because it's a huge contrast and I wanted to point it out.
About the A - of course it's not the end of the world, but I figured anyone would feel awful if they spent their entire time studying for a subject, only to get an average grade, that was leaning more towards a bad grade.This isn't about the grade itself - it's about the fact that he knows that, in truth, he deserved a P.
I am going to redo this chapter completely, so there's less depression and angst and a lot of other things that didn't fit here. The rest of the story isn't depressing at all - Albus's life is just taking a new and spectacular turn, so this was as far as the angst goes. It's mainly why it seemed like I was writing this in such a hurry, shoving all these details down the reader's throat rather than subtly showing them.
And OMG, McGonagall's characterization was awful! I completely messed her up, I know. I should've picked a different teacher (I will, actually). I tried not to make her mean, but it didn't quite work out...*sigh* I'll fix all this, I promise.
And your review totally helped! Seriously, I know how I'm going to write this chapter now, and this time I'm actually going to work on it. I know it could've been a lot better. I was just lazy, I guess *facepalm*
Thank you SO much for this review - seriously, I really really appreciate all the constructive criticism, and I'd take it over praise any time. It's one of the most helpful reviews I've ever gotten, so don't feel evil *shifty eyes* You're amazing ^_^