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Review:eightfourseven says:
I am terrified to review this. I know you're an amazing writer. This is sure to be amazing, so I'm scared.

The dialogue at the beginning is fabulous. It's believable & you used words other than "said" in a way that didn't distract me. side note: my shift key just broke. i won't be doing question marks or capital letters, etc. anyway. her line in response to... no quotation marks. her line in response to him asking if she wanted him to catch her fell flat for me after the first few lines of incredibly believable dialogue. it's too convenient, since he just almost missed a step, & i don't think i'm a huge fan of the exclamation point here. you might have had her say that BECAUSE he just almost missed a step. in that case, i'd add a line that lets the reader know that she noticed. Shift is working again. Just in time, too because I wanted quotes! "She stifled a laugh as he tripped. 'No,' she said, 'I'd like to see you actually miss the step this time.'" That's not a particularly eloquent sentence, so I'd love to see you Susanize it, but do you get what I'm saying? I'm sorry if it seems like I'm making a fuss over a minor thing, but if I didn't go off about the minor things, I'd just be squeeing.

In her bit of dialogue in the next real paragraph, I think you broke it up too much. It gets a little choppy. It's very believable, well-written dialogue, but I'd get rid of the line that says that she didn't wait for a reply. It doesn't add much. If she just goes into her next bit, it shows that she didn't wait. Sirius' next line confuses me a little. He says that she won't jump and she never came there for that. However, earlier, he was saying that if he didn't follow her, she may jump. Was he teasing in that first line? He could have also been saying the "You won't jump" line in a way that's more like, "I think that you might, but I'm going to tell you that you won't because then you won't." It's not something that necessarily requires explanation, but I think an extra line somewhere might have helped me. And "dirastic" should be "drastic".

When you write about her face changing expressions, I think you're telling too much. It's a tough thing to show an impatient/frustrated face. You almost save the line (almost because I still would have liked more showing) with "something that made her lower lip tremble". It reads nicely. When you say that her arms were crossed for protection, rather than stubbornness, I still find it leaning towards telling. I'd like to see you find a way to express the difference between the two. It's more than a mental thing; it shows in the stance & the way the arms are crossed. I like the tie-in to the song. I don't like the use of "darling". I'm not a fan of those terms of endearment because they never read quite right to me ("honey" or "sweetie" would probably be the best; "darling" doesn't quite do it for me), but if you feel like it works, leave it.

I think you did a really nice job with characterization in the paragraph that starts, "He was much..." I get a sense of who Eleanor is & what she's like & how she thinks. As an OC, I like her. I like how you can show distaste for Sirius without getting into the whole "I hate Sirius Black and we argue all the time" thing. It's not love/hate; t's a distaste for who she thinks he is and an annoyance. She's not SO extreme that I find it cliche.

I don't know about your portrayal of Lily with the line about her "annoying clique". I can understand if maybe you're trying to take a cliche sort of thing (Lily having a clique & being sort of the leader) & make it seem believable with strong writing, but I don't know. However, the line does a good job of showing Eleanor's low self-esteem. I think that there may be a better way to show that and her jealousy/dislike of Lily Evans & co. Maybe something like, "The other girls in her year wore the style beautifully. Lily Evans had it down to an annoying perfection. Eleanor was not so lucky." This was interesting characterization-wise for me. Too often, the not-so-pretty loner girl has this attitude where she doesn't care. I like that Eleanor cares. I love how Sirius dodges her question. And i like how Lily comes up again. It shows a slight Lily fixation.

The characterization of Lily, etc. doesn't bother me nearly as much in the next section because I think I get it now. I feel like Eleanor's exactly the type of girl to exaggerate and make it seem much worse than it really is. Obviously these girls aren't all beautiful models, but Eleanor is so down on herself that she... I want to say that she puts the girls on a pedestal, but it isn't that; it's more negative. It's like she's so jealous that she makes them even more perfect in her mind to justify her amount of jealousy. I like that. I also like the dialogue between Sirius and Eleanor & the line following it about it being exhausting.

I like how she has to wonder if it's heaven or hell. I love when she claims that he's not supposed to be human. I do have one question. Are ALL of the other Gryffindors these perfect, not-quite-human beings in Eleanor's mind? That seems a little extreme to me and it loses some credibility. "He made a noise" doesn't tell enough. The rest of the paragraph gives me some help, but it's an unnecessary mystery. There are too many noises that the human body makes to just say that. I like that she thinks that she understands him. She doesn't really, does she? And finally, I love the last sentence.

I hope that this doesn't come across as overly critical. It's a great story. I'll probably keep reading. I only focused on the minor things because anyone can improve upon a story. Most of this stuff is just my opinion/my train-of-thought as I read it, so you don't have to change a single thing! Besides the "drastic" thing. Sorry about the shift key stuff.

Author's Response: Okay. *gasps for air* I'm working on this one now. It's quite a review and I really appreciate how much time and work you put into this. The first chapter of this story isn't "original" - it was an outtake from another story that I thought might fit. XD Bad idea, I know. But I liked the image of two people running up to the top of the tower. Sirius Black chasing girls is a cliche of sorts, so it ended up working for what I had in mind for Eleanor's story.

As per your changes, I probably won't have enough space to list all the ones I did, but I have looked through and edited bits, following various parts of your advise. You really went through this chapter with a fine-tooth comb, which is quite amazing. You should do beta-ing for stories, and this is exactly what the best betas do. :D

There actually wasn't that much to fix up. It looked like more from the size of your review, and it was surprising easy to make the changes. They're minuscule, but a lot of significance often lies in the details of a story. ;)

Eleanor is a strange character with major self-esteem issues. She sees everyone else as more perfect because she truly believes herself to be the worst creation of humanity. It's very sad, which made it difficult in some ways to write her character. It was like taking all the cliches of adolescenthood and smooshing them together to get Eleanor. It takes her the whole story to make her like who she is. In a lot of ways, it's a story about discovering and being satisfied with one's self. I'd never actually thought of that before, but that's really the message of the story.

Anyway, I'm rambling, and will stop to thank you again for your wonderful review. After seeing your list of preferences in your review thread, I knew that you'd be a perfect reader for this story. :D


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