I had to read that twice. Not because I didn't understand it. Far from it. But because I felt the need to truly soak that in.
Although, the word 'wow' doesn't truly seem to encompass what I feel about this. I don't know if you truly understand how good a writer you are. You couldn't. If you did, you would not be able to write so well. Allow me to try and explain.
I am not sugar-coating this. This is the absolute truth. I am being 100% honest in everything I say here. When I was in school, all the assigned books were a chore for me to read. I have never quite enjoyed being told which books to read. Nevertheless, I would sit down and read them. Then I would read them again and highlight key sentences, quotes - you know the drill. Now that school is over, I have never realised it, but whenever I read anything, I subconsciously want to highlight things. I put it down to a habit. Which seemed reasonable. But it was reading this that made me truly understand why I want to highlight some sentences in what I read. It isn't because of a habit. Far from it.
It's because they touch me. They use English in a beautiful way. They speak out to me. They're just lovely.
I don't know how many sentences I wanted to highlight while reading this. There were many. Let us leave it at that.
You have a way with words. And the sad thing is that you will never truly understand how good you are at writing. Surely, surel you must realise that this is above par than the majority of what is written here. I am not undermining other writers. I am just saying that you are that phenomenally good.
Your vocabulary. Your phrasing. Your sentence structure. Your paragraph styles. Your metaphors. Your connotations. Your use of repetition. Hell, I almost feel like I want to pick this apart and analyse it. It's just... there aren't words in the English language to fully say what I am trying to say. I'm trying. But I don't really think it's working.
This story does not even have that much of a plot. It is one moment. Albus is looking at Danielle. That one sentence could summarise the entire thing. But you manage to make it into something extremely special. I don't know how you did it. I really don't. But I really, truly wish I could write even half as well you can.
Whenever I read books or stories where the author is as good as you are, all I do is read them over and over again. I truly think I can learn from this. Just be looking at the way you structure things. It's just... again, words are failing me.
Ordinarily, I love simple sentences. Blunt, to the point. Poignant. This is far from that. It's complex. And in any other case, I cannot read that type of writing. I now know why. No one really knows how to do it. At least, not in fanfiction. You are the exception.
You mentioned that you were concerned about the vagueness of this, whether or not it made sense. It made perfect sense to me. Every last sentence. It was not vague. Far from it. You managed to encapsulate a single moment in someone’s life and make an entire one-shot out of it. I am still scratching my head, trying to figure out just how you did it. In fact, I started a challenge on the forums on this very thing – write a one-shot about a single moment in time. If this had been entered, it would have been the clear winner. The description. The way you write. The way you manage to describe every last detail of something and yet still manage to keep the reader interested – amazing. Truly, truly amazing.
Please don't ever stop writing. And I honestly would not be surprised if you get published. Embrace your talent. You truly have talent. I do not mean to sound arrogant, but I know good writing when I see it. I do. And this is an example of it. I do not know if you write for joy or leisure. I do not know if you write simply to fill time when you are bored. I do not know whether you ever truly intend on pursuing writing further. But I do hope that you do. It would be lovely for the world to be treated to such talent like this. It really would.
That is all I have to say. I could rave on forever. But I cannot. And I feel if I do that somehow the power of this story will be lost.
Author's Response: Oh my goodness! Joop, to be very honest, this story isn't deserving of this review. I'm not affecting modesty here at all; it is an incredibly flawed piece - lack of a concrete plot for one thing - wanting in depth and refinement of language. It was written ages ago - almost a year ago and at that point of time it was deemed not good enough to be posted, and oddly I only posted this because I wanted the banner.
"You have a way with words."
Some would call that flowery language or being grandiloquent when not necessary, lol. I've also had my writing deemed 'unreadable and laborious', and to sme extent I know where the person was coming from.
This is not to say that I'm an ingrate, and am dismissive of your words. I'm incredibly grateful to you, and was overwhelmed and astounded to read this. I possibly can't thank you enough for this.
Coming to the bit about the plot again... It's true this doesn't have a plot. This is to tie in with my novel length fic Enticement where Albus/Danielle is a ship that'll come into play in the second half of the story. It's not the mainstay of the story, and they certainly don't end up together - mostly because the love is unrequited (there is a line about her not seeing him as anything more than a friend), also because it's slightly unhealthy and obsesive. The lines about Al's and Danielle's selfhoods attenuating to a single point suggests this; it's Albus's first love, and I think he's not so much in grasp of the reality than he's in grasp of his delusions. He doesn't really know Danielle enough; what he sees and admires is only the surface - her intelligence, her perseverence, and the most superficial of all namely her looks. Even if he sees her flaws - obstinacy, her tiresomeness, and general oddity - he chooses to overlook them. He's preoccupied with a delusion - the delusion into which he's moulded her into, rather than the real her. Theirs is a complicated and complex frienship, and I hope there's enough depth to see it through.
Yes, I do write for fun mostly, and no, I don't think I'll ever be good enough to be published. I mean, if I'm going to be published, I'll have to be really bloody good, which I don't think I can ever be. There are innumerable two-bit writers who get published but are forgotten in no time, and I don't want to be one of those. Besides, I don't think I have the drive and the perseverence or the patience or furthermore the talent to devote myself consummately to writing.
Once again, thanks a million for this utterly gratifying review. Thanks so so much. :)