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Review:Pookha says:
Wow! Easily the best of the stories for my challenge and a wonderful stand-alone story. You capture Colin's essence very well. We see the side of him that wants to document and know what's going on and the side of him that wants to expose the DEs to support Harry. He's very much like the small dog in the cartoons that's always bugging the bulldog that he idolizes. It's idolatry out of love.

I was particularly moved by the way he discovered and recovered Fred's body so it wouldn't be discovered by anyone else. You also captured me with the other minor characters all playing a supporting part and being worried about Colin, but also supportive him; he made his choice to stay and they understand that, even if they don't fully understand his reasoning.

As far as I can tell, you do a wonderful job staying canon with it as well. Your writing is beautiful, impeccable and perfectly descriptive. I truly believe you are one of the best writers on the site; don't doubt your talent.

Looking at this another way, it's a large action scene that you wrote without the action being repetitive or boring; something that's harder to do than most people take credit for.

As you know I enjoy your work immensely and now I must go and write for your 'Four Seasons' challenge.

Author's Response: Thank you very much, Pookha. As you know, I enjoy your work as well. :-D

I am so pleased you found the action in this piece to come off all right. I've never written an action sequence before, and I struggled immensely! The biggest problem was having Colin near the action but enough apart from it to document it. In my initial draft, Colin didn't cast a single spell, did not speak to a single person, and did not even have a spell cast at him until his death. I completely scrapped that version and started over--more than once.

I have to credit Jackson Robles for giving me the impetus to finish this . . . I asked him how he writes action, and he said something like, "You'll be fine. Just plan it out." I already knew what pictures I wanted Colin to take, but after re-reading the battle scene a few times and taking notes, I had a much better idea of the timeline and feeling of the battle, and everything fell into place.

There were two things consistent among my numerous drafts: the idea of Colin taking 24 pictures and Colin finding Fred. I just fed off the emotion JKR created already. I used minor canon characters for a few reasons. One, it's easy. Two, Colin's photographs take on greater significance if the readers are familiar with their subjects. Three, viewing Colin through the lens of other characters (pun intended) gives greater depth and understanding to his character.

I'm pleased Colin's characterization came off convincingly, as I struggled with it also. For the purpose of this story, he had to have a more serious agenda, consistent with having died in battle, yet it's impossible to ignore the "small dog" side of him.

I've practically written another one-shot in response, so I'll be quiet now. Thank you again for reviewing (and issuing the challenge--it was truly a challenge for me and very inspiring!) and for all your lovely compliments.


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