Hi there! It's Kristen from the forums :). I just want to say thank you so much for wanting me to review your story! It made me happy ^_^ Anyway, I'm here with your review.
What was the point of the challenge? While "Romeo and Juliet" is not one of my favorite Shakespearean plays (well, when I was younger it was, but then I sobered up on the whole Romeo and Juliet being idiots, dying for puppy love...but its still a good play, I love both movies too) I think you incorporated the elements of the play nicely. When Danny was saying "Oh, let's crash the Slytherin party," I was just like "MERCUTIO!" Mercutio (and Tybalt) are two of my favorite Shakespearean men. Was Albus supposed to be the Benvolio character?
The names Carnelian and Alizaran, to be honest, did not sit right with me, I'm sorry :(. They were a bit too outlandish for me, and a bit hard to pronounce. If she's going to be called Carrie for pretty much the whole fic (except when being teased) I would suggest introducing her as Carrie and then when her brother pokes fun at her name introduce her full name and why she doesn't like it. It would make things easier to understand and more straightened out so it doesn't necessarily quite seem like we're jumping back and forth ^_^.
Your dialogue is very natural, I could hear all the characters' voices - especially in the end sequence there when the mysterious lover (Is he supposed to be unnamed? Because there wasn't a name dropped anywhere, nor any descriptions of what he looked like to hint to the reader who Mystery Man is) says "Oh no 'thanks for saving me'?" The banter between the two was very good.
You might want to work on refining your descriptions more ^_^ Without any clear, defining ones, the chapter sort of blurred together in many spaces - particularly when James tried to break up the fight and when he returned with McGonagall. Fleshing out your descriptions, showing what exactly your characters look like, how they speak, their manners, actions could set up a clear picture in your reader's head instead of an unfinished and murky watercolor :/.
Watch out for when switching into point of views or scenes. I noticed whilst reading that one moment it went from James talking to Danny and then running toward the fray and then Carrie was doing the exact same thing without any break in the pages or anything...which slightly gave me reader's whiplash. If you're showing one scene, you don't have to repeat from the opposite character's perspective :) The scene may work better possibly if you just had James' scene and then he saw Carrie running toward her brother and so on or so forth, or make lines to define the change.
There really was no cliche-ness that I could detect. But then again, you're talking to a Next Generation novice :P I liked how Albus was starting a fight! :D He seemed so bookish in the epilogue, yay for him doing something like fighting!
Maybe it was the slight lack of description but your pacing of the story, in my opinion, was just a wee bit choppy. One moment BAM! Stacey pops up then BAM! there's a fight then BAM! McGonagall shows up then BAM! Carrie runs into her lover. But I wouldn't worry about this so much :). It could probably be easily fixed with more description!
Your characterization is also pretty good. I like how Carrie isn't like the naive little flower Juliet was; she's got gumption! And isn't afraid to speak her mind. Same with James - he doesn't seem so desperately hung up on this Stacey girl as Romeo was with Rosaline. You can tell this story is based off of "Romeo and Juliet" but you also make it your own. I hope they won't kill themselves!
Good job! Keep on writing, and congratulations on getting this published! It's such a high, yes? :D
Author's Response: wow, very long review!!!
The point of the challenge was to take a plot line that has been made quite cliche in fan fiction and try to make it less cliched - the one I received was a Romeo/Juliet type romance. As far as the characters go, I'm not going to stick too strictly to Shakespeare's characters, so although I won't say who's who,you're welcone to speculate!!! :P
I guess I understand what you mean about the names - I just wanted to have the full names there because they are two different shades of read, so I thought the slight sort of irony of that (seeing as they're in Slytherin, but their names mean the colour of their enemy house)... although in hindsight I could have used them at a later date!
Yeah, the mystery man is supposed to stay mystery man for the moment (especially as I am yet to decide on who he is... I need to decide before I put up the next chapter - at the moment whenever I mention his name it just says 'Mystery Man'!!!) I was trying to make that dialogue work, as most of this chapter isn't dialogue - & the oter sections of dialogue are really short (& I don't think quite as developed)
Yeah I know about the description thing... occasionally I just totally forget about description, which is pretty bad :/ But I'll work on that, thanks for pointing it out!!
Oh, whoops about that change of perspective - I thought I had put a break in, but all of them pretty much disappeared when I transferred it from word to this, so I will try to make that work more - I was trying to keep the sections short, but then I needed them to be long enough... & I guess I should probably go back over it and try to make it flow more...
thanks again for the review,