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Review:Beeezie says:
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! :)

Before I start talking about the actual story, I want to mention the summary/chapter summary. The latter has a few typos (you don't always have spaces between the comma and the next word, and there's no period at the end of the second sentence). The former is a bit vague, and it just generally didn't grab me. How did he get where? Is segregated the right word, or abandoned? I'd suggest taking another look at it, and maybe asking for help in the summary thread on the board if you're having trouble.

Okay, on to the actual story.

Why is "The Mallington family" at the top? It's confusing, and I don't think it's necessary.

First paragraph: I wasn't really sure what you meant about the words filling Talen's head when he dreamed - he actually dreamed about the words? That seems less real to me. What I would have liked here would have been some allusion to his family problems there - you could have mentioned dreams about a cellar, about being alone, or something along those lines. It would have made for much stronger imagery. I was also a little confused by the reference to the sun rising, even though you later said his room was pitch black; even if the sun is rising, should you be using it as a reference point?

Second paragraph: The mention of the needles confused me for a few reasons. First, I wasn't sure what kind of needles they were, and second, I wasn't sure why they were strewn all over his floor if he didn't want to step on them. Why did he have so many rather than just one, and why did he carelessly leave them in front of his bed? One might make sense, but more than that, and it starts to feel implausible. (Also, "sheet less" should be one word, or you could just say "bare" instead.)

Third paragraph: The last sentence should probably be combined with the second-to-last sentence, with a comma instead of a period between them. I liked the detail you added in about his big toe - that's always where my shoes get worn out, too. However, I wasn't sure how a needle was pricking him... was the hole on the bottom??

Fourth paragraph: You do a couple very important things in this paragraph. You describe his room for us in a very intriguing way that tells us a lot about his life, and you set the mood of the house on the whole by the reaction to the creak of the door. I did want to see a little more explanation for the woman's extreme reaction, though - does she do this every day? Is it just an occasional thing?

Fifth paragraph: This is really good - you're giving us a nice look into his psyche as well as into his everyday life.

Sixth paragraph: It should be "Talen's," not "Talens." "Another small boy" should really just be "a small boy" - "another" indicates that you've already mentioned one.

Seventh paragraph: I liked your comparison between Talen and the floor (though I would suggest changing the comma after "place" to a semi-colon) - it really helps to give a feel for the circumstances he's living in. I would have liked to see a little more description of it, but it's a good comparison. In the same paragraph, I would cut out the "his mouth" from "... his mouth was still eating," because his mouth presumably isn't a separate entity. :P

Twelfth paragraph: Why is he angry? Where did the apples come from? This is a very abrupt change, and I wanted you to spend a little more time on it. While later I can gather that the magic probably upset him, as is I just wanted more of an explanation.

Thirteenth paragraph: "pitch black," not "pitched black." You also shouldn't have a comma after "long." Otherwise, I thought that your showing his anger so tangibly was a good thing, though I wished he'd had more of a reaction to breaking the mirror.

Fourteenth paragraph: "hoping to find more..." feels awkward to me for a few reasons. He would probably know whether he still had some, and the generic use of the word like this feels odd. I wanted more of a transition between his being fairly happy to his being so frantic, and I would have liked it if you'd described his frame of mind a bit better.

Sixteenth paragraph: it should be "dingy," not "dinghy."

Seventeenth paragraph: it should probably be "shunned," not "shunted."

End paragraphs: All of this is great. It tallies with what we know of some pureblood families perfectly, and really made me feel sympathetic to Talen and interested in his story. I wish that you'd spaced the explanation out a bit more or alluded to some of the details in earlier paragraphs, rather than just answer the question you pose in the story summary at the end, but as an explanation, it's good!

Also, throughout the entire story, your dialogue was a bit messed up in places. There's a great article on dialogue tags in the Grammar Guidelines section of the forums, but in short, you should always have some punctuation between the final word in the dialogue and the closing quotation. If a dialogue tag follows (he said, she called, etc), it should not be a period.

Those specifics aside:

This is a good story. It's interesting to see what happened to a kid who didn't fulfill his family's expectations because he wasn't even given the chance to, and to see how important your House at Hogwarts was to some people. I also loved how much weight was given to the seer, who was seen as infallible, when we know otherwise - but most of the wizarding world doesn't.

My main issue was that while I typically liked the details you gave, I wanted more of them. I wanted to get inside Talen's head a bit more, and really feel what he was feeling and experience what he was experiencing. Does that make sense? It's a good story that I wanted to be a little richer and smoother, so it could really cross into great. :)

If decide to edit this, feel free to PM me the edited version if you'd like my thoughts on it. :)

Author's Response: Sorry for waiting so long to reply!
I love this review as its so helpful to the actual story and helps me develop as a writer.
I will definatly consider editing it at some point, well as soon as nano is over!
Thanks again xx


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