Hey there Shortie! It's Ac here coming to review for the improvement challenge. Sorry about the wait for the review, there were quite a lot of entries and I was slightly intimidated by the number of these that I had to do, but I'm here now!
First things first is actually about the title and the summary. I think your title has been cut off so it reads "Turn on the Light (previously titled" so, basically, you should go back and fix that up. You can say what the story used to be called in the summary and that will be smoother (and it will also fit) and then, about the summary - in my experience, summaries that say 'this is not some cliché Mary Sue fic with a happy ending' actually tend to be cliche and have Mary Sues - I am entirely sure that yours doesn't but I don't think it gives a really good, grabbing first impression for the story. And as the summary is the graby bit, I don't know, I think you could make it smoother and more reach-out-of-the-screens-pulling-you-in-can't-get-away. I know that strictly isn't about this chapter, but I think things like that give stories more of professional clean quality to them. Plus, if you have a neater title and summary, you'll likely get more readers too.
I really loved the matter of fact way tone you had with 'annoyingly interrupted by an explosion right outside the window' - that gave that whole first bit a really cool satirical edge which I greatly appreciated :)
There are a couple of phrases here that seem a bit off to me, though, which I don't really understand. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'was driven out of my emotional range as the explosion was proven to be nothing but an old barn owl' - I'm just not entirely sure what you mean. More clarity here, perhaps? And, actually, there are a couple of places where things are phrases slightly awkwardly - in most cases I know what you mean but it just sounds a tad off . "All the rays of sunlight available for the day" seems like a really circumlocutory way of putting things. I think if you went through and read your writing out loud as you went through and thought about the actual meaning of the sentences not just how they sound, then you might be able to make the semantics a little tighter. It's only a few phrases, but you don't want to distract your readers from the actual plot of the thing.
On the odd occasion you also swap tenses. This is actually so common and it's really easy to miss that you're doing it, but you have ' I walked' and 'we keep' in the same paragraph. It does almost make sense, but it really should be 'we kept' - I was editing an old piece of my own writing yesterday and it was full of instances like that, so I'm probably feeling particularly sensitive to it today (after hours of changing 'it is' to 'it was'), but your writing will be cleaner and much more pleasing to a gramatarian if you just go back and sort that out. Honestly though, I always feel really stupid when I notice something like switching tenses - as it seems so simply - but it's so easy to do.
So, one last thing as an area for improvement. Well, not exactly improvement, but development. This is obviously quite an emotional moment for Lily and you've shown that really well, but I really think you're capable of digging deeper with these character's emotions. So, before you've told us what's in Lily's letter you say she is 'crying freely' except, then she cries in front of Scorpius, then she cries a lot more - and that's a lot of crying. Crying is a way of showing emotion, but there are also other ways. But people cry differently at different things. So, say at first Lily's eyes just well up a bit because of the shock, before it's actually sank in. So, maybe she tries to blink back the tears? Maybe her vision is slightly blurry because of the tears that are sort of building? Its just that overusing something loses the effect slightly and building up to the moment when she's actually crying makes the tears feel more raw, too.
Then maybe you could talk about how it feels to have cried for hours. I always find that if I cry for that length of time I'm actually sick and after one of my friends boyfriend dumped her and then she found out that her grandad had died, she ended up with a stress related nose bleed. But, either way, your eyes end up aching and your chest hurts. After I lost a family member I found that I'd sort of got a crying-related-cold and. Just scrape further through the superficial of her emotions and really describe them too me - I wanted to really understand her grief. You've made a really good start with her emotional responses, but I just feel that if you push yourself close towards how LIly's feeling then you could do way more.
So, there's your three areas for improvement: the first is the slightly awkward phrases, the second is the tense thing and the third is developing and describing emotions. Just want to be clear that I really did enjoy the story, despite all the CC (improvement is the name of the challenge, after all). I loved the ending to this chapter - a real strength of yours - and you have a great start to a story here! Thanks for entering my challenge and good luck! :)
Author's Response: Hey AC :D Thanks for reviewing. Hehe naah no issue. RL can get nasty.
I redid the title. The brackets aren't there anymore, just "Turn on the Light" I know!!! My summaries are horrible. I'll work on that in the reply fic for the challenge. Hopefully it will get better.
Awww thanks :D I think it came off well because I'm always lazy and easily annoyed when I have to get up to answer the door or something :D
The phrases! I know, I get a lot of negative feedback on the owl thing. I should be more careful. I'll make sure to make sense next time :)
Oh dear! I really didn't notice the tense thing. There was an issue though, earlier, when I realised that I've started writing in first person and have jumped to third. Had to edit all that. Maybe this happened while editing. I'm not sure. But yeah this happens a lot. Sometimes I stare at sentences thinking which tense is better. Better get that sorted out.
Oh right!! I get it now. So because of the way I've written it, the actual crying has no impact at all. I'll have to improve a lot on emotions. Dark emotions are easy for me but not this. I'll work hard on that.
Aww I'm really sorry to hear that *hugs* Hope you're okay now :)
So I have to improve on,
-Bringing up emotions
The response fic will be written soon :D I'm really motivated. Thanks a lot for the constructive review AC. Ah don't mention it, thank you for having such a lovely challenge.