Hello again. I'm back with review number two.
Overall, I thought this was another solid chapter. It was similar in tone and style to the first one and I feel like I'm probably going to repeat myself a bit in my comments, so I apologize for that upfront. Again, I appreciated how you took the time to develop each scene. I don't think everyone uses dialogue as effectively as they could to progress their stories, but I feel like you really take full advantage of what your characters are saying to advance the plot and give insight into who they are as people.
Also, the relationships you portray feel very planned out. Not only Rose and Scorpius, but Rose and all her cousins. I still feel a bit like I've missed something in not having read the first story - not plot points exactly, just background information. But I totally understand why you wouldn't want to rehash everything when many of your readers already know how we got to this point. New readers can still get the gist pretty well and appreciate what's going on.
I was on the lookout for description again, and I'd say it was similar in frequency and effectiveness to the first chapters. I did like the bits about the tea at breakfast and the smell of garlic wafting out from the kitchen, but again, most of the description was limited to physical body movements. I think if you swapped a few of the latter for even just a few more of the former, you might hit a better balance. I don't think all of the gestures you include are necessary, and some break up the flow of the dialogue. Here's one example:
- Lucy's eyebrows shot up. "What, the Malfoys?" Rose nodded, and Lucy sat back in her seat looking very curious. "What did you say?"
From "Rose nodded" to "curious" isn't really needed. We don't really need Rose to confirm Lucy's guess that it's the Malfoys is correct because there is no one else she could be referring to. If it was the other grandparents, she wouldn't have even brought it up. And we know Lucy is curious because she immediately asks the question "what did you say." There is a very similar thing with Lucy's line that starts "What are you going to do?"
You also mentioned pacing, so I'll hit on that again too. I think it was very similar to chapter one; much of the first part of the chapter is about Rose's relationships and then at the end, we get a hint at what's to come. Again, I don't think this is an "edge of your seat" opening, but as long as you set out the main conflict soon, I don't think there is anything wrong with easing into the story. I'm guessing we will get a much better feel for the plot once Rose meets the Malfoys...?
To continue the theme of repeating myself, it's obvious you've got great talent. You craft your sentences, scenes and chapters really well. I only nitpick because you've already mastered all the basics! I hope I've been able to offer some helpful feedback. Please feel free to re-request any time as you post more chapters or on another story :)
Author's Response: And I am finally answering this second review. I fail sometimes. :( I blame TDA. Once I got photoshop, I got less reliable about writing, reviewing, and responding to reviews. It's killer.
You are so incredibly helpful. I love the nitpicking - as I said before, it's really helped me to look at my writing in a different way, and I think I've improved because of it. (Hopefully you will feel the same way.) I think part of why I've tended to break dialogue up with little descriptions or dialogue tags is because when I was first writing, I used way too much dialogue and it got exhausting to read, so I tried to break it up as much as I could. As my writing has evolved and I've gotten better (I think, anyway), I didn't really change that with it. Now I am, though, and I already see the difference. Thank you.
I really can't thank you enough for your reviews - they're so, so incredibly helpful. ♥