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Review:AC_rules says:
Okay so hey there! Its AC finally here to review your entry to the Improvement challenge! Bet you never thought that I'd get to this point, but here we are. My apologies for taking so long to get here though - things have been really hectic with lots of holidays and moving out at the weekend.

Firstly I'm going to stand with the spacing of the first section of flashback dialogue. You need to make sure you've got a double return between each line of dialogue. Now, it doesn't seem like too much of a big deal but..
"Get out of my house." He said suddenly.
"This is my home..."

Seems a lot messier than the correctly spaced.

"Get out of my house." He said suddenly.

"This is my home..."


Also, the beginning of the dialogue tag should be 'He' rather than 'he.' Dialogue is one of those dastardly things that still makes my head hurt in terms of punctuating and there's a great topic on the forums about it if you wanted to check that out. Most of the other bits in that section is right, but some could do with a little more tweaking. I'd really suggest reading it - saved my life plenty.

Then to the content of the dialogue section. Well, firstly you have disparity to how you've referenced to the mother figure. At the beginning it says 'her mother crumpled' and then later ' Georgia' - we know that they are the same person thanks to the 'Georgia!' and then the reference to the mother, so I'd suggest changing that second bit to 'he packed away from her mother' or some similar variant. Just for a bit more cohesion.

More though, I felt like you could have been more clever and subtle with your dialogue use. You've given us all the information quite... well, outright. And it could be considered a little heavy handed? Maybe allude to things a little more rather than stating them out right. Even just little changes like "I want you to leave' rather than 'get out of my house!' which just seems slightly more melodramatic, if you see what I mean?

One last thing about the dialogue. Using 'suddenly' as an adverb I think should be generally avoided - it always seems to me that it makes something sound slightly childish, you know? like SUDDENLY the hero turned up and EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Especially in terms of speech; in the middle of a conversation it's sort of backwards to say someone said something 'suddenly' because the way conversations work is generally turntaking - which isn't sudden. That's a picky thing but, eh, I think it makes a difference :)

Now, backing up to the beginning (should have done this in a logical order, sorry) you have two sentences right at the beginning which have the same structure. Her bike hit a bump in the road and she went toppling down, laughing. She lay there for a minute, pausing. - see how you have the main meat of the sentence then a clause with just a present participle (laughing/pausing) at the end? Now there's nothing wrong with this type of sentence at all, but having two so close together makes the piece seem almost formulaic and it loses its flow slightly. Otherwise in that paragraph there's some really nice description and it gave off a really nice air of innocence which juxtaposed with the more brutal dialogue nicely - I liked it.

Right now moving on to the third section, if you will, which I'd quote if I could (not 12+ ;) ) I thought there... considering from the first bit that the girl seems quite... sensual? That sounds odd. But obviously she takes note of the daisies and the cold breeze and the sun - so maybe you could go more into the sense of things?

Mistake here. She would come home from school and hole herself in her room Hole should be hide/haul.

I really liked the snatches of dialogue between James and Lily, actually - although I'm slightly curious as to why James would assume that she was a witch, especially as she'd been sort of staring at the galleon although it was a bit odd. But it was all cute and sweet and eleven year old esque, which was looverrllyyy.

And of course the ending was really cute too. I liked the whole 'lily' bit. As this was quite short I'm not entirely sure I have anything else to say about it. It was really nice to get a chance to read some of your work and thank you for entering the challenge. Hoping to read your second piece soon! :)

-AC

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