Hi A_Wiz! So, I decided to review chapter two, since you mentioned that the first chapter has more feedback than the rest. I thought it might be useful to you to get some comments on this chapter. :)
Up front, I should say that I don't have many criticisms to make. Your writing is, as I expected, wonderful. It's rich in description--I loved the part where Scorpius recognizes Lily, and you describe her hood falling back and her red hair tumbling out into the wind. The only things I have to suggest are kind of nitpicky, so this review may not be all that useful to you!
First, I noticed two (yes, just two) small errors, which are probably typos. When you said "the face reflecting back at him", I think it would sound better to say "the face reflected back at him". Also, at one point, you wrote "month" instead of "months".
(I know--ground-breaking feedback so far. :P)
There were also some sentence constructions that I thought could be improved. Near the beginning, you described "the Manor to have a coldness", and it sounded a bit awkward to my ears. Something like, "Scorpius found that the Manor had a coldness..." would sound more natural to me. There was also a sentence that read "a blast of sea air that was surprisingly chilly despite the fact that it was the middle of summer." That reads as a bit redundant to me--a breeze would be surprisingly chilly not despite the fact that it was summer, but because it was summer. If that makes sense.
That's really the extent of criticism/suggestions I have on this chapter. It was just that great! I especially liked the way you planted some intrigue at different points--Scorpius talking about how something was off about his grandmother's death, and the oblique references to Scorpius and Lily's past relationship. One thing that occurs to me as I'm sitting here writing this is that maybe you could have pulled back the curtain a little more, if only just on Scorpius and Lily's past. The prologue has already injected a lot of mystery, and while you definitely don't want to give away too much too soon, I think you can run the risk of withholding too much. It's hard to say without reading further chapters, though, and overall, I thought you managed to strike a pretty good balance.
By the way, thank you for writing a realistic confrontation. I don't know why, but well-written arguments between characters seem to be very elusive. Yours came off as completely natural and not at all just arguing-for-arguing's-sake.
All right--if you were looking for harsh criticism, I suppose this review wasn't all that helpful. :P In my defense, there really isn't much to criticize! Really well-written (both this chapter and the prologue), and I'm captivated by the story.
Author's Response: Yea, penny! Thank you so much for this lovely review. It's awfully hard to be disappointed in a lack of harsh comments when you say it's because you liked the chapter. You're such a gifted writer, so that really means a lot.
First off, I will definitely hunt down those typos and fix them. I don't have anyone beta-reading this so I appreciate you pointing them out. As for the oddly-worded sentences, I see exactly what you mean. I have a hard time not writing in an overly formal tone when I'm doing narration. I've been playing around with first-person to try and get a feel for a more conversational sentence structure but I'll keep an eye out for that -- and the use of the word "that." There were a lot of "thats" in the second sentence you pointed out. Yikes!
I can see your point with there being a little too much vaugness about Scorpius and Lily's past relationship. My very unprofessional defense is that I didn't really know what their past was when I started this story. I knew they had one and that it ended badly but it took me a long time to figure out what two people so young could have realistically gone through in order to cause such a rift. Maybe now that I know, I should go back and add a bit more into the earlier chapters.
And you are very welcome :P I'm glad you found the argument to ring true to life. I didn't want them to be overly mature in the way they handle themselves, keeping in mind their ages, but I didn't want it to be a teenage angst-fest either. I'm glad you liked it!
Thank you so much for taking a look at my story. I always feel a *little* less guilty about asking other staffers for reviews (even though I should feel more guilty knowing how busy you all are). At least I know you all won't be nice just so I don't delete all your stories. I hope you don't mind if I hit your review thread up again sometime (if you decide to keep it open). Thanks again for all your comments!