Hello there Charlotte! Sorry its taken such a long time but I'm finally here to offer reviews for my improvement challenge (oh dear, I know it's been a long time - but I honestly wasn't expecting quite so my entrants... well, actually, I was. It was more a case of overestimating myself but there you go).
In the name of being as picky as possible, don't take anything I say to mean I'm any less of a big fan of all you do, my dear. SO first things first in the very first line (that's a lot of firsts for one sentence) there are a few things which I think detract from how lovely the sentence is: for one the 'and sat that it was true' and the ' that your life flashed...' well, I'd say that at least one of those 'that's are unnecessary and it just makes the sentence feel a bit bulkier than it needs to be - especially when you have such a lovely style. Now my eyes are just picking out every that because I started thinking about it too much - but there's two in the next sentence too. TOO MANY THATs. This really isn't a big issue. Moving on, then.
I really did love that first paragraph - it's so pretty. You're good at pretty :)
OH I didn't read the pairings and such before starting to read and for a second I didn't realise which Marauder you were talking about and OH this is interesting and your language is reaaallly pretty. Although given everything theres this oncomming sense of doom the more I keep reading. Oh dear. No, pleeassee don't make this sad.
Well, fine. Just break my heart.
Okay, back to being as constructive as I'm capable about something which was a truly lovely piece of writing.
I'm torn between liking the fact that they only got the one day as married and not liking it. I knew that you were going to have her killed of because, well, canon and knowing that... my first thought was that it was going to be the morning after the wedding. I was like, Sirius has left her to make coffee. She is going to die.
And as much as that worked really well, distancing myself from it a sec I think you could have messed with my mind a little bit more - thrown our a few little moments when I'm on the edge of my seat yelling at Sirius, that sort of thing. I've always thought that in terms of tragedy part of the awful thing about it is dramatic irony, in a sense - that you know what's going to happen. So I think that the death the morning after their wedding was almost too classically tragic, too... foreseeable. I'd have liked the attack to come in the next scene after Sirius made her coffee (that bit about Lily teaching him how to coffee... loved that by the way), maybe when they were heading back from the honeymoon or something just to mess with my mind a little more, ahha.
The other thing is that I'd like more snatches of what Win was actually like and part of Sirius's focus after the attack to be around how horrible it was that she hadn't even had a chance to fight. I think that would be throwing salt in a very much bleeding wound, for Sirius, to have her death not even be as dignified as it should have been in his view - as Sirius hated not being able to fight when he could, you know?
I did love how you related this experience to his own death though, that was incredible and I really loved that. It seemed to me that some of the things you were mentioning were like... the voices from the veil, so that was another lovely image. The wedding was very pretty too.
What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I know this was just a short little one shot (and a beautiful one at that), but you gave me such a teasing snipped about Win - about how they met - and I was like AH! I want to know more about this girl! And... well, I never got that chance. I guess you could feed that into part of the tragedy with a bit of clever manipulation but, well, I would have thought that'd been nice... some more about Sirius's emotions too. What you had was beautiful, I just wanted moorrre.
Likely I'm just greedy.
But, okay, here's my suggestions for improvement. FIRST, keep writing beautiful things (okay, that's not improvement I know but ssooo pruudddyyy). SECOND, there were a few little mistake type things - especially near the beginning - that detracted only slightly from the awesome. Read it over out loud before posting it to ensure that it's all tip top and pretty and THIRD I want you to MANIPULATE ME. Mess with my emotions. Think about the effect on the reader. Don't get me wrong, it's not always the best way to do things... but for little one shots like this it's GREAT to experiment with that sort of thing.
So yeah, loved it and you (feel like I haven't read anything of yours for ages too, that's practically a tragedy in itself) and thanks for entering my challenge! :)
Author's Response: E!!! I'm so happy you were able to get to me! I was so afraid that my scarcity in the forums and archives would convince you that I wasn't going to participate when I've been so looking forward to your review as I really want to get back into this writing business. (I know, me? Write?)
Thank you so much for all your very kind words. Especially coming from an author such as yourself, I really do feel validated.
I'm thinking that my 2nd piece will also have to be a one shot so I can incorporate the bits that you put in the above. I feel like with a chaptered story, it's easier to make you connect with the characters and manipulate the reader than it is to do with a one-shot. Which is why I guess it'll be a challenge.
The "that" thing totally gets to me and reading my story out loud is very sound advice (though I'll feel a bit cracked doing so).
Thank you again for all your lovely words and while I don't think I'll be able to write something as pretty as this (because, really, I do have to admit to that), I'll get my knuckles creaking once more at the keyboard.
(This challenge is awesome, AC.)