Guess who? I'm back with another review. I can't believe only a few more chapters to go and I'll actually be caught up (assuming you want me to keep reviewing!).
Jumping right in on the AoC, starting with POV. This chapter was a little different from the others in terms of varying the viewpoints. Before it was perhaps just a single line or two that would shift in a scene and I would point them out because I got the impression they might not have been intentional. But on this one, as you said in the request, you wrote this chapter with the specific intent of showing multiple points of view in the same scene, full on omniscient. I'll say right up front I didn't find it jarring or hard to follow. That wasn't a problem at all. Your writing is more than clear enough that I could follow all the changes without any issue whatsoever.
That said, I'm still more of a fan of saving POV switches for between scenes. I think for me, I like being "left alone" a little to form my own opinions about what characters are thinking and feeling, but when you're in everyone's head, you lose a little bit of the mystery. While that's obviously just a personal preference, I might suggest keeping the POV changes to a minimum where possible. That minimum might be one person in a scene, or it might be ten. But, for example, I didn't think we needed to be in Alice's head at all. She's a secondary character and what's far more important in this scene is what Lily is thinking and feeling. James is a main character, obviously, so I see a lot more reason for jumping in his head. Same with Remus to an extent at the end. But if we aren't *always* going to be in everyone's head in every scene, it can be a bit odd to be in most people's head some of the time, one person's head half the time, etc. Whatever POV *style* you pick, it's probably best to be consistent throughout: in everyone's head all the time, in the head of only two people for the whole story, one POV per scene but that changes between scenes, etc. None of them are the better path, but I think it's probably best to chose one and stick with it.
Sorry, I feel like I'm not providing very good feedback on this point. I'm much better when there is a right way or a wrong way of doing something and I can work from there. But since POV doesn't work like that, I'm left with mostly just my opinion on the matter :P
On to the almost kiss. I think this will come as no surprise to you, but I love romantic tension between characters. I like that you've got a bit of a will they/won't they vibe in this chapter. It's a natural extension of the relationship they've got going, and I think there is a lot in it that's very true to life. I think you're doing a great job of capturing their attempt to handle the situation as maturely as possible, but still recognizing that even with good intentions, our emotions get the best of us sometimes. Lily is a good, kind person and she doesn't want to lead James on, but that doesn't mean she might not cave in a moment of weakness, or fly into a bit of a rage at the thought of James and someone else. And James is a good guy too, but he can't quite make himself step fully out of the picture, even though that might make things easier on Lily. Relationships are complicated and messy even when there isn't a war on the horizon or in the wake of family tragedy, and I think you're really working to bring that through in the pairing.
The Quidditch scene. I thought it was a very nice touch. In fact, I thought it had some of your best lines of the chapter. "Maybe she can toughen you up, princess" was one of my favorites, though I also really liked the line before it about giving a bat to a girl who already wants to hit Sirius, and later in the chapter when Remus thinks about James and Sirius being "awful losers." Throughout several of the chapters, you've tossed in these really great lines. You've got such a knack for capturing that so-close-we-can-be-mean-to-each-other vibe between the guys. They brighten up the whole chapter. I love it.
The memory. While I'm not a big fan of scene interruptions, and the rest of the chapter was pretty much one giant scene (that sounds negative, but it isn't meant to be -- just that the scene takes place over a relatively short period of time), I did think it was very nicely written. It was such a poignant moment, both between Lily and her father and Lily and Petunia. It's really interesting too that you showed the sisters making amends. Obviously we know it doesn't stick so it will be interesting to see how you take us from that moment in time to they way Petunia ultimately comes to feel about Lily.
Overall, another strong chapter. You write length so well. Most people don't take the time to craft scenes this long, and while not every story could support chapters of this length, I've got to say I never feel like I'm reading a 7k+ chapter when I'm reading your story. You always keep things moving forward. And the ending of course. Just that one simple line and the reader is totally compelled to push onward. Just when you think we're having a sweet little moment between friends...
Can't wait to see where we go next. I hope there is more Bella soon!
Author's Response: Okay okay, I'll try and stay in one head at a scene! But really, I do need to. I will definitely edit Alice's PoV out of this, and remind myself that just because I'm in every ones heads, doesn't mean that the readers need to be. I'm happy this didn't feel jarring though! I have really noticed the difference after I've adjusted some of the smaller ones in the previous chapters you've reviewed, and it does make it much smoother to stick with one brain per scene.
I really find myself loving writing just Marauders scenes. A big one, more of importance than length, comes up in chapter 7, I'm excited to see what you think! My fiance is one of four brothers, so I see a lot of that brotherly type teasing and I think comes out in my writing.
If the Petunia and Lily work out along side the memories the way I want them too, you'll find out after the Christmas meeting how everything fell apart. I know I know, I'm horrible about ruining surprises. Anyway, I'm really happy that you liked the memory. I find myself really loving the Evans family.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH it means to me that you think I write length well. I can't help myself. I just had to split chapter 9 because it was going to be over 10,000 words. I think it has a lot to do with starting out with OF as opposed to FF. You get used to writing book length chapters. But saying that it doesn't feel that long is the best compliment ever.
I'm rambling, right? You reviews make me mushy. And you're an awesome reviewer. You make me see my work in a positive light and offer CC that I really agree with, all in one rolled up delicious review. It's like when you bite into sushi, every single part of it is good. The spicy wasabi is the CC, all enhanced by the fresh fish and perfect fillings.
Okay. I'm running off of 5 hours of sleep, please forgive that this made no sense. ♥