|Review:||Pretense Of Perfection says:|
I must commend you on your writing skills again..it is very evident based on the past few chapters I've read that you have loads of talent and potential.
With that being said, it could maybe just be me, but I find myself being incredibly confused, and having to re-read things more often than necessary. I understand as of this chapter(although it wasn't necessarily clear in previous ones) that you're sort of just offering a brief glimpse of their fifth year before moving on to sixth I'd assume, but I feel that in the process of trying to to be brief yet informative, you may have slightly missed the mark. The OCs provide a tremendous amount of confusion for me. I can't seem to keep Em and Evie straight. Furthermore, the excessive use of everyone using different nicknames, then last names, then another nickname, and then a given name certainly doesn't help the situation. Like I said, it could just be me being daft, but I'd try sticking with using only one or two names for each character until they all have distinctly established identities to your readers.
I find it slightly strange that Remus and Andy have never been introduced to one another, despite the fact that they are in the same house and year, and would subsequently share all of the same classes. It also seems that the Marauders sit beside them during meals, and that they have a fair bit of interaction, so it just seems..unrealisitc perhaps? I daresay as well that even if they had a conversation or two here or there, it's sort of odd that they would have a conversation as personal as Andy's love life and whether or not she should break up with her boyfriend. Andy seems to have had pretty much the same conversation with her little clique of friends, and then again with Mary, and then again with Remus, so unless it has some crucial point later on in the story, you could certainly stand to lose one of the repetitive conversations.
I think mainly the issues I've encountered reading the story all come back to one isse; pacing. It's sort of...quick, for lack of a better term. We start off meeting three or four OCs in the first chapter, yet learn very little about them aside from their names and that they are all friendly toward one another and Lily. I'd like to learn more about them..see them fluffed and jazzed up a bit, and really get a feel for each one of them as individuals with seperate identities. Being completely honest, if any given one of the OCs introduced so far were to have something horrible to happen to them, it probably wouldn't have much of an effect on me as the reader. Again, I understand that you are trying to sort of just provide an overview of their fifth year, but I firmly believe that slightly longer chapters, or even a rather long prologue condensing the past few chapters would solve every single one of my criticisms, which again, I think are all tied in to the pacing of the story, and then you could really begin to dig into the heart and soul of the story, and fully develope each of your characters. We know virtually nothing about Andy, Evie, Em, Stephen, Mary or Leah. Aside from Mary, who despite her brief appearance, made more of an impact on me tham anyone else(mainly because of the little backstory about her cat), I feel as though any one of the others could be sort of interchangable. We know virtually nothing about their families, life, morals, values, beliefs, or anything of substance aside from their general views on school, classes, and the Marauders. Perhaps dig a little deeper into one or two of the conversations the girls have before going to sleep? I know us girls love to talk about boys, but I'm sure these five girls have more going on in their lives than Stephen, James, and I honestly can't even remember the name of either Evie or Em's current boy toy...
Anyways, I really don't mean to be harsh, and I'm sorry if it comes across that way at all. I fully plan to continue with this story, as anyone with eyes can tell you have incredible talent, and the imagery you create has a sort of raw power to it. I know tying everything in together can be difficult, especially rounding out good OCs, but I feel that you are literally almost 90% of the way to having a truly epic story. I've noticed virtually no spelling, grammar, syntax, or punctuation errors, and I can tell that you as the author(who I'm sure knows each charrie inside and out), truly care for the story you are telling. Again, sorry if I seem harsh..I'm sort of known for my brutally honest and unsolicited reviews, but I love reading and watching authors grow and learn with their passions. Can't wait to read what's in store for the next few chapters.
Oh, and it's completely adorable how you give your readers a little tease of what's coming up in the next chapter, I love it :)