|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello there! I saw the link to your story on the forums, and decided to come over and check out your story. Also, you left me such wonderful and helpful reviews for my story in the past :) So I read all five chapters and I'll comment on all of them in this one review...hopefully it will be OK with you.
I think you've got a really interesting story! It's very unique, in terms of style and structure, and the idea of plotting the progress of a normal girl growing into the big bad villain of the world sounds very promising. Your OC is certainly very memorable - she has a curious background, which you very skillfully reveal bit by bit instead of info-dumping huge chunks on the reader as some writers tend to do. It may not seem much, but I think the restraint displayed in your slow disclosure of Morgan's past, along with references to future events, has given your story quite a confident and controlled pacing, and it does allow for a good buildup in tension and conflict.
As a character, Morgan is willful, aloof, arrogant, sheltered, independent and supposedly with a streak of vindictiveness. This is an interesting combination of characteristics, and so far you've written her well. I like the fact that she's pretty much a normal girl Ė nothing too tragic about her past like certain fanfic OCs, nothing too melodramatic, except for that sense of isolation from her childhood, and her inability to empathise too much with others. I also like the fact that despite her independence, she also feels a need for acceptance, for others to like her; this lends her a sense of vulnerability, which shows a different facet to her, and makes the characterisation realistic rather than two-dimensional.
I enjoyed your characterisation of the Weasley twins as well; they're my favourite characters :D I think you've pinned them down quite well, their actions and body language and speech patterns. I especially loved that final scene in the hospital wing in the fifth chapter. It was wonderfully detailed - the Wizard's Chess game, Morganís sulkiness, Madam Pomfrey's appearance, and finally that awesome moment with George Weasley outside. Especially when George says, "You're afraid of spiders, though, good to know" and a few tense lines later, "Nah, just kidding". It was a lovely moment of conflict, and it was beautifully nuanced; I really felt that tension and that vague note of hostility from George, which didn't really dissipate despite the "just kidding". And bahaha, I was smiling at the Snape part :D He was so...Snape-like.
I think you're a good writer, and that this story has plenty of potential to be a great one, so if it's alright with you, I'd like to offer some concrit. First, I couldn't help noticing that this story is categorized under the Horror / Dark genre. To be honest, I didn't quite feel that it fit there. This story to me, so far, feels like a combination of angst, drama, humour, and perhaps a bit of mystery - nothing too dark. If you do intend it to be in the Horror / Dark genre, I would advise you to focus on tone and mood. Most successful horror/dark fics go to certain lengths to develop and establish a sort of foreboding atmosphere, through things like setting, voice and narrative detail. Think about the details of your character's inner world and her external environs, and how the latter might influence the former. As for setting, think of which details you would like to draw attention to, and their connotations and effects on the narrative. The way your character sees and interacts with her setting will help establish a particular mood. For example, I think you had a very good sense of setting with your hospital wing scene and it did contribute to the tension between Morgan and the twins, and I would like to see this done with the rest of the story. Also, as there is plenty of humour in your fic, I would recommend that you think about the different kinds of humour that you might want to depict (e.g. fluffy humour, slapstick, irony, black humour etc.), which might further reinforce and ensure the consistency of tone and overall mood of the story.
Also, your narrative style: the presence of the narrator who addresses the reader adds structural complexity to your story, and this is something I like very much. Also, it lets you get away with a lot of telling about Morgan's character and life, rather than showing, which is pretty neat :D I like the narrator's commentary, and the way he/she drops in little details of Morgan's future e.g. her untimely death (?!?!). This breaks up the linearity of the narrative and again, makes it more structurally exciting. I do think you should pay close attention to detail with regard to the narrator"s voice; the opening paragraphs of the first chapter were a little flat despite the fact that he/she was introducing a seriously evil villain. There were captivating phrases like "A new generation is blossoming that does not carry our scars. They are still just children, but we have high hopes for them", and "We all saw it coming and we let it-I call it change and I must welcome it." These are wonderful lines, a touch chilling. But there are also less appealing phrases like: "Power is worth it" and "rainbows and butterflies and hormones are not enough". These phrases sit rather awkwardly in the middle of the narration, and they do stick out and disrupt the gravity of the narratorís voice and tone. I suggest close attention to word choice / diction. Also, "moody teenage girl" is rather less formal than the surrounding text, and again highlights that inconsistency in your narrator's voice. Descriptions like "that dark growling creature" in Morganís mind (Chapter 3) are a bit of a cliche, and rather melodramatic.
Note: I'm going to run out of characters so I'll continue this paragraph in a different review. Sorry!
Author's Response: My goodness! This was wonderful, I don't even know how to reply!! Just...thank you so much for taking this effort, it means so much! My head might explode from all the excitement, so I'll just start typing, maybe it will make sense XD
What made me smile the most was the realization that you understood what I was trying to do with this story.
First of all, your description of Morgan's characteristics, both the bad and the good, were spot on. I've had people find her strong, annoying, spoiled, confusing...but you seem to see her exactly how I hoped to bring her to life: turbulent and lonely. So now I can rest assured that I did something right, at least a little bit!
I, too, am a diehard Weasley twin fan! And I am taking quite a risk here, by putting them into a story were the most loyal and incorruptible characters in the books will inescapably become morally tainted...
I am glad you were not bothered by the absence of Lee Jordan: others were. My Fred and George, although cannon in character (to my best ability) are also an AU Fred and George, to the extent that they will be involved with Morgan. The problem with inserting an OC into an already very intricately woven world is that the OC will have to shake up the existing balance. It was a relief to see a Fred and George fan not be offended by my depiction of them, and I just hope I won't disappoint in the future!
The Hospital Wing scene was incredibly fun to write! It was where I first properly digressed into a completely different style than I intended and wasn't even sure if I should leave the scene or change it to something else. I decided to leave it and figure out the style as I go along.:3 Not my brightest idea! As you pointed out, I need to find the genre I'm going for. This is something I've been worrying about and goodness am I glad to finally get some pointers! The typical Horror/Dark feeling of foreboding and predestination was what I initially intended to do. A cold narrator, retrospective events, characters helplessly exposed to the darkness of their own nature, etc. I will look into relying more on description to get back on track, thank you for the advice. I'm so lazy with description.*sigh*
As for the humour, I can see that it might seem sloppy, since I just didn't think about it that much...I guess I was aiming at irony as a general undertone, so I will do my best to polish the humor so it fits. Thank you for pointing this out! It helps to give things a name, which is something I didn't even think of doing. Genre and tone consistency, here I come! XD
Something else that really made me happy (although it probably shouldn't?) was that you didn't like the intro paragraph! So far, everyone has liked it and I was so very confused because I thought it was, all in all, quite average. I will try to filter out any overly emotionally charged or banal sentences. Thanks to your comment, I now know what I'm looking for!
POV skips and formatting decisions are, it seems, two further issues that fall right under the "Writer, you are inconsistent!" critique. I need to keep in mind that throwing all the things I like into one pot will not a good dish make ;) I've been told about this by others, for the most various reasons, and I never understood what they meant with "inconsistent" so I just ignored them and went on my merry way. But you explained it really well, so I know what to pay attention to now.
Hmm...I think I covered most of it. So, again, thank you very much for this, not only was the review helpful and constructive, but it made me super happy! And it spanned over 2 reviews, too! I am humbled *bows in appreciation*