|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello there! teh tarik from the forums here with your requested review :)
This is a very dark and intense oneshot on postwar Draco. You've done a great job in spinning a story to fulfil the demands of both challenges - and this is a very chilling and utterly depressing story. I suppose Draco will find some peace in death, possibly a reunion with Catherine. In the areas of concern part you mentioned writing style, emotional intensity, plot and flow.
Your writing style is straightforward and smooth in this piece. Your use of the present tense really captures a sense of postwar stasis in Draco's life, and it also really shows how he is trapped in his own endless grief, and by the past, so much so that death is the only way to break away from the awful state of his present life. Do be careful, with the present tense, though, as it is trickier to write especially if you're incorporating flashbacks into the narrative. I detected a couple of places where there was a slippage in tense and you reverted to the past tense even though there wasn't a flashback.
With regards to the emotional intensity of this story - as I've mentioned, this is certainly a very intense and dark piece of writing. You've done a great job in conveying Draco's state of mind, his melancholy and depressive thoughts, and the traumatic effects of war on him. Your language is very hyperbolic in some areas, e.g. His soul twists in agony every now and then. This is a suggestion, but sometimes greater emotional impact can be achieved if language is more controlled, less dramatic - i.e. less is more. Your writing in this story is quite spartan and I like this style very much; the short paragraphs and clipped sentences really hit me hard. E,g, these lines: What wonders could one flick of a wand do? Amazing indeed.
He shakes his head and closes his eyes briefly. A face swims in front of his shut lids. He opens them again.
He does not like magic anymore.
These were really effective lines in the beginning. Their abruptness and dreariness really do reflect on Draco's deadened emotional state. There's something so cynical (and a little wry) about Draco thinking, 'Amazing indeed'. That was a lovely little detail.
Also, I think you can really heighten the emotional impact of your story by developing your character of Catherine a little, and showing a bit more of her relationship with Draco before the final battle. There's that very lovely scene with the swings, and I think it would be great if you either expand on that scene a little, or perhaps write another one with a little more detail on Catherine's character. Or you could just leave things as they are, with Catherine simply being vague flashes in Draco's memories, whom the reader cannot identify with. I suppose instead of being a rounded character, she's more of a symbol here in your story - a symbol of hope and happier times. It's up to you, really. These are just some of my suggestions.
As for the flow of the story, your narrative was very smooth and I don't think you have too much to worry about. The flashbacks were incorporated smoothly into the narrative - even though you italicised bits of Draco's past memories to set them apart from the present, they still flowed together nicely, and the transitions between present and past were generally smooth. I especially loved how Draco sitting on a rocking chair, rocking to and fro evokes the memory of him and Catherine swinging back and forth on the swings. That was incredibly well done so great work on that. Your action sequence is also very well-written. It was very brief and a little vague, but this emphasises the state of shock Draco must have experienced.
The plot of your story again is easy to follow and straightforward. I find it very interesting that Catherine is a member of the Order and that she brings Draco in. It certainly is very refreshing and I've not come across another fic where Draco is part of the Order, a Death Eater gone to the other side, similar to Regulus.
All in all, this was quite a wonderful but very disturbing piece of writing. You've certainly portrayed Draco's anguish very well, and there was a good sense of buildup to his final decision. It's a great portrait of despair, this story. Though of course, one could always interpret a moment of hope in the ending and assume that he is finally free.
Great work! Thanks for requesting; I've really enjoyed reading this :)
Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Apologies for the delay in responding!
I am glad that you found this dark and intense, and in a way chilling and depressing, as that was my aim.
I am pleased you found my writing style straightforward and smooth. I tried my best to maintain the present tense, and I went and re-read and edited some parts where I thought the tense was not maintained. I hope its alright now. Thanks for your thoughtful comments!
Its great to know that you think I conveyed Draco's state of mind well. Thanks for your suggestion, I'll see what I can do in regards to controlling the language. I am glad you liked the short paragraphs and clipped sentences as it was my first time experimenting with them. Thank you for pointing out the little details and sentences that you liked, I was pleased to know them.
Thank you for your suggestions. However, I'd like Catherine's memories to remain vague, as you said, I'd rather remain her a symbol.
Its a relief to know that the flow was smooth, with the flashbacks incorporated well, and that the transitions were fine too. I loved writing the rocking chair to the memory part too so I am glad you liked it. I am not too good at writing action but I am pleased you liked it.
I am glad you liked the plot too. Thank you for your lovely words!
I am so grateful for your thoughtful review. I am glad you found this well-written. Thank you so much!