|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello Kiana :) teh tarik from the forums here with your requested review. Well, this is the first time someone's requested for such a short fic!
Well, I think this is certainly a pretty accurate portrayal of Tom Riddle's voice and childhood experiences :) Through his narration, he certainly comes off as emotionally alienated, cold and arrogant at times. But you've also shown his slightly more vulnerable moments - when he's mocked by Amy and Dennis for being so different and at the reality that he's such an unloved child. Such moments would make normal children feel insecure, hurt, damaged even...but Tom is just vengeful. He certainly is affected by their words, but he is not passive and in fact, reacts violently. I love the little twist you've added to the story - about Amy and Dennis taunting and belittling Tom. I think it was always assumed from the books (well at least I did :P ) that Tom did something horrible to those kids, completely unprovoked, and that he was always an unsettling and amoral child from the beginning. Well, you've given him a little humanity here...not much weakness, but still a twinge more sympathy and I think it's a good decision.
I think this is a very strong line: When people repeatedly call you by the same name, you tend to morph into it. It really makes you stop and think - perhaps Tom is the product of his environment / circumstances? If those other Muggle kids hadn't set him apart and called him 'the odd one' then perhaps he himself would never have distanced himself from them and found himself superior? It's really fascinating, and I think it would be great if you ever choose to expand on this a little more.
Now, for 500 word stories, I think it's very important to be selective about the sorts of details that you include in your story. With this story, you've sort of given us a sort of generalised and sweeping account of Tom's childhood, well, through his own eyes. I think it would be much better if you had instead focused on specific moments and details - personally, I feel that you don't need to even mention the character of Mrs. Cole or what she thinks, and instead use the extra words on developing other more important characters, or evoking in greater detail a more memorable scene.
Also, I think you should have a very tight rein on language, and really edit stuff to make sure that the narrative is more tightly structured and that loose general sentences are taken out. e.g. So I decided to inflict the pain I felt onto others, as they needed to be taught how I felt every day. In a longer story, it would be fine to have this sentence, but in such a short piece, it feels a little redundant, and a little too general. What I suggest doing is to go through your story and edit out these sorts of general sentences that do more "telling" rather than "showing", and if you have room for more words, focus on certain scenes in greater detail. I think your narrative would be a lot stronger and a lot more effective if you had, say, given a more detailed account of what Tom did to Dennis and Amy or to Billy's rabbit (I know this wasn't revealed in canon, but you might have to make something up...)
OK, I'm getting a little repetitive here...but anyway, I think you did a great job with Tom's characterisation. His voice is certainly chilling, and a little petulant at times, which does really reflect on child!Voldemort's character. There are also the odd flashes of brilliance and thoughtful statements like the one I quoted earlier, and these show Tom's extraordinary intelligence.
So, just a little more detail to structure and language, and I think you'll have a really great story here.
Thank you so much for requesting, and I do hope this review will be useful :)
Author's Response: Hi teh, sorry it took a while to respond to this review!
I'm glad that you thought that my potrayal of Tom was believable, as he is such a hard character to write, as he's so complex. I guess that's why I added that bit about him having a reason to attack the others, as he's so complex you can kind of expect anything from him, so I thought it would work. I'm glad that you felt he was seen in a sympathetic light, as that's what I was aiming to do, as I don't think he was entirely evil, and that there was a reason behind it.
Yes I liked that line as well, as I thought it would be interesting with the whole nature/nurture debate, and whether if they didn't call him names, he would have been a nicer person.
Yeah I didn't realize how hard it is to write within 500 words until I tried it myself! You just don't know whether what you are including, should be included or not. I'll review the chapter, and see if I can add something more significant, and still make it fit 500 words!
I'll also review the grammar errors as well, it was just so hard making it grammatically correct and making it fit the word count!
Thank you so much for the review, I did find it really helpful, well your reviews are always helpful!