Hey there! Funny story - I saw this banner in a request on TDA when I was there for a banner for one of my stories myself, lol, so when I saw it here on your page, of course I had to read it. Plus, it's about Tom Riddle. 'Nuff said, really ;)
First off, I'm so impressed you managed to do this in 500 words. It's such a short word count, so difficult to actually get things across in that space... but you pulled it off really well. I really felt for Tom in the orphanage, looked down on by the world for being an orphan and then by the other orphans and the workers there because he's 'strange' and 'weird' and all that jazz. I think it's an emotion we can all identify with, as well, which is always good ;)
I have to admit that when I first read the summary and the beginning, I wondered about how you were going to pull it off - because it seemed such a strange thing, you know: to try and get people to identify and empathise with Tom Riddle, of all people. It's like asking people to hug a hedgehog - just... unthinkable, lol. But you did it. Your characterisation was excellent as well - you made him, not innocent but not evil. He's sort of almost manipulated by circumstance into what he is, if that makes sense. Literally moulded into being driven for revenge. It's a take on him I've never seen done before, and I think it really works.
I did notice, though, that there are quite a few odd tense slips, mostly towards the end. You say things like 'I was perhaps even more special', which doesn't make sense, since he still is, you know what I mean? There was also a typo I spotted right at the beginning - 'seem' instead of 'seemed' - but that was it.
The tense changes did throw me off a little, but really, it's not that big a deal and it's easy enough to fix (everyone makes mistakes like that ;D). But, I really liked this. Your characterisation, the pace and the whole idea of it was brilliant. I loved how you had him talking directly to the reader - not many people I've seen have dared to do that, I think it intimidates people, and for good reason - and how you picked up on the few events we know which happened at the orphanage, mentioned characters we know and avoided telling us his entire life story from the orphanage until he went to Hogwarts.
So yeah, I really liked it! :)
Author's Response: Hello there!
Ha I know what you mean about the banner requests, I sometimes spot some great banners and I end reading the story because of finding them on TDA!
I'm glad that you thought I managed to fit everything in 500 words, as I agree it's so hard to choose what to put into the story. I'm glad that you felt for Tom as that was the purpose of the story, as I wanted to show a possible reason for his later evilness, and hopefully make him more relatable.
Haha I like your analogy ;D I know what you mean, I was kind of thinking when writing it, will people actually feel sympathy for him, or just look at his actions, and bypass this. So I'm glad that you felt that he was driven by revenge, as I think he is, and I wanted to show that.
Ooh thank you for pointing that out, as no one else has! I guess there can never be too many proof reads ;)
I wanted him to be talking directly to the reader, as I almost wanted it to be as if he was justifying his actions, to an audience. I always wondered about what had happened at the orphanage, as it seemed as if there may have been another reason, so I wanted to provide that with this story.
Thank you for this awesome review, it's left me looking like an idiot due to a massive smile of my face!