|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello there :) teh tarik from the forums here with your requested review.
This is certainly a rather interesting concept for a story! So there's something of an arranged marriage. I've come across this idea several times in fanfic, but nevertheless a hackneyed plot can always be interesting and original as long as the idea is well-executed and explored in detail. What really intrigues me, though, is the charms that Narcissa employs to bind Draco's promise to her. They sound like an interesting sort of magic, and I do hope you will go into more detail about them in further chapters.
I'm now going to give you a bit of critique because you mentioned in your request that you wanted to improve your writing style.
First, you seem to have written in a sort of half stream-of-consciousness style; Mikaela's thoughts and internal monologue at the beginning are all mixed up in the narrative. Also, she comments internally on almost every single action or thing happening to her, no matter how insignificant. This is rather disruptive to the flow of the story, and makes your narrative rather awkward and clunky. SOC can certainly be used to good effect if executed with awareness and control. I would advise that you cut out some of Mikaela's unnecessary internal monologue, e.g. "okay, back to reality" or brain, start functioning now. These sorts of comments don't really drive the story forward, and also there are way too many of them. Also, you seem to be shifting tenses a lot; my suggestion would be to stick to past tense (and severely limit your character's internal monologue) as it is a lot less complicated than present tense.
Your dialogue is a little stilted and unnatural, e.g. when Mikaela wishes her family: Good Morning Father, Mother, and Scorp. This is really rather formal. Additionally, her stilted formal way of speech really contradicts her characterisation and inner thoughts, which so far have been loose and casual. I get that the Malfoys are probably a very strict pureblood family with a sense of propriety and formality, but still. This is waaay into the 21st century. Also, I'm sure other reviewers will have mentioned it: but that giant paragraph :P It's really...large. Draco may be giving a long-winded speech, but you as the author have to break this giant paragraph up and parcel out the information in bits rather than have a massive info dump like that. So, break up the paragraph and intersperse with narrative for a better story flow.
Mikaela's characterisation is also rather inconsistent, and at times, a little unrealistic. There's not a lot of character detail, which makes it hard to pin her down as a real breathing rounded character. She's a little flat. I think you could work on her characterisation more; if it helps, perhaps you might really sit down and sketch out her character traits/habits/dislikes/fears in some detail, and then really focus on these ideas when writing your story. Right now, with the lack of detail, the reader only has her emotional responses to get a sense of what sort of person she is, and these are rather untidy. e.g. there's this passage:
I smiled cutely at them and thatís when my mother started crying. Oh Merlin. Now I was scared and I could feel it when there was a flip in my stomach. My mother was actually crying. ON OUR BIRTHDAY!
So Astoria is crying and Mikaela feels scared and unsettled that her mother is crying (and she says so, too). But instead you show her as being indignant at her mother for crying on her birthday...OK, I'm really not making much sense here. Basically what I'm saying is that your characterisation needs more focus and more attention to detail.
This reminds me I have to get (a manicure) done too, must call my girls! Okay back to reality now. I was scared remember? I told myself.
Again, there's something rather unrealistic about this. If Mikaela is genuinely scared, she might be thinking of random things like manicures, but I doubt she'll be thinking, oh, right, I was supposed to be scared so back to being scared. You're going a little meta here :P
Well, that was a really dramatic ending you have there! Mikaela screaming and running out and driving off in her BMW :P It is, however, the most smoothly and best written part of the chapter, that last paragraph, despite being so dramatic. I think it's because there isn't any of Mikaela's internal voice in it, just simple narration, which of course, is the most effective sometimes. So I hope to see more of this! More showing rather than "telling".
You have quite a few grammatical errors / typos etc. I'd advise you to get a beta :D
Alright, well, this has been a very solid first chapter and a promising start to the rest of your story :) Like I said, it's an interesting idea with plenty of potential if you pay a little attention to detail. OK, I know this review has been rather on the critical side. Please don't take this personally; I think you have plenty of potential to improve and I'm just offering my honest opinion. I hope this review has been at least marginally helpful to you! Feel free to tell me if I've been too harsh :) And thanks so much for requesting.
Author's Response: Haha
No not at all. The review is rather insightful. I will be editing this chapter very soon, I wanted you to view this because I want you to read the rest of the chapters. It really does get better.
Your review was soo long. I love long reviews. They make so happy.
Mostly people have told me that Mikaela is super spunky, its good to see that someone thinks otherwise.
I can't wait to request another review.