|Review:||Bobby Dazzler says:|
Hi hun, here for your review, sorry its a few days late, been busy in RL but here it is! (Don't know why I couldn't be logged in for this - it says I should be, but I'm not. Weird :/ ... Ah well!)
“You would take a bullet for any book, any day,” she explains, getting up and snatching her book back before I could probably decipher her hand writing. - PROPERLY?? Probably = a chance, possibility etc. Properly = correctly. I think you meant the latter here.
Our constant bickering drove the professors insane and we were re-seated, but that didn’t keep us from throwing parchments, quills, ink bottles, and books, well, Katie threw the books, at each other. - GRAMMAR NAZI. Reading this sentence how it is is rather confusing. Try this :)
* Our constant bickering drove the professors insane and we were re-seated, but that didn’t keep us from throwing parchments, quills, ink bottles and books (well, Katie threw the books) at each other. *** Grammatically, my version might not be 100% correct as I am tired atm, but how you wrote it it did come across long winded and as Albus had made a "thought" within it, it should be withing parenthasis, at the very least, to identify it as more of a humourous anicdote or thought he had whilst the story was being told, if that makes sense..
We arrived, shivering under our cloaks, to the Greenhouse and waited for our professor. - GRAMMAR NAZI. This sentence might read better as...
*** We arrived, shivering under our cloaks, at the Greenhouse and waited for our professor. - By saying "at" rather than "to", it makes it flow nicer and in the same tense, rather than changing tenses after describing what they were doing (aka, shivering).
It’s our fifth year and we’re stuck in the broom cupboard, hiding from my exe, Susie Brown. (GN - ex, not exe)
She smiles at me, for the first time, lightening up her big, blue eyes. - GN. lightening (to lighten), lighting (glowing, radiating etc). Whilst what you said was technically correct (and not lightning - eg, thunder and...), by writing lightening, rather than just simple lighting, it seems out of place, despite having the same meaning, due to tense issues. I would suggest changing it to simply lighting.
OK, now that those things are over and done with - I just noticed those in particular as I was reading and thought they should be pointed out (sorry I know it wasn't exactly what you asked for, but regardless...), onto the things you asked me to cover :)
You did weave the flashbacks in correctly, some left off early and were picked up on later on which you could relate back to the aforementioned flashback, so nice work. However, I am not nor have I ever been a fan of flashbacks - this is not meant to be insulting, its just my view on them. I think FB's are "lazy" because when I started writing FF nearly 10 years ago, EVERYONE and their dog was doing it and it just became tacky and my tollerance for them became pretty low, and hasn't picked up much. I just think that if you're going to write a story with flash backs, there's more creative ways and methods of doing it, yanoe?
I would've liked to have seen more characterisation in this. You did show us a bit, but as this story was mostly dialogue and very little description, I couldn't really connect with the characters as much as I would've liked to. Description is a wonderful thing, even if it's adding more things in like the tone of their voice when they said things, or what they were wearing or could see or smell or more of the environment they were in (eg, cobwebs in the broom cupboard), it just would've made the story seem more "real", and therefore the characters too. Not saying you didn't do a good job with them, they were fun and served the purpose well that you were going for, but they could've been "more", if that makes sense? Also, there was a few times you changed between tenses (present and past, outside of the flashbacks...)
As for the realism, that comes back again to being able to envision it - yes I could, but to really have connected 100% with it, more description would've been lovely, a little more character development and just with the general writing style of flashbacks, they could've been a bit more subtly written I suppose, but still have the same effect.
It was a sweet happy little story though and the ending did give me a moment of "aw.", great finishing sentence! Maybe consider getting a friend or a beta reader to have a look at this just to see what they think about my corrections even to make sure they're worth doing (as I said, kinda tired atm lol). But a cute, happy little one shot and I hope that you found this review helpful in some way, thanks for requesting! Bobby xx
Author's Response: Oh, sorry you're not a fan of flashbacks...ha there goes this story. I wanted to properly portray a long friendship in this shorter work, and I chose to do that through flashbacks. I was mostly just avoiding having to write a whole novel after this story.
I do understand that there are more creative ways to approach it, but this is the first time that I've tried the "flashback technique," so, looking at it from my perspective, this was creative...man, I feel bad :/ sorry!
I've actually noticed those mistakes while re-reading through it, but I honestly just haven't had the time to go back and change them just yet, but it's on my to-do list! I'll probably follow this review so I don't miss anything, thanks :D. It's sad, but I always miss some kind of grammatical problem when I upload a story, and I think it's just the fact that I'm only human and I make mistakes. This is where the idea of a beta-reader comes in, so I'll look into it. Honestly, this is one of my first one-shots and I'm just happy that it's decent (for the most part).
I have a huge problem (that you have noticed) of hiding behind my dialogue. Ironically, it's a habit that developed when I was experimenting with my writing style. I went through a phase where I would only write dialogue with the intent to force my readers to visualize the characters/settings without my help. It was very interesting to see the differences between readers when I questioned them about the stories. The characters described as "good-looking" were visualized differently in each mind, etc.
That all being said, I would like to go back and add more descriptive paragraphs in this story at some point in my FF career, but my RL has gotten fairly hectic too.
Thanks for taking the time to write such a helpful review,