|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello AD! teh here with your requested review; sorry for the wait :D
Ooh, this is a great first chapter! You've set the scene really well and this is a terrific gripping start to a story. It has just the right balance of action and character context, and throughout the narrative you managed to maintain a very high level of tension. The opening paragraph was really vivid, and it's great to see how well you've developed your setting. I love the fact that your location even has a name (Cannock Chase Forest). It certainly does sound like a place that would fit right into JKR's wizarding world. I loved that brief image of Dominique's "long tresses of red"; it's a very striking detail, and I'm imagining that it must have been quite a splash of colour in the midst of all that darkness. Your descriptions of the storm and the violent weather really sets an atmosphere of foreboding, and that sense of unease just keeps on growing throughout the chapter, culminating in that awful cliffhanger-ish moment when Dominique gets attacked.
I loved the little details you slipped into the narrative, which really gave a sense of Dominique's character: how doted on and loved she is by her family, and also the little bits of info about the people in her life e.g. Hermione and her stance for werewolf equality. I'm glad to see a mention of Bill in this chapter, and how his attack, which occurred long before she was born, still affects her in some way, and how deeply-ingrained this fear of werewolves is with her. It's a lovely conflicting detail there, how she supports the werewolf law brought about my Hermione, and yet how uneasy and fearful she remains. These details, they really provide little moments of insight into Dominique's everyday life without being too info dump-ish (info dumps generally slow the pacing and sometimes brings the story to a standstill...) which is great, and I think they really highlight the wonderful normality and general happiness of her existence, which of course is all going to be changed - shattered, in fact - in just one night.
Dominique does make a lot of questionable decisions in this chapter, though. She doesn't seem to have the best judgement when taking action, e.g. that final moment when she decides to open the door despite being in the midst of dangerous territory with werewolves outside. And how she decides to return to the cottage to retrieve her notebook instead of Disapparating to safety and returning in the morning. And how she manages to forget the full moon while staying in the vicinity of a pack of werewolves. All these bad decisions of hers did make me a little doubtful about her characterisation, especially since she's also a senior journalist for the Daily Prophet. That being said, there really is nothing wrong with having a character constantly make the worst choices, as people like these do exist :D And not to mention that she was quite in a highly-strung state; her decision-making abilities might have been impaired by all the terror. Just remember to be consistent throughout the rest of the story :)
I would advise you to go through your prose again, and pick apart the individual sentences. Some parts of the chapter, especially the more descriptive bits, tend to go overboard with the use of adverbs and adjectives, and the adjectives are rather general as well. For example, the opening paragraph:
Rain splattered relentlessly on the secluded ground and a tall figure was sprinting through it towards the cabin. The figureís long tresses of red tumbled behind her back as she rushed towards her destination in the chilly black night, almost tripping once or twice on the slippery earth. Her loud voice nearly echoed in the area as she swore while skidding to a halt outside the door clumsily.
There are lots of generalised adjectives here, e.g. "tall", "long", "black", "chilly" "loud. The thing is, your sentences already give the sense of things being dark and long and chilly, e.g. her hair tumbling behind her back already implies that it's fairly long, and it's a stormy night so the reader already knows it's "black" and "chilly". Thus, these adjectives are a little bit redundant and they tend to clutter up your prose a little and disrupt the flow of the narrative. In addition, there are quite a number of adverbs present, which aren't really necessary. I'm being a wee bit nitpicky here, but I think if you really limit your usage of adverbs and generalised adjectives you would have a tighter and smoother control over the language and the prose. And generally there would be much better flow.
Finally, what a suspenseful and heartstopping ending! It's a really terrifying moment there, and I think you've really shown it wonderfully, especially with those yellow eyes. CREEPY :( All the feels for poor Dom :(
Anyway, this was a really strong first chapter! Great work, and I don't know what you mean when you said in your A/N; "I hope this wasn't too boring". :P I really enjoyed this and I look forward to reading more :)
Author's Response: Hey! Thanks a lot such a detailed and thoughtful review! Sorry for the delay in responding.
I am glad you found this to be a good first chapter, and that the balance between action and character context seemed right. I was worried that I overdid the first paragraph but it's good that you found it vivid. I did some online research actually, to see where there were "possible werewolf sightings" and Cannock Chase forest came up, and I liked the name too, so I went with it =) I am pleased you liked my descriptions and stuff, thank you.
It's great that you noticed and liked all the little details I put in. I always thought that Hermione would want to do something for house-elves and werewolves etc. =) I often wondered about the impact of the war's 'injuries' on the children of the Order, so I felt that grown up seeing Bill's scars, Dominique would be scared. It's a relief to hear that the details didn't come across as dumpish.
Well, to be honest, Dominique's character has a slight reflection of my own personality. I am a person who makes very bad decisions, and I always end up in trouble because of them, and I kind of made Dominique that way xP Don't worry, I'll try my best to be consistent with it (as you'll see in further chapters). And of course, as you said, in this chapter her brain wasn't working all that well, what with being so afraid and such.
Thank you for pointing out those bits about the prose. I was worried that I did went slightly overboard with it, so I'll go back and edit it out. Your comments are really helpful!
Ooh I am glad you liked the ending, and that it was creepy as that was the effect I was aiming for.
I am pleased you liked this chapter and you enjoyed it. Thank you!