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Review:Debra20 says:
Hey there! I am so very sorry this review has come this late :( I intended to leave it sooner but school started and I got mixed up in so many things I forgot I had a review thread lol. But I'm here now, so let's get set!

I will first address the concerns you left on my review thread and then I'll make some more general and pointed notes. First off, you told me that you are worried that this first chapter might not catch the interest enough to keep people reading and I share your concern, but not in a high degree. It does read a little slow because there is not much action going on (and I don't mean "fight" kinda action). It feels like it's missing the much needed hook a chapter can't go without.

Luckily, the chapter as a whole is very well done. The pace is good, especially since it focuses on the coming back to school of the girls. When I said earlier that this first chapter lacked that certain 'something-something' to grip readers I wasn't completely true. You have that, and it's the conversation Mary has with Florence at dinner, after the Slytherin boys ram into Mary. That there is the perfect hook to keep readers wondering what it's about and come back for more.

You asked me how you can improve the chapter so that the chapter can capture more attention. Well, I have two suggestions. Move this scene between Florence and Mary at the start of the story. The way you set it up, it can easily happen on the Hogwarts Express as well. That way, not only do we have something to keep our attention drawn to the story from the first half of the chapter, but we will also be immediately introduced into the dynamics of the friendship these girls share. Imagine reading the story and in the first part of the chapter Mary is shoved aside by some Slyhterins. Florence jumps to her defense but Mary tells her to drop it. Why does Mary tone Forence down like that? What did she mean with "you are the same"? Also, what can we make of Florence? Is she just being a good friend or a good deal too nosy? In my humble opinion, I think this would be the perfect way to attract readers enough to make them come back for more.

Characterization is a bit slow in the beginning but picks up pace as the story moves forward. In the first part of the chapter there is no apparent conflict, so it's difficult to make out the girls's personalities. Characterization is another reason why I think that amazing, short interaction between Mary and Florence would fit the beginning better than the ending of the chapter. You can end the chapter with another hook, or some more hints. I don't know the plot of your story, but if you are a planner, I am sure you can drop more little hooks like these around. That's my second suggestion to improve the chapter even more: drop more scenes like this. Minor things that are major enough to make people wonder and come back ;)

I for one would continue reading thanks to that little scene. I see a lot of potential for this story :D

Author's Response: Hey! Sorry for the massively late response.

Thank you for everything you've said. I really appreciate your comments. I do agree that something is off with the first chapter. I've always been a slow started, but this doesn't really have a strong hook to keep the interest of people. Especially since this story is going to be quite dark and I think this chapter makes it seem like it might be a lighter story. Which is why i've been toying with changing the chapter up a little.

I do like your suggestion about moving the Slytherin bit up front and I think i may play around with that before the next update just to see if more people end up continue reading on after this chapter.

Also, with your note on characterization - I think it is hard to grasp our main characters characterization simply because she is so introverted and quiet. In RL it is sometimes hard to pick up on their defining traits because they are so quiet and withdrawn. Mary is like that, though with her history, it makes her stronger as a character to tell this story. I will try to highlight that a bit more so that it becomes clearer for the readers how they're like.

Thanks for your suggestions! I'm not a planner when it comes to things. When i started this story and wrote this chapter I had vague ideas of where I wanted to take this story and not much else which is why I think some of the hooks that could be in it now aren't there. I've got a clearer idea of what this story is, but that's because i've written four more chapters. I think I can go back and try to liven up the first chapter a tad. Though, not make it too dramatic for as a writer i like the slower, more subtle beginnings. :)

Thank you so much for your help!


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