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Review:SeverusLove says:
Hey there, Howhe!

I'm almost certain I've visited every corner of every page, but I can't seem to find your name - or, at least, the name you go by. Since 800 Words of Heaven, albeit a pretty penname, seems too long a title to address you as, I've been left with the challenging task of assigning you one. Kudos if you manage to find out the origin of the name I ended up with. :P

Anyway, first of all, I'd like to relay my gratitude to you for being the first person to take notice of and respond to my review thread over in the forums. Really, thank you. Apologies for the bit of a wait; OCs and Next Gen are two categories I'm not entirely confident I can do justice to in a review, but I'mma just pick this apart according to my honesty and hope that in doing so, you might find something helpful.

It is a rather sad event when a writer has lost his or her 'mojo' for a story, I can definitely relate with that, so I sincerely hope you manage to find it again somehow. Think of all the waiting fans~! ;)

Anyway, *rubs hands together* here goes nothing...

The summary, I'll admit, is indeed attention-grabbing. However, it does have a sort of 'cliche' vibe about it. You know, the story norm, where a normal boy is special because suddenly, he is plucked out of a normal life and chosen by mysterious old and wise people to be the hero in saving the world from impending doom. Well, that, at least, is what I garnered from it the first time I read it.

I do appreciate, however, the unique dubbing of your chapter titles as '{Chapter the First}', '{Chapter the Second}', and so on. Albeit small, I find it unique which gives the story bonus points in terms of appeal.

I also like the consistency of the chapter summaries in relation to the overall story summary and the story title, listing out the different reasons as to the ways 'you know your life ain't normal'. It was as entertaining as the 'You know you're a [insertanythinghere] when...' similarly written lists you often stumble across in the internet. When I read the first chapter's summary, it doubled my interest as I wondered 'Dead people? What does this mean? What's her take on this?' Originally, I'd assumed it was Albus who was the voice of the chapter summary as I'd assumed he was the main character in this story and I wondered what sort of twist this was hinting at, but when I started reading, I realised it was actually the voice of an OC which, despite being slightly disappointing, definitely made a lot more sense.

Perhaps it was because of bias, therefore you are all too welcome to ignore this next bit, but the first five starting lines, like the summary, I found to be a style too often used and a tad forced to be captivating. It sounded like the starting lines of a movie so some may find it interesting, though movies can often be too predictable regardless. It may be important because it is in the first few lines of a story that you capture or miss the reader's interest to persist on.

I decided to endure; the incident with the old woman and her twin not sensing the presence of the stranger managed to feed me a little interest to go on, especially when said mysterious lady turned out to be Ellie's great-grandmother. The description [Somehow, I knew she was dead. Or at least, I comprehended she wasn't quite like me.] and [with about as much haughtiness a five-year-old in her nightie could muster.] were easily the most vivid for me - small beautiful word compilations that managed to keep my attention along with the whole first interaction between great-grandmother and great-granddaughter.

Her grandmother's explanation of the ghosts was a tad confusing because as I understand, those that are stuck to life are the same sort that becomes the same kind as the Hogwarts ghosts that stays with the living. I get what you're trying to say, though you might want to expand a bit more on that, or at least fiddle a bit with the choice of words to clearly distinguish both types from each other as separate.

The pace, progression of plot, and the tone of the story was consistent and comprehensive. The flow was a bit disjointed jumping from past to present and the use of part participle to past tense verbs, but they are minor things at most and could still be understood.

The length proved just right. It is a writer's skill to be able to show, instead of tell the reader, a character's perspective and I loved how you used experiences to put emphasis on your description, like the section with death and how Ellie only just started to comprehend it with her lamb-chops and going vegetarian.

As for characterisation, it is difficult to judge Original Characters and Next Generation Characters as they have little to no basis that I can compare them with. You have pretty much free reign with these characters and it is an interesting twist how you made Rose Weasley so interested in Divination and Albus Potter much more playful and more of a flirt than I'd imagined him to be...

Contrary to what you might think, I did enjoy the overall story in general. It was an entertaining enough of a read and there exists a small curiousity as to where you're planning to go with the story plot and the development of the characters' personalities.

I will be reading and reviewing the next chapter when I can; feel free to PM me over the forums for any clarifications concerning this review or even just to talk. :')

I'll be PMing you what few spelling/grammar issues I'd nitpicked over the forums along with those from the following chapters I will be reviewing.

Keep Writing, yeah?
~ Sevvy
*bows*

Author's Response: You couldn't find my name because I haven't actually posted one out there other than 800 words of heaven. It's amazing that you went to the effort to find one though! That's so cool of you. I really should find something however, but I kinda like being referred to as 800... On a side note, I figured out the secret behind your name for me! It's an acronym of my pen name spelt backward - very clever! I might actually adopt it...

No worries about the request! I'm just a keen bean when it comes to new review threads! I also completely understand about not feeling comfortable for whatever reason with a certain aspect of a story. I don't read a lot of stuff out there because of personal preferences. I think it's amazing that you've decided to spend your valuable time on this despite your preference! Thank you :)

I struggled with the "normal" aspect of the story. Ellie nor her situation is particularly ordinary, and me dubbing it so seems like false advertising almost. You're right in saying that it is a sort of "sales gimmick" - that's probably why it comes off as cliche, actually.

I'm glad you like the chapter titles! I'm terrible at coming up with chapter titles, so just numbering them seemed like a good idea. I included the curly brackets because I think they look cool.

The chapter summaries and opening lines definitely stem for my love of lists. This was the second WIP I started, and coming from a story where there isn't much structure, I really tried very hard for some sort of consistency here.

I get what you mean with the style at the beginning. I was still trying to get used to a new style for a new story, and it comes across as a little stilted in those opening lines! The style is probably influenced by film, or one of those voice-overs. Definitely something to add to the edit list in my drafts!

I'm glad that the flashback garnered some interest! Again, it's a ploy borrowed from film and television, and the translation doesn't always work well, especially if it's a first attempt, like mine! My Achilles Heel is description, so I am incredibly flattered that you found it to be engaging.

I think the "ghost" gift will definitely need to be explained in more detail as the story progresses. Perhaps an example of her exercising her gift will be an apt way to address some of the outstanding issues.

THE FLOW KILLS ME IN THIS STORY. I have no idea why. Okay, I have some idea why (one should update their stories more often if they don't want to forget what happens) but thanks for pointing that out. I've made a note about your suggestion with the verb tenses, so that I'll keep a closer eye on them as I write.

I added about 1500 words to the edit which I reposted. I was worried that I'd pushed the chapter for too long. A long first chapter can be a real no-go for many readers. I'm glad that you feel that it worked at the length it is.

Much of the characterisation of Next Gen characters is based on fanon, and I understand how they can be difficult to judge. Albus is definitely portrayed as being less out-there as I've painted him here, but we'll see how well that sits with him over the course of the story, I suppose. I really dislike writing him since he gives me so much grief!

Thanks so much for this fantabulously awesome review! I really appreciate all the feedback, and I'm obviously happy that you enjoyed it!


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