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Review:Pixileanin says:
Hi there! I'm here from the review pairings for March and I'm excited to see what you have in this story... and sorry for the long time it took me to get here. I'm a little embarrassed about that, but it was a busy month, and anyway...

I think you've captured beautifully and accurately what it's like to see, for the first time, someone who is not supposed to be dead. Just writing this, I can still feel it like it was yesterday. I completely understood the denial, the questioning, the pretending that everything that looks real isn't, and the desperate need to wake up and go back to the way that things should be. You got all of that down cold. Literally.

There is a vibrancy and a simultaneous desperation in your writing here that compels me to know what's going to happen next. Molly is on the edge of herself here. You make me want to know if she's going to be able to pull herself together, or wake up, or... I'm not even sure what's going to happen next. You didn't even give us a question, but I'm wondering anyway. That makes for great characterization. I can already tell how much Lucy means to her (in a very present way), and how detached the entire family is at the end of this funeral, wondering. They're all just standing there wondering. It's a powerful image.

I'm writing my own first NextGen story too, so I know how you feel. Is the tone right? Do the characters feel like they're supposed to... which is kind of silly, being that they're all open slates with only a family background to go on and we can do whatever we want with them... does it grab the attention of the people who normally read NextGen? Is this what they're looking for?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions for my own piece, but I think this is a solid start to an emotional journey for Molly and her grief. And still, even though you never asked it, there is that big question, "what happens next?"

As a first chapter, I think you nailed it. :) I can't wait to see where you go with this!

Author's Response: Hey Pix,

Sorry for the late response. I have no excuse, so please accept my sincerest apologies for forgetting that I haven't done this before now.

I'm glad you didn't feel like it was a melodramatic onslaught. I wasn't aiming for that specifically, but was rather writing what felt right at the time. Grief and madness are a hard thing to work and put together in a subtle way that doesn't make the reader want to gag. Molly is dealing with a lot and I like how you've caught onto the whole fiction and reality. Will Molly wake up? Literally or metaphorically speaking anyway.

I know exactly what you mean with next gem's there are those unknown variables. It is silly because who really knows what they would be like? Other than perhaps a slight reflection of their parents (though their family went through war and i'm not even sure if you can really base their offspring's personality on that. What would Harry, Ron, or Hermione or Percy have been like if the war wasn't growing up with them?) Anyway, I could go on with this, but the only thing I can really do is focus on my characters and write how it feels right. I don't even read next gen too much so I don't have that as a basis of how to do my own characters (which I think is a good thing because it lets me go at it without any kind of influence).

Thank you so much for your kind reviews!


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