Reading Reviews for Come, Sugar
  
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Review #26, by Indigo Seas I Am Not Saved

24th July 2012:
Hoo boy. Where to begin. So much I want to say, and I'm kind of just a little melted mess over here, so I'll try and organize myself so I'm at least a little bit coherent.

I thought this developed beautifully. And I mean it when I say that: beautifully. There is usually much planning that goes into stories that are as fluid as this one, but you said earlier that this was a stream of consciousness, which I could see too. Either way, everything unfolded really gorgeously, and I was especially impressed at your seemingly effortless flow.

Now, you said you didn't mind some criticism, so I'm going to allow myself to nitpick at just two little things. The first is this: I love your first paragraph, but I feel like your second line packs more of a punch than your first. Just read that over, for a second: I am not saved. You say it later, too, so it's a reoccurring little phrase. I think it is so much more powerful than the first line, it kind of demolishes the first upon reading it. Now, this is not to say that I think your first line is terrible, because it isn't; I just think that the second line would act better as a first line. I mean, it's a gorgeous line! "I am not saved." Gah.

Your description is just to die for. I know you hadn't written anything quite recently before this one, and I just cannot believe that you can write like that after coming back after months/years without writing anything. And the lines in italics really accentuate the description, too, because they include lovely lines of it. I absolutely adore the image of dewy daffodils and dust particles just floating in the air.

Now, the second piece of nitpick is this: when Rose enters the astronomy tower, you note that she falls to her knees. I can see that you were trying (or maybe not trying, and it just happens) to make it dramatic; you know, knees hitting stone and her falling completely and everything. I get that. I really understand the impact of that. That being said, I would replace it with an action that is not featured in a lot of other stories. Falling to your knees has begun to be a little... overused. I wouldn't call it a cliche just yet, but it's beginning to become that. Maybe melodramatic is a better word. Now, this could just be because I read a lot, and a lot of other people -like- the falling to the knees bit (and maybe you do too, in which case you are totally welcome to ignore me) and think it's powerful and such. But to me, that's the problem: people recognize it as being emotional, dramatic. I would recommend replacing it with something less used, but still equally dramatic. Like... skinning her calves on the stone while she collapses onto her thighs. Or... just wilting against the wall. You can still tell that she's feeling desolate, but without the description that I find to be overused.

Notice that I only have two little things that irked me: I really, really loved this. Anyway, moving on...

I absolutely adore (did I already use that phrase? I can't remember...) the friendship and connection between your characters. They are very human, and I think this has many factors that contribute to this: the way they talk to each other, the way they behave in the other's presence, etc. They are so very natural, and I LOVE that. It's really hard to find stories sometimes that I have actual, human dialogue, or relationships that are natural. I just love that your two main characters act like, you know, human beings.

And gah! You are so vague. I love that. Love, love, love that. Because I can still kind of understand what's going on, but you don't need to spell anything out for me. Love.

So, I totally went overboard with this review. I apologize. There was just so much I needed to squee about! Gah! Anyway... I'm going to go amble off now, and finally leave you alone. :P

xx Rin

Author's Response: Hello Rin, darling! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!

Oh, too much compliment-y goodness! You know, I honestly don't know how I do it. I just start writing and it's really sort of mindless - I finish a piece (it's always been this way) and I'm like, woah, where did that come from? I'm really glad you liked how it unfolded. As you know, I didn't plan it, so what's on the page is very organic.

Of course I don't mind criticism! That's the only way that I'm going to continue to grow as a writer, honest CC that gives me insight into my writing from the reader's perspective. You know, I've had one other reviewer mention that. It's definitely something to look at, that's for sure. If you can remember from years ago when I used to ask you to review /everything/ of mine, I don't edit my stream of consciousness - perhaps it's time to break that tradition, eh? Thanks for pointing that out!

I'm so over the moon that you like my description. I think it's my strongest point and I just really love to write it, you know? It comes so naturally.

Oh my goodness, I didn't think of that! I suppose I'm one of those people who likes the description of falling to the knees (only when it's really pertinent, of course). I've never thought of it becoming cliche, but then again, it's the most obvious kind of description, isn't it? And that's one thing I don't like, that's for sure. I like unique - thank you for pointing that out! It definitely looks like I need to break the tradition of not editing these SoC pieces and do some minor alterations!

I'm really glad you liked their friendship. I suppose that unconsciously, I used me and my best friend's relationship as a basis. It's very natural and real - yes, that's probably where that came from. I've always had a problem with dialogue because of the Southern-ness, so I'm glad it seemed very human.

Oh, yet another person that loves the brilliancy of vagueness! That makes my heart happy! So many readers want everything spelled out for them. Ilia used to tell me ages and ages ago to give readers something to work for and I guess it's so ingrained in me now that it's a part of my writing vibe.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I super appreciate it and I do hope you enjoyed it! :)

Shelby


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Review #27, by SilentConfession I Am Not Saved

23rd July 2012:
. i don't even know where to start with on a story like this and i'm trying to resist doing some mindless keyboard smashing to get my feelings across. This is quite a masterpiece here and i want to cry and sing with joy at the same time because this is beautifully written but it has this gritty haunting feeling to it that you just feel right down to your toes.

I really love your tone here and your occasional repetition of words and phrases. I think that really exposed Rose's feelings and gave them even more depth. I'm a big fan of ambiguity and being vague and love when authors can really pull it off well. I think that's what you've done here as there are so many clever details and hints about what happened and phrases that say more than just the words that are written. Also, it seems sometimes that writers just want to put it all out there, like they're scared the readers just won't 'get it' so they write explicitly and make sure it's obvious what's going down. I appreciate and love that you've trusted the readers to make their own interpretation of it and let them feel their way through your story.

You imagery is absolutely lovely and i love LOVE all the references to nature it was brilliantly done and nicely executed. It wasn't so in your face that you felt the author was shoving it down your throat but it was written so that it felt like it was guiding you through the story and very much belonged to the story. It really made the emotional impact for the reader that much greater. The emotions bled from this story for sure.

I think you handled this really well too, i think it was because of your vagueness and your tone that really helped with that because you nailed how someone in that situation would act. You're not going to tell other people about it easily, if at all, and saying the word is like poison in the mouth. It's like admitting that it actually happened and no one wants to do that.

The end! Gah! it was so brilliant and raw. When i first read through it, i thought initially that she was standing up for herself was a bit off. That she wouldn't have been quite ready to realize and accept that they were her own scars to battle. However, the second time i read it, it seemed to work better for me so i probably wouldn't change it, but my initial reaction was that it was a little off. However, not enough for me to not love this any less :D.

As morbid as this sounds but i love these haunting mad stories where the character is teetering on the line between life and death, madness and sanity, reality and nothing. I love those gritty human stories that seem to speak right to the soul. You've done that here. And i love the hooded figures which seem to be a mixture of real and not real, a figment, if you please of her trauma and can seem like a real person. I don't even think it matters what they are but i loved their entrance and it really pulled your story together and made it all hit home.

Great story! I loved being introduced to this and thank you so much for requesting me!

Author's Response: I don't even know how to respond to such a fabulous review! I'm just so over the moon - I am so glad that you enjoyed this! :)

I'm really glad you liked the tone, especially the repetitions - with a short, emotional piece like this, I feel that a little repetition is good - I think it also compliments the tone of the story because it's so devastating. Gosh, I love finding a reader who loves all things vague and ambiguous! I've noticed that a lot of readers like everything to be spelled out for them so that they really don't have to do any thinking and the interpretations and perceptions and thoughts are already ready-made for them. That's not me at all (it used to be, but I grew out of it really quickly) - I want readers to think, feel, hate, love, I want them to experience emotion when they're reading, you know? I like what you said about "feeling" your way through a story - it's what I'm going for. It's about the emotion and the depth.

I'm super stoked that you liked my references to nature. I'm Southern (USA) and grew up immersed in all things nature and so that sort of imagery and passion comes naturally. I love description, but I don't ever want it to be overwhelming to the point that a reader becomes confused or lost or disinterested, so I'm glad you thought it was more of a guiding force! Haha, the emotion bled from the story? I love that. You're right - that description is so fitting.

You've hit the nail on the head! I wanted to emphasize the fact that NO ONE in this kind of situation is going to put their trauma into words. And if they do, it's going to sort of tear them apart because of what they are describing, you know?

I can totally see where you're coming from with that - her standing up for herself is a bit wonky, isn't it? It doesn't seem in-line with the rest of the piece. I don't really like to edit pieces like this, but I think I might need to tweak that. Thanks for pointing it out!

It doesn't sound morbid at all! I really do love them too. I always like something deeper and more profound, you know? I'm just so over the moon that you think it's one of /those/ stories that touches the soul! It makes me all giggly and junk! :D

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I appreciate it so much and hope you enjoyed the read! :)


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Review #28, by angel_speaks I Am Not Saved

21st July 2012:
Hiya!
Emesias here with your requested review!
I apologize for taking this long to fill your request, RL is bustling.

Grammar/ spelling: I didn't spot anything that is of any concern, so good job!

Plot: It's beautiful ^_^ Absolutely beautiful! I could feel the emotion that's coming off of Rose and the imagery was described right (its wasn't overdone nor was it too little).

Reader Interest: This piece definitely kept my interest. With the characters and the descriptions, it was all perfectly balanced out.

Overall, I think that you did a really good job here ^_^


Happy Writing!

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for reviewing! And please, don't worry about any sort of delay, I have the patience of a saint!

I'm glad that you didn't see any mistakes, especially because I never edit! :D

I'm glad you liked the plot and that this kept your interest. I do try to keep things balanced in terms of dialogue and description, but it's not an easy thing to do sometimes!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it!


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Review #29, by Cavell I Am Not Saved

19th July 2012:
Hey, love, here with your requested review! Sorry for taking so long, but I'm here now! Anyway, you remember how I said in my thread that if a story makes me cry, then it's good? This made me cry. This made the tears well up in my eyes for Rose, so broken, for Scorpius, so confused and just... ah. You have an absolute talent with imagery - it came so naturally in this and I could practically see everything that was happening around the two of them.

The way you wrote the emotions was gutting. I felt my heart go out to Rose - and while at first, the story confused me a little, I read it over again and then I got it. It was like a parallel reality, I thought, where Rose's thoughts were real or not real, but I'm pretty sure Scorpius' words were real - they were a stark contrast to her dark, inner thoughts, and this was absolutely beautiful, and oh-so-raw... I can't even begin to describe it.

My own tears are gone now, but the present tense was just haunting in all its rawness (have I mentioned this before?) and I am completely in love with this. Definitely going into my favourites, 10/10 all the way. I could see next-to-no mistakes, so brava :) Thanks for requesting, feel free to re-request, and well done in general.

--Linn

Author's Response: Hello Linn! Don't worry about the delay or anything like that - I have the patience of a saint! Thank you for taking the time to read and review!

Well, in that case, I'm glad this made you cry! Thank you so much - I'm a huge fan of unique, gripping imagery and really try to bring it across in my writing.

I'm really glad you liked the emotions. I believe that, as humans, we are so intense and complex - our thoughts, dreams, subconscious, and conscious all intermingle to create this emotional vortex - does that make sense? I like that you called this a parallel reality - I think it's a very good way to describe this piece. I'm really glad you liked the contrast between Rose's thoughts and Scorpius's dialogue - it's a testament to the fact that life goes on, while our past and emotions and traumas control our present.

I'm just over the moon over your review! The rawness of the piece, as you so wonderfully put it, is actually something I pride myself on - I feel that it's rawness puts it that much closer to the reader, you know? Your favorites? Oh, you've got me all happy and fuzzy and junk! :D

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it! :)


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Review #30, by magnolia_magic I Am Not Saved

19th July 2012:
Hi! magnolia_magic here with your requested review. I think this is a very intense, bold piece, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! And I'm so sorry if this review seems disjointed and random...I sometimes fail at organization, but I hope this is helpful anyway :)

So I should probably start off by saying that I read this through twice before I even attempted at getting my thoughts together for a review. That second read was really helpful because I caught some things that slipped by me the first time. For instance, the first two paragraphs seem like they must be a flashback or a memory of Rose's trauma: when I first read it, I just thought they were there to set up the dark, ominous feel of the story. I didn't catch their significance, and the "aha" moment when I did was very cool!

But then again, one of the things I loved most about this is that there's really no telling what is real and what's metaphorical. The very last scene really caught me off guard because I was so conflicted about it's meaning. Does Rose actually, physically get shoved off the Astronomy tower? Or does she simply fail to rise above her emotional demons? Same with the hooded figure: was he a real guy, or just a representation of Rose's struggle? Who knows? Who cares? Either way, it's tragic and beautifully written, and the ambiguity adds to the whole atmosphere of the piece, I think. The reader is left with lingering uncertainty about what they've just read, and it's very haunting.

I've never read anything in a stream of consciousness style on the archives, and I think you pull it off extremely well here. This style lends itself well to Rose's situation: she's just experienced unimaginable trauma, and the chaotic, rambly narrative reflects the turmoil that must be going on in her mind. You've got some lines in here that just break my heart. "I am a stranger in my own skin." "There are no sheltering arms." It was the simplest lines that had the greatest effect on me.

I think Scorpius' dialogue is another strong point in this story. It sounds so normal and teenage-boy ish, and that contrast with the narrative makes for a really interesting read. I felt like I was feeling Rose shift her attention from her own mind to real life every time he spoke (if that makes sense). My favorite line of his is this: "There's nothing that can change the fact that you're my best friend, okay?" I loved hearing that from him, and I'm glad Rose could get at least a little bit of comfort from his support.

I am so glad you requested this! It's unlike anything I have read on the archives, and I think you've done an outstanding job tackling an uncommon style. You've written something very memorable, which is something we all strive for. Awesome job!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Hi Maggie (may I call you that?)! Thank you so much for reviewing! Don't worry about a disorganized review - as you can see by my stream of consciousness writing style, I'm all about anti-organization! :P

Oh dear, I'm sorry you had to read this twice! I didn't mean for it to be confusing or anything, but it definitely isn't one of those easy breezy reads. I'm glad you caught onto the significance of those first two paragraphs. I really enjoyed writing them and showing, in a very abstract way, the immediate aftermath of Rose' trauma.

Oh yes, I'm really glad you enjoyed that part of my story. This was an experiment and so the metaphorical and reality are intermingled. But at the same time, it can all be metaphorical or it can all be real, you know? It's all about the perception of the reader! You're such a fantastic reader and reviewer because you've caught onto so many things that a lot of readers miss or may not necessarily appreciate their gravity in the story. Haunting? Oh, that's a wonderful compliment! That makes me think I'm doing my job! :)

Yes, stream of consciousness isn't very prominent on our awesome site, it seems. I'm just over the moon that you like the style and how it plays into the story. You see, I believe that, as humans, don't think in a linear mode - we intermingle the past and the present, our subconsciousness and conscious also twist and confuse - life, thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and emotions are not definitive and that's why the style is just so quirky!

OH. MY. HOLY. WATERMELON. Thank you, thank you! I've had a few complaints about Scorpius's dialogue - it's all about the stark contrast between the real and surreal, life and the mind. I'm also really glad that you liked Scorpius's dialogue. Dialogue is actually my greatest weakness as a writer (I'm also from the Southern USA and our 'normal' speech isn't everyone else's 'normal' conversation).

Thank you so, so much for the wonderful review! I'm simply over the moon and can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it! :)

Shelby


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Review #31, by TenthWeasley I Am Not Saved

18th July 2012:
Hi, Shelby -- here with your requested review! I'm really sorry that I didn't get to this sooner, and I do hope you will forgive me. :)

I absolutely loved the eerie darkness of this one-shot. I'm such a sucker for these kinds of almost-mad-but-not-quite stories (really, anything dark and angsty and a bit twisted), and the entire thing was like a small mystery story. If that makes any sense at all! I think I'm trying to get across the atmosphere of the thing; you've written in such a way that I feel the dank, the depressing, the lonely just as Rose does when I read this, and I think it's fantastic when stories can manipulate readers' emotions to fit the story's mood. :)

I loved the sort of natural imagery you wove through the story, moss and rivers and stars. It was like at the end, with Rose's fall, it had all been leading up to a sort of return to the earth, and for someone to follow those kinds of symbols to an end -- that's seriously really impressive. My mouth dropped open at that last sentence, and there was a sort of jolt in my stomach at it. LOVED that -- you held nothing back, and that is the kind of honesty people should expect from their stories.

I really wish I could more aptly convey the lovely feeling I've gotten from reading this story. :D It's close and a bit claustrophobic, but in the best way, and so eerie. Have you read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar? I think that's what this reminds me of a bit -- and The Bell Jar is one of my favorite books. :3 I actually see a lot of parallels between your Rose and Plath's main character, actually.

I so enjoyed this -- you really came to the right person for a story of this nature, I think. :D Thank you so much for requesting, and you really have done a fantastic job with this story! ♥

Author's Response: Hi darling - thank you so much for reviewing! Don't worry about any sort of delay - I have the patience of a saint and just basically glad you took the time to read and review! :)

I'm glad you liked that angsty, dark feel of the piece! I'm just like you, I love [i]tons[/i] of angst and drama, just something good and dreary! Yes, even I had a hard time kind of wrapping my mind around the atmosphere and I wrote it! :P I did try to make this sort of all-consuming, you know? I wanted readers to be sucked into the emotional turmoil of the story.

Oh, it's fantastic that you noticed all of the nature imagery! I suppose because I grew up in the middle of absolutely nowhere, I'm surrounded by nature and it always seems to have a strong connection in my stories - it's like I've gone Romantic era or something! I'm really glad you liked that last sentence! Sometimes readers don't really like that abrupt ending, you know? They want to be let down gently, easily from a story and that's just not my style. It's a sort of BAM! or bust, for me!

No, I've never read the 'The Bell Jar.' - Perhaps the next on my to-read list? Oh, now that you've mentioned some parallels between my piece and Plath's, I will definitely have to check it out. I do always like to see how the professionals do it, you know! :P

I am just so estastic that you enjoyed this! (It's awesome to know somehow you likes these angsty type of stories). Thank you so very much for your absolutely wonderful review! I appreciate it so very much!


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Review #32, by luciusobsessed I Am Not Saved

16th July 2012:
Wow, this was such a dark, intense story. Your writing skills are amazing, and you really know how to plunge your readers into the same sadness that your character is experiencing. Amazing.

I can literally see the ghost-like look in her eyes. I myself have felt that feeling of nothingness only oh so many times, wanting to be away from everyone mentally and physically. I can relate to her, only the cause of my sorrow was different.

I believe you've done an excellent job. Continue writing and keep up the great work xx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! :)

Oh, thank you! Yes, it always seems that everything I write is incredibly dark. I think I write such intense things because I am, essentially, a very intense person! I'm glad you could feel the sadness I was trying to convey - it means I'm doing my job as a writer!

Gosh, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Even though your sorrow was different, that feeling of nothingness is still just so consuming, you know? That's what I was trying to go for - intensity and this all-consuming idea of nothingness and pain and loss and loneliness.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I really appreciate it! :)

Shelby


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Review #33, by SiriuslyPeeved I Am Not Saved

16th July 2012:
Shelby, this is such a powerful story. Well done. I had to read it several times over before I started this review.

I think the stream of consciousness style works beautifully here. Another reviewer noted that some of the dialogue was a little out of sync with the tone, I agree in part (Scorpius's goodbye) but part of the horror of Rose's situation is that or others in her world, ordinary life has continued and they can freely eat chicken wings, etc. as if the world is still the same place. You have really captured the idea that before someone tells about a life-changing, terrible event, the world is only waiting on your next breath to be changed forever and sometimes it is tempting to let it go unsaid.

A small mechanical note: the spelling of " shepherd's pie" was the main one that I didn't see in my quick scan of others' previous reviews.

You have handled an emotionally charged topic very sensitively and with a realistic sense of Rose's emotions. Lovely job.

Author's Response: Hello, my dear! Thank you so much for reviewing!

I'm glad you liked the stream of consciousness - honestly, that's how I mainly write - I'm just not a linear writer, you know, from start to finish. It's just whatever comes into my head! Ah yes, I definitely see where you're coming from. I'm from the Southern USA and the conversation that I hear daily isn't like everyone else's, so my dialogue's always been a little stilted or weird. (I suppose it's hard to write how everyone else talks when you don't hear it on a regular basis). Thank you for noticing that ordinary life does, in fact, continue. Something a simple as eating chicken wings, going to class, writing papers, it doesn't stop when a tragic event has occurred. I think I like the stark contrast between that and Rose's thoughts, but I've done minimal (if any, really) editing because I just don't - I'll see what I can come up with, so thank you!

Thanks for pointing that out! Like I said, I don't edit, so I always miss something!

Thank you so much for the review! I hope you enjoyed it and I appreciate it! :)


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Review #34, by Jchrissy I Am Not Saved

15th July 2012:
So, I noticed that we stalk the same reviewers (well, I stalk them, and only their review threads) but, Iíve seen you post for this a few times and wanted to check it out for myself!

I usually leave running reviews, through I read the entire piece first. I donít know if I can do that with this. Thereís too much that ties in with every single world, and honestly if I point out every line like we will be here all day. So, if this review is a bit half hazardous -- well, it will go with the piece Iím reviewing, I suppose ;)!

You have done something amazing with the trauma that rose suffered. The stories Iíve read that involve this, though meeting to ToS of course, still donít seem to get it and are too graphic...harsh... I donít know how to describe it. But, a person in her situation most likely wouldnít say what she was put through. She wouldnít use the word that tells exactly what it is, and she certainly wouldnít say it out loud. Youíve conveyed that so beautifully, so perfectly, that it moved me to tears. The pain she is in -- the constant point of suffering.

This line:
It crosses my mind that perhaps he doesnít want to touch me now .. Thatís when everything just broke. Those few words filled me with so much hurt for her. She feels like sheís dirty, that maybe he doesnít want to be as close to her because in her mind she is filthy. Very, very heart wrenching.


I have a few different ideas for the hooded figure. Whether it be the actual person, or more of a metaphor for the depths of her scars, Iím not sure. I actually donít really thing it matters. I donít say that in a way that means part of your story doesnít matter, every part matters very much. But I mean that whether that hooded figure is concrete or not, itís still the same thing. Does that make any sense?

Your first clue of what had broken her soul was perfect; Scorpius going to touch her and Rose cowering away. That was probably another one of the most hard hitting parts of this for me. Because she will be that way now, for quite a while. Sheíll be terrified at any unidentified touch. You conveyed that through one sentence, and did such an amazing job with it.

The writing style: as a writer I have struggled with this. This style is where my most real emotions to come out, yet I canít get it into a story. You have managed to do both. Itís raw, itís close enough to me that I can nearly feel it breathing, but itís form is still polished enough to make it easily readable. Well, not easily, nothing about this topic is easy. You know what I mean.

I want to delve for a moment into the dinamic you have between these two, because I think it is a very important part of this story.

He has been her best friend for years, 6 I think it was? And even this is too painful for her to really share. The degree that goes in showing us the darkest parts of this is phenomenal. He doesnít back away from this. That makes him a strong man -- because many would. He doesnít act like it isnít as life shattering as she feels. Because it is, it really is and he understands that. Someone as young as him, could easily brush it off as a, Ďthatís horrible, but youíll get over it soon, Iíll help you.í still wanting to help, but not understanding the gravity of depression it placed into her.

Their dynamic was incredible, you have captured it, honed it, and made it an integral part of this. To me, at least.

Every word you choose is perfect. They all flow together and really are like a puzzle in the sense that each one matches the other and strengthens it.

Truly, amazing writing. I donít say this often, hardly ever because of how many wonderful pieces are out here -- but this is one of my very favorites.

Now that you have rocked my emotional world this evening, I think chocolate is in order.

Great job, Shelby

Jami

Author's Response: Hi Jami! First off, thank you so much for the unexpected (and beyond wonderful) review! Haha, I see your stuff quite a bit too - I ask for a lot of reviews because, frankly, I feel that I need constructive criticisms to grow and flourish as a writer.

I totally understand what you're saying. It's very easy to cross that line between harsh and understanding/compassionate/painful. As writers, I feel that sometimes we find that we need to put everything out there and be completely real; there is this sense that you can't be subtle or vague because a reader might not catch onto the story right away. I really wanted to emphasize Rose's situation in the most realistic way possible. Few women in her position ever speak out and put their ordeal into words and if they do, it's never really concrete. It's as if when they put it into words, it solidifies their pain and suffering and they can't possibly overcome it. I've moved you to tears? Oh my, that is one of the greatest compliments I could ever receive! :)

I'm glad you pointed out that line. It is one of my favorites. It's so simple yet so incredibly profound (am I allowed to say that since I wrote it?). You're quite right when you say she feels dirty - she feels disgusting, like there's a film on her skin, seeping into her pores that she can never scrub away. Nothing - soap or words or even insanity - can ever remove her from that feeling.

Oh. My. Holy. Watermelon. Thank you, thank you! I had a few readers confused over the hooded figure and that saddened me a little bit. The hooded figure can be both, neither, or a compilation of what you've said - be them real, surreal, a metaphor, or whatever, it's not their reality or tangibility, but what they represent. The hooded figure, perhaps, symbolizes not just Rose's emotional and physical scars, but Scorpius's fears for Rose and his internal struggle because he doesn't know how to help. It's all the about the reader's perception, really.

I'm absolutely over the moon - your comments about my style - I don't have the words. I've changed so much as a writer in the last three years. And honestly, I believe it's one of my greatest flaws as a writer - I can't seem to pin down a 'style.' That being said, you've really given the confidence I needed to explore this style further and see where it takes me! I'm also really glad you liked the raw quality of the style. There's just something about raw, uncut writing that eats away at your soul because you know it's coming straight from the heart, the conscious, the subconscious, the real, the immaterial, the deepest and darkest corners of your being.

Once again, you've hit the nail on the head! You've understood all those subtle, minute details of this story that many readers tend to overlook. Perhaps you can say that their friendship extends across boundaries that most people never come close to. I think it's all you've said and more - it's indefinable. I'm honestly stoked that you liked their dynamic. It was not easy to write, by any means. Her situation has shattered something in their friendship that was easy and natural and I believe he recognizes this. He knows that something has broken.

I just don't even know what to say to the last part of your review. I am completely honored and humbled by your words. It's the encouragement I've been needing the past couple of months. It makes my heart so happy to know that you liked this. (And chocolate is ALWAYS in order! :P)

Thank you so much for the fantastic review. You've given me such a spectacular gift - I appreciate it so very much! I can't say it enough: thank you! :)

Shelby


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Review #35, by daretodream I Am Not Saved

15th July 2012:
Wow, that was really interesting.

I'm usually confused by or not interested in stream of consciousness writing (I blame english class from school). I really liked yours however, and was interested in seeing how it was going to end.

I also liked how Rose so desperately wanted Scorpius to be there, even though he was, just not in the way she wanted. It seemed to me like Rose wants something from Scorpius but doesn't know how to express what shew wants from him. And Scorpius wants to help her, but also doesn't know how.

The imagery in this is fantastic! Plus, I really enjoyed the quotes in italics, which you said were your own words. Good job!

I really enjoyed this one shot. Good job!

~Cassie

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for reviewing!

I'm really glad you found this interesting. I have to admit that I wasn't that keen on stream of consciousness either (I blame Virginia Woolf, just awful writing). I'm a writer at heart so it seems that my stream of consciousness writing fights between it's 'true' form and what I write, you know?

I'm so glad that you picked up on those things between Rose & Scorpius. Granted, it's one of the more subtle and less substantial parts of the story, but it's there all the same! What you've said about their relationship is basically what I was going for without really knowing where the piece was headed. It's all very vague and surreal, but I'm so glad you picked up on it - maybe it means I'm halfway decent at this writing business! :D

Yes, a lot of people seemed to think the writing in italics is lyrics, but it's my own writing, of course, and is part of the story - glad you liked it!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it! :)


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Review #36, by Ron 4 Hermione I Am Not Saved

15th July 2012:
Wow- this is the first time I've read a stream of conscious one-shot, and it was amazing!
It was amazingly detail, the way she was re-calling the sights, the smells everything about that night, but it wasn't just wrote as 'she could smell...' which just. Add it sound even better!
I loved the way scorpius doesn't just ignore Rose and tries to make her feel better, it made the story that little bit lighter!
A great one- shot, 10/10 :)

Author's Response: The first time you've read stream of consciousness? Wow! I'm so glad that you liked it!

I really do try to convey the imagery in such a way that the readers will be able to immerse themselves into the story - it makes it so much more personal, you know?

Yes, I like the interaction between Scorpius and Rose (haha, of course I do, I wrote it :P) - it shows a side of Scorpius that we don't normally see in fanfiction. A lot of writers characterize him exactly like his father and I just don't like that, you know?

Thanks so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it and hope you enjoyed the read! :)


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Review #37, by Cherry Bear I Am Not Saved

12th July 2012:
I've always found stream of consciousness writing to be insanely interesting, but also insanely difficult to pull off. But I really think you managed to pull it off here (: This was incredibly well-written; your writing is not only blissfully free of grammar and spelling errors, it's also rather poetic. I especially loved the italicized lines - the come sugar come parts - because it was a daring stylistic move but it really worked well here. Excellent job!

When I first started to read, I thought that the narrator was Scorpius. I think that, whenever I read a fanfiction with Rose and Scorpius, my mind automatically assumes that Scorpius has to be the one with problems, so I liked that you didn't go that route here. I liked that you made Rose the broken one, and broken in such an awful, awful way. And then the ending! I had to re-read it multiple times because I wasn't sure that that's what had actually happened - because I didn't want to believe that that's what had actually happened. So I'm sort of not really angry at you for ending this that way, but , stylistically, it was beautiful.

I think beautiful is the perfect way to describe this piece, actually - at least in terms of the writing, since what happens is anything but. This is a bit of a weird thing to comment on, but I loved the variety of your sentence structures. You alternate between just simple short sentences ("They say I will be okay. I am not saved.") to longer more complex ones ("Beneath the willows as they moan and whisper, begging for redemption, I am lost.") and it creates this really incredible un-balance that's only strengthened by the come sugar come italicized bits. I loved just about every single line, but these are probably my favorites:
- "I am a stranger in my own skin": I think part of the charm of your writing here is how you manage to be both vague and yet painfully specific. You don't elaborate on this sentence, this feeling that Rose has; you don't immediately tell us why she feels this way or even what this feels like. But you don't have to tell us, because those simple eight words speak volumes, even if they don't give the whole story. I'm not sure if what I'm saying even makes sense but, I swear, in my head, it does!
- "They cannot tell someone in a tangible, definable language the very reason for their existence": Another sentence where you say a lot in a little. I'm sort of a sucker for authors who can do that...and you've managed that really well in general here, considering the complex character you've created in less than 1500 words.
- "I close my eyes, but I donít know if I can say it. In what language is it possible to speak, to make something so concrete- if I send my words into the world, into the wind, I can't ever get them back. I can see the glow from the stars through the dampness of my eyelids. It is broken, it bends and shifts. Unalterable and imperfect, even the stars, they burn and die and plunge to the earth, to the hard soil, to the place where souls drift amongst the secrets on the breeze": This entire paragraph is basically amazing. Like, there are no words. I got legitimate goosebumps reading it and that last line was just so haunting and depressing and gah. You are incredible.
- "The jar that is my soul has shattered, left to grow ancient with moss and fear and the forgetfulness of time": This is also utterly depressing but really beautiful. You really have got some spectacular metaphors in this piece.

Also, reading over this for a second time to pick out my favorite bits, I just noticed something! "Scorpius drops beside me and tries to put his arm around me. I flinch and back away, blocked by the wall of the tower" is kind of like secretive foreshadowing of what happened to her. I definitely didn't recognize that as indicative of anything until I already knew what 'anything' was. I'm not sure if you did that on purpose or not, but, either way, clever (:

I think the way you handled what happened to Rose was also really well done. You kept things vague and it worked really well - not only because it adhered to the ToS but also because actually including that word would've made it almost too explicit, too strong. "It crosses my mind that perhaps he doesn't want to touch me now" really just says it all, combined with Rose's choppy sentences and the hooded figure.

And, on the subject of the hooded figure, the only thing that even felt a little off to me in this piece was your use of 'they' in these two sentences: "We both look at the entrance to the stairs and see a hooded figure. They are large and imposing, filling the doorway with a deeper blackness." Were you trying to keep it ambiguous whether the hooded figure was male or female, or just trying to keep the hooded figure mysterious in general? I was a bit puzzled.

But, overall, I really really enjoyed this - well, as much as one can enjoy something as sad as this. I think one of the difficulties of stream-of-consciousness is having just the right amount of "streaming"; no one really wants to read ten pages of someone's internal monologue, especially if nothing interesting is happening. Rose was a perfective balance of descriptive and to-the-point here, and I loved that. I loved this in general, actually. I may just have to check out what else you've written now (:

Cherry Bear

Author's Response: Oh. My. Goodness. -gasps and dies-

What an incredibly wonderful review! Thank you so much! No response I can give will do this justice!

I'm insanely interested in stream of consciousness too! I've found that some people don't like the jilting, random quality that can come of this type of writing - it's nice to find someone who can appreciate stream of consciousness! I'm glad you liked the "come, sugar, come" parts - those are probably my favorite bits of the entire piece!

You know, I never considered that many Next Gen writers make Scorpius the narrator and give him so many problems. Maybe it's because I've had way too many college classes with feminist professors, but I had the yearning to write from a woman's perspective (I am a woman, so that should be natural, but many of my narrators are male). Anyway, I wanted to emphasize, without being incredibly obvious, the emotional turmoil that a woman in Rose's situation would experience - it's not a walk in the park, that's for sure.

I'm smiling like a crazy person over here. I'm really glad that you enjoyed my varying sentence structures. I like the idea of what you call "un-balance" (nice description, I might steal it! :P) - I feel that the humankind, as a whole, is so complex and we don't always think or write, or even feel, in complex sentences. We're simple, but we're complicated and I wanted to mirror that idea in my stylistic choices.

Thank you for noticing those lines! I feel like sometimes readers don't necessarily notice or appreciate them and I just love them (can I say that? Perhaps I'm biased). I love to experiment with the structure of our language and often try to usurp conventions to create such lines - I believe that we are so enamored with the idea of perfection and writing that must adhere to conventions that we don't allow our creativity and language and feelings to flourish.

Yes, I didn't want to be explicit with what happened to Rose. Many woman who have been in this kind of situation won't utter the word - it's almost taboo and so I wanted to emphasize that idea.

As for the hooded figure, I suppose that I wanted to really focus on Rose and he or she is just an catalyst for something bigger, you know?

I'm really, really estatic that you enjoyed this! It's always nice to hear that your work is appreciated! (Oh, you don't want to read my other stuff - this is my first piece in three years so my writing has definitely changed - and I must say that this piece speaks more to my style as a write now - everything else probably isn't nearly as decent, just to warn you!). Anyway, thank you so much for the wonderful review! I definitely appreciate it!

Shelby


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Review #38, by Dahleigha Bailey I Am Not Saved

23rd June 2012:
that was so good, could you do more story's like these? Pleeeaaassseee?

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I do hope you liked it! More? Yes, yes, I think I will! :)

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Review #39, by distantgalaxy I Am Not Saved

5th June 2012:
Hi :) this is the review you requested!

I don't usually read one shots so this was a pleasant change!

To begin with, something that I personally would do (but it's a complete personal opinion) is I would start off the story with "I am not saved" and then the next paragraph should be "They say I will be okay. Beneath the willows as..." I think it just makes a much bigger impact to have that statement (which also also happens to be your title) be the first thing the reader reads.

Also, I'm not sure if this is an oversight by you or if it is intentional but you have not capitalized the "c" in "come, Sugar..." throughout the chapter. And also none of the italicized phrases have periods.

I absolutely love love LOVE the way you use your words to paint the story. You've just got such a nice and beautiful flow with the way you write your imagery. I absolutely adore these two sentences: "Time floats over me like a mellow, damp cloud of cigarette smoke. The presence is gone, but the scent clings to the freckles upon my stomach, legs." Sounds very poetic and beautiful and yet it is so simple! That is something I, myself, struggle with...describing something so well with so few words, so well done!

I'm not going to lie though, towards the end I do get a bit confused. I'm sure that this was your intention, but I think it may be a TAD too vague? A little more information towards the end might make it even better than it is, while still allowing the reader to use their own imagination to piece together what has happened.

Over all, a very very amazing one-shot. You should be extremely proud!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

Thank you for the suggestion, I will consider it!

No, it's not supposed to be capitalized and the phrases aren't supposed to have periods :) It's part of the art of the piece, as it is stream of consciousness! :)

I'm really glad you liked my imagery. It's something I pride myself on, actually. I believe it's very important in any sort of story, so thank you!

Well, the implications are rape, so I had to be vague in order to comply with ToS. But as a writer, for a piece like this, I like to keep it vague - I feel that makes it more classy, you know?

Thanks so much for the review - it is greatly appreciated!


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Review #40, by CloakAuror9 I Am Not Saved

2nd June 2012:
Alurha! Sorry for taking ages with the review had some troubles with my life and things weren't too good :( But everything's fine now. :)

Completely amazing. I love the amount of angst in the story. It was so clear and I got goosebumps by the end.

I'm so overwhelmed by the amount of angst in the story. I've never seen something like this before and its just really fantastic.

The italicised lines only added more to it, I can't say that I wasn't confused at first but I soon caught up and the whole poetic effect was wonderful. Though, its still a little bit confusing to me, but I think that's what's suppose to happen to keep the readers on edge with the whole mystery thing. :P

Anyway, I thought you wrote this one-shot so beautifully and its just completely fantastic. Lovely, lovely!

Ta,
CloakAuror9 xx

Author's Response: Oh, I hope everything is okay! :) Don't worry about the delay, we all have lives outside of HPFF! :D

Oh wow, thank you! Yes, I'm a HUGE fan of angst. For things like this, it just makes everything come alive.

You've never seen something like this? Surely not! I know the angst is intense, haha.

I'm glad you liked the italicized lines! Oh yes, they are confusing at first because you don't know what in the world is going on, but it should all sort of come together in the end. I hope it wasn't confusing in a bad way!

Thank you so much for your lovely review! I really appreciate it! :)

Shelby


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Review #41, by RosieQueen I Am Not Saved

2nd June 2012:
It's Rosie with your requested review! :)

Wow, this was such an intense one-shot! I loved the description, you sort of painted a picture with words. All the descriptive words you used portrayed a dark, mysterious, mood. The first few lines had be intrigued, so you started it off wonderfully.

And the mood was conveyed perfectly too! It felt mysterious and dark.

Sometimes, one-shots have to be unclear. This one-shot was a bit confusing, but I feel as if it was supposed to be confusing, because that's what causes the mysterious atmosphere. Who was the hooded figure? I don't know. But that's what makes it creepy! So basically, the fact that this one-shot was confusing is a good thing! (Let me know if that made sense! :p)

I really have no complaints. Very well done! :D

~Rosie

Author's Response: Hi, thank you for reviewing!

I do hope that you liked the description. That's the one thing (I think) I'm good at - description! It's my pride and joy of any piece, really.

I hope it wasn't confusing in a bad way! It definitely was supposed to be unclear, that's for sure. I really didn't want this to be definitive, you know?

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it!

Shelby


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Review #42, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap I Am Not Saved

30th May 2012:
Hello! Dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap here with your requested review. So you just wanted a general review. I tend to do running reviews and then wrap everything up in the end. I'll most likely give my own opinion, point anything out that might need tweaking (if I can find anything) and talk about characterization. I hope that's alright with you!

Let's get started.

I haven't even started reading yet and I'm already intrigued by your author's note. Stream of consciousness? I already know I'm going to sincerely like this a lot.

come, Sugar, come to the water don't you want it, can't you feel it, hear the cry of a hawk - come, Sugar, close your eyes and bathe in the sweat of my soul

^ I found this part really intriguing. There's just something really dark and twisted about it. I don't actually know what's going on yet so the first thing I think when reading 'come to the water' I think she's trying to drown herself which kind of gives me this connection to Virginia Woolf and whenever I think Virginia Woolf I think of the movie 'The Hours' of this moment when she drops stones in her pockets and gets ready to drown herself. That's a powerful part in the movie and to make such a connection from your writing to that, well, that has never happened to me before. Well done!

There is no semblance of who I used to be. Now there's only me and the lonely, the forbidden, the lullaby of desolation. I hear footsteps.

^ I love the raw emotion you're giving us. The descriptions of her thoughts, muddled and dark, so dark and painful...and yet...you almost make it poetic to the point where it isnít painful and it isn't dark. It feels in some ways, with some words that connection together and some thoughts that just sound beautiful on their own like a sweet lullaby. I actually find myself reading some of the thoughts out loud to myself, but more in a whisper and it almost makes me feel like this wonít end as tragically as it should.

It crosses my mind that perhaps he doesn't want to touch me now.

^ So many thoughts just went through my head when I read this. I wish I could underline this part, bold it, and make it larger than the rest of the text because it really just spoke to me because it was very real. It's something that someone in her situation would think, feel, say.

Scars deep and like the ice that threatens the sensations of life are mine and mine alone.

^ Your imagery is killing me. It takes my breath away. I felt so cold after reading that line.

I say with as much pluck as I can manage.

^ I think my only critique is this: pluck. I think 'pluck' takes away from the poetic feel you have going on through the entire story. I would have liked another word. This is going to sound crazy but this is more a matter of opinion so don't feel like you have to take it too seriously but the'Ďk' in 'pluck' the sound that it makes when you say the word out loud or read it in your head sounds too...loud. If that makes any sense. The beginning you use words like 'willow' and 'mellow' and they sound so soft and compliment each other greatly. I would have liked 'pluck' to compliment 'plummet' just to make a connection. I just feel like pluck doesn't do the ending justice.

I have to say this was a great one-shot. I really have nothing to critique about it. The imagery was wonderful. The emotions were jarring and the story was mind numbing and thought provoking. I can't say what happened to Rose and I like that. I like that it isn't concrete.

Thank you for requesting! If you have any questions or concerns feel free to PM me.

- Deeds

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for reviewing! A running review sounds just fine to me! :)

Haha, yes, stream of consciousness. It's always been my forte, you could say. It's a technique I enjoy immensely.

Oh wow, that's an interesting connection! I believe that piece by Virginia Woolf is actually a stream of consciousness piece (I had no idea it was a movie!). I never considered the idea that that alluded to drowning, so interesting observation! See, that's the thing with stream of consciousness - I have no idea what was going on, I just wrote! :D

I'm really glad you liked that bit of description! I'm a massive fan of description, but I also like it to exude the emotion that I'm trying to go for. I'm a firm believer in emotion. I believe a reader cannot connect with a piece unless there is raw, untamed emotion, you know? You were reading it out loud? Oh wow, that's a major compliment, for me, at least. I guess that's because it's one thing to read a story, but it's a totally different experience to read it out loud!

I like that part too. It's one of those small things that a writer has to consider, you know? We think many, many things during any situation. Sometimes they're muddled, sometimes they're clear, it's just all raw emotion and thought that I try to convey on the page.

I'm so glad that you like my imagery! It's something I strive for in any piece.

Oh wow, I never considered that. As you know, this is stream of consciousness, so I really gave no thought to that particular word. I definitely see where you're coming from with that one. I'm going to play around with that sentence and see what I can come up with - thanks so much for pointing that out!

Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I do hope you liked it! It was wonderful to hear to your thoughts and such about the piece because that's what I want from a reader. Thank you so much again for your amazing review - I greatly appreciate it!

Shelby


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Review #43, by Aether I Am Not Saved

29th May 2012:
Hi this is Aether for your requested review. This one-shot is absolutely gorgeous. It's well-written and you have written Rose's character and emotions very believably. I was left with a few questions plot-wise. How was this happening at Hogwarts? Why didn't anyone seem to notice? Why did Scorpius not protect her? Who was the figure in the robe? Do we know him?

Overall, this one-shot gave a great sense of what was happening in the moment, within the very angsty mind of Rose. But I found myself questioning what was happening around her. Anywho, I guess that's a sacrifice for getting so close to the character. Thanks for requesting! I really enjoyed this. :) 10/10

Aether

Author's Response: Hi, thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, I actually considered those things as well, but I really want to leave this as it is, you know? I'm more of the leave-you-hanging-forever kind of writer :P I wanted this to be more about the emotions than the plot, you know? So I understand exactly what you're saying - I considered getting into what was happening around her, but I didn't want to take away from Rose's angsty moment.

Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it! :)


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Review #44, by AmongtheFlowers I Am Not Saved

28th May 2012:
Your writing is absolutely amazing. I got chills reading this story. I'm definitely a fan.

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much!

I'm really glad you liked this - it's the first time I've written something in about 2.5 years, so I was a bit nervous!

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I really appreciate it! :)


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Review #45, by DracoFerret11 I Am Not Saved

27th May 2012:
Hey Shelby! It's Emily. :] I'm here with the review that you requested on the forums. :] So, let's go over things:

Just...wow. This was a very beautifully-written story. I absolutely adore your style here. Normally, I'm not a fan of stream-of-consciousness (Virginia Woolf's "The Waves" ruined it for me), but I thought you did it wonderfully here. I could definitely feel the weight of the story, of Rose's situation, of just...everything. I think your tone was absolutely perfect. You set such a beautiful, horrifying scene, and carefully nudged it along. It was wonderful.

Characterization: I really thought you hit the nail on the head with Rose, after all she's been through in this story. You definitely captured an element of sorrow and helplessness, but there was still strength. She was still fighting. And I loved how protective Scorpius was. It was very touching.

Descriptions: WHY WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOUR IMAGERY, WOMAN? This was GORGEOUS! Absolutely, unequivocally wonderful. You brough the entire story to life with a few metaphors. I'm so jealous of your ability to do that. Terrific job.

Emotions: Wow...just...wow. I feel like crying after reading this. I actually had to take a few moments to gather myself together before reviewing. I've never read a story quite like this one. It didn't quite bring me to tears, but it made my heart hurt. That's an impressive feat, Shelby. Well done.

Plot: Well, I actually liked how obscure things were. And I like that the ending was almost open to interpretation. What I mean with that is...was it a literal push over the edge of the tower? Or did Rose jump when faced with her demons? And I know you probably think of it in a particular way, but I could see it going either way and I like that. Wonderful job with such a sensitive subject.

Flow: I think your italicized words really fit into the story. They pulled things together nicely. They had a haunting quality about them that I thought was very good. Great job. :]

This was wonderful. It's going into my favorite stories. Beautifully, beautifully written.

--Emily

Author's Response: Hi Emily! Thank you so much for reviewing! I really appreciate it! Honestly, I don't even know what to say. I've never been a very confident writer. You've left me speechless, Emily (which is difficult, I tell you :P)

I'm glad that the stream of consciousness didn't ruin the story for you. At this point in my writing career, that's basically my writing style/technique. It's just easier for me to free any inhibitions I may have. (It's okay, I'm not fan of Woolf's stream of consciousness either-she ruins the technique). It's good to hear that you thought the story did have a bit of movement. I was afraid it was rather stagnant and just a jumble of words because of the stream of consciousness.

Oh, Rose is strong one. I always pictured her as this extremely strong individual and only something horrifying could really bring her down. I'm glad you picked up on that about her character. Yes, I wanted to make Scorpius protective. Not overly so to the point where it's ridiculous, but I imagined he had a strong love for her because of their friendship.

Haha, I'm always worried about my descriptions, Emily! I've been told that everything I write is weird and my descriptions are off the wall! You've got me blushing with those compliments - thank you! :)

Oh wow, that makes me feel good (not that the story pulled at your heart strings, but that it managed that sort of feat). I am all about emotional description because as humans, we thrive on emotions, thoughts, ideas, feelings. It's what makes us /human/, you know?

Oh yay, I'm glad you liked the obscurity! With little experiments like this, I like to keep things airy and open to interpretation. You know, after I wrote it and reread it, I realized that it could go either way - I think that's the way I meant it to be. I wanted it to be subjective - she might have jumped, he might have pushed her, she might have metaphorically jumped, she could have been pushed to the brink of insanity, oh, the possibilities are endless.

I'm glad you thought the italicized words worked nicely. I experimented with them in a short original of mine and wanted to see how they transcribed into fanfiction.

Thank you so, so much, Emily! You've made my week! :)


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Review #46, by marinahill I Am Not Saved

22nd May 2012:
Welcome back! It's nice to read more of your work after all this time.

I know you've said you've changed as a writer, and there's no doubt you have, there's something definitively you about this. It's in your style, your word choice and syntax. I think I could identify that you wrote this even if I didn't know it was yours, it's so distinctive.

Right, so. I'm undecided on the mood of this story. Let me explain - you've got a great contrast here between the haunting sections in italics, and the almost mundane events of Rose's everyday life. I sort of imagine the interludes as echoes of Rose's mind, horrific memories of her terrible fate. The way it ebbs in and out of the everyday narrative sort of show that it's never far from her mind, that the event is never going to leave her consciousness.

Then again, a closer look at the lyrics don't suggest such horror at all in a way, but they're written in way that is definitely dark. It's sarcasm, it's not temptation exactly... it's taunting, I think. I could be wrong and do tell me if I am, but that's how I've interpreted it.

I think my confusion over mood comes from this contrast. There are these beautifully written sections, where the present tense makes them jump off the page and come alive in my imagination, bringing with them Rose's horror and haunting memories as well as a feel for the consequences of that event. But then, wrapped around that is a completely different tone. I get a feel for some of that horror every so often but it doesn't feel so real and I'm not sure what you were going for. Let me find an example.

I shake my head a little bit and stare across my shepard's pie ≠to look at Scorpius. He waves a chicken wing in my direction, furrowing his brows. The chatter of students beats a dull melody against my ear drums.

Here... I don't know, but the mundaneness of mentioning the food disrupts the flow. I think that sort of reference is fine in something a bit lighter and less literary, but I get the feeling the style you're going for doesn't really lend itself well to those sorts of references. Am I making sense?

Another example:

With that, Scorpius waves the remnants of his chicken wing and heads for the tower. My best friend, he should have been there. Just there. He should have read into my soul through the depths of my eyes. And still, I am not saved.

The first two sentence are so... ordinary that they just seems out of place with the rest of the writing. Then they're followed with a dramatic statement that almost sounds melodramatic in comparison, which is definitely not something that should be associated with this sensitive topic.

The problem is that this is supposed to be a stream of Rose's consciousness, and some of the things in the narrative don't sound natural for anyone's thought processes. I think this would have worked better in the third person, allowing you to use the depth of your writing and descriptive talents to express these beautiful lines without the distracting everyday narrative that sounds more natural for a first person story.

Anyway. I think my main point is that there are some really beautiful lines of prose in here that are being tarnished by the mix of beautiful and everyday occurrences/descriptions. I'd say go for the natural narrative in first person or work on keeping it in third person limited and keeping up the gifted prose.

I hope that helps... I think I just waffled too much, but there you go.

I can't wait to see what else you have in store!

Marina

Author's Response: Hello my dear! Oh, I just sent in a revision of this story that I think made it better - it must not be up yet. Anyway, thank you for stopping by!

Yes, I think I have definitely changed as a writer. There has always been something a bit different about how I structure my sentences and stuff like that. You might call it a bit odd :P

You know, honestly, your guess about the interludes in italics is as good as anyone else's. I wrote a short original piece very similar to this because it contained those kinds of interludes. I don't really know how to describe them as part of the piece. They could be anything really - her consciousness, someone else's voice inside her head, emotions turned into language - I've left it up to the reader, really. Every time I reread it, trying to really make it stand out, I interpret those pieces differently.

Marina, I never even thought of that. I didn't really realize how mundane some of those sentences sounded compared with the other bits. You know I'm a very unconscious writer and so whatever comes out it just very raw. Well, I really think I was trying to go for a deep contrast between the everyday and the horror of her situation. I will be completely honest with you when I say I didn't like putting in those scenes of very mundane, everyday things, like them being in the Great Hall. I wanted to focus on the more haunting prose and things like those first paragraphs, but I really also wanted to give a sense of concreteness. Marina, in the end, I don't even know where this came from, so it's all a bit iffy anyways. Thank you for pointing those things out - I definitely didn't notice them. Thank you!

You're totally right about the third person. I would consider converting this to that POV, but I cannot write third person to save my life. I feel closer to the story if I'm writing in first person and it gives me a template to write that sort of prose because I feel so free and uninhibited. I don't really know what to do - you've given me a lot to think about!

Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Marina! As always, I love your honesty and critical eye - it helps me grow as a writer because I'm definitely not /there/ yet. Thank you so much!

Shelby


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Review #47, by academica I Am Not Saved

21st May 2012:
Hi there! I'm here with your requested review!

So I really like this style of disjointed, interrupted stream of consciousness writing, and this piece was no exception. I loved how the lyrics intertwined in with the plot, and they brought Rose's desperation alive for me, almost like she was an innocent lamb being led to the slaughter (except with that edge of darkness to show you that she's not so innocent). I loved Rose's characterization, too; so often she's portrayed as a flirt or a bookworm, and it was nice to read a fresh take where all is not well for her.

I do have a few critiques for you, though. I kind of had difficulty with the believability of the assault; I guess I had been enjoying the abstract nature of Rose's thoughts and felt slightly disappointed when they became so concrete. Similarly, the ending didn't make total sense to me. I think it could have made sense if Rose was alone and the experience was made more real by her getting lost in her thoughts, but even though Scorpius probably couldn't totally defend her on his own, I felt like it wouldn't have been quite so easy as it was portrayed. The final point is that some of Scorpius's dialogue sounded a little too formal for me, i.e., "I am off to Divination" ("I'm off") and "I hate those words" ("I hate it when you say that").

Overall, I thought the flow of this was nice, and I didn't spot any major technical errors, so I think you're good on that front. I was also really impressed with your imagery, especially since with stream of consciousness you have to just write what comes to you, and I think it would be tough to weave in so many beautiful metaphors with such natural grace. That's a talent I really covet.

Nicely done! I hope this review is helpful :)

-Amanda
Recenseo 2012

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by!

I'm so glad that you liked the disjointed stream of consciousness. That's basically everything I write (which might or might not pose a problem when I want to write OF). Oh, those aren't actually lyrics - they're my own writing, just something I created to put into the piece - sorry if that was confusing! Yes, I did try to put a different spin on Rose. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like her as a bookworm, but this story didn't call for something like that.

Thank you so much for pointing those things out! I've tweaked a few things, added some more description and that. I did keep (with a few tweaks) the sudden ending. I know that turned you off a little bit, but I've always been one for the shock factor - I just can't keep away from it!

I do hope you liked it! Imagery is my forte, unlike dialogue, so thank you! Thanks for pointing out those things - I think I've refined the chapter and it's quite good now.

Once again, thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

Shelby


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Review #48, by LyrisLovegood I Am Not Saved

20th May 2012:
Guess who it is? :)

It's no on exciting, really lol

Anyway I've read this piece before and still love the emotions you've conveyed in this one-shot. It has been written beautifully...I just have nothing else to say - maybe wish I could write like you? :p

I love the closeness of Rose and Scorpius. I also love the fact that it wasn't a love-hate relationship between them and was rather something more important. A touchy subject to most. I really like the way you've started the story.

Just amazing! Breathtaking! Wonderfully written!

I know I'm repeating myself haha

Happy Writing my dear!

Author's Response: Hello my dear! Of course it's exciting, it's you! xD

Thank you so much for reviewing even though you've already read this for me! You're wonderful! No, you don't wish you could write like me! You are a great writer!

I'm really glad you like their closeness. I really don't like the idea of the whole love/hate thing between the two of them. I wanted it to be something deeper, a true friendship.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!


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Review #49, by MissOneShot I Am Not Saved

20th May 2012:
Hello Snoopy here for a review swap. As there was so much choice on your page I went for the one with the least amount of love on it.

The first thing I must say is, this is AMAZING! I loved every second of it and as you praised my description I feel you have the same skill. The description was beautiful and added an extra zing that pulled everything together nicely.

I also loved the characterization of Rose, I felt all that emotion all at once and it was just perfect. I could also feel how Scorpius wanted to protect her and how Rose told him to step aside. It was just all so cute, I need a boyfriend like Scorpius; people always make him so protective. I love people who do that and you filled my requirements for my canon Scorp.

I have nothing bad to point out, description was perfect, writing was perfect, every sentence was perfect. All in all everything about this One-Shot was absolutely perfect. If it were possible to marry a story, I would probably find myself marrying this one. ÖThat was an awkward thing to say xD Well once again good job and please, please, please write more just like it!

Vicky x

Author's Response: Hello my dear! Thank you for stopping by! Yes, I just posted this one a few days ago, so it hasn't been loved on very much!

Oh, wow, thank you! I'm glad you liked my description! That's my strongest asset as a writer, always has been. I try to cultivate it every chance I get with pieces like this.

I'm glad you liked her! I wanted to convey her vulnerability and yet the strength that keeps her together, you know? Oh, I do love Scorpius. I've always felt like Draco would have raised him far differently from the way Lucius raised him. He would have had compassion, at least, in my opinion. Haha, I need a boyfriend like Scorpius too - that's in my fantasy world! :P

That's the best compliment I've ever received! If you'd marry my story, then that means I've done a pretty good job! Haha, I didn't think it was awkward, I think it was awesome! xD

After this review, I plan to continue this sort of style! I've been playing around with it and I'm really happy you enjoyed it!

Thank you so, so much! I really appreciate your fabulous review!

Shelby


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Review #50, by maskedmuggle I Am Not Saved

20th May 2012:
Wow that was really something! I really loved how strongly you managed to convey the plot, and the style of this really suited it. The beginning had some beautiful lines - it really left me wondering what was happening, but at the end everything all made sense. Your Rose and Scorpius are so sweet, they same like such a good pair.

Basically, the way you wrote this was amazing, and it really fitted with the plot - I think this is a really great one-shot, you managed to convey so much in this, especially with Rose's thoughts and emotions :) Brilliant writing~

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I'm glad you liked some of my lines - they're just very unconscious and kind of just end up on the paper! Even though this is short, I wanted to convey a good friendship between the two, so I'm glad you liked them!

Aww, thank you so much! Your review just really made my day! I hope you enjoyed my little piece! Thanks again! :)

Shelby


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