Reading Reviews for etc. etc. (and life goes on)
962 Reviews Found

Review #26, by TumTum Who Wears the Horns?

17th August 2014:
Oookaaay... at first I didn't like Clemence because I hate gossip mags - I think they're selfish and cruel... but all these faults and hypocrisies have been pointed out by Albus. And I was rooting for Albus but Clemence has grown on me and Albus is decidedly... I don't want to say psychopathic - that's going a bit far but my gosh he is creepy. Doesn't he have better things to do? What's his fascination with this? It seems like the both of them are rather more ambitious and manipulative than moral and compassionate.

Pretty much everyone in that last scene seriously lacks some perspective even Clemence with her crazy thing about getting published - did she seriously not expect there to be people like "Appy" in the world that she would have to compete with?

That said I liked what you did with Dom - in spite of the crazy size of her ego, she is still very sympathetic.

Author's Response: (continued from response in ch. 13)

But I think they're manipulating each other less than you think. Much of what they say is truthful, but they may not necessarily recognize their own hypocrisy or it can also be manipulative or biased. What you say about Clemence's dishonesty with herself is completely on point--she knows she's a hypocrite but refuses to look deeply into it. She makes excuses for her own behavior and is defensive when it begins to affect her. That's the key: she's the narrator telling you all these things you should believe, all these things about herself and others, but she herself a hypocrite. It should make you think twice about the things she says, about her flaws that she would never admit or even know about, but is apparent to us readers.

I think Clemence's fallibility with Albus is simply that he's interesting to her, and there are so few things that surprise her like he has. She's not looking for love or someone who cares about her; she's not looking for anyone at all. But he's there and he's interesting, so she goes along with the ride. She doesn't pursue him; she is very much an opportunist. She doesn't instigate--she wouldn't kiss him first--but she lets things happen to her. It makes her feel like it removes the blame from her if something goes wrong, i.e. if Albus is the one to cross the line, then it is his fault. Essentially: she doesn't choose Albus, but he chooses her and she lets him choose her.

Appy is bit of a caricature. I think the change in her characterization is too slapdash overall, but it's also intentional. The key is that Clemence has zero respect for Appy and that colors everything she says about her. She thinks Appy is an idiot, so she doesn't respect Appy enough to be straightforward. She underestimates Appy at every single step, but looking at the facts, Appy is incredibly savvy and ruthless in her own way, and succeeds when Clemence cannot.Similarly, for the Quirkers, Clemence and Albus *do* dehumanize them. That's the point of it. It's terrible but it's also how those in power often treat their people, how marketing and the media works. The masses are just such: easily manipulated and a means of profit.

(I wrote an in--depth response to another review I received that had similar concerns to yours that might interest you, and explains the satirical elements more. You can find it on my tumblr on the etc. etc. (and life goes on) tag, which you can find on my writing page. It's called "a super--long response on etc, gender roles, and female characters")

I know that there are places where the intent is lost, which is totally on me, but I have a feeling this fic just might not be to your taste as well. It is a fic that can make people feel uncomfortable. It's full of characters who can be hard to relate to. It features an unhealthy relationship. I'm surprised it's as well--liked as it is (but I know it's also because many read this fic like a straight romance without the satire, which is baffling and unsurprising and sort of amusing all at once). Looking at the things you like, you'd probably like my other next gen novel And Capers Ensue a lot more, which centers around friendships and facing one's mistakes and shortcomings and is pretty much the opposite of this fic in tone and theme. If you do want to stick with etc., people usually like the fic a lot more after chapter 15 when things start crashing and burning, and Clemence can't hide behind her narration any longer. Again, I really appreciate your comments, especially because I'm always concerned if people are concerned, so don't worry about discouragement. Thank you for taking the time to write this all out!

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Review #27, by TumTum Kiss Me Twice, Shame On Me

16th August 2014:
I love that line about the Cheshire smirk ^o^

Author's Response: Thanks! :) One of my favorites too!

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Review #28, by kassandra466 Manic Panic Mondays

15th August 2014:
That was fabulous. Kinda like the Hogwarts gossip girl.

Author's Response: Thanks! I've never watched/read Gossip Girl, but I'm glad you like it!

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Review #29, by TumTum Chess for Three

15th August 2014:
I find it a little irritating that the gossip gets sent to the girls... as though boys weren't awful gossips too? So far I love this. I find that I love to hate Clemence but I kinds hope she either realises why her actions are so bad (if she doesn't already - maybe she doesn't care?) and changes the way she acts or she gets what's coming to her. I'm rooting for Al at the moment.

Author's Response: There is lots of gendered politics in this fic, though in the beginning, it was more of following convention with the stories that featured gossip and cliques. It's not that boys don't gossip--in Clemence's distribution model, they'll simply get it secondhand, which is in line with the gendered power structure in this version of Hogwarts.

I'm glad you like the fic! It is never as simple as people learning lessons or getting what they should :'D but I do hope you like the outcomes!

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Review #30, by Renee V-Day D-Day

9th August 2014:
reread for the fifth (not even joking, actually the fifth) time while waiting for the update. Might die from the pain of waiting. LOVE the story though.

Author's Response: Aw, sorry you've been waiting so long; I actually do feel terrible D: Thank you for still reading!

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Review #31, by larissa_allstar V-Day D-Day

18th July 2014:
So this is the story I chose to read next by you c: It definitely is different from your other fics I've read, but I still do quite enjoy it. It's pretty cool to see how versatile your writing style is. Like in Game you had a more fluffy style, while this one is more humorous and at times satirical. I mean those Quirkers are insane! Haha.

Speaking of the quirkers- wow. Lol I actually haven't read a next gen fic before (yeah, I really only have read a ton of marauders lol) and I actually feel like your take on Hogwarts life could be accurate. I can actually seem some boy obsessed group taking form and placing "The Boy who Lived" sons on a HUGE pedestal. Lol I do know it's meant to be satire but I could actually see it going down. The whole team shirts made me laugh too, brought back memories of the whole Team Jacob and Team Edward thing, a la Twilight.

Your OC is so complex and I'm in love. She definitely has faults, and I can see how some readers wouldn't like her. Heck, I didn't even like her in the beginning. However as this story continued on my love for Clemence grew and grew. Really seeing all of these walls she puts up slowly coming down is so amazing to read. Yes, there's been times when I wanted to shake her however there's moments where I feel akin and understanding of Clemence. Her reactions to Albus and her growing confusion makes sense.

She's also just so incredibly driven and ambitious that it tends to lead to not so wise choices, it's like she has blinders on and is just so focused on her goal which I do find quite admirable. Her complete adoration for writing (which is something I definitely share) is something I can also connect with :)

You write Albus in a very interesting way! I like it a lot (: You develop him very well and don't make him a Gary Stu (male mary sue lol) which I feel like is what his character would get a lot of times. Or, he'd just be the shy/smart one. You write him as somebody more complex, with ulterior motives and give him a true personality. Though he's admitted to loving Clemence (although drunkenly) I appreciate how this deceleration hasn't turned him into a some huge romantic. You do however give him real emotions, such as the jealously seen in this chapter. I'm curious to see how his relationship will continue to grow, change and most likely self destruct numerous times because mistakes and bad choices are a common theme in this story.

As for side characters, I find them all quite intriguing. The Rose and Dom conflict does seem quite deep seated and I can see why that conflict is there. I can only imagine how it would feel to be looked down upon while somebody like your cousin is revered. Then you have "Team Dom" and "Team Rose" and it's obvious that nobody is trying to change this conflict. I feel like this relationship is one of the most interesting ones in this story. Dom and Rose appear to have somewhat a better understanding of eachother now due to the crazy Quirkers though. Throw in Scorpius to the mix and things get more convoluted. In this chapter he does have his big reveal, which must have been very scary however I think a weight has been lifted from his shoulders.

Appy, oh Appy. Though she's presented in a extremely negative light in this novel and undeniably is a little loony, I actually want her to be happy. Her character is one that's fueled on by her hope, which is then fueled by the support of her Quirkers. Her life has always seemed to go the way she wanted, I mean she has publishing deal! Now with Clemence her worldview is drastically changing and things don't seem so simple and easy anymore. Her Quirker group that she leans on for support seems to be falling. Of course Appy is acting out at Clemence. It's a desperate attempt to maintain order and the life she's always hoped would stay the same.

Can't wait to see more brilliant character development, satirical humor and the growing relationship/partnership/whatever that's between Albus and Clemence. I'm getting little bits of vibes that there's a little bit of something going on with Pickett and Clemence. I can definitely see that their conversation in the next chapter would be incredibly awkward.

Author's Response: Sorry it took so long to respond! I’m so so glad you like this fic :) And that you liked it even though it’s your first foray into next gen! Much of the story also satirizes next-gen story conventions, though I’ve found that many of those are also teen romance conventions--and of course, the frenzy is pure Twilight/fandom madness.

What I love about Clemence is that she doesn’t want to be liked. She doesn’t want your sympathy, your good word, she doesn’t want /anything/ from the world or so she says, and that’s fearfully admirable and pitiful at the same time. It’s a strange kind of ambition that she has; she wants to get what she feels like she deserves (and what Appy does not), but to voice that would be utterly hypocritical.

And what I love about Albus is that he’s this romantic but his love is selfish. It isn’t pure or something that’s framed as fixing Clemence; rather it’s something that taints him. He never has to sacrifice as much as anyone else in this fic, and he doesn’t really see the consequences of his “good intentions.” At the same time, he sees the truths that Clemence does not. They do that for each other.

Dom and Rose, I would have loved to expand on them more. They’re the true ruthless ones of the story, more Clemence-like than Clemence claims to be. For them, it really is ambition and power and being right, where Clemence wouldn’t care less in the end.

I love it when people like Appy! I love writing her, and I write her like she’s the heroine of her own nutty story. She’s spoiled and obsessive, but she isn’t stupid ;)

Thank you so much! There’s only a little more of the story, but after I’m done, I’m adapting it into an original story.

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Review #32, by s.w V-Day D-Day

16th July 2014:
Please please update! You worked so hard on this story so please finish it xx Amazingly written, hilarious, adorable and I want more!! You updated two days ago but haven't had a new chapter since February, so here's hoping you update us a new chapter. I. Love. This. Especially as I can relate to Clemence - sans the adorable hot guy (the Albus) in my life lol. But go you! Can't wait for the next chapter update, here's hoping it comes x

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm working on the new chapter now. I hope you won't have to wait too long!

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Review #33, by s.w Chess for Three

16th July 2014:

Author's Response: GREAT HUMAN BEING.

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Review #34, by s.w Manic Panic Mondays

16th July 2014:
I love Ellen Page and how you used her as Clemence. It just makes the story even better, not to mention I want to be a journalist! Ellen Page + journalism + Next Gen fan fiction = LIFE. Hello Wednesday night x

Author's Response: Thank you! ^__^ I was in newspaper staff for awhile, so I channeled a lot of that into the first chapters of this story.

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Review #35, by zealousVisionary Manic Panic Mondays

9th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

I'm really liking this story so far! You've got a great, clever MC- I love that she's Rita Skeeter's great niece, that's a really interesting twist. The snappy dialogue is awesome as well.

A Hogwarts newspaper (especially one that publishes gossip) is a unique premise as well, and I'm liking the execution so far. I can say that I laughed out loud a few times- some of those lines were hilarious. (I loved "Just because we report rubbish doesn't mean we need to write like it.")

All in all, it's great to read such a clever, funny story- I'll definitely be continuing this one!

Author's Response: Thanks! :) Baha I never thought the gossip business was particularly unique, but I did hope to produce something unique out of it. I hope you read more!

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Review #36, by SketchCyanide May I Have This Duel?

8th July 2014:
- House Cup 2014 Review -
Educational Decree #3

Can I just, wow! That duel was amazing! I read a few(and written a few) that have come off too wooden, but that was beautiful!

Albus and Clemence's conversations make me laugh, they seem to be so different, yet at the same time...quite similar. You know what they say about opposites?

I'm becoming more and more a fan of Albus/OC - I'll be honest, I usually ship James/OC, but I like Al in this because he's not the usual nerdy Slytherin with glasses xD

I know it's only chapter 3 but I want them together so bad now! All that sexual tension! Phew!

-- Jez

Author's Response: The duel was a lot of fun to write! And funny that you say they're quite similar ;) Perhaps you're onto something.

I had my own headcanons of Albus and James before I stepped into HP fandom, so I'm not influenced by other next gen stories. I'm glad you like my Al! ^__^

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Review #37, by SketchCyanide Chess for Three

8th July 2014:
- House Cup 2014 Review -
Educational Decree #3

Hi again!

I love this, and I'm loving Clemence more and more :P
Nice Katy Perry reference there, I was actually listening to Roar as I was reading this(different song, but still)
Albus is great and the conversation between Clemence, him and Hugo made me laugh; now I REALLY want to know if he's got a girl - and who she is of course. Obviously Clemence Fitzgerald will get to the bottom of it (I assume?)

I loved the descriptions of the different cliques in Hogwarts, especially important for a journalist to know/understand :D

Love your writing style, it's a great story :P

-- Jez

Author's Response: Teehee, the Katy Perry reference feels so dated now. Glad it's still getting kudos.

Every school setting needs a clarification of the cliques, obv. Clemence essentially categorizes them by how vocal they are 8D

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Review #38, by Beeezie Manic Panic Mondays

6th July 2014:
Hey, I'm here to review for Ravenclaw for the House Cup!

I think I read this awhile ago - maybe for the Dobbys or the Golden Snitches? - and I remember loving it then, so I'm happy to have the excuse to come back and review it now. :)

I have not stopped loving this story since I last read it. If anything, I'm enjoying it even more. I love this exploration of school newspapers - both the concept and the dialogue cracked me up, especially as someone who loves (loves, loves) grammar.

I remember this getting into some really interesting Weasley family dynamics, which I'm already seeing signs of with the mention of Rose, and I'm really looking forward to exploring them in future chapters. Adding this to my 'to read' list, and hopefully I'll get through a lot of it for this event. :P

Amazing job. This is my kind of humor.

Author's Response: Ah--I'm glad you're back! :)

The irony (double ironic if I'm using irony wrong) is that I'm quite terrible with grammar, and I knew making that joke would set a bar on Clemence's inner narrative. Wouldn't it be silly if she thought ungrammatically?

Hope you have time to finish this at some point! The early chapters are pretty rough at the moment, but I hope I have time to go over them soon.

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Review #39, by Veritaserum27 Chess for Three

6th July 2014:
Hello again!

Loved this chapter. I seriously started singing "Baby You're a Firebolt" in my head! I am really hating Clemence right now. She knows how to push everyone's buttons - especially Albus's. Usually, I find a way to root for the main character, but I don't see anything redeeming about Clemence just yet - other than I find her quick wit entertaining. She seems to know how to get what she wants - I wonder what would happen if someone turns the tables on her? I'm off to find out what happens next! Thanks for a great story!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: It always seems the case that people either love or hate Clemence upon first meeting. It's so entertaining watching the ones who don't, because I'm curious about what keeps them reading. Certainly many are waiting for her comeuppance! I love writing Clemence because she doesn't want to be rooted for. She wants to be irredeemable. But she also has a record of not getting what she wants ;)

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Review #40, by Leonore Manic Panic Mondays

6th July 2014:

Straight away, you've got a great MC. This sums her up pretty nicely: "Just because we report rubbish doesn't mean we need to write like it." Ambition, and common sense. She may not admire the magazine, but she's not going to cut corners or mess around with it. It's her project, she's taking it seriously.

I also love this: "...for those unwilling, a double-chocolate cauldron cake thrust under their nose does wonders."

I'm trying to think of CC because HC review requirement and struggling a lot. It's so good! Um, so lets be ridiculously nitpicky: "You don't really want to know if your friendships are stronger than your stomach." This sounds like a threat, but the previous sentence said that the method of using a chocolate cake worked wonders so apparently all of the stomachs are stronger than friendships and people all end up knowing. Um, don't know if that makes sense, hope so.

Beautiful writing style, lovely original plot. Gorgeous characterisation. 10/10!

~ Leo xx

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Antics like the first chapter are super nostalgic for me, because this story stops being about the newspaper very quickly, but I'm former newspaper staff and I miss the processes and team banter. The nitpicking, distribution, due dates that are never met!

Teehee, I'll take the nitpick for your HC requirement. I'm forever editing this story, though I'm stopping soon since I'm doing an OF rewrite.

Thank you! ^__^

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Review #41, by Ravenclaw333 V-Day D-Day

6th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review!

So I've been following this story for a long time (I remember reading it back when you first posted it, and I've reread it since then) and I don't think words could really do this story justice - it's gloriously written, with perfect characterisation and just the right amount of snark and sarcasm, and the way you've built Hogwarts as a hotbed of scandal and warring organisations and gossip is inspired, especially using Clemence as the disillusioned and cynical narrator at the midst of it all, trying to remain neutral and unaffected and failing. Long story short, this is one of my favourite stories on the archive and has been since about 2011, so major kudos.

This chapter in particular was incredible - it kept me guessing the whole time - the way Clemence swung from hesitation to certainty about the love potion, the brawl in Puddifoot's (I can't get over that, I really can't. It was beautifully done) and Scorpius's very public outing - everything was so unexpected and characteristic of the narrative rollercoaster you have this story on. I feel like I'm almost too invested in the story to comment much on your writing, except that you're a veritable master of this genre and these characters, your comedic timing is impeccable, and the balance of humour and depth of insight into Clemence in particular is perfect. 10/10, brilliant job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :3 I'm glad I still have long-time readers. This story's changed so much since then, gone through a crazy rollercoaster of plots because I kept wanting to write different things, that I'm surprised anyone made sense of it. This fic is full of so many things I love--perhaps too many things I love. I love that people love Clemence and it's weird to think how much of myself is in her, and how cathartic it has been to write her. I can't believe this story is almost over, but I get to write it all over again in an original draft, where finally all of this great mess makes sense 8D hopefully I'll find a place for the brawls and mobs and public declarations! It wouldn't feel like etc without it.

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Review #42, by Veritaserum27 Manic Panic Mondays

6th July 2014:

This is such a great story. I really like the premise of Clemence being Rita Skeeter's great niece. She seems to be just like her - except with a nasty teenage twist. She's got a job to do - spread gossip and that is precisely what she is going to do!

And how many times do I have to tell you, 'ironic' doesn't mean what you think it means.

This made me laugh out loud! I think it is because so many people misuse that word - but you would think someone in the business of writing stories would know the actual meaning!

Great start!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: It's kind of funny that I based a character off Skeeter considering how much I hated Skeeter when I read the books, but I guess when I'm the one who gets to write her, it's so much fun. I get why JKR came back to the HP world with an article in Skeeter's voice 8D exaggerations abound.

Thank you!

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Review #43, by SketchCyanide Manic Panic Mondays

6th July 2014:
- House Cup 2014 Review -

First of all, can I just say how much I absolutely love Clemence; she appears smart, very pro-active and not likely to be knocked down easily. Probably a woman I'd like to keep on my side :P She is honestly one of the best OC's I have read recently, well thought out and not at all Mary-Sue.

I love the idea of a Hogwarts newspaper, Clemence seems quite serious about it - I see a top journalism career in her future - even if the others don't care about punctuation(I would've hexed the guy for being too blas about it)

This was so well written, and I was pretty much hooked by the second line. It flows really well and it's easy to read, so obviously I'm wanting more! Especially if Al has some mystery girlfriend... ;)

I'll keep reading, and maybe see you next chapter!

-- Jez

Author's Response: Thank you! Clemence has become an incredibly important OC to me, and I hope you like her (or dislike her--she's wouldn't mind either way) in the chapters to come :)

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Review #44, by Roisin Things Potter Can Do with a Vivid Imagination

26th June 2014:
I'll give you a mini-campaign info dump, and you can sift out any shiny bits you like:
Campaigns are composed of the candidate, the consultant (if you have a sleazy candidate, the consultant is usually where a huge amount of sleaze comes from), the campaign manager, the deputy campaign manager, the campaign coordinator, the field organizers, interns, and volunteers. There is no such thing as a deputy field organizer--that title is basically "assistant to the regional manager." A way to make annoying interns/volunteers feel special (only sleazy campaigns use such titles).

You absolutely CAN have a club, in the form of campus "young dems"/"young republicans." It's not uncommon for high school students to campaign--usually working as volunteers, interns, or "deputy FOs", as mentioned.

Volunteers are usually responsible for:
Outreach--with the FOs, volunteers and interns phone bank, do door knocking, and try and get up Merchant Signs (for shop windows). Lawn signs DO NOT win elections, and are considered an amateur move.
Data entry--the most mind-numbing and menial job is scanning voter data (with a bar code scanner) and inputting the data into VAN (the "voter activation network"--used by all campaigns). This process involves a lot of repetitive beeping.
Lit-dropping--leaving lit on doorsteps, hanging it on doorknobs, and hand-sticking thousands of stickers explaining a person's polling place to thousands of pieces of lit. It's illegal to drop lit directly into someones letterbox.

Interns can have more specific jobs, like "data intern" (they "cut turf"--the area where volunteers door-knock--and generate call/walk lists). Social Media intern is what it sounds, trying to think of fun ways to have a social media presence (usually to a very lame effect, like parents Facebook); they also may have access to the candidate's social media pages and update the content. Policy interns draft statements about where a candidate stands on issues, and do lots of research (they may be involved on debate prep).

Some people work professionally on campaigns, and they travel the country doing election after election. For these people, it's ok to say "the candidate" or "my candidate." For interns/volunteers, it's kinda self-aggrandizing to say that.

Polling data is gathered by professional pollsters, and governs much of campaign decisions.

As of this year, California has an open primary system. All the candidates face off, and there is a primary in June. Then, the top two candidates go to the general election in November. This means you can end up with two dems, two republicans, two greens, what have you. Not necessarily a republican vs. a democrat. In some areas, this means that general elections are ostensibly splitting hairs between two nearly identical candidates.

Over the course of a campaign, the candidate will try to gain endorsements (nurses, firefighters, religious leaders, business interests, and newspapers/magazines), speak publicly at events, attend fundraisers, and have debates against the other candidate.

In California, a lot of the sleazy big-money lobbying interests come from real estate development (so they can expedite permits, etc) and big business corporations (who hope the elected official will eliminate their payroll tax or whatever). These interests often create slush funds designed to dispense negative lit about their opponent, or they donate to PACs.

I haven't seen House of Cards so I can't vouch for it, but West Wing is crazy accurate (the last season is most relevant). And there's a tumblr, campaignsick, that hit the nail on the head--it's more about progressive campaigns, but since all camps use the same language and set-up, it's transferrable enough.

So that's probably way more than enough info for you! Don't be shy if you have any fact-check style questions--anything to make the OF a reality!

Author's Response: Welp, just learned a bunch of new things about the upcoming elections. Definitely keeping a tab on this review :) If you have anything to add or amend in the future, you can PM me on the forums, same username (best not to clutter reviews with a back and forth), but you've already given me a great foundation for any research I might need to do, like crazy amazing! Thank you so much for this!

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Review #45, by Exterminate Kiss Me Twice, Shame On Me

20th June 2014:
I salute you, Madam. Now, which madam I'm saluting: you, Clem, or Apps,- hell, throw in Dom and Rose for the fun of it-- that's the question.

Am I the only one who finds that Quirkers vaguely resemble 1D fans?


Author's Response: Apps, now she sounds like something downloadable. Terrifying.

Twilight was the rabid fangirling I witnessed; 1D is just a little out of era. But any fangirling will do. Go Beatles if you want to go oldie! Mobs are mobs: very scary.

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Review #46, by Roisin May I Have This Duel?

16th June 2014:

And I'm super delighted to hear that you're so far along in the details of the adaptation!

I may still continue reviews, but they'll be shorter, and I'll try to shift the focus to be most valuable (as in, more general reviews, impressions, but in a way that is thoughtful of the different setting of the OF). And don't worry about leaving really detailed replies--my reviews may largely be for my own amusement, but they are still designed to be for your benefit.

First note, and this isn't necessarily specific to this chapter: we all love Pickett. BUT, while the response to him has been good, I'd caution against fulfilling our interest in him to much. Part of his popularity is that we're left wanting, and that's a good thing (which isn't to say don't develop him more or whatever).

Also on Pickett, I thought he was gay for a while. I read him as being a little camp ("enigma boy" comment). I like that he's camp, and I definitely like the way he interacts with Scorp in the lake scene (not all like "don't touch me, dude"--it's a good example for young people).

And a really general comment: I hope you keep a lot of the politics here, and given OF!Albus' backstory, I hope there's even more. And, don't worry about toning down the "scenes of a sexual nature." (I usually can't help but find them inherently tacky in fanfiction, but yours was impressively tasteful).

My friend had a lot of success publishing his Coming of Age novel through Soft Skull Press--and they didn't get too fussy about some really heavy subject matter, and very overtly politically liberal sentiments.

Also, Howard Dunne books has put out work adapted from serialized web novels, so they might be something to look into (it's early days now, but good to have in the back of your head). And I'm prety sure Random House accepts unsolicited manuscripts (my friend worked as a reader there).

Anyway, I DO know that what sets debut authors apart, and makes the difference between getting published and not getting published, is how polished the manuscript is. So, if moving forward, you have any interest in a beta-editing type thing, feel free to PM me. (To TOTALLY toot my own horn, I get paid to write and edit copy.)

ALSO! I'm working on campaign for CA state @ssembly right now, so I can fact check any details about campaigning, or, if you're interested, offer a lot of info about what volunteers (like OF!Appy) generally do, how campaigns generally function, etc.

In closing, it should be abundantly clear that I want your OF to succeed! I hope that, if nothing else, this review encourages you to keep at it (gurl)!


Author's Response: WOOO! Well, you might spur me to write 8D And give me ideas for stuff I never considered.

I think Pickett's an easy character to like. He's the comic relief, has correct observations, and generally makes the decisions that the reader would want him to make; hating Pickett might as well be hating a puppy in a cup. What I like about Pickett is how he's a bit of a dark horse. He introduced as Clemence's goofy newsie friend, but he's really her /best friend/ and the healthiest relationship Clemence has by a longshot. And there's a mystery to that. Do they recognize how close they are? What do they mean to each other? I'm also very excited to explore the parallels between Dom/Pickett and Clemence/Al.

I see Pickett's sexuality as being pretty open! He's affectionate to everyone, super touchy himself, and checks everyone out indiscriminately. He'd be like 'love and hugs' all the time if it were up to him. Though he's been in love with only women so far, I think he's at least physically attracted to both genders.

Baha, the site rules limited the risque scenes for the better; I had to get extra creative with the sex. It's easier to make it more risque than less ;)

Politics are going to be my weakest area. I feel like a person who pretends to know some politics but really hasn't read or followed anything political. I'm making do from my high school knowledge of government/history. Maybe I'll watch political dramas—I did want to watch House of Cards. I would LOVE to hear any interesting stories or misconceptions about campaigns and volunteering. I'm not sure if campaign clubs on schools are common at all or whether they're allowed? I just assume something like that exists—like a Democrat or Republican club. Maybe I'll get inspiration from this year's congressional elections. I have a lot of research ahead of me 8D

I have betas already (friends, writer friends, my sister also writes professionally—and all of them have better grammar than I do) but thanks for the offer! I wouldn't dream of submitting a less than polished manuscript. Would be awful to get rejected for poor tense choices.

Thank you so much for your reviews! I super appreciate them, validates my decision somewhat :'D Other people being excited makes me excited!

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Review #47, by Roisin Chess for Three

11th June 2014:
Ok, I lied. I'm going to do the next OF adaptation-oriented review right away! (I'm not sure I remembered to put my name last time). Just so you know, I'm nit-picking because overall, I think the writing in this story is, by-and-large, STELLAR. (And I want to encourage you to follow through with your OF).

"Caroline Escot has been out to kill me for the seventeenth time after last week's issue," this sentence is a little confusing. I think there's a grammar or temporal error.

"She secretly adores..." might be better as "Secretly, she adores..."

"Anyway, moving on to the second category" is a weak transition. I'd recommend playing with the format of this section to strengthen it. "Anyway"s like that are ok, from time to time for a nice effect, but too many and the text will resemble Appy's manuscript. (Ouch! Sorry!)

"Finally and most importantly, there are the enigmas"--I love what you were trying to say here, and I got it, but objectively, it was confusingly written. They are more quiet and smart than plain janes? Then what are plain janes? Do they or don't they have reputations/brood? Try writing all about enigmas again from scratch, with totally different examples and language, as an exercise--since it's a critical point.

"He may as well be their poster boy." Here, "may as well be" is another example of unnecessary words. Succinct sentences have more impact (and overall, you're really good at varying sentence lengths and setting eloquent prose against sharp statements.)

And I do like this intro for Albus, but like I said in the last review, you need to introduce him earlier, since he'll be an OC in your OF. One idea: mention him when you describe the school and the variety of students for the first time. Like: "Albus Potter was the son of a something-or-other. His elder brother, now graduated and doing-something-or-other, had been the main staple of Witchy Business for x years because of reasons. Then there's Albus' best friend, Scorpius, son of someone-interesting-in-a-different-way." By pivoting from Albus to James, then Scorpius, it doesn't remove the impact of his enigma-intro.

And I just had a thought: what if Harry Potter was an A-list actor, and Albus had a small role in a film over the summer. And you could explain Albus' distaste of reporters if you explain some notorious run-in Actor!Harry had. And it would explain the fandom of QGA (who think he'll be the next big thing). I actually know a girl who went to Concord Academy (an alt-boarding and day school) with a pretty famous male teen actor, so it isn't a huge stretch. And your satire is nice, so I'd enjoy seeing you tear apart teen movies. (Ok, that suggestion veered dangerously close to being a fanfic of your fanfic).

"Apparently, he's also inherited the ability to sense approaching evil," is SUCH a great line in so many ways (Clemence characterizing herself as evil, to state the obvious, plus the canon tickle). I really wish there was a way for it to work in an OF, but I just can't see how.

"spinning it around so the back is against the table"--I took this as Clemence sitting backwards in the chair, which I like. But technically, you don't say that.

"I'm not a Hippogriff, sugar..."--obv this reference needs to be changed, but I like this bit. One thought though: I read a book once where internal monolog or thoughts like this was italicized, and it's a nice effect. With first person narration, distinguishing current thoughts with formatting can clarify for readers.

"While I try to steer clear of justification-by-stereotype"--I hope you keep this line or concept in some manifestation. Also, the whole paragraph is really great, pacing-wise. And the whole Scorp reveal was nicely plotted overall.

All the banter is also perfect, pacing-wise. But there's something going on here with Clemence and Russians, I remember it coming back again later. That could do to with a little explanation. Either more of it, or cut it.

"Cousins make the worst secret keepers." I like this line because, "Secret Keepers," but that doesn't work in an OF. Maybe "confidantes" (alliteration!) Then again, this might not be a cousin in the OF.

Also, you use the verb "grit" a lot. Remember to vary your word choices. Then again, maybe it just stands out to me because I haven't really seen it used much before.

And I hope you can find a way to keep the line "(it's a bit like trickle-down economics, except that it actually works)."

Ok, that's all for this chapter! I hope you're find these useful! I'm really looking forward to your OF. As I said last time, these characters are more dimensional than you see in a lot of media. You rarely(/never) see a female protagonist like Clemence, and I'm thrilled that Violet is going to be Asian. We need more arbitrary minorities in fiction--where not being straight, white, male, or being a woman in a "man's job" isn't the main focus of a character. (A la, Dumbledore gay)

I do recommend thinking critically about Dom, though, and Clemence's relationship with her. I mostly like how it goes, but revision and exposition would benefit your story a lot.

If you have any questions, or want me to clarify anything I said in this or the last review, go ahead and I'll answer them in the next review. If anything I criticize/suggest is redundant because you've planned it already, let me know and I'll shut up about it. And if you despise these reviews, simply don't respond and I'll stop.



Thank you very very much for this, and the detail you went in. Before you get into any more reviews, I have to say that most of the story's writing will change, especially the beginning. Writing etc spans… three years now, and the difference in not only my writing style, but my choice of scene and characters is massive. I didn't get a handle on the story until it hit double-digit chapters; I had notes but I made up most of the story as I went, even my later chapters. And I was also influenced by its medium—because etc is a chapter to chapter fanfiction, it has lots of cliffhangers, self-contained chapters, a larger focus on relationships, and occasional experimenting. I still appreciate everything you pointed out, because it isn't wrong, but I'm not taking much writing verbatim from etc into the OF. 

For me, for the OF, etc the fic serves mostly an introduction to the characters and conflicts. For a large part of etc, I'm still figuring out my characters. The language is wishy washy, I explore the same point two or three times, drop the ball on subplots, and so on. And it's why things like Rose vs Dom get introduced but don't get explored thoroughly—because I didn't know its place in the larger story until later, and other conflicts came up that I wanted to explore instead. But when I write OF, I'll have the knowledge of their etc counterparts. I know their fears, their true goals versus what Clemence knows, the way they'll react in different situations; I know how to weave in the rivalry earlier, so that they can have a more obvious influence on the school. And as much as I'd like to amend Dom's one-dimensionality and Appy's bat-craziness for current chapters, at some point, it just became too late for it—it'd mess up the pacing—so I write what I can, with what I set up. 

Some details about OF, since you seem curious: It is set in California, probably a private school. Albus is the son of a celebrity-turned-politician who is currently running for governor, which will serve endless fodder for snark and conflict 8D Appy is head of a campaign club for his father at the school, which is more fitting I think. And don't worry about the lake; you don't need a lake for a lake scene! Breaking into a private pool works just as well ;) Violet is middle-class, by the way, but she likes to say that she's lower-middle class. She's also not the only minority; OF!Pickett is Latino.

Thank you again, and feel free to send any more suggestions my way! 

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Review #48, by Roisin Manic Panic Mondays

11th June 2014:
So I've just read all of the chapters uploaded so far, and I couldn't help but think this would make a really great (and welcome) OF. YA needs more female characters like Clemence.

Then I stalked you a little bit, and found out you were doing JUST THAT. So because I encourage you to continue that project, I thought I'd offer you some feedback on each chapter for your adaptation. I'll upload the next review once this is answered, to manage both our time.

First off: I think a New England boarding school in the US is the easiest transition (since an OF won't have the Potter/Malfoy basis of knowledge, you could include familiar archetypes like "Celebrity Father" or "Senator Father"). That said, "Clemence is poor/everyone else is rich" is cliche, and "everyone is rich" is way too Gossip Girl.

I could also be a kind of alternative boarding school, a magnet school of sorts, where not everyone is wealthy. A main draw of Harry Potter was introducing the magical world of Hogwarts, so creating a school of your own design might accomplish a similar feat for new readers. Also, you wouldn't need to worry about getting details of an established boarding school world correct.

Either way, Upstate New York might be a good location, and I recommend researching Andover and Exeter (prominent American boarding schools).

If you set the story in California, you'll need to be way up in the NorCal boonies to have the tremendous Lake scene. And Deep NorCal would REQUIRE pot-use, and discussion of its cultivation/trafficking (trust me, I live very near, its the main economy up there).

As for the title of the fic--I'm really glad this name inspired you to write this story, because I loved reading it so much. But for whatever reason, I don't actually care for the title. I almost didn't read it on that basis alone, but got hooked pretty quickly (and I don't even usually like NextGen!). I would encourage you to consider other titles that capture the snark more readily. For me, "Etc. Etc. (Life Goes On)" didn't transmit that. "And Capers Ensue" is a great title, so I trust you to come up with something good.

Anyway, "Upon my entrance to (the charms clasroom,)" is a clunky way to start a sentence. (I know you'll probs rewrite the first chap anyway, but avoid clauses like that).

Language like "in ten-point serif font, small caps, kerned in fresh virgin ink" is great! Keep all that stuff. But other things like "that very important bit in ten-point..." or "saying [wc] who wrote the article" could be better. Use more succinct language in certain clauses allowing the more fanciful prose to shine.

Example: "Look closer. What it really says is, 'It's me'..." Could be: "Look closer. It really says, 'It's me'..."

I like the "does not mean what you think it means" reference, as well as Dom's obsession with layout. I could imagine her having a Supermodel mom in the OF, and the later bit about her being able to recognizing a decimal point font shift and hear bad design screaming was one of my favorite moments. It's our primary indication that she's more dimensional than just a Mean Girl (I like a Mean Girl implied to be both clever and a tad neurotic).

On another as-yet-introduced point: Appy is way too crazy for my liking later on. She needs a more developed carrot/stick than "Crazy will literally murder Clemence/Violet."

It would be easy to adapt "Witchy Business" to be a blog or app, but I would encourage you to keep it a print operation. Blogs and apps don't have staying power, which will date your OF over time. Print is pleasantly nostalgic, and I loved the part where Albus/Clemence get covered in ink stains after making out. Also, a blog or app is just asking for Gossip Girl comparisons, which doesn't your work justice.

For sentences like "...cake thrust under their nose does wonders," try paring to "..cake under their nose." It's all about varying number of words per clause.

"Your typical vapid Gryffs" would be very easy to turn into cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are too easy, and most high end boarding schools don't have them.

"My pocket flares with a warmth" probably won't be in the OF (because: magic), but as an example edit: "My pocket flares warm" is better, and "my pocket flares hot" has a nicer sound. "With a" is unnecessary.

As I said, try and keep as much of the grammar humor and wry commentary. Also, perhaps consider switching the narration to first person past tense. Present tense first person doesn't scream "serious literature!" and I think this story is smart enough that it deserves more than "*just* YA fiction."

I didn't immediately know Albus/Clemence would be the the arc of this story, so I encourage you to strive toward that--makes the build ups more fun. Show don't tell in his character intro (so no big chunk of "Albus Potter is the X boy in school"). The intro should bleed through a few paragraphs of activity. Maybe introduce him off-hand a little bit earlier in the chapter, in p@ssing, prior to the "he has a girlfriend" thing.

Maybe cut the number of named characters as well. Since we all know the nextgen kids, it's easier to keep them straight. Brand new characters will be harder for readers to keep trak of. Also, people who are related in this fic don't have to be family in your OF.

Also, you never say what time of year this story starts. Describe the changing weather, changing seasons,etc more.

Hope that was helpful! Other reviews won't be so terribly long, since I addressed overall points here. (I'm up to the word count, so gushing got cut--I do gush on this!). And I can answer any questions in later posts.

("clasroom," "p@ssing," "trak; silly bot thought correct spellings were naughty).

Author's Response: Responded to the other review!

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Review #49, by vanityfair V-Day D-Day

6th June 2014:
I loved this chapter especially the end when they kissed as it made me very happy. All your characters are very unique but I think my favourite is Dom as she's just very different. I can't wait for the next chapter, Maia xxx

Author's Response: Thank you! ^__^

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Review #50, by Maya V-Day D-Day

13th May 2014:
I still check every night to see if you've updated! Love this story & your talented writing.

Author's Response: Aw thank you! I've posted some news on my blog; there are going to be two chapters left and I'm going to try to update in June. I'm super busy these few months (end of school). You'll see me working on it on the weeks up until I update!

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