37 Reviews Found

Review #26, by LionsRule A Portrait Existence

23rd November 2011:
Hi there! LionsRule here from the forums with your requested review! ^_^

First of all, your plot was well-structured. It was short and sweet, which was great, as it really just provided a snapshot of Phineasí life. I think it was great that it was only one scene of his life that was written, because if it had gone one any longer, it would have made it boring. So you chose well with your word length.

Also, I really enjoyed the opening scene. It was familiar to HP readers because it was in the book, so it definitely stuck to the books. Yet you didnít simply copy it out of the books, but you did your own spin on it. It was really refreshing to see it from Phineasí point of view.

The tone was very consistent, and you also stuck to the characters well. You really got into Phineasí character and you stuck to his true personality, which helped make the story very believable. You also explained some of the backstory, so it was easy for readers to follow along.

I also loved your word choice. You picked great vocabulary to make the story sophisticated, yet you didnít make it confusing. I canít tell you how annoying it is to read a fan fiction where it seems as though the author looked up every single word in a thesaurus and changed it! Yet your word choice was sophisticated enough, but still easy to understand. That really helped your sentence flow and provided a good addition to the piece.

Now- these are just suggestions, so don't take these too harshly. I always look for any critique when I review, so here are a few areas where you might be able to improve.

There were a few parts of the story that dragged a bit, so it might be a good idea to revise your flow. Some sentences were a bit choppy, while others had a bit too much detail. For example, the conversation between Phineas and Derwent in the beginning, as well as when Dumbledore asks Phineas for a favor tends to drag a little bit. The ending is a bit rushed in comparison.

However, overall, I think this was an excellent piece. It was very refreshing to read, and it was also very original. You are a fantastic writer! Feel free to request again from me in the future for any other stories you might want reviewed. Keep up the amazing work! ^_^

Author's Response: Hey there!

Thanks for such a nice review :)

Glad you liked my plot, word length, opening scene, the tone, Phineas's character, the backstory and the vocabulary. I really appreciate your comments, and feel flattered :) Thank you!

Don't worry, I don't take the suggestions harshly :)

I'll see what I can do about the flow to make it less draggy when I do an edit, and about the sentences too - thanks for pointing that out.

I am happy to know it made a refreshing read and you think I'm "fantastic". That puts a nice big smile on my face ^_^

Thanks a lot once again!! I'll surely request for some other story of mine soon!

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Review #27, by foreverfleur A Portrait Existence

19th November 2011:
This is was a really cute and succinct piece. I have for some reason been reading a lot of 'portrait' pieces lately just out of coincidence and must say I enjoyed this one immensely.

I especially liked the background you gave to Peeves--what an under explored character (like Phineas himself), it was just a really nice spin. Imagining the dynamic between the two of them--what a pair they would have been!

The only thing I wish you had developed a bit more was the scene Phineas was peeking in on as he traveled from Hogwarts to Grimmauld Place--though clearly your focus was Phineas' character/perspective as a portrait, I think bringing Dumbledore and Sirius out a bit more (their characterizations/that plot line) might strengthen your characterization of Phineas, giving you a bit more to compare and contrast with.

But otherwise, great job! Makes me want to incorporate Phineas into my stories somehow!

Author's Response: Hi there!! Thank you so much for reading && reviewing :)

I am glad you found it cute and succinct :D That makes me smile. I'm happy to know you liked the Peeves' part I squeezed in there; I initially planned to write him as a separate one-shot (his life before a poltergeist) but then I didn't seem to be able to get it right, but the plot bunny just wouldn't go so I incorporated it here :D Glad you appreciated it!

About the building up of Sirius and Dumbledore, I see what you mean but I actually wrote this for a challenge and the sole focus was supposed to be on Phineas. However, If I do an edit in the future, I'll surely keep your comments in mind :D

Thanks once again for the review! I am thrilled that it inspired you to write Phineas too!!


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Review #28, by DracoFerret11 A Portrait Existence

18th November 2011:
Hey there! Me again! :D

Well! I really liked this story too! :D You're a wonderful writer, unsurprisingly.

I like the fact that this was written about a minor character, but you stayed true to his characterization and I really liked that. Well done!

The story was short, sweet, simple. Again. :] I like that. It made me smile. The one thing I might change is at the beginning where you say, "Mr. Dumbledore requires your assistance Phineas!" I think it should be "Professor Dumbledore," but I suppose that's personal opinion.

Random sidenote: I loved the line, "Since a young age he had been one to enjoy adventure and thrills, to bask in the glory of being correct and ordering around his minions." That was hilarious. :D

So, overall, very well-written. I liked it a lot. :D


Author's Response: Heyy!! thanks once again for your sweet review!

I am flattered you liked it so much and it made you smile :) I love writing about Minor characters so yeah :D ...

Haha glad you found that line hilarious. It took me a couple of shots before I think I got phineas right xD

thanks again!!! :)

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Review #29, by Roots in Water A Portrait Existence

28th September 2011:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

I really enjoyed how you started this story, using a scene that we've seen in the books and making it your own.

I think you characterized Phineas very well using what we've seen in the books. He was very proud of being a Black and so of course he wouldn't stoop to being someone else's servant, not when he was the master when he was alive. The line "his dignity was still intact and he desired to keep it so" is a great way to describe his character in a few words.

Why did you use "Nigellus" in the line "what persuaded Nigellus"? All the other times you wrote "Phineas" and I think to switch in that line (unless you had a deeper meaning behind the switch) is a little disconcerting. I thought for a moment that I was reading the same character until I remembered that "Nigellus" was his last name.

I liked the way you linked Peeves and Phineas together. It's nice to read little details that help to make the story come alive, the history to seem more real.

Your ending was really well done. It showed that this story did have some sort of "point" or "place" that it was going and it got there realistically. I do think that seeing Sirius all cooped up would change his mind- after all, as you said, at least he had freedom when he was alive. The last few words really pulled it together, showing one the famous Black pride.

Overall I enjoyed reading this story and I found it interesting. I've never read a story from the point of view of a portrait before and I think you really pulled it off. Thanks so much for requesting a review and I hope my comments are helpful!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful review!! I am glad you liked it! oh that was my slip I guess, I'll change it to Phineas :)

Thanks once again. I am thrilled that you found it in-character overall and interesting!

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Review #30, by TheGoldenKneazle A Portrait Existence

28th September 2011:
Hi there, it's me with your request :)

I loved this piece! The way you had not really put in much action but just had Phineas describing his lifestyle was really interesting to read, because I've really never thought about it before! I think the way you described each of the aspects of Phineas's life was very clever because they all had a proper reason behind it, and overall was described really well.

I love how you characterised Phineas too! He was such an old codger, and I love how you made him so scathing of the other portraits except for one - his views on headmasters and headmistresses were funny to see, and he was such a pureblood Slytherin snob the way you wrote him ;)

I love your idea of Peeves being a Headmaster's assisstant before he was a poltergeist too, and all of Phineas's noticing little details about Dumbledore. I thought the way you brought Dilys Derwent into it was very clever too!

But I loved the ending the most in this. It was so sad to see Sirius like that, and I love the conclusion Phineas gathered from it, because it was so true for both him and Sirius. I felt so sorry for both of them :(

Overall, I loved this! It's a really great descriptive and detail-rich piece which is so different from anything I've ever read :) Great job!

Author's Response: Hi TGK!

Oh I am absolutely flattered! This review totally made my day - possibly my week :P

Haha I am glad I got Phineas' characterization correct - I'm a slytherin snob myself so it wasn't too hard to write :P

I really appreciate such a sweet review hitting on all aspects. Thank you so much!!! I am glad you really liked this!!

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Review #31, by Princess of Paris A Portrait Existence

25th September 2011:
Hey princessOFparis' for your requested review!

First off, I think this was a very well written portrayal of Phineas, considering you don't usually write this sort of genre. I admit, I was not very enthusiastic about reading a non-romance fic, but you won me over. I especially like how you mixed sort of the canon personality of Phineas with some original thinking.

On your spelling and grammar, it is very good, though this line: "that being human and all fine" from your last paragraph is a little confusing. On your layout, remember to skip a line for your paragraphs, there were a few that were adjoined.

One thing I think could be improved is your concluding paragraph and scene. What you have currently seems a little forced. I would recommend bringing some closure to the last scene by emphasizing Phineas' walk back to Dumbledore's office. One way this can be accomplished is switching your concluding paragraph with this bit from your second-to-last paragraph:

"Shaking his head and still sniggering quietly, he made his way back to his Hogwarts portrait, ready to inform Albus Dumbledore that Sirius was indeed present in the house, though he didn't seem too happy about it."

Overall, I loved the characterization and the tone of this chapter. Phineas' attempt to justify his attitude is smashing. Good work! 9/10

Author's Response: Hi!!

Thank you for your review!! I am glad you found it good overall.

Your comments are very valuable and appreciated! I will edit it out right away! Thank you for the helpful review once again :)


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Review #32, by Phoenix_Flames A Portrait Existence

21st September 2011:
Hello there! I'm here with your review as requested. I am so very sorry for the long wait. I have been incredibly busy, and my queue has exploded and has been quite huge lately. So I'm sorry about that, but I'm finally here now!

And ah, I always love your pieces. I loved Charm Those Words, and I had been meaning to read more of your stuff, but I've just been busy, busy! So I'm so glad I got to read this, and it did not disappoint. I loved it so much.

This was such a creative piece! There aren't many stories out there about Phineas. Actually, I can't even think of one off the top of my head that I have read about him. So this was so clever and so unique. I love to see it when author's step out and do something new that we have yet to come across, and I thought you did it brilliantly.

I loved how you started the piece off. You set the scene up brilliantly with that descriptive introduction. It was a great way to captivate me and prepare me for the rest of the story.

I think you picked a perfect moment to showcase Phineas' character. It was clever to piece this little story into the HP series like this.

We got a great sense of his character as Dumbledore sent him on his task, his slight reluctance, and his irritation for living in a frame. I think you also described that perfectly; Phineas' confinement to a frame. That really must suck. With the way I think it, there's actually a different version of someone in there. They interact with other people in frames and people in the real world, therefore there must be some sort of knowledge or acknowledgement, and with that comes emotion So I find it perfectly in character that Phineas feels like this, and I love how you showed it.

This was a great piece, and in the end you really got his emotions across there. I could feel for Phineas.

Really, my only piece of advice is that it was a little bit dialogue heavy for a bit of the piece early on in the story. There's the exchange of dialogue maybe six or seven times without anything else really besides speaking verbs and it felt a little thick and weighed down in that section, but that's it. That's really all I noticed. It transitioned nicely into everything else, and I think you made up for that there at the end.

As such, the flow was great. It went nicely into each other, piece by piece. I could really feel like I was in the frame with him.

This was such a great piece, and really quite clever! I very much enjoyed it, and I'm glad you tried something different!

Thanks for requesting, and I hope this was somewhat useful to you! Thanks, love! :)

Author's Response: hey!!

Your reviews never cease to make me smile!! Thank you so much for such an amazing review! You hit on all details, and it really made my day. I am thrilled you liked it so much! If I ever do an edit, I will make sure to edit out the dialogue in the beginning! Thanks a lot for such an insightful review! I am so happy you liked it!

Thanks a lot!


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Review #33, by Salem A Portrait Existence

20th September 2011:
Agnes here with your review!

Ohhh yes! A portrait piece! A very interesting idea. You seem to have done an interesting take on this challenge!

I think it was really interesting how you wrote it from the perspective of a portrait, and also managed to give him a level of depth that would exist as if he were still alive, as a real person. This is even further emphasized when he expresses his sentiments towards being a portrait--I really liked that part, because, you know in the books we don't really get to hear about their feelings on the matter. And I mean, do they even have a choice before they're turned into magical portraits? Or are they kind of forced into it? I've always wondered.

His assistant Peeves--oh I like that part, it got me thinking. So you're saying here that Peeves was Phineas' assistant while they were alive? I'd never thought much about where Peeves may have been before he became a poltergeist...

Something else I liked was how Phineas compared his boring portrait existence with both Peeve's and Sirius'--somehow that just had a real impact on me. Probably because someone so arrogant learned to accept his uneventful life instead of wishing it was something more.

Overall, I think this was just brilliant and a very intriguing read.

Author's Response: hey!

Thanks so much for your in-depth review! I am thrilled you found it an intriguing read and it gave you something to ponder over :D

I am really happy you liked it overall, and touched upon various aspects of my little story! This review totally made my day!! I was so afraid it hadn't turned out quite well, but I'm glad you proved me wrong - I really wanted to explore his character and I'm glad I seem to have pulled it off fine!

Thanks once again!


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Review #34, by academica A Portrait Existence

19th September 2011:
Hi there! I have arrived at last with your review! :)

So this was a pretty unique challenge, and you've done a good job responding to it. I really liked your characterization of Phineas, as he seemed just as haughty and self-serving as a Black is expected to be. It was interesting to reflect back on Phineas's life in his "glory" days as a Headmaster. I also thought the parallel between him and Sirius, who were both imprisoned in different ways, was an interesting idea.

Your phrasing is a little awkward, I must admit. Sometimes I feel like you add in too many words to a sentence or you go the 'round about way of talking about something, like, "Edgy who was currently quite uninterested to partake...". That might sound a little less cluttered if you were to say it like, "Edgy, who sat in his chair with a glass of wine and refused to partake..." or something like that. It just feels as if your writing is a little too stiff, but that's just a matter of opinion. I also think it would have been nice to add in some more imagery and really set the scene, but again, just my opinion. I didn't see any technical errors, which is wonderful! :)

Nice work! Thanks for requesting, and as always, I hope my feedback is helpful to you :)


Author's Response: Hi there!

Thank you so much for reading and leaving a review :)

I am glad you found it a good job, and an interesting read.

Hmm, I value your comments and will keep that in mind when/if I do an edit!

Thanks once again! Your feedback is definitely helpful!


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Review #35, by Illuminate A Portrait Existence

19th September 2011:
Hi! Here for review tag!

This is a nice oneshot! We don't get that much of an insight into that of Phineas, and I think you portrayed his character well here! I really enjoyed it. Your description and prose was very enlightening and helped give an insight into the character. I thought your Dumbledore was good, too :) Good job!

Author's Response: Hey!

Thanks so much for the read and review :) I am happy you liked it and found it a good insight into Phineas. And I'm relieved I got Dumbledore right! Thanks once again!

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Review #36, by Remus A Portrait Existence

18th September 2011:
Hey! Its Perelandra from the forums here with your review!

I have to say, I've never read a Phineas Black story and I'm glad that it was yours that I read first. Its full of detail and the description of it is fantastic. I really don't know what else to say aside from the fact that this is very, VERY well written. Grammar seems fine, your dialogue is perfect...the one small thing is that your spacing between paragraphs sometimes is off. But that's about it.

I absolutely like how you compare his imprisonment to Sirius' and how, in reality, his was better since he could still travel compared to Sirius.

Keep writing!

Author's Response: hey!!

Thank you so much for your wonderful review!! It really made my day :)

I was worried I hadn't written it quite well but I'm glad you found it good! Thanks for pointing out the details. The spacing - I'll fix it, it does get messed up sometimes!!

Thanks a lot once again!

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Review #37, by Beeezie A Portrait Existence

15th September 2011:
It was definitely an okay read overall! (In fact, I would say that it's more than okay. :) )

This is a hard prompt (which is part of why this was not a challenge that I signed up for), and I think you did a good job with it. I felt like both Dumbledore and Phineas were very much in character, and I could completely understand why he found his life as a portrait to be so boring. Terrific job on that front.

There were only two things that I wasn't a huge fan of, and they're both really minor. Giving Peeves the backstory felt a little odd to me, because it got my mind sidetracked on "is that a poltergeist comes into existence?" and wondering about Peeves's character evolution. I'm totally guilty of the same thing all the time, but it was a bit distracting to me because it took my focus off Phineas.

The other thing (and this is really, really minor) is that I was wondering when exactly this was taking place and why Dumbledore was asking. A line or two to clarify that really would have helped me a lot. Maybe that's just me, though!

On the whole, this is a fun story, and I think that you did a great job. :)

Author's Response: Hi there!

Well firstly thank you for reading and reviewing! you were pretty quick =D

I am glad you found it more than okay!! LOL.
I know, it was quite hard for me to write it - I really struggled a lot but I did it xD
I am relieved you found Dumbledore and Phineas in character!! :)
Hmm, well I did put in the Peeves thing just to, well I don't know why I did - it just came. And I thought it was sort of nice (IMO at least). Sorry if you found it off-track and not so pleasing. Honestly speaking, it is a part that I kind of like so I don't think I'll remove it even if it is not so good. And I thought some mention of other characters would be good so I did it - but oh well nevermind :)
Thank you so much for your valuable comments! I really appreciate them!
About the time - well it is taking place sometime during OoTp when Dumbledore instructed Sirius to not go out of Grimmauld place but if that's not clear - I will put it in the authors note! Thanks for pointing it out!

I am glad you found it fun and good (even though I still think it is not so much) - thank you so much!! :)


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