Reading Reviews for The Middle Man
  
44 Reviews Found

Review #26, by DumbledoresArmyOfOne one.

2nd March 2013:
Gillyweed here from the TGS review exchange!
Sorry for the atrocious delay, I was on vacation for the past week and I just got your lovely review today, so I've come to return the favour.

This is an excellent beginning to your story. You have a talent for creative description that you really show towards the beginning of the chapter and which makes your story much more engaging. Also, this is a fantastic exposition to the story, as you really show the day to day life of your characters before delving into the plot-worthy sensational stuff.

You give us a lot of information in the first half of this chapter- about your characters, setting, everything, but without dumping one of those cumbersome intro paragraphs, you know the kind "I'm Darcy, I'm this many years old, I live here, I work here and I absolutely love cats!" etc. etc.
The way you introduced everything was much more subtle, just sneaking information in between action.

There are only a few slight issues that i found in the chapter: One is a possible overuse of the comma, but that's really just nitpicking and people have been known to argue all day about commas. Another is that just at the beginning I felt a bit barraged by all of the descriptions you gave us. While providing detail is essential to the story, especially the introduction, I felt that it was all a bit concentrated whithin the fourth and fifth paragraphs.

I loved this first chapter and now you have successfully gotten me hooked on yet another brilliant story. I love that quip about her office life turning into a triwizard tournament, it seems very true! xD
I'm very excited to see where this plot will go!
Sorry again for the delay,
-Gill

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for the exchange :)

It's great to hear that you liked falling right into Darcy's day-to-day life and getting to know her through her actions. "Show, not tell" is a big thing that I like to emphasize when I review other people's stories, and so it was important to me to walk the talk here in my own work, as always. I also like the style of just dropping into the middle of the scene as opposed to working too hard to set it up from the very beginning.

You're right, commas are a very divisive issue! I know what you mean about too many, though I did try to use them appropriately (or at least correctly) here. Stories where commas are needed and not used tend to annoy me a little, so maybe I went into overdrive.

I do try to make my descriptions seem natural, so I'll have to go back and take a look at what you were talking about. Like with so many things, it's a work in progress for me.

Thanks again for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #27, by patronus_charm four.

28th February 2013:
Hi Amanda!

I thought I would try and get up to date on The Middle Man, so Iím at least ready for the next update for one of them! I will be back to Diamonds into Coal and Yellow soon though!

I see what you mean about Evelynís pessimistic attitude! She did sound rather formidable, with her being so annoyed at Darcy for being late, and getting worried over the tea being cold! Why do Grandmaís always as about boyfriends? Itís like I have no time to have one with school and exams, so leave me alone! I think itís just a common trait for all of them.

Ooh so Darcy was affected by meeting Albus then? I love how Evelyn took it, with all her musing about it, and finally saying the Potters are a good family. I see Darcyís got her approval then. Then that bit about her having to get a move on as her Grandma wonít live forever was really cool.

Iím surprised that the fact that Darcyís surname was Cresswell didnít click in my head. I liked that you tied her into Dirk, as it added more to her character, and it seemed as if it made her fit the whole world of Harry Potter even more.

I liked the little make up, mainly due to Albus smiling at Darcy. Then Rose being haughty as ever! Especially that remark about Darcy being a fresh pallete, I was just yaying for her in my head. That little line about the post war surge in red hair dye made me laugh! I guess itís inspired by the Weasleys and possibly Lily Evans?

Another great chapter!
Kiana:D

Author's Response: Have I told you lately how wonderful you are? :D (I have a feeling that Team Blue is going to rock the next review battle... haha.)

It's good that Evelyn seemed to fit into what you'd imagine for a typical grandmother. She was tough, not because I don't have grandmothers who do the same things, but because the tone of her story is different from the overall light feel of the rest of the plot. Her role was mostly to give some more background to Darcy and show her kind side, since I think most of what people have seen is her being hurried, infatuated by Albus, and annoyed by Rose.

I always like to have some kind of tie to canon if I can. I don't know exactly when or how I decided that Dirk would work well here, but it's great that you felt like it added to the story.

I'm glad you liked the make-up scene! I'm a little worried that all the fashion-y scenes at Witch Weekly will drag for some people, so let me know if that happens. Yeah, I figured that Weasley fever would set in after the war, given Harry's relationship with Ginny and the heroic roles so many of the Weasleys played.

Thanks for another lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #28, by onestop_hpfan18 three.

28th February 2013:
Hi Amanda! So, I don't think there's too much dialogue at all. You have a nice balance and flow between narrative and dialogue, and I'm enjoying reading the dialogue between the characters because you've done a great job putting their characterizations into what each character are saying. I especially liked the bit that you added about Rose having to shorten everything in explanation to why she called Twinkle 'Twinkie' instead. It showed her as the diva she is, while Lily seems a lot more down-to-earth and level-headed. Over all, great chapter!

Author's Response: Oh, good! It seems like a lot more dialogue than I usually write, but maybe that's not a bad thing. It's really great that the characterization comes through even with the dialogue, like the example you mentioned with Rose and 'Twinkie'. Rose and Lily are definitely very different, and I think that makes them working as a pair more interesting. Hopefully you feel the same way.

Thanks for this fantastic review :)

-Amanda


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Review #29, by onestop_hpfan18 two.

28th February 2013:
Amanda, this chapter was humorous. I really like how you've characterized Rose and Lily, especially Rose because she's so different than the standard Rose that usually show up in fics. It's refreshing to read a story that has a whole set of different characterizations. That said, I like that you gave James a respectable job because it seems like he's the wanderer of the family in most fics so that was great to read. Respectability, in my opinion, suits James more than slacker does.

And the general overall flow of this chapter definitely made as much of a splash on my imagination as the first did. It's quite original and refreshing from all the cliche fics that are circulating the archives. (: Great chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks, Leslie! It's good that the humor came through better in this chapter--I'm guessing thanks to Rose and her high maintenance personality :) I don't read enough next gen to really be up on what the cliches are, but I did try to create interesting and hopefully unusual characterizations here. I'm happy it all worked.

Thanks again for this awesome review!

-Amanda


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Review #30, by patronus_charm three.

27th February 2013:
Hi Amanda!

And weíre back to Darcy and Dom! I rather like the fact that you changed POV on each chapter, as it meant we got to explore a new perspective, and learn more about certain characters. It was also fun to see the difference between being the celebrity, and writing about celebrities.

I love the idea about Rose and Lily being a double act, due to them both being red heads, it made me laugh so much! Especially the fact they ran their own agency, before Albus stepped in. I felt a little sorry for Dom, as she seemed kind of embarrassed that they were her cousins. It did make me laugh, that their fame is on the up though. Just the thought of them being celebrities makes me laugh; itís just so cool and original!

Ooh I sensed a thing with Darcy when she saw Albus for the first time. The fact that she said he had Ďbrilliant green eyesí suggests something to me, and I donít know whether to get excited about a prospective relationship for the two of them or not.

The fact that Rose is the big headed one, and is too good for Witch Weekly, whereas Lily is the one encouraging her to do it, makes me laugh, as it just puts the characters on their head, as its usually the other way round. I really like this twist though, and I think this is one of my favourite versions of Rose yet! Then she has a house elf, and sheís Hermioneís daughter! I really want to know what her reaction is to having a daughter like Rose.

Yes Dom agrees with me about the whole Al and Darcy thing. Aw itís so cute and adorable, and I just want them to be together now, even though he called her Darby and theyíve barely talked!

Iím really liking Darcy at the moment, she just seems so funny, and unique and is just awesome really!

A little Brit pick, no one tends to say porch here, I guess the best alternative would be path:)

This story is just great, and it makes me laugh throughout. Iím just so amazed you can write things like Yellow and Diamonds into Coal so well, and this is so great as well, yet theyíre both so different!

-Kiana!

Author's Response: Hey Kiana :)

As I'm sure you've noticed, lately I've been a big fan of this POV-switching thing. It's not going to be like that forever--I tend to stick with one more general POV when the sets of characters merge. I'm glad you find it interesting, though!

It's great that you like my characterization of Rose and Lily. I have a lot of fun playing up the contrast in their personalities and letting them just react to other people in the world. Sometimes they do tend to act like they're a little more famous than they currently are, especially dear Rose. It's also good that their characterizations feel opposite of the cliches. I don't read enough next gen to have a really good grasp on what a cliche Lily is (I'm a bit better with Rose), so I'm glad it all works.

Albus and Darcy may have some feelings brewing, or at least a little romantic tension. It's great that you like Darcy and want to see her and Albus become an item. Stay tuned :)

Well, I'm American, so I generally write like one. I don't really think much about Britpicking when I'm writing, unless it happens to feel "right" in the moment, usually with dialogue. Still, I appreciate the critique.

Thanks so much for your really lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #31, by onestop_hpfan18 one.

26th February 2013:
Hi Amanda, I really enjoyed this first chapter. I'll have to read the others soon. The main reason I liked it is that we're in a completely different work environment then the usual that is seen in stories; it adds originality that you thought to give Darcy a more unique job working for Witch Weekly. I also like the narrative tone over all as it flows fluidly and I had no trouble imagining the characters voices and seeing the scenes play out in my mind while I read.

As for comedy, there weren't any 'hahahah' funny moments for me in this chapter, but it definitely had that light, airy feel of a comedy. It felt like one of those stories that's great to read when you need to relax from a busy day/week. Anyway, for this being your first next gen and comedy-based story, I'd say you're hitting the atmosphere spot on and the characters, too. I'm definitely intrigued about this plan that Dominique already has for a cover story since I'm sure that will be key to the plot. Over all, great first chapter and I'll definitely be returning to read the other chapters as you've already got me hooked.

(: Leslie

Author's Response: Leslie, thank you so much. It was really sweet of you to do this for me, and I'll have to stop by when I get some time and return the favor :)

It does seem like most everyone in fanfiction graduates and becomes an Auror, teacher, or Healer, and so I really wanted to try something different. It's great that you liked the flow here and found the plot interesting.

I don't tend to write 'hahaha funny' comedy, sadly. It's something I've never been able to get right. I hope there will be some funny moments as the story progresses, though--I have one particular chapter in mind for that. I am pleased to hear that this is a good story for relaxing and just delving into a new world. Also, I hope you do come back to visit soon!

Thanks again for this wonderful review.

-Amanda


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Review #32, by patronus_charm two.

26th February 2013:
I keep on seeing this story being updated, and not reading it, so at least I can catch up on it now!

I really love how you keep on surprising me in this chapter. First of all, James is a lawyer, and Iíve never seen that done before, so I really liked it, as it added some originality to a very worn out character. I loved the little characteristics you gave him, such as him scoffing, and finding the whole idea ridiculous, it reminded me of his namesakes!

Haha you made Lily and Rose go to court! Iíve never seen that done before! That was another great twist, as Rose is usually the next Hermione, so it was nice to see that she had a bit of spirit in her! I can just imagine them Ďfrolicking in a fountainí!

I also really liked the idea of Rose and Lily being some sort of celebrities. Usually theyíre shunning their parents fame, yet here they seem to be enjoying, and they have Albus as their sort of manager, and James as their lawyer. It just made me laugh so much! It reminded me of the Hilton sisters, and other famous heiresses :D

I will definitely be coming back to this story, as it just makes me laugh, and Iím really loving the new Rose and Lily in this chapter, itís so refreshing to see, that an author can make them original and fun again!

-Kiana:D

Author's Response: Hey Kiana :) Thanks again for the swap!

I don't know how James became a lawyer, but I do think he fits pretty well. It was a ton of fun to watch the Potter-Weasley children squirm in court and have to pay for their impulsive night out. I'm happy that Rose seemed non-cliche to you in that she's been doing some things her mother likely wouldn't.

I can definitely see a scenario where the children resent being in the spotlight, but I liked this lighter version where Rose and Lily soak up the limelight a little. For James and Albus, it isn't quite as tantalizing, but I think they all recognize that they're young and enjoying themselves is perfectly all right.

Thanks so much for your lovely review :) I can't wait to see what you think of chapter three!

-Amanda


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Review #33, by Aphoride one.

26th February 2013:
Okay, I have to admit that I've seen your two new stories floating around in messages on the forums/TGS and have been meaning to read them (and add you to my favourite author list, as it happens...) but things at uni have been hectic. So, that's my excuse - bad as it is ;)

Anyway, I really enjoyed this! I'm not a particularly girly-girl myself - I have my perfume and my mascara and foundation, but that's about it. Oh, and my shoe obsession, but that's irrelevant in reference to this chapter... anyway, I love how you've made it so accessible to everyone and not just for those girly-girls :) Also, I just love in general the idea of a story about somewhere like Witch Weekly, which has such a reputation, and it not all being totally full of vapid, giggly characters who stab each other in the back all the time...

Ah, I love your OC as well. I'm pretty wary about them, since I've read a few shockers, but I like her. She's quite no nonsense which I like, without being a total tomboy - she doesn't wear a make-up and wears a dress without being forced. It's almost like a new species of female OC has come to the forums, lol. I really like how you've included lesser-known Next Gen characters, like Dom and Lorcan and that they're obviously neither of them stupid or nasty or the stereotypical character-types you'd think of working at Witch Weekly.

And the idea of spending all day trying on make-up and writing notes about whether you like it or not as a job sounds brilliant. I'm kinda jealous.

The little details you put in are so wonderful - and you do it so well in everything you write, it's insane and I wish you'd share how you do it. I got the symbol for iron, haha, though I didn't get the iron filings fact, though I liked it when you pointed it out. The name of the potions company, the Bare Bones company, Gryffindor Scarlet and Pixie Pink... gah, it's just all so good! (On a slightly off-topic note: 1492 as the number for her flat made me laugh coz I know it as the year Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain finished the Reconquista, which has nothing to do with fashion, but yeah... I don't know if there was some meaning why you chose it - there usually is with you ;) - but I thought I'd share that).

Ooh, I love the inclusion of an inter-company competition. It's the kind of thing you can imagine a young, hip manager (Lorcan? Yes, no? I'm just guessing...) putting in place to 'liven things up' or whatever, lol. I'm really curious as to whether they're going to win, what they're going to do, who they're going to get to do it, etc.

You know, I actually really like this story. It's odd, because I didn't necessarily think I'd enjoy the story for itself and as itself, if you get what I mean, although I knew I was going to enjoy the writing because it's you and I always do, but you've really, really surprised me with this. In a good way, I promise! :D

So yeah, I really, really enjoyed this. It will have to go on my list of things to read and check for updates...

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph! Thanks again for the swap :)

It's great that you enjoyed this first chapter despite its girly overtones. I'm somewhere between a girly-girl and a tomboy, and I tried to replicate that balance in Darcy. I'm happy that this felt relatable and realistic for you, and that no one felt overly stereotyped. Doesn't Darcy's job sound awesome? Haha.

It's good to hear that you like all my little details, too. Those are one of the most fun parts of writing for me. I honestly just picked 1492 because it floated to the top of my mind, so no real meaning there--shocking, I know :)

Lorcan, yes. The competition will get a little more interesting as we get closer to the end, of course. For now, Darcy and Dominique are just trying to figure out a strategy and attempting to implement it without losing their minds.

You're awesome, and very kind as usual. Thanks so much for this really lovely review! I hope to see you again sometime for chapter two.

-Amanda


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Review #34, by Siriusly89 one.

26th February 2013:
Hi! Siriusly89 here from the review swap :D

I really, really like this! Darcy seems like a pretty relatable character (who has my dream job. . . . ah, journalism, the holy grail for closet-writers :p)

The testers were very funny, as I can actually see this happening in a proper fashion magazine, and it also shows that not every aspect of her job is enjoyable!

And I can't wait to find out more about this assignment, as this is shaping up to be quite the interesting novel!

I shall favourite and come back at a later stage (as the work on my desk has been glaring at me in disapproval for the last half an hour. . . . )

Really good!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks again for the swap :)

Oh, it's such a relief to hear that Darcy is relatable! I worry every time I create an OC that they'll be unlikeable and unrealistic, which is part of why I predominantly stick to canon characters. It's good that you could appreciate both the good and bad parts of her job.

I'm happy you're intrigued, and I hope you do stop by again to continue with the story :)

-Amanda


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Review #35, by ValWitch21 four.

24th February 2013:
Me again!

I'm disliking your Rose, which is a good thing, because I know why she irritates me, and it's not just 'Here is the character my OC dislikes, you must dislike her as well'. You give my irritation a valid excuse.

That, and I've grown increasingly tired of perfect Rose, so this is a real breath of fresh air.

That's it. You've done the undoable. YOU WROTE A MAKEUP SCENE WITHOUT MAKING THE READER DIE OF BOREDOM. This just confirms your talent as a writer, taking a cliche and twisting it to something new and interesting.

I can completely identify to Darcy's relationship with her grandma. I don't know if it's something you've inspired from your personal experience, but you're spot on (as usual) in your characterisations.

Haha, of course, the meeting for tea will be purely professional. OF COURSE, AL. I BELIEVE THAT. Huh, not. I'm so excited to read about that!

Another great chapter, eagerly waiting for the next one! I think I'll go read something else from your page in the meantime.

Author's Response: Hi Val!

Oh, good. I drew some inspiration for Rose from the girls I see on the bus in the mornings, chattering away on their phones and gossiping with their friends about their high-class lifestyles. She's not all bad, I promise, but it's great that you feel irritated by her even apart from Darcy's opinion.

People dying of boredom is a major concern for me in this story, because I have several chapters that are like, "Let's try on clothes and talk about relationships." Please, please, let me know if you get bored out of your skull!

I drew a little from personal experience, but mostly I wanted to pull in some canon there and give Darcy a little bit of depth. Her grandma isn't a major theme in the story, but I seem to have an issue with pure fluff, so I had to add in a little bit of angst, haha :)

You're awesome, as always. Thanks for this sweet review! Next chapter will be up Sunday.

-Amanda


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Review #36, by ValWitch21 three.

23rd February 2013:
Those flowerboxes made me laugh so hard, you have no idea. Indeed, how conceited can Rose and Lily get?

What is it with Albus and Darcy? Do they have some kind of background information that we don't know about?

Dom is a wonderful character -- bright and snappy and fun and I hope to see a lot of her in upcoming chapters!

How many of your stories am I following now? Two? Three? I think it's about time I added you as a favourite author!

Author's Response: Hah, I'm glad you liked them! I thought it was a cute way to identify the flat and show that Rose and Lily are in some ways the forefront here.

No, they don't know each other. There's a little tension there and a good measure of awkwardness, but they're still basically strangers to each other--for right now.

I'm glad you like Dom! She will continue to be an important part of the story from here on out.

Thanks for another sweet review, and for choosing me as a favorite author! You've brought my total up to 60, which is insane.

-Amanda


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Review #37, by yerawizard27 three.

17th February 2013:
I'm really loving this fic! I don't think the dialogue is monotonous at all; in fact I think it's very fluid, and the way the characters interact is very genuine. Added to my favourites, hope you update soon!

10/10 :D

Author's Response: Hi there, and thank you :)

It's a relief to hear that. I want the dialogue to be realistic and to help move the story along, but I don't want the back and forth to weigh it down. I trust you'll point it out if it ever starts to bore you in future chapters :)

I'm flattered that you liked this enough to add it to your favorites! Chapter four will be up next Sunday, right on schedule. Thanks so much for your very sweet review!

-Amanda


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Review #38, by Jchrissy two.

17th February 2013:
Okay, switching from review mode between these two stories is not incredibly easy. Haha.

Let me put my light fluffy cap on.
Rose is a diva. A Diva. I love it. She's living in her own little world and no one can tell her what to do there, and Lily's just sort of going with it. I love them being sort of a duo modeling team. It's cute. And I like that Albus, though it isn't his dream job, is being the agent for those two and watching out for Lily. He seems to have a better sense of humor about the whole thing than James :P

I'm happy that you didn't make their crime anything serious. It was enough to make it clear to us that Rose is definitely a free spirit with Lily playing along, but they aren't these two famous girls that get involved with the more illegal sides of things.

Watching the Potter brothers get together to help these two, though James might not have been incredibly thrilled about the whole thing, was adorable. And you can't really blame James for not wanting to waste what I'm guessing was years of law school on getting his sister and cousin off the hook.

And it sees very probable that both sides of this story, the world with Dom you've given us and then this one, will all combine next chapter! Eek!

See, putting my fluffy review cap on wasn't too hard! I have to say, following up the serious nature of Yellow with something as fun as this does feel good.

I'm excited to head over to chapter three soon!



Author's Response: Oh my gosh, Rose is such a diva. I won't spoil it for you, but there comes a time later in the story when even she is challenged in that regard, in terms of how diva she can really be. She is so entertaining in how horrid she is, and yet, there's a good person hiding in there, too :)

I love the potential that comes with the Potter family dynamic. I really wanted that Weasley bond to come through here, but also to show that young adults have their own opinions and will think what they will about one another. I'm glad you like James and Albus and the way they try to look out for their baby sister.

Yes, you're right! Dom and Darcy will re-appear in chapter three, which is up as of today. Chapter four will be up next Sunday!

Thanks for your loveliness! You're awesome to take time out of your busy schedule to come over and check out my updates--speaking of which, I bet you'll love the new Venn/Helena chapter! Anyway, nice to see you once again.

-Amanda


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Review #39, by aquabluez17 two.

16th February 2013:
Tag =)

I really loved the Rose and Lily you hav here. They are soo cute!!

Al and James haah. Awww :P I wonder if they aren't as close though since James kinda left as soon as Al came into the picture.

Great update! Will love to see what else you have planned

Author's Response: Hi, and thanks for your sweet review! I'm happy to hear that you like Rose and Lily. You're right, Albus and James don't get along perfectly here, but they do still have brotherly love, so never fear.

Thanks again! Chapter three will be up tomorrow!

-Amanda


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Review #40, by aquabluez17 one.

10th February 2013:
Wow I really liked this! The fashion you used was amazing. Locran really seems like a harsh character :P I wonder how he will play out to be. Maybe he'll actually be a somewhat okay boss :P

I enjoyed Darcy as a character and Dom though she seemed a bit too air headed for a Ravenclaw and if you hadn't mentioned it I would have thought she was in another house. Maybe you could look at that?

Great start!

Author's Response: Hi there!

I'm glad you liked the fashion theme here and the introduction of Lorcan. He doesn't play a huge role in the story, but he seems to get left out of next-gen a lot, so I wanted to give him somewhat of an appearance here. He's a little tough right now, but he'll get better :)

It's great that the characterization worked well for you for the most part. I pictured Dom as a Ravenclaw because she's witty and resourceful in terms of finding the cover girls. I try not to force my characters into the mold of fitting every House characteristic to a T, because JKR didn't really do that either, you know? I'd have loved to hear what house you feel like Dominique would fit better in, though.

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #41, by AlexFan two.

10th February 2013:
Another awesome chapter!

I found it hilarious how Rose and Lily were being charged for frolicking. I'm serious, I was laughing really hard.

I love the family banter that you had going on. Everyone sounded like they were really close with one another.

I've also fallen in love with Rose and Lily, they just seem like fun people to hang around. I feel bad for the ruined dresses though, they sounded amazing. I would've loved to have worn one!

Author's Response: I laughed when I re-read this chapter earlier today, when I was editing it to post. I haven't touched it for a while, and I forgot how amusing it was to write the courthouse scene. Frolicking!

It's great that you liked the family dynamic. They go back and forth with one another, definitely, but they definitely care about each other, too, and they're close, as you said.

I'm happy to hear that you liked Rose and Lily! You'll be getting to know them more as the story progresses. I agree, those dresses sounded like they would have been awesome.

Thanks for another lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #42, by AlexFan one.

10th February 2013:
I loved the fashion talk! I may know practically nothing about design but I still loved this chapter.

You had great description and I loved that the talking was so ordinary! Anyway, I found it really interesting and I didn't come across any grammatical errors so that's a good thing too.

Overall, it was a very interesting first chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again, and thanks!

I don't know much about fashion either, so I'm glad this seemed interesting, and hopefully realistic.

I'm assuming by "ordinary" you mean "realistic," which sounds good to me :) I'm happy that the description worked well, too.

Thanks for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #43, by Jami one.

5th February 2013:
Hi again. I don't know what happened with my last review. An entire middle section was left out. I didn't have any of the characters that would have deleted it, and it only deleted the middle. Weird. Anyway, I wanted to post the whole thing. Lucky I wrote it on Pages so I still have it :).

I used to think you were my go to when I needing something that would twist my brain up and make it think. You still are that, but you really, really are branching yourself out. It's so awesome and I'm going to try and complete this review without my typed letters turning green from envy.

This is the lightest piece I've ever read of yours. Diamonds into Coal is a romance, but I'd say it's far from a fluffy one. And it shouldn't be. You've kept your perfect skill for descriptions and details with this, but you've toned it down a lot. You let the story take front and center here, and describe what needs to described with the perfect bit and leave out your more complex imagery.

The dialogue is what stood out at me most in this chapter. Not only does it flow perfectly, but without dwelling on the characters much you've somehow already made their voices feel different to me. I got more of a light, easy going feel from Dom, she was there and she was happy to be there. And I got a much more annoyed feel about it all from Dracy. You obvious made that clear through her getting ready process, but you also kept her sentences more clipped and impatient.

She seemed really excited about Lorcan's news, so I think it's easy to tell that she does like her job. Of course she wants the raise, but she also seemed pleased about writing the article and working alongside Dom. She also seems like she has as much sweetness as sarcastic dry humor. She greeted the Squib kindly, was polite to her coworker (and friendly enough to have lunch with her sometimes) and though she clearly didn't like the perfume, she was again polite in her refusal.Obviously you know all this because you wrote it, but I just really like the balance you're building with her. She seems like a genuine person who might not be head over heels with what she's doing as a career just now (maybe she wants more serious journalism than Witch Weekly?) but I do think she likes it just fine. I also liked the added detail about her trying to save apparation for emergency only. It seems unrealistic that everyone would just love using it all the time. Just life flying.. some people don't even feel their in the air, others spend the entire time trying not to vomit.

Okay, I have to move on to Lorcan. hahaha. Can I just spend a few minutes giggling about him in being this role, please? I love your cast so far. He seems like the annoying boss that probably threatens to fire her all the time, but is never going to.

I think you're doing an excellent job with the humor, by the way. (sorry this review is kind of jumpy, I started out as reviewing as I went along then got into it then started back tracking and just got sort of jumpy). Darcy has a bit of dry sarcasm, but you don't over do it at all. I get annoyed by the, trying too hard to be eccentric, sort of humor on characters and you definitely didn't get close to that.

I'm so happy you're starting work on this. It's something of yours that is easy to just slip into, and not all your pieces are styled like that. Not that they aren't all amazing, but some are written with the purpose of making you think, making your mind really step up the action. And I love that, but I also love that this is something that I can just slip into, enjoy, and laugh along with.

It's happening. The ink is starting to turn green. Well, at least on my end. You really are such an insanely diverse author.

I really enjoyed the start, and can't wait to follow this!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks again for coming by :)

This is definitely new territory for me. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous of those on the site who can write fun, fluffy, humorous pieces so well. I find it difficult because I'm used to, as you said, dealing with complex emotions that usually end up being dark. While this was a challenge, it was also fun, and it was nice not having to monitor my warnings and ratings quite so closely :)

It's good that the dialogue worked well. There's a lot of back-and-forth in this story, and it makes me worried that maybe it's too dialogue tag heavy or just monotonous. Please do let me know if that happens!

I'm happy that you like Darcy! I think you've got her characterization down well. She sees the magazine as a job more so than a career at this point, a means to an end, but that doesn't mean that the idea of a promotion doesn't excite her. She's very down-to-earth and doesn't get as wrapped up in the glamour of the industry as, say, Dominique or others. As you'll see, she has little patience for the dramatics of models, too! Oh, and Lorcan! I'm glad you like him. I feel like he's so underused, and so I wanted to give him a teeny role in this story, just to add some humor.

I know exactly what kind of humor you're talking about, and it seems to be a plague in next-gen. It grinds my gears, too, so I really wanted to keep away from the outlandish and zany and just make this seem more realistic.

Thanks so much for your compliments. I really pushed for diversity with both of my new pieces, and I'm glad that came through for you. Chapter two will be up tomorrow, dear :)

Thanks again for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #44, by patronus_charm one.

4th February 2013:
Tag! And the first review, how exciting!

I've never really read many stories about Witch Weekly, so I was interested about reading this story. I liked your portrayal of it as it seemed very realistic, and similar to muggle women magazines, so it was fun to make comparsions between the two:)

I liked how even though Darcy worked for Witch Weekly, she didn't seem pretentious which is what you would have expected her to be like, as she admitted she liked the free samples, and wore faux pearls. It was good that you did this as it made her more relatable to other people, and she was more likeable as a result of this.

I liked the idea of the floo point, as when you mentioned she lived in Manchester I did wonder how she got to work. But I thought this was a really clever idea, as it seems like wizards may have used it as it was perfectly disguised.

I did find at times that your use of capital letters were a bit odd, like giving one to management and squib, as I didn't know that they needed one:)

I thought it was great that you put Lorcan in Witch Weekly, as who would have thought that Luna's son would have ended up working there! Kudos for that choice! And Dom being there seemed like a great fit, and I can't wait to see more of her as she's one of my favourite characters:')

Overall I thought it was a great start, and I'm looking forward to more! Kiana :)

Author's Response: Hi Kiana, thanks for tagging me and giving this story its first review :)

I'm glad you felt like my portrayal of working at a women's magazine seemed realistic, and that you're taking a liking to Darcy. I definitely wanted her to stand out as being sort of matter-of-fact in this world of glitz and glam. Still, she's only human, and she does have a girly side. I think part of her secretly likes working at Witch Weekly :)

I'm happy that you liked the Floo, too. I thought it was kind of cute, her sneaking into the pharmacy and escaping out the back.

Hmm, I'll have to go back and check on the capitals. I do think Squib is capitalized, but I'm not positive. Some of the other things, like Fashion and Witch Weekly, are considered proper nouns because they're titles or names. But I do want to be consistent and as accurate as possible, so thank you for the critique :)

I feel like Lorcan doesn't get a lot of attention, and I thought it would be fun to set him up as the "antagonist" in this light, fluffy story. I hope you'll like Dom as you get to know her. She's different from Darcy in many ways, but the two of them are good friends for a reason.

Thanks again for this lovely review :)

-Amanda


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