Reading Reviews From Member: BitterEpiphany
19 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BitterEpiphanyStars Shine Black: Stars Shine Black

26th October 2009:
While I'm sitting around skulking over having written myself into a corner in the story that I started to the end of writing myself into a corner, here you are doing the amazing things you always do. Where I tend to hide in a corner, unwilling to push the limits of what I can do, you insist on walking into new literary challenges almost constantly. It's enough to make a girl feel bad about herself for not aspiring to more :)

I'd leave you a lengthy review about the prose but you already know how I feel about it because we talked about this story for hours and I'm impressed, as I always am, with the fact that you wrote it anyway and that it came out still ringing true to your voice. How much less of my whining would you have to listen to if I could do that? :P

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Review #2, by BitterEpiphanySisters - Childhood: Chapter 1

26th August 2006:

Before I can say anything about your story, I have to apologize for my really really really long delay in getting this review to you! I had intended to have more time to compose these – and then have some time to post them when I got back but, as life is want to do, everything sort of exploded and I’m only now getting to sitting down with your story and giving it a read. If it makes you feel any better, there are about ten people in line behind you, so you’re not alone :) Again, sorry.

I feel a bit like a broken record, or like a true welcher, but it can be really hard to get a feel for a story in the span of a single chapter, so it’s difficult to give you advice on your OC’s as they haven’t really had any kind of a chance to be developed yet, with your first chapter set up to focus on Draco rather than them.

With that having been said, something did strike me about your writing style thus far. Like many other authors, you’ve chosen to opt for the expositional and, while it’s great at conveying detail and explaining movement in the physical realm without losing your readers (something I often do), I find it very difficult to connect with and, also, not prime for developing a character.

What I mean to say is that your story is written very much based on the actions taking place in the world. Draco moved here – he turned there – his daughter said this. It tends to lack emotion and, thusly, the kind of emotive power that draws a reader in to say. Take, for instance, the scene when Ophelia is talking to him over breakfast. A father about to run off to buy his daughter a birthday present is probably thinking pretty heavily about how much he loves her at the time, and spending a few sentences on how adorable he found her youthful curiosity wouldn’t be remiss. It might also give you a nice opportunity to, a few paragraphs later, while he’s actually buying her the present, to show Draco as an affectionate father again, saying something like “This morning, he consoled her, promising that she had many years to learn everything she would need to know before her time at Hogwarts began but, as he stared down at her wrapped gift, he realized just how quickly the birthday’s came and went.”

I think this is a story I would really need to see more of before much could be said of your characters. Children of a Malfoy is always a difficult plotline to pull off, mostly because it’s so popular among fanfiction authors to long to be the children of the beloved Draco Malfoy and because it tends to afford the political and financial benefits other children that they meet might not have.

Before I go though, I did want to mention that I think you’ve may have set something interesting up here, with the flashbacks to his experiences as a youth versus his life now, as a father. The way that you’ve mentioned Voldemort “disappearing” rather than being vanquished and the fact that the Death Eaters are still a feared fixture in the Wizarding world gives you an opportunity to further develop Draco, and his daughters, with a constant plot device people are familiar with. The flashbacks will give you another good excuse for introspection which, if you’re interested, could help quell some of the expositional feel of the story. :)

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Review #3, by BitterEpiphanyFounders of Hogwarts: Helga: Meeting The Lion

26th August 2006:
Hi there :) I promised I would do this and do it, I have. (It’s a fright, itself, because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to do them all after I realized how much there was to be done here!) Nevertheless, a reminder – I can’t check canon facts, so if I confuse or forget things, feel free to disregard them :) [[Canon note: I believe it is Olivander rather than Olivanders. You also might think of expanding their relationship a bit – don’t you think she would take the time to let them know what happened to her? Perhaps once she arrives at the Gryffindor’s home asked if Godric had an owl she could borrow to send word to Mr. Olivander so that he and his son would know that she was safe? Mr. Olivander seems quite a bit like a grandfather to Helga.]]

I’ve read a few chapters of your story, and I do have a few things that I feel I should point out. Some of them are character related and some of them, I think, will help to improve your story, thus improving the way your characters are read.

The first things I wanted to point out are related more to your story than the characters. It’s a minor detail and it is completely a matter of my preference – I find parentheses jarring in stories. The same information can be conveyed in the narrative. In this particular case, I’m referring to the third chapter – you have a scene mentioning that she’s forgotten what Olivander said about the wands. The notes could be woven into the narrative rather easily by simply saying “Seeing the boy and hearing his name left Helga with an unnerving sense that she knew something important about him but, for all her trying, she couldn’t remember what it was.” It will remind the readers of the incident without poking them with a “remember this” stick.

Secondly, you don’t tend to be the kind of author who, like me, forgets to include details of a plan because the thing of it is so entrenched in their mind that they forget they’ve made it all up. You do, however, have a tendency toward narrative and dialogue that can be expositional rather than emotive and, it may be personal preference or it may just be something that is important in all things, but I don’t feel as though I can connect with the characters or the story without the details as it all starts to seem a bit like a log rather than a tale. To better explain what I mean, I picked a sort of random scene to reference. In the end of chapter two, when she finds her mother and her sister dead, her home destroyed and realizes that the only people she has in her life are gone, her reaction doesn’t seem to be conveyed in the text. It’s written – she cried, she took her sister’s bracelet, she would seek revenge – but 65 words seems scant for an event so momentous in her life as that kind of violent loss. There must have been thoughts she was having it would be helpful for the reader to hear. A non-graphic description of her sisters body (you know, not bloody or anything of that nature) Maybe something more “She was stiff and rigid, not at all like the Morgan Helga had known. The beauty she once held seemed to go out of her in death, overshadowed by the violence of the single red star adorning her forehead. Looking down on her sister, she could feel nothing but regret – regret for saving a strangers child over her own family, regret for not having been the one to wear the red star, regret for stopping to pick the flower and missing a chance to defend her loved ones. Before long, however, the regret mingled with sadness, because she knew that, young and uneducated as she was, there would have been nothing she could have done to protect the people that she loved and, as she dwelled, evermore, on that thought and the girl whose roses had spared her life, she found herself angrier and angrier. As sun set over the scene, she carefully unclasped the bracelet her sister wore – the glint that had drawn her to the body – and slid it over her own. “This bracelet,” she whispered “will remind me.” With a last glance up at the house, she wiped the red star from her sister’s forehead and got to her feet, turning her back on everything she had ever known.” There is such a great opportunity, in a scene like this, to develop a character because the “why” of an action is always just as important (if not more important) to character development, as the action itself. Don’t get me wrong, that was a rather crappy on the fly example, but do you see what I mean? I don’t think you should say things that aren’t important to your story as you want to tell it, but I do think you should reconsider how much and the kind of information you give to your readers.

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Review #4, by BitterEpiphanyWhat If: What If

19th June 2006:
It's taken me a bit longer than you might have liked to get back here, but I read it straight away, I promise. I waited a bit to review this because, truthfully, I'm a bit out of practice with reading fanfiction outside of the queue and even moreso with reviewing, so I wanted a bit of a moment to...well, all right, try and figure out just what one says in a review. :)

One of my favorite things about this story was the amount of consideration that went into it's writing. The time it must have taken to put this story into the second person alone is impressive, but coupled with the parallels Extempore and the characterizations therein, I can't imagine the therapy this mystery author is going to require for trying to get into my head like that :) Seriously, medication will be prescribed.

All in all, I really appreciated seeing the experiences that Lupin and Tonks may have had during the end points of the six book and, let's face it, I found it far more interesting than the entire of the actual sixth book :P

Author's Response: lol, I know you read it, and I'm honoured you'd talk yourself into reviewing ;) . You seem to have figured out what to say very well too :) .

Admittedly that was the hardest part: writing something you might actually like. 2nd person was a must of course, and I'll even tell you I enjoyed writing in it :D . lol, I'll be sure to get some counselling for the traumatising experience ;) . Seriously, it gave me the opportunity to explore a different style of writing to my own, and I did enjoy writing it :) .

Well now I couldn't take out R/T, you were so smug about it after all :p . And going on that, I decided to make them the main focus, which proved a little difficult to weave around everything else that happened, but it fell into place quite nicely by the end. Thanks for reviewing, and I'm very glad you liked it :) .

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Review #5, by BitterEpiphanyOld Moon: Stirrings of Trouble

8th September 2005:
Because the mere sight of any of the HPFF skins sets my eyes to speed reading and I begin searching for TOS violations, I threw your story on the Palm last night and read it while i was curled up on the couch. Unfortunanately, that means that for six chapters you get left with one mediocre review :)

You had me at 'macabre' because any fic that starts off like that has to be worth reading, if for noting else than the continued use of the word "macabre." Admittedly, I shouldn't have read this yet as it was technically packed for a trip I'm going on later this week but when I was sucking from the brains of those braver than I, I asked what you wrote and couldn't let a "slow burn Remus/Hermione" go :) In one of the joys of firefox, i've added your fic to my watch list :)

Author's Response: The words 'BitterEpiphany' and 'TOS Violations' should not be used in conjunction with a review, they are very unmixy, and give people like Lucid a heart failure, and make them think their story has been taken off for some reason. Though sanity did set in and I read your review and realised I still had a story. Macabre is an under rated word, its a great word :) And I am absolutely gob smacked that you read AND enjoyed my fic, I am really grinning here :) I also found that Remus /Tonks that I have been looking for.... its Extempore which I am re-reading (cos you changed bits and added a chapter). I am so happy you like this...but don't think I wont be looking a little more closely at Bad Author from now on in....Anyway thanks so much Kay :D

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Review #6, by BitterEpiphanyA Tribute to the Fallen: A Tribute to the Fallen

22nd April 2005:
Draco was a bit of a surprise but I think it's an interesting parallel. I'd never considered the two of them together. I suppose that's why you're the queen of the ships :P

Great story!

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Review #7, by BitterEpiphanySaying Goodbye is the Charm: Saying Goodbye is the Charm

22nd April 2005:
So sad!

"And slowly, very slowly he saw them both disappear" -- Great ending!

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Review #8, by BitterEpiphanyMemories of the Forgotten: Memories of the Forgotten

22nd April 2005:
Very nicely done! The structure of time changes as plot point jumps is fresh to the usual humdrum.

I'm a sucker for things with a bit more on the side of artful themes and langauge. It's the Italian in me - i love anything that can be illustrated better by waving my hands around for emphasis!

That said, I loved this,

"...everything feels like it is just the beginning of a new adventure"

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Review #9, by BitterEpiphanyNot That Girl: One-Shot

22nd April 2005:
*breathes a sigh of relief* Man, someone who ships my way! It's always good to see a fellow H/HR shipper among the masses of R/HR that squelches us :)

I think this is excellent! There's a follow-up or another fic in this phrase:
"Emotions were meant to be hidden anyway"

I love that you were able to keep Hermione in canon while shipping her!

Author's Response: Thank you! I worried that when describing her feelings for Harry, I'd make her less Hermione-ish, but I'm glad that you thought she was still in canon. =) Thanks for the review!

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Review #10, by BitterEpiphanyWhat I should have told you: What I should have told you

21st April 2005:
"Anytime turned out to be a long time.

Twelve years, in fact."


Author's Response: thanks a lot! I found these two sentences were a great end... I'm glad I wasn't wrong lol

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Review #11, by BitterEpiphanyHer Last Moments: Her Last Moments

20th April 2005:
Wonderful storyline and your dialogue was perfect. I'd like to see more descriptions and emotions to help me better understand what the characters are seeing and feeling. You've done excellent work and adding in a bit more descriptions would held pull the readers in to the story even more.

Author's Response: Thanks for the advice! I'll look into it as soon as I have time.

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Review #12, by BitterEpiphanyImpassioned Magic: Impassioned Magic

20th April 2005:
Ooooooohhhhhh! Scandal!

I like scandal!

Very well done!

Author's Response: Was just a bit of scandal in there, hm? Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #13, by BitterEpiphanyDiscovering Love: Discovering Love

20th April 2005:
*applause* Bash it all you want but the idea was creative - i've never seen someone try to explain James saving Snape before. This take makes the entire event make much more sense!

Author's Response: lol...I warned you it was very short and very corny! Read at your own risk! Glad you enjoyed it though..thanks for the review!

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Review #14, by BitterEpiphanyMotivation To Kill: Motivation To Kill

19th April 2005:
A few minor "topo's" in there but we're all guilty of those :)

All in all, excellent! I'm particularly fond of the last line "Things he could hardly refer to as memories." It's artful and well put.

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Review #15, by BitterEpiphanyMakers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.

1st February 2005:
Kudos on what seems to be a really original idea!

Author's Response: Thanks so much, B.E. When the staff member that regularly validates new stories thinks you have an original idea, that is high praise indeed.

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Review #16, by BitterEpiphanySecrets In the Eyes of the Enemy: Playing Catchup

17th November 2004:
Marathon reader, perhaps, but I just got into this ship about a week ago. Odd, seeing as I was previously only a H/HR shipper, but D/HR has an odd appeal when done correctly. Great job, I enjoy your story (perhaps i liked the first one more, but that might be because it focused more on them and less on the mystery at hand.) In any case, kudos, congratulations and such, you actually dragged me out to read something by choice - thats a feat in and of itself :) Keep up the great work :)

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Review #17, by BitterEpiphanyFrom My Eyes: Talking with Harry

8th August 2004:
Wow! I'm really impressed! I thought I was gonna scan and find nothing I liked but I really enjoy this. Its a bit out of character for what I generally enjoy - but it really is good :) Keep writing and hopefully i'll catch up :P

Author's Response: I hope you do! And it's ok to like something you felt before you'd never like... happens to me all the time ::blushes:: Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #18, by BitterEpiphanyHermione's break up: Leave (Get Out)

19th July 2004:
i think you've got a really cute idea and it looks like it will develop really really well. yay *applause.* The only thing that I would suggest is a Beta Reader to help you with some of the grammar stuff. It makes stories much easier to read and follow when speech is seperated by empty lines and quotation marks but other than that i think you're off to a really good start.

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Review #19, by BitterEpiphanyHarry Potter And The Stone Of Darkness: Ch.1 - Watching And Waiting

13th July 2004:
OMIGOD, brownie points for loving Metallica :)

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