Reading Reviews From Member: stoirmeacha
  
62 Reviews Found

Review #1, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Acidity and Familiarity

8th July 2010:
I thought the relationships between the characters were very good in this chapter. I thought the exchange between Amelia and Ben was particularly good.

I thought it was unlikely that Snape would have locked the office, and I think Amelia would have been more phased by it. I thought Snape's grudge against James was well presented.

I thought, again, the conversation between Ben and Amelia was a touch stilted.

Overall, I liked it. Hope that was useful.

Emma

Author's Response: Thank you thank you again!

Hm, that's a good point about the locking... I guess I'm relying on Snape's utter hatred of all things Potter to undermine his common sense.

Thanks!


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Review #2, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Billywigs, Beetles and Bawdy Humor

8th July 2010:
I've been ages in replying to this, sorry. I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks, and it's been pretty hectic leading up to that.

I liked the inclusion of the information about the billywigs; I thought that was a nice touch.

Again, I thought you characterised Hagrid really well. I think he's really, really, well written.

Being so close with the Golden Trio is slightly overused, although I thought you characterised them well.

There were several times written in numbers again, which disrupted the flow slightly.

Overall, I liked it :)

Emma

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing so much! And have a good trip :) I'm going on vacation, too, but only for a few days.

I know it is a bit cliche to have her so close to the Trio, but I couldn't resist.

I need to fix those darn numbers...

An' Hagrid thanks yeh :)



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Review #3, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: A Splendid First Day

4th July 2010:
I like Amelia's thoughts in italics. I know this has been in other chapters, but I noticed it more in this one for some reason.

I thought even Draco wouldn't dare to be so outspoken against one of his teachers. I can imagine him making several "My father ..." comments, but this took it to another level. Maybe just my opinion.

I still like the relationship between Ben and Amelia, and how he is so protective over her.

There was a touch of her being too close to her students again at the beginning of the chapter - I think in some ways, she's the teacher that every teacher wants to be (young, vibrant, super-friendly, etc.), but at Hogwarts the teachers tend to keep much more of a distance from their pupils than in the normal world. Just a thought.

Emma

Author's Response: Thank you thank you

I may have taken some liberties with Draco, but don't forget that she blasted his aunt and captured his uncle! It's more than just the Mudblood :)

I agree that she is definitely less formal than the other teachers... I suppose that it's part of her youth. I think I unconsciously am thinking of all the young teachers I've had and of myself (who is a young teacher).

Thank you, Emma! As always, very helpful!



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Review #4, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Let the School Year Begin

3rd July 2010:
It's unusual to see a lesson in a fan fic from a teacher's perspective, and I thought this was very good. The conversation between Ben and Amelia was also better in this chapter, in my opinion.

One thing I thought was thought a number of the names in the sorting had a very American feel to them. Obviously, you are American, so this is easily explained. You might want to research common baby names in the UK? There's obviously been some change since these characters would have been born, but a lot of the old favourites keep on coming up. (For magical names, I've always found the Black family tree, a copy of which can be found on the Harry Potter lexicon website, very useful for inspiration.)

Sorry, you're probably getting really bored of all my reviews!

Emma

Author's Response: Are you kidding? Not bored at all - I keep checking back to see if you've reviewed more!

I will definitely take a look at those names - thanks for the tip!


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Review #5, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Battle on the Hogwarts Express

3rd July 2010:
I thought your characterisation of Dumbledore was, again very good. I also thought you wrote the fight scene well, so it could be easily pictured in the mind.

This chapter showcases a number of Amelia's more cliche aspects: her exceptional skills as a dueller, a healer, an animagus ... I just wonder if some of it could be toned down without changing the story at all?

Emma

Author's Response: I'm really beginning to see how Amelia is too Mary Sue. Now I have to figure out how to tone it down since I have already posted twenty or so chapters.

I need to get this girl some faults :) You've definitely got me thinking!


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Review #6, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Escorting the Express

3rd July 2010:
I loved the cliffhanger - I thought it was used really well, if a bit predictable.

I thought the students here were over familiar with Amelia and Ben here as well.

Otherwise, I thought it was good.

Emma

Again, there were typos etc which detracted the the chapter slightly, so I'll say again you might think about getting a beta.

Author's Response: Yes... predictable cliffhanger :) I was at a point where I was really trying to snare readers!

I wanted the students to be familiar with Ben, because he is in the Order and, as will develop, he is involved in the Burrow/Grimmauld gatherings. The kids are comfortable with him. I'll reread it though and see if I can't adjust for Amelia!

And, of course, proofreading. :) Thanks!


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Review #7, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Memories Disturbed

3rd July 2010:
I've found this a really difficult chapter to review, I don't know why. I liked Amelia's approach to Occlumency, and I liked the way you used Harry's memories from the books. The relationship between Amelia and Harry reminded me of the relationship between Harry and Lupin in their patronus lessons.

I thought your characterisation of Harry made him a little too over familiar with Amelia in a way, but I thought you conveyed his perseverance well.

Emma

Author's Response: Hmm, I will read this one over and see about that familiarity. I think part of me is considering that Harry is reacting to her youth.

Definitely worth checking out!

Thanks :)


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Review #8, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Memories of Godric's Hollow

2nd July 2010:
I thought this was also good. I thought the way McGonagall was taking care of Amelia was good, and I thought your characterisation of Lupin was very true to the books.

You are good at creating the mystery in the story and Amelia's unease. I also thought the conversation between Ben and Amelia was better in this chapter. I don't know if it's going to be of pivotal importance later in the story, but you have introduced Ben's personality, appearance and job without revealing any of his history - what house was he in at Hogwarts? Why is he a teacher? What lineage does he have? What are his family like? Is he close to them?

I felt Amelia should have known about Sirius' innocence - it seems likely that the Daily Prophet would have run a story on it after Sirius' demise, and since she seems to have kept up so well with everything else, and Harry seems to be of special interest to her, it was the sort of article which would have caught her eye. Just a thought.

Although I love the phrase "Penny for your thoughts?", I think it might be better adapted to the magical world by substituting knut for penny.

I thought the relationship between Amelia and Ben was well continued. I like the way you portray him as persistent, as I can imagine he would be. He is another character I'd like to see some more flaws in, although I can see that his jealousy is one of them. Their relationship, and Ben, reminds me of my relationship with one of my friends, and I can connect with many of the things he does.

You have talked about her maturity in previous chapters, but she is still very naive in many ways, I feel. For example, she is still very much struck by the injustice of the world, as evidenced in her comments to Ben about Potter's life. Given Amelia's past, I might have expected her to have accepted that life is unfair more, if that makes sense.

I hope that was useful.

Emma

Author's Response: Thank you thank you thank you!

I've got quite a bit more written of the story - up through Christmas time - and Ben's backstory will come out more bit by bit.

I love the 'Knut for your thoughts' - perfect! I will have to fix that.

Thanks for all the tips - I'm taking it all in.


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Review #9, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Preparation and Concern

2nd July 2010:
Again, I liked the use of magic in everyday situations with the make-up charm. I also liked the way she considered Ben in her choice of clothes.

I think you portray Dumbledore very well: he's another character you've got pretty much down to a tee, and he's another character who is very difficult to portray well. I thought you showed McGonagoll's influence over him well as well.

One thing I thought is that the teachers tend to talk about each other to their students as Professor, rather than by their marital title. Another thing is that it improves the flow of the words to write numbers in words rather than in numbers (eg. the 11:00 near the beginning of the chapter).

I've already said that I think her mysterious past is an overused characteristic, so I won't go into that again.

Emma

Author's Response: You're right with the the Miss/Professor bit... I'll have to review that and adjust accordingly. And the clock time, too... I think that's been inconsistent.

Sadly, her mysterious past is going to keep coming up here and there. The secret will come out around Chapter 25-26-27 or so, then it will die down, of course.

Thank you again!


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Review #10, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Always Have a Trick Up Your Sleeve

2nd July 2010:
Firstly, I can't believe this chapter has no reviews. Where are the squee-ing hoards?

I thought you did the kiss well. It really reminded me of that feeling of amazing natural chemistry which only exists between certain people, and I thought you'd done their relationship so well before this point that I could completely understand his actions.

I really liked your use of magic here in an everyday context, when Ben offers to perform the memory charm on Amelia. It is very easy in fan fiction to write a story set in the magical world and yet with no real use of magic, and I really liked that touch.

I think your characterisation of Snape is good, but there was one slight thing I picked up on. Snape was very young himself when he began teaching at Hogwarts, so he might be less questioning about her appointment. Just a thought.

I thought you explained Voldemort's alternate demise well, and you keep this consistent in your other chapters as well.

Amelia being a Legilimens and an Occlumens is also an overused trait in characters, especially her apparently being such a good one. Obviously, this is important for her Occlumency lessons with Harry, but maybe you also want to provide an explanation for it. I think you stated that at Salem, their Defence Agains the Dark Arts lessons are less focussed on the Dark Arts, so maybe you want to add that the skills were part of her education in that area or something similar?

There is the occasional spelling mistake/typo and irregular spacing which detract slightly from the story. Have you considered getting a beta to check it over for you?

I thought this was a good example of what I was talking about in my review with the upper class accent:
“Ben, I won’t deny that I’m attracted to you, too, but we can’t… especially me! This is my first day here… highly inappropriate. We cannot…”
I'd personally change this to:
"Ben, I won't deny that I'm attracted to you too, but we can't. It's my first day - it's inappropriate. We can't ..."
That was just an example, but I felt that just adding a few contractions in might make it lose some of its stiffness.

Hope that was helpful.

Emma

Author's Response: You're wonderful! Thank you!!

I'll definitely pay attention to the contractions and I will add some info in about what Amelia learned at Salem.

I'll look over the names, too :)

Great tips, thank you!


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Review #11, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Touring the Grounds

1st July 2010:
I really liked your continuation of the relationship with Ben. I thought they interacted really well with each other. I also liked the way you examined the differences between the Wizarding worlds of the two countries, and I liked her naivete with regard to Snape.

I thought maybe some of the conversation was a bit posh. In my mind, Amelia speaks with a very upper class home counties accent, and I think you could use more contractions to bring her back to a middle class woman from the West country.

Emma

Author's Response: Thanks! I loved thinking up the bit on Salem... did my research and everything. I'm a history nerd, so I found it pretty enjoyable.

As to her diction, that's a very helpful tip. I'm from the States - you're probably saying 'duh' - so those finer details skate by. I did a bit of research on English geography to place her in the right town, but I'm clueless about diction.

Thanks again!


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Review #12, by stoirmeachaTeaching Magic: Welcome to Hogwarts

1st July 2010:
Okay, I have a confession to make. I might, just might, have read all through your story yesterday, guiltily passing over the pleas for reviews because I was so desperate to read the next chapter. Each of those pleas plucked at my heartstrings, and so, yes, I'm back to review each chapter.

I have to say, this is one of the first fan fics I've really enjoyed in a long time. I don't think I've come across a romance fic between two teachers, so I thought the plot was an original if obvious development from the books, very well executed and thought out. I don't think I've read a fic for a long time which has reminded me so much of playing Rachmaninov - long, long sections of building tension culminating in moments of glorious relief, and I love it all the more for that.

I thought your characterisation of Hagrid was superb. Few authors quite manage to capture Hagrid, but you've got him to a tee. I also thought you portrayed Trelawney very well.

I thought the relationship between Amelia and Ben was really well introduced, and it definitely evoked that sense of meeting someone for the first time who you just click with.

Right, Amelia: firstly, well done on not falling into the whole "I'm going to give my characters weird and wonderful" names thing. I thought she was named very well. However, I would also say that she has elements of a "Mary-Sue" - she is physically perfect (although well done on her not being blonde!), she's an American import, the guys are falling at her feet, and, from later chapters, she's an animagus, she has an angsty, mysterious past, everything happens to her, and she is extremely clever and gifted at everything she does. People find characters easier to identify with characters if there is something of themselves in there, and there's no-one that perfect. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, it's part of who we are, and I think if you balanced her strengths with her weaknesses more, it would help to make her a more-rounded character. I don't know if you've done this, but you might find it helpful to fill in a character sheet for Amelia, detailing her appearances and personality and other various things, but it might help you to balance her out a bit more. On the forums, there's also an OC workshop, which you might find useful.

I hope you didn't find that too harsh - I think she has the potential, if refined slightly, to be a wonderful character, and that issue is one of the extremely few I have with this story. The premise for this story is excellent, and I very much enjoy your writing style.

Emma

Author's Response: My hero!!!

Thank you so much for the feedback! I go through the already-posted chapters and fix them regularly, so it's always appreciated.

And, yes, Amelia is far too perfect... that's not harsh at all! I have tried to give her a couple faults, though I'm not sure if that's in any published chapters just yet. I will definitely keep that in mind though as I continue writing. She is pretty perfect. I'm absolutely going to explore those options you suggested! This is my first time writing, so this is all new.

You'll most likely find that Ben is pretty perfect, too - I think I unconsciously modeled him after my idea of a perfect man! I tried to portray him as a little jealous and overprotective, but those are excusable, endearing faults, after all.

Thank you thank you!


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Review #13, by stoirmeachaA Foreign Affair: Boloxis--where??

30th June 2010:
Haha, I liked it. I really liked the premise of the story, the style of the writing and the humour in it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it continues.

Emma

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! We're really enjoying writing this, and we're glad other people find it funny. I'm sorry we kept you waiting so long for the next chapter, but you can look us up on fanfiction dot net while the staff is away on their vacation here.

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Review #14, by stoirmeachaFine Print: Fine Print

8th June 2010:
I liked this a lot. I thought it was very original - I've never read a story about this before. I particularly liked the last line - I thought it was very effective. I thought this investigated Merope's guilt really well, and I liked the way it hinted at the future.

Emma

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Review #15, by stoirmeachaA Fork in the Road: Prologue

6th June 2010:
I really liked this, and I thought it made a really good beginning. It created her anxiety and confusion really well. I thought you varied your sentence lengths really well to create that sense of verging on madness.

Emma

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! I'm you thought her feelings were good, and that the sentences coveyed that.

Thanks again!!


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Review #16, by stoirmeachaEpitaph: Through the Looking Glass

2nd June 2010:
I really liked the writing in this, and the way you didn't reveal who the character was until the end. I thought you conjured up the senses really well, and Sirius' confusion was really well presented.

I felt the last sentence could have done with a pause in the middle: "His name was Sirius Black, and he was dead." to give emphasis to both points and especially to the last point.

Overall, I really liked it.

Emma

Author's Response: Thank you so much!!! :)

I'll definitely add a pause to that sentence; Thank you so much for pointing it out!

Thanks for reviewing! :)


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Review #17, by stoirmeachaI Couldn't Be Happier...: "I hope i get it, i really hope i get it...."

18th March 2010:
I'll be honest, I read this because you have the Beethoven Horn Sonate in your banner. You've got great taste.
I really like the humour in this, and the idea on which it's based. All the characters' characterisation is consistent, even if it deviates from the books. One thing you could do better is to make sure you capitalise every sentence.
Emma

Author's Response: thnk u very much 4 the suggestion, i will try 2 improve on this! :)
&& lolz u also have great taste! :)


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Review #18, by stoirmeachaUnnamed Innocence: Chapter 1 - Disparity

21st September 2009:
I liked this chapter a lot. The best part of the time, you kept Hagrid and Dumbledore completely in character, and Hagrid's speech was entirely characteristic of him. I loved Hagrid's self-deprecation, and I thought it was a thoughtful insight into his mind. Your presentation of Hagrid was one of the best I've seen - a lot of people seem to find him very difficult to write.

There were times when you seemed to wander into a higher register of language, and it disrupted the flow - I couldn't imagine Hagrid using the word "apex", for example, and the area round that seemed weaker, as it felt very uncharacteristic of Hagrid.

Other than that, I thought you did a wonderful job, and I would like to read more of this.

Emma

Author's Response: Thanks! Your comments are greatly appreciated.

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Review #19, by stoirmeachaSometimes...: Prologue--The Disappearance

20th September 2009:
Heylo :) I really liked this, and the way this set up the plot, although I thought you could maybe have provided more detail in places, which you are probably deliberately saving for later chapters. I think your writing shows a lot of promise, and I can't wait to read the later chapters of this fic. Generally, I thought your characterisation of the major characters was good, and I felt this worked really well as a first chapter.

One thing I did think though is that your grammar around speech tended to be a little off-putting: you tend to put capital letters at the beginning of verbs when they're not needed, eg. “Why have you called us here?” /Asked/ Minerva McGonagall - needs no capital. I also thought you might want to reread passages with Dumbledore in the books - to me, in this, he felt a little ... feminine? I also felt your portrayal of Aurora seemed a little overdramatic. Your beginning repetition of the word her felt too repetitive rather than the anaphoric effect you might have been aiming for - I would suggest varying your sentence structures more?

It may seem like I've been very critical, but I did really like this chapter, and I think the rest of the chapters will be very good.

Emma

Author's Response: hey, thanks so much for reviewing! Two reviews in the first day of having the chapter up is much more than I'd hoped for, and I'm very grateful! I totally understand the praise/critique style, I use it myself, so you didn't seem too critical.

As for Dumbledore, I will have to think about what you said, because in the past I've written him this way and people thought I was being very true to his character...as much as I'd like to please everybody unfortunately I can't. :-) But I will definitely try and read some of the places where he appears in the books, just to refresh my memory.

Anyway, thanks so much for reviewing, hope to hear from you soon!


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Review #20, by stoirmeachaTop Tower, Top Thought: Top Tower, Top Thought

16th September 2009:
I really liked this: I thought the dialogue was really good and flowed well as it would between two friends of that age of the opposite sex. I liked your use of imagery and I thought your use of imagery showed a natural ability with words. I'm really glad this was a one-shot - not because it was bad, but because it stood so well on its own; it had a definite sense of balance and worked really well.

One thing I did think though is that you might want to have a beta run through this - I noticed a couple of typos:
"Leave her alone, because she clearly /camp/ up to here to be alone." - came.
"she said very matter-/o/-factly" - of.
"I booked it my bed" - well, I thought this was one. I don't have a clue what it means, anyway ;)

Overall, I thought this was really, really good, and I really enjoyed it - I'm picky about what I read these days. 9.5/10

Emma

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Review #21, by stoirmeachaHearts True Desires: Letting You Go

25th August 2009:
Aww, this was really cute! I really liked the way it was presented, with the combination of the memories, and the song and the present day. I also loved the humour in this, because it was very typical of Sirius' personality, and I thought Lily's characterisation was also really good.

Emma

Author's Response: First review yesss!!!
thank you so much when I heard this song the idea just suddenly came to me, and then the other two songs which are also by Jason Robert Brown are also perfect for the same situation. I am glad you liked it though especially Lily's characterisation because I am having a bit of trouble with her and she is the next chapter.

Anyways, please keep reading!


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Review #22, by stoirmeachaDawn and Dusk: A Promise

26th October 2008:
I loved this chapter. It went very deep, especially the last part and the conversation with Harry. I felt it worked having the longer chapter, although I wished it wasn't the last chapter as it would seem. I though the maps were very symbolic in a sense of Sirius' time in the house, and I thought this was good.

There was one place where it looked like you'd missed a beta note: “All right,” he ("All right. " He); but that seemed to be it. Altogether, I've loved this story, and the way it presented the relationship between Remus and Hermione. For this chapter: 10/10.

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Review #23, by stoirmeachaDawn and Dusk: Reunion

26th October 2008:
I really liked this chapter, and the way it made Hermione and Remus confront their feelings to a degree after having thought he would never come back. I liked the way he had come to accept her presence next to him as given.

The writing in this story is very intense, and it adds to the sense that his love for her is very deep. Altogether, I really liked this chapter. 8/10

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Review #24, by stoirmeachaDawn and Dusk: Just a Dream

26th October 2008:
I thought this chapter was really good as well, and it really highlighted the similarities between them between them, as opposed to the difference in age between them. I liked that you took your time to get to this scene, and that it wasn't just all physical, and that they were having a real battle over the situation. I loved the quote thing they had going on. I thought the way he had to consider so carefully what to say was really good and realistic.

On the other hand, I didn't like the use of CDs so much, as they're so much a Muggle technology, and I felt this detracted from the chapter, especially, as they didn't seem to need to be there.

Overall, I thought it was a really good chapter, especially with the interactions between Remus and Hermione. 9/10

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Review #25, by stoirmeachaDawn and Dusk: Windows to the Soul

26th October 2008:
I thought the conversation between Remus and Dumbledore was very clever, and I loved the way it had such hidden meanings. I could really appreciate the characters' reactions from the writing. I thought the drinking scene was really well written.

There was one thing: I didn't find it realistic that Remus would just be able to pick up the piano again, if that makes sense.

Overall, I thought it was really good again. 8/10

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