Reading Reviews From Member: OliveOil_Med
  
23 Reviews Found

Review #1, by OliveOil_MedKnock You Down: One

30th May 2011:
I know it has taken me long enough to get this review done, but I am finally getting back into my review requests, now that I am asking for them again myself. But I will make sure to give you plenty to read and lots of feedback.

From a technical aspect, I don't find a lot of things to say about the story. The English and the grammar seem very sound and you have a good grasp of your own skill in writing.

But there were a few things in your story that took me out of the story and forced me to wonder 'what?'. Stories that make you think are always wonderful, as long as they keep you in the story. But when contemplations pull you out of the story (out of the four walls, so to say).

And, I do find there are quite a few of these such moments within your stories.

For instances, the idea of Albus, Rose and Lily all living together after their graduation struck me as a bit odd. Wouldn't they have rather lived with friends? And I can't recall a single one of my friends having done the same thing after their graduation, choosing to live with their siblings. This could be the case, even if it seems rather Freudian to me, but like I said, more the point is that an instant like this forces a reader out of the story, and that in itself can be a bad thing.

There's something I'd like to add about a personal pet peeve of mine. Nicknames are something that are a lot less previllant in British culture than in American, Canadian, or Australian cultures do. That means, of course, that nicknames are something that aren't very common stories depicting true British culture.

Let's take a look at the Harry Potter books for example. We see very few cases of characters having nicknames in the books (Ron, Tonks, and Bill, maybe a few others). And despite where you see in too many fanfiction, Hermione is never called 'Mione (that was something invented by too many authors). This may be something that is more personal pet peeve, but I also look at this as being an Americanism, and that is something that can quickly ruin any Harry Potter story.

It is something that is incredibly difficult for American authors to overcome (ignoring your own cultural upbringing is not easy), but what helps is studying a lot of stories written by British authors and making friends with the British writers on the site.

Now what are some words of advice I can offer in terms of the future writing of this story? One big problem with a lot of romance stories is that outside the actual romance, there is no real plot. I know the main point of the story will be to see Lily and her signifigant other together, but that by itself rarely makes for a good story. Consider what else you want to come from this story, and be strong about it.

That's one chapter, with two more to go.

Author's Response: hi! ^_^

thanks so much for getting to this, no matter how late! :) Thank you for that about the technical aspect, I must thank my beta for that :P I fail at commas XD

Anyway, about this being an out and out romance novella; it was intended to be that. I know that, personally, at the end of a stressful day, I would love to read a mindless romance story :P this was meant to be that. This was on purpose :)

But I thank you for pointing it out to me - the sequel does have a major plot so maybe once you're done with this, if you want, you can check that out! ^_^

love
Ak~


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Review #2, by OliveOil_MedJames's Sketchbook: Chapter One – Inner Sanctum

5th February 2011:
I'm like this chapter a lot, but I still feel like I could enjoy the story a lot more if you could go back to the first chapter and fix the canon errors. This is going to be a canon pairing, so it won't make a lot of sense if all the rules of canon aren't followed.

I'm very interested to see how Lily's music and James are art going to be plot points in the story. It's something I have never seen before, and I feel like it could have the potential to really make your story stand out. Just one word of advice, make sure these aspects do play a part in your story, otherwise they'll just end up becoming noise and be seen as a pointless source for your stories title.

I also like how you have introduced the element of danger into your story. We are told that the Marauders Era was even more dangerous than the times of HPB and DH, yet most stories in the Marauders era completely ignored this fact. Go back to your copy of HBP to see what you might be able to do to help convey this environment.

I am most certainly going to make this story a favorite of mine, and I hope these reviews have sufficiently inspired you to continue on to the third chapter.

Good luck and happy writing!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! you're 100% awesome! ^_^

Once again, I am not sure that Lily was a prefect since it was never stated in canon and her actions in Snape's memories would support her not actually being a prefect. If there actually is a reference to Lily being a prefect that I have not found then please point me to it. ^_^
Were there any other errors in canon that I should know?

Don't worry. These are very, very, very important plot points. It wouldn't be called James' Sketchbook if the drawing was going to be background noise. And of course, Lily's violin is going to be very important too. Can't say how yet, but all will become clear.

Voldemort's rise began in the 70s, so by James and Lily's last year, there would have had to have been a lot of fear. That's a good point to look back at HBP. I'll check out how she deals with that.

AWWW! < 3 Thanks for the favorite!!! You're great! Great reviews and a favorite and canon-picking. You rock my socks!

Third chapter will be out soon. Don't you worry.

Thank you very much!
-Houlestar


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Review #3, by OliveOil_MedJames's Sketchbook: Prologue – The Seventh Hogwarts Express

5th February 2011:
I think you have a great start to the story. It seems well-written and introduces a lot of great character development. The Mrauders all seemed very true to the characters (with Peter not just shoved to the side, which has always been a pet peeve of mine), and the scene with Lily and her parents was very touching. I especially liked Lily's feelings upon seeing Snape.

I find myself wondering just how Petunia was still forced to go. As the older sister, would be done with school and be working a job of her own, unless she is still living with her parents. And if that were the case, I could see her still coming, but I doubt Petunia would have been convinced by Lily begging her. The sisters had an intence dislike of one another, and that dislike would have certainly only have grown stronger with age.

There were a few bits of canon. To start with, we already know that Lily was indeed a prefect from OotP with Snape's memories in the Penceive. And that would me that if Mary was in Lily's year, she would have no reason to be in the prefects' car. And while Dumbledore MIGHT have let one student who wasn't a prefect become a Head, but that never would have been the case with two students. The Heads are expect the be the leaders of the prefects, and there is little chance they would respect two students who were never prefects themselves. Dumbledore must know this.

Another thing, while prefects can take away small numbers of points, that can't give detentions themselves. If the see a student misbehaving, they can take them to their Head of House and let THEM deal with the behavior, but they don't have the authority to give students detention. It is something that could be too easily abused.

I was, however, quite pleased to see the role that Snape is playing in the story as well. In many James/Lily stories, they just completely brush over the fact that he ever existed. But he played too much of a role in Lily's life for him to be ignored, no matter when the story takes place.

I just want to say I commend you for it!

There are a few canon things in here that need to be fixed, but once that happens, I feel like I could really get into this story. And I am normally not a fan of Jame/Lily pairings.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your reviews (they are well worth the wait! ^_^)
I'm actually starting to warm to Peter, so I can't believe that in the past he wasn't more of a player in my stories (the original James' Sketch Book is one of those stories *shame*).

I suppose I had her go because I thought that she actually wants to go but she wants to put up a front. Maybe i could make that more clear... I see her as still living at home though (as will be discussed later in the story).

In terms of canon, I used the Harry Potter wiki's article on Prefects for my source (and Snape's memories). Lily was never actually a prefect. At least, it was never stated. (She's not listed under confirmed Prefects, and on her bio it's only supposed that she was a prefect). However, I don't think she was. I have valid reasoning for this:
If Lily was a prefect then she would have not allowed James & co. to harass Severus. Prefects can give detentions and dock points from people in their own house (this IS canon). She had no power to stop them other than yelling at James and taking out her wand.

Hence, Mary is the girl Gryffindor prefect for their year (why she's there... once again, I could clarify that).

Yes, Dumbledore would know that, but he does do some weird things. The fact is that James and Lily were Head Boy and Girl. James wasn't a prefect and their is no canon to support that Lily was one (that I found... trust me I looked, I wanted to have her be a prefect... but instead there seems to be evidence against it).

Wow, that was a long explanation. I'm glad you pointed it out, so I could explain why I did what I did, though.

Snape is far too important to not be in the story. He was Lily's BEST FRIEND. I've broken up with some of my best friends and they still play important roles in my life.

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the great review!
-Houlestar


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Review #4, by OliveOil_MedThe Year of the Dragon: Chapter 1 The Sorting

26th January 2011:
Yes, I am at last finishing my promised reviews of my challange stories, and I hope this story meets with your approval.

A lot of people have already remarked on the beautiful imagery shown in this story, and I have to say the same. You paint the setting perfectly and I can see it whenever I close my eyes, which is always a sign of an excellent story.

The idea of the sorting was an interesting idea. At first I thought it was going to be a House Sorting just copying Hogwarts, but this was an interesting twist. Although with as large a population as China has, I'm not sure there would only be three schools for the whole country.

Maybe instead, these three schools are just the school for the region of China. I think this should be explained though, because it could prove to be a nasty little plothole in your story.

Since this story takes place in the area that used to be Manchuria, I am interested to see how you incorperate the Manchus into your story, as well as how the education system in China works. I also notice the year of your story coinsides with the formation of the Chinese Republic, and I wonder how this is going to play into your story. Does this war have anything to do with it? I suppose you're going to make me wait.

But You do have a very strong start and I can tell this is going to be a very amazing story.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the wonderful review and feedback. As of now there are only three schools for China. I may change that. One reason I may keep it that I have been playing around with is that less and less people are being born with the ability in China and it is starting to become a problem. I may make that a main plot point. Right now I'm still not absolutely sure if I want to go that way. Another solution could be that maybe I will have three main schools and several smaller schools that could kind of be like vassal schools. I will think on all of this.

White Crane is in southern China where Li Zongxian lives and Black Dragon is in Manchuria. I was definitely going to play around with the differences between the Han Chinese and the Manchus.

There is a lot to keep tabs on in this story and feedback is always so helpful to make sure that I don't forget something. Thanks again for that!


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Review #5, by OliveOil_MedFor My Country: ||Prologue||

25th January 2011:
Yes, I am at last working through my reviews of my challange stories and this story will be the first.

I'm wondering what these Muggles have to do with the main character, Elena, and this Zane of hers, but I'm really anxious to see how it will be weaved into the rest of your story and what the setup is even going to be.

I can't wait see what you have created for te school we wilk see, what the name is, and how it will differ from Hogwarts. Please promise you won't make me wait for too long!

If were really worried about people not understanding your characters were Muggles, here are a few tips that could have let people know. You could have mentioned electronics in the room (computers, televisions, phones, PDAs), which wizards wouldn't use. You could have them talk about the Senate or Muggle football or baseball teams.

Mr. Danvers could even ask Mr. Taylor how his flight to America was. Wizard don't use airplanes, and likely wouldn't make through all the customs and regulations needing to take an internation flight. This would be a big clue as to the fact that these men are Muggles.

It's still not to late to add some edits into the story to help in this. Try making a list of Muggle topics or nouns that wizards wouldn't have anything to do with and think about how you could include these to make it clear that these men are Muggles as opposed to wizards.

But I think you have an amazing start here and I hope you will soon feel the insperation necessary to write chapter 1.

Author's Response: Ooh, I've got first review! How exciting! I'm still planning out what the school will look like, but I have the name down, so that's one thing I can check off, haha.

I'll try not to wait too long to update the story, I just want to get it right, you know? And I have another chapter in the queue right now hehe.

I'm not too worried, because what with the whole magic letter thing, I thought it would be sort of obvious. However, you're right, I definitely could have put things in there like that, though I did mention a television set and a tape in there.

Thanks for all the advice and imput, and more importantly I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the challenge!

~Becca


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Review #6, by OliveOil_MedImpressions of Padma Patil: Chapter One: Charmed

12th January 2011:
Here is the review I promised, even though I know it certainly took long enough.

I love stories about Padma Patil, mostly because she remains such an undeveloped character, both in the books and in fanfiction. So whenever I do come across one such story, it is a rare treat.

The descriptive language is beautiful and it paints such a clear picture of the surroundings and the people there. One thing that ca always make or break a story for me is what I see when I close my eyes. If I can't see the story, I know it is not one that appeals to me and one I won't be reading for much longer.

Your story certainly doews not suffer from this problem, and you should most definitely be commended for that.

One thing I would like to point out is that the word 'Muggle' needs to be capitalized. Most words invented by J.K. are capitalized (which is why Nargles and Hippogriff are capitalized while centaur and unicorn aren't). Also, spells are always in italics.

Some minor things, I know, but they were things I did find that could help you with your story.

Ah, getting into a country 'the old fashioned way'! I have several friends whose families came to America under those exact same circumstances.

I think I am now addicted to your writing style, and I'll have to come back and read more of your stories.

Author's Response: Wow! *Blushes furiously* I don't even know how to reply to this, but I am.

Thank you so much for the compliments. Potential addiction? That's so flattering to my ego! Especially since I know you have high standards (I mean this in a good way, of course, as I would like to think I have high standards too). Gah! I'm stunned. I've been holding off replying to this because I just don't know how, and I still failed, but I really appreciate your feedback. I'll add your suggestions about capitalization and italics to my list of what to do before I submit any story haha. Thanks again!

I must warn you, if you do come back, stick to recent writings to get an idea of my writing style :P

Best,
nrb


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Review #7, by OliveOil_MedScarlet Molly: Part Two

12th January 2011:
Now onto chapter 2!

Another problem I'm seeing is that these people in the story all sound terribly American despite the fact that they are British.

I'm also seeing a terrible amount of Muggle references and the story doesn't come off as feeling like it takes place in the wizarding world. I haven't been seeing a lot of magic and very few references to the world J.K. created.

And this makes me feel even more like I am reading Easy A written out instead of a Harry Potter fanfiction.

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Review #8, by OliveOil_MedScarlet Molly: Part One

12th January 2011:
I watched the movie, Easy A, just so I would be able to better follow the story.

One thing I would like to touch on is something I tend to see a lot of in stories based on previous published works. All that really reams to be hppening is the movie being written out with the characters from the Next Generation of Harry Potter stories.

Not that I'm against basing fanfiction on these principles, but I do like to see the stories use the previous stories acting as more a starting point and ending at that. A few lines could be taken from the stories. Stories where the plot is just completely replaced with what happened word for word in the movie.

Part of the problem is that we already know exactly what is going to happen at every turn, and that generally never makes for an exciting story.

I'll keep on reading, though.

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Review #9, by OliveOil_MedAnnora : Slytherin

2nd January 2011:
And now for chapter two!

In this chapter, we are seeing a lot of the same problems we saw in the previous chapter. For the situation you are trying to propose, you don't do enough work to explain it. A sixteen-year-old starting school in the middle of the term is not something that a lot of people would just accept without question, and yet that is exactly what happens here. Everyone has just accepted that this strange new daughter of Death Eaters is going to be starting at their school and that there is absolutly nothing sinister or suspicious about that.

I also see your new explaination of Durmstrang, but it doesn't really solve a lot of the problems. We know that what she said about asthma is a lie, but the truth isn't really much more believible.

Also, a few canon issues that tripped me up, the use of 'Theo' (nicknames tend to be a pet peeve of mine when we never see anyone use them in the books), and you describes Blaise as olive-skinned when he is black. I really do feel bad for poor Blaise...people thought he was a skinny white girl for so long...

I'm sorry, but I find it very difficult to get into this story, because I keep finding myself asking 'How could this happen?'

Author's Response: Hi again!

I think some people are suspicious of her and most students have been told she is joining which is why it is not such a big deal. I will try and clear this up though.

Ok, I will try and fix the canon problems when I am editing :)

I'm sorry about that! :( Maybe it's not your type of thing :/ Right now I'm going through the teenage girl all-I-want-to-read-or-write-is-romance stage so some of my stories may be suffering, but hey I am enjoying it and hopefully some others will enjoy it too! :)

Lily :)


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Review #10, by OliveOil_MedAnnora : Anything and Everything

2nd January 2011:
Here is my first review, as promised!

There quite a few things about this story that confuse me. For starts, why is Annora Carrow just starting Hogwarts after all this time? I know that she was probably homeschooled, but why? Why did her parents choose not to send her to Hogwarts? And also, the Carrows were Death Eaters right along with the Malfoys. Why does Draco not even know her? I would think if their parents were all Death Eaters, they would have been introduced at some point. Whenever two people who even vaguely know each other have children the same age.

Also, Annora's only function in this story is to fall in love with Draco Malfoy, and it shows. Part of the way this shows is how out of character Voldemort is. Why would he go through all the trouble of sending some odd new student to Hogwarts to make sure Draco is 'feeling alright'? Voldemort does not care about people's feelings, and he certainly isn't going to risk someone knowing he is up to something by sending the child of known Death Eaters to Hogwarts in the middle of the school year. Voldemort is smart enough to know that Dumbledore is not an idiot, and I doubt he would risk a kink in his plans for the sake of Draco's feelings.

I'm sorry, but I just don't really see how this would happen given what we know about the laws of the books. I am certainly not against the romance genre, but what I am against is romance without a well-explained plot. The explaination for how Draco and Annora will come together as a couple is weak and the reader can tell that the only reason for this story is so the two of them can become a couple. And if a reader already knows what's going to happen in a story, they're not going to bother to read it.

Author's Response: Hi :)

She didn't go to Hogwarts because she went to Durmstrang (they don't let muggleborns in so her parents sent her there.) I realise that this had thrown a lot of people off and so I am going to try and make it clearer in the first Chapter. That is a good point also, I am going to try and change this story in a week or so and make it more realistic. So this CC helps a lot.

Thanks for that feedback, I will try and make her less one-sided. I will have a think about what you said about Voldemort.

Ok, thanks, I am going to try and improve this story based on some of this to make it less MarySue-esque :/

Thanks for reviewing :)
Lily :)


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Review #11, by OliveOil_MedDragons, Journalists, and Charlie Weasley: Day 7

28th December 2010:
And finally, here is review #3!

Still, nothing about the reasons behind why Gwen is even here, so the reader is left to assume that it is only for the reason that Charlie can fall in love with her. And I'm sorry to say, but the way Gwen is written, she doesn't seem at all like an adult journalist. She seems more like a teenage girl writing in her diary or asking questions for her report. She doesn't seem to have a lot of seriousness or professionalism towards her job, and she doesn't really come into this veryprepared. As I said before, the way she interviews people is more like what you would see a high school student doing for a social studies paper.

Because of this, I feel like the premise of why she is here doesn't really make a lot of sense either. What kind of article wants to know a dragon keeper's favorite childhood memory? I'm sorry, but I just have trouble getting past this aspect of the story to get the point where I feel like I could enjoy it a lot more.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Again, I'm assuming you mean Genevieve when you say 'Gwen.' But I'm a bit new to the journalism thing, but seeing as I'm trying to learn it (and I absolutely had to write this idea), it's kind of a trial and error sort of thing, I guess. But outside of her job, like when she's with her friends and stuff, she technically is a child, and she totally acts like one. And I'm trying to make it seem as though she pulls herself together and becomes more mature and adult-like when she's working.

No! The whole thing with Emily and the questions actually have nothing to do with the article Genevieve's writing. It's only the two of them trying to get to know each other better by questioning each other. I'm sorry that confused you, but I hope that I've cleared it up enough to allow you to enjoy it more. If not, that's completely fine.

Thank you again for your honest input!


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Review #12, by OliveOil_MedDragons, Journalists, and Charlie Weasley: Day 2

28th December 2010:
And here is your second review!

In this chapter, we are still seeing a lot of unneeded details about clothing and the like. Knowing the exact details of a character's outfit does not really add anything to the story, and it often seems to be there more for the sake of the writer than it is for the reader.

It tends to be seen as a very boring detail that only keeps the reader from the actual story.

One thing I am seeing is a lot of 'fangirl language' here. A more exact explaination of that is when a story has a strong amounts of fairly simple words in a foreign language, even when the characters seem able to speak English. It usually only exists for the reason of further illistrating the fact that the character is foreign.

The main reason why this really doesn't work as a concept is because the words that are used are often the first words a person learns to say in a foreign language. If you went to Argentina as an exchange student, and you had a strong grasp of the Spanish langiage, you would not be sprinkling it full of 'you go, girl!' or 'sir' and ma'am'. But that is basically what you are going when you use fangirl language.

Other places we see it is when Isabella uses 'Italia' instead of 'Italy'.

If you want to include words in a foreign language, a more believible way is to have them muttering to themselves in their own language when talking to themselves, or when their emotions get the best of them and they can't really do the work of translating.

I still see a lot of that strong technical language, and it really does make your story very strong.

But into the second chapter, we still don't know why Gwen is here, who she is writing for, or what the exact article she is here to write.

Author's Response: Hi again!

And again, I agree with you on the describing what doesn't need to be described. Grr, I'm definitely fixing that, because it is unnecessary to the plot. And I totally get what you mean by the 'fangirl language,' but like I replied in the other review, I'm planning on editing everything.

Thanks again for another review!


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Review #13, by OliveOil_MedDragons, Journalists, and Charlie Weasley: Day 1

28th December 2010:
I know it took me long enough, but here, at last, is my review!

Your story seems to be very strong structurally and in terms of grammar. I saw almost no mistakes to point out and I have to commend you for your strong knowledge of the English, which, believe it or not, is quite rare on this site.

One technical thing, I would use 'Mr.' instead of 'Mister'. The later is almost never used as a title, and it really isn't grammatically correct to do so. Just so you know.

Another thing I notice about your story were that you tend to include a lot of descriptions that seem very out of place, mainly because there is no reason that they should be there (such as the height of her boots and her own eye color when talking about what she is seeing).

I tend to call these things 'Twilight details' from the first passage of Twilight wear Bella spends more time telling us about her exact outfit as opposed to anything that
would move the story forward. In the future, make sure to ask yourself, when adding a description, 'Is this detail vital to the story or will it do anything to move the story forward?' You can certainly describe physical traits of the characters, but we don't really need to know about the narrarator's boots or their eye color, especially before we even know what their name is.

One thing I kept asking myself during this story is 'Why?' We never do find out why she is in Romania, just who she is writing an article for, or what she is writing about. And when you don't set this up clearly from the beginning, your readers tend to think it is because you don't have a good reason. That the only reason this woman is here is for Charlie to fall in love with her.

It is certainly fine that this is a romance story, and that for Gwen and Charlie to fall in love is the goal, but keep in mind, you have to write this story like it is happening in real life. Gwen doesn't know she is going to fall in love with Charlie. She thinks she is in Romania for an assignment, and you need to make that reason clear.

And I also have to wonder why she needs to stay there for six months. This especially needs a good explaination, because it is such a long period of time, and it seems a bit excessive for just writing an article.

Well, I am off to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks for the review!

And also, thanks for pointing out the good and the bad (or what you liked and didn't like), I truly am grateful for the honesty.

Now that I'm looking back through my chapters, I've actually noticed quite a lot of what you mentioned, like the describing what doesn't need to be described, and so on. And I think you mean Genevieve when you say 'Gwen.'

She does actually have a bit of an attraction to him early on in the story, more like 'oh, he's pretty handsome,' but I totally get you when you say keep it realistic and clear, because this is her job. Yeah, six months is quite a long time, and a bit too long, I must say, but I plan on completely rewriting and editing this story once the queue opens once again!

Thank you again!


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Review #14, by OliveOil_MedLove, Not War: Same Side Now

20th December 2010:
And here is my final review!

I also thought the scene with Harry helping Draco was a little weak. Again, you need to think back to what is at the core of these characters' development. For Draco and Harry, they hate each other's guts. Harry might have been talked into Draco with some talk about Gryffinor nobility, but he would have been 'forget this' at the first insult. And 'just wanting to help' tends to be seen as code for the author couldn't think of a better reason so it is what it is.

This is something I would work on.

Another thing, Draco is out of character with how easily he cries in front of Harry Potter. We did see him crying in HBP, but he thought he was alone, and the stress of thinking he had to kill the strongest wizard in the world would probably get to anyone. But here, it just seems a little out of place.

I have always felt that most stories where Draco and the Trio become friends aren't very well done, mostly because they just brush over all those years of insults and hatred, and the fact that Draco is an absolute racist (even Draco seems to forget that fact). I'm not saying this kind of story can never be done well, but it is a very difficult thing to do, and when it doesn't have effort put into it, it really shows.

It's essentially the same as not thinking through the plot or running spellcheck, or anything else of equal importance to a story.

Some more technical things...

The word 'God' is capitalized when it refers to the singular Judeo-Christian god.

Truthfully, this chapter, like the other ones I have read, were not every believeble and I couldn't think of any explaination for how any of the events in your story could possibly happen.

I know this might not be the nicest thing to say, but I don't go through the effort of reading entire stories and writing extensive reviews just to lie to people.

Author's Response: Yeah, well, you're the only one who's read this that thinks that - as far as I know. Don't worry, I won't be back to request any more reviews from you ever again... Thanks for your time anyways. =/

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Review #15, by OliveOil_MedLove, Not War: The Healer

20th December 2010:
Here I am at chapter 2.

About Saleena...I'm sorry to say she seems a bit like a Mary Sue. There first thing that set off alarm bells was actually her name. The name'Selena' has been used so many times, again and again, that even it has become a Mary Sue indicator. I believe Pottersues has an entire page devoted to Mary Sues named Selena. But what made it more of a concrete indicator was the the odd spelling. I have looked it up, and I could find no really name books or websites that recognized the name Saleena, which means it is most likely a made up variant...which does tend to be a sign of a Mary Sue.

Then, there are a few other signs: the fact that she is the head of a medical department despite the fact she is incredibly young to be so, the fact that she has a tragic backstory, the fact that she is considered royalty, she's half-gypsy (and I don't believe very many gypsies are blonde; they descend from Indian nomads), has 'the gift' that skips a generation, was friends with Sirius Black and was 'on his side', and only she stands between another step towards Voldemort taking over the world.

As far as names go, I actually feel like you might have been able to get away with the made up name, given her mother, but it just comes off looking like a misspelling of the name Selena.

I also have to wonder that why, in the midst of all these fancy names does the grandother have a name like Carla? It seems incredibly out of place. Also, Saleena doesn't even have a Romani named. It is a very English one, and again, one that may or may not be made up.

And how you later go one to paint the race of gypsies doesn't really help in this.

You don't really paint gypsies in a way that matches what is known about the Romani people in real life. Truth be told, I thought Saleena was half-veela until I saw the line about her ethnicity. The part about seeing men as only breeding tools through me for a loop as well. Gypsies are people; they do have their births split half and half between men and women. I don't really see them willing to drown their baby boys in the river just so they can keep themselves a society of all women. Some young, devoted mother would have stood up to this law eventually.

And I really have to wonder why it would even matter to her bosses that she was a gypsy. Many people see the Romani as just another ethnic group. And as long as she was good at her job, it shouldn't matter that she is gypsy any more than if she were Creole, Hispanic, or Sudanese.

And what freedoms is the Ministry denying them exactly? This is never explained, and it really only seems to serve the purpose of adding more unneeded angsts.

Honestly, I found everything you said about gypsies confusing, implosable, and just a bit insulting.

This chapter just seems to be full of contridictions upon contridictions: the friendship with Mrs. Black (I have no way of seeing her associating with gypsies, who many consider to this day to be dirty theives).

All these things together just make for a pretty strong case that this character is a Mary Sue, I'm sorry to say.

And again, we are still seeing people calling up the Order like they were the Red Cross. Remember, it HAD to be a secret organization in order to exist, the way resistance groups were. People might have known such groups existed, but they wouldn't have known their proper names.

Now for the technical comments!

In the case of the Ministry of Magic, Ministry needs to be capitalized, even when it is on its own.

You also tend to be a little confused on the meaning of 'disowned'. When one is disowned from their people, they are more or less banished from their people, forbidden to come in contact with them or speak with them. So it really doesn't make sense how Saleena's mother would still know all this.

Your dialouge is also sounding incredibly American. Words like 'yeah right', 'nope' and 'yep' aren't generally used in Britain, especially by people as educated as what a doctor would be. I would go over to the British help threads and get some imput on your dialogue in your stories.

One more review to go.

Author's Response: No one else has ever said Saleena seems like a Mary Sue before. In fact, a lot of people deem her as their favorite character in this. (BTW: It's Saleena, NOT Selena, and I haven't read anything where that is used before.) And it doesn't say here, but you find out later on why it would matter if her boss knew what she was or not. I'm not gonna waste my time explaining it to you here tho, because it isn't even worth it... You've made it VERY clear that you don't like this, or even agree with it, so why should I bother?

And I wasn't trying to match my Gypsies to anything in real life. In fact, I didn't even know that there were people who are like that. The term "Gypsy" is just a word I picked out to use as my own version of magical people in this story. (Like how JK has created the Veela and half-giants.) And she's not too young to be a healer. She's actually 46. She just looks young because that's a trait if the Gypsies - MY Gypsies, and not the real life ones, or whatever.

You don't have to be so technical about everything all the time, you know? And I am done explaining myself to you about this, sorry. =/


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Review #16, by OliveOil_MedLove, Not War: The Letter

20th December 2010:
Well, here is the first of my 'actual' reviews, and I hope it offers a great deal of help.

One of the first things I noticed about this chapter is that Lucius is once again very out of character. We already know that Lucius is a very proud person, and we know he despises Arthur for the fact that he is a blood-traitor and a Muggle-lover. They even got into a physical fight in the bookstore in CoS. Knowing these things about him, the Lucius Malfoy would absolutely, positively NEVER go begging the way he did to Arthur Weasley.

I also feel that Lucius would be smart enough to know that as soon as Arthur opened the letter and saw it was from him, chances would have been very good that he would have set it on fire. I think more likely he would have gone to meet him in secret so he could have MADE Arthur listen to what he had to say. He was already desperate enough to go begging for help to a Weasley, so he wouldn't have gone into it half-hearted...especially if he really fears for Draco's life.

And again, there are issues with the language and the word choice you have him using. What I would do is dig out your books and pay special attention to the dialogue and word choice Lucius has. Even the movies can be a good source for this (as long as you don't look into character development).

And the swearing is definitely something I could never see him doing. To swear is considered by many to be a sign of low class, and that is certainly not Lucius Malfoy.

Another logistics thing I worry about is just why does Lucius think Arthur would be able to help him. Is it because he's in the Order? Remember, the Order is a SECRET organization because if Voldemort's followers knew who they were, he would just start picking them off one by one, like they were on a grocery list. And if Lucius has always known Arthur was in the Order, why did he never let it slip to Voldemort. We already know they hate each other. And I think Arthur is to dedicated of a soldier to let anyone have enough clues to figure out he was a member of the Order.

And even if Lucius started to doubt Voldemort's sanity, I doubt he would have so easily let go of the principles of blood purity he has held his whole life. And he certainly would not want Draco learning about the world, and certainly not supposed 'rights and wrongs' from Arthur Weasley.

And I would also have to wonder if Arthur wouldn't foresee this as some sort of trick. He knows from experience that Lucius and all of Voldemort's followers are sneaky, and he might think Lucius is trying to trick him by appealing to him as a father.

Something else that confused me in the story was how did Draco teleport onto the Weasleys' porch. It was never really explained and I can't figure out how it happened. He wasn't there when Arthur opened the letter, and then suddenly, he just sort of appears.

I'm sorry, but one chapter in, and I'm still finding this story very out of character, and quite a bit confusing. I just don't know how this sort of thing could ever happen given what we know about the characters in the books and the laws J.K. has set up for her universe.

Moving on, while my last review was pretty plot and character heavy, I did find quite a few technical things to touch on in this chapter.

When you used 'the Burrow' in a sentence, you don't have to capitalize 'the' as well. The article is not a proper noun.

It is generally not considered proper English to have an ampersand (this - &) within the narrative of a story. It is really only used on titles and writing WITHIN the writing.

And while on the subject of writing symbols, it is also considered proper English to write out any numbers below 1001. Obviously there are exceptions to this (one million, five billion, nine trillion, even numbers like that), but that is the general rule. Same goes for first, second, third, and so one.

I'm also seeing a few more issues with capitalization in this chapter. Here is a list of words that need to be capitalized in Harry Potter canon: Muggle, the Order, classes (Potions, Charms, Transfiguration), magical creatures created by J.K.

People don't generally end letters with 'signed'. That is more a narrative term used to designate that the letter has come to an end and the reader is about to say the writer's signature. The letter would probably just end 'Lucius Malfoy'.

There are quite a few spelling mistakes I am noticing that wouldn't necessarily show up on spell-check (like barley instead of barely). It's this kind of thing that you need a human corrector to catch. I know there are beta readers on the forums, but I tend to go with a website called Perfect Imagination. I like this site because the beta readers on it have to pass a comprehensive practical test with at least eighty percent in order to be admitted, so you know they are very high quality editors.

There's the end of chapter one, so on to chapter two!

Author's Response: I DO have a Beta Reader already, and she is excellent! However, I didn't find her until I was on chapter 12 or so, so these beginning chapters have still not been edited. RL happens, and it has kept the both of us busy, so things will just have to stay the way they are for right now...

This isn't something you're supposed to ever see happening in what JKR wrote. It's called AU for a reason. I am sorry you didn't find it believable tho, and found it to be confusing. In my opinion, as well as the 30 other people who have reviewed this chapter, it was very clear and easy to understand. You have to just use your imagination.

Fan-Fiction is meant to be open to interpretation. It gives you the freedom to ask the question "what if" and then write the story in your own way. It lets us fill in the gaps of the missing moments. If you want cannon and want to read stuff that actually happens; go back and re-read the actual HP books then!

Thank you for your time, even tho these reviews weren't very helpful or nice at all... You know, if you have such a problem with AU fics, then maybe you should update your review request thread to say NO AU in the dislikes section... Just a suggestion. That way then, maybe no one else will have to suffer while you rip their stories apart word-for-word. ='(


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Review #17, by OliveOil_MedLove, Not War: Prolouge: Blessed With a Son

20th December 2010:
I know you said that you said you weren't looking for anymore imput on the prologue, but consider it a bonus. You'll still get your three other reviews, but I did see a few things I wanted to comment on in the prologue as well.

There were a few things in the whole premise of this story that confuses me a bit. Voldemort cares about himself and his cause above anything else. As long as his followers were willing to follow him to their own grave, I don't think he would care what his followers did in their spare time (marriage and having children). And Voldemort showing concern for a baby being born into a war is completely out of character for him.

Not to mention I think he would want to encourage his most loyal followers to have children, because these children would be raised to be loyal to him and to pureblood ideals. Also, his followers having children would mean there would be more purebloods in the world. A large problem with the wizarding world is that most purebloods are inbred (like the royals) and if wizards didn't marry Muggles, they would have all died out by now. More pureblood children would mean less witches and wizards would marry Muggles.

Just sort of a logistics thing.

Also, the nicknames used in the story really put me off. I know we hear the Black sisters call each other nicknames, but they grew up together. Lucius and Narcissa having these nicknames for each other take away from their formaility and aristocratic character traits. When they do this, it doesn't even really seem like it is Lucius and Narcissa talking here. It all just seems very out of character in my eyes.

I also don't see Voldemort being present at the birth. Like I said, he is indifferent to any form of human life, and I feel like just the biological aspects of human birth would disgust him. Frankly, the whole idea makes ME a little squeamish. This just seems like another out of character aspect of Lord Voldemort.

Bellatrix seemed out of character too. Her loyalty to the Dark Lord goes above everything else. Her adoration for Voldemort even goes above her love for her husband. No matter what Voldemort would have done, it would have been right. Think almost like how a really strong religious fanatic would view the world...one with a touch of mental illness. That is Bellatrix Lestrange in a nutshell.

One problem I feel you have with the believability with your characters is the word choices you use. Wealthy, aristocratic people tend to use formal and lofty words, but in your story, they tend to have a lot of casual words. And I don't see Voldemort ever having occasion to use the word 'poopy'. And Bellatrix was far of soft and sweet in her words.

As far as the more technical aspects, there are a few words you forgot to capitalize, such as 'Muggle'. A good general rule for Potter-terms, if it is a word that J.K. invented, it is usually capitalized.

These are all things that could help in your writing.

Author's Response: I'm sorry you didn't like it, but this review doesn't even matter because the Prologue has been completely re-written now anyways. An I'm not gonna waste my time defending something that isn't even there anymore, so thanks anyways... If you're interested in reading the new Prologue; it's there if you wanna see it. If not, well, it won't hurt my feelings at all. It's not like you will like it anyways. =/

Thanks for your time tho, even if I don't agree with everything that was said. I do realize that this type of story is not for everyone... But still, you didn't have to be so negative about all of it. I literally cried the first time I read these reviews, and that's why it has taken me so long to respond to them. I didn't want to have to go thru the agony of ever reading them again because they upset me so much! :(


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Review #18, by OliveOil_MedSecond Chances: Valentine's Day

14th December 2010:
Hooray! My first review for my thread! Let's really make this one count.

I'm normally not into romance stories, normally because they don't have a lot of substance outside of the pairing being lovey-dovey. But so far, I'm not seeing that in your story, which I really have to commend you for. This is something I would like you to keep in mind as you continue to write this story. A truly good story has many different, well-constructed themes and constructs. It will be much easier for you, though, I think, because you already have a strong place to start from.

You have established Rose's personality very well, just remember to keep it consistent. It will seem odd if she suddenly becomes all lovey-dovey with a really wild sense of humor. Rose's job at the bank was a nice touch. Usually in fics, the only jobs you see people having are Aurors and Healers. I know that Scorpius is already an Auror, but because Rose herself has such a unique job, I don't feel that this is going to detract from the story.

At first I wasn't sure about the notion of goblins wanting to decorate, but when the possibility that they decorate the bank to torment their human coworkers was introduced, that made a lot more sense.

Something else I wonder about is saying Albus and Dominique are her only cousin. Are they the only cousins she has who are still alive, or are they her only cousins who work at the bank with her. One little cliche I am seeing is the nickname Dom. I only say this because nicknames themselves have become something of a cliche. After all, Hermione stays Hermione for all seven books. The only character we meet who really has a nickname is Ron...and Bill and Charlie, just because their legal names didn't fit with their personalities.

I'll wait till later until I decide if this is off, but it is more of just a personal pet peeve. But if you can make it work, that will be great.

There are a very couple very minor things I could point out to you that will help you with stories in the future.

When you are writing a story, with all numbers under 1001, it is considered proper English to write them out as words rather than as numbers.

Also, 'grad school' is a Muggle word construct. The truly correct term you are looking for is 'Auror Training', a name which is mentioned in the books.

I do admit these things are nitpicky, but I assume you want me to find something that will help you to IMPROVE your writing style.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for leaving such a helpful review :)

Yes, my comfort zone is definitely in with the lovey-dovey Romance genre, but with this story, I'm trying out the things I'm not that comfortable with/used to writing - more adventure, the role of the 'dark wizard' playing a larger role in the plot. I'll definitely keep the themes/construct things in mind for the future (that'll really come in handy, thanks!)

Thank you! I'm going to try to keep Rose's personality as consistent as possible :) And yeah, I kind of liked the idea of the bank job simply because it's going to have a major effect on the plot (hint hint) in the coming chapter and also because it gives me more freedom for what she does at work. :)

Yes, I found goblins kind of hard to characterize, but I tried to throw in something that seemed like something they would do :)

Regarding Albus and Dominique, I meant that they were her only cousins that weren't in a relationship left (being that it was V-Day, all her other cousins are off with their partners :)) I should try to go in and make that more clear - thanks :)

I think you bring a really good point up when you say not many characters have nicknames, which I never really noticed. I guess reading so much Next Generation fanfiction with people calling Dominique Dom has rubbed off on me! And I can completely understand where you're coming from (I always get a bit confused when people call Hermione 'Mione in fanfiction). I'll keep that in mind when I'm writing future scenes with Dominique. :)

Also, I didn't really know that about the numbers under 1001! Thanks for that :) I'm going to change that and the Auror training -- thank you so much for pointing those things out! :)

Your comments have definitely helped and are extremely appreciated :)


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Review #19, by OliveOil_MedFür Das Größere Wohl: Chapter III: Schnee-Krieg

10th August 2010:
Tim, people seem to have come to a concensis that this story does not have enough reviews for as good as it is, and I happen to agree with them. And since I have just become more involved at HPFF since I discovered with can attach picture to the actual chapters of our stories, I am going to become personally involved in leaving many, many gushing reviews so everyone may hear of your brillence.

And to prove to some of my other reviewees that I don't review just for the sake of 'being mean'.

Now, I shall start with chapter in which we first begin to see all the work you had to put forth in studying Nazi idiology (by which you you have possibly tainted your soul for all eturnity). Everyone who reads this story, though, seems to be impressed by your devotion to creating an authentic scernery in which your story take place, even if we don't end up staying there for very long. It is most definitely one of the strong points of your story. That and Dieter is just one of those character you hate so much, he ends up becoming appealing.

Before reading you story, I had no idea that the Nazis even had such a group as the 'Latins'. I suppose the Maltese might be considered that, but it almost seems like we have too much Arabic and North African in us to be consider true Latins. You'll have to ask Dieter what that ends up making us, or did the Latins have certain diluted amounts of Arabic in them. I think back to the Muslims in Spain that left all those lovely tile designs that the Spainiards are known for.

Did you have to look very hard to find the English translations for your Hitler Youth songs? I have been trying to find the lyrics to Red Guard songs from the Cultural Revolution, but I can't find any sort of lyrics at all, much less English translation. I suppose I'll have to become friends with one of the Chinese professors at my school and see if I can strong-arm some translations out of them.

I suppose I'll have more to go on once the actual magic starts showing up. I know in historical-study fictions, it's more the actual time period that is the important part of the story rather than the Harry Potter canon, but I have feeling that I have said just about everything there is to say about Nazism in your story on MNFF.

Author's Response: Thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement, Molly. Though Chapter Three isn't all that important plot-wise, I thought I could use an interlude that definitively created the setting of Nazi Germany. The research was actually rather painless and even fun. Maybe I'm just weird.

National Socialist ideology was never really consistent on who was what race, except for Aryans and Jews. Though Slavs were officially sub-human, the Nazis had no problem allying with several eastern European states and recruiting Russians and Ukrainians into the Waffen SS! So frankly, I have no idea how the Nazis would have viewed the Maltese.

It was not very hard to find translations for German HJ songs, but that is probably because this is such a thoroughly studied subject. Concerning the Cultural Revolution, wikipedia actually has a good section on propaganda music with lyrics: (delete *'s) ht*tp://en.w*ikipe*dia.o*rg/wi*ki/Social*ism_is_G*ood. You might find something useful here.

Thanks for the review, and good luck on your stories!

~ Tim the Enchanter


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Review #20, by OliveOil_MedFür Das Größere Wohl: Chapter I: Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Schwalbe

7th July 2010:
Hey, Tim! A lot of people seem to be waiting patiently for this story to be updated, as am I. What will it take to finally give us what we want? Because if it is just no desire to write, I don't know if I can help you, and I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to use reviews to pester you.

Maybe, since you are so right-brain minded (meaning you like pretty pictures), maybe you'd like some chapter art for your chapters. You can get them from The Dark Arts (you must have seen the pretty little linky banner), and if you follow it, people will give you chapter images for each chapter.

It might take a little creativity to get all the old Nazi pics, but it would be something cool, I think.

Author's Response: Thank you Molly for the numerous pretty pictures. Instilling guilt about not making an equivalent effort has proved powerful motivation for me to get off my posterior and write chapter 15, so thank you!

And on the topic of pictures, I haven't drawn any fanart recently. I ought to rectify that...

Thanks for the review and the friendly prods!

~ Tim the Enchanter


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Review #21, by OliveOil_MedAmerican trouble: Arrival

25th June 2010:
Just fair warning, we aren't allowed to review our own stories. I would delete them before the mods see them!

Author's Response: thanks for the warning!!!

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Review #22, by OliveOil_MedThe Whisper of Red Roses: Chapter one

15th September 2009:
I was reading over this story and I could not help but notice that it seemed to bear a striking resemblence to another story about Snape having a daughter entitled 'Once There Was a Darkness'. It was written as a series so there are actually two books about it.

You two even seem to like imagining her as the same actress because the author uses the exact same picture in her banner for the second story.

Something else I noticed is that the first paragraphs of your first chapters are so familiar, it is almost eerie.

Oh, and Shiloh and Suri; you gotta love those names that Hollywood couples come up with for their children!

Author's Response: Haha thanks for the review. xox
My inspiration was actually from the OTWAD expect I thought that maybe Snape should rasie his daughter which I kinda got from 'Lily's Charm' --- Amazing story.. But anyway.. Yes it is alike but TWORR has kinda drifted off to its own story line now which is good..

I choose the name Suri because of my title 'The Whisper of Red Roses'.. I had that title stuck in my head for days and I wanted a name for the daughter and my cousins name is Suri-Lee which is really quite scary because when I looked up what the name mean't and in Persian it mean 'red rose' So that is the name I choose.. So now I call me cousin Rose -a- lee..

And again thank you for your review

xox

Skizzy


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Review #23, by OliveOil_MedThe Godfather: Prologue

11th July 2009:
Plotwise, I think this is one of the best stories I have read on this site. After going through a lot of them, the stories on this site seem to all look faintly alike. But this one is certainly unique in the way it is written, and in the story itself.

Aside from a few minor canon and grammar issues, it is an outstanding story!

Author's Response: thanks! :)

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