Just wanted to pop by and say that a) this was really lovely (the writing, anyway - not the premise! I'm not overjoyed about killing Ron, or anything :P) and b) you are such, such a talented writer!
Bah. Description. So much envy. SO much envy.
xx RinAuthor's Response: OMG RIN. ♥ Of all the stories on all the archives, and you happened to walk into mine... Seriously, though, this made me so happy! I'm having a rough start to my week and coming online and seeing this gave me so many warm, fuzzy feelings.
Please look at your own writing and know I am jealous in return. Thank you please. :3 I'm so glad that you liked it! Thank you for reviewing!! Report Review
How does this have NO reviews? It's a travesty.
OK, well, first off, I don't know how coherent the following is going to be. As a writer (and a reader, I guess), I get extraordinarily excited when there's good writing and good craft, and this was just absolutely gorgeous. So.
I think you're the master of interrupter sentences. I'm sure there's an actual word for them, but I don't know what it is. They're the little phrases, single phrases, between paragraphs that sort of break up the flow. Yours are marvelous. Sometimes they annoy me in other works because they're jolting, but I love the way you've executed them here. They leave the perfect, single pause between long paragraphs.
And your word choice! I could go on for a long time about your word choice. All your verbs are fresh and unique, and I just love the way you craft your sentences. This line, for whatever reason, was one of my favorites: "... yet she can feel the ghost of her playing in the corners." It would have been so easy for you to say, "the ghost hung around" or any variation of that, and yet here you've said something unique and original, and I love it. It's like a breath of fresh air.
The premise is great, and you haven't approached grief like this melodramatic thing, which I also love. Nobody is collapsed on the floor and sobbing, or anything, which is fantastic. I think too often authors talk about grief like it's this huge... I dunno. It's just not always believable. Yours is very believable, so kudos.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Hello dear! :) I love your reviews; they always make me smile. I am so, so pleased that you liked this. It kind of just hit me during a storm and I basically finished it in one go. And yeah, reviews have been sparse and far in between lately... Slightly sad, but I suppose 9 favourites is as good a sign as any. I love my one-liners. I've attended no writing-classes or anything, so I don't have any idea of what I'm doing - I basically just write what I feel like. Thank you so much for reviewing, this really means a lot. I get so insecure with my writing (as all writers do) and I've just had a month of absence from writing, just trying to figure it all out, but I thinkkk I'm on track again. Thank you so much for your wonderful, wonderful review, dear.
xx Report Review
Augh, I feel terrible about not reviewing this before, because I'm about a month late! No matter, though: here with your promised review because you've entered (and completed) my silly challenge!
The description you have throughout here is just lovely. I can really picture Salem, even though I've, admittedly, never been there. My favorite line, for whatever reason, is this: "Violet mussels and chalky white clamshells crumbled to pieces beneath her feet." I think it brings up a wildly vivid picture, and that's marvelous!
Your writing, as always, is superb. I love the transitions and smoothness of it all, and your flow is just fantastic.
xx Rin Report Review
Oh goodness you, look at what you've done. Everything so bleak and black and terrible. Tsk, tsk. Obviously it's just a COMPLETELY EPIC way to continue your story. I'll change my "tsk tsk" to a resounding "bravo." Or brava, I guess. Whatever.
I kept highlighting little lines and phrases that I wanted to point out and awe over here, but then I would copy other lines over the lines I wanted to remember, and now nothing comes up when I paste (because obviously I just broke my computer). ANYWAY, my point is that there are so many little gems in here, and they're just absolutely brilliant! Gah. Love. Talent. So much talent.
I've now managed to get nutella on my keyboard because I was in such a hurry to review I didn't realize I still had some on my fingers (never mind why I had nutella on my fingers, you). Because THIS IS AMAZING. And a little bleak. Tad. Maybe more than a tad.
Love love love
xxAuthor's Response: I know! This is one of the darkest chapters in this story, coupled with chapters two and four -- I think it surprised a few people, to be terribly honest. I did warn you! But I am so happy you found it to be epic. ♥
Ahaha, I am flattered that you found enough to copy and paste that you broke your computer in the process! :3 It's so awesome for me to hear that, too, because for some reasons chapters of this story are slow in the writing of them. I can churn out 3,500-word chapters for my Snape/OC trilogy in two days, but these chapters take a week at the minimum. So reactions like yours -- indubitably lovely, I might add -- really boost my confidence.
Nutella! Were you scooping some out of the jar with your fingers? ;) I bet you were! Ahh, you are much too kind, Rin. I appreciate your reviews so, so much. ♥ Thank you!! Report Review
I actually read this chapter directly after the first, but I've been so preoccupied that I've yet to leave a review for it! No matter - I'm here now, completing the Review Exchange.
Again, I am absolutely, 100% thrilled that you're not melodramatic. It would be so, so easy to take a curve into the "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME, I HATE EVERYONE, LEAVE ME ALONE FOREVER" kind of thing (sorry for the caps), and you haven't. I think that's a sign that you're very in control of your writing, whether purposefully or just sort of subconsciously. Either way, you've written enough to know what you're doing, and it's marvelous.
And there are little snippets of questions that you've sprinkled around. They're mostly your main character asking them of herself, but I like that they a) sort of break up the flow in a nice, short way and b) make the reader stop very briefly and consider them. It's a great way to get people involved in the writing, and I think you've done a fantastic job of it here.
And I think I mentioned this in the first review, but if I did, it bears repeating: your character has a marvelously strong voice. (Stephen King says never to use adverbs, but I'm going to ignore him here and use "marvelously" anyway because it is marvelously appropriate to use the word "marvelously." Anyway.) I don't know if you've really made an effort to plan her out and flesh out her character on paper or not, and I don't really care either way, because whatever you've done, it is working really, really well for me/you/everybody involved. Her thoughts, her actions, her inner motivators... they make her extremely likable and create this vulnerable atmosphere that's just... gah. Blissful to read. Blissful in the sense that it flows really nicely and the writing is good, not blissful as in, "oh yay! Grief!"
Your second chapter is marvelously (take that, Stephen King) marvelous and I am completely (sorry, Stephen King), irrevocably (this is ridiculous, Stephen King) in love with it. You've done a fantastic job of setting up your characters and their inner mindsets, and I cannot praise it enough.
xxAuthor's Response: I again have no idea how to respond to this absolutely stunning review. You've left me speechless by all your marvelous adverbs ;). I will try to sound coherent but i've never really been great with such praise as you've given here. I'm actually a little scared to complete the next chapter as i'm not sure it can live up to such high standards!
I'm thrilled that you still think it's still not overly dramatic! This wasn't something i did intentionally I think, but i think it happened because i'm not naturally a big fan of the overdramatic stories here and there is more to this story than just her grief.
I have not planned her out that much so it thrills me to hear that you feel she's so fleshy. :D I have this floaty idea of her in my head and have general things written about her like her hair or eye colour but i don't really like those big character sketches people do. I like seeing the character take shape as i write the actual story and let her breath and move in it.
bah thank you so much for this squee worthy review! I'm completely blown away by your praises and insight! thank you very much and if you do continue reading this, i'd be very much interested in how you think it turns out. :D Report Review
Here for the review exchange!
To be honest, I was almost a little afraid to begin this chapter, because funeral scenes are usually really melodramatic and people are sobbing and throwing themselves on the floor and whatnot. But this, THIS. This was really, really beautiful. I was very pleasantly surprised, though I suppose I should have expected nothing less from an author such as yourself.
I thought the lines about the past/present tense were so powerful. This in particular: "...but she always seemed – no, not past tense – she always seems to be taking a stand against something." And then you did it again at the end there, and tied it all together. It really brought the chapter full circle, which I loved.
I also really appreciated the fact that when you started, I wasn't sure what was going on. Your first sentence completely drew me in and then the scene slowly, slowly unfolded. It was all very dramatic without being melodramatic, and I didn't get the sense that you were trying too hard or were writing with a specific "LOOK AT THIS" in mind. That is really, really lovely. I cannot even express how happy that makes me, because like I said before, so many funeral scenes are SO overwritten and the people in them are so unbelievable.
Speaking of your characters, I thought that your Molly had an extraordinarily strong narrative. As a reader, I could completely see what she was seeing and feel what she was feeling, and that was marvelous.
And your description! It wasn't purple or really heavy, which is great, but it was still amazingly beautiful without being too weighty. Your attention to detail is marvelous, and I loved the way you included bits about sound (either magnified or far away) and how Molly is hearing things.
Overall, I think this is a really well-constructed first chapter, and I'm excited to read on!
xx RinAuthor's Response: Hey Rin!
I don't even know how to respond to this review. I'm just so pleased and happy that you enjoyed the chapter.
I completely agree with you, it was a bit daunting to write because i didn't want a scene were there was wailing and an outpouring of raw grief. That never seemed particularly real to me either and i wanted to just be able to explore the grief of one person as they mourn the death of a loved one. I'm really pleased that it came off realistically and not overblown. I'm just pleased that it came of naturally.
I'm extremely pleased (how many more times can i say this in this review response!!?) that you didn't feel this was purple-y! Ahh! I've never wanted my writing to turn out that way as the story is more important than the prose. I have a weird tendency though to write a bit floaty descriptions that i fear people will see as being a 'look at me and what i can do' thing. Which is definitely not the goal at all!!
Anyway, thank you so much for your lovely review! I appreciate your kind words so much!! :D
-zayne Report Review
Oh, YOU. Bah, I don't even know what to say. I think I'll just start by rambling and over-using commas (which is what I'm good at, obviously).
I love, love, LOVE your Draco. And Ron, actually: both are characterized so perfectly, and I'm terribly (there I go with the adverbs again) picky about my canon characters, so that's a compliment I rarely give.
And your body language! Well, not -your- body language; -their- body language was spectacular. I think a lot of authors leave that out, and yet it was something I consistently picked up on throughout the chapter.
Ramble, ramble, ramble. Love, love, love.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Rin! ♥ First and foremost -- best of luck in moving, dear. You'll be fabulous! And now I'll come around to thanking you for such a lovely review, which I do not deserve and which you have seen fit to bestow upon me anyway.
I really wanted to concentrate on making Draco canon in this story, as there are rather a lot of instances of non-canon Draco floating around the archives. And I think sometimes people lose sight of his true character, or what I see as his true character. I even have little asterisks in my notes telling myself to MAKE HIM CANON. And so I'm so, so, so glad that you see him that way!!
I actually didn't consciously put a lot of body language into this chapter, so I had a peek after reading your comment. :3 Thank you! I love it when readers point out something in a chapter I might not have necessarily seen myself.
You are the bee's knees. ♥ I'm still kind of in awe that you KEEP coming back here, update after update, just to tell me what you thought of the chapters. And all starting from a review exchange, no less! :3 Thank you!! Report Review
Marina, you're brilliant.
The end.Author's Response: No Rin, you are! ♥ Report Review
In my opinion, people are often one of two things: a vivid writer, with deep prose and oodles of imagery, OR an action writer, who writes scenes that get a reader's adrenaline pulsing and make you sit on the edge of your seat. There are varying shades of gray between the two, I think, but I find myself to be more on the prose side (action not being my strong suite). That is why, my dear, I admire you so, so much for being able to write really fantastic action laced with gorgeous writing.
I absolutely love that you chose Dean to be in the cell alongside Hermione. I don't even particularly love Dean (I don't dislike him, though), and for some reason I was oddly pleased that he was there in that same situation with her. Either way, it's really cute that he's putting so much faith in Hermione.
THIS LINE: "... its beams cutting thick, gossamer strips through the patches of stone and snow, visible even from this distance." Um. So remember what I said about marvelous action with lovely description? This would be some of the lovely description I was talking about.
I don't have anything more productive to say, other than this is unraveling just amazingly and that I am still 100% in love with it.
xx RinAuthor's Response: YOU ARE MUCH TOO KIND. ♥ Lulz, how am I even supposed to respond to such kind words from you? (Ineffectively, let me tell you...)
I absolutely love that you seem to find both vivid imagery and action in this story, because that is EXACTLY what I was going for in setting out to write it, and hearing it is... I cannot even tell you how gratifying. I consciously am experimenting with style in this, while at the same time wanting to keep the tone of just telling a story, and sometimes it's a tricky balance. Just... gahh. Thank you so, so much.
I love that Dean's in there, too! :3 I think he's very unappreciated, especially in stories of this sort of nature. Hermione's always pictured as the tragic heroine with the bad bloodlines, but Dean's really in the same boat, isn't he?
Legitimately cannot even form sentences now. You are so fab. Honestly, Rin, just thank you so much for this review; your opinion is so valued and cherished on this. I can't wait for you to read the next chapter!! Report Review
I figured that if your writing was good in your fantastic short story, it would probably be as good in other things, and I couldn't resist clicking on this one-shot.
Your narrative here is so, so strong. I don't think there's any dialogue in here (well, besides the spell she hisses), and yet I completely know what is going on inside her head. It's very sincere; I think that's what I liked the most.
I'm actually very impressed you managed to use all of those prompts! And they work really flawlessly, too. It's not something I read and said, "Oh, she was just adding all these prompts in to make a story." It's all incorporated very well, so kudos!
Have a lovely day,
RinAuthor's Response: asdfghjkl you have no idea how much I'm blushing at that first line. Thank you!
I adore writing dialogue (as you probably know from reading TTONF) so yeah, it never actually occured to me now that the only dialogue was Cho's spell :p It was a little tough - ergh, description! - but I'm honestly pleased you thought it was okay.
I did read some of the other stories, and thought the same thing about the prompts fitting in naturally, and ohmygosh, really? I'm honestly blushing, I probably look like a strawberry right now, that is seriously so sweet! Kudos to you, too - you are absolutely excellent at reviews, did you know that?
See you around!
Linn Report Review
And here for 3/3 (finally)!
First of all, I don't think I mentioned this before, but I am absolutely 100% in love with your chapter titles. Not only are they clever, but I also think the bits in parenthesis are marvelous. It's a unique way of doing it, and they really entice the reader.
THIS LINE: "There weren’t any fireworks, no explosions, none of those clichés Natasha was so used to hearing about. Instead there was a warm, tingly feeling starting in her stomach and spreading down until it reached the tips of her toes, and she felt like she was completely free." I love that. It's so understated and subtle, and so many people create kisses where everything is magical and suddenly the whole world stops turning, and I think it's marvelous that you've simply described it as "warmth." Because, you know, that's exactly how it is. In reality.
You've paced this so perfectly! Nothing was rushed and yet nothing was dull, either, and I was caught up in every moment of it. Really, I think it's difficult to plan something so short, because little odds and ends end up sticking out and sometimes it's all rushed and awful and GAH. This just... wasn't. It was absolutely perfect.
I'm going to stop gushing now, really. I thought it was a really lovely little short story, and I'm thrilled that I got to read it for the review exchange!
xx RinAuthor's Response: The chapter titles for this are so fun to make up, especially the ones in parenthesis :p I think this is the only story I ever had that I already knew the title of the chapter before I ever started it, along with the secondary one I used for fun since it related to the how-to article. I even loved it so much I gave the actual /story/ one! :D
I always cringe at seeing the whole fireworks thing, because kisses don't work like that, and since I'm pretty sure TTONF is the only story of mine with a kiss (well, so far, anyway) I wanted to make myself proud, so I'm glad you liked that!
I always think everything is so slow with my stories, but TTONF has truly been my absolutely favourite and easiest to write, so I'm honesly really pleased you liked this! Short stories are hard for some people, but TTONF... it was only my second short story, but it was far, far better than my first :p
Your gushing is freaking amazing and I hope you never stop because I looked forward to all three reviews on this :) I'm so glad I got /you/ as a partner, because you've been so kind and nice and helpful and seriously sweet, and smoothed over any worries I might have had for this, so /thank you/.
xx Linn Report Review
I cannot even begin to tell you how beautiful that was. I was sort of left at the end, looking down at my sheets and willing myself to say something clever and witty and maybe something that you'd remember for a little while, but I can't. Because I am struck with the utter gorgeousness of what you have succeeded in writing.
I hardly ever go through stories like I just did this one. I'll read a chapter or two, then come back. But this was so interesting, so deep, so sincere. I just... I'm kind of a mumbling idiot over here because I have no idea what to say to you that could possibly convey how much I absolutely adored this story.
It's brilliant. And so are you.
xx Rin Report Review
I have absolutely no idea where to begin but this was just amazing and you are amazing and this review will be less amazing because I cannot get over the amazingness. /flails
OK, firstly, your characters are just marvelous. Really, I have a hard time reading canon characters because people always manage to somehow screw them up, which then makes me angry and irritable, which then prompts sadness. Woe is I. But you, dear, write them fabulously. Draco is exactly, -exactly- as he should be, and I am absolutely in love with him (in the "oh you're just so evil and I want to sit in a corner and watch you talk" kind of way, because, let's face it, he's kind of a jerk).
And Ginny! Honestly, I have a passionate dislike for Ginny, and it's not often that I actually enjoy reading whatever she has to say (something to do with her whiny-ness. Or maybe I just hate her because she's the one that got to marry Harry Potter. I guess we'll never know). That being said, I loved her here. I could feel her grief, so bitter and heartbroken and sad, and that was lovely, as a reader, for me to experience.
SO MUCH ANGSTY TALK. I love angsty talk. All serious and "this is what we're going to do and it will be awful and we're going to be better people after it" and such. Grim, is a good word for it. Very grim. Grimly determined. Grimly angsty. Angsty grim. Grim angst.
Bah. So much love. So much rambly, rambly love.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Ahh, I'm so happy that you liked this chapter! You are much too kind -- I'm floored you're dropping by to read and review the updates on this at all, really. :3
I'm excited to hear that you think I've got the canon characters accurately! I love writing them, and for some reason it's really easy for me to slip into the voices of each -- I think I've read/listened to the books too many times for my own health. I really made it a point to especially concentrate on making Draco more canon than he's normally seen in fan fiction (Dramione, anyone?), so that comment is super appreciated. Thank you!!
I had no idea that so many other people hated Ginny like I did! :D Is that a bad thing to say? I mean, I suppose I don't /hate/ her... but I definitely think Harry deserved better. And she's kind of a Mary Sue. But I liked writing her here a lot more than I normally would, simply because -- well, she seems a lot more human here, and loads more relatable. And I like being able to relate to characters, which I think was lacking in Ginny's case as far as the books go.
So much angst in this story. ♥ Dark as it is, I'm having lots of fun writing it! Honestly, though, thank you so much for such an incredible review. And I can't wait to see you back for the next chapter, too!! :3 Report Review
And here for 2/3!
Again, your dialogue is just amazing. And it better be, really, because dialogue is such an integral part of the chapter. I love the way that it sounds completely natural, and the characters don't sound stilted at all. Bravo.
I don't know why, but this little line was one of my favorites: ..."third-horror, third-fury and third-scorn." I think it brings up such a good mental image, and the way you've said it just makes it seem natural and easy. And that's another thing, too: there aren't many paragraphs of huge description throughout here (which is perfectly fine), so it's great that you can add little one-liners so that I can still picture the scene in my head.
B'aww, Louis gave her his scarf. Super cute. /flail
And the length here is just perfect. I really struggle with length, honestly. I can never make something over 3,000 words (usually), so it ends up being a little on the short side. I love the pacing and the flow throughout here too, so none of it seems "rushed" (as you said) or even stretched out to make for a higher word count.
I'm really impressed with how this is evolving! Especially with short stories, it's sometimes hard to figure out which events happen when, and you've done a marvelous job with it.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Aww, thank you! :) I try my best to make sure they don't sound unnatural or anything, because you're right - for this story, dialogue means everything.
Is it? Description is one of my weaknesses, so I often insert in little one-liners like those to make up for the lack of it, so I'm glad you liked it! I see a lot of my favourites in this chapter, too, so I always enjoy re-reading this story :p
All too bad she was allergic :p /laugh
I was so worried about this chapter - I was much more confident with the first and thoroughly planned out the third, so this was a little bit harder to write, but honestly, I'm always worried about how long or short my chapters are, so I'm glad you thought this was okay :D
I haven't read many short stories, so I'm seriously pleased you liked this and wow, thank you for all of the lovely compliments! I'm looking forward to seeing you around for the next chapter, Rin!
xx Linn Report Review
Here for the review exchange! Hopefully my reviews will be as lovely as yours.
Gah, the first thing that struck me here was your dialogue. I think it's the one thing that most authors get entirely mixed up, and not a lot of people can actually succeed in writing dialogue well. But yours was really, really fluid, and I absolutely loved it. You can switch to banter to conversations to easy narratives, and it all works really well with everything else. It all seems like something a real person would say, which is brilliant.
I also got a huge sense of who your character was. You've provided a lot of little quirks and idiosyncrasies that fill her out, and I loved all the body language you included. That's not usually something that some authors provide, and it's nice to see it!
I love (I seem to be saying that word a lot...), love, love short stories! I'm really excited to read on because I don't get to gobble up short stories very often.
RinAuthor's Response: Hi, Rin! :D
You must be kidding or I'm just dreaming (pinching myself as I type this) but thank you! To be honest, I think dialogue is the easiest thing for me - I have some trouble with characters, descriptions, begininning and endings but I do love dialogue so I'm glad you liked mine!
Body language always adds to a character, and I suppose since I do so much myself (mine and Natasha's are vastly different, but the sentiment remains) it slips itself into my stories but rather a few of them more often than not so I'm pretty pleased you actually noticed that! :)
I don't always get to see brilliant short stories either, so I'm glad you liked this! I also kind of hold your opinion in pretty high regard, so thanks for the lovely review!
Linn Report Review
I absolutely love the story you've set up here - it's so original! I absolutely can't wait to read more, because your writing is simply captivating and your characters are just... bah. I want to hug all of them.
xx RinAuthor's Response: eee, thank you! I've been wanting to write this for years, so hopefully once RL gets a bit less manic the chapters will flow pretty easily. baww ♥ I do love my downtrodden characters; considering how much I abuse them hugging would be quite a wise move. thanks for reviewing & I'm glad you liked it! :D Report Review
Gah, I wish I could write like you. This whole thing was just planned out really well and your style is to die for and I just love it.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Rin!! Hey... ohmygosh. Shush, you. You're fabulous and I'm blushing and thank you so, so much! Report Review
That was the fastest I've probably metaphorically sprinted from the Chapter Updates thread to a story. And honestly, I have things to do and I kept telling myself, "well, in a few more minutes" and then you PUBLISHED this and I just cannot begin to be productive when I know there's a chapter out there that's looming around, unread. AND my name is at the bottom of the chapter, and that just makes my day.
Anyway, enough of my rambling (though the rest of this is going to be rambling too; fair warning). I enjoyed this immensely (obviously), and I cannot possibly begin to fathom how you are able to write action scenes to beautifully. Honestly, it takes me ages to write anything action-y, and then (because it takes me so long) it's not action-y at all. /problems
Your paragraphs were both emotionally-charged and very fast paced, which I loved. And right in the middle of it, my phantom alarm clock that goes off whenever it pleases scared the bajeezus out of me, because I was so high-strung and caught up in your chapter. Bah. That's how good this writing is.
I wish Hermione would kick some butt, though. The whole time I was chanting, "punch him in the face! Punch him in the face!" But that would be hard because a) he's got her by her hair and b) she's got a broken wrist, so that's not really plausible. :P
I loved your characters (again). For one thing, I could feel Hermione's attachment to Ron, which was lovely, and I could completely visualize her pain (which was... not so lovely). And your Snatcher! Bah. I would say his name but I can't spell it, so I'll just stick with him as the "Snatcher." I absolutely adored how you said his voice was oily. I dunno why that struck me how it did, but I thought it was really great.
OK, before I continue making a mess out of this review, I'll point out this line: "But she watched, with a dull, numbing sort of horror [...] and he screamed mutely (was it her name on his lips, or was it only the distance between them that made her see it?), and then he was gone."
They're both little sentences in the same paragraph, and I LOVED her "dull horror" and the way she's considering her name on his lips.
Genius. I will definitely stop rambling now because I went a little overboard. So sue me.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Your reviews are so hard to respond to! But I am going to try my very hardest, because your lovely words deserve it. I can't even believe how fast you jumped on this update. ♥ Bear with me, yeah?
I know we've talked a bit about action scenes, but honestly, every time you compliment one of mine my heart just lightens with glee! Action scenes are one of the things I personally think I struggle with most, so you are giving me a massive, massive boost of encouragement there. :) I do agree with you, too -- punching someone in the face in Hermione's position would be quite challenging. I did try and make her as strong as possible, since she is anything but weak, so I do hope that came across, too!
SO relieved you could feel Hermione's attachment to Ron, too; that is one of the things I am most worried about where this story's concerned. Gahh, it's like you take all my worries and just make them vanish! ♥ I cannot thank you enough for that.
You are fab. Just... fab. I honestly cannot tell you what it means to me to have such lovely reviews from someone who is a great write in her own right! Thank you so much, Rin!! Report Review
Gah. I sort of stumbled on this by accident, because I was just browsing the Recently Added and was looking for authors I recognized, and there you were (if I'm not mistaken, you joined TGS recently, right? /stalking admin). I also know what it's like to have very few reviews on something you've obviously put a lot of care into, so I thought I would fix that. Who doesn't love a random review, right?
Anyway, I cannot even describe to you how good this was. I absolutely adored all your imagery, and your characters are just perfect. You've got a real knack for description, which is something that some writers struggle with, and I loved it.
And like I said, it seemed well thought out, planned. Now, you could be the kind of person who just sits down and writes something in one go, and that's also fantastic. I certainly can't do that and have it come out this good. It read, though, like every sentence had some care put into it when you were crafting them, and I absolutely love that about anybody's writing.
Your style is so solid throughout. I can't wait to read more of it.
xx RinAuthor's Response: I did! :) Haha, it's fine - stalk away. I'm not that bothered, lol - it's not that creepy :P And definitely! Thank you so so much! :D This was just so lovely to see!
Thank you! I often worry about how much description I put in - how much is too much, you know - but I'm glad you liked it!
I don't generally plan - I find that I get bored too easily if I plan it all out - but I did have to think about what I actually wanted to have happen in the chapter because of the multiple realities and how they intersect which each other while still being their own storylines.
Gah, thank you so much for this! This was just so lovely and such a brilliant surprise! :D
Aph xx Report Review
Hoo boy. Where to begin. So much I want to say, and I'm kind of just a little melted mess over here, so I'll try and organize myself so I'm at least a little bit coherent.
I thought this developed beautifully. And I mean it when I say that: beautifully. There is usually much planning that goes into stories that are as fluid as this one, but you said earlier that this was a stream of consciousness, which I could see too. Either way, everything unfolded really gorgeously, and I was especially impressed at your seemingly effortless flow.
Now, you said you didn't mind some criticism, so I'm going to allow myself to nitpick at just two little things. The first is this: I love your first paragraph, but I feel like your second line packs more of a punch than your first. Just read that over, for a second: I am not saved. You say it later, too, so it's a reoccurring little phrase. I think it is so much more powerful than the first line, it kind of demolishes the first upon reading it. Now, this is not to say that I think your first line is terrible, because it isn't; I just think that the second line would act better as a first line. I mean, it's a gorgeous line! "I am not saved." Gah.
Your description is just to die for. I know you hadn't written anything quite recently before this one, and I just cannot believe that you can write like that after coming back after months/years without writing anything. And the lines in italics really accentuate the description, too, because they include lovely lines of it. I absolutely adore the image of dewy daffodils and dust particles just floating in the air.
Now, the second piece of nitpick is this: when Rose enters the astronomy tower, you note that she falls to her knees. I can see that you were trying (or maybe not trying, and it just happens) to make it dramatic; you know, knees hitting stone and her falling completely and everything. I get that. I really understand the impact of that. That being said, I would replace it with an action that is not featured in a lot of other stories. Falling to your knees has begun to be a little... overused. I wouldn't call it a cliche just yet, but it's beginning to become that. Maybe melodramatic is a better word. Now, this could just be because I read a lot, and a lot of other people -like- the falling to the knees bit (and maybe you do too, in which case you are totally welcome to ignore me) and think it's powerful and such. But to me, that's the problem: people recognize it as being emotional, dramatic. I would recommend replacing it with something less used, but still equally dramatic. Like... skinning her calves on the stone while she collapses onto her thighs. Or... just wilting against the wall. You can still tell that she's feeling desolate, but without the description that I find to be overused.
Notice that I only have two little things that irked me: I really, really loved this. Anyway, moving on...
I absolutely adore (did I already use that phrase? I can't remember...) the friendship and connection between your characters. They are very human, and I think this has many factors that contribute to this: the way they talk to each other, the way they behave in the other's presence, etc. They are so very natural, and I LOVE that. It's really hard to find stories sometimes that I have actual, human dialogue, or relationships that are natural. I just love that your two main characters act like, you know, human beings.
And gah! You are so vague. I love that. Love, love, love that. Because I can still kind of understand what's going on, but you don't need to spell anything out for me. Love.
So, I totally went overboard with this review. I apologize. There was just so much I needed to squee about! Gah! Anyway... I'm going to go amble off now, and finally leave you alone. :P
xx RinAuthor's Response: Hello Rin, darling! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
Oh, too much compliment-y goodness! You know, I honestly don't know how I do it. I just start writing and it's really sort of mindless - I finish a piece (it's always been this way) and I'm like, woah, where did that come from? I'm really glad you liked how it unfolded. As you know, I didn't plan it, so what's on the page is very organic.
Of course I don't mind criticism! That's the only way that I'm going to continue to grow as a writer, honest CC that gives me insight into my writing from the reader's perspective. You know, I've had one other reviewer mention that. It's definitely something to look at, that's for sure. If you can remember from years ago when I used to ask you to review /everything/ of mine, I don't edit my stream of consciousness - perhaps it's time to break that tradition, eh? Thanks for pointing that out!
I'm so over the moon that you like my description. I think it's my strongest point and I just really love to write it, you know? It comes so naturally.
Oh my goodness, I didn't think of that! I suppose I'm one of those people who likes the description of falling to the knees (only when it's really pertinent, of course). I've never thought of it becoming cliche, but then again, it's the most obvious kind of description, isn't it? And that's one thing I don't like, that's for sure. I like unique - thank you for pointing that out! It definitely looks like I need to break the tradition of not editing these SoC pieces and do some minor alterations!
I'm really glad you liked their friendship. I suppose that unconsciously, I used me and my best friend's relationship as a basis. It's very natural and real - yes, that's probably where that came from. I've always had a problem with dialogue because of the Southern-ness, so I'm glad it seemed very human.
Oh, yet another person that loves the brilliancy of vagueness! That makes my heart happy! So many readers want everything spelled out for them. Ilia used to tell me ages and ages ago to give readers something to work for and I guess it's so ingrained in me now that it's a part of my writing vibe.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I super appreciate it and I do hope you enjoyed it! :)
Shelby Report Review
Agh, sorry this review took me so long. Road-tripping is not convenient with a laptop. ;)
ANYWAY, I cannot believe you've managed to fit all that you did into a single (first) chapter. I find that really impressive, actually. You've introduced your characters really effortlessly, and you've got a wonderful exposition going. I always think first chapters are hard - as a writer, you have to worry about so many things when writing. Setting, main characters, their relationship, how fast your plot is going to unfold... I think you've got a magnificent start here.
This also seems really well-planned. Maybe you're just someone who can sit down and write a chapter like this in a day, and that's great, but I'm definitely the kind that has to think about what I need to happen in it, etc. This appears to be really well-crafted, which is great even if you didn't sit down and plan like I do.
Your meshings of description and plot are really a marvel to me. I always, -always- have difficulty figuring out how to weave description in with what's actually happening in the chapter, and you've done it absolutely effortlessly.
Well done. I thought this was an excellent first chapter.
PS - I love that you used Lysander. I think he's under-utilized, just in general, in writing sometimes.Author's Response: Haha, write this chapter in one day? Yea, right. I wish. Sometimes I can do that, no problem. Other times (and most especially with this fic) it takes me weeks to figure out. Planning however, was not really included with this. I have vague ideas of where the plot should go and everything in between those points is pretty much up in the air.
First chapters are the worst. I hate them. They are so hard to write. How much do you include? How much back story? etc. always goes through my brain when I start a new story. This one I knew only one thing was supposed to happen (and it so didn't happen). But it was absolutely the most fun thing to write.
I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it, Rin. :) Thanks for the lovely review. Report Review
Bah! Thank you for writing such a wonderful entry to my challenge! I'm blown away that I actually helped (in a miniscule way) to inspire it. And I can definitely see where you got your (subtle) inspiration from.
I love your big, narrative paragraphs. It's a lot of telling instead of showing, which usually absolutely drives me crazy, but for some reason, you completely made it work here. There's a lot of Victoire that shines through every paragraph, and her characterization is just so strong. It's incredible.
Your flow, too, is lovely. With very little dialogue, some stories get chunky and take a while to progress. I felt like yours, however, was very fluid, and each paragraph seemed to melt into the next.
Thanks for sharing your story with me! It was a wonder to read, and I'm very glad you tried the challenge.
xx RinAuthor's Response: Thank you for reviewing and being generally lovely and everything - you've been fab!
I had been thinking about the subject of teenage girls and them being obsessed with boyfriends and just generally wanting someone to make them feel better and your challenge helped me to channel my thoughts a lot better into writing this. What's really funny is that, well, Victoire is probably my least favourite character and yet I felt she was right for this topic that I was writing about. Strange, huh?
Anyway thank you for your compliments - you've been a lovely ego boost! :P Report Review
Oh, oh, OH. Alrighty. OK. Where to begin without making this completely unintelligible and useless...
Obviously, I thought this was brilliant, and for so many reasons. Maybe I'll list them to keep myself organized.
1) The last line is just... I always try and make sure my last lines are solid, that they sort of pack a punch so that the reader doesn't just drift off the page once they've finished. You've done that magnificently and I cannot even begin to wrap my head around how you even came up like a line like that. It is gorgeous, but it also furthers your story; it's not just there for beauty reasons, or anything. Gah.
2) The originality (and I had to spell that four times, for whatever reason) is just incredible. I'm beginning to see a lot of the same thing on the archives, which isn't necessarily bad because everybody sort of has their own take on it but THIS was just astounding. I have never, in my "career" as a reader, read anything that featured these two lovely and ephemeral characters. And speaking of characters...
3) I absolutely adore the way you've characterized them. They are tired, but they seem content. For whatever reason, I especially liked the quip about her memory going. It just made -sense- to me. And this line: "My soul feels a little tired, my blood a little too warm for all that I have lived through." Gah, it's really gorgeous, but I think you also paint a very vivid picture of the character(s) you are describing.
This was lovely, and I can definitely see where you found your inspiration in that picture. It's a very subtle inspiration, but it's there. Thank you so much for trying the challenge; this is a piece of art.
xx Rin Report Review
Lovely, you need to get published right now. No, honestly, I need you to bundle your writing with twine and send it to the nearest publishing house, and then make millions of dollars off of what are sure to be huge successes in the literary world.
Because not everybody (and I'll amend my statement to "practically nobody") can write like you. And, simply, I think it is some of the most fluid and beautiful and stylistically original writing I have seen.
Please, please send this to someone. Anyone. I need you to get rich off your novel sales and then send me a check in the mail saying, "because you told me to!"
xx RinAuthor's Response: RIN!RIN!RIN!
omggg. this review, like how am I even supposed to begin responding to this?? You are far, far too kind to me, but I appreciate your loveliness nonetheless. :) I think I have a strange subconcious block against letting me write OF but it's definietly something I'd like to try someday.
Thank you so much, you wonderful person, you.
Melissa Report Review
Now, I'm doing this of my own volition, mind you; the Exchange has nothing to do with me stopping by. I am reviewing, my dear, because this is so gosh darn good. I need to favorite this before I forget and it slips away again.
Anyway. I need to start by saying that you are such a talented writer. I'll stick with a story if it has a good plot, usually, but if the writing is really terrible, I'll abandon ship. This is both intriguing and written so, so well. I cannot begin to commend you enough on your very firm handle on style and prose. It's a delight to read, truly.
I love your use of language. Here I am, being a complete English nerd and noting all the really cool vocabulary words you have in here. They're sort of sprinkled around, which is nice because the prose isn't so verbose that I'm struggling to read it, yet at the same time I'm always really excited when an unusual word crops up. And that's another thing - you have the greatest verbs in here. Again, total English nerd, but just... instead of "they walked here and he said this," you use lovely words like "ushered" (and others that I can't think of right now) that completely contribute to your epic writing style. Bah. /drools
And your story is moving along really nicely. I'm always struggling to figure out when to introduce people and how fast my chapters should go, but this just seems effortless. You've crafted it masterfully, which is just... awesome. See, here I was complimenting you on your unusual words, and I can't come up with an unusual one right now to save my life. :P
I'm dying to know what's happening to Hermione. I think my favorite thing about this story is that it's so unique, so original. Bah. Bah. (Do I sound like a sheep yet?)
I'm going to favorite this now before I forget.
xx RinAuthor's Response: RIN, HOW DO I BEGIN. ♥ My review responses have been getting out of control lately (in the best, best way), and I'm trying to be diligent in responding to them, so I'll attempt it now. Fair warning, though -- it might be a hot mess. Stay tuned!
I literally am just so, so excited you're seeming to enjoy the story so much. I love working on this and sort of piecing it together, and I'm just thrilled the general HPFF population is liking it, too!
The vocabulary and word-choice is a somewhat conscious choice; I noticed that my one-shots have been taking a more stylistic lean for nearly a year now, while my longer stories (novellas and novels) are more straightforward and drawing on a slightly simpler way of storytelling. This novella was a sort of attempt to combine the two, make this have that /something/ while still telling a linear storyline. So, yeah. :D I'm so excited you found it both easy and interesting to read!!
I am basically a puddle on the ground right now, because your compliments have made me melt. ♥ Hermione's bit actually comes up in chapter four, so in a week-and-a-half or two weeks... that'll be up! :3
Thank you SO much for such a lovely, heartwarming series of reviews -- I honestly can't thank you enough!! ♥ Report Review
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