Reading Reviews From Member: long_live_luna_bellatrix
  
607 Reviews Found

Review #1, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThis Could Be Good: Forever and Please Don't Go

14th March 2014:
This story sounded like a wonderful exercise in being inside a character's head. Oftentimes reading such a chapter grows dull, or stagnant, but here I felt like I got a glimpse into Lily's head. I felt like I could understand how she worshipped this person. A few lines really stood out, and helped with that: "She was the sun and I was the sky holding her up. She was the perfect apple, and I was the tree. Surrounding her, trying to get more of her, but never being able to hold on." Such an apt description. Fabulous.

At first I was wary, because of the use of a couple "tired" comparisons. Skin like porcelain. Being addicted to another person. The porcelain example made me nervous at first, because that's such an overused description, especially among other lovely examples. However, I think you pulled it together when you continued, speaking about the garden, and how the porcelain was scratched. After that, I could see that using "porcelain" wasn't a way of describing her skin as perfectly pale, but in a newer, fresher way: to explain that even though she's not perfect, Lily adores her anyway. I'd be wary of such things in the future, but here, I do think it worked quite nicely. (The potion/addiction thing still isn't my favorite, however, and I think it's not entirely necessary here, when you have such other nice lines to express Lily's feelings. But that's just me.)

I'm not sure if this is a missing moment from one of your other stories, or perhaps a prequel or a sequel, because there was one line here that confused me-- the one about four years of happiness. That implies a whole 'nother story: a story that has an ending. Given that this story is all about a beginning, this confused me a little bit.

One last thing-- why did you choose to set this in a train compartment, among so many family members? I like that it's a public place (the clapping was hilarious), but I feel like a first kiss doesn't tend to voluntarily occur while surrounded by family members. Had they been in the library, or in the common room, I might have understood a bit better.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, very easy to immerse oneself in. The above truly didn't detract from the beauty of it in any way. Nice work.

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for reviewing! I'm flattered that you thought I did well. I just kind of sat down and wrote this. Looking back I see a million mistakes and little things I would change, but I really wanted to get that raw emotion in there, so I just posted and didn't edit.

I actually almost deleted the porcelain part, but I felt that I wrote it in a way that made it differ from the common cliche's. (I promise I won't ever use it again, I kind of hated using it here). I'll look at the potion/addiction one, I think I was trying to go for that really dramatic over the top kind of feel. Like being overwhelmed with emotions.

It was just sort of a fragment in time. This story is more like a little slice in the middle of their relationship. It wasn't necessarily a first kiss (though that would be so cute, I might have to go write one about their first kiss), but just a kiss in general. I wanted them to be in a common place. No where special, no where fancy, nothing really interesting going on. Somewhere that it'd be reasonable for them to focus on each other despite the noise around them. I felt like a train compartment was perfect ofr that.

Thank you so much for your lovely review, I really did enjoy it!!

xoxo Sarah


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Review #2, by long_live_luna_bellatrixMeissa: Prologue

12th March 2014:
Wow, what a chilling first chapter. You set the mood and the tone instantly, without any room for doubt. And it's clearly not just the Dark Lord (I can infer that it is THAT lord, right?) and some Death Eater; that twist about the mark is fascinating, and a clever idea. Plus, very much something I can see happening.

One typo, maybe? The girl says "One who bares the mark," but I think it should be "One who bears the mark." Just a small thing.

I'd love to see more description at the beginning, to really cement the mood the story. I'd love to know more about the cottage's surroundings, not just what they looked like, but what they felt, smelled, even tasted like. And perhaps a bit of an insight into the girl's emotions as she approaches. Nervous? Resigned? Excited? Dread? Desperate? There are so many possibilities, then again, I'm sure there are time to develop those later.

At first I thought the character was Bellatrix-- no fear or sympathy to be seen, just unfailing loyalty. But after the twist with the mark, I don't think it's her at all. It was a good move to keep her identity a mystery for now... You have the reader interested, and he/she can move on to the smaller details later, as things flesh out.

On the whole, a great start. In relatively few words you introduced suspense, interesting characters, and a really neat concept with the mark. Congrats on your first NaNo, as well!

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Review #3, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Potter Files (Part 1) , Demons: World News

12th March 2014:
When I was scrolling through the "recently added" list, looking for something to catch my eye, I noticed something curious: a novel, marked "part seven." I was naturally interested to see who was dedicated enough to post a seven novel series on the site, and clicked onward. I decided to give this chapter a go, as I was intrigued to see what sort of story you've maintained over hundreds of thousands of words. I was not disappointed.

This was a long chapter, sure, but I breezed through it. The plan, the mysterious magical creatures, the suspense, the characters... All fit together so well, and all moved the chapter along at a good pace. Everything felt fresh, original. You clearly have a good feel for the characters and where they're headed-- perhaps from thorough planning, perhaps after revisions, doesn't matter to me-- and that makes it incredibly enjoyable to read.

At first I was a little uncomfortable with Harry; while Ginny came across very close to the Ginny of the books, and Maddie was your own invention, Harry did not read like the Harry I'm used to. Different style of speaking, different worries, different attitude. I don't read many detective stories, but I'd hazard a guess that he reads more like classic detective than the original Harry Potter. However, I don't have an issue with this. While it'll take some getting used to, his character fits the story, it clearly fits your writing style, and it must work well overall if it's lasted for seven novels.

The only other thing that threw me off a little was the dialogue; at times it felt stilted or odd, mostly because of the punctuation. Many times you used a period in a place where a question mark would naturally go; other times you used exclamation points in lieu of periods, or sometimes no punctuation at all.

What a fabulous chapter, though. A great find, in my opinion. I'll be back for more.

Author's Response: Appreciate your review.

I got the idea of the career a middle-aged Harry would have from an old movie I was watching. It seemed like the sort of lone job he might try.

I had to invent other characters. I couldn't have him constantly talking or meeting the same people from school. And that would get boring.

Sorry about the punctuation. I never pretended to be much good at it. At least my story was engaging enough to keep you going.


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Review #4, by long_live_luna_bellatrixI'm Not Him: The Beginning

11th March 2014:
Hi there,

This is an interesting start to a story. I like how things began with a bang, but you're keeping the suspense alive by not sharing all of Fred's thoughts with us. I'm curious to know why he's so mad. Also, as someone who likes travel, I'm naturally enticed by his open schedule. Egypt and Greece are great, but the whole world is open to him, and that's exciting.

One thing that really caught me off guard was the mention of Muggle condoms. In general, I think that's actually an interesting discussion-- contraception in the Muggle world versus the wizarding one. And I understand why Fred might have packed them. However, as there was no context for the mention of it, no explanation, and nothing else in the chapter related to it, it mostly just stood out as odd to me. I think it would be better to mention that, and talk about it in more detail, when it becomes relevant. For now, talking about condoms is just unnecessary.

Also, one little thing: you talk about him packing a trunk, then later describe him zipping a suitcase. Possibly you mixed up your luggage types?

Other than that, it was a good start. I think Roxanne is cute, and a great sister. I'd be interested to see why Fred is so furious with his father, and how it's connected to Fred I. Kudos to you as well, for writing a collab!

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you so much! We're really glad that you like it! Yes, that was the intention of having the chapter not really all that clear and kind of confusing? But we're glad it worked! Haha, we love to travel too! Hence the travel fic ;) I'm god you liked it!

Yeah, I do get what you mean :) It was meant to be random, but also have an underlying message, so we will definitely go back and edit the chapter to make the message clearer :)

Ooh god! Thats just me :P Well, I will definitely edit that too! Ty for pointing it out! :D

Thank you~ Rox is a definite favourite for both of us! Haha, well, you'll have to see ;) Thank you! We are super excited and definitely glad that you liked it! :D

-Mae and Ree :)


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Review #5, by long_live_luna_bellatrixNot Normal: {Chapter the First}

11th March 2014:
Hi there,

Before I talk about your writing (that is what reviews are for, I guess), I wanted to let you know that I found your comment on my blog (the one about getting back into the groove of writing) really helpful. The bit about reviews in particular. Most people offered helpful-- but not novel-- advice, whereas the idea of leaving reviews was something I'd never considered. As soon as I read that, I knew it was going to work. So I decided to do my best to leave at least one review a day everyday until I find my groove again-- hopefully even after that. And I figured there was no better person to begin with than the one who had the idea in the first place. So thank you, very much. And onto your story.

This story's summary caught my eye immediately. And once I began reading, I was excited to see the action began right off the bat, along with a plausible history. After all, it does take a significant sense of creativity to make seeing ghosts sound odd in an HP fan fic. Your summary, plus the cool background information about people who are "stuck," did a great job of pulling me in.

You gave Ellie a nice, solid history, and I feel like I know her pretty well. I now know about her parents, her brother, her friends, some of her likes, some of her dislikes, and a vulnerable part of her (having trouble opening up... talk about relatable), and it didn't feel forced at all. The one thing that made me a little nervous (that's the wrong word, but it's the best I can come up with) (sorry for all the parentheses, I promise I usually don't use them this much!) was her relationship with Albus Potter. The quiet, nervous, funny girl meets gorgeous and arrogant best-friend-of-brother, hates him, but will eventually fall in love with him? (Jumping to conclusions about the psychic's prediction, here) It can be done, but it's been done a lot. There are interesting directions in which it can go, and tired directions. I'd just be wary of the two of them, if I were writing this-- but I'm sure you have it under control.

I'm still really interested to see what the Founders ask Ellie to do, and I'd like to get to know her more. I'll swing by again soon. Once again, thank you so much for your advice! Review #1 is done, and I'm already beginning to feel better, writing-wise.

-lllb

Author's Response: I'm so glad you found my advice worthwile! I'm really happy that you already feel like it's going to work out for you. Getting your groove back is the most amazing feeling :) And wowee! A review a day! Good luck! Break all the legs!

I'm so happy that you enjoyed the beginning! I feel like this story is taking a really long time to get to what I call the beginning of the "actual plot", but that's probably because I know where I want to take this story, and also because I'm a super slow writer.

I'm always really worried about people's initial reactions to Ellie. I don't want her coming off as an unlikeable "Mary Sue", although that's often how she views herself. I'm so happy that you found her well-balanced, and most of all, relateable - I usually don't reaad stories where I can't connect to the main character, especially if the story is in first person.

I really get what you mean about Albus. I have the same sort of feeling in the pit of my stomach about him. I don't want their relationship to go in the direction that everyone (including myself) expects it to go, going off what I've written in the first chapter. I find him incredibly difficult to write, and I think some of that... anxiety(?) translates into my writing. I really want to make him more complex than he appears - one of the reasons why I chose Albus as the Potter "love interest" rather than James who is more often portrayed in this way. We'll see where his character goes.

One review down! The road to getting your mojo back has had an incredibly solid start! I sincerely wish you the best of luck and shall stay up-to-date with all new developments - blog posts, writing updates (when they happen in their own good time), status updates... I'm obviously not coming off as stalkerish :P But seriously, I really appreciate this review!


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Review #6, by long_live_luna_bellatrixSomewhere Only We Know: Somewhere Only We Know

7th February 2014:
This is such a touching story. It would have been touching without the final sentence, but I feel as though that put the whole thing into a much sharper focus, enhanced each memory by tenfold. Almost as if everything became tighter. And, looking back, it didn't come out of nowhere: there was a hint in the first line. So, so well done.

I liked how each holiday was it's own little bubble, and had its own emotions attached to it. Greece was healing, Devon was warm-- I truly felt what Hermione felt. I also thought the picture taken in Spain was fantastically described, three generations neatly outlined. In very few words, you traced two decades, touching on the key parts, and I feel as though I absorbed so much even though there was so little.

The only thing that confused me, looking back, was this: "Their wish was granted with the arrival of grandchildren, and to this day she still doted on them as if they were still young and wanting her attention. She knew Ron did too." The way you've worded things implies that Ron still lives, since it notes that Hermione /still/ dotes on the grandchildren. Just a thought.

I'm glad to have stumbled upon this. I really enjoyed it!

-lllb

Author's Response: Hello there! Sorry for taking so long to reply to this, but better late than never.

Thank you! I feel like it's one of those sentences that then changes the entire perspective of the story, so I quite like it too haha. Yes definitely, I'm glad you got that impression about each holiday - I wanted to point out the important ones to show how much they meant to Ron and Hermione and how they changed their lives.

I'll have a look back over that sentence, thanks for pointing it out.

Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #7, by long_live_luna_bellatrixAlice Longbottom and her Great Escape: The Great Escape

16th July 2013:
This was an amusing story, for sure. For one thing, you did a great job with Rose, who was such an exaggerated version of a nerd that it was impossible not to laugh at her antics. One crease forcing her to do it all over? Even I'm not that much of a perfectionist. In addition, I liked how complicated the plan was just to sneak out of class. Most students would just "go to the bathroom" and never return, but instead Alice had to come up with a full-blown, Polyjuice Potion extravaganza. And it was quite a clever plan, too.

One suggestion for you with this story is to get a beta reader. All you have to do is be a member on the forums, if you're not already, and in the Help Needed section is a list of people (under Quick Betas) who beta one-shots. The only real thing that distracted me in this was spelling and grammar errors, of which there were quite a few. A beta would look over your chapter, fix the errors, and give you suggestions on any number of other things to help improve the story. Or, if you don't want a beta, just taking the time to read through it slowly and keep an eye out for errors is something you can easily do yourself.

The only other suggestion I'd give is to add a little something on at the end. For a story that's centered on (and titled after) a "great escape," I almost felt at the end like I was missing something. Like the escape needed another mention. Even simply saying "All that work was definitely worth it," would have left me feeling a little more satisfied. Just a suggestion, but you may want to look into it.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I loved that Al created an amusement park in the Room of Requirement! Such an original idea, and definitely a date I wouldn't mind going on ;) Nice work here.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the feedback! Looking back on the one shot I can see so many mistakes now and I am refraining from deleting it! Your constructive criticism and kind words have helped me so much so thank you:) x

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Review #8, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Seams: Passing Afternoon

15th July 2013:
Hi again. So far, I like where the story is headed.

'Actions speak louder than words' is a corny phrase, but I think it's actually an important one in writing. It's so much easier to get to know a character by what they do than by what they say, and Eileen's actions speak for her in this chapter. Between helping Hannah, making her regular visit to Gringotts, and rattling off specific Muggle clothing ideas, she's proven herself to be a kind, hard-working young woman. However, her dreams of being a professor also showed another side of her, and I liked that as well.

I'm interested to see where you take this. I'd love to meet an assistant, if you do bring one in-- another layer in the mix for sure. I enjoyed the appearance of Fabian as well as the mention of Dumbledore, as I'm such a fan of taking people who lived in the same time period and acknowledging that in HP fanfics. So many of these people must have overlapped, but you'd never know from just the books!

Over all, this was a well done chapter. It was told straight, it flowed well, and the characters, as I already said, continue to be interesting. However, now I'm forced to wonder, what's the connection to the prologue? I'm sure it will come up later, but I'm definitely curious. I want to hear more about Reymond and his life after reading his mother's letter.

Keep it up!

Author's Response: Hello again!

That's such a compliment for me, thank you! That's something I've really worked toward - we're all self-aware to some extent, but our actions do speak louder than words. It lets people know the real us, the true us, despite what we might say.

Haha, you are killing me! There's an assistant in the next chapter, actually. Everyone is really liking her and I think you'll come to enjoy her too! I can't wait for you to meet her. I'm glad you liked those connections and appearances. I want it to be familiar, yet new and exciting since no one else has written an Eileen/Tobias novel!

I'll go ahead and let you know - every third chapter, you'll get to see more of Penelope and/or Reynold. There are going to be two timelines/storylines in this particular novel.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I do hope you enjoyed and can't wait to hear from you again! ♥

Shelby


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Review #9, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Seams: A Storm Is Coming

15th July 2013:
Wow, what a gripping start to a story. The birth, the weather, the blood, all of it combined to really jumpstart the chapter. And while all of that has been used many times before, you used it to your advantage and made it your own. The imagery of the blood dripping off the corners of the blankets was especially chilling.

You established your characters quickly and thoroughly, and I appreciated that even Ursula was given a past and a story even though Reymond and the Princes were clearly the focus. That really served to bring the scene alive, and Ursula's worries and isolation seemed very real. I instantly felt sorry for her.

All in all, it served the purpose of a first chapter well: it jumped into action, it piqued curiosity (that letter!), and set up for an interesting story to come. In fact, the only thing that made me wonder was Reymond receiving the letter at age 14. What's so special at 14? In the wizarding world, ages 7, 11, and 17 are all associated with various important events, but 14 was an interesting choice. I'm not sure if there's a reason there or not, but I'd be interested to know.

The only other thing you could maybe think about is the transition from Reymond's birth to that big moment 14 years later. It's a bit sudden, and not entirely expected so quickly, so I was thrown off a little. Even a line break would've done the trick, but that's all up to you.

Best of luck with this story, and I'll be back! Fabulous start!

Author's Response: Hello darling! Thank you so much for reviewing!

It seems that everyone really likes the beginning chapter of my novel and that puts me so over the moon! It has been used before, it's true. I'm not writing anything completely original, per se, but I do try to make it my own. You've got to recreate and reimagine what you know - that's what I try to accomplish with all of my descriptions and imagery.

I'm really happy you like my characters. I'm really trying to focus on characters and how they grow through the story. I've written so many oneshots, I feel like my characters need more love and attention than what I've given them in the past.

I can't wait until you get to that part of the story. I think that specific ages mean different things for different families, you know? Not necessarily what is "normal" - age 14 isn't /super/ special, but it holds its own significance. You're so perceptive - not one else has noticed that I used 14 and thought it important!

Once I get a lull in-between chapters, I'm going to put a line break there to make that transition smoother - thank you!

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I hope you enjoyed and can't wait to see what you think of future chapters! ♥

Shelby


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Review #10, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Marauder Years: An Expected Letter

8th June 2013:
Hi! I thought this was an enjoyable chapter-- you depicted a very canon Evans family, all the characters both fitting in with what I know as well as adding details that were strong.

For instance, I thought it was funny that when the juice spilled at breakfast, Petunia instinctively leapt for a mop to clean it up. Details like that are fabulous: details that explain, or at least continue, future character traits. Considering that Petunia is a neat freak in the future, this reaction was a very clever idea.

One suggestion I'd like to make is regarding your dialogue. First, the dialogue is entertaining, but it feels almost scripted, especially in the first half of the chapter. Every remark is perfect, echoing that of those perfect families you see in commercials. I personally would have liked to see new and surprising things about the family. Also, aside from the content of the dialogue, its punctuation could be improved. Try reading your dialogue aloud-- in many cases, I think there are commas that are missing. If, while reading it aloud, your voice ever pauses, you know that you need a comma or some other form of punctuation.

The only other thing I can think of is originality. Like I said earlier, you've described a very canon lifestyle-- however, it's also very predictable. This scene is something many of us have imagined before. So while I love some of your canon details, I think some newer details could be used here as well. For instance, you mentioned Severus and Lily's relationship several times, always describing what we already knew. I would have loved to see your own spin on it-- maybe Lily has been worried sick the last 24 hours, knowing that Severus already has his letter but hers hasn't arrived yet. Maybe her parents actually despise him, or maybe he's approached them in secret to warn them of this letter that he knows Lily will get. Perhaps I just like surprises, but those are just a couple examples of things that are slightly different (but no less canon) that could have made your chapter more interesting.

You've got a strong start here, though. You clearly have an established sense of your characters and you've set the groundwork for Lily's adventures to come. You can do a lot of great things with this; good job.

-lllb

Author's Response: Hi lllb, thank you for the review :)

I really appreciate your CC and suggestions. I will read through the dialogue and edit it - punctuation and content. I am a stickler for canon and prefer stories that keep to canon. I thought about this the other day and realised that perhaps I was being too canon and needed to inject a bit of originality. Thankyou for your suggestions for newer details for this chapter. I have some ideas forming for this chapter now (which won't make it less canon) and will edit it soon.

Thanks again, this review was really helpful :-)


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Review #11, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Call: The Call

12th January 2013:
Ahh, I love it! Thank you! You wrote Colin SO well. The way he held his coin and told himself he's brave-- it was heartbreaking. It's interesting, you always wonder, when you have your big life-altering moments, if you recognize them for what they are and react. If mothers think of the miracle of life when they give birth, if the person taking the bullet for someone else really thinks it through, or if a soldier wants to be brave when he/she dies for his/her cause... And realistically, though heroes are often celebrated for doing these things naturally, I'd be surprised if such thoughts didn't cross their minds.

One of the best things you did here was capturing the emotion of Colin's story. Words like war, soldier, etc really made the story feel like it was on a grand scale, and I felt so much for Colin. The image of the broken suit of armor was chilling, and the smells, sights and sounds felt real. The whole story felt real. It was so well written!

There were flashes of a younger Colin here too, which added to the real-ness of him and the story. When he mentioned how Hermione had commanded them to never ignore the Galleons, I pictured a young little Colin quivering under the imposing older girl. :P His decision to fight, then his doubts, then his ultimate choice to stay were also so realistic, and made his death all the more sad. I was also really glad he got his chance to prove his bravery by disarming one of the men, even if there were two more there to replace him.

This was such a great read, thank you SO much for writing it! A lovely, lovely gift. Wonderful job.

Author's Response: I'm so happy that you enjoyed this! :3 I knew that you liked minor characters, going into writing this, and I think somewhere you mentioned Colin -- but I was a bit worried that I'd be TOTALLY off the mark somewhere along the road. :P

I do think that, towards the end -- or towards a really big life-altering moment -- you would sort of think those things, that this is going to effect you for the rest of your life. It's really interesting to turn over in your mind, though, especially because most of us HAVEN'T really been through that sort of thing yet. Colin's just a boy, but he knows what he's up against; I'm pleased that the emotion translated well here for you!

One of the things I did most intentionally in this story was to keep some of Colin's known traits, while adding in his bravery -- but when I think about it now, that's an old trait of his too, isn't it? He stood up for Harry in the fourth book when no one else would; he didn't even think twice about joining Dumbledore's Army. But then there are times when perhaps the more annoying, lovable Colin we all know emerges, like when talking about Hermione's coin. :P

Again -- I'm just really, really happy that you liked this. Thank you so much for reviewing it! (Which, of course, wasn't necessary, since it was YOUR present.) I hope you had very lovely holidays!!


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Review #12, by long_live_luna_bellatrixWhy?: Snow in December

3rd January 2013:
Interesting start here, for sure. Beginning a story with a break up is so much more unusual than your usual romances, or whatever this is, and the last paragraph especially suggests that this isn't truly the end of Percy and Penelope. You've got so many places you can go from here, and I'm sure you'll bring this story in a good direction.

As good an idea as this is, I found it difficult to immerse myself in the story at times. Part of it was the way Percy and Penelope acted. Their break up, in my opinion, leaned on the generic side, and I was waiting for something new and exciting, to convince me that this was the story I should be reading. That moment did come, but more towards the end, and I'll get to it in a minute. The point is, their whole conversation can be found in countless other stories, and I would've liked more insights, more details, more things that made it unique to these two characters in this particular story.

I also had a hard time with the dialogue, more of a minor thing. If you look back at the chapter, you'll see that Percy and Penelope start out nearly all of their sentences with the other person's name. That's something that does not happen often in real life, and it made their conversation seem stilted. We use people's names to be dramatic, or catch their attention; not everyone time we speak to them. So that threw me off a bit.

However, there were other bits I really enjoyed. The moment I mentioned earlier, the original part, was Percy's promise. Buying her a bookshop. The whole image, of him doing this for her, with her own chair and the tea and everything-- that was fantastic. That's the sort of interesting tidbit that makes a story for me, and I got all warm when I read it because I was thinking, how nice would that be if someone did that for me? Consequently, I understood Penelope's grief following the memory, and really got her character. That's the sort of moment I adore.

So, on the whole, a good start here. There were those things that caught me up, but there were other things, like the bookshop, that made it all worthwhile. I'm also intrigued by Percy's final words! That was a great way to end it, all the more so because Penelope didn't hear him. Nice work.

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Review #13, by long_live_luna_bellatrixRun: Newcomers

30th December 2012:
What really did me in this chapter was your pacing. It was absolutely flawless. All the descriptions rumbled up to these fabulous discoveries, all the speeches settled perfectly, all the events lined up with ease. I can think of few other stories that drag one in so well!

I've heard about this story a lot, and I've read bits and pieces but I do want to come and make my way (perhaps slowly, I'm afraid) through it. It appears to be a fantastic example of great writing coupled with an incredibly original thought.

You also seem to have Cedric down pat. So often he's the darling boy, or the perfect prefect, or the fallen hero-- here he's just a well-meaning, enthusiastic young boy, and I think the image really suits him. To me, this is how he must have been like before the Triwizard Tournament started and before Harry liked Cho and saw him as Cho's boyfriend. He seems, above all, like a nice guy. I really enjoyed reading him.

Really curious about the rules of the afterlife here-- especially how that man knows when Dennis will die. And at 35, too! Not to mention Cliodna's clock and the Grotta, and everything else you mentioned in your summary. On the whole, it sounds like a story well-deserving of it's reputation around here. I'm excited to see how things play out!

Author's Response: Oh my goodness, there's nothing that intimidates me more than to have a reader coming in saying that they've heard about this story before. It worries me that expectations will be higher and I'll end up disappointing. I really hope you continue to like this!

Cedric's characterization was inspired by TenthWeasley and her story "Leaping Obstacles", and I think I wrestled the hardest with his characterization. We really knew so little about him, except that he was a Seeker and a Champion. So I'm relieved that you like how I've written him so far.

Cliodna's Clock has a lot of mysteries - its mysteries sometimes overshadow the actual Duels, as well as everyone's personal issues; the Grotta will be explored in further detail later on. Thank you so much for reading and for your glowing review! It made me smile.


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Review #14, by long_live_luna_bellatrixIn The Hollow Valley of Our Lost Kingdom: green (eyes like your mother's)

1st September 2012:
I think what I liked most about this was the depth to Lily and Snape that you exposed in so few words. Here are the main moments I glimpsed it: the comments about hell, Lily's realizations about James and Severus in the afterlife, Snape admitting he doesn't deserve Lily's love, and finally Lily forgiving him for everything. These were all fairly big ideas, but they fit into the story with ease.

I saw echoes of Harry's King's Cross encounter here, especially when Lily said, "This is as real as you make it." Not sure if that's intentional, if we're all a little bit affected by that scene even if we don't know it, or what, but either way, the parallel worked.

I'm not a diehard shipper of any one ship, so I wasn't exactly screaming or beaming as I read this, but I was cheering Lily and Snape on. Whatever Lily said about afterlife, this was a pretty heavenly experience for Snape, and it was sweet. As I've already said, I appreciate the many layers you gave to your characters here, even James and Sirius who were only mentioned. It wasn't overdone, either; this wasn't something worth stretching out or exaggerating. You told the tale, and you told it well. Then you wrapped it up. ;)

Author's Response: I'm really trying to write shorter fics! I'm definitely prone to writing a lot so it's been a bit of an experiment to see how much I can pack into so few words. I really want to try tackling the Every Word Counts challenge soon. :)

I'm glad that the length didn't detract from the depth I wanted to give the characters. It's certainly just a snippet in a bigger arc that I've written but I want to give people enough so that they don't really have to read the other ones.

I'm not sure I had that scene in my mind. I think that I use a similar line in the original afterlife fic I had written and wanted to repeat that, but perhaps I was thinking of that scene as well when I was writing it, who knows! It definitely does fit though considering.

I'm actually not a Snily shipper at all so this was kind of interesting to write. I'm glad you were rooting for them though. I'm all about happy endings and I just want people to be with who they're meant to be with and that's just how it worked out in this universe that I've written.

Thanks so much for your review. It really made me happy to read it and to know that you enjoyed it. :)


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Review #15, by long_live_luna_bellatrixIn Crimson Ink: September 1st

18th July 2012:
I'm back again. :D I have to tell you, usually when I read stories set on September 1, I silently (or not silently) moan the entire time, because they all follow the exact same formula. But here, for whatever reason, I didn't even connect this chapter with the usual September 1 pattern. Maybe because it was the second chapter, but more likely because of the quality of the writing, it worked. I think it was the conversation about the Hogwarts Memorial that made the difference; because you introduced it early on, and continued the thread throughout the chapter, it felt like it actually had a purpose other than getting the kids to school.

Other things I enjoyed included many tidbits: Fleur's comment about zat ugly lion and the Fake Weasley especially. Fleur sounded perfectly in character, and the Fake Weasley thing makes a ton of sense. The mention of Luna giving a really powerful speech also was a great idea, one I pictured with ease.

One thing that felt out of place was all the background information that you stuck in at various points. Some of it worked, such as the way we learned quite a bit about James without him ever making an appearance: most of it was actually from the family conversation, which was great. But then there was the huge story about how Lily and Hattie met, which I think would have been okay normally, but it was so long that it interrupted the action a bit, in my opinion. Then there was also the long section about Hugo, which felt unnecessary to me, at least at this point in time, because he hasn't played a role in the story.

Another thing that may need some work is your dialogue. Specifically, the tags. You used a lot of adverbs, such as "I smiled apologetically" or "Ginny Potter said absently." They didn't add too much to the story, because usually, the dialogue can illustrate the speaker's mood by itself. The same thing for people's body language: after people spoke, a lot of the time you added actions, such as jerking heads or clapping hands on shoulders. Same as with the adverbs, those usually didn't add much because I could tell their mood without the extra words. All of those things hanging around tended to clutter up the story, at least in my opinion.

Other than that, it was a great continuation of the story. I can't wait to see how things pan out, both with the scandal and "him." He's Ben, maybe? I don't know, I'll wait and find out. ;) Sorry for all the tense switches in this review, I wrote it in about five sittings because I kept getting interrupted, it was all I could do to retain my train of thought.

Author's Response: Hi again! :D Ahh, now I'm blushing from that amazing compliment. Thank you! I'm guilty for having a lot of September First scenes (they totally do follow the same formula, I know what you mean) but they seem like the natural way to start a story for me. This was the easiest way for me to introuduce the memorial, and I'm glad you liked that! It really was just to get the kids to school, but as long as it seemed like it had other purposes, I'm happy :P

Ooh, glad you liked those! I've had a lot of fun writing the Weasleys and Ben is my favorite character (even though he's not really a main character, nor is he "him" :P) Oh and you picked up on the speech! Remember that. It's important ;)

Like I said, I'm sort of a background information nut (the amount of flashbacks I have in my other WIP shoudl be illegal :P) but I definitely see what you mean about it interrupting. I'll take a look at it and see if I can break it up/take some parts out. lol I love making up elaborate backstories but there's a place to put them, so I'll have another look at that.

I have a terrible habit with dialogue :P When I was in elementary school, everyone said to never use "said" by itself so I got into the habit of putting other things with it. So thank you for pointing that out, because I probably wouldn't have noticed it otherwise. Clean dialogue is something I always bring up in my own reviews, and now I'm guilty of not doing it myself *headdesk* That's /definitely/ something I'll work on because it bothers me as much as it does for you.

Not a problem at all, this review was just about the best thing ever! I'm so glad you're enjoying it and thank you for reading the second chapter too! As for the scandal and him...we haven't quite gotten to either yet, but soon ;)

-Naida


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Review #16, by long_live_luna_bellatrixIn Crimson Ink: April 3rd, 2024

18th July 2012:
Wow, you've totally sucked me into this in just 1300 words. You would have had me at the beginning, when it was clear something huge had happened to Lily and you clearly weren't going to give anything away, but it just kept getting better. You got a fairly good amount of background information in, you showed that Lily had a pretty good relationship with her brothers, and just generally made me curious as heck. ;)

But the best part was the ending. By about halfway through the chapter, I understood the beginnings of what was going on with Lily, and thought I knew that you were going to leave it there. So imagine my surprise (and delight) when you bring up this mysterious "him" that changes everything! That added the perfect second layer to the story, and complex stories blow two-dimensional ones out of the water every time. (I just compared layers to complexity to dimensions, but you get the picture.)

The ending completely caught me by surprise, not only because of its content, but because it came on so fast. Don't get me wrong, I loved it where it was, and you did transition into it. But I don't know, it still came on a little strong for me. I think I would have liked another short paragraph between the last and second to last ones. Then again, if you had done that, the last sentence might not have had its impact. So I'm split. Maybe I was just reading it so fast I had to do a double take. ;)

Either way, great start to a story, you can bet I'll be reading on.

Author's Response: I can't even tell you how much these reviews mean to me. Wow. Made my day/week/year! THank you so much for taking the time to leave such thoughtful reviews. You were definitely one of the first authors I looked up to when I joined, and getting these reviews has just blown me away ♥

I'm really glad you liked the prologue :D I love a sense of mystery in the first chapter so I tried to hint enough that you would be curious, and I'm glad that you were. Background is always fun to write, so I had to throw that in as well :D

I debated a lot about the ending, actually. I never actually meant for "him" to be such a secret, but people really loved that :P And that is a huge compliment! Wow. So in awe of that. I'm all about subplots in this particular story, so sque! :D

Yeah, and I did think a lot about the ending. I completely see where you're coming from with that. It is a bit quick, but I like shorter prologues so I wanted to end it quickly. It's worth a read through though, to see if I could soften that transition at all. Thank you again for this loveeely review :D You should have seen my face when I woke up to two lovely long review from you; I still haven't stopped smiling :P

-Naida


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Review #17, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Song of Silence: Fragments, Not Yet Lost

4th July 2012:
Ah, there are so, so many things I could talk about here. I read it this morning, let it sink in, then came back and reread it just to see where things stood. Things stand very well. ;)

I suppose the biggest piece of the story, for me, was the emotion it evoked. Sitting here, all I feel is a deep, deep wistfulness for Dorcas and Sirius. You introduced them gently, and through her words and his thoughts I became attached to them with ease. I know, it was clear that it wasn't going to be a happy story with peaches and cream and singing fairies, I could see what path it would take, but I was still disappointed by Dorcas's death. She was such a likable person (and I see your literature knowledge reflected in her).

There were so many human bits to this: the part I'm thinking about is when Sirius reads that she would have kissed him, that time, and he wished he'd known. Except then he admitted to himself that he really had known, had just hesitated, and I was crushed for him. That's pretty darn relatable.

Then there's the fact that you continue to be a freaking amazing writer. ;) Couldn't forget to mention that. Sirius and Dorcas's stories melded perfectly together, to the point where some of their stories flowed into each other as if they were almost finishing each other's sentences (not an accident, I think). There was that section where you wrote what Dorcas did, then spliced in with parentheses what she could have been doing, and it was just lovely. That passage could easily be turned into a choppy run-on sentences that got on one's nerves, but you handled it perfectly.

Any other praise I should lay on you, while I'm at it? I'm sure I could think of something. Or I could just chat for a bit. ;) You know, there's this relatively unknown author whose books I reread a couple times a year, and she tells her stories with the most breathtaking language. I can tell when I'm reading too much of her because I begin to subconsciously mimic her style as I write. But there are some authors here who elicit the same reaction in my writing, and I swear you're becoming one of them. Which is just fabulous for your ego and terrible for my writing, because there's really no sense in trying to write as other people when you can just write as yourself.

Perhaps I've gone on long enough here. You're well aware of my thoughts on your stories by now, I think. I'll keep coming back until I've finished the reviews I promised for my challenge, plus I need to catch up on Out of Time, and so on... You'll keep hearing from me. Thanks for such an enjoyable task; I love getting sucked into your stories.

Author's Response: You're not the first person to say that they need to read some of my stories twice before they can review, that they need to let the story sink in first. I'm never sure whether I'm making my stories too complicated and layered, or whether I'm doing something right and the stories are somehow thought-provoking. It makes me wonder whether that's why I have trouble getting reviews unless I ask - maybe readers just aren't able to come back that second time. It's something for me to puzzle over, at the very least. ;)

It's wonderful to hear that Dorcas was likeable. I wasn't really sure about it because she gave up in the end so easily - I thought that would be a mark against her, making her weak. It's not even a sacrifice for her, but rather a letting go of a world she just can't exist within. That giving up aligns her closely with the authors she most loves, particularly Woolf (though that whole era of literature generally failed when it came to WWII). I think that I had more of a problem with Dorcas's actions in the end - I knew that she had to die, but I hated how she let it happen without fighting, and I still haven't gotten over that. *hides*

My favourite part about writing this story, apart from sneaking in as many literary references as I could, was the fact that it came in fragments, the little scenes that brought Sirius and Dorcas together. It made them feel more real to me - those moments are just normal to everyone else, but to Sirius and Dorcas, they hold more meaning.

Being able to write both sides of the story - Dorcas's experiences and Sirius's act of reading/re-experiencing them - filled each scene with more emotion than if I'd only told it from Dorcas's point of view. Sirius is the literal reader, guiding us through the story like someone telling a bedtime story - skipping over some parts he can't handle while pouring more closely over those he desperately wishes he could change. At the same time, Dorcas herself is a reader, going over the same book again and again, telling only the parts she loves most. She is also a writer, but her reading so influences her that her writing really comes as a result of reading - it does the same thing that Sirius does as he reads fragments of her diary - writing becomes an act of interpretation rather than of creation. So it's all a story about reading and what it means to read, the power of reading to evaluate and to heal. Oh my god, I never thought of it this way, but it's so perfect. What kind of monster have I created here?

*blushes* I don't know how to better thank you to thank yell it from the tops of the trees and towers of the world. That compliment... it's more than I know how to handle. There's still so much that I have to learn about writing that I never know how to take these amazingly complimentary reviews - I don't think I deserve them at all. When I re-read this story, all I see are the things that need to be fixed - it's frustrating that my eyes do that, rather than let me see what readers like you do.

Thank you so much for all of your reviews! I've loved reading them, and I look forward to more. They do boost my confidence a lot, which is something I'm ever thankful for. ^_^


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Review #18, by long_live_luna_bellatrixSupernatural Proofed: Arriving at Hogwarts

4th July 2012:
When I clicked on this I hadn't checked the genre, so I didn't know it was a crossover until I read the A/N. Then I figured I might as well give it a go, I know absolutely nothing about Supernatural but your story looked interesting.

You do have an interesting plot here. I haven't read too many crossovers, but to me this seems like a good way to cross worlds in a fairly plausible way. I came here because the summary suggested something new, and you're off to a good start. You've clearly established the two main characters you're dealing with, you've introduced at least two possible romances, and you've given us a good idea of what we can expect Sam and Dean to do here. I liked the fact that they had a classroom as headquarters, an office for a bedroom and got majorly lost, because all of those seem realistic of a first-time stay at Hogwarts.

However, I'd like to offer some CC as well. The readability of the story could be improved, specifically regarding the dialogue. From the first few words spoken I could tell that you were not a fan of the word "said," and were going to search for alternatives to it. In the end, you only used it five or six times in a story with a lot of dialogue. But the the thing with those alternatives is that if they're used to heavily, they seriously detract from the story as the reader begins to get distracted. "Said" is expected, you see, so the eye skims right over it. Other words are louder and more visible, so too many of them make us pause and wonder why the story isn't flowing so well. Does that make any sense? Obviously the exact variations you choose to use are personal preference, but in my opinion you were a bit heavy here. In particular, the use of the word "stated" made for some awkward wording.

Also concerning dialogue, I spotted some grammatical errors. When writing dialogue, a comma always comes before the last quotation mark (unless it's a question mark or an exclamation point), otherwise you're left with a sentence fragment for your speech tag. For example, "'I don't know but the one is really dreamy.' Ginny stated" should be: "'I don't know but the one is really dreamy,' Ginny stated." There's more on the in the Writer's Resources section of the forums.

Other than that, you're off to a good start. You certainly caught my attention with this first chapter, and having no experience with Supernatural or crossovers did not affect my read at all.

Author's Response: Well, thank you for reading this. I'm glad you enjoyed it even though you know nothing about Supernatural.

I'm glad you liked the possibility of the love interests and everything else. I'm glad you think it is plausible.

As for the stated, replied, or whatever, I had an English teacher in high school who told us not to use said all the time because it's typical, it's boring. She said to spice it up a bit and so that's what I've done. As for the comma after the dialogue, I was also taught to do it that way. You put a comma if they're not done speaking, but if it's the end of their speech, you put a period. I could be wrong, but oh well.

I did write this ages ago too, so I can go back through and fix some things.

Thank you again for the review.

-Sara-


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Review #19, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Curse-Breaker Who Loved Me: In Which Bill Meets Babbling Belinda

2nd July 2012:
Hello! This was a good start to a story, for sure. The first line was quite an opener, with all the drama, and yet I figured out soon enough that it might not be set in stone as I met the young narrator. I like the idea a lot, this big question mark that will huddle over Bill as he grows up, leaving him to wonder if she was a batty old witch or if he encountered a legitimate Seer. You set it up nicely, giving her the creepiness factor as well as the sort of prophecy that we saw from Trelawney in the HP books: vague but sudden.

For the most part you told the story of a six-year-old well. Adjusting to his point of view, you did a good job with keeping things as he'd see them, from the unfairness of being an older brother to the naive memory of his father coming home drunk. At one point you used the word "relegated," which sounded a bit odd coming from such a young mouth, but otherwise it really worked.

The only thing I can think of to work on here are the details. You gave the expected description of Charlie's irritating habits and the expected description of a witch. I would've liked to see what Diagon Alley looked like through Bill's eyes, or some details that were as original as your idea.

It spoke loads about Bill's character that he wanted to protect his mother even from such a young age. I think that sort of chivalry can be expected from a young boy, even when he can't put it into words, and I can certainly see it coming from Bill Weasley. You can tell he'll be a good man, growing up.

So, overall, well done here. It was an enjoyable first chapter, and from your summary, it sounds like things will continue to be interesting.

Author's Response: This first chapter was one of my favorites to write. It was written in one sitting and posted because I was so enthusiastic so I definitely could stand to go back over it and edit as necessary :) I do want to work out the details but I also don't want to make this overly long - it's meant to balance out the heaviness of my other WIP.

I'm so glad that you like little Bill!! I kind of wish I could just write the whole story about him :) Maybe I can do flashbacks :P


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Review #20, by long_live_luna_bellatrixVital: Chapter 19

29th June 2012:
Wow. This is a really, really impressive story, and I don't need to have read the previous eighteen chapters to recognize that here (though that may have helped). You've got a well-written, well-paced chapter here, no messing around with flowery description while you've got a plot that's taking off. I love the way the suspense grew from the beginning, growing larger as I waited for something to happen in the Tawny Owl. You didn't even limit the action to that one room, but kept it going as they jumped out, and were trapped under the table. All that flowed extremely well.

You did a great job with Moody's character, too. He was just like the Moody we all know and love from the books, scarred and blunt and constantly vigilant. It was good to see a familiar face in there.

I also liked the nuances of Simon and Elena's relationship. From this chapter, I can imagine a boatload of possible situations they went through prior to this, enough to understand Elena's pain at the end. It was interesting to watch Simon's tendency to improvise, paired with the more nervous Elena, and the way she acted around him in general.

I was surprised that such an anxious person as Elena would be involved in such a serious endeavor. Sure, I don't have the whole story, so I'm not too worried, and I understand that not only brave people were against the Death Eaters. But I did notice that, twenty chapters in, Elena was still looking like a rookie on the job and not one hundred percent confident about it. Just an observation, do with it what you will; this is, after all, the first chapter I've read.

Really, not much more I can comment on/compliment/critcize here. I was most impressed with the way you continued to up the pace throughout the chapter, really giving it an intense feel throughout. Despite jumping into this so far in, I still enjoyed the chapter and had no issues with understand. Well done.

Author's Response: Hello! (I am so sorry that I didn't respond to this sooner!)

Thank you for leaving a review without having read the whole story. I realize that asking you to do that might not have been fair at all.

This chapter is definitely less descriptive because things are getting more action-y. I'm glad that the pacing worked here, for you.

Yes, you're right in picking up that Simon and Elena's relationship is complicated (it absolutely is). And Simon does improvise a lot, which makes sense because he is the Auror while Elena doesn't still have the same training that he does. I think in this case, Elena's anxiety is a bit of an anomaly, and reading earlier chapters would show that she is thrown into this. But I certainly am not blaming you for not knowing.

Thanks again for the review! I appreciate it and your willingness to just jump in and critique this chapter without the context of everything else.


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Review #21, by long_live_luna_bellatrixA Light in the Dark: A Light in the Dark

27th June 2012:
Hello again. This was yet another solid story, very tidy, very sweet.

You accurately portrayed a lot of the bits and pieces that were involved in James and Lily's relationship at that time: the scene at the lake, James's improving attitude, Lily's home life, Sirius staying with James, all of those had a role here. There are a lot of those types of things floating around in the Marauders era, and you did a nice job with them.

There were a few things that did catch my eye as I read, however. Two of them are small: James made a comment about "that Vernon bloke," or something similar, though Lily hadn't mentioned the boyfriend's name to him at all during the conversation. So I wasn't sure how he could have known that. Also, I thought his "pushing one hundred" comment about his parents didn't sit quite right. Coming from James, I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not. Plus, even if wizards do live longer than Muggles, that doesn't necessarily mean they can still reproduce longer... Menopause and such would still limit them. It felt like too big an idea to pass off so casually. "My parents had me quite late" would have sufficed, in my opinion.

The only other thing that I felt you could have done better concerns the predictability of the story. You don't have a ton of wiggle room if you're keeping it canon, as you've done here: we all know the timeline of Lily and James, we know when he starts to shape up and she starts to fall for him. I knew what was going to happen as soon as James made an appearance. I would've liked to see something fresher than that, something either to make me wonder about the ending or to shed some light on one of the characters. It was a nicely done story, as it is, it just didn't leave me with any particular feelings at the end (as opposed to the last story of yours I read, with Daphne and Astoria).

So you've got a well written story here, as always, don't get me wrong. You've got none of that awkward phrasing or pacing that I see plenty of other places, you've got a grasp on your details, and can set a scene. Well done.

Author's Response: I actually summarised Lily's telling James about the problem, rather than spell it out with dialogue (When she’d finished outlining exactly what the problem was...) - it didn't seem necessary, and I felt like it would just slow the story down unnecessarily. She mentioned Vernon's name then.

I do see what you mean about James's parents - I actually do subscribe to the idea that they had him that late (I have them both at about 80 when he was born), for a few reasons. First, JKR has said that his parents died of natural causes. Since witches and wizards seem to live much longer than Muggles, even having children late by Muggle standards (say, 50) would have them die fairly young by Wizarding standards. I tend to think that things like childbearing years are extended, though his parents were quite abnormal in just how late they had him. YMMV; it is probably unnecessary in this story, though, since it's just a side mention, so I'll change it. :)

I do know what you mean about predictability, but I'm not quite sure what I could do differently - as you said, canon is a bit limiting in terms of the timeframe, and I want to show a gradual mellowing, since I see them as getting together early on in their seventh year. Hmm.

Thank you so much for the review, and again, I'm very sorry that it's taken me so long to answer it.


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Review #22, by long_live_luna_bellatrixFools and Heroes: Fools and Heroes

27th June 2012:
It's lllb here, with the three reviews I promised you from my Repetition Challenge. It's a not-so-impressive three months later, and I apologize for that, but I never forgot, just got steadily busier. Now I'm finally here, and excited to do a good chunk of reading. :)

What you did well here was exploring several characters in a short period of time. Daphne and Astoria were the main show, of course, and I like the way you let them clash. Once they got talking, the story coasted on down right towards the last, terrible word. They worked well together. But you also touched upon Brandon (who I thought at first would be Astoria's boyfriend or ex, but brother makes far more sense), and the character I was most surprised by was actually Celeste. You spoke quite a bit about her at the beginning, and I liked the picture you painted of her, in particular the part where Celeste didn't look back in order not to feel guilty. That's a very, very human thing to do.

As I've already begun to mention, I also liked the way you dealt with the plot. It was a snappy, dramatic story, fraught with the sense that time was running out and a battle would explode at any minute, without you ever quite coming out and saying so. The ending was equal to the rest of it, appropriately short and meaningful.

One thing I would have liked to see more of was detail. Yes, I've already said how I liked the way you set Daphne and Astoria up against each other, but that was my dramatic side. My more nit-picky side is still poking and prodding, wondering how two sisters could drift so drastically apart. I would have liked you to just dip into an explanation here. It could even be told by a few quick memories, or thoughts, something to prove Daphne and Astoria weren't plain good and bad. Surely one or the other had some regrets, second thoughts, or hesitations. I would have liked a closer look at their relationship, not just the obvious, but the gray areas as well.

So, all in all, a story that worked. There are some things to be improved upon, but there always are, and on the whole I enjoyed this. Nice job here, and I'll be back with two more reviews shortly.

Author's Response: Hey! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your reviews - I've been busy, and I had a bit of a review backup. :( So your not-so-impressive three months later is nothing to worry about, seriously.

I definitely see what you mean about the detail - looking back, I feel like it's lacking a bit of that as well. I'll definitely go back and add more in. Thank you so much for your review, and I'm really, really glad you liked everything else!


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Review #23, by long_live_luna_bellatrixAs the Green Light Glows: A Werewolf

10th June 2012:
What made this chapter work, for me, were the smallest details you included. I'm always a fan of little moments in time adding up in order to give a fuller portrait of a character, and you did that very, very well here. I loved the part where you talked about how Remus and Tonks could run and dodge without losing each others' hands, and the story of how he and Sirius turned Butterbeer into candles in order to sneak them back into the castle. They were both brief and sweet, a great combination.

I also liked the very end, where Remus entered his own version of "King's Cross," this time a castle, where he would switch over from the living world to another. Yet, for such a gloomy prospect, it was not an entirely sad story. You showed us a full, happy life, and gave Remus hope in the form of watching over his son with Tonks.

I think you captured Remus's character nicely here, from his protective instincts to his old worries and pains to his life as a werewolf. You included images of all his favorite people, as his life literally flashed before his eyes. Honestly, if we all relived our happiest moments before our death, that would be a nice way to go. Great job here.

Author's Response: It's great you liked the details because that is what this one-shot was mostly about. How details build up your life, "an eternity caught in a second" to quote. I loved writing them because they showed how despite all, he lived, and am glad you appreciated them :)

If you read the second chapter, you'll see I think each person should have a different way to death. It's great you liked Remus's and his characterization!

Thanks for reading and reviewing, your reviews are lovely!


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Review #24, by long_live_luna_bellatrixThe Hummingbird's Wings: Funeral

10th June 2012:
Let me start off by saying that this story had many good qualities, and I can see the amount of care you put into it. One does not just whip off something like this, with the attention to the flow of the sentences and the small, gentle way you built up your message about the passage of time. However, there were a few finer details that I'd like to point out as well.

The story, to me, felt a little too long for the way you wrote it. You included several metaphors (more on that in a minute) and told the story of two characters' lives, no small feat for a one shot. When stories are told like this, in what I suppose you would call a stream of consciousness way, the fragments of thought can only be sustained for so long. By the last third or so of the story, I was ready for you to make your point. You'd spoken about time quite a bit, you had a lot of little parts floating around (the addition of the fiery-haired children, for example) and my head was just swimming with all the ideas you were putting out there. This is a personal opinion, mind you, so it's nothing worth worrying about, just mentioning. ;)

Another thing that drew my attention away from the piece as a whole was the number of metaphors you included. From the title, I expected the whole thing to revolve around this image of a bird, yet you introduced it, left it, and didn't revisit it until the last quarter or so of the story. My mind kept wandering as I waited for the significance of the bird to really come to the forefront, but instead, you spent a great deal of time, on, well, time. ;) It's entirely possible that I missed something, but for the most part, I think I was just thrown off by your title. You also had a number of other, smaller metaphors, which worked. But once again, there are only so many things that can fit into a one shot like this, and personally I was spending a great deal of time just trying to keep them all straight in my head when what I really wanted to do was absorb the story as a whole.

Those were the two major things, and I hope I've done an okay job of explaining them. Other than that, this was skillfully done. You dealt with a heavy subject delicately, you built up your characters' identities slowly, and your word choice was well done. In fact, it was the simple ones that I liked most, such as this one: "Fifteen years means nothing now. Fifteen years would mean it all." The whole atmosphere of the story may have been the best part of all, in my opinion. It never wavered for a second.

So, overall, a successful story. The things I mentioned were just things that crossed my mind that I thought might be helpful to know, at the very least if you attempt a similar story in the future. Once again, I could really appreciate the care and detail you put into this, it was evident. Nice job.

Author's Response: First of all, let me thank you for this great review. It is really helpful and I'll think of all you said :)

I actually wrote this for several days, trying to make sure it was smooth and understandable, so I imagine that affecting the pace.

It was based on the quote for a challenge, and so I did spend a lot of time pondering on time, teehee. And I see how I forgot a little the bird metaphor, I thought giving it tail and beak, but as more metaphors flowed it messed with the proportions I guess.

I don't think I could get rid of the extra metaphors, but you're right about the lack of conclusion! I guess I just don't know it myself, but I'll think of it.

Once again, thanks for the very complete review! Me needz CC :3


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Review #25, by long_live_luna_bellatrixEmerald: Emerald

3rd June 2012:
You've done a nice job here of fitting quite a lot of information into two-thousand-something words. Between the line breaks, flashbacks, and your mini epilogue at the end, it did not feel rushed at all. That's also thanks to your amount of detail in each scene, so that they were long enough to satisfy the reader. The flashbacks too included just enough information, but not so much that they detracted from the story.

One thing I did notice, however, was how black and white this story was. Rolf and Hannah were the bad guys, the unfaithful ones, while Luna and Neville were the poor loved ones left behind, unaware that anything was amiss. In real life, things rarely go that way. Everyone has both flaws and redeeming qualities, which is why relationships can be so tricky; maybe it's easy to make excuses for someone, or it's incredibly painful to break up even when you know you need to. I would really have loved to see more of that sort of depth to your four characters here. When a reader sees that, they are more emotionally engaged in the story, because they have to decide who to root for and the choice is not always easy. That's the sort of detail that makes a story truly complex.

I would also suggest checking out the Writers Resources section of the forums for some grammar guidelines. In many places you were missing punctuation for your dialogue, such as in this example, there should be a comma after 'sorry': "'Look I'm sorry' Rolf muttered,"

But grammar is easy enough to fix, and overall, you did a good job with this. As soon as you mentioned the legend about the emerald, I could imagine what was going to happen, so that was a very nice bit of foreshadowing there. Plus, you tied it all in at the end, giving the reader a real sense of closure. And, of course, Neville and Luna got married and lived happily ever after, which is always a pleasure to read. I was pleased that they were not set back by Rolf and Hannah's affair for too long.

I also liked the way you treated Luna. She was not over-the-top weird, nor a hundred percent normal, and you got in some of her well-known traits. For example, the Crumple-Horned Snorkack and her love of her friends, as well as her general insightfulness. That's not always easy to do. Nice job!

Author's Response: Ok I will keep all of your advice in mind, so thankyou! I think that the grammar problems are probably mostly typos, so I'll have a look soon.

Thnx :)


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