Hey! Sorry it took a little bit for me to get to you! Life has been strange lately, but I'm so glad you requested this!
It's fantastic, and so touching. Your author's note at the end really hit me (as if the story hadn't already!), and it made it even better than I already thought it was. Kudos for being so thoughtful to write this and so brave to share your innermost emotions. It truly made for an enjoyable read.
The opening sentence is beautiful in its simplicity. It carries so much weight with it and definitely sets the proper tone.
Your word choice is at times masterful! "Maelstrom" is definitely my favorite; brilliant usage of the word.
I love the observation that she typically didn't mind that people didn't see her as part of the trio, yet at that moment it stung. It just makes a lot of sense to me with her characterization.
This particular paragraph is very hypnotic and wonderful: "Sunlight shouted through the window, painting the walls wildly yellow, begging her to come outside and enjoy her last days of summer. Sprawled out on the patchwork quilt covering her bed, the light poured over her small frame and lit up her hair. He loved her hair when the sunlight hit it." It's just simply beautiful.
The one that follows it is also amazing! Actually, looking back, it's almost like your writing gets stronger and stronger as you go on (but especially in that middle section!) like you got into the swing of things. Whatever you were feeling as a writer in that moment, you should definitely try to capture it again in the future.
"And when he did return, after the hugs and kisses and tears, she'd give him a good hex for leaving without saying goodbye, no matter the circumstance." - That's just a very cute sentence, and much needed subtle comic relief to lighten the mood and break up the tension. It also seems very in character to me. (:
It's really the final sentence that gave me the chills: "And with that, Ginny stood up, brushed the wrinkles out of her robes, and went downstairs to help her mother clean up the mess left from the wedding." It's the only thing she could do, really: go on with her life. But the sentence has such a melancholy feel to it, as if there is no more life in her and she is merely going through the motions. It's almost as if, by being tough on the outside, Ginny loses her spunk on the inside. I really feel for her there and can't help but wonder how she manages for the next few months. Her actions seem so mature; it's terrible how war forces the young to abandon their youth in favor of facing the truth with a chin up.
I have to commend you for writing this. Her thoughts at that moment had never occurred to me, and now I feel a lot of pain for her. Thank you for writing this and for requesting a review. I honestly think you're doing just fine without a beta! Feel welcome to request a review again in the future!
VAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to come over and review! I appreciate it!
this story was somewhat difficult for me to write because I was in such a state as soon as he left, but it was really a feeling I wanted to capture because I feel like Ginny would have felt the same way when she realized she was on her own.
Maelstrom is one of my favorite words, I'm not sure why. It's just fun, and the double vowel is always a good time!!
The paragraph about sunlight is probably my favorite in the whole story, and I could definitely see how she would be lying there, unhappy, but bathed in this beautiful light, almost as if it was Harry telling her to go out and enjoy herself before it's back to business. Harry is kind of her sun anyway, though she mostly tries to put those thoughts behind her so she doesn't drive herself crazy with worry!
I definitely agree with you about my writing getting stronger as I go on. I could really feel the energy start to pour from me as I calmed down a little bit. I hit my comfort zone!
As for Ginny not being part of the trio, this was not something I'd considered before. After reading all the books and everything, it didn't occur to me that Ginny might feel left out of the trio, and it wasn't until I was reading a story for the story seekers podcast that the realization hit me. And I think for the most part, she does well with it, but it is in this one time of despair when she finally loses it and feels somewhat upset at not being included.
I added the bit about hexing in, because I feel like there is just no way that Ginny Weasley would sit down for a spell and have a good cry without experiencing any anger at all. So the hex was my attempt at springing that frustration and anger!
The only thing I could really think that Ginny could do would be to go and help her mother clean up. she's not the type to sit by the window all day and swoon. The thing about it is, I did the exact opposite when my husband left. I wrote this story, validated for like 5 hours, then published it and got a banner. Then, I went back upstairs, saw all the spots where his toiletries and clothes had been, and I started crying again. Ginny is much stronger than I am! But yes, I agree that she's somewhat empty because it's like a piece of her is missing. Harry always carried a piece of her with him, whether she wanted him to or not- that's just what you do with those that you love. But she goes through motions of a daily life and tries to live through things as best she can, and I think her independence really gives her a boost during this time.
Thank you again so much for coming to review for me! I'm glad I'm doing ok without a beta. Her thoughts at this time never really occurred to me either until I lived through a mild version of them, and then I understood what it must've been like for her to hide it all and go through the motions. :) You're so kind, thanks again!
Haha! I actually just laughed out loud, because after the mysterious and ominous ending of the last chapter, it was a great way to lighten the mood with the pot roast. (Darn you for making me hungry, though! Now I wish I hadn't eaten only Frosted Flakes for breakfast.)
Random fact: "Moist" is a word that, for unexplainable reasons, many people get grossed out by and can't stand. (Women in particular, too.) It's weird, but true. I guess there are two ways of looking at it: 1) Both crying and moisture are bad, so it's the perfect word choice. 2) Randomly people will get grossed out and not know why, so maybe another word is better. Totally up to you, as the author. I think it works well either way, but I'm one of the people who can't stand the sound of the word "moist." I can't even type it without cringing! Hahaha
Dumbledore's feeble attempts at avoiding conversation are both amusing and sad at the same time. They are funny to the reader upon a first glance, but when you really think about it, it just goes to further accentuate the gravity of what they are about to discuss. I'm not sure if you did that on purpose, but either way, it works really well with the story. Also, at this point I must say that I really love your characterization of Dumbledore. I think he's really hard to nail, but I definitely enjoy your portrayal of him. I, for one, cannot write Albus for the life of me.
Awesome detail: "Lily opened her mouth and closed it again, not wanting to break the silence." I love it because I do that so often when I know I need to say something but don't want to. In fact, it just happened to me a few hours ago!
This is also awesome: "YOU KNEW! YOU'VE KNOWN FOR TWO DAYS!?!?!?!" Lily screamed, her face contorted with rage. It seems like such a Lily reaction to me, from what we know of her. On top of that, it mirrors the way that Harry reacts when he thinks about all of the things that Albus knew but did not tell him. So, we can see where he got it from. It's like backwards inheritance! (Does that even make sense?) Albus' response to her outbust also seems very appropriate.
There is a minor spelling/grammar issue "someone out there has there back." In this case, it should be "their," the possessive. "There" is only used to point out a place. You probably know this but just made a typo you didn't catch. No big! I would change it, though, as people who are really big on grammar are SUPER touchy about there/their/they're.
Ahhh! YES! Here comes the juicy part! Severus spoke to Lily the night before her wedding?!? This is good...
This is such gold: "Albus wondered what other secrets she was keeping from her husband." I'll vote this one my favorite/gem of the chapter.
No fair! You ended on another cliffhanger! I've got to say, that's the perfect ending to this chapter. But, it makes me sad because there aren't any more. :(
Please promise me you'll re-request when you get a third chapter up? I'm giving you permission, even if the slots are closed or if it doesn't fit the requirements I have posted at the time.
I really enjoyed reading this. It just gets better and better the further you go--you can tell that now you've gotten into the groove of this and definitely have the hang of these characters.
You're a master at suspense, so don't leave us hanging for too long! I hope these reviews were helpful.
VAuthor's Response: Hehehe I always try to ease some of the tension I created in the last chapter. And I apologize for making you hungry.
Where did I use moist? I too don't like that word so I don't know why I used it lol unless my beta added it and didn't tell me.
Yeah I think that, contrary to popular belief, Dumbledore doesn't like talking to people about difficult subject matter. :P Thus his avoidance. I also was trying to show that Dumbly was giving Lily a chance to bring up whatever she needed to first.
Yes I was going for a resemblance to Harry in Lilys little outburst there. Hehe what can I say? Lily's redhead-edness is showing in this scene and I LOVE it.
Drat!! There and their always get me. I shall have to go back and change that.
Juicy juicy indeed!!! More Lily/Snape to come next chapter.
Thanks again for the awesome review :) Report Review
Hey, there! Thank you so much for requesting. Very happy to help a fellow Ravenclaw!
Love this: "His head was beginning to ache and he really wanted a lemon drop." The simple detail of the lemon drop is humorous and already helps to keep Dumbledore in character the way we love him! It's also neat because the reader doesn't really expect it to play such a prominent role in the chapter at the time, but it still catches their attention. I'm not sure necessarily that he would find his job so boring, as he always seemed to me to love his work as headmaster. However, it's not a major detail.
"Honeydukes hadn't yet accepted his plea to stock his favorite muggle sweet." Just another great example of details that you can insert into fics to make them so much more vivid! It works so well here because you get a sense of the past, of things happening before the fic, which makes it feel more real and believable. I'm torn on whether I can picture Albus swearing or not. Part of me says that he was very progressive, so it's totally possible, but another part of me sees him as the sweet headmaster who says things like "Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak." I guess his swear is one of the more innocent ones though, so it works.
For the paragraph that begins "with his head focused," you have three separate sentences. Grammatically, you should probably change the period between the first two sentences to a comma and make that one sentence. Otherwise, the first sentence is merely a fragment. (You could also rewrite the first sentence so that it is not a fragment, but I think it sounds nice as one sentence.)
Another minor grammar point would be where you say "Hogsmede had been, and will always be." Because of the tenses used in the fic, it should probably read "and would always be."
I find the story of his first lemon drop really intriguing. It was a great idea to include it, and it makes for a unique and original opening chapter. It's especially interesting that he did it all in hopes of impressing a boy. That's another great example of a subtle way you found to keep him in character. It's also an interesting idea to think of Albus ever feeling the need to impress anyone, since the Albus we know is respected and admired by all.
Sorry if pointing out minor grammar details is annoying, but since you asked for constructive criticism, I thought I'd include them. When you say "had instantly fell in love," it should probably be "had instantly fallen in love." (If you take out the word "instantly," you'll see that the verb is "had fallen," not "had fell.")
In the paragraph that begins "Smiling at the memory," you accidentally typed "wandering" rather than "wondering." Minor typo, but since both words are very important in this story, you might want to edit it to avoid confusion.
The inclusion of his brother in the story adds another dimension, and we again get to see a different side of Albus that was only hinted at in DH. It's an interesting addition to the plot!
I really love this sentence: "He had recognized that head of hair, and he knew exactly what business it had up at the castle." The fact that he refers to the head of hair having business in the castle rather than saying Lily outright makes it a much more interesting read!
Probably my favorite line from the whole story is this one: "he watched as the sun said goodnight to him." If you keep throwing in gems like this, people will surely love your stories. It's an extremely beautiful way of describing the sunset.
The final paragraph is the perfect way to end the chapter because the reader can't help but NEED to know what the mystery is and why even a strong wizard like Dumbledore is avoiding the topic. It's an excellent way to hook your readers into pursuing the story further.
I, for one, am hooked and want to see what happens next, so I'm on to chapter two!
PS: I write my reviews as I read, so the paragraphs above should (for the most part) correspond with yours as well. Hope that helps!Author's Response: Thanks for the long review!!!
Hehe well Dumbledore has a fondness for sweets which I interpret as his inner child revealing itself. And children (along with most adults) don't like paperwork. That's what he had been doing all day so he really needed a pick me up.
Hehe with the swearing I wanted to show that Dumbledore had had a long day and he was tired and really just wanted his sweets!!! Hehehe
Thanks for pointing out some grammar!!! I will go back and revise accordingly :)
I thought the childhood story was the perfect way to show that Albus was young once too. It will come into play ;)
Hehehe I'm glad that you like the line about Lily :P And I too like the line about the sunset :) It gives Albus this childhood innocence that I really like.
Hehehe I always try to end in a cliffie or something like it. Keeps the readers interested.
Thanks again for the lovely review!!
Hey, there! Thank you so much for requesting.
To me, it seems strange that Ron would be so heartless. It feels a bit out of character for him. However, Hermione's reaction does seem to be in character; it mirrors other times throughout the series in which she has been hurt, so well done there. Maybe if we were given some background as to why Ron broke up with her, it wouldn't feel so OOC. If you brainstorm a good reason why, it will make the entire opening much stronger, which will draw your readers in even more.
Even though Draco is much nicer than he was in the series, his style of dialogue seems to be the most in character. His banter and sarcasm work really well. Hermione's dialogue is good, but it is not reminiscent of her style of speaking throughout the series. Of course, she is older and has changed a bit here. But, if you want to strengthen her dialogue, I think that reading through a few scenes with her in DH may help perfect that.
You're really good at including detail where necessary (like "leaving a trail of water droplets from her wet hair on the ground"). Learning how to channel that more often will help you to show what is going on without having to directly say it and will make you a very strong writer.
The Weasleys are a super tight family, so while Molly is a very wise woman, I doubt she would ever see her son as a "prick." Maybe there is another way to show that she's siding with Hermione without having her go against Ron?
I like the detail you threw in about Hermione rejecting Draco at first. This helps to give another dimension to their relationship and gives the illusion of time passing. This sort of relationship is only possible over time, so little things like that really help to make it more believable.
I really like the flashback to their first encounter! It's well written, and the detail about "books" being the key word that kept the conversation flowing is so funny, and I can picture it being true.
A few paragraphs down is where I really start to fall in love with your Draco. While he's quite out of character (because he is much nicer), he is a very fun character to read! (I know he has been through the war and all, but it is difficult to imagine such a drastic change. However, I really do enjoy reading about this Draco.)
My favorite part is definitely when Draco says "Willyougooutwithme?" Hahaha, it's just so funny to picture him squirming around like a helpless boy!
"Her initial reaction was absolutely nothing; she was too shocked to do anything." This line is more perfect than you can imagine. I've been in that weird situation where the guy kisses you out of the blue (and you didn't expect or want it), and that was pretty much my reaction to it, as well. :/
"Hell, even the gay ones would find him attractive!" I LOLed at this, too, because it reminds me of slash fanfics.
There's definitely a lot of humor in here, and you're really good at that. You have humorous parts in both the dialogue and the narration, and they make the story very playful and enjoyable. Another: "Since when did this conversation go from being about you and me to being a war between men and women?"
Frontdoor Boys also cracked me up! It seems like your story works really well for the challenge.
I have to be honest. I feel weird reading this because Hermione's relationship with Draco is too similar to mine with my (ex) best friend. (I didn't cave in like Hermione, and it didn't end well.) :( That has nothing to do with your story though, so I'll say that I enjoyed it a lot. As a general rule, I would just concentrate on adding any little bit you can to make it more believable and in character. Other than that, it was a really fun read!
Feel free to request again (:
V Report Review
I haven't read a Snape fic in so long, and this definitely filled that void. Thanks!
The lyrics are beautiful. I've never heard the song, but now I'm going to look it up. They really work well, and you spaced them out perfectly with the story.
I also absolutely adored the idea of the photo album. I think that section was beautifully written and hit the right tone. It was very sentimental, but not fluffy. Bittersweet. :) The metaphor with the frame was subtle and not in your face, very well done. Your writing definitely got stronger as the fic went on.
Again, thanks for sending me the link! I'm really happy I read this.Author's Response: As soon as I heard the song after I read Deathly Hallows I knew it fit Snape and Lily perfectly. It just took me nearly three years to actually write a Snape story!
I hadn't even planned out the photo album part. It just sort of happened as i wrote it and I'm so glad you liked it! Glad it wasn't too fluffy. So happy that you enjoyed this! Thanks for reading and reviewing! :) Report Review
First off, thanks for participating! I'm so excited to read everyone's stories, but since I'm already familiar with you as an author and know I love your work, I just had to read this first. And wow!
Brilliant on so many levels. I'm a fan of the bizarre, whatever takes us by surprise. Really, in fan fiction, I feel like we need to explore the minor characters and the ships that JKR would never imagine in order to truly push ourselves as writers. And you've definitely done that. Props for putting these two together in a convincing manner that didn't compromise their characterization.
The point of view was a risk, but I think you pulled it off. What makes it work is the title, so I see it as a snapshot in her mind, like a running monologue or commentary, so it really works. It was sad, but so honest. That sort of relationship isn't always explored here, and I love that you found it and made it work. It's not necessarily unrequited love, but more of a sense of obligation that starts to sink in with guilt. I can unfortunately relate.
Overall, keep doing what you do. Make us say, "wow." And thanks for writing!Author's Response: Haha, well you would know about minor characters and ships! Beetles and Butterflies is still one of the best one-shots I've read on this entire site. :-)
I'm happy to hear the characterization wasn't compromised. It was a fun challenge, putting together two characters who really aren't at all similar.
I agree, I think the title is important to how the story reads, and making the POV work. 2nd person is dangerous, but I've always wanted to try it out.
Thanks so much for the review! And thanks for the challenge! Report Review
As a whole-hearted Pride and Prejudice lover (and anything Jane Austen, to be precise), this really tugged at my heart. Very original, great characterization, and it left me satisfied, but wanting more. Your style is lovely, and little details were very fitting. With a few word choice changes here and there, this would be perfect! I set out tonight looking to find q witty founders fic, as I've never read the era before, and I found it in yours. (After some previously unsuccessful reads.) can't wait to read more from you! Off to bed with a smile on my face. (: Report Review
Hee hee hee!!! Funny little hat. ;) Perfect punchline!Author's Response: Thanks! :p Report Review
So, first off, sorry for taking a really, really ridiculously long time to review! I'm the world's best procrastinator, and for that I apologize.
Wow! So, first off, this is an uncommon pair, to my knowledge, and one I have read little to nothing of. But, I have read Blaise before, and I really, really enjoyed your portrayal of him. He's typically shown as a "nice" Slytherin. And, Slytherins in general are shown as pure evil. Here, you've cleverly made a new type of Slytherin, the Slyther-slut. Me gusta! Still sly and conniving and only interested in their own benefit. But not pure evil. Although wretchedly awful. He just has no remorse!
Your OC is also fascinating. She's deep. Far from Mary-Sue, which makes me smile more than a kid finding a puppy under the tree for Christmahannukahkwanza! (fave holiday) XD She has great layers, the promiscuity, the uncertainty about her image and reputation, the deep love and devotion, and the weakness. I definitely enjoyed her perspective and view on life and her relationship. She's very analytical. And I enjoyed reading about a Ravenclaw who was smart enough to realize the situation she was in and want to escape it, but not strong enough to succeed. (Oh, and a Ravenclaw who isn't prude!) Bravo for lack of cliches! Oodles of through-the-computer hugs for that!
Your grammar and flow are for the most part quite good. In the beginning, there are a couple of parts that could use revision, but it's nothing drastic at all. I would change this sentence, though, (towards the end), because it's a larger mistake: "His around wrapped around me from behind." I'm assuming the first "around" is actually "arms"? But I also thank you for having much better grammar than most here on the site! Hurrah! I already love you!
The first part of the story was well-written, but seemed to drag at some parts. I guess it was just more description and less action? I found myself having to go back on sections because I began to skim. BUT, once I hit the detention scene, I totally woke up and focused. My eyes were avidly glued to the screen from that point on. I think if I were you, I would go back through anything before that and come out any sentences you're not 100% in love with, or any extra information you don't deem necessary. Also, maybe look over your later writing and see if there is a style difference or something? I really think all it needs is a quickening of pace in the beginning. Everything else is very well done.
On a side note, I don't think I've read any fics yet where other canon characters are at Hogwarts while the trio are away and Snape is headmaster. Seeing him in the fic made me smile as I remembered when this was taking place. I think it's a unique spin, and the dark setting contributes to the darker theme of the story.
Overall, a really engaging read. Definitely feel free to re-request any day for any type of story from me. (And I'll promise to be plenty faster!!) I've loved talking to you on the forums, and now I can happily say that I enjoy your writing as well!
:D Happy Friday!
VAuthor's Response: Wow, that is one hell of a review! Thank you so much for your kind words you really helped me out.
I know what you mean when you say you never find fics where the trio is actually out of Hogwarts. I mean, HELLO, that is the whole point of DH lol! So I'm glad you picked up on that :)
Thanks for all the critisim as well, I'll make sure to go through it and correct all the grammar mistakes (yep it's supposed to be arms) and maybe take out sentences I don't need so that it drags on less.
Thank you so much for the lovely review! I've enjoyed talking to you on the forums as well :)
Elisa x Report Review
Hello, there! V, here to review. First off, thanks for requesting! I don't just read OC fics, but I mentioned it specifically because I like to give a little love to the fics that really need reviewing, and OC is often skipped over.
OK, so my feelings are extremely mixed on this story. See, you have quite a few really clever lines in here that honestly made me smile and laugh. But, the grammar and the constant switching between present and past tense really detracts from the true humor you have here. My suggestion would be to get a beta reader who can edit your story before (or after) you send it to the queue. That way, it's still your witty words and jokes, but with proper grammar so that the story flows better and the readers aren't tempted to stop. There are some truly amazing betas at HPFF and elsewhere. I myself would offer, because I really think you show a lot of promise and I would love to be a part of making that a reality, but I unfortunately barely have any spare time as it's my senior year. :'( But take a few minutes to see if there is a willing beta to take on your story, and I'm sure you'll see a drastic improvement in your writing, the number of reads you get, and the number of reviews. After all, when you take the time to write out a story, you deserve that kind of response. Right? So I promise that the extra time it takes to get a beta to look over your work will be incredibly worth it.
So that I can prove my point and let you know that the story is nice, just not the grammar, I'm going to point out my favorite lines for you. This is the sort of stuff that will make your story gold!
-"Lily World" and the joke about James getting kicked out
-The lungs alone on that girl would put you off, Sirius thought.
-No, now is not the time for pessimism thought James, now is the time unrealistic optimism.
-A blur of florescent green/And then there was the fact he was currently fluorescent green./Generally speaking, people arenít going to ignore someone who is fluorescent green, especially if thatís not their normal colour.
-The fact Peter had managed to turn himself fluorescent green and had run off before someone could fix him showed why he needed remedial classes.
-Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
-It was often felt by the other Marauders that it had been a mistake to let James watch some old muggle war films last summer.
-broom cupboard emitting odd muffling sounds that he paid no attention to
-he was speculating how many first years could be scared into thinking Peter was the incredible hulk let loose.
-the incredible hulkís half human son might be more believable
Also, some afterthoughts: I like that you show multiple perspective throughout the story and give each character a fairly equal share of time. It keeps the story moving and interesting. It was a good non-cliche to have Sirius dislike Lily. I don't think I've ever seen that before, and so I found it to be original. however, overplaying the "Sirius is a playboy" thing is very cliche. If you tone it down a bit, it will make his character a bit more believable. ;) You can still keep that personality in there, but maybe not make him so extraordinarily dreamy.
Another great thing you did was to not ignore Peter. In fact, he's a big part of this chapter. Yay! Because all too often he is pushed aside or made into a hated character. You managed to stay away from that, which I encourage you to continue to do. And your Remus is darker, which takes him out of the cliche category as well.
A final note (since I write these reviews as I read them): Your grammar got better as the chapter progressed, so that is definitely a good thing! But I still highly recommend a beta. You want everything in your story to be as polished as the lines above! That way people will read all the way through this interesting story, and any other chapters you add to it.
If you get a beta for your next chapter, re-request and I'll let you know how it improves! Again, I really believe this story/you as an author has/have potential. The only obstacle in your way is grammar. Personally, it's a good obstacle to have-it's easily mended by a prime editor. ;)
Hope this helped!
VAuthor's Response: Firstly I would like to apologise for this belated response, I've only just managed to get the time to respond. Secondly, thank you for such a detailed, helpful and insightful review. I really appreciate you spending time to read and review this.
I will definately be taking on board your suggestion about getting a beta. It's something I've always meant to do but haven't yet gotten around too (like so many other things). The switching between tenses is a bad habit of mine, one that does annoy me greatly.
I'm so pleased you liked all those different lines. I'm a big fan of the witty one liner but do wonder sometimes whether they work out or not.
The multiple character came about because I wanted to do something completely different from what I normally write. And I thought it would be interesting have lots of little plots tied under one big one.
Sirius not liking Lily was something that always appeared believable to me since I always thought Sirius would have been jealous of all the attention James give Lily. I always thought of him as very possessive of James oddly.
Sirius the playboy is something I was worried about over doing but I needed to have him slightly playboyish because he's been trapped in the cupbroad with a bitter fangirl and I wanted to give her reason for doing so. I keep an eye on that issue but I'm still unsure about how best to deal with it.
It always annoys me when Peter is ignored. And he has so much comedic potential that he is great addition to any plot. And I have issue with a goody-two-shoes-never-does-anything-wrong-completely-quiet-with-no-sense-of-humour-Remus. He's a teenager, he's a warewolf and his best friends are James and Sirius. He has to have sense of humour to cope with all that. And he may be all quiet and what not in the HP books, he can't have always have been so sad. It was the events after he left school that made him like that. Sorry, I always end up on a Remus rant.
Thank you for such a helpful review. I really appreciate your opinion, it has helped me immensely. Thank you. Report Review
:D Hopefully HPFF lets you review a chapter twice, because I need to review this, but I need to go to bed. 10/10 for now, but wait for my real review tomorrow! Ah! SO happy I found this.Author's Response: Haha, thank you! I've definitely creeped on you somewhere before because I remember your penname and how those are the two most beautiful phrases in the English language. I don't remember where I did, though. Report Review
I liked the opening a lot! It had perhaps a little bit of humor thrown in that made it feel lighter, a nice touch after the last chapter's darker ending. In particular, I love this line: "And he didnít. Geez, maybe I should start praying more often." :) Actually made me laugh out loud!
The part about Clyde being so numb that he didn't even notice he was gnawing on himself is gross! But it works really well, especially with these lines: "Maybe this kind of thing was starting to become normal here. Not that I did it to shock anyone, but itís kind of sickening that people biting their fingers and smacking themselves is nothing to become upset over." Just about sums up their hellish state.
The part where Clyde describes Luna helped me to come to terms a bit more with how her character changed. I'm glad you put it in! And the contrast between Vandy and Luna loosing it is also an interesting thing to include.
Why didn't they try to escape through the window earlier? I know that, plot-wise for the story, you needed time for them to freak out, lose their minds, and turn in to savage beasts. But I feel like perhaps it needs a little more explanation. If the window is big enough to get through, why didn't they try earlier? Nice touch, that Neville carried Luna out, but it also makes me wonder, if he could get two through, why couldn't Vandy get her thin self out? Was it a matter of strength?
Thanks for introducing me to a genre I never read, and one so very well written. I'd love to read on and review, but seeing as I'm so far behind in my queue and only just returned to HPFF after my three-month "sabbatical," as one of my friends called it, I unfortunately just don't have the time. I do urge you to please re-request when I open up for reviews again. Thanks! And lovely (appropriate word??) story! Your attention to detail, darkly humorous asides, and interesting narrative voice all make this a keeper. :)Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked the opening =)
If you recall - I know it's been a while - they tried the window at first but it was impossible to open. There was some kind of security on it when they were separated from the rest of the train.
As far as Vandy not getting out, it wasn't a matter of strength at all. It was just that she'd used all her energy to break the window, and she had given up by then.
I'm really glad you are enjoying this even though it's a genre you don't usually read.
Thank you! =) Report Review
Hello! After 3 months away, I'm back!
First off, the opening paragraph gave me the chills. All I can think about now are the Frosted Flakes I had and how those aren't going to get me through a natural disaster or hostage crisis. Ahhh!!!
The thought process really starts to pick up here, almost like how an hour glass seems to run faster as it gets near the end. Clyde's thoughts are all over the place! (In a good way that adds to the uncomfortable feeling you give the reader. This really is a great genre for you!)
It makes sense to me that Clyde has a break down, but the break down scene was a little confusing to me. Again, maybe that adds to the tone. But I guess I'm still trying to figure out what he physically did. To me, it seemed like he was just thinking nasty thoughts, but still everyone in the cabin was immediately worried about him. Did he do anything physical?
I feel like Luna and Neville's break-up came out of nowhere. I never would have seen them as breaking up at the beginning of this fic. It's really quick, but, at the same time, it adds to the overall feeling of helplessness. If so perfect a couple at the beginning could come to an end, you know there is no hope. Still, it feels a little out of character for Luna to lose hope. To me, in the books she always felt like one who had really come to terms with death. I can see her disliking all of the argument, though. Just not breaking down over death.
Overall, though, this was an even deeper addition to this dark tale. You've got me hooked, worried, confused, and hopeless, which I'm assuming is everything you'd want in a reader of this genre. Kudos!Author's Response: Thank you! It means a lot to me to know that you read the opening paragraph and started thinking about your own life. That was the plan. =)
It was supposed to be confusing. I actually had to make it that way too because of the ToS. I couldn't be too graphic in what he physically did to himself.
I understand your concern about Luna's losing hope. I'll consider that.
Thank you! =)
Alrighty! Review time, again! (heh heh, as I procrastinate on my *actual* work!) Still having a weird problem with my apostrophes, I hope you do not mind!! And of course I do not mind that this is horror! It is too well-written for me to care.
I like that you had Clyde sort of forget that they had taken away his wand. I could see myself forgetting that I did not have it in that situation and then getting this sort of "oh...right" look on my face. I felt the shock and anger with him. It just makes you think about how insanely stupid all the precautions were, even though they seemed necessary at the time. Sometimes overprotection can bring about destruction, and I think this sort of captures that nicely.
Luna cracks me up! I think you keep her nicely written, not too over the top like some people are tempted to do, but still loony enough to be, well, Luna! Her "we should play a game" crack was so funny, and Clyde's reaction is just another one of those great little details. The way that she jumps at his dream is also funny because it is so typical Luna. Neville playing along with it is entertaining; even *Luna* has control over him.
Having Luna and Neville whispering off in their own little world is sweet and sad at the same time. It is so touching that they have each other, but at the same time I feel for them, that they cannot accept that this is the end verbally, but they sort of acknowledge it with the way they are acting.
It is interesting to see Vandy's attitude change as she is trapped in this horrible situation. She seemed so quiet and sweet before, but now she has a sort of snap to her, and I like that. Her confrontation with Clyde is very out of the blue, but it works because they are in a very dramatic situation, and people do not act as they normally would in situations like that. Her outburst takes the reader by surprise, bringing them along with Clyde for the ride. And the way that Clyde is touched more by Vandy and her words than the fact that his actions have placed a life in danger is a true insight to his character.
I think Clyde's obsession with Vandy and her purity is pretty symbolic of his realization that his character is the exact opposite. He knows that he would like to have Vandy and be good enough for her, but he allows himself to think that he cannot ever possibly reach that level. Instead of changing himself, he puts her up on a pedestal as something he can never achieve, but will always worship. I do not know if you are trying to say anything with that, but to me it speaks to those who think they are not good enough and can never achieve what others can. It says that, in fact, they can make it to that level, and it is more ridiculous to worship something as a perfect impossibility than to take the time to try to make yourself a little better.
Well, here I go over-analyzing life like usual. ;) This is really shaping up to be a wonderful read. I am going to let the people waiting for reviews in my thread know that if they need a good story to pass the time, this is it!
VAuthor's Response: Thank you! I figured Clyde would have a normal reaction to that. It's good to hear you would act similarly. That means I did something right =P
It's odd that you mention Luna being funny in this chapter. I didn't really expect anything in this story to be funny, but I think it adds a sort of eerie quality to the story, don't you?
My goodness, no! You're not over-analyzing at all! You actually hit all the nails on the head, and I can't tell you how ecstatic that makes me. Seriously, my heart skipped a beat when I read that you caught the symbolism in Clyde's infatuation with Vandy. I'm so glad /someone/ is really getting this story. It's not about people being locked in a train compartment, I'll tell you that.
Thank you so much! These reviews have made me so happy. ^_^ Report Review
Hello, again! V back with her review. This chapter took it in a whole new direction, and I am loving it! (On a side note, I am going to try not to use any contractions in this review because they do not copy and paste well into the review box. I hope it does not come out sounding too formal! Sorry!)
It is still not too squeamish for me, which is giving me such a sigh of relief. The dream sequence had me on my toes. I think the mark of true excellence there was that I was not able to tell that it was a dream until he woke up! I thought it was more like something that had happened for real in the past. I was really anxious for poor Clyde! The details like breaking Luna's picture really did it for me there.
I have the same concern here, with the flipping between past and present tense and needing a way to distinguish between Clyde's direct thoughts and Clyde's reflections. (I will not comment on that anymore, though, in future reviews. Pinky promise!)
The introduction of the conflict between Clyde and his father was nicely done, and the way that Clyde shouts at the phone is very believable and another of those nice details you throw in so well!
There i a teensy continuity error between Clyde's last name in chapter one and his last name in chapter two. Is it Rogerson or Matthewson? I think I like Matthewson better, but it is your character!
I loved this insight: "I'm a generic drone of the average seventeen-year-old. Subject number 1337." It was so Clyde! So was the way in which he charmed Luna's dad.
I have realized why I enjoy Clyde's character so much; he reminds me of one of my really good friends. (Except that my friend is a drinker, not a smoker.) We have a very Neville-Clyde relationship going on, which is why he seemed so instantly familiar. ;)
The taking the wands away thing had me very worried, and with good reason! The Spanish newspaper story was a clever way to get them in a magic-less situation with no way out. I did not even see it coming! Silly me. And the need to sit in the back to smoke was also a subtle way of getting the characters in a cart that could more easily separate from the train.
Clyde's first impression charm is so cheesy, so very Clyde, and his concerns about Vandy seemed cute and sincere. You nicely tied those in so that they could still be in character. It would have been easy for an author to make them seem out of place, but you pulled it off well. You're missing a quote mark after Clyde says "Charmed," but that is really the only mistake I've found in all two chapters.
And WHAT A CLIFFHANGER!!! ...And NOW the horror begins? Oh dear!
Lovely, again. This story really does deserve more attention. :)
VAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! The dream was actually a real-life experience to an extent. I once had a dream that I was suffocating and when I woke up the covers were over my head. I thought that would be interesting to incorporate into a story. Glad you like it ^_^
The tense issue... I appreciate your concern but I feel that it gives Clyde and myself a unique sense of style in a way. It may be wrong, I won't argue with you there, but I like it that way. I'm sorry if I sound rude, but that is the way I want to write this. Thank you.
Clyde's stupid last name. What happened was when I was writing the second chapter, I didn't realize I'd already given him a last name, so he got two. =P I'll fix that. Thanks.
I kind of figured that someone would be able to relate to the Neville-Clyde relationship. I'm so glad you can relate to this story, but I'm sorry your friend has a problem with drinking.
That actually took a long time to figure out. I knew I needed a situation where they would be easily separated from the train without magic, and I spent days thinking of unpredictable ways to do it. Thanks so much!
I'm glad you understand that Clyde's charm was supposed to be cheesy. That's part of his character, and thank you for seeing that.
Wow, thank you so much! I really appreciate your great reviews. Thank you for reviewing! Report Review
Hey, there! Thanks for requesting. You're my first request, so I'm pretty excited that it was such a good one! At first, I was worried that it would be mostly fics that don't get a lot of reviews because they're mediocre, but you've definitely proven me wrong, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I started to do this!
Great banner, by the way. I know we're not too far into the story, so not much horror has popped up. (I've got to say, I'm super squeamish, so I *am* a little nervous about reading the rest.) The writing is just so good, though, that even if I had stumbled upon this, I think I would still push myself to carry on into the horror.
I like the start. Very blunt and catchy. Clyde has a great voice that really shows his character. You seem to switch a lot between present and past tense. I'm assuming that the past tense is Clyde looking back on what has happened and the present tense represents his thoughts at the time that everything was happening? Maybe you could try to do something that distinguishes those two. For example, italics perhaps? Your writing is clear, so it keeps it from getting too confusing, but I think that's something worth going back on. On the other hand, I don't think that the playground scene really needs the italics. I feel like the italics are more for direct scenes, like the phone call scene. If you add more direct dialogue, then it works, but otherwise it is more of a distraction, in my opinion. Just a little formatting thing, no biggie.
I love the smoking references you throw in throughout, like stepping out to "get some air," and the constant cravings randomly tossed in. I know quite a few smokers, and I find it to be a very accurate characterization. ;)
In the Leaky Cauldron, you first mention that Clyde finds a folded up piece of paper, and then a newspaper, in case you wanted to change that to a newspaper throughout. The article was very chilling. I can't even imagine the kind of foreshadowing this is giving...I think I'm going to need to read this with a thick blanket around me!!
Love the Cloud Nine reference. I feel like it's these little details that you throw in that really make all the difference. Keep those up, please!
I also love the contrast between the way Clyde and Neville approach asking each other about their girls; Clyde asks is Luna is pregnant, and Neville asks how long Clyde has "fancied" Vandelia. (Interesting name, by the way. Very Harry Potter, if you know what I mean.)
Surprisingly, I like Clyde. He's sort of the anti-hero. I hate his smoking habit probably more than Neville, yet I like the guy, even though I know I shouldn't. He has a great sense of humor, very sarcastic. Things like his grey hair just make him that much better. It just fits!
Sorry this was so long. I read the chapter, and then read through again as I typed the review. It sort of turned out more long-winded than I had hoped. I was very impressed, though, and I hope this is helpful. On to the next chappie!
VAuthor's Response: Thank you! I hope you enjoy the story ^_^
I'm sorry! If you don't like horror, you don't have to read this. But I really appreciate the compliment ^_^
I understand your concern about my formatting and tenses, but I am a strong believer that when writing first person, creative liberties can be taken. Especially with someone like Clyde, I think his personality calls for a distinction between his narration and his thought process.
I don't know any smokers, so that bit of the story was really difficult for me. I was scared to include it because I wanted it to sound legit, but I'm glad you like it ^_^
XD The name Vandelia has been quite the topic of conversation in reviews. Someone else said it sounded like a vampire. XD Thanks.
I'm so glad you like Clyde. He's easily become my favorite character to write and it's good to know that readers like to read him as well.
Are you kidding? This is one of the best reviews I've ever gotten. Thank you so much! I hope you like the rest ^_^ Report Review
I sort of fail at the old "Don't Judge a Book by It's Cover" thing, which means that I started reading your story because the incredible banner (complete with Ellen Page and all her amazingness) caught my eye...so I ventured to read the summary...and I ventured to read the first chapter...and I loved it! :) You capture the characters really well, and I'm just dying to read more. (Which I will do, when I take my next procrastination break!) Anyway, this has been a very humorous way to spend my time. Kudos!Author's Response: It's okay I fail at that alot too xD
Ellen Page is just made of awesome.
I'm glad you like it, and thanks for the review! Report Review
A nice, long chapter. As I said, the writing has gotten much better with each chapter! I love your characterization of James, and I can relate to Mollie getting all flustered and angry at guys, even James, when she's actually attracted to him, but just can't figure out how NOT to be awkward. Overall, I think it's coming along very nicely. Can't wait for an update!Author's Response: I totally love you =]
Responding to all my chapters; you are like my new god =]
And, believe me, I do the whole 'embarrassing-red-mean-bitch' thing too. It's actually been pointed out by quite a few people.
But, you go girl ;]
Effy xx Report Review
I'm definitely going to follow this, because I love the feistiness! I'm a little confused about how to say "Phwoar." Is it like "four" with a "w" in the middle? Anywho, uncommon expression, but it's a cute little thing that Mollie does. And I like the spelling of her name. ;)Author's Response: Phwoar is like 'fwoor!'
You were right =]
It's pretty popular in my school as well but I guess we are just freaks ;]
And, yay! It's getting followed! Thankyou! xx Report Review
Hello, there! I started reading at the third chapter, because I linked to it from TDA (where you requested a chapter image, I think). Anyway, I like where the story is headed! I think your writing is a lot stronger in the third chapter than it is here, but that's probably because you've gotten more used to the characters and such. Also, is her brother's name Tim or Tom? You have it as both in the chapter. Just checking. ;) Keep it up!Author's Response: Thankyou!! Yeah, you're totally right, the charactors are growing on me.
And sorry! Her brothers name is Tim - I'm totally useless at noticing these mistakes and cos i and o are next to eachother its a disaster waiting to happen =]
xx Effy Report Review
I don't know what the challenge was, but I DO know that I loved this! Usually "I'm going to kill you" "I don't care" talk can be so cliched and dull, but I love the personality you brought to the OC. I'm a huge OC fan myself. The writing was great, and the length seems perfect to me. A very well-written canon Bellatrix. Kudos! :)Author's Response: Thank you!
I'm glad you liked it enough to reply. Bellatrix is one of my favourite characters, and also my least all in one, so I find her a little difficult to write at times, but I seem to have done well this time.
If you liked this, you might like some of the new stuff I have coming, but not really my older stuff lol.
Thank you again! Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection