Well, that gave me shivers.
I've always been intrigued by the thought of Sirius/Lily fanfiction, and I definitely think it's difficult to pull off. I think you pulled it off here. First of all, you barely told us anything about what their relationship in the past was, but from their behavior alone, I understood it. It was incredible! You wrote this in such a way that you didn't need excessive backstory, and I think that was rather remarkable.
Furthermore, there was nearly no dialogue throughout the story, and I think that was an excellent choice. It made each word they said all the more powerful and moving. I wish I could explain more artfully why I found the lack of dialogue so captivating, but I'm afraid Iím at a loss for words. :)
This piece was also stylized, which I think can be a dangerous path to take, but once again, you pulled it off beautifully. Each repetition felt rather like a heartbeat to me, and it literally gave the story a pulse. Absolutely stunning.
Your descriptions were seamless as well. I could actually see what was occurring in my mind, and could imagine with incredible precision what was going on. You wrote in such a way that gave me a gorgeously clear image of the events that were unfolding.
I wish I could express with more eloquence how much I enjoyed this, but I'm afraid this will have to do. Wonderful work, and I'll be keeping an eye out for your future work.
Christine Report Review
I really enjoyed this piece. The juxtaposition of the prose in the first half to the dialogue in the second kept it nicely balanced, and I was intrigued throughout the entire story. It was a fascinating spin on their relationship that I don't see all that often. To see James almost reluctant to love her is more realistic, I think, than his undying, never-ending, over-dramatic love that a lot of authors try to pull off. I think loving someone who doesn't love you is painful, and that desire to escape her was captivating.
Your writing style was beautiful as well. It was simple, but it had depth to it. Your sentences were fluid and I was never caught up in bumpy syntax or dodgy wording. It was just good writing, and that's what I like to read.
You captured the characters well, and you made them genuine. I think back to James observing her hand and recollecting that it was an image he had memorized; that image struck me. It was things like that which made me believe these characters and want to learn about them.
I could go on, but I don't want to drone on and bore you. :) Great work. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for your future works.
ChristineAuthor's Response: Wow! Thank you so much!
This is the best review I've ever had! :D
And I get annoyed with stories where James is like that; like you said, it just doesn't seem realistic.
This story took a while to write to be quite honest, mostly because I kept going over it and replacing words and adding and deleting sentances...
Anyway, thanks for the review, it's really made my morning:).
'M. Report Review
What a great one-shot! It was a fascinating interpretation of what occurred after the scene we are all so familiar with. Your writing style was quite beautiful, and I think it expressed each character's emotions exquisitely. Lily's distress and James' concern came across so acutely, and it made the whole piece so much more believable. I was hooked throughout the entire piece, and when you moved to James' perspective, you only drew me in more. Things turned from poignant and affecting to passionate and ardent. I could see everything that was going on in the scene with such clarity. And then the line, "Just try to love me," came, and I could just feel my eyebrows scrunch up with emotion. And the thought that his name is all he really wants to hear from her is immensely beautiful, and I think quite true.
Stunning work. Despite the fact that you said that you don't like one-shots, I do hope you continue to write them when inspiration like this comes to you. I adored this piece, and I would love to see more from you!
Thanks so much for reviewing! It means a lot to know that one's work is appreciated. I am so happy that what I envisioned was able to come to life for someone else!
FdP Report Review
I'm in love. The piece was... Agh, I can't even express how perfect it was. Let me see if I can put together my thoughts coherently, but I make no guarantees. :)
You caught me immediately. That first paragraph was crafted with so much finesse, and that last sentence, "an old friend, a charming, sly, beautiful friend who meant well, but sometimes didn't think things through," made me shiver. I knew immediately that I was going to love this story. I'm sure I could go through each paragraph and pick out at least three phrases that hooked me.
Your writing was just exceptional. It was nothing short of poetry (which sounds awfully overdramatic... But I wouldn't say it if I didn't think it was true!) Your syntax, your vocabulary, and the themes you expressed were immensely expressive and almost lyrical.
Characterization? Utterly brilliant. I say this particularly because scenes like this were heartbreak occurs can become cliche and labored, but I thought her reactions and behavior were so perfectly executed. You made me understand her character and fully commiserate with her situation.
I wish I could elaborate more on everything, but my mind is spinning too much. The quote was astounding, because although you didn't include it word for word, the idea certainly came across. The writing was fluid, the plot was simple but moving...And that last line was one of the best closing lines I've ever read.
Tremendous work. I absolutely adored it, in every way, shape, and form. Thank you so much for your submission!
ChristineAuthor's Response: THANK YOU!
This review made my day, really. And I'm a little annoyed that I can't write a long answer, but still, just thank you. I've never tired writing like this before, so it's amazing to see that you enjoyed it. Just, thank you for the lovely review!
Esmee Report Review
This is your challenge creator here, finally reviewing your submission! I apologize immensely for the delay.
You said in your author's note to let you know if the flashbacks were confusing, and on the first time through, they were for me. Each scene made sense on its own, but I was left confused as to how each fit together. After reading your author's note, though, I read through it all again, and everything clicked for me. I think naming the character would have made it easier for me to understand.
Having said that, I don't want you to think that I didn't enjoy it. Quite the contrary! The piece was both moving and poignant. With each snapshot, I gained a deeper understanding of Remus' perspective, and where his apprehension comes from. The paragraph that actually affected me the most was the one that began with, "I have no recollection of what I did." The utter hopelessness of that paragraph was heart-wrenching.
Moving onto the quotes--I didn't know you were using two! What a pleasant surprise! These are actually two of my favorite Oscar Wilde quotes, so I was ecstatic to see them both in here. The two quotes were so different, yet you utilized them quite well. I think each fit the respective character perfectly, and reflected their powerful emotions.
This is a fine piece of work, especially for your first one-shot. Thanks so much for your submission--it was a pleasure to read!
ChristineAuthor's Response: Hey!
Thank you for the review! No worries about the lateness!
Yes, I thought they might be confusing... I did think I should've given her a name, but I'm horrible with names and it might've thrown off the whole story.
But I'll think about adding in a name...
Awwh thank you so much! Thank you very much (: Well firstly you gave me #10, but then i switched from 10 to 14, because I thought I couldn't use 10, but then I realised I could use both, so I did, and wholla :)
Thank you very much Christine!
:) Report Review
I just finished your story last night, and let me just say what a pleasure it was to read.
Your plot alone was intricately woven, and kept me hooked throughout your entire story. I was unable to stop reading, even as the hours ticked by and I found myself reading in the wee hours of the morning. I was so anxious to find out what happened to everyone, and see how everything turned out. And what is even more remarkable, is this: I feel as if I normally can guess at a plot a few chapters in, or at least know what's going to happen in the next two or three chapters. Originality seems scarce, yet you found a way to keep me guessing. I would get to a new chapter and found that you threw me for a loop, and I loved it.
Your character development was marvelous. I actually felt an arc in the relationship between Lily and James. There was no quick reversal from hatred to love, which was just fabulous. I could see the gradual changes that were occurring between them, and it all seemed completely realistic. I think that can be one of the hardest things to do in Lily/James fanfiction, and I believe you truly mastered it in this piece.
Your writing style was brilliant as well. It wasn't overcomplicated, yet still had a very mature feeling to it. You extensive vocabulary was evident and your integration of dialogue had an ease to it that I appreciated.
I could go on for quite some time, I imagine, but I'll part by saying that this was a really outstanding piece. I had a blast reading it, and I can't wait to see more from you.
ChristineAuthor's Response: Hi, Christine! Wow, what a lovely review. :) Thank you so much for writing it for me.
I'm so happy to hear that the plot kept you intrigued. I'm certainly no master at creating a really complex plot, so it's wonderful that I was at least able to do enough that you wanted to continue reading! I'm also really pleased that you found there to be something original about the story. This plot has been done so many times that it really feels impossible to do much that hasn't been done before. :)
I'm thrilled that you liked the characters and the relationship between Lily and James. It didn't seem realistic to me to have there be some instantaneous switch from hate to love--and, in addition to that, I don't think that Lily ever hated James. I'm so happy to hear that you found it realistic, because that's one of the most important things to me.
That's so lovely that you liked my writing, too. :) Sometimes I feel that I get too complicated, or that I over-explain things, so it's really great to know that you didn't think so. And I'm happy to hear that the dialogue flowed well for you. I know I certainly have an easier time writing dialogue than description!
I do hope you'll check out the next installment when I get it posted on June 1st...and I hope that you find it even better than what I've managed to do here! Thank you again for the great review! Report Review
So sorry for the wait on this review! Here we go:
I'm always so impressed with your writing style alone. Your vocabulary is extraordinarily vast (words like vapid inspired more than a little giddiness in me) and what is even more remarkable is that you weave these words in seamlessly. So often, I feel as if big words are added in artificially because the author thinks it will increase the quality of the writing, but their disingenuous always shines through. It sounds silly, but I know you have a firm grip on language, because your vocabulary and syntax are off the charts, in my opinion.
The story itself was so simple--recounting one girl's jealousy and revenge--, but through your description and the way you structured the piece, it became so much more complex. For instance, you flawlessly created little snapshot memories that were so detailed and complete that I often forgot that she was only remembering them, not participating in them. If that makes sense... The point is, your structure was great, and gave this one-shot a lot of depth.
Great quote integration, as always. I liked that you placed in near the beginning and her reflect back on it. This piece as a whole definitely reflected that quote, which I appreciate immensely.
If I had on critique, it would simply be this: if you separated out those big paragraphs, it would make it easier on the eye. Itís a small thing, but that is really the only major complaint that I could think of.
Thanks so much for participating. I always enjoy your work so much! Your submission was fantastic.
ChristineAuthor's Response: No, no, that's fine! I can understand that life sometimes gets busy and people have other things to do with their time than sit around and read fanfiction. Gasp! I know. xD
Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. Well, I'm a graduated English-Lit major. I would like to believe that I have a vast vocabulary and can command the English language in such a way that it doesn't seem forced. It's always nice to see when I succeed in that endeavor. Thank you so much! I think you can thank my English teachers and my love for reading, for that.
I'm really glad that you thought so. I like giving depth to my pieces because I like to think of the characters as people. Not mere pawns in a story, bending to the author's whim. Actual living, breathing people with flaws, irrationalities, and personality.
Thank you, again. I just feel that quotes shouldn't be randomly thrown into things. That there should be a basis around them, and I feel more comfortable inserting quotes if I can make the quote more than simply a quote. If that makes sense.
Ah, the paragraphs. I'm told that quite oft, actually. I think it's just a preference of mine and my stubborness, that I won't change it. I never really liked choppy sentence structure and paragraphs without substance. Unless it's something flowery, and even then, I want a plot and a few paragraphs.
That's just me. :)
You're quite welcome. Thank you for the challenge. I've always been fascinated by Oscar Wilde.
Linders ♥ Report Review
This is your challenge creator here, finally reviewing your submission! So sorry for the wait.
What a fun little one-shot! I'm not particularly used to stories in the first person, so this was an exciting and unexpected change. I'm afraid this review will likely be scatter-brained, but I'll do my best not to get too tangential, but I make no guarantees. :)
What I enjoyed the most, I think, was the casual tone that you gave the narrator, as if he was ranting to a friend. It felt real to me, and was definitely a good representation of a teenager's take on life. I think that because you did so well with that, I wasn't bothered by your skimming over seven years. That normally bothers me, just because I crave detail, but because this felt like a guy ranting uncontrollably to someone, it worked really well and I liked it.
The bluntness of the piece as a whole made me smile. I like characters with attitude, and he definitely had it--his take on Albus was absolutely hilarious! And his cynicism made his care for Rose even more poignant. In that vein, the beginning and endings were great. You hooked me in at the beginning and ended with a fun closer that left me satisfied.
Quote integration was great, and you made a great story that worked in unison with that quote. It was a sweet story, and I liked that you kept it somewhat open ended. It wrapped, leaving the reader wondering if he would get the girl or not, and I liked it.
Overall, great work. There are a few punctuation errors and a few of the sentences could use a little rewording to streamline the story as a whole. Other than that, you created a great character that relayed a story that was both hilarious and affecting at the same time. That's a hard balance, and I think you did a nice job at achieving it.
Thanks so much for the submission! I had a great time reading it.
ChristineAuthor's Response: Thank you sooo much! I'm a teenager myself, so I can really enter his adolescent mind and I'm glad it showed! Thanks again for the lovely review and great challenge! Report Review
What a stunning piece. There was actually a stage-like quality in it, and as I read, I could see it quite perfectly in my mind. First of all, let me say that the description throughout this piece was astonishing and heart-wrenching. One segment that struck me was, "her long, unkempt nails dug into the upholstery, trying to root her, to keep her sane. And failing." It wasn't muddled with unnecessary words, and I think that was another extraordinary thing about your writing; it never felt forced. Every word was necessary and every word had a huge impact on the story's overall meaning.
The dialogue was exceptionally poignant. I think it would have been easy to make it seem melodramatic, but it never did. It felt real, yet still remained utterly tragic. The reversal was also staggering. I could imagine her speaking nonchalantly to an empty chair and suddenly doubting herself, reaching out, and realizing with a jolt that she was alone. It gives me shivers just thinking about it again.
The premise was really fantastic. It was a simple idea and you carried it out with that same effortlessness. If there's something I hate, it's when a writer drags out a story for too long. You didn't do this, though, and it definitely increased the effectiveness of the piece. The integration of the quote held that same ease, which was great, and it seemed perfectly appropriate and realistic in terms of the story as a whole.
Overall, exquisite job. I really want nothing more than to see this happen on stage, because it was just so affecting to read. The description was rich, the dialogue was emotive, and the arc of the scene was both evident and moving. Immense thanks for joining the challenge, and I really enjoyed your work.
ChristineAuthor's Response: wow, thank you so much for that lovely review, it really made me smile - was it really that good?!
thank you again, you just made my day :) Report Review
This story really hit home for me. The subjects that you brought up throughout the piece are things I've thought about for years, and I therefore felt myself completely entranced as I read. You had me hooked from the line, "or just leaving forever." The juxtaposition of those words "just" and "forever" sent shivers down my back. It is a beautiful and impactful line, perhaps because of its simplicity.
I loved reading about the whole situation between Harry and Cedric through Cedric's point of view. It was a fascinating change, and brought up a completely different perspective on things that I had never thought much about. It felt extremely truthful, and I do believe that deep down, Cedric would wonder why he didn't get the same attention as Harry did.
I felt my eyes racing over the words as he recounted the events of the tournament, because I was so anxious to find out what he thought of what happened in the graveyard. His disorientation was clear, and it made his choking fear of dying even more poignant.
I think what I loved the most was the reversal that occurred after he died. The tone of his thoughts and the rhythm of your writing changed there, and it felt as if everything had come to a halting and jolting stop. Suddenly, he seemed disconnected and almost hovering. It was a stunning turnaround, and it contrasted perfectly with his frenzy in the graveyard. It was as if his mind worked differently after he died; he still thought the same things, but his mind was a different mechanism, if that makes sense.
And then the interaction with Mirabelle... "She was always beautiful to me" was the line that got me. You only spoke about their relationship for a few lines, but you painted a remarkable picture of what she means to him.
I really enjoyed the whole thing. It was startlingly relevant for me, and that made it even more striking. Other than a few spelling errors here and there, it was written with artful simplicity and great depth. Nice work, and thanks so much for creating this piece!
ChristineAuthor's Response: Wow. I'd have to say that was the best review I have EVER gotten. haha I'm so glad you liked it! For once I was actualloy proud of something I wrote. haha Thank you so much for such a great review! Report Review
Wow. I was honestly entranced from beginning to end, and that is a wonderful feeling when reading fanfiction. I just need to start from the beginning, because I'm a bit overwhelmed with how much I loved this piece.
What an enthralling beginning. The recurring line was integrated quite seamlessly--that is, I never felt as if it was being said too often, which I regularly feel when I read repeated phrases. Those lines, though, felt perfectly innate, and they set the stage beautifully for the rest of the piece. I definitely got the V for Vendetta vibe, which definitely hooked me in.
I was absorbed by your first lines. I loved how you structured them--the silence was deafening, and then a succession of what was not occurring. Stunning juxtaposition there. As this first section continued on, that V for Vendetta feeling came out even more and it got me extremely excited to find out what would happen. You embodied V's refined nonchalance so well in Gabrielle, and it made her a really fascinating character.
I'm going to go on a tangent about Gabrielle before I get too far. I oftentimes dislike characters like Gabrielle. I get the feeling that they are haughty and feministic and heartless and I don't see dimension to them. Your exposition of her, on the other hand, made me adore her. I never got the feeling that I was supposed to like or dislike her. Instead, there were times that I was rooting for her wholeheartedly and other times when I was berating her. You made her multi-faceted, which I appreciate immensely. I was attached to her by the end of the piece, and I was really interested in what would come of her. They say that playwrights and novelists write plays and stories about the most important days in a character's life. I think for both Gabrielle and George, these were some of their most important days, and I was rapt as I waited to find out how things would turn out.
The second main section was my favorite. The idea of not wanting to live is a hard one to play with, but I truly got the feeling that both of them were ready to die. You executed that scene with such finesse, and I felt my face scrunching up in concern as their interaction progressed. I love when I get that absorbed with a piece of writing. And then the Shakespeare quote... It was placed in the perfect spot and expressed the perfect sentiment. There was something so tragic about it. It was as if she was saying, these are your last moments, so if you want to cry, you better do it. Now or never. Subsequently, I loved the concept of whispering to him as if to a lover. It showed an unlikely connection that I found intriguing, and it added a whole new level to what was occurring.
Overall, I loved it. It was incredibly powerful, and I was utterly swept up in the story, which doesn't happen as often as I'd like when I read fanfiction. You stayed true to the canon, yet you weaved an entirely new storyline in this one-shot. It makes me want to know Loken's whole story, honestly.
I better stop before I go on for too long. Thank you so much for participating, and thank you even more for writing this piece. Beautiful work.
-ChristineAuthor's Response: :)
May I just say that you made my year.
Thank you so much for the compliments & I'm glad that the story was as powerful as I was trying to make it. :D
Overall, I'm just happy you enjoyed it.
Again, thank you so much for feedback. :]
And no problem. This challenge was very, very fun. :D Report Review
That was quite a pleasure! The story was a nice snapshot of both her disposition and the burden she must carry throughout her life. What I really loved about it was that you weren't afraid to mention her flaws, and furthermore, she was well aware of her flaws. It didn't feel cliche, which was refreshing to say the least.
I liked that you touched on the dilemma of a Witch marrying a Muggle. Marriage was certainly political at that time for Muggles, but that addition of blood purity in this time period adds a whole new layer to the dilemma of marriage.
The scene in which you integrated the quote made me smile. The Baron was so wonderfully malevolent, and Helena's reactions were delightfully feisty. The quote was put in seamlessly and it felt completely natural, which is great to see.
As for the language, for the most part, you were faithful to Shakespeare's vernacular without becoming too convoluted. There were a few times where I got a bit caught up in the language, but I commend you for working with this language. I'm really impressed with how you utilized it with such finesse, yet kept it flowing naturally. It made it a lot of fun to read!
Overall, I really enjoyed it a lot. Thanks so much for participating, and congratulations on a great piece!
-ChristineAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for such a lengthy response to this story. I was really worried about it when I was writing it, so this defiantly helped. I hoped to make it as realistic as possible without making it seem ridiculously unmagical. And thank you! I had a lot of fun with the language. Add a couple thees and thys here and there and you've got fake Shakespeare! Haha. Thank you so much! Report Review
These snapshots were fascinating to me. Each lost moment created a new facet to the characters that intrigued me greatly. They illustrated the growth of the characters, which I can appreciate--it is incredibly difficult to do so in just one chapter.
I'll begin with the first snapshot. I could see the scene in my mindís eye, which was a treat. I would have loved more than anything to know what Severus thought of "everything and nothing," though. I suppose that could make up a whole story, though! This scene was a good choice for the beginning, because it gave us an idea about why Lily is so captivated with him. The bit about her life at home seemed a tad out of place, but I think it worked with the piece as a whole, since you connected back to it later. I would break up that huge paragraph, though, because it is definitely unwieldy to the reader's eye.
The simplicity of the second bit was wonderful. The line, "his fingers interlaced with hers," utterly broke my heart. You didn't complicate things with this part, and the effortlessness made it charming.
I got the impression at the top of the next part that Severus is a charmer, which Iím not sure about. I like the idea of him being charming around her, but I think you need to balance it with the coldness or subdued nature that he is known for, even if that just means having Lily note that he's more charismatic around her than with others. The scene by the lake was intriguing, in that it shifted strongly to Lily's perspective. I think this was a great choice, because it makes it evident that this event was welcomed by Lily. It created a new dimension of Lily which I do believe exists, and that was illustrated in the line, "but whatever irrational thing this was, Lily had to admit it was nice."
The next section held my favorite line in the entire story: "No, if Severus didn't need a mudblood's help then she wouldn't need the help of the Halfblood Prince." Haunting and stunning at the same time. It shows a resolute decision on Lily's part that shapes the rest of their lives.
And then the last section. I was wondering all through the story how you were going to weave in the quote, but I could feel it coming as this scene progressed. I think I would've liked if he had said the line more out of the blue, because I could feel it being set up. At the same time, I appreciate that you had Lily call him on his bluff about it being a Shakespeare quote, because I think that's incredibly in character. "Heaven is a lie..." That gave me shivers.
Overall, I loved the new sides of these character that I saw in the story. Even James, who we didn't see physically in the story, was present in his own way, which I found very clever. I think you need to go through the whole story with a fine-toothed comb to eliminate all grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors, but it wasn't overly distracting. Nevertheless, you created some radiant scenes here that kept me entranced. Good work!
-ChristineAuthor's Response: Wow, I don't even know where I even should begin. I read this review and it really had me breathless because I wasn't entirely certain if I even liked this story, in the least, to be honest with you.
Thank you. I suppose that's all I can aptly say despite your wordy response that certainly is a lot of helpful input. I'm glad that you enjoyed this tale and that you found it so entrancing.
-Linda Report Review
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