Reading Reviews From Member: BettyMaeStrange
  
27 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BettyMaeStrangeYellow Soul Birds: Average

14th May 2012:
Well this is a pretty outstanding first chapter to read, if I'm honest.

Though short and uninformative of the plot, the emotion and the subtle introduction of Roxanne was absolutely wonderful.

Not only does she seem astonishingly real, but also astonishingly relatable.

"I want to be the writer who thinks of the brilliant plotlines and executes them perfectly in a delicate way rather than always being the reader who wished they could have thought of those spectacular stories. and "I feel very bold talking, and almost complaining, about my writing. I talk as if I'm out in the world and by myself. This isn't the case, because I'm still in school, I am still learning and I still have many opportunities under my belt."

Just wow. I think you summed up the wishes and thoughts of every single writer on here. (Well, at least for me!)

I really look forward to seeing where this takes you, and also to reading a "quiet" Roxanne. I've only glanced at some summaries that focus on her as a main character, but those I have done represent her as quite a fiery, extroverted character. Yours will be a nice change. :)

The only criticism is that a few of the sentences seem to run onto each other - I think I'd suggest read aloud. It often helps me, and where you take a breath, put in a comma. For example:

"I have come to see that even when you plan your life accordingly and you stick to the plan as much as you possibly can[,] other factors will deter you as much as possible."

"...and then sheltering myself after it was out of my parents' control[,] it has not affected me greatly."

But those are mere suggestions that you can ignore at will. ;)

The only mistake I saw was "I have leaded a...", and I think you may have meant to put 'led'. Other than that, though, it was grammatically and spelling-wise perfect, and a lovely first chapter to read.

I look forward to seeing where this takes you!
Bethan. xxx

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Review #2, by BettyMaeStrangeAnd Capers Ensue: The Art of Hanging Over

28th April 2012:
Awesomely awesome chapter, as always!

James is just like I imagined him: funny, but also a bit more... worldly - I think that's the added year he has, though, that makes him seem just that bit more mature. It's nice to have an adult-ish person around. :)

Poor Bea! I've probably got it wrong, but it feels like James may have taken her confession as a joke because he didn't know how else to handle it, like that was his way of "letting her down gently". Scorpius' response to that was worth it, though. Yay for Bea + Scorpius! :D

Anjali is just... ugh. Do *you* like her? I mean, I suppose you do because she's your character and you know how she'll turn out, but I have to ask anyway.

I understand she has to look out for herself and therefore her family's status, but I'm with Bea on this one - why is it always about her? I admit I dislike how utterly enraptured both Fred and Scorpius are by her, but I suppose it'll all work out in the end!

Scorpius was brilliant as always, though. I love how dependent he's becoming on Bea, and how it was her that he went to at the beginning, like it was just the natural thing to do. THEY HAVE TO DISCOVER ALL THE FEELINGS SOON! ... I hope.

Once again, incredible chapter and I can't wait to read the next one. :D
xxx

Author's Response: Eep, hullo! I've had to write James for my Love/Stats oneshot before, so it was pretty easy to write him here, and he fit right in! I think a huge part of his change is just being out of Hogwarts and getting to be that voice of reason for the mysterious future 8D as good of a voice of reasons James can be, anyhow.

James has always been selectively dense in the people department hilariously enough xD. The way I see it in my head, I imagine he half-knows Bea was serious, but I don't think he realizes how much it affected her. He probably thinks it would be something she got over in a week after she confessed, and he didn't think anything of it, especially since Bea bounces back so quickly. It's also hugely because Bea gives off the impression that she -doesn't- treat things seriously, sometimes intentionally.

Bahaha, Anjali is who she is. It's pretty funny, actually, because I get massively different opinions on characters. Some people don't like Bea, even if they appreciate her as a character, because her traits just rub them the wrong way, sometimes because it reminds them of people in real life. Some can't stand people like Anjali and others who can't stand people like Bea. I just hope to represent the characters as best I can.

Heee, Scorpius is such a darling. I just want to pat him on the head. This ~friendship~ thing is so foreign to him.

♥ thank you so much! ^__^


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Review #3, by BettyMaeStrangeLivin' La Vida Loca : Marriages and Paperwork

22nd April 2012:
I Was Not Magnificent here for the review swap. ;)

Wow! What an interesting idea! I rarely read Scorpius/Rose fanfiction, and I really liked this original take on their relationship.

Your descriptions were very well done, and I enjoyed the small details made throughout this chapter: the witness reports, the posters for the MoM, etc., that made it really feel like an Auror department, and added emphasis to the hurried movements of all of the Aurors - you captured the atmosphere of the department and the job really well.

One thing that hit me straight away, was your odd sentence structure. There are a lot of places where a comma or semi-colon could have been used to break up the sentences a little and also make the story a little more fluid.

For example:

It was a pretty average day on the 2nd floor of the Ministry of Magic in the Auror department[,] as far as most people were concerned. There were a few visitors walking through[,] looking for family members who had been captured[,] and most of the Auror[í - not needed]s were hanging around waiting for orders. The most unusual thing that was happening was coming from behind a large black door at the end of the long corridor[,] labelled with a gold plaque [which - should be 'that', unless using a comma before which] read 4 simple words.

There are a lot of similar points like that I could make throughout the story, and also a few grammar mistakes, too - may I suggest asking for a beta? They're great help, and they've helped me loads in my stories. There are a lot of things I rarely notice when writing, and they're great at nit-picking and finding small errors. One other thing I noticed as well was that sometimes you use present tense when the rest of the story is in past - I'd watch out for that. ;)

I'm not entirely sure what to think of Scorpius or Rose at the moment - you've supplied quite little on their actual characters - and also why they hate each other, but I'm certain that'll be expanded on over the next chapter or throughout the story. ;) One character I instantly liked was Teddy - I think it was the flaming hair that got me, and just the way he's lazily scribbling in his notebook; I think that was a great characterisation of him. Well done!

As I was reading (and I know it says it in the summary) I was a little lost about what was actually happening and why they were arguing and what Harry has asked them to do, but then I read the last line (a very punchy one, I might add) and I was very impressed. The chapter was quite short so the suspense wasn't dragged on for too long, and you told us everything we needed to know. That was very well done.

Over all a very interesting story and I look forward to seeing where it's headed. Well done!

Bethan. xxx

Author's Response: wow, this just made my review look really pathetic xD Thanks for all the advice this is a real help. I do need a beta, but no one ever wants t be my beta so I've normal just given up with them and make my own way ahead.

Thanks for the review :)

Snoopy x


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Review #4, by BettyMaeStrangeLike Mother, Like Daughter: Professor Hermione Weasley

10th April 2012:
Hi, Onyx!

I'll get the constructive crit out the way then shower you with the positives:

Criticism

One thing I've noticed is that the chapters are both a little short - perhaps using the content from this chapter to carry on with the last would have been better? Also, I'm a little confused as to why Rose is crying. Of course it would be aggravating to find that you'd missed part of a lesson, but would you really be moved to that extent? One last thing is that I'm a little curious about why Hermione is using Bellatrix's wand if she hates it? Would she not just go to Ollivander's (or whatever the equivalent is after the war) and get another one? Just a thought. ;)

Appreciation

I like your story very much. It's very clean and there are hardly any (if any!) mistakes. The idea of exploring Rose's contemplations about how she can live up to others' (and her mother's) expectations is a lovely idea, and a very real one, too; there aren't many stories around like this so I look forward to seeing how it progresses.

I love the idea of Hermione being a professor at Hogwarts, and your detailed description of both the lesson and of the portrait at the beginning of this chapter were excellent. You haven't overloaded us at all with excessive detail, and the amount you've included is spot on.

I really like Andrea's character - and being Seamus' daughter just makes me like her more so ;) - however I feel there's something lacking in her personality, though I expect you'll expand on that more as the story continues. I particularly liked the line "Andi just nodded. That's what Rose liked about her. She just... did things", though. I thought that was really lovely. It's so much nicer to read lines like this to describe a character rather than just stating what a person's like in a chunky paragraph - letting someone's personality show through their actions and words is a brilliant, though very hard, I admit, thing to do.

Wonderful start and I look forward to seeing where this story takes you. ;)

Bethan. x

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing my story!

The first chapter is supposed to be short - it's the prologue, and prologues are meant to be short! :) The second chapter is short because there wasn't much to write about... haha! The next chapter will be longer, coz... Nah, that'll be telling... And as for Hermione's wand... Hermione puts her anger into her magic??? Maybe xD

I have a little secret... I use Microsoft Word before I paste it onto here, which is why there are hardly any mistakes! :)

I just imagined Hermione as a Charms Professor, I have no idea why... :) And the portrait you mentioned was actually a door knocker :) I kept what JK Rowling described basically...

Andi is Neville Longbottom's daughter, and Siobhan is Seamus'.

I'm calling this story an improvisation story. In other words, I haven't a clue what happens further than the next chapter. Haha

Thanks for the lovely juicy review for me to read, and here's a response back :)

Krystal x


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Review #5, by BettyMaeStrangeThe turning point of Geraldine Truss: The Need

9th April 2012:
Hi, Elenia - I Was Not Magnificent here for your review!

First I'd just like to say I really really liked the beginning of the one-shot. You drew in the characters as you began and offered us a description to set the scene, and it was, as you described it, 'captivating.' I could really imagine where Geraldine was and what she was seeing. Good job.

Geraldine was a very well-written character; she portrayed the traits exactly as I would have expected from a Hufflepuff (ie. worrying about others other than herself, trying to protect her sister, etc. She had just a genuine selfless attitude).

At first I was a little dubious, because she seemed quite a hardened person - more suited to Gryffindor or perhaps Slytherin, but then when you brought in the theme of her mother's death and her sister's anguish and the pest that was Barry, I realised that those events had just brushed off on her personality - that was very good.

A few things I would like to point out are your use of commas, for example in these few excerpts:

The need to run away was so powerful, I didn't want to be at school, all I wanted was to go back home. [Perhaps a full-stop would be have been better after powerful, and then a semi-colon after school, so]: The need to run away was so powerful. I didn't want to be at school; all I wanted was to go back home.

The flow of the sentence just seemed a little odd, and where you put commas I sometimes thought an 'and' would have been better. A lot of the time you can get away with it, because it's often how a certain writer writes - it's what their style is - but in this case I wouldn't do it so often.

It was so peaceful and quiet, [again, either and 'and' or perhaps semi-colon] not many people passed by that place

he had that effect on me, [perhaps a full-stop here. The two sentences aren't really related to each other and the comma doesn't seem to lead on properly to the next one.] I wished I could

Just a few things to think about, but those are just my opinions and you can ignore them at will. ;)

I really liked Barry's character. Of course he was despicable, but he added depth and made things interesting. I did find Maddie's reaction a little excessive, though. It's understandable that a 15 year old girl is going to hold a grudge against her sister for 'stealing her guy', but would she really state that she wished her sister were dead instead of her mother? And also if Geraldine is trying to protect Maddie from Barry, wouldn't it be best just to tell her what sort of person he is rather than saying something like 'You wouldn't understand' or 'You're better off without him.'

I loved the small little details Geraldine describes, like the smudges on the letter and the smell of petrol and her favourite bread. I felt a lot closer to her as a character with these things, and you really made her seem real.

Overall I found the one-shot really lovely; the characters, the setting, Geraldine's intimate train of thought. I felt very connected with her and what was around her and happening to her, and as a first one-shot I think this is brilliantly commendable indeed.

Wonderful job, Elenia.

Bethan. xxx

Author's Response: Heey!

Wow, thank you so much for such a long and detailed review! I loved reading it so much and found it to be very helpful!

I'm always nervous about the description, so I'm really glad you think they're working well! I try to paint the picture well, but leave some things for the readers to imagine themselves. I don't want to overdo things.

Yeah, that's what I wanted to show with this. To give her all the Hufflepuff traits, but also show that it's not that black and white. Even they have to be brave sometimes, it's really all about what life throws at them.

Thank you for pointing all those things out! I'll fix them when I edit this the next time! I love it when people tell me these things, it'll help me with my grammar and I learn things more since English isn't my native language.

I left those things about Geri's sister unexplained, because I have such a huge plunny about these characters, and all that will be essential for that story.

Again, thank you so much for this lovely review! I'm glad you liked it so much!


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Review #6, by BettyMaeStrangeIn Crimson Ink: April 3rd, 2024

7th March 2012:
Hiya Naida, it's IWNM. ;D

As a first chapter I really, really enjoyed this - I love the suspense you've kept up and though I'm fairly sure I know what's happening considering the circumstances, I'm still left with questions unanswered.

I really enjoyed the relationships you portrayed - that of Lily and her parents, and then James; you already gave us a clear picture of the way the characters will be represented and there was a great feeling of empathy towards Lily because of her family's reactions to what the Prophet had said - whatever that may be...

The starting line was very punchy and you really got me engaged with the story - you were able to keep up the suspense for the whole of the chapter which was great, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Awesome job, Naida! xxx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to review! You really didn't have to do that, having helped me so much already, but I appreciate it more than anything :)

I wanted to build up some suspense (I like suspense :P) so I'm really glad that worked. And the relationships was another thing I really wanted to hit, so the fact that came across well was perfect.

Ahh, the starting line is actually what got me started on this story :P Your review was pretty much one of the loveliest things ever, thank you sooo much ♥

-Naida


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Review #7, by BettyMaeStrangeA Brother's Plea: And the Response

24th February 2012:
This is such a brilliant story!

I'm sorry I can't say much more than that, but there wasn't a thing I would change about it.

I thought the character portrayal of the Blacks was brilliant, and I really liked how Regulus' father wasn't the "typical" follower - he believes in Voldemort, but because he thinks he's right, not because he's some tyrannical fanatic, unlike how his wife seemed to be. She was a lot like Bella in away, which I thought linked nicely to the other side of the family.

Sirius' response was heartbreaking, though I can understand why he left the letters unread after living under such an oppressive roof as the Black's.

Regulus was brilliant, and really exactly as I had imagined him: independent, not too confident that he isn't willing to ask his brother for help, and above all, caring - as you showed with his interactions with Kreacher.

We never knew what Regulus himself thought, despite having joined the Death Eater ranks, and I've always believed that he was in it simply for the sake of destroying Voldemort and "getting to know the enemy", so again that's one of the reasons I enjoyed this.

The dialogue was perfect, the characters very well-rounded for a one-shot, and the portrayal of Regulus' desperation and determination was excellently portrayed.

Well done, and I wish you the best of luck for the challenge! :)
Bethan. xxx

Author's Response: I'm so happy that you enjoyed this story! This is the way that I thought the Black family operated, but I'd never had a chance to show them in any of my stories until now. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review! It has totally made my day! :D

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Review #8, by BettyMaeStrangeCherry Blossoms: Silence

17th February 2012:
Hi, LunarLana - thanks ever so much for the swap, and here's your review:

I'll start of with the criticism first and get that out of the way, and then move onto the things I like. I'll just apologise first off if I come off as being terribly blunt, but I hope you understand the points I make and that they help you somewhat:

"Iím bitter, sarcastic and Iím honest. I say the truth like it is rather than wrap it up and make all things pink and cute. My motherís a b___ and Iím not afraid to say it." This is a very blunt line. Often when you need to pack a punch, this is required, but I think considering the seriousness of the words and the importance to the story that this provides (her feelings towards her mother and her whole personality in three words), that it should have been done differently. Revealing someone's personality - especially that of the narrator's - should normally be integrated into what they do, how they interact with others, what they say and how they say it, so that the reader can make a deduction themselves of what sort of character they're dealing with. If it was a vague minor character, then a few words or so about their personality is acceptable, but in my opinion this could have been done differently. As people say: SHOW the reader, don't TELL them.

There were a few gramatical mistakes dotted around the chapter, mostly near the beginning, for example: 'that where being' I think you meant to say 'that were being'? If you really like the story, then I'd suggest getting a beta. I definitely think this is one of the more original stories I've seen, so you should definitely continue it and let it be read at its full potential. ;)

Some of the sentences are a little odd. "Already scared off The Daily Prophet..." and "Canít believe she..." I assume this was intentional in order to enhance the casual voice of Deloria's narration, but I think the use of a pronoun would make these sentences flow a lot better.

"so yeah" and "so basically" "So I..." These are very slang-like words and phrases, and when writing narration I would avoid them at all costs. In dialogue they're perfectly acceptable, but it makes non-dialogue content a little stunted. They're used as "fillers" when people talk to provide time for people to think about what they're saying, but when you're writing you have the luxury of time. If we all wrote how we spoke it would be a spew of jargon text.

Final criticism: There was very little about what had happened in the restaurant - only a mere few lines that could have been written with more detail, I think. We've been told that her demise is at the result of being fired because of James and ultimately Rose Weasley, but you seemed to gloss over that very quickly. I assume you'll touch on James' character more in the future chapters. ;)

PRAISE (Hallelujah! Sorry for the criticism, June!):

"Sheís pink dresses and combed up hair, sweet smiles and giggles." This was lovely, and this is what I was talking about earlier. You describe what she looks like and what she does, and from this we can make a deduction about her being sickly-sweet and that there's something not quite 'right' with her because of the way you've described her. Very well done, here!

I adore the information about Mr. Timpson - that was a very touching point in the story and really added depth and a great deal of useful background information - you touched on the process of her helping Timpson earn money by frequently buying a portrait, and that gives us an insight of her character, too. Despite this, does it really fit in with what you told us before? Would Deloria really ask if the crying woman's okay and offer such acts of kindness to Timpson if she's supposedly so bitter?

The dialogue was good - it was very minimal for a first chapter which I liked a lot. A lot of people overload their beginning with dialogue and I'm never quite sure what's happening, or who all of these people talking are, so this was done very well, too.

The beginning of this story flowed well for the most part, and I liked the background information about her sister and Mr Timpson, though it was definitely lacking in physical descriptions of Deloria and any scenes. I liked the incorporation of the song (listening to it as I'm writing this and it is very good!) but sometimes a simple 'I sang' will suffice - don't try and push yourself to make the lyrics sound descriptive because they usually speak for themselves.

Well done on a good start to this novel, and I hope you plan to continue with it!

7/10. Bethan. xxx

Author's Response: Wow O.O Definately the longest review I've ever gotten!^^ I'll get right on to my reactions about... everything you said xD

Deloria: I know I said she was sarcastic and bitter. And she kinda is... on the surface. Which is why I didn't care writing about it because this is how she percieves herself, and how many people see her... not really how she truely is. I won't really say more but let's just say people that are hurting reach her. ;)

Grammar & slang: I'll try and fix it on my own. I don't really work well with beta's... even if they're amazing...

Restaurant: Hehe, my fault. I wanted to get to the "parc scene" quickly because I love it^^' I'll try and add more description... and yep. James will become important... later. For now he's just the guy who made her lose her job :P

Jillian: Yay!^^

Mr Timpson: He's my favorite character, so I'm really glad you like him too^^ and as I said earlier, people who are hurting reach her. You learn more about it in chapter two, just saying if you want to keep on reading this xD

Dialogue: Yep. I didn't want it to be too present in this chapter, glad you enjoyed that :)

Description: I know. I compensate by having the next chapter be in Mr.Timpson's POV. Who is very... descriptive in his mind. He sort of details everything without even realising it. So if you read the next chapter you'll know what the scene looked like because it goes on as a parallel to this chapter :)

Thanks for such an AMAZING review!! :D

-June



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Review #9, by BettyMaeStrangeKnock on Wood: An Overcrowded Ride

13th February 2012:
Oooh! Very intriguing chapter!

I'm sorry, but I'm finding it really hard to like Scorpius. How dare he mess her about like that?! Was it your intention to make him a sympathetic character or not?

I really like the relationship between Al, Fred, and Hannah - it's very sweet and the playful, comic way they react around each other gives us a sense of familiarity and empathy with the characters.

There are a few mistakes concerning the dialogue punctuation - you might want to just read up about that online (ie. concerning commas and full stops before the end quotation mark, and when they're needed).

I'd like to see a lot more of Rose (who knows - they might be in the next few - I'll start reading them soon! ;]) to get a feel for her take on things and what she feels towards Scorpius. (Who should our loyalties lie with in this love triangle?) And also to see more Hannah-Scorpius interaction. "What is it about him that Hannah likes so much, and what is it that Scorpius likes about Hannah?" - the answer to those questions must be clear.

I must admit I'm not a fan of the hyper, rambling commentary, but I think it works well with Hannah's personality - just be sure that the comedy is well-placed and that it needs to be there. Comedy can either ruin a moment or make it better, so continually keep asking yourself, 'Does this need to be here?' as you write.

Overall a great second chapter, and a very nice descent into Hannah's new school year - the beginning of the story.

I look forward to reading the next few chapters, and thanks ever so much for the review swap! ;)

Bethan. xxx

Author's Response: Oh wow, I love reviews like this :)
Scorpius... I've found... is very unlikeable for these first few chapters. By about 6-7, his character gains more sympathy when you learn more of what's going on in his mind.
Hopefully the punctuation should get better in later chapters, I finally got a word processor on my computer so I'm planning on going through and editing now that I don't have to spell check in an email :) Thanks for letting me know!

Rose is difficult to like, especially reading this from Hannah's point of view; she's the 'thing' that's blocking Hannah from Scorpius, so the vision I'm hoping to give the reader, is a general dislike, but with sympathies (if that makes sense?)

I love the advice about the Hannah/Scorpius, plus the comedy stuff. Those are amazing things to think about when I'm writing, so thank you so much!! I really appreciate it.

Thank YOU so much dear! I really appreciate this amazing review!


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Review #10, by BettyMaeStrangeSins of the Innocent: Riddles in the dark

13th February 2012:
I've enjoyed these chapters a lot - stories including Tom Riddle in his school years have always been very intriguing to me, and I think you've portrayed his sly character brilliantly. I hope we can see more of him in the future! ;D

You offer great, detailed descriptions which really engage the reader, but I'm going to be horribly honest and say that I'm not entirely sure what's going on.

You jump around a lot in between scenes, and I often find myself questioning how A just got to B. You mentioned that Eileen was 'Petrified', but when I was reading Alyssa's actions in the morning, I had no idea Eileen was even there or that Alyssa had even cast a spell on anyone. I know it's monotonous, but sometimes you need to literally spell it out to the reader what's happening, or else they'll be reading things in a state of confusion which needs to be avoided to keep the flow going.

Another thing (I'm so sorry for this - I don't mean to sound mean, I'm honestly trying to help!) is that you haven't specifically stated what the character's feel towards one another. What does Alyssa feel about Tom? What's her relationship with William? Who IS William, and also who is Keenan? Again, make it blindingly obvious who these characters are, even if you mentioned it in a previous chapter. With the first few, the readers aren't going to be entirely settled with the story, so small details aren't going to be fully digested.

Alyssa seemed to be friends with Eileen, and yet suddenly she hates her. Has she felt like this for a while? I think what's missing is background information on the girls' friendship to add a sense of familiarity with the characters and make us feel more comfortable with them. I'm not entirely sure what anyone's intentions are in the story, but I'm assuming that's what the secret is - you're definitely keeping us hanging!

I did enjoy this chapter, but I'm just a bit confused about what's happening, and I'm so sorry for the CC, but I hope you've found it helpful! I look forward to reading the next chapter!

Bethan. x

Author's Response: THANK YOU! for being completely honest and stating what you think; This is one of the best reviews i've gotten because it tells what I need to think about. A lot of pointless praise never created anything :P

Ah, I never realised that so much could fall out of my story; In the start Eileen is sleeping in the common room and Alyssa is just being mean (that this might be a bit confusing I understand, I was in a complete outrage after she had done that because it wasnt in my plan! she just decided to jinx her on her own behalf... took me a while to fingure my way out of that situation actually XD)

I'll work to clarify things in my story to make the actions clearer and open to everyone while still maintaining the mystery :)

Actually I dont know about Alyssa and Eileen yet, I'm pretty sure that they have known eachother but not how well. I intend to let their actions towards one another make more sense in following chapters.

As well as I'm going to stir things up a bit ;)

The main thing with my story is that no-one knows what will happen and that makes it all the more exciting :)

I'm very happy that you enjoyed my story and that you'd like to continue reading it :)

Thank you for such a lovely review,
I'll do yours tomorrow :)

*hugsies*

Cheery


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Review #11, by BettyMaeStrangeThe sporadic suffering and tiresome torments of Albus Potter: The one with the twins.

10th January 2012:
Haha, I love this!

It's not highly detailed, I must admit, but I don't think it needs it considering the plot and genre. It's very light and amusing, and you keep the reader engaged with that.

I understand that this is only the first chapter (and I have yet to read the others. ;) ), but some more background information would have improved it, I think, just to give us a bit more depth about Albus' friendship with Jan (how long have they been friends, does he regard her as anything more, who does he regard as a romantic interest, etc.) and other characters, though the small facts in the narration were well-done and given in the right moments.

My favourite part was at the beginning, when James spoke up in the classroom; I thought that was very well done and the act of sneaking into his younger brother's class without notice spoke a thousand words about what kind of person he is (ie. what his characteristics are) and also told us more about what kind of story this was going to be and what the characters we're dealing with are like.

The humour was at very times very good, though be careful not to force the comedy in; it's all about timing! ;D

Overral I think this was a very good start and a great read if you're looking for some light Next-Gen fanfiction.

*adds to favourites and moves to next chapter.*

Great work! Bethan. x

Author's Response: Hey there! I think you definately picked one of my less serious things (much less serious than yours :P) - this one is mostly written when I feel like extreme fluffiness and pointlessness.

This entire sure is esentially about James doing stupid things but I really like the fact that you can tell what sort of person he is just by sneaking into his brothers classroom. Thats really cool :D

Thanks for the lovely review! :)

-AC


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Review #12, by BettyMaeStrangeDiamonds into Coal: Erised

9th January 2012:
Oh, this is just beautiful!

Your description of the whole scene shone throughout the entire chapter, keeping up a constant flow and I never bored of it. It was so intricate and yet informative at the same time, something I wish I would be able to achieve sometime in the future.

You emphasise the real longing in the man, the desperation and bitterness that he has as he watches the mirror in silence. I think the lack of speech makes it just that more powerful; he's simply stuck there standing in silence at the things that could have been and things that almost were.

You reach across to us and show us this almost tangible sorrow as you describe this beautiful dance with these two people, both terribly in love and vibrant and full of happiness, and yet you've got this completely solitary, monochromatic, sad man stuck in front of it, watching on, helpless, and the juxtaposition between the two realities is so saddening.

You show throughout this a completely different side to 'The Bloody Baron' - one so barely explored, and to reach through to the readers as you have done in this short chapter is wonderful and makes us already feel like we're on-a-par with him.

I think this is excellent and I really can't wait to read more.
100/10! ;)
Bethan. xxx

Author's Response: Hello!

Oh, I'm so pleased! I was worried that it might be too much imagery and it would bore people, but I'm happy that it worked for you. I do agree that the silence would be powerful to witness.

Oh, you used my favorite word - 'juxtaposition'. I'm happy that it creates an interesting image, because that's exactly what I meant to portray. I imagine that the mirror brings that feeling out in many of its viewers.

I'm glad that I caused you to see the Baron in a different light. I don't like to write two-dimensional characters, so hopefully you'll see positive and negative qualities emerge within both the Baron and Helena as the story develops.

Thanks again for your kind review! :)

Amanda


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Review #13, by BettyMaeStrangePost Scriptum: Eggs and Bacon

6th January 2012:
*adds to favourites*

This is such a brilliant start to this story!

You lured us in with that lengthy description, starting with the elves that then changed perspective to Kreacher and then Regulus and it swapped to Sirius all so smoothly and seamlessy, the story flowing around the Grimmauld Place almost like a film camera would do.

I think the interaction between the family was spot-on, and I like how you didn't make Regulus out to be some snotty kid who rubs the favouritism into Sirius' face; he almost seems to be slightly embarrassed about the fact which definitely makes him more likeable and the story a more pleasant read.

In a lot of stories I read about the Marauders, the writers never quite make Sirius seem like his age, but I think his traits and his attitude and even the way he speaks adds to this image of Sirius that I've always had in my mind and you've matched it perfectly.

You addressed a lot of points here early on - the family's dislike of Muggles and their pureblood beliefs and their treatment of Sirius, and it all linked in very well - only as subtle hints that fit perfectly into the conversation or into their actions.

I'm sorry this isn't much in the way of constructive criticism, but I really enjoyed this chapter and hope to see more soon!

Wonderful start! :D
xxx

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! I'm flattered that you want to read on, as that's the best one can hope for with a first chapter :)

I try to write characters that have many layers to them, some likeble and some not so much. I think 'embarrassed' is a good way to think about Regulus at this point. He sort of enjoys the attention and affection from his parents, but he also wants to try to preserve his deteriorating relationship with Sirius.

I'm glad I did Sirius well, too. I borrowed a lot of details from canon, which helped me in shaping his character, and I tried my best to keep a balance between the maturity you'd expect from a sixteen-year-old and the traits that we've all come to love in Sirius.

Yes, I try to be subtle whenever I can instead of simply "telling" the reader how things are. I'm glad you can appreciate that.

Thanks very much for your very kind review!

Amanda


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Review #14, by BettyMaeStrangeDrafting the Script: I.

5th January 2012:
I'll just start my saying that this is really wonderful!

You create a wonderful relationship between the two and I think the formatting is brilliant, with the whole idea of a script and the un-italicised text being almost like a narrative - very well done with that, it's very different from what I normally read, so I really enjoyed that.

Your descriptions are excellent, and you really paint the picture of the scene. I especially liked your description of Luna sitting beneath the window with the light streaming down on her - just the image of her sat there was completely 'Luna-ish'.

Your characterisation of Ollivander was wonderful, too, and I think his words and your description of him fitted him very well.

The only two things I will mention now is that I didn't think Luna's words fitted her as well. I know it's a very hard task slipping into the essence of a character that has already long existed, but I think you lost a bit of her dream-like quality and her essence when she spoke. Your depictions of her expressions and movements were perfect, but I think the dialogue of a character could be something for you to think about next time - the way they speak is just as important as what they say.

Grammar and spelling was spot-on as far as I could see, but, for example:

"Shhh," she placed two of her fingers to his cool, dry lips, "You're..."

Should be: "Shhh." She placed two of her fingers to his cool, dry lips. "You're..."

If someone has finished speaking and you are not describing the dialogue with something like 'he said' or 'she asked' then you don't put a comma, just a full stop, and there would only be a comma *before* opening quotation marks again if it would be something like this:

"Shhh," she said, placing two of her fingers to his cool, dry lips, "you're..."

So you see the sentence continues and the second bit of speech does not have a capital letter.

Gosh, I'm sorry if I've epically confused you here, I think I confused myself - perhaps just have a read over online at some of the rules of speech.

I hope this helps you and I think you've done a wonderful job over all in terms of describing their relationship and experience of imprisonment.

Well done! xxx

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review and for the critique! I wrote this rather quickly and never really did go through and edit it. I'm glad you enjoyed the one shot... it was a lot of fun to write.



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Review #15, by BettyMaeStrangeTo Save a Slytherin: To Save a Slytherin

31st December 2011:
Very short, very sweet, and very unexpected!

I'm glad you decided to let Draco live - I think with one-shots, unless you go into great depth about their death, then you really mustn't kill off the main character so suddenly - it lacks a lot of emotion that could be stirred from the reader.

I love Dramione relationships in any shape and form, and though their relationship seems quite OoC, you make us realise that there's been a past between those two, so it's very believable.

Very sweet, nice job! :D x

Author's Response: Betty,

Ah, thank you so much for participating in the review tag. I'm glad that you chose this story because it has so few reviews.

I'm so happy that you found it sweet and unexpected. You are so right in killing off a character so soon. ;)

And really, I suppose I left that part about their relationship coming together to the the reader really. I'm sure they could imagine it in an infinite number of ways.

Thanks so much for reviewing this little one-shot!

Much appreciated, my fellow Slytherin.
Dark Whisper


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Review #16, by BettyMaeStrangeAnd Capers Ensue: Fishing for Wishy-Washy Wishing

24th December 2011:
Absolutely wonderful chapter, as always!

Yes, you're right, the background info on Anjali and Scorpius is really great; it answers a few questions I've had and provides a sort of foundation for their relationship and the reasons for the ways that they interact with one another.

As much as I want Bea and him to get together, I think Anjali's pretty hard on him and I'd love for her to see him in a better light than she does. Well... I guess she did before she saw the more Scrooge-ish side to him. That's how I view the two of them, really, like Scrooge and his fiancťe, Belle. Was that something you thought about in this or is that just my own comparison?

That last bit was terribly sweet I thought, and really softened the disappointment from Scorpius' earlier talk with Anjali. Bea's line: "I was just asking." I found really touching. I think it was just the vision of her standing between the aisles of the Library, her head a little bowed, staring down at the cupcake in her hands and saying those words really quietly and sincerely that got me. Because she's such an exuberant character that sometimes you forget that her blunt honesty can be wonderfully touching too. I loved this bit!

I was very surprised at the interaction between Fred and Anjali; I was never aware the two of them were as close as they seemed to suggest, but, and I'm sorry for this, Anjali's disregard for these perfectly decent blokes (though her opinions on Scorpius are fairly justified ones) make her seem a bit of a royal bitch. I guess she's just very determined, and independent, which honestly reminds me of Scorpius a bit. I think perhaps they're more similar than they let on, though I might be reading into this too much...

Wonderful chapter, yet again. Thank you for your brilliantly witty writing,

Bethan. Xxx

Author's Response: It'd taken about 45k words to get here ;D Scorpius' background (and I tie Anjai's to his) is hugely important as Capers goes on. I introduced quite a lot of Bea's story already, and you could say that the middle part will about introducing Scorpius'.

Oh, I don't see Scorpius as a Scrooge. Anjali just thinks he's jumping into things too fast. She and him have got a lot of history, so they almost treat each other like exes, except that Scorpius is still in love with her.

Baww hee, I personally imagined Bea giving a bit of bite to the words too. Disappointed, but irritated at the same time. One can't refuse a cupcake treaty.

Fred and Anjali, I imagine, have this professional relationship. They're kind of like smooth agents of Hogwarts, so they have a manner of talking to each other. It's like they have to act smooth all the time! xD

And Anjali really can be prickly, and that's part of her character and she is very, very independent; it's almost like her method of rebellion against her mother. I intend to show a lot of both the good and bad sides of my characters, and there are many sides the same story. In her view, Fred's just barging into business that he shouldn't be (I certainly wouldn't welcome a guy thrusting a newspaper article in front of my face like he knows everything about me). Fred just wants her to stop playing mind games with him.

Thank you for the review! ^__^


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Review #17, by BettyMaeStrangeLittle Red: two sisters, dark and light, red and white

16th December 2011:
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. So much emotion and depth to every single little word. You make us hang on with every sentence and syllable and the words have so much impact that we can only understand what they truly mean when we've read it all.

I've read it about 5 times and I'm not 100% sure what has happened. I understand it's about Dominique, judging by 'everything her sister wasn't' when stories concern Teddy, but did he kill Victoire? Driven mad by the blood he was made to swallow from Dominique? Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions here... I suppose 'the possibilities are endless.'

It's such a powerful piece that it leaves the whole thing up to speculation and wonderment, and not in the way that makes you think, 'I don't understand,' but the way that makes you think, 'This holds so much sub-text and hidden meaning than I'm not sure I WANT to understand. I think I'd rather be left guessing.'

I am in love with the Little Red Riding Hood theme - I recently did a photo-shoot with a friend for my exams on fairy tales, a few images being on the fable of 'Little Red Cap', and this is a perfect comparison to what I was trying to convey within my images.

If this is what you write at 3am, I will shrivel up to read what you write during daylight hours.

Favourite Line? "She was too good for the world anyway."

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

Bethan. x

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much! :)

I left it quite vague on purpose, and wanted it to be both a dark fairytale literally and something entirely different if you interpret it in the next-gen "real" world (which I'd imagine is something different for every reader). In my mind, he was driven mad by lust. Everything's very -obsession- themed (I'm quite obsessed with the idea of obsessions, being the core of fangirl personalities 8D).

That shoot sounds so cool! :D Fairy tales are so versatile, I'm sure they're gorg.

Thank you so much again! ^__^


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Review #18, by BettyMaeStrangeF r e a k.: Meet Kate!

3rd November 2011:
"It's not just that. Though that kind of blows, too."
Brilliant line! (And course the end one!)

Okay, so feedback:

Kate seems to be quite a fiery character - not being a quiet person myself I'm not really sure if their thoughts are equally quiet - but I'm just one wondering (this is not a fault with your story - just my own opinion - I really don't mean to offend!) if it would be perhaps more ... I'm refraining from using the word 'believable', because this IS believable - perhaps 'better' if she was a little more outspoken concerning the girls such as Claire - a little more sass! I think it would balance out the contrast between her thoughts and her spoken words, perhaps.

Personally I prefer stories with lengthier narrative text and description, but taking that into account, you've made the sentences short and punchy and Kate gets the points across well (in a humourous way, too - bonus!) This is a good intro to Kate's personality, the type of characters we'll be surrounded by in the story, and you've immediately pointed out the problem so far (Albus & Kate vs. Claire Upton & Albus) as well as giving us enough ground to make a good/bad opinion of the character.

Great start!

Bethan, x

ps. Liking Claire's surname. Not sure if it was intentional but it seemed like a discreet hint of her arrogance and conceitedness.

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Review #19, by BettyMaeStrangeBathing in Roses: Crash

14th October 2011:
Oh my ... wow. Just wow.

I've not read the manga of Itazura Na Kiss but I watched the anime a few months ago and loved it, so it's unsurprising how much I'm enjoying this, too!

I know you said you based this only loosely on the manga, but I've just got to say that Albus seems so much meaner in your story, but it inevitably makes me like a June a lot more for standing up to him, too. Out of each of your characters I think I love Priscilla the most. She's absolutely hilarious - her rants about the "Love at Hogwarts" novel in the earlier chapters were just priceless!

I think this is such an excellent piece of writing and I hope you find the time whilst at college to continue it!

Wonderful story,

Bethan. xxx

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Review #20, by BettyMaeStrangeTug Of War: The Mark Wood Complaint Association

23rd September 2011:
I'm really liking this story at the moment - it's so amusing!
The relationship between Stella and the other characters is great, but God it was infuriating when Ray wouldn't let her speak!
I hope you keep this up & update soon!
Bethan, xxx

Author's Response: Glad you like it! hahaha Ray doesn't have many fans at the moment!
i will keep updating, enjoy the rest! x


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Review #21, by BettyMaeStrangeAnd Capers Ensue: Hogwarts, A Mystery

23rd August 2011:
Love the chapter, as always!
Oh, Scorpius and those sock gremlins ... dear me.
"I've got fancy socks, too!" - Without a doubt my favourite line.
Hope you're able to update, soon! x

Author's Response: Hee, Scorpius and his socks :D I'm definitely working on the update ^__^

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Review #22, by BettyMaeStrangeRanny: Captain Hook

17th April 2011:
My God; you're so talented!
This is such an incredible story and it's only 3 chapters in.
I honestly cannot wait for the next one and hope to see an update soon.
Excellent writing, as always.
Bethan, xxx

Author's Response: Thank you for the review! I'm so flattered! I'm glad that you're enjoying it!! :D
I have tried to take this in a slightly different direction to how I usually do, so hopefully you still enjoy it!
I will update soon! Thank you again!


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Review #23, by BettyMaeStrangeThis is My Story.: Train Ride to Hogwarts

16th April 2011:
This is such an awesome start to the story and I can't wait for the rest of it!

Great writing; good luck! :D
Bethan, x

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review :) I hope you continue reading!

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Review #24, by BettyMaeStrangeIt's Always the Quiet Ones: Devoted Denial and Grief-Striken Girls

13th April 2011:
Aw, Alena's so cute! (and hilarious, I might add).
This story's really great and I can't wait for the next chapter!
Great writing! xxx

Author's Response: I'm glad you think so!

Thank you so much


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Review #25, by BettyMaeStrangeThings You Shouldn't Do: Ease My Mind

10th April 2011:
Aah! Loving this story! Aw, poor Jamesy. :(
Can't wait for the next update, great writing!
Bethan, xxx

Author's Response: Thank you so much!
James is a mess, but I love him.
Hopefully the next chapter will be up soon! :)
xx


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