Hey, it's simplelullaby with your review. Again I'M SO SORRY I'm late in posting this - I've had to revise for school, plus I've got a mega audition coming up which I've had to learn a heck of a lot of lines for. Anyway, I hope it's worth the wait. :)
I'll probably get cut off because my reviews are a sometimes- *cough* always *cough* - too long for the character limit. ;P
I'm really big on first impressions, and that chapter image is amazing. You've got to love TDA for their brilliant artists. I loved the title of this chapter too - it was a great phrase, sprinkled throughout the chapter, and making it the title only added more emphasis towards it. and was the best choice for the chapter title.
This chapter is amazing, I loved it. You carry on the themes from last chapter, stay on track story-telling-wise and further the plot just that little inch forward. I loved your opening, for one. Roxanne being willing to miss breakfast in favour of plotting really adds to her characterisation - I'm really starting to love her, seeing as sometimes she's rather underappreciated.
I feel that here, at the opening, you tended to write everything in separate sentences like - "She looked positively gleeful. Roxanne's enthusiasm tended to be infectious." Sometimes, not always, these can be added together to create more of a vary in your writing, like "She looked positively gleeful, and Roxanne's enthusiasm tended to be infectious." I also loved that Roxanne said "that git" and Rose immediately knew who she was talking about. Brilliant.
Again I thought you could do with more description on your minor characters. I had no idea who Marion and Tyler were!
Your dialogue is again strong in this chapter. There's a familiarity in the way the cousins talk to one another, and each character has their own 'voice.' Something that could be strengthened is more description in between dialogue - it'll decrease the pace of your story so us readers can understand better what you're getting at. :) James is brilliantly characterised through this dialogue, and seems more three-dimensional every time he has a line.
I'm also adoring the fact that you let your characters talk about normal subjects anyone who has been to high school can relate to. Rose's worries about her Acceptable, and then the older cousins' reassurances are all little details which add to the reality of this little world you're creating for us. The dialogue you put here really create the sense that they're just the same as us, worrying about school, teasing each other and talking about future careers. We're on the same level as them, and it kind of gives us something to identify with. It's brilliant.
Again I'd like to see more description of your characters, though. Their dialogue is brilliant, but at the moment especially with your OCs, they're just mouths moving without anything else - we need to know what they look like to get a proper image in our heads, if you get what I mean.
I so love Professor Woodmore's blatant Gryffindor favouritism. In most stories I see the professors have no names or character behind them - if JK had done that we wouldn't have McGonagall or Hagrid, so I'm glad you're characterising the teachers.
I'm still loving Albus. He's such a rounded character, his dialogue fits the character you've created for him. As I've said before, though, you could describe his appearance a little more. And while we're on that note I'm also loving Rose - even though I've seen some aspects of her character before I've not seen them all put together like this, and I'm really very surprised at how she's turning out. Still a bit of a mystery to the reader, though I think that works with your brilliant writing style.
"Malfoy would be showing up to care of magical creatures" - this should be capitalised, because it's a school subject. "Care of Magical Creatures." A little further down you say "bowtruckles or crups" and these should be capitalised too. "Bowtruckles or Crups."
Hagrid's dialogue is usually a weak area with every writer because it's just so hard to get exactly how JK did it, but you are brilliant at it. It's just like Hagrid, and because I find it's hard for most writers to do I thought it deserved a wee mention. ;P
Scorpius' hair red? Brilliant! Absolute genius, I love it. Albus, Rose and Scorpius' reactions to it are what makes this especially funny though, because the dynamic of these three is just so amazing. Rose and Scorpius are constantly at each other, and Albus is trying to get them to be friends one minute and completely ignoring their animosity the next. Again your dialogue is really strong and characterises these people so well. When Albus tried to pull Scorpius' hair off...I burst out laughing. I can say that's only ever happened once before reading a fic, so really well done. ;P
"Great. Until then, I can walk around looking a long lost Weasley cousin" - although this is a brilliant line, while I was typing it out I realised you've forgot to put in "like." "Great. Until then, I can walk around looking LIKE a long lost Weasley cousin."
Rose and Scorpius' developing relationship is turning out to be pretty good. I love their witty comebacks and the fact that behind every one of them I get a sense there's more to the story than them just hating each other for the sake of it.
The scepticism Rose is met with offers more into her character for us. She's obviously involved in many pranks because nobody will believe she's not had any part in this.
Now this next scene was my absolute favourite. I loved the whole eavesdropping this - your Rose really does take curiosity to the next level, doesn't she?
~to be continued~Author's Response: My turn to apologise, for taking forever to respond! I've been stressed and didn't want to give this a lame response, but now it's been an embarrassing amount of time.
Thank you so much for catching all of my little typos and missed words - I can never seem to catch them all, so I always really appreciate it when a lovely person like you does it for me. :)
I'm glad that you liked the chapter so much on the whole, and I definitely know what you mean about description. This was my first fic, and while I've edited it heavily since then, it's always harder to do that than to write a new story better, you know?
I'll definitely be going through this chapter again and editing it up a bit. Thank you so, so much for your help - I really appreciate it! ♥ Report Review
Hey! It's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review. I'm sorry it's taken so long, but hopefully it's worth the wait? ;P
Anyway. I liked this story, it wasn't too shabby. It's a good opener, gets me wanting to click onto the next chapter, but there were elements I felt that could be improved on to make your story even better.
Your spacing's really strange. It dragged me away from the story so many times, having to scroll down just to get to the next paragraph. If you sorted this out I feel your story would improve greatly.
Another thing is that your paragraphs are all really quite short, when most of them could be put together, as most of them are Lenny's thoughts. Example - "We can start with my name, I suppose. It's Lenny. Lenora, really, but I don't allow people to call me that. Not even professors. ALSO when I'm writing this, I want you to imagine it with a British accent..." Putting some of these paragraphs together would improve the flow of the story massively, as I feel that some of your paragraphs are a little jerky when I'm reading them, if that makes any sense at all.
I like that you take the time in this chapter to introduce Lenny properly to the reader. By the end of the chapter I see her as a proper person, and you let us into her most intimate thoughts which adds reality to the character. One thing I think could be improved on is your constant mentioning of her being 'insane.' Saying it once or twice is sure to bring the message home to us readers!
I also like that you're taking it upon yourself to make sure Lenny isn't a stereotypical Gryffindor - you're making sure she's her own person and I'm sure many readers can relate to that.
"James Potter shouted at me as I LAID in a crumbled heap on the ground" - I'd say "LAY" here instead.
I think your story would also benefit from more description. Most stories are good because there's a good balance between the dialogue and description, but sometimes in here there's nothing to actually PUT us readers in the story. It's like "oh yeah, here's the Quidditch pitch, you should know what it looks like already, and I'm called Lenny but I'm not going to tell you much more about my appearance" - do you get me, or am I making no sense at all?
Liking the subtle mention of Lily halfway through the chapter. ;P
I like that Lenny has a twin and that she isn't identical in personality to him. They're their own people, and I'm liking it. Something that could be tightened up is your initial description of Teddy, and less use of the word "same." I love Lenny and Teddy's banter though - it's so realistic, like you could overhear to siblings having this conversation...;P
I like Lenny's asides (my favourite was "can't be that far off when we are twins, right?"), but great as they are they don't always need a whole paragraph to themselves. It makes the chapter overall look a bit choppy with all these unnecessary.
"Bollucks" is "Bollocks."
Lenny forges her results to her mum! Such a genius idea!
Your introduction of Debbie was amazing! Can I steal your imagination for a moment or two?
Not sure if she was supposed to throw me a bone or greet me." I didn't really know what you meant here. Maybe describe this a little more or reword it to make it clearer?
Something else I love is that Teddy obviously loves his sister and doesn't mind speaking to her in public, despite their respective statuses and reputations within the school.
Sirius' entrance could've been a little more emphasised. It was like "oh yeah, that's Sirius, you should know what he's like so I won't describe him much." Introduce us to your Sirius and the story will look so much better!
I'm also liking the humour that's running through this chapter, like Lenny taking the bacon off her plate and carrying on her rather brilliant metaphor of Debbie looking like a pig. Love!
Something else I love is that Teddy doesn't even think of his own sister when Sirius asks him if he knows an L.C. It's perfect!
Lenny and Sirius' initial interaction is brilliant, I sort of love how original this opening is turning out.
Overall Flow: Could be worked on. Flow is something that works when you get the right combination of every other aspect of writing just right, and here your idea was amazing, Lenny is brilliant, but it's let down by that awkward spacing, unnecessary new paragraphs and awkward use of grammar. It really could be worked on, but if it was then this chapter could prove to be something amazing. If you got the flow right. :)
Overall Description: It was a bit hit and miss. I feel like when you've thought about something/someone you really really get their descriptions spot on (like Debbie being a pig, and Lenny officially having the title "Gryffindor's Insane Girl.") But when it's something like setting or a canon character you don't focus on it too much. This could be solved really easily, by just going through the chapter and adding descriptions in where you think they're a little sparse. Describe Sirius to me, describe the Great Hall through Lenny's eyes. Make us readers believe that THIS - your story - is the one first introducing us to the world of Harry Potter. Let us see Harry Potter through your eyes.
Overall Characterisation: Your strongest point. I loved Lenny, I loved Teddy and I loved the running commentary you have going all the way through the chapter. It's perfect. It's amazing. Your dialogue is brilliant too, prefect for every character who's meant to be speaking. I loved this.
Overall Grammar and Spelling: As you mentioned in your request this is the area where you're at your weakest. I highly recommend you getting a beta to sort this out, because as I've said once everything grammar-wise has been cleaned up this could move from an alright story to an extraordinary one.
~Aimee~Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I really appreciate it! The spacing thing has been messed up for a while, I've been gradually fixing things with that, that's why it's like that. I've been meaning to go back and fix it, I just haven't been able to get into it.
I'm really glad you said that about the characters. I was actually going to go back and fix it but felt that I should let the readers mind wander with it. I think I'll go back in and change all of that.
All and all, thank you so much. This will really help me in fixing chapters. I'm really thinking about getting a beta now :D. Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review! I'm so sorry this is mega-late and I hope it was worth the wait. :) I'll probably overrun the word-limit again, knowing me, so look forward to that. ;P
So, we'll get to your actual review. Kudos again for the wonderful chapter name - I feel that people majorly overlook how the name of a chapter can change the tone of the whole thing, and so far your chapter names have been brilliant. Great chapter image too. ;)
This chapter was as brilliant as the last. You carry the momentum perfectly, and though I got a little confused over who-was-who in this chapter, I'm sure I'll come to know them as the chapters go on. It felt a like a good carry-on of the last chapter, still introducing us into the life of Keira, and I like that you're going slow with that. We need time to get to know your main, seeing as she's an OC.
While we're on the subject of Keira, I'm going to put here how much I already adore her. OCs are really hard to make original, especially in the marauders era, I fell, but so far your Keira is her own self, not reminiscent of anyone else's I've read on the site. So yeah, I'm loving her characterisation so far.
Your opening was good. You go for the route of adding characterisation, again wise as you've introduced so many characters in the last chapter. I'm especially loving Alice. You give off a real vibe that these girls actually KNOW each and that's always great. It's this chapter where I'm beginning to distinguish Mel from Rae, seeing their real characters come out from the little details you add in every so often.
"Looking around the room with a determined look I didn't like." - repetition, you say 'look' and 'looking' quite close together, so maybe use a different word for one of them, like "Peering around the room with a determined look" or "Looking around the room with a determined stare I didn't like."
What makes your story so great is that it's so immersed in the magical world. You use insults like "you troll" say "Godric" or "Goblins" instead of "Christ" or "God" and liken Alice's face to go pinker than "Madam Pudifoots on Valentines Day." I'm so loving all these little things you add in to make the whole thing seem more Hogwarts.
I'm also liking that you don't let the reader forget about the elusive Henry Watts. All the way through the chapter, as with the last, you mention him in passing many times. It adds to Keira's character as well - I mean, what self-respecting girlfriend would forget about her boyfriend? ;P
"With everyone...meant the castle was in a good mood" - this sentence didn't make sense to me. Maybe - "Everyone was well rested from the night before, and this combined with the prospect of not having classes till Monday meant that the castle was in a good mood."
Still liking Sirius' character, and James' for that matter. You've got James on the edge of being a prat (when he forgets Keira), but Sirius wins it. I did enjoy the banter between him and Mel though; again you show us that these people have known each other for donkeys.
Keira's annoyance at not being noticed is a little abrupt and seems to come out of nowhere. Wouldn't she be thinking that while Mel's talking to the boys and they don't notice her. Maybe if you added a little of her thoughts in there the flow would go easier and Keira's revelation wouldn't seem so out of nowhere.
"Alice, full of life and so quick to have an answer to everything, was well known by the seventh year boys due to THEIR friendship with Frank." I don't understand - wouldn't it be HER.
TENSES - "although it APPEARS the only..." - that's present tense, when the rest of the chapter is in past. It would be "although it APPEARED."
I liked Keira's rant, though personally I think that 'word vomit' is a bit of an American saying - I wouldn't say it but I'm from Scotland so maybe down South they do say it. Even so, maybe change it to "It had been a rant, yes..." instead.
I'm also liking Keira's insecurity. I'm getting the distinct impression that Keira's not as plain as she thinks she is, and that the subject's been a long-going argument between her and her friends. Melody's brilliant, though, isn't she? Not one to beat around the bush. I loved the whole scene where she actually gets Keira to do something instead of listening to her moaning. I'm so looking forward to seeing these characters progress.
"than the four of Potter, and his friends put together." - the four of Potter? What's that supposed to mean? ;P
Always adore a McGonagall scene...
Your characterisation of Lily is perfect. She's a little bit of a mystery to Keira, therefore we don't really know what's going on with her either. The distinction between Keira's interaction and description of the sixth year girls and then of Lily really made me like your writing style. It's distinctly different between the characters, letting us readers know who Keira knows well, who she doesn't. I hope that wasn't a jumble of words you won't understand - it's midnight now and I fear my mental capacity might be switching off for today. Anyway, I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
"It'd save me going near Potter and his friends, but if Lily found out I'd life, any hopes of friendship I had with the older girl would be gone, I was sure." - this is brilliant, I so love that this thought is running through Keira's head, that Lily isn't automatically a best friend since they shared a compartment on the Hogwart's Express. I'm really loving your plot development.
Your description of Remus was really good. His and Keira's interaction kind of made me hope they'd get together - he's so much nicer than Sirius so far (he actually knows her name, for one). But I know...it says Sirius/OC. :P
~to be continued~Author's Response: Phew, I actually have a another tab on my screen with the editor open, going through your review and making changes. You have no idea how helpful this has been, it's absolutely brilliant.
I love Keira, she's practically a real person to me (I know that sounds weird) because she's so developed in my head. Knowing that I do her justice is amazing to hear, because I hope that people will fall in love with her character just as i've done. She's sassy and smart but quiet and observant at the same time, although she deals with anxiety and self-doubt, at the end of the day, she knows what needs to be done, and will put all her issues to the side in order to get there.
I'm so glad you feel that Sirius and James's character are still being developed, even through the limited interaction that they currently have. That was sort of a major concern for me, so i'm glad that you feel it's working (at least so far.)
Oh, Henry. *sigh* I'm definatly re-requesting the next chapter. One, because I love your reviews and value your opinion, and two, because he finally makes an appearance and I want to know what you think! I'm hoping he lives up to expectations. ^_^
Melody is the most perfect Gryffindor, and is so good for Keira. If I had to have one person with me in a fight against Death Eaters, it would be her. She's absolutely brilliant, and doesn't take well to other people not realising their full potential.
Minerva McBadass. That is all.
I'm really glad you like Lily. I was so over her either having no friends par one (which is just ridiculous) or being downright rude to James in Marauders stories, that I tried so hard to make her unique and 'real'. I'm hoping she continues to come across that way ^_^
Remus is wonderful, and while I tossed up that idea for a while before I started writing, the plot didn't work out for me as I wanted it to, where with Sirius, it did. I don't actually have anyone planned for Remus at the moment, but I just love him so much, that I might slip someone in there later :)
*dances over to the rest of the amazing review by Fingerposts* Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review. Firstly I'd like to apologise for the lateness - sometimes life just gets in the way.
Anyway...onto your review! Itís really long so Iíve had to split it into two separate reviews. Sorry about that. ;P
Wow. I so loved this. George/Angelina isn't usually something I read, but...I love this. It's amazing, distinctly sounds like an opener. It eases us readers in, if you get me?
The characterisation of George is made immediately apparent in the opening paragraph. Not one of your sentences drift from George, from his dress-sense, to the slight humour echoing in his thoughts, and then the hint of Fred. I'd like to say here how brilliant you write how Fred's absence feels to George. In the one or two fics I've read about after-George, there's either next-to-no mention of Fred or he's mentioned so much there's no room for an actual story to take place. The way you write George's grief is subtle, but not so much that it seems Fred's been forgotten. It's just so...real.
The first dialogue you have is a stark contrast to the above description, and that's pretty good too. It just shows how George is trying to put on a brave face for those around him, and I quite loved it.
The scene between Ron and Fred is my favourite, I think (though favourites do seem to change themselves spontaneously during my reviews ;P), again because of the characterisation you manage to subtly portray through your dialogue and description. Little point - loving that Ron is helping rebuild the school...little added details like this always add bonus points! Okay, off from that little tangent and on towards Ron. You characterised him so well, I thought. His initial description was strong, so that we readers get a clear picture of your Ron in our heads. But what I loved most about this was that you made sure to let the readers know that Ron is grieving as well as George, again a common thing I've seen in my few fics is that George is the only one truly upset about Fred's death and the others are all just a little bit upset, like he was an old acquaintance or something. So yeah, I love that Ron is shown to be grieving as well, and that it's not emphasised too much. Your style of writing is beautifully subtle, so that we get the idea without having to get it jammed down our throats repeatedly.
And again, Fred's characterisation is progressing all the while. From his decision to move back to his flat, and then refusing to contact his mum. A little selfish, but really who can blame the poor boy?
"Tap twice with wand, wait five seconds, and repeat" - wonderful, my favourite line! I just thought your magical version of a ready-meal deserved a wee mention. ;P
"Slight chance there's some vinegar in the cupboard?" - why the question mark? It seems a little wrong to me, maybe a full stop would be better?
Though I'm liking this line - "tying George to a grief with which he had slowly begun coexisting" - it seems unfinished. Shouldn't it say "coexisting with" instead?
"There it was, the question...irrational feeling of guilt." I loved this, it was such a viable reason why George would want to be on his own. This part though - "that said it stings to really look at you" - I thought would look better like this - "that said 'it really stings to look at you.'"
George and Ron's relationship was spot on, mostly achieved through your dialogue. The way they talked to each other was brilliant - they both had their own speech patterns, and their own little phrases to compliment their speech with. I think that there could be more description here though, because at this point it seems a little "Ron looked up - dialogue - "Fred got vinegar - dialogue," if you understand what I mean.
But the insight you give us into George's way of thinking is what holds this chapter together. Every piece of description is lined with his emotions. The way you detail George's thoughts, and then make him completely contrast what he's thinking in his dialogue just makes this amazing.
"Burrow's not far" - "THE Burrow's not far" would sound a little better.
"The Fizzing Whizbee" - brilliant name for a pub! I'm also loving the names of your alcoholic drinks a little later on. ;P Added details are brilliant, and stuff like this just manage to submerge us readers more into your HP world.
Your description of the pub was superb. Way to set a scene. Those adjectives were so perfect for just grabbing a reader's attention, I especially loved "arrhythmic circles." ;P
Just as superb was George's reaction to finding himself in this pub, among all the "happy people." Then again you mention the way people make George feel, and it's here I really got how clever you were being. Instead of constantly mentioning how George feels about Fred's death, your adding in subtle hints along the way that REMIND us of Fred's death but don't specifically point towards it. It's absolutely perfect - I'm in awe of your genius! I'm also loving that you keep the reader guessing most of the way through how long Fred's been gone for. It keeps the interest high as we try to match George's emotions together with how long his twin's been dead.
You really get into the swing of description in this second scene. The first was okay, but could've done with some brushing up, but this one is perfect. You've got your own style of writing which keeps capturing my attention again and again. Seriously I'll be reading one of your descriptions and then a great word will pop out of nowhere, and because of it I just love this chapter all the more.
~to be continued~Author's Response: To be continued...
I hear dramatic music playing everytime I read that. As I said in my review to the second half of this review, thank you so, so much! Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review! Firstly I'd like to tell you how amazing it is to see you back, and thanks SO much for recommending me to another writer. :) It gave me such a nice fuzzy feeling inside! And the long response you gave me was so nice as well - I've said it before, but honestly I want you to know how much I appreciated it! ;)
Sorry I've taken so long to get to you - sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?
So, let's get to your review.
This chapter's dealing the sensitive issue of death, so handling it well is crucial if you want your readers to believe it. Making the King's death be seen through his son's eyes was yet another stroke of genius, albeit a sad one. Sirius breaks my heart in this chapter, I had tears in my eyes reading scene one.
Your characterisation of Regulus was amazing. You see through his brother how suited Sirius is to actually BE King - he's not just entitled to it. And again you highlight how Regulus could be seen as the opposite of his brother, through their reactions to their father's death. I can't wait to see how you develop Regulus - he's one of those characters who's always portrayed differently by every author.
I continue to love your Sirius. He's a perfect blend so far, a child pretending to be an adult for the sake of appeasing those around him. I'd love to see him characterised through the eyes of another, so that we readers can differentiate between what Sirius feels inside and what he shows outwardly. I loved his immediate jumping to the conclusion that Regulus was hurt - maybe he already senses unconsciously that all's not well in the castle? - and his childlike authority. I'm just LOVING SIRIUS, and I'm sure this won't be the last time I mention his character.
But what I loved most about this chapter was finding out how to the characters of HP translated into your AU. It's obvious you've thought long and hard about who could be who, because everyone fits their roles perfectly. I'm curious, though - why have the House Elves been transformed into humans? Or have you just given the elves first names?
"Sirius tried to swallow...rest beside him." You say 'Sirius' and 'Regulus' a lot in this paragraph. Maybe say "his brother's bottom lip began to tremble" to reduce them?
"He was the oldest, the one who would be king; he could handle this, he told himself." This is my favourite line!
Again I continue to be impressed. The little details you add, like Sirius knowing the door didn't make so much noise if it was opened fast, only add to how real the story feels. I'm so continuing to love this!
Mrs Weasley as the nanny - love! In your description, you give us just enough to make sure we have a good image of people in our heads, but not too much that we're deviated from the plot. Appearance could be described better for minor characters. You continue to characterise the main characters well, Regulus in particular, but with more minor characters like Mrs Weasley it seems like more of an introduction.
I think you did Sirius discovering his dead father's body well, though maybe it would've had more of an impact if there wasn't so much description, like when you say "the ashen figure that had once been his father."
Dumbledore and Kreacher - again I have to put in how much I love how you've slotted everyone in. The only thing I could want more of is a description of their appearances.
The description of the dead King was so powerful - it was like we were experiencing Sirius' pain with him. Your 'dead fish' simile made me cringe, but in a good way, if you know what I mean.
One thing I noticed is that you used 'ly's' a lot to describe your character's moods (like "they dutifully crossed the room" and "Regulus asked tearfully"). I only noticed it because I used to have a massive problem with them myself, so I know how to fix it. Don't remove all of them of course, but if when you're reading it over you find that there are far too many 'ly's' in one section then change it around a little (like "Regulus asked tearfully" - Regulus asked, tears in his eyes.") It just improves the story that little bit more by adding diversity to your language, and if you're a perfectionist like me then it's these little bits that really matter. ;P
Since we're already on the diversification of language, I love yours. It's something not too many people realise is important, but the use of words "pallor" and "lolled" make such a massive difference to the tone of parts of your chapter. They just manage to transport me to your little world. I just...I just love it.
The part where Sirius said goodbye to his father was heartbreakingly beautiful. You're describing something that's almost unimaginable to people, but at the same time it could be relatable. We feel for Sirius, we fall in love with him because of this horrible tragedy that's happened and the 'big-boy' front that he puts across as a result. And then, because you've cleverly added Cygnus' part in all of this we begin to fear for Sirius. It's all so clever and orchestrated - your plot so far is iron-tight. That's probably the strongest aspect of this story, and that's brilliant because if it hadn't been people mightn't have bought into your AU.Author's Response: I am so sorry for how long it's taken me to respond to this review. Seeing you leave two reviews for the same chapter is a bit overwhelming and then I just got so far behind in my responses. :(
The young princes are vital characters in this series and their father's death is integral to how they mature and grow up with that figure in their life, so seeing it from their point of view was kind of a necessity, I thought. Sirius and Regulus break my heart every chapter I write them, to be honest. There's something so sweet and innocent about them. I kind of hate what I'm putting them through.
I'm so pleased to hear how much you love my Sirius and that you can just see how he is made to be king. He has a good head on his shoulders despite his age. Regulus is a bit more weaker, easier influenced, which isn't very good qualities you want in a king (though Cygnus would say otherwise; this way he can mold Regulus into exactly the leader he wants to see for the kingdom). Because we know so little detail about canon Regulus, it's easy to write him however you want and I kind of love little Reg in this fic. It'll be fun to grow with him while I write this.
I'm glad that you liked the canon characters I chose to use in this AU. I tried to stay close to their characterizations in canon so certain occupations just seemed natural to place them there. The reason the house elves are humans is because as a human, Kreacher holds more authority than if he were to be a house-elf, for example. And if I wasn't going to make Kreacher a house-elf, I thought it silly to make Winky one. I hope that explains things but if not, just PM me and I can try to explain my thought process more.
We'll get more back stories from the minor characters in later chapters, but I'll look at this chapter again and see if I can add more detail to them.
I do tend to use 'ly's' a lot, that's true. Thank you for pointing it out. I'll try to work on it.
Thanks for the comment on the diversification of language. This fic is a bit more straight-forward than I'm used to writing, but I find it important to use words that convey exactly what I want to say.
Sirius and Regulus both have it hard, and writing Sirius's goodbye to his father was heartbreaking only because that was his only goodbye. I haven't experienced the loss of a parent so it was a little hard for me to relate, but I'm really glad the emotions came across well enough.
It also pleases me that you think the plot is iron-tight and believable. I have trouble plotting and planning things so a lot of my writing is just written as I go, which means I'm bound to mess something up. There don't seem to be too many inconsistencies so far, so that's good.
I'm going to reply to your second half of the review separately, but seriously, thank you so much for your lengthy detailed review. You're phenomenal and I am terrible for taking so long to get to responding to this. Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review!
I liked it, I love your idea and your characterisation, but there are things that could be done to this chapter to make it even better. ;D
I loved that your started the chapter with a letter - it tells us so much about where you're story's going to be going, characterises the mother perfectly and immediately makes us readers sympathise with Raissa. The language used in the letter, though, is a little bit strange. She uses posh words like "oft" but then says later "I lost it," which is more like slang than anything. Keep her language the same throughout to increase the real-factor of your story.
I guessed that Oliver was Raissa's boyfriend at first, but then you call him her fiance. It would be better if you introduced him like we didn't know who he was. Like saying "My fiance Oliver Wood asked as he knelt beside me" and then add a little bit in about his appearance, so we can get and idea of what your Oliver looks like. ;)
TYPO - "I thought you've been up her before" - "HERE."
Although the whole reading-out-loud part was great, there wasn't anything to distinguish that he was reading from Raissa's mother's book. Maybe put those parts in italic to stop confusion? But I so loved the little tidbit you fed us from that book - it really makes you want to read on to see what happens.
And a mention of Sirius? I'm hooked already. :P
I liked your characterisation of Raissa. It was slow and gradual. You didn't pump too much into our heads at the very start, you let her character flow out nicely as the chapter progressed. We know she's an actress, and she's had a pretty crap mum. I would've liked to see a little more on what she looks like, though. That'd be nice.
George and Raissa's little scene was good as well, though it could do with a little more description in between dialogue to slow down the pace a little, if you know what I mean. ;P What I loved though was Raissa's reason not to read the book. It's just such a human reason, a real reason; that she doesn't want to ruin her own happiness. It's brilliant!
The ending was pretty good as well - I love the extra detail you add in (Quidditch magazines, what the table's used for...) about Raissa's life, and the fact that Oliver persuades Raissa to read it.
"'I really need to buy some food,' I said out loud." We already know she's saying it out loud - there's no need to say it.
Overall Description: The chapter could use a little more, I think, between dialogue. As I've mentioned before, though, the little details you add in are brilliant. ;D
Overall Plot: Good. It's a clear, definite opening. Tells us where the story is going to go, and gives a little, but not too much information about what's to come. Your idea is so original - it's such a brilliant concept for a fanfic. I can't wait to see where this goes!
Overall Characterisation: You characterise the mother pretty well, and Raissa. I think, though, you could have done a little with description of your character's appearances so we get an idea of what they look like. Also, a danger for all fanfic writers, always introduce all your characters like we've never met them before in our lives. Like saying "George Weasley" and "Oliver Wood." It's just more proper, I suppose.
Overall Structure: This is the section which could use the most work. You use commas a little too much, and get your words mixed up so sentences don't make too much sense. I'd recommend getting a beta to make this story get all the more better! ;P
Overall it was a great opening chapter. It opens the entire story, for a start, and though it doesn't go into any detail about anything you pepper the chapter with little details I find really amazing, adding to the real factor. Grammar could be worked on, but after that's done this could be a really amazing chapter.
Please respond so I know if I've helped, and feel free to rerequest!
(7/10)Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review! I really appreciate the detail and this is just what I've been looking for.
To be honest, I didn't spend much time on this chapter since I haven't had much time between classes and my original work. This really is a story I want to develop though.
I'm writing down all of your suggestions for when I revise this. I have that many grammar issues? Wow...that's not typically something I have a problem with. I've posted a request for a beta, but no one has responded. Perfect Imagination is shut down so I'm at a loss to find a beta if no one responds to my request.
Thank you again. I really appreciate your honesty. Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review!
As an opening chapter, it's absolutely perfect. I loved the whole 'list' thing - you've got your plot sorted out eight away with that there, telling us lovely readers what the story's actually going to be about. As for the plausibility of the story...I can so see Lily writing out a list of things she'd never do - it's such a brilliant idea!
Your opening lines though, left me a little confused. "Contrary to popular belief, Lily Evans is not stuck in the mud." I thought it was someone else talking about Lily here, and not in her POV. Maybe to help clear this up say "Contrary to popular belief I, Lily Evans, am not stuck in the mud."
But I love the way Lily is characterised, right from the beginning. A girl trying desperately to be something she's not, going on about not being stuck in the mud when she's just made a list of things she'll never do. It's spectacularly hypocritical of her, and I love it! ;D
"...does not mean I'm A stuck in the mud." why's the "a" there? It doesnít really make sense, if you get what I mean. :P
Again I appreciate that you're taking the time to develop your Lily, which makes all the difference when the actual story starts. If we know who Lily is before she even talks...then the story is all the much better for it. You again show a brilliant sense of your protag by getting her to contradict herself again. I especially loved the line "What would their mums' say?" It's just so...Lily, if you get me. Love it!
GRAMMAR - "...but really, their thirteen." It's the other one, "THEY'RE" which would be used in the context of this sentence.
And, as a little sidenote, I love the items on Lily's "no-no" list. It tells us so much - that in seven whole years of school she's yet to break one of the rules (I think, am I right?), and that she hated both James and Sirius at the start. Already you're adding little threads of plot, little hints which could turn into a brilliant story if done right. And I'm so, so sure you are going to do it right.
I already love James, from the moment Lily informed us readers he had "the horrendous misconception which consisted of me ending up as his wife soon after we graduate." He's such a sweetie...shame Lily doesn't see it in that way.
"...I had done to deserve that...by that time" - this isn't really the right punctuation to use for this. Maybe a semicolon or a dash would be more appropriate. You have a definate flair for characterisation - you just manage to make both Lily, James and Sirius jump from the page the minute you start writing about them. I love it!
"'I saw you writing on this, Evans,'" he grinned. 'Let's see what you deepest darkest secret is, Evans.'" You say "Evans" twice, quite close together and it's ending up looking a little repetitive and clumsy, if you get what I mean. ;?
Sirius first line was also perfect - see what I mean about your perfect characterisations?
"Seriously (no pun intended) he had an ego to match Potter's" - my favourite line!
Ending was just as perfect as the opening, and I really can't think of anything else to explain it, so let's just leave it at perfect. ;P
To the overalls!
Overall Description: Could use some work, but seeing as this is an opener I'm very willing to overlook it. You could add a little more in between dialogue though. :)
Overall Plot: Is brilliant. You master the concept of an opening chapter perfectly, setting up what your story's going to be about, letting readers know exactly what they're in for. I think this is what I like about this chapter the best.
Overall Characterisation: Is a close second to my favourite. Lily is particularly-well characterised at the beginning, and her dialogue near the end carries her on nicely. James and Sirius, though mentioned briefly were also well-characterised, I thought. Brilliant!
Overall Flow: Amazing. It doesn't seem disjointed most of the way through (the part where Lily remembers the list she wrote in first year could be better transitioned). The beginning and end of the chapter are both exceptional! I just...I love it all.
Overall Dialogue: I really quite love this too. You just characterise the characters from the way you write their dialogue, and that's a pretty great thing to be able to do. After all, even if you'd added all this brilliant description on what a character was like, for example let's say you said Lily was a cockney-beggar, and then you wrote her dialogue all fancy and posh...well, it wouldn't be right. You definitely don't do this though - you follow through on your description, however minimal it is.
Writing Style: I like it, you've got your own way of putting things down, which definitely makes you stand out from other writers on HPFF. You've got your own style, and that's frankly quite brilliant.
So, yeah, I really liked this. You've got a little mixed up in terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar, but that's nothing getting a beta won't fix! Maybe the only other thing wrong with it is that there's not enough description.
Please, please respond so I know if I've helped, and feel free to drop by the thread again and re-request as soon as a slot's open! I really love your story. ;D
(7/10)Author's Response: Hello Aimee!
First off, thank you for the amazing review! And sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Real life has been getting in the way a lot lately and I wanted to make sure to actually put in the time to reply!
Thank you for taking the time to point all the grammer bits out! For some reason, when it comes to my own work, I usually skip over a bunch of mistakes. But thanks to your keen eye, this chapter is about to go through some edits, hehe.
Ahh, add more description? I do need to work on that. My descpription usually takes a back seat to my dialogue. But I'll work on it!
Thank you for the amazing review! Once again, sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I just didn't want to write this response in a rush, since your review had me grinning the whole time. :D
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review! Just a warning, this'll probably be split into two parts because of the silly word limit (6000 characters is really no enough ;P), and as displayed here I tend to ramble a hell of a lot. Anyway, I'm so glad you re-requested, because this is quite an amazing opener. I'm a fan of long chapters, and you certainly haven't disappointed me!
Loved the chapter name - such genius!
I think at the beginning you get a little mixed-up with word-choice when describing some things. Your first line, which is so important in any story, seemed a little strange to me. Maybe say "as platform 9 and 3 quarters materialised in front of me" instead of saying "image?" You also over-use the comma in the beginning paragraphs - maybe split up some of your elongated sentences or replace some of the commas with dashes? I think it would improve the flow considerably.
Okay, enough negative, letís get to positive. I'm a big one for characterisation, particularly of minor characters. I hate when someone's name is introduced, and that's it! Where's the description, where's a little hint of their personality. The first (apart from Keira) person you introduce is Keira's mum, and you describe her perfectly. Her dialogue is all mum-sy, but what I loved most was her fear of the platform. It was just...an extra detail you added that just made the story seem all the more real. I could've done with even a short description on her appearance, though.
As the chapter progresses you quickly fall into the flow of it, and most of the clumsy grammar leaves. It's all-natural, especially your dialogue. It's something I really love about this chapter, your dialogue. It's flows naturally, helping characterisation so much because your write separately for every character you introduce, which just adds to the realness of them all.
I know it might sound like a strange compliment, but your use of semicolons! Brilliant! All too often I find myself looking at a random semicolon added in the middle of a sentence when almost-always it just looks awkward and clumsy, like the writer's hit the wrong button. But you use semicolons sporadically and exactly where they're needed - amazing! I just had to comment on it, because the proper use of a semicolon is so rare! ;P
Bet you think I'm some kind of semicolon soldier now? ;)
When you're introducing Alice, Reyna and Melody...it's a little strange. When I'm introducing new characters I always call them by their full names, for 'maximum retention' (sorry, couldn't resist), and then describe their best feature or something similar. Alice and Reyna's description is good, but it's like Melody's tagged on as an afterthought.
But, you so pick it up with the dialogue you use - it's pretty brilliant. I'm quite sure I've already said this above, but just with your dialogue you create a sense of originality in every single one of your characters so far. I'd go so far as to say I'd know who was speaking just from their dialogue.
So, yeah, I love your dialogue.
Reyna, Alice and Melody's introduction could do with some work, but the little details you keep slipping in (like referencing to Melody playing Quidditch) are brilliant. They seem natural, not there in a "I have to add this so I will" kind of way.
"favourite to captain the Gryffindor Quidditch team next year after sodding James Potter left." - I got really confused - didn't know who you were speaking about, James or Melody. Maybe rearranging the words, like: "and next year, when James Potter in the year above left, she was favourite the Gryffindor Quidditch team." But, later in this paragraph I loved the part where you described the Slytherins cheering for Melody - it was just an amazing, unique way to put across just how much Melody was liked.
TYPO - "classice gold watch" - "CLASSIC"
You do seem to use long sentences punctuated by a series of commas quite a lot. The one I noticed here was "Knowing her.attempts were futile." To have a go at splitting it up, it could be something like "Knowing her, she's bring my attempt at weight loss up later. Hopefully I'd be given enough time to prepare an argument, though my attempts were usually futile." Splitting up sentences like this just improves the pacing of sentences and paragraphs overall.
Though I love the backstory behind Madison Cleensweep, I got a little confused when someone pointed her out. Maybe a little description of Madison beforehand, then the dialogue can be put in? But again, I'm loving that you're putting OC's into the HP world like this...it's brilliant!
Anthony King was brilliant. Out of all the new characters you introduced, this one was my favourite. He just had presence, like II knew him right away. He was probably the most developed character throughout this chapter. The three friends are a little like Keira knows them well-enough already, so she doesn't feel the need to introduce them to everyone else. Get what I mean, or am I speaking complete rubbish?
Well, considering I'm not speaking...
Anyway, back to Anthony, and your characterisation in general. I love your unique style. Generally you do this whole dialogue-thing with only minimal description, and then go on to explain who the person is when there's a break in the conversation. Personally I think it's bloody fantastic - I mean, when your in first-person your character isn't just going to describe this person in their head the minute they see them - they're going to when they have a minute, and that's exactly what you do. And I love it, if you haven't noticed. :P
~To be continued~Author's Response: I completely agree, 6000 characters is never enough :P
I'm really glad you like the chapter name. It wasn't even planned, it just popped into my head and away we went :P
Yeah, I have serious issues starting a chapter/scene because i'm starting again (if that makes sense) and I work better as the scene goes on because I gain momentum and get back into the rhythm of it (if that also makes any sense...) But i'll defiantly look back over the beginning and see what I can do. I agree that the first sentence is always so important so i'll defiantly work on getting that right. Cheers :)
Yeah, I didn't have Mel's in there at first because when I was writing it, it didn't fit right. But then I kept getting loads of reviews saying that they'd wished she'd had the description like the others, so i edited some in. I'm not happy with it, and your comment that it seems tacked on at the end is completely accurate. I'll defiantly go and re-work that part, including the James Potter QUidditch Captin bit (and the awkward typo :S).
I'll also jump on my sentence structure. That's something I seem to have issues with as well :/
And you get to know Madison better in Ch 4, though that doesn't really help you now, does it? :P I'll take a look at what I can do to correct that.
Anthony is someone I completely love. He wasn't even planned, but now he has such a huge part of the story to come (not all of it pleasant, unfortunately...) But I am so, SO thrilled that you felt like you knew him straight away. That's amazing to hear and you like my style of writing; the way the characters are introduced well and their description slips in when there is a break in conversation. *dances* ^_^
This review is brilliant, honestly and truly and I hope you don't mind that I re-requested the next chapter. Anyway, i'll respond to your other review now :D Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums here with your review!
Wow to the chapter image by the way. Lady Malfoy's amazing! I was a little surprised when reading your chapter actually - it's a little like my Marauder-fic in that they've both got horrible families and are both neighbours of Sirius - but pleasantly so, trust me.
I like your mini-prologue at the beginning of the story. It adds to the mystery, and sets up a good place for you to actually begin your story. It's really great! :)
"Its classic Victorian look and feel still breathed as if one had walked into the past through our front doors" - This sentence is a little clumsy, I wasn't too sure what you were getting at and had to read it again. Maybe split this into two sentences, or rearrange the words? "Its look was classically Victorian. If a person walked through our front doors, they stepped into the living, breathing past." Or something along those lines.
I'm liking your setting - it's really quite nice how you manage to blend setting and character together so it doesnít seem like you're switching at all. It's almost like you personify the house to reflect your protag's mother, and I think that's pretty amazing. ;P
I noticed in the first few paragraphs that you use commas quite a lot. ("My family was a rather odd family, ten again my whole neighbourhood was") Mix it up a little with dashes or split sentences to add variation.
"God forbid any boys should read" - my favourite line! Made me laugh out loud (rather, snort rather unlike a lady).
The characterisation of your Protag's mother is especially brilliant. I hate her almost immediately, and she doesnít even speak! It's pretty brilliant, the way you set her up, and Aunt Agatha is only slightly mentioned (am I wrong or was the 'boarding school' Hogwarts?) here. Also throughout the building characterisation of the mother you're also building up your Protag (who I already like).
BRITPICK - We don't do school in "grades." I'm not too sure (I don't know the American school system), but I think you mean "Primary Four."
I would've liked to hear more about Governess Elliot, though I loved the "she was a total witch!" line. It'd be nice to see how she had gained your protag's bad opinion in another way other than her showing off, if you know what I mean?
Loved the canary's name - Sonnet!
I loved you describing your protag's love of books. The way they're depicted...you can just tell how much she loves them. They're her only escape from her boring life, and I just love that. You've already built her up so much from her describing other things - hearing something specifically relating to her is the most natural step, and you take it well.
"You must be wondering.cousins for sure." This paragraph is all a little clumsy. You elongate sentences when they should be stopped, and put commas in really strange places. I'd suggest looking it over. :)
I loved your use of the word "contraband" to describe items like chocolate.
BRITPICK - We say "chewing gum" instead of just "gum." And instead of saying "cookies" we say "biscuits."
Your end line was fantastic. It just makes me want to click onto the next chapter just to see where this new plot development goes!
So, to the overalls.
Overall Plot Development: As an opener, which are always tricky, this chapter created enough intriguing threads to make me want to click onto the next chapter and see what happens. There's not anything substantial, but it's enough to create a good opener!
Overall Characterisation: I think this suffered from the lack of dialogue, but altogether we have a brilliant idea of the mother and what she's like, to your protag at least. This is more about what your protag thinks, so I'd say it's more about introducing her than anything. Not that that's a bad thing - actually it's quite a lovely, unique approach. I loved it!
Overall Description: Although this chapter was all description, I think that some of your descriptions would do better being added-upon so that the flow isn't constantly interrupted with new descriptions. Bulk it up a little you know? ;)
Overall Grammar and Spelling: I think you could do with a little bit work here. Too many commas are used, and you could do with getting a little more familiar with the full stop and dash...and don't forget the semi-colon. Your spelling was brilliant, no faults there!
So, overall I loved it. You could do with recruiting a beta to help you with grammar, but honestly this chapter is so good even I, a convicted grammar-Nazi, am willing to overlook it.
I hope I helped you. Please, please respond!
(7/10)Author's Response: Hey Aimee, thank you so much for reviewing my story. I'm very very sorry for the long wait getting back to you but I've had an impossibly hectic few months! Anyway thank you so much.
I havent read a single Marauder fic (and I've read many) where Sirius and the Oc are neighbours, I've read one where James is her neighbour so Sirius inadvertently becomes her neighbour later in the story when he runs away. Anyway it'll be interesting to read your story sometime too:)
Thank you for all the great advice I assure you they are all helpful and will be considered during my next major edit. Also thanks for the britpicking advice. I'm glad you liked some aspects of the story and of course there is much room for improvement.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review!
Hey there, it's simplelullaby with your review. Can I just say first of all how brilliant it was to see you back.
Anyway. I was so pleasantly surprised by this story. One of my favourite pairings is Scorpius/Rose, so I'm pretty good at spotting the usual cliches. You've managed to create something quite unique. I love it!
The opening I especially liked. You've got a strong first sentence that grabbed my attention immediately, and then you go on to describe exactly why Rose doesnít like the Slytherins. I'm so glad she's actually got a reason other than the old 'they're Slytherins, that's why.' And already Rose's character is getting formed around this prejudice, making me like it already. Your Rose is different from any other I've read, and I like it.
Though I really liked the idea of the prowling lions on the chair, I got a little confused and had to read it twice to understand. Maybe a little more description around this area?
I love James and Roxanne. I'm always annoyed that Fred and James always get to have all the fun, and I'm so glad you've taken a different approach here. Their description is a little vague, though, I could do with a little more on their appearances (though I love Roxanne's braids).
You've got the family-dynamic spot on between - I loved their pre-training banter.
I think you could do with a little more description on some of your minor characters. You're introducing a lot at around the same time, so maybe calling them by their full names, and giving a short description on their best feature would help? For instance, I had no idea who Colleen and Alex were. :/
I liked Albus the minute you introduced him. You so managed to make sure he's seen as a good guy, with him saving the good food for Rose and then waiting for her to finish eating when everyone else had left. You just want to like Albus from the moment you meet him, unlike Rose, who's still a little bit of a mystery character at this moment. Rose...I love that she isn't just good all-round, that she obviously has faults waiting to break through the surface.
I feel I have to mention your dialogue as well - it's amazing. Without too much description in between you manage to set the scene pretty well, giving off the feeling that Rose actually knows the people she's talking too, which is really, really quite amazing.
"She wound a hair tie around the end of what was probably a perfect braid" - this line's a little too clumsy - maybe leave out the perfect part to make it a little simpler, or "She wound a hair tie around the braid. Knowing Roxanne, it would be perfect."
"Just as her mother's had flown right over hers." I wasn't sure who you were talking about at first. Maybe put in Rose's name to make it clearer?
"Something to do with beating them at lessons and humiliating them at Quidditch, probably" - I love this line! It tells us so much about Rose, that people could only have one reason to hate them, and that's because she's always better at everything. I just...love it. It's these little detailed parts which really make me love this story.
Scorpius' introduction was great. "He stared...returning the greeting." I just loved the words you used to describe how hard it was to just smile at Rose. ;P Brilliant.
BRITPICK - "half-assed" "half-ARSED."
Having Scorpius start two sentences with "I" ("I hate..." "I can't wait...") is a little clumsy.
"He had a good profile" - my favourite line. Again Rose is revealing herself and doesn't know it. I'm loving this so much!
"said Malfoy's voice" - this is a little clumsy too. Maybe "Rose heard Malfoy's voice again, so she raised her eyes."
Liking the nickname thing. I'm actually quite liking Scorpius so far, he isn't too much of an arse compared to your Rose. I also loved their little conversation/argument. The dynamic is...just right and I found myself actually laughing out loud at some of Scorpius' smart alec lines. You've got his character down perfectly, and non-clichť. Love!
I love that Scorpius is amoral, and not immoral. It's just a perfect way of describing him, and also reveals again that Rose has thought a bit about him already.
Okay, I'm about a hundred words from the limit, so this next part will have to be brief. Sorry about that!
Okay, to the overalls.
Overall Description: Most of it was brilliant, but you could do with a little more in between dialogue, so that it's not just he said "this" she said "that." Except from that brilliant witty banter between Scorpius and Rose - the dialogue-dialogue-dialogue thing so works there.
Overall Dialogue: I loved it - it's probably what I loved the most about this chapter, that your dialogue was just so natural, and not at all staged. I actually believed it would come out of the characters' mouths, and that's what we're all going for in the end. So well done, it's just amazing!
Overall Characterisation: This was also amazingly well-done. I love your Rose, she's so unique, and I've never seen her portrayed this way before. Similarly your Scorpius is good and unique to me (he's probably my favourite). Albus is brilliant, as well, and though I've seen him done this way before I feel you've made sure that this Al was the one for you. James and Roxanne - amazing. As I said before, though, you could do with introducing more minor characters a little clearer to improve the overall effect.
Over Plot Development: Brilliant. You make me want to read on, you've set up a next-gen environment I want to see again. So itching to just neglect my reviewing duties and see what happens in the next chapter. I love it.
I really hope you found this review helpful - respond and let me know!
(9/10)Author's Response: I absolutely found this review helpful! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond - I've been a bit under the weather and very busy in general. I love rerequesters, so I completely understand the feeling of, "You liked me enough to come back? Oh yay!" (Or at least, that's always my reaction.)
I definitely know what you mean about descriptions - I've edited this a fair bit and have gotten much better at descriptions than I used to be, but especially with this fic, I don't always have enough distance to really have a good sense of what I need to be adding in.
You were super helpful once again, and I'll absolutely be rerequesting for the next chapter. :) Thank you so much! Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review!
The idea's great, but overall I think it was a little too fast-paced and could have done with a little more description to beef it up.
The first thing I noticed was that the spacing's a bit off. Maybe get that sorted out a bit? It just put me off so much.
You've capitalised "Summer" when it shouldn't have been.
I liked the part where you explained Neville's many attempts of trying to ask Luna out.
"He just wasn't destined for a girlfriend" - "He just wasn't destined to have a girlfriend" sounds much better.
"Neville sighed.daydreaming about Luna" - there are so many commas in this sentence. Think about splitting it into two sentences or putting a dash where one of the commas are. It would improve the overall pacing of the story greatly.
I liked the banter between Harry and Neville. You got that spot on - you just knew that Nev and Harry had been friends for a long time through your dialogue. You could've done with a little more description in between your dialogue though - slow down the pace a little.
"It might never happen" - I'm not sure what you mean here. How does Harry know? What might never happen?
"Oh I don't know, just trying to save the world" - My favourite line!
TYPO - "I was jut wondering Neville" "just"
I think more could've been made out of the end part, what the whole story had been building up towards. Maybe a bigger confrontation between Neville and the Slytherins? Luna gets laughed at and Neville defends her, causing her to kiss him at the end? Maybe something like that?
You say "Long bottom" when this should be one word "Longbottom."
"The pair glared at each other in silence" - why would Neville and Luna glare at each other? Don't they like each other? Maybe a little more description to help explain this would improve it.
All in all, I really like the idea. I really, please don't get me wrong with all the criticism - I'm that kind of person. I think that getting a one-shot beta from the forums would improve this story greatly, and adding more description would also be beneficial. But I liked it.
I hope you found this review helpful, and please respond so I know if I've helped!
(6/10)Author's Response: Hi,
Thanks so much for your review. I understand what you meant about description, I'll definitely work on it, when I revise it and the spaces! Thank you for pointing the grammar issues too! I'm glad you liked that line! It's one of my favourites too. I'll definitely take your comments into account when I re work the ending too. Thank you so much this really helped
Hey, it's simplelullaby here with your review!
I have to say this as an opener is brilliant. It's got such a unique plot and setting (a little like founders-era with the Blacks) that I know it would probably be hard to sell it to readers, but this manages it perfectly. You just dive right into the story, without any silly overly-long explanations or anything similar.
Starting from the POV of Cygnus Black was a great route to take as well, I think, because he's a little of an outsider. You get to see what he thinks of Sirius, and there's already a bit of an underlying threat in his thoughts. You characterised him so well throughout the whole chapter.
Other characters are introduced naturally, not all-at-once so that we readers get confused. Sirius, for one, is brilliant. The whole why-can't-goblins-have-wands-too part was fantastic for the whole childlike-innocence vibe. And similarly, Narcissa's intro was great as showing what should be expected of the Black children.
In terms of plot at the beginning, there's always a mention of what's happening tonight - what Cygnus has to do tonight. It's brilliant, subtle but not too much. I loved it!
"all Cygnus wanted to do was make Orion happy again" - my favourite line!
The characterisation of Orion was really good as well. His first dialogue - "princes don't drag their feet" - is just so perfect as it reminded me of the duty Orion's had to live by for all of his life. You get the vibe of a good man, though. I hope thatís what you were going for. ;P
As the chapter progresses I just fell more and more in love with Sirius. The part where he asks about his mother is just so touching, and then his naÔve question "why can't we all just live in heaven then" is just so...I don't actually have to words for it. I'd say brilliant, but that just doesn't fit.
Okay. Moving on...
Scene three is where everything comes to a dramatic, brilliant conclusion. Coupled with scenes 1 and 2 (as well as the Hamlet reference) I had a suspicion poor Orion was doomed to die, but it's here my suspicion was confirmed. You've done it so well - with the small hints throughout. So, so well. I bow to your writing prowess.
Your description near the end is fantastic. Before, it was good, but here it's just noteworthy. "whispered wicked words in his ear" was my favourite, though. :)
Dolahov and Carrow, though minor, I thought were written well. I think it's the minor characters and how they're portrayed which actually MAKES a chapter good. So I'm glad that you described them more than just "this is Dolahov and this is Carrow."
The right amount of gore here as well. I had to reread the line about gutting Sirius twice because I thought I'd read it wrong...but there it is. It's good to know you're not sugarcoating - I'm sensing something great. :)
The one little bit of criticism I have is this sentence: "The vial rested...inside of it." I just think it's a little too long so it looks a little clumsy. This is serious nitpicking, mind, but it would look better if you split the sentence into two or something like that.
I'm so happy, weird as that is to say, that Cygnus poisoned his brother himself. It tells us so much about his character. I'm liking Cygnus, not HIM but his character, if you know what I mean. He's moral, but in a twisted sort of way. You get the idea that he really believes what he's doing is necessary.
The ending was so...good. Cygnus is so three-dimensional, and that's just amazing. It's obvious you've thought about every aspect of this chapter again and again until you've thought it was perfect, and you've done it so well. I'm usually so nitpicky the criticism overflows the word limit, but here I can't seem to find anything. Well done. Just well done. :)
Overall Flow: Brilliant. You don't linger where the story's already been told. The story moves forward at the most natural point, and then slows down for the reader to enjoy other parts. Just brilliant.
Overall Description: Also amazing. Your metaphors are my favourite. The dialogue splices naturally in between your great description. Apart from that one sentence I've pointed out earlier, it's all amazing.
Overall Characterisation: This is my favourite part about your writing. You introduce all the necessary characters, not building up too much where it isn't needed, and leaving other parts of their personalities hidden until the best moment. I can't wait to see how you develop these initial characters, and introduce others.
I think your grammar and spelling deserves a mention too. There isn't a comma out of place, and no silly mistakes which would pull a reader out of the story. Just amazing.
So I think you must get the idea by now. I loved this chapter. As an opener it's probably the best I've ever read - I just WANT to read more.
I hope you find this review helpful. Please respond so I know!
Generally, I try not to write things I don't think are important. Things usually have a purpose. Things might seem unclear if I just jump right into things but they get explained as the story goes on when it's necessary. I'm glad you think it's a great beginning though. That's the selling point for most readers, if the first chapter can reel them in.
Cygnus certainly plays a very large role in this chapter and will split POV duties with Sirius. When I get around to re-requesting you'll find that each chapter has a bit more scenes and I alternate between who gets the main POV for each chapter. It's a sort of way to get the whole story from different perspectives and I find it a lot of fun to write.
I'm glad you weren't too overwhelmed with the addition of new characters - that's the next chapter. ;) But hopefully I've written them well enough that you won't get too confused. Sirius is definitely a bit naive and he wants to follow in his father's footsteps to make the world more equal. You'll find out later how much Cygnus disagrees with these ideals, but Narcissa is a great example of the product of Cygnus's teachings.
I did try to drop hints throughout the chapter about what would happen tonight so I'm glad you found it worked well! I loved that line too - I thought it was the biggest hint in the whole chapter! Especially when you take into consideration what he says to Sirius prior to that.
Orion is a lot different than how he would probably normally be characterized in fanfic, but it works in this setting. He tries very hard to make sure his sons grow up to be good kings like him but it's hard when he still suffers from the grief of his losing the love of his life.
Aw, I'm glad you loved Sirius. He's just such a sweet boy and it's hard to write what happens to him, but it's necessary for him to become the king he's meant to be. He certainly has lofty ideals, and for everyone to live in heaven, where everything is beautiful and perfect...it's, yeah, I don't really know the right word either. I love him to bits too.
Yes, Orion was doomed to die, unfortunately. :( I'm glad you enjoyed everything leading up to me. That makes me feel ridiculously proud.
I'm a fan of that line too, and I pride myself in my descriptions so you don't know how happy it makes me feel that you think so highly of it.
Dolohov and Carrow will play bigger roles in future chapters so it was necessary to introduce them here. They were a lot of fun to write. Sort of bumbling idiots but they'll have some shining moments too.
Haha, I don't sugarcoat, really. I didn't really think about how gory that would come across either, it was just sort of the natural progression of things.
In terms of your criticism, I can sort of see where you're coming from but if I break it up, to me, it sounds more choppy to me than if I kept the sentence together. I'll talk to my beta and see what she thinks, though. She's also fixed up all those stray commas and what not, so she's definitely a reason why everything is perfect.
Cygnus is going to wish that he killed Sirius too after the next chapter, but yes, he's of the ideal that if he wants something done, to gain more for himself, he needs to do it himself. There's only so much one man can do without drawing too much attention to himself though. He's a great villain in that he really believes that what he's doing is right and he acts so concerned to other characters so they don't know anything is amiss.
I'm really, really happy that you've enjoyed this chapter. It's my baby and I definitely put a lot of care and thought into each chapter and how it all plays out. Thank you so, so much for such a glowing review. You have no idea how pleased I was to read this review. Seriously, one of the best reviews I've ever received. You were very thorough and I apprecated the time and effort you put into this. :) Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby here with your review!
Can I say first of all how great your chapter image was. Did you make it yourself?
What an amazing opener. It IS extremely angsty, but it manages to grab the reader's attention in a way another style might not have.
As we're introducing a new character (and even though everyone knows his second name) it might be more proper to say "Lysander Scamander" the first time.
I loved the "behind him his mother" paragraph. Of course if your father had just died you would want to think of the past, when he was alive, so well done.
But probably the best thing I loved about your story is that Lorcan and Lysander are different people. It takes away the old twin stereotype and allows for sibling rivalry to ensue.
I also love Lysander's little habit of writing everything down. I'm not sure about Lysander as a whole, though. I don't dislike him, exactly, I just don't have any kind of...were you going for the aloof, mysterious thing?
I sense this is going to be a tear-jerker...tissues might be needed. ;P
You describe the grief so accurately. It just gives us readers something to relate to, I think. The absence of his father isn't piled on all at once - it's gradual, and I think that's what hurts more.
I'm so intrigued to see what Lorcan and Lysander's relationship is like. You give some detail but not all, allowing us to bring up our own conclusions and want to read on in order to see if we were right. That's how I saw it, anyway.
The transformation of Luna is brilliant. Where we don't see exactly how Lys is feeling, we see exactly what Luna must be feeling. The small changes you highlight in her are brilliant. Just...wow.
"a white tent was propped on a nearby hill." I got really confused at this part. Is that the burial site? If so, why doesnít Lys and co. move towards it? I think you should make this a little clearer.
I don't understand this bit either. Is Scorpius there or not. You make it out like he is, but then you go on to say he's not. I'm so confused!
GRAMMER - "in an almost desperate manor" - "in an almost desperate MANNER."
This is where I really started to love this story, at your introduction of Rose. It's just...perfect. Don't ever change it. ;P
"Instead he let the world write its own story about him" - my favourite line! But "its'" isn't right. Lose the apostrophe.
I continue to love how Lysander sees his mother. A hollow bird - brilliant!
TYPO - "felt a slight twist in his stomache" - "stomach"
TYPO - "her voice, which ad" - "had"
I love that as soon as Lysander realises Rose is there, there are small mentions of her movements dotted throughout. Gives a slight hint of what Lysander's really feeling.
TYPO - "she'd sad yes" - "said"
BRITPICK - "purse" is "bag."
What is "the stone?" Is it Lysander's place? I got really confused here.
I loved the ending. It was just...perfect. Gave me butterfiles!
All in all, I loved this chapter. It SO makes me want to read on and see where this story will take me. The whole developing love-triangle between Rose, Lys and Scorp is lovely, and you've obviously thought heavily about characterisation. I love it. I just...LOVE IT! In terms of flow and description...you did perfectly.
Sum up the criticism: There were more than a few silly typos and Americanisms. Some grammar problems as well. In terms of everything else...I think it was spot on. There's nothing here a beta wouldn't be able to fix.
I just...love it!
I hope you found this review helpful - please respond so I know!
(9/10)Author's Response: Eek! I feel so horrible for not responding for so long! Things just got sort of hectic in RL but I can't thank you enough for this review!
Thanks for pointing those things out :) I should be doing a revise of this chapter soon so I'll definitely fix those.
This was such a helpful review, I can't even tell you how much! Thanks again and I'm so sorry for taking so long!
~Ria Report Review
simplelullaby here with your review.
I loved your opening sentence. Grabbed me straight away, told me what the whole story was going to be about. But it wouldn't have amounted to much without the next part, the explanations of aspects of love, how heart-wrenchingly horrible it was for her to be in love.
"So instead of dreaming about my dream man." Using the same word twice in the same sentence is a little clumsy. Maybe another word would fit in the same.
What's so great about this story is how quickly I started to like your protag. She's brilliant, but before you've even mention anything about her personality I fell in love with her, just because of her unrequited love for James. What's also brilliant is how you managed to convince me that being in love with your best friend is worse than anything. "The man who you love is sitting right next to you." That whole paragraph made me cry, and I don't cry easily.
Read over the "every day it hurts more" paragraph. You've used the words "like that" at the end of many sentences here, and it gets a little repetitive.
The way you introduce Gwen is brilliant as well. She's just...a whole PERSON when you discover her sleeping habits, and then the way she gets dressed and has her coffee, like nearly every other early riser in the world. What you manage to do is create Gwen with just a few words, and that's just...wow. Amazing.
"Well you will hear about them later." Brilliant. Added plot, mysterious and so makes me want to read on. But you use ellipsis quite close together, repeating yourself a little. Be careful of that.
"Apparantly I yawn in my thoughts too" My favourite line!
"I crammed myself up from the floor." I'm not sure if "crammed" is the right word to describe this. "dragged" might be better?
You use commas a hell of a lot. Maybe adding full stops or ommitting the commas would be better. Examples - "When I stepped out from my bedroom, the first thing I could smell was coffee" - "When I stepped out from my bedroom the first thing I could smell was coffee." I know it doesn't seem like much of a difference, but when added in with the other sentences it will help to add variations to your sentences.
Something else I love - the fact that you never let the reader forget that Gwen's in love. There's always SOME mention of it, and that's brilliant because it's reflecting Gwen's true thoughts.
I loved her choice in broomstick. Even THAT'S tied in with her love of James. Again reinforcing Gwen's love is so great - it's what makes this such a great opening chapter. Love!
You added some background story in at the best moment. We half-know Gwen, because she hasn't spoken yet, so now's a great time for us to get to know where she got some of her traits from.
I've noticed that you get your tenses all mixed up. "But now I'm babbling again" is present tense, but most of the rest of the chapter is past.
BRITPICK - "Jerk" isn't really a word we use. Maybe something like "idiot" would be better if you want it to have an all-round British feeling.
"Right above me...
I wish." Made me laugh so hard. I just love your style of writing!
"James Sirius Potter; that was his name." Just a suggestion - maybe make this two different sentences to add extra impact about the way Gwen feels JUST about his name?
"The boy informed" - is he really a boy still?
Also, this is where you get to see how Gwen interacts with him. It's brilliant, actually. She's the perfect balance of nonchalance and humour that would tell James nearly nothing about what she really feels. Those two together...I'm sensing a great plot in the making!
What you could do with here is a little more description in between your dialogue.
The part where she explains her hatred for his laughter, and then goes on to contradict herself is pure genius. It just reflects how confused she is about everything. She hates his laugh, she hates James for making her feel the way she does - she loves his laugh, she loves the way James MAKES her feel. It's so horribly confusing, but you manage to put it across in a way not confusing at all, which is quite a remarkable feat, let me tell you.
You use semicolons a bit strangely. Maybe use the "find" feature in word to see where you've put them, and go back and edit a few.
And there it is. More information just added to the pile. Gwen has things going on at home - something's happened. My old friend mystery returns.
I've noticed you say "he has" "that is" when you could say "he's" and "that's." It's less words to balance in a sentence, as well as making it look a little cleaner on the page.
Ooh, the moment where he says his girlfriend's been dumped - perfection! I'll put a bit in about Mary talking about the movies here as well, because that's where I started to think James might just have secret feelings for her as well. The shower-suggestion clinched it, by the way (loved that too!)
BRITPICK - "ass" is "arse."
I'm not too sure about James. One minute he's all touchy-feely, suggesting showers, and the next he's like "sis" and "that's what I do with Lily." This is good though, adds mystery, and you know how I feel about mystery.
BRITPICK - We don't say "dork." We're more "bloody idiot" "stupid fool." That kind of thing...
I loved your introduction of Rose. It was perfect - in one word she was described. Love!
I liked all the descriptions of the Weasley/Potter redheads. And I also like that you didn't describe EVERY SINGLE ONE of them at the same time - that would be so overwhelming.
The ending was perfect. Teddy/Victoire engagement - it's my favourite clichť.
(9/10)Author's Response: Oh wow, I LOVE your long review! Thank you so much!
I try to be really careful about repeating words, but I guess few have slipped through my attention. So thank you for pointing that out and all the other errors too! I love nitpicking, and I want to make my chapter perfect. That wouldn't be possible if people didn't tell me what I'm doing wrong.
Oh and thank you for Britpicking too (x as English isn't my native language, I do tend to mix some words from American English too.
And punctuation, I know that it's my biggest weakness. I know I have trouble with that (:
So I'll be sure to read the chapter through and correct all those errors you mentioned on my next edit (: Thank you again!
I'm glad to see you liked so many things about the chapter! And especially so many parts that are my favourites too, like the yawning in her thoughts (x And good thing that the opening gets so great feedback! I was really nervous about that part!
Gwen's whole world revolves around James. That's what I'm trying to show with all those little mentions about her love for him. I'm trying to get people to relate to why she is so afraid of his rejection if she decided to tell him. Hopefully it's working (:
Hey, it's simplelullaby over at the forums with your review!
Can I just say, first of all, that I enjoyed this little one-shot immensely. I can see why you're nervous though - it's unlike anything I've ever read. It's good, though. Very good.
Anyway, onto the actual review.
I loved your opening. Setting the scene in one beginning paragraph is tough to do, but this...it's amazing. It gets the reader settled into Hogwarts once more, settled into the supposed atmosphere of your story. It's a great approach, especially for a one-shot when you've just got one little chapter to tell a whole story. So well done. ;P
Okay, so then we get to the actual main body, which you also did REALLY well. A one-sentence paragraph, separate from anything else was a perfect method of getting the reader's attention. Brilliant!
A word on the detail you put into the whole story. Hagrid's oven mitts being pink? That's a stroke of genius!
The banter between the boys I enjoyed so much. How I thought the marauders would speak to each other you did. Throughout the whole story, though, I think there could be a little more description in between dialogue. It would improve the flow and slow the pace down just a little to help the reader stay on track of where we are at what time, if you get what I mean. Here's me talking about description when I can't actually describe what I mean myself. Oh dear.
I also noticed you use semi-colons a bit crazily. I laughed actually because I know I do this too, all the time - reading over just one of my chapters I have to take at least three quarters of them out. So I have good advice - use different punctuation that could mean the same thing, like a dash or a comma. You could always end a few sentences where the semicolon is, it would add the variation of the lengths of your sentences (which is always a good thing).
Here I'll talk about Hagrid's dialogue. It's always I hard thing to do (trust me, I know) but I think you did it quite well. I'm not sure if the ToS allows me to post links in reviews, so in my review thread I've posted a resource I use every time I write Hagrid. It's immensely helped me, and I think it'll help you too. I write Hagrid's speech like normal speech, then I use the resource to edit it to sound Hagridy.
"But you slaughtered it so many times, I thought I'd put it out of its misery and let it stay dead." Brilliant line - I thought it just needed a mention.
"The boy sitting on the edge of the bed" - I got a bit confused here, because it sounds like you're introducing a new character even though Sirius has already spoken. Maybe a little more description, or putting this sentence nearer to the start would clear this up.
"Oi, there's nothing wrong with spiders, yeh 'ear me? Some of 'em can be quite gentle characters." My favourite line - it's just SO HAGRID.
You introduced Peter perfectly. Thought that deserved a mention. ;P
I think you've got a typo here, but I'm not entirely sure. "...to be opened at will and examined at leisure*" Is the asterisk at the end meant to be there?
I loved how you introduced Remus - the armchair being too big for him was a brilliantly added touch. James' frustration at being outsmarted was great too. In fact, I think your characterisation of the marauders in general was just fantastic, and me being an avid marauder-centric reader as well. I'm educated in this stuff. ;)
James' internal argument was a brilliant touch. I could just see him doing this all the time, while keeping face on the outside. And also, I love that he enjoys the arguements he and Lily get into - it explains perfectly how James managed to keep Lily away for so long.
Calling both Lily and Remus "the prefect" was a little confusing - I didn't know exactly who you were speaking about.
And then, just like your beginning I loved your ending. It was so natural, not stopping abruptly or trickling on until there was nothing else to say.
Have to say, adding Fang was a stroke of genius!
Overall, it was brilliant. Truly brilliant. What I liked best was how much you'd obviously thought about it, and hard work deserves to be noticed. There were a lot of added touches which just created such a REAL environment for anyone to jump into for a while.
I'll sum my (minimal) criticism up. A little more description in between dialogue, Hagrid's speech could be re-touched just a little, and a few less semi-colons would also be beneficial.
But Wow. Capital W. I just have to say again how amazing this story was for me. Don't be nervous, it's brilliant, and with just a little polishing it could be absolutely perfect. I hope you win your challenge. :)
I hope you found this review helpful, and please respond so I know if I did help in any way at all.
(9/10)Author's Response: This is extremely helpful! Thank you so much! I've been reading through the resource you linked and it's brilliant. I just had to sort of wing Hagrid's accent, so studying that is brilliant. *into my bookmarks it goes*
I just requested my other story (sirius/oc) and I hope you like that one as much as you liked this. Thanks so much for the review and your really helpful comments!
- Adele :) Report Review
What a lovely piece of fluff, m'dear. Lovely indeed.
To start, I like the way you start it off, with a crossword puzzle. It's just so random that it ACTUALLY works when it should be silly. Be careful starting so many sentences with "I" though - that happens quite a lot throughout the beginning of your story.
Liking the Mrs Weasley reference - everybody's got to love a little bit of Molly!
GRAMMER - In your third paragraph, you've said "not to flashy, not to simple." This should read "not TOO flashy, not TOO simple."
Liking that Harry comes in with a Daily Prophet, just when Ginny's got hers out too. It's a nice little detail which adds reality to your story.
Again adding reality is the fact that you've got references to their careers in there. It's another great detail which gives your story a little more muscle and gets the reader (me) more interested.
I noticed that you use dialogue way more than description. A little more description in between the dialogue wouldn't go amiss, trust me. ;)
GRAMMER - "Do you want me too?" should read "do you want me TO?"
The change between Harry joking, and then going to the serious "I'm not perfect" seemed a little rushed. A little more description on how his face changes, or a little more about how he plays with his sleeve - or something - so Ginny actually has something to hold onto to to make her realise the tone's changed, instead of her just guessing.
It's just after this when I started actually quite liking this story. Don't get me wrong - it's pretty good up to here - but after this point it's just a complete fluff-fest you can't help but smile at.
"Looking for my facial expression" would be better as "searching my face for any sign of what I thought" or something similar.
BRITPICKING - "Garbage" is "Rubbish," and we say "bin" not "can."
Just as a little added point, I'm liking how the "quirks" get sillier and siller as the story goes on.
You use the words "weird look" to describe Harry and Ginny a LOT. Maybe a different word here or there would offer more to the reader.
BRITPICK: "Pants" are "trousers" over here.
"Using my hands to point at Harry" could read better as "Gesturing wildly" or something similar.
BRITPICK: "Cookies" are "biscuits."
The quirk I liked the best was Ginny's horrible taste in ties. That's an incredibly funny stroke of genius!
All in all, this was quite a good little one-shot, though with a little polishing it could end up being quite a bit better.
I hope you found my review helpful! Please respond and tell me what you think!
(6/10)Author's Response: Crossword puzzles. People sometimes think all Ginny does is play quidditch, who knows she may have a little quirk for puzzles!
Harry should have brought an umbrella...Just saying.
Sorry about all the British things, I wasn't sure weather to put them in or not, when I really should have. I'll fix them one day, I just have to get rid of real life!
I loved that Ginny had a horrible taste in ties, I think that one was my favorite too!
I totally found it helpful, thanks so much!
Lizzie Report Review
Hey, it's simplelullaby with your review!
First off, I'd like to say that I absolutely adored this. You managed to avoid the usual Vic/Teddy clichťs and pulled off characterisation so well in such a short time.
And also, this was such a lovely bit of fluff to brighten up my day! I was smiling most of the way through it. Reading your A/N, I realised I've read "In a Brown Study" and it was also amazing, so this was a nice surprise.
Anyway, I should really quit rambling and get on with the review, shouldn't I?
The start I thought was a little shaky. The first sentence, especially, was a little bit clumsy. Maybe reword it, or add more description about the room. The "dimly-lit" description was a little bit...pointless? I hope you get what I mean.
But, I loved your Enid character! However minor she was, I instantly knew how she looked through your little descriptions dotted in and about your main writing, and this is something I especially love in stories. She's just one of those characters which jumps out of the page. Also, I thought she was a clever little character to put in just so we could see what Teddy thought of Victoire even BEFORE we meet him.
The character I love most in this though is Victoire. She's such a wonderful blend of teenage shyness and insecurity, and at the same time I got the sense that she didn't APPEAR shy or insecure to any outsiders. She was just human to me. I loved her embarrassment when Enid said Teddy mentioned her, and the little things she manages to notice, like Enid's pudgy hands. Brilliant!
Fred and Micah I quite loved. Again, as with Enid above, you managed to make them so REAL with just a few words.
The paragraph where Victoire asks herself endless questions just HAS to be mentioned, just because it was so brilliant. It just humanised her more than anything else ever could.
I liked Teddy's initial appearance - the fact that he just goes and changes it because Victoire wants him to gave me a lovely fuzzy feeling inside. You just get a sense that he'd do absolutely anything for her.
"Remind me to get them both something nice for Christmas." I loved this line. Lovely!
I noticed about midway in that you could do with varying the lengths of your sentences - a lot of them are fairly long when they could be split up into bitsize chunks for us lovely readers.
I love the initial awkwardness between Teddy and Victoire when they're first alone. I'm loving Victoire's uncertainly of how she's SUPPOSED to act now that she's Teddy's girlfriend. Actually, I'm just loving Victoire.
This might seem a little nit-picky, but a little more description of Victoire's pyjamas would be good, just so that we readers can understand Teddy's hefty reaction when he sees them better. I had to go back and read "tank top and shorts" before I understood.
Teddy being all noble - I'm just loving it. Again, you just get the sense that he's been dreaming of this moment for a long time, and he doesn't want anything to go wrong. And I'm liking Victoire's increasing frustration with him.
I absolutely LOVE Victoire's seducing techniques. Your description in this section I feel is just right. It's not a lovey-dovy-mushy overkill, it's not so indirect that nobody gets it, or so unfeeling that nobody WANTS to get it. You've managed to get it just right - so jealous!
Another aspect of this story I loved so much (if you haven't got it yet) is Victoire "rediscovering" Teddy. It's just another brilliant addition.
But "Feelingly?" I really just don't like this word, it took me right out of the story and stuck out in the sentence like it wasn't really supposed to be there.
"She opened her mouth and he shook his head." I wasn't sure who was speaking at this part. Maybe a little word or two of extra explanation would help?
The part where Teddy is telling Victoire WHY he doesn't want to get carried away is a little dialogue-centric. I would've liked to know a little more of what Victoire was feeling, not just what she was telling Teddy.
"Teddy had inherited his grandmother's seriousness about tea." This has to be my favourite line. I love it!
And something has to be said about the ending. It was perfect. 'Nuff said.
So, if you haven't got it yet, I loved your story.
What you actually asked about:
Flow: I thought it went pretty well. There were separate, distinctive sections, just the right amount of Victoire's thoughts, and minor characters making the story seem all-the-more real. It went really REALLY well.
Description: Your character-description is brilliant, and I especially love your minor-character description. If anything has to be worked on, it's setting. We really didn't get too much of that.
I hope I helped, and I hope this wasn't just a silly ramble you can't take anything from.
(9/10)Author's Response: This was much a long, detailed review. I love getting these, and since these tend to be the sorts of reviews I write as well, I know how long they take. I just want you to know how much I appreciate it.
I definitely understood what you were talking about with all of the cc, and I've actually already gone through the story with this review open and made a lot of the changes you suggested.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed this, and I'll certainly be visiting your review thread in the future. :) Thank you so much for such a lovely review. Report Review
Ooh, my stomach did I little flip when I saw this was updated!
I'll do this review a little less haphazardly this time, I promise! ;P
If I had to say one thing I love the most in your story is the fact that you don't let things go. I hate it when authors mention some MASSIVE BIG THING and then next chapter it's just gone, like it never happened. You don't do this at all. Like with Rina's fear of heights/James dying you started it and didn't let it go. It's progressed like something real, and that in turn makes your story seem more real than anything.
And something else not specific to this chapter, but Iím mentioning it anyway. I love that you don't try to do too many things at once in one chapter, and what you focus on you stay focused on so that readers like me donít get all confused with whatís happening. I mean, in this chapter you focused on Rina, with a little bit of James, which I completely adored. You mention the other characters like you should, I think, casually as if it is Rina writing the words, not you. (oh, itís just Rose sitting there, like she always does, and thereís Austin and thereís Scorpius.) It adds real factor to the story, because characters donít always have to be central and donít have to be missed out completely, and I think youíve found a lovely little middle ground here.
Now Iím doing a whole section on the flashback because I really really liked it, even though I didnít know it was a flashback to begin with. Maybe reformat it in italics so itís clearer that it is a flashback for dummies like me to understand. But anyway, on with the actual thing.
It was nice to see James and Rina getting on, and actually seeing it happening and not hearing Rina just say how it used to be. I liked that Rina was ill (Iím not sadistic, I promise, itís just not too many stories remember illness!) and that James was just being concerned for her and she BIT HIS HEAD OFF. It sort of gives us readers a little perspective into Jamesí side of things so we can see that heís not evil after all. I didnít believe that anyway, but it was still nice seeing Rina be her usual bitchy self.
I did like the Julianne sub-plot part, even though I sort-of forgot who she was to start with. Maybe add a little sentence on who she is to avoid this in the future? Or maybe set the scene at the very beginning of the flashback, like say when it was in Rinaís timeline? But this flashback just further proves that you never let anything go and you follow through on your many different sub-plots. I know Iím repeating myself, but...wow! I honestly canít get enough of this story, which is probably why Iím rambling on so much. Please excuse the rambling.
So...I liked the progression in this chapter. It had three clear sections. The beginning, where Rina was just being Rina. I loved it when James said ďthen why donít you rejoin the team?Ē Itís the realisiation that went along with it that made that line so special Ė do you ever have moments when you stop reading just because one little sentence had such an impact on you? Well, that was it.
Then there was the end, when Rina rediscovered her broomstick. I loved the descriptions here Ė more descriptions like that would never go amiss in later chapters, I think. But even before that, I loved loved LOVED the fact that it was James, the cause of her problem, thatís making her go back on the broomstick and try to rejoin the team. Itís just a little bit special...;P
And then we come to the ending. WHY ARE YOU SO WITH THE CLIFFHANGER? RINA IS FALLING! I couldnít believe that you stopped it there, but at the same time I admire your Slytherin cunning. Iím definitely wanting more, and more. Personally I hope that in a lovely ironic moment James saves her from certain death, but thatís just me.
JUST DONíT KILL HER OFF!
Anyway, after all those major Caps moments I think Iím going to leave it here. Long again, but hopefully you still like long reviews, and I hope you find at least something good within my rambling that can actually help you.
Oh, and thanks for mentioning me in youíre A/N. That gave me such a happy feeling inside!
(10/10)Author's Response: Haha, nice.
I probably wouldn't be able to let things go. Everything I put into my stories is so important, I guess I just have to follow it all through.
I'm glad you like the way i do the chapters. I was always afraid I was leaving people and things out too much; especially the characters because I don't want any of them to fall flat or seem less important than they are. So, thank you:)
I absolutely loved the flashback; it's one of my favorite parts of this story:D Even though it's still from her point of view, I figured you'd be able to get a better view of how things used to be if you actually saw it, because Rina has a tendency to leave out the important parts when she cynically retells things.
Sorry about Julianne. She's really important to why Rina is the person that she is, and I did that thing where i freaked out about her not being in enough of the story. I guess Rina doesn't think about her much.
I know there wasn't much that happened in this one, but i intended for it to be like this with just the immediate causes of Rina getting on the broom, so I'm glad you liked it.
Rina does love James, and she's missed her broom.
SORRY ABOUT THE CLIFFHANGER! It was just such a fantastic opportunity...
But she can't die, obviously. Who would narrate the story?
I loved your rambling, so thank you:) Report Review
I'm SO loving this - read it all in one sitting. Loving your characterisation, particularly of Rina. She actually seems like a real person you could meet in the street and talk to...if she wasn't too moody, that is. I love that she's flawed to the max...because really who isn't?
Warning: this might be a tad long, but I AM sort of reviewing the whole story so far in one go so...
Your characters at the beginning seemed a little too much at one time - I had trouble figuring out who was who - but as the story has progressed everything has cleared up a little. I love that you've taken the time to develop each character individually, more recently Allison, and the fact that you give your characters reasons behind their actions just makes them seem all the more real.
Rina's a favourite of mine. She's all fiery, with the real anxieties of a real teenage girl...someone to relate to. I loved her angsty moment when she decided to think all her friends hated her. James is...well he makes me laugh a hell of a lot. Usually the James S. Potter's I read about are just carbon copies of James the First, so THIS guy, this person who doesn't (usually) get drunk and stresses about jobs, exams and Quidditch, is BRILLIANT. And him with Rina is just like slightly disformed jigsaw pieces trying to fit together. Rina's revelation about loving James, and then deciding she didn't love him again, and then deciding she did...it's exhausting to keep up with but again it just makes your wonderful story seem all the better.
Callie is a little sweetheart, isn't she? To be honest I felt she was a little flat to start with because she's just so nice, but then I started to actually see her in my mind and she's just lodged herself in there. I love how she tries to mediate any situation, and her 'tolerance for idiots.' Austin IS an idiot, but he's a cute idiot so it doesn't matter. He was one of the one's I kept getting confused about at the beginning, but as the story progressed and we readers have got to know him better, well he's turned out to be a great OC. Him and Callie together...well we always knew it was going to happen, though Austin trying to ask her out brought a hell of a lot of smiles to my face, let me tell you. ;P
Rose. Your Rose is so brilliant, though I would like to know more about her than the fact that she shouts a lot and loves Scorpius. What was all that about her dad in hospital, for instance? Why is she always so shouty? It's just a few little points I feel would make her seem a little less like a shouty caricature. Scorpius is also brilliant - I love that he realises things without even realising that he's realised (wow, a lot of realising in there), and that he manages to calm people down while infuriating them at the same time. Rose and Scorpius together...well let's just say I have a large, idiotic grin on my face whenever you write about them. Oh, and I love that Rose is a crier.
Allison. Christ she made me cry (you made me cry!) these last few chapters. I LOVE her probably more than anyone just because she's so messed up. I love that Rina didn't even notice anything was wrong with Allison's whoring around (except from the occasional comment) and then when she DID notice it was almost the only thing she could think about. And Allison. Christ the poor girl has a few issues, doesn't she? I'm fully confident you, as a kind and generous and brilliant writer, will sort that poor girl out! With Albus, preferably, because those two together are just a dream come true. Him and Louis had the same reaction to Allison's actions, but the reasons behind them were so different I had to laugh when I realised. Albus is an amazing person, and I just love him, much like I love Louis. They're both perfect. Perfect!
Now something brief on your plot. I promise: brief!
Loved the drunken jumping-off-the-tower game, though my heart was in my throat when all those silly boys were playing it. Silly boys. Rina's newfound fear of heights caught me by surprise, but it's probably the best thing in this story because it's just so HUMAN. And I love that you haven't just retracted her fear a couple of chapters later like it was nothing, that was brilliant.
Your Quidditch games are probably the best I've ever read. You just...I don't know...you write them so right! My favourite moment in the story so far: when James and that Turner (forgot his first name, sorry!) boy fought, and Rina kept missing the reason why they were in the first place (I've got some thoughts on that, but I'm not sure about them yet). Have I mentioned that I love this story yet? No? Okay.
I LOVE THIS STORY!
Please, please, update soon if you value my sanity,
Your faithful reader and reviewer,
(P.S: Listen to 'Before the Worst' by The Script - it sums up James and Rina's relationship perfectly, I think)
(10/10)Author's Response: Thanks so much!
I put effort into making Rina's character as dynamic as possible. I threw as much reality into her character as I could to make her feel tangible. I want her to be a character that's complicated, but also easy to get into the mind of. My favorite parts of the story are when I can feel Rina's thoughts.I really hope I did that well with her.
And no worries! I love long reviews;D
I'm glad you figured the characters out! I was scared to introduce so many at once, but I felt they were all important in their own ways. When I want someone to do or say something, I can just picture a particular character that would do/say it, and it's the only character that really fits with the action. In our lives, there's always that one thing that reminds you of someone or someone you can just picture doing or saying something. That's how we define people we know best, so I tried to do my characters like that.
Rina's insanely bipolar. For me, that's about as real as a person can get because I'm like that too. I love writing and discovering all the different sides of Rina. Who she is changes depending on her environment.
James feels like one of my most tangible characters. He picks an emotion and sticks with it for extended lengths of time. Even though he's difficult to understand right now through Rina's POV, I always know how he's feeling and what he's doing. He√Ę¬Ä¬ôs a very prominent presence in the story, even when he's not at the forefront. I really hoped to create a character like that for you guys.
Rina and James...well, I think I'm going to leave that to Louis to explain in chapter 18 after you've read the next couple;) I think most people are starting to understand their relationship, though, which makes me super happy:)
I agree that Callie wasn't much more than nice at first, which is why I had so much fun developing how deeply she cares about her friends. I loved making her human with her very real fears and emotions. I was also afraid Austin was just the idiot friend at first. He's typical comic relief, but I love that when he's serious, he's a sweetheart. That's why he and Callie fit so well together.
Haha, now I'm picturing Rose as a caricature; love it:D
She's a character that I've been worrying about. I think I established her as nutty right away, and I love her like that, so I√Ę¬Ä¬ôm afraid to develop her. I tried a few times, just to see the girl behind the shouting, but she can√Ę¬Ä¬ôt express herself well. She's very guarded and difficult, but I'll try to properly portray to you guys the Rose I see, promise:)
Scorpius is so generally perfect that I can't get over it. I love writing him like that, and then throwing in his human side sometimes. Him and Rose together...I can't get over how much I absolutely love them!
Allison√Ę¬Ä¬ôs a mess. She's a parallel for Rina, so she's drama. Rina gets better as she makes things better for her friends. She can always see herself in them, but Allison√Ę¬Ä¬ôs like her baby. She's just as stubborn and difficult as Rina. She'll be all sorted out eventually, promise; maybe even with Albus;) Albus is a lot like Scorpius in that he's just so perfect. He's like a mix of perfect and a lot of the same flaws that plague James. I love it!
That game was the starting point of the plot. Rina's fear of heights started her healing process. Her issues had to get a lot worse before they got better, but she's finally starting to get there, and all of her healing goes back to the Leap of Faith fiasco. That's the way I structured the story. The whole thing is huge to the plot, so I'm glad you're going with it.
I tried very hard on the match, so I'm glad you approve!
Turner will make a reappearance. I think I've implied what happened, but I√Ę¬Ä¬ôll out for Rina later, no worries!
Thank you! I'll do my best to update soon. I bet this response is longer than your review, so thanks if you read it all!
And you're right. "Before the Worst" is exactly Rina and James right now. I love it!
Good opening. This seemed a little like it could have just been attached to the first chapter, but maybe there's some great reason for that. I got a little confused when you started talking about 'Zen.' Maybe if you'd made it all one paragraph it might have made a little more sense.
I still love Rose. She's so bitchy and self-centred - I just love that you've made her a proper, well-rounded character so early. I'm rooting for her AND hating on her at the same time. And the fact she has a therapist...so brilliant.
Some of your descriptions are so great. The Hep C part, summing up the Scamanders. I couldn't help but want MORE description and though she's great, a little less of what's going on in Rose's head.
There's a few typos, a few random commas that just pulled me out of the story, and what the hell is a 'Klatch'?
It WAS a filler, but a good filler. And I love cliffhangers - can't wait to see what's happened to Lily. It's great you've got an actual story for readers to remember now.
Hey, so nice to see you again! And thanks for your feedback.
Well, first things first, 'klatch' is a typo. It was supposed to be a clutch, as in a tiny little purse to go with a cocktail dress. I'd like to say that 'klatch' is a German version of the word, but, I'm pretty sure that's bul- ahem, not true.
Anyway, all the typos and random commas are fixed in the clean version that's coming up; also, this bit is gonna be attached to the first chapter, because seriously, what was I thinking.
As for the Zen thing, I'm not sure what's so confusing about it, but I'll have a look at that part and see if I could fix things.
That being said, I'm so glad you (mostly) liked this bit. And I'm glad you kind of like Rose; rooting/hating is exactly what I was going for -) Report Review
Wow, it's been ages since I've found a really good story on this site, but thankfully here it is. I love it!
It's such a great opening to what I hope will be a good story. I already love Rose - the style you write her in is so brutally honest it can't be anything but her own mind. I love the little anecdotes you put it like you're not even thinking about them, because it just makes the story flow all the better. I loved setting the slightly sickening part about Al. Just to ask - is the prick James or someone else? I was a little confused. Most of all I think I loved your paragraph where Rose thought of Hermione packing - in just a few words you've managed to create someone believable and brilliant. Fleur as well...I don't know what it is but you manage to make me fall right into the action and believe I've been there for years instead of minutes.
And what impressed me probably the most is that I love the story right from the first chapter, so thank you and please, please continue. I love it.
(9/10)Author's Response: I had my doubts about this opening, so thanks a lot!
To answer your question, Jamie is indeed James; this diminutive fits my version of his character best. Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection