Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
356 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which There Is An Attempted Kidnapping

28th July 2014:
Well that was certainly more on Albus! While it explains plenty about the collapse of the relationship between he and Laura, it also felt a bit too easy for me. Since he's going to be important to the story, I'd be careful about just how much you let show of him early because as the story moves on you'll need to have more to reveal of him to readers so you don't want to burn too much now (especially when it comes to dark secrets). I think for example that you could have made your point involving Laura without actually revealing the secrets themselves, letting you have the best of both worlds. Just a thought.

At the same time, I thought that was probably the most compelling part of the chapter, mostly because in another dialogue-heavy one, you slowed down there with tags, demeanor, and tone and emphasized it better. That sort of thing is what you should chase with your dialogue more frequently because it increases its impact. When you cut out some of the less useful dialogue and replace it with strong description and/or inner thoughts, then you'll get to where you want to be.

For me, we didn't see enough of the new characters to comment on them, but I will say overall that I think your pace is fine. I'd just work on balance, impact, and word choice going forward to amplify what you have.

Hope the reviews helped! If you have any questions, feel free to PM me!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for all the reviews. I'm really happy to hear your thoughts on all the chapters rather than just the first - it's been really helpful to see you've got similiar criticisms of all four and calls up a few things for me to work on so thanks for that.

I'm glad you thought the Albus/Laura conversation was the most compelling. I enjoyed writing it and it's good to hear that it worked. It's also helped me understand a bit more what you mean when you've been talking about slowing down the dialogue so that's really useful feedback.

Thanks for putting in the time to review, it's been really constructive criticism.

Emma x


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Review #2, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Albus Potter Has A Hero Complex

28th July 2014:
Hello hello hello!

So, there was the imbalance with dialogue again in this chapter, but it worked a little better for you than it did in the last one. I think the setting helped with that because at a club things are always going to move a bit quicker and with the drinking going on introspection and detailed description probably aren't on the agenda.

I thought the "bets" bit was a decent mechanism to accomplish several things you wanted in this chapter (the encounter with Martin and Albus's intervention as well as whatever took place between Scorpius and Cassie). Though it was a bit transparent as regarded the latter, I think it was still a good inclusion and gave some structure to an otherwise fairly free-form scene.

When it comes to characterizations, I think you're doing a solid job developing Scorpius bit-by-bit. Cassie a little less so because she hasn't really been challenged thus far, but perhaps that will come. Olivia stayed consistent here. As for Albus (since you asked in the A/N) I think he seems fairly realistic so far. We don't really see much of him, but given the physical similarities he shares with Harry in canon (and how significant that often is in the series), I think him having a "saving people thing" as well was believable and his intervention was not overly grand or showy, which was positive.

See you for the latest installment!

Author's Response: And again, thanks so much for such a helpful review. I hadn't thought that much about how setting should affect the dialogue/description balance so I'm glad you brought that up. It's something to think about in terms of writing style - I usually just write without considering how style should change in different chapters so that's really helpful feedback.

I'm glad you brought up similarities between Harry and Albus - it's something I want to emphasise without making too much of so it's good to hear you thought it worked.

Thanks again,

Emma x


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Review #3, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Draco Malfoy Makes A Joke

28th July 2014:
Hello again!

So this chapter gave us a bit more of a glimpse into the artist inside Olivia. I still think her descriptions were rather simple, but when she zoned in on the subjects of her work (Cassie and Scorpius and then the sky), she got a little more detailed and it was clear you had given her a slightly different eye on things than a non-artist might have. Well done there.

For me the biggest thing that held this chapter back a bit was the balance of dialogue vs. description and internal thought. There were small portions that were laden with Olivia's thoughts and I think it's telling that those were some of the strongest sections in terms of description as well. While you did a good job using dialogue to advance the plot and develop the relationships at play here, I think more consideration by Olivia in particular of what is going on will take us deeper into her character, and consequently the story itself.

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hiya,

Again, really interesting to hear your thoughts on Olivia's way of thinking and how it fits her being an artist. I'll make sure to work on it in future chapters and when I come back to edit these again.

I'm used to enjoying dialogue in stories more than description but it's really good feedback to hear your ideas about that balance and I'll definitely consider it in future.

Thanks for such a thoughtful review,

Emma x


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Review #4, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Christmas Is Not The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

27th July 2014:
Howdy! Sorry I'm late on your reviews! PM me the story you want a free review on (or forgive me since my lateness was due to trying to deliver our house to victory in the House Cup - your choice).

Anyway, I find your MC Olivia to be fairly interesting. She's definitely distinctive as compared to a number of Next-Gen MCs I've read, which is certainly a big positive. However, I do have a couple of lingering questions that I hope you'll answer in later chapters: (1) How did Pansy Parkinson end up marrying Katie Bell's brother and (2) if Olivia is an artist, why are her descriptions so direct?

As for the other characters, we don't see a whole lot of them, aside from Katie and Oliver who seem to fit reasonably well as evolutions of their canon personas.

Despite that I think the chapter flows well and the attitude of your MC seems fitting for her (and the house you've sorted her in) and the banter with "the Moron" provides a nice bit of humor in a difficult situation.

Following on from my second question about Olivia though, description is definitely something I'd watch carefully. You keep it pretty simple (which is fine - that's a style), but it does seem to clash a bit with who Olivia is. Perhaps I'm stereotyping, but the artists I've known have always been very detailed in their descriptions of things. They've tended to carry on at length if something particularly stands out too. Olivia doesn't do that, so it stood out.

I don't know how central this infidelity plotline will be to the story either, so I won't really comment for now beyond saying that I'd tread carefully with that subject-matter. It needs to be very well-handled if it's going to be present.

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hiya,

Thanks so much for the review. Don't worry about it being late it's not a problem.

Thanks for your feedback about Olivia. I'll go into how Pansy Parkinson ended up with Andrew Bell later in the story, but hadn't considered whether Olivia's voice is in character with her being an artist. I'll have a think about it.

The infidelity plot isn't one of the central story lines but I'll make sure to be careful with it.

Thanks for the feedback. I really find it helpful.

Emma x


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Review #5, by TidalDragonDeath on the First: Chapter One

27th July 2014:
Howdy Sian! I dropped in to check this out before heading to my review thread because I was so interested to see your take on a murder mystery!

This is certainly a unique take (at least from what I've read) proceeding from the killer's perspective. I know I would've had no clue where to begin with that angle (thus my approach being more Post-Hogwarts crime procedural).

I think you've done a good job so far of dropping a few potential hints here and there while also laying the foundation required to kick onward. Because I know it's a murder mystery going in, I think I'm naturally looking for extra details, but I was able to pluck out some things to start forming initial impressions. I'm not foolish enough to commit to a suspect so early (sorry :p), but I absolutely have a couple initial ideas.

I also thought the tone you struck set your piece apart. Your killer is very casual (overconfident?), but at the same time does not come across as cold and clinical. It's pretty distinctive I think, so kudos on that.

The intro for me was interesting as it was almost a narration of the goings-on by the killer. The feel of it sort of reminded me of the intro sequence to Firefly (if you've seen that show). I couldn't decide how exactly that made me feel. On the one hand, I'm with you on feeling like this kind of rundown may be necessary and fitting for your character, but on the other hand, when it went on into the bit about the drawing room in particular it felt a bit...odd to me in first-person. But then I almost never write first-person so what do I know!

All in all though you definitely accomplished the first requirement for a mystery - getting a reader intrigued! I'm interested to see what happens next!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin! Thanks so much for stopping by, it really means a lot!

Writing from the perspective of the murderer was one of those ideas that popped, unbidden, into my mind and just wouldn't go away. At first I wrote it off as undoable but then I decided to give it a go... I've never read anything like this before, much less written it, so I didn't have much to go off. I just hope that it goes okay!

Yes, there are definitely some potential hints in this chapter. I'm not really going to say much more than that for fear of giving things away (I'm enjoying this knowledge far too much mwahahaha). And the killer is... interesting. Again, I don't want to say too much but I'm glad that you thought the tone was different!

I've never watched Firefly (or heard of it, as a matter of fact, so I'm going to look that up next :P). The introduction to the chapter is still in first person, but more detached from the events, in a way. I felt that it was necessary because it outlines the characters that are involved, and without that I couldn't come up with a way of telling you who the possible suspects where without giving away the murderer, or not giving you a chance to guess. And this was kind of written without proper planning in three days, so hopefully it still makes sense. When I have time I'll look over it again and see if there's another way to do that!

Yay, I'm glad you're intrigued! All the chapters are written so I should be able to post fairly soon, but next time I'll expect the first guesses at the murderer ;)


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Review #6, by TidalDragonFull Bloom: V: Deep Roots

25th July 2014:
Hello again!

The first thing that jumped out was minor - I had considered it a typo before, but it came up rather frequently here. Bellatrix's husband is named Rodolphus (with an "o" instead of a "u").

In any event, that's a very minor nitpick in a largely well-done chapter. I thought it was incredibly interesting to see the rising War and its sudden end from a different perspective. The reactions, the panic - the shoe was on the other foot, and I thought the way you handled Lucius and Narcissa's flight to her parents' home made it even better. You reminded us that no matter how evil Bellatrix was, she was someone's child. She was a sister. And she would be missed.

Your explanation for how Lucius came out free where others did not was also a nice touch. The fact that he was less overt about his involvement seems very appropriate. Though clearly he was capable of cruelty and extreme violence, he mostly moved in the shadows, trying to work things to his advantage. With Narcissa meanwhile you emphasized her bond with Draco which manifests only in a few moments in the books (because of the POV) and gave reason and feeling to it despite her reserved nature. Well done.

I did think the acceleration through the end felt a bit rushed. You seemed to cram in both Lucius and Narcissa's continued indulgence of Draco and the evolution of the marriage, which I think could have either happened more patiently or been put off to further emphasize how spoiled Draco had been an in all the ways. I'm not sure if you're trying to end the story here, but if so, the hurriedness would be even more emphasized I think.

All in all though you continue to write this story very well. You've surprised me with how well it's kept my interest because in the beginning I wondered if it would. Keep up the good work!

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Review #7, by TidalDragonFull Bloom: IV: In the Wind

24th July 2014:
Howdy again! Here filling your review request!

I was happy to return to this story, and it seems you've really built on the strengths you had in earlier chapters. Narcissa's characterization continues to be strong and I thought we got more insight into Lucius with the full entry of Death Eaters into the plot. It gave flesh to his yearning for making all the right appearances you laid out earlier in the story. I also particularly enjoyed Narcissa's father - it was interesting to see that not all purebloods were so assured of Voldemort's cause and to have one be something of a questioning intellectual was nice.

I thought this chapter flowed very nicely and proceeded at a good pace too. You covered a variety of topics and some important feelings and monuments, not least of which was Narcissa and Lucius's fight - a spark of passion perhaps?

I did notice a few things that seemed a bit odd. The sentence where you described Voldemort's appearance for the first time seemed like you had originally written it one way and then changed it, but it got a bit mashed up.

The other was this line: " 'Oh yes, darling, how is that going? Youíre carrying on the Black family name and all that.' " Bellatrix's attitude shone through fine, but the issue is that she ISN'T carrying on the Black family name (as she's now a Malfoy). This was underscored by the discussion with her mother later before Draco's birth.

All in all though a strong chapter (perhaps my favorite yet). I'll see you in the next one!

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Review #8, by TidalDragonAt Midnight: Illusion

23rd July 2014:
Hello again!

I had been kind of wondering what the deal was with Molly and this "older" guy and how much older he was and we did get there. The lingering question of course is whether this is actually the end...

As far as the details, I again thought this got sloggy. I am thinking having read two chapters that it's because Molly has so much going on in her mind (which makes sense for a Ravenclaw) and so you're writing in all that material that is slowing the pace down considerably. I think I'd try to drill in on her most critical thoughts and feelings. While I know she has a lot, culling them a little (even if just in terms of sentence length) could actually be a boon because it can amplify the sense that Molly is really caught in something of a maelstrom of emotions.

The only other thing I noticed was that "angel" was used as a term of endearment an awful lot. Maybe a little bit less of that early on in the chapter would be nice.

In any event, you've done another strong job of portraying yet another member of the Next Generation Weasley brood, all while making her distinctive in her own way.

Hope the reviews were helpful!

Author's Response: Hello!

Back again, for more? Haha. Why on earth did you read more of this, you silly person? I kind of figured from your first review that you didn't care for this story much so I was pretty surprised to see this second review. How dare you play with my emotions in such a way! Back into the abyss with yeh!

Anyhoo: We did come to learn that Ethan's a few years older than Molly, I had thought of making him ten years older but that came off a bit too creepy and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get away with it. Plus, it wouldn't have been believable for a thirty something man to not be able to notice that she was only fifteen. Hahaha. Its still sort of hard to believe that Ethan is almost twenty and confused Molly for a woman when she's still Hogwart's age but that's a fault in my own writing. I'll admit it, darn you!

I am a person who loves detail and I know that it tends to slow down chapters but I feel like they're necessary and plus--things that I mention will show up later on in my stories in some way--and it was a good way for me to, once again get in the groove of Ethan (Cause...I had no idea what to do with him after the first chapter) and Molly. I wanted to give subtle hints on what their relationship could be like IF things hadn't gone so terribly. As most things in my stories tend to when it comes to my female leads. Hahahahah. >:)

I'm not sure if I'll cut back on some things that go through Molly's mind but I might, just for you since you are telling me these things and are my superior. Hahaha.

I probably should have made a point of mentioning that Ethan was making fun of Molly by calling her angel and plus, I just like thinking of what his voice sounds like when he says it. For some reason, he sounds like Southern and I have no idea why that makes me giggle. *Ahem*

I'm not sure if you'll even see Ethan in the next chapter, this isn't the end but I'm getting close to it. Hahahah. I might only do one more chapter after this to tie things up because I have another story to look after and one that I've been avoiding for almost two months. Hahaha.

Thanks for liking my little spin on the Next Gen characters and I hope you'll stop by for more if you like. Just be warned, there shall be no escape.

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #9, by TidalDragonAt Midnight: Mirage

23rd July 2014:
Howdy! Following through on my penance for being late.

I was intrigued from reading Glass about exactly what had transpired between Teddy and Molly, which made this story a natural choice from your Author's Page.

I'll confess at the top that I found this fairly sloggy. For someone with the personality that you described Molly as having nearly from the word go, it seems surprising that she would linger as long as she did in the interaction with Teddy. Perhaps it's the amount of her observations and the detail you give her thoughts that seem to really drag out what is actually a short time, but it just felt very lengthy, especially given what Teddy was saying.

I also wasn't sure about introducing Ethan so quickly. I definitely liked what he added in the center of the story, but bringing it around at the end, with Molly thinking of him so much and them eventually even kissing just felt quite fast for someone who had been so mercilessly rejected by someone she claimed to love.

As usual, the elements of your writing were exceptional, between the varied and detailed characterizations and the skill with which you handle description and internal thoughts, but the pace and final plot point of this chapter detracted for me.

Author's Response: HEllO!

See, I wish that you had told me that you were so interested in reading this story after looking at Glass but I didn't think that this was your cup of tea. And apparently that proved to be true on some points! Hahaaha.

I had never really thought of writing this as anything more than a one-shot but the ending I chose sort of forced my hand a bit. It was supposed to be just a story about heartbreak and Molly coming into her own and trying to be a better person but it ended up becoming something entirely different. I have no idea why.

Molly is a lot different from how I've written Dom and my other female characters and God help you if you ever check those out. I have a feeling you'll despise them...

Hahhaha. D':

Anyway, Molly is the sort of person that sees good in everyone, even if its obviously not there. That was why she had stayed with Teddy for so long after he had ripped her heart open, she thought that she could change him. In fact, she has the female equivalent of White Knight Syndrome (You know, that thing where guys are always trying to save the "bad girl" because they want to be the hero?) and so that was something that I played around with.

The opening of this and why its a bit lengthy is because I had wanted to get a better grasp of Molly while I was writing. I tend to just write instead of fleshing my characters out first and this was more of a test to see what I needed out of her character so...my apologies? Hahaha.

This is my version of a fairy tale and trust me, Ethan wasn't supposed to be in this story at all originally. He just sort of happened...like a kick to the knee. Okay, you won't be able to look at the first three chapters but one of my stories, "This is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste" is similar in its attraction at first sight. In that story, Molly's mother and Percy are sort of caught up in a whirlwind of desire and I sort of played off of that.

AND, I think Molly was feeling so down and so helplessly drawn to Ethan that that kiss was going to happen regardless. And she also admits that her feelings for Teddy weren't what she thought they were, cause I'm evil and mean and need more candy.

Since you were nice enough to review this for me, I suppose I'll give you a cookie. But it won't be the kind you like. Hahahha.

Thanks a bunch! ;)

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #10, by TidalDragonSing Your Aria: I'll Care For You Too

21st July 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request!

So to hone right in on your question, I did not cry actually or figuratively. But I just don't really do that, so you shouldn't take it hard. Tears or no, I thought this piece was mostly very well done. I think you did accomplish what you were speaking of in your A/N of giving the story a more poetic feel. You used a lot of higher language and metaphor in the place of literal descriptions throughout which contributed to that.

The characterizations were also sound throughout, particularly Sirius (which is naturally crucial, being as he's the MC). However, your strength in portraying him as a colder, more hardened tormentor as opposed to a generally fun-loving prankster who caused some collateral damage and picked on Slytherins came back to haunt you a bit in the pursuit of tears. What was so strong about this was how you developed that cold demeanor about his actions early on, and detachment from the war later. But that makes it harder to engage with Sirius's highs and lows on as intense a level. I think that's just reality. You honestly did a very good job with him.

As far as more detail-oriented comments, I think the biggest issue was overuse of "infinity" (and its various forms). It was a solid device the first few times, but by using it so many, you diminish the vastness of what you're trying to convey when you turn to it. There were also a couple of typos, but nothing major.

I think the challenge is over now (if I'm remembering right) - so good luck! If you decide to come back and edit later, I'd just try to tweak the infinity aspect honestly. That will make a strong piece stronger because it won't distract as much from all the other great stuff you're doing with characterization and word choice.

Hope this helped!

Author's Response: Howdy! Us cowboys stick together.

Aww thank you thank you thank you miss amazing TidalDagon for answering my prayers! If you ever look at this piece again, you will find something cry-worthy (because of your insight) and a noticeable lack of infinities. Your advice definitely helped, and this review is amazing and I'm a bit hyper so this probably isn't lining up right.

Again, tankus!
Meena


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Review #11, by TidalDragonStand Tall: Sudden Heat

21st July 2014:
Howdy!

After some well-done character development we're starting to drive straight into the plot. In some ways that's a positive thing. In other ways, it wasn't.

Starting with the positives, we advanced back to the point where the focus is not so much on Alba's healing, but what she is going to DO in the story. You've set her personality up very well to achieve great things in the face of adversity, now we can move toward her actually doing them. We also got closer to the cup, which means you'll be able to flex your muscles (and your readers' attentions on some action scenes).

As for the negatives, advancing while covering various issues impacted your descriptions and drill-down on characters as dialogue became more prominent. You didn't suffer terribly from this, but I'd weigh up skewing the balance just slightly toward a little less dialogue.

Overall, I think the pace remained fine in chapter and provided we get to that "cup spitting moment" soon you'll be right as rain overall too. I thought the ending was sound. Tossing James there right at the end of the wedding conversation is at least an excellent teaser, though if the plan is for James/Alba to be endgame it may come off a bit too literal in retrospect.

As for your A/N questions you've given us plenty to think about. Chandra continues to add some new dimensions, but I worry that this OCD addition is contradictory to her character. You almost explored that possibility on your own through the chapter and I'm interested to see how you keep it believable. As for Ben...he's fine I suppose. Not my cup of tea particularly as I tend to find happy-go-lucky people rather irritating (but that's probably just me). Perhaps give him a little struggle to deal with and he'll round out nicely. I'm not shipping anyone just yet, but I'd walk a finer line if you want people to really wrestle with it. I know if I had to write a story where a pairing was also an important hanging plot point throughout the story, I'd probably struggle too, but I think the key is to make Ben, Chandra, and James as realistic and balanced as possible. Then it will come together for you and if you get loads of readers you might have them debating ships in the end.

Another thoroughly enjoyable two chapters! Again, PM me if you've got any questions!

Author's Response: This is honestly, my least favorite chapter. Haha.

I've always had a problem with over doing the dialogue, so I'll keep a look out for it. Thank you for mentioning!

Ha. Didn't ever realize that I'd done that. I'd meant to continue, but realized that I'd written a little more than I normally did for a chapter and decided to split it in two. That seemed as good a place as any. +]

I do have a plan for Chandra. +] I have a pretty good idea of how to keep everything in check and explain it (through examples) throughout the storyline.

You and Alba seem to have the same opinion of Ben. +D As of right now, I wanted the tone between Alba and Ben to remain friends, so I'm kinda glad to hear that you aren't shipping them. I hadn't originally intended for him to be a character at all actually, he just kind of interrupted a chapter, and after that he just wouldn't go away. (I'm not crazy, I swear...)

I'm glad you're liking it so far! And I probably will PM you here once I get back trudging through chapter 5. I've got a few other things, (fics and RL) to get in order before I start back on it again though. +] Thank you so much for these, really!


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Review #12, by TidalDragonStand Tall: Sudden Silence

21st July 2014:
Hello again!

I was glad to see this pop up in my thread as I really enjoyed it last time! This chapter was no different.

I continue to enjoy the way you continue to contrast Alba's inner strength with her physical weakness and the new obstacles that you present based on her condition. I think the way you've handled the latter has been unobstrusive, but still impactful (like Alba's contemplation of the extra danger of going down versus up the stairs).

Honestly, I don't feel that the story is dragging at all. You've introduced the characters believably and taken care to show us different interactions they have with one another rather than putting a certain aspect of their dynamics on repeat too frequently. For example in this chapter while we see more of James (II)/Chandra, we see Chandra differently, as a talented witch with a supportive boyfriend, but some confidence issues about the competition because of her family history. The emphasis is less on the relationship and more on the character, which I think is nice sometimes. That also segues nicely to display James (II)'s determination to live distinctly from his father (and presumably others who came before him).

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: I'm so glad to hear the pacing is well, as sometimes I'm afraid I focus on the trivial too much. (Not to mention I read these things over and over again, so I suppose they start to feel old.)

I'm glad that the little details about Chandra are coming out to make her more of a character. I do have some big plans for her, so I wanted there to be more 'juice' to her character. The bad impression was to make readers dislike her, since Alba dislikes her, but it was all on a superficial level. As Alba gives her chances and gets to know her, I want the reader to do the same.

Thank you so much for these reviews! I've requested a beta, but no one's bitten, so these are particularly important to me as I try to keep up the quality.


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Review #13, by TidalDragonAn Illusion of Sanity: Apocalyptic

21st July 2014:
Hello once more!

The biggest thing that jumped out to me immediately here was the violation of canon (yes, I'm that guy) that was the boys getting into Perri's dorm room. It's pretty well established that at Hogwarts, the boys can't get up the girls' staircase, so I'd think of how to tweak this scene to avoid that problem.

The other thing that stood out is that things seem to be going awfully swimmingly for Perri. It's something of a trope that you want to be careful of, having an American transfer student come to Hogwarts and take the school by storm, making instant friends and getting on the Quidditch team and such. I think from the way the story started that things are clearly going to get darker for Perri at some point, but I'd just be very careful with these decisions going forward. It's not that they're categorically negative ones, just ones that will automatically cost you some readers.

I do like that you're giving Perri a distinctive personality though. She certainly seems to have the sense of humor and brash spirit that would fit with the friends she's made. Explaining her excellent reaction-time (i.e. why she's such a good Keeper) would probably be helpful too (but maybe that's coming).

Hopefully my reviews have been helpful. Feel free to PM if you have any questions!

Author's Response: Hi thank you for all of your help! Ah, yes the dorm issue. I only added that because in so many stories I've read that boys can enter using their broomsticks (flying above the actual stairs). I know it's not like that in the real books, but I thought it added a little interest to the story. Not everything is going to go well for her. She's got a lot ahead of her!

Thank you so much!

xx Rachel


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Review #14, by TidalDragonAn Illusion of Sanity: The Detrimental Effects of Gravity

21st July 2014:
Hello hello hello.

So I'm gathering that something a bit strange happened with the knife (I suppose we'll see). I thought the interactions between Perri and Collette as well as Perri and Lily (II) were particularly realistic though and so that stood out as strongly positive.

That said, I'd be careful with two things: (1) profanity and (2) consistency. With the first point, you'll recall from canon that very little profanity is used throughout the series. You may also note that in prominent literary works, expletives are also used very sparingly. This is done for a reason - because profanity also jumps out at the reader and often detracts from the story by causing distraction - unless it's a truly high impact situation. As regards consistency, it just seemed a bit odd to me that Perri is going to be staying with Harry and Ginny, knows all these other canon characters, but doesn't know Lily (II), Harry and Ginny's daughter. Just be careful. To me it would make the most sense for her to know Harry and Ginny and their kids for sure, and perhaps figures like Ron, Hermione, Neville, etc. who played prominent roles in defeating Voldemort (they're historical figures). Since you've kind of staked out the path that she basically knows everyone though, I'd make sure she continues to know all the Potters and Weasleys.

Author's Response: Hello! Yes, you're right! Perri's secret is beginning to unravel itself to the readers, as well as her friends. I will work on the profanity and consistency. Profanity sometimes slips into my work without me really noticing. Perri's knows of Lily Potter, but this was the first time she had ever really met her! She definitely knows who she is!

Thank you!

xx Rachel


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Review #15, by TidalDragonAn Illusion of Sanity: The One Where Jelly is Jam

21st July 2014:
Hello again!

So we now get the explanation of why Perri is here (at least in part). I assumed you'd be developing it throughout, but it's nice to get a taste early so we know what we're working with.

As far as this chapter, perhaps it was mainly to introduce the Fred/Perri dynamic, but it didn't feel as strong substantively to me. Most of it was either dedicated to that dynamic or to highlighting cultural differences (something that, as I alluded to in my last review, I wouldn't make a huge habit of).

As far as Fred goes, the section where he appeared was a little perplexing to me. First, I wonder how Perri can identify all these people - first Fred himself and then how she knows Hermione's name and their relationship. Second, though the scene WORKS regardless of how you interpret it, I'm interested about what you intended with the interaction between Fred and Perri in the kitchens. At first it was all very light-hearted, but then seemed to turn quite predatory, only to be easily forgotten the next day. If the goal was not to give Fred a predatory vibe, I'd be careful with word choice and description in future interactions. If it was, then mission accomplished.

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi! Yes, I'm slowly giving away little hints as to why she's here (a full explanation is to come). I did kind of use this chapter to introduce Freddy, and I wanted to get some sort of start on the relationship between the two because Fred's a main character! The cultural differences are definitely not something I'm going to keep pointing out. I felt like adding one would show that she's not completely acclimated to this new country! I will work to fix the kitchen scene!

Thank you so much!

xx Rachel


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Review #16, by TidalDragonAn Illusion of Sanity: The Revival of Chivalry

21st July 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request!

As far as the story goes generally, I think you have an interesting idea. You opened with a high degree of intrigue with the italicized scene and then the similar (or at least apparently similar) sensation Perri experienced on the platform.

With regard to the content, I just noticed a few specific things. First is the comfort level that Perri has with the other characters. Right now, she seems to have just folded in seamlessly with the Next Gen characters you want to highlight who have accepted her without a second thought or any awkwardness. This could be fine if it is explained, but so far all we have by way of explanation is that Perri will be staying with the Potters for the next two years. We don't know if she's an exchange student, if she was placed with them for some other reason, or really WHY she is here. Regardless, without some foundation for Roxy and James knowing her, it seems odd that there would be no awkwardness at all between she and the other students.

That said, I think you handled the cultural divide better than a lot of people. You didn't slip into the pitfall of either having Perri just know everything about the culture and make no mistakes, but you also didn't clobber us over the head with a litany of cultural differences that would've had our (and Perri's) heads spinning. So that was good to see.

I'm interested to see where things go from here. See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by! I will definitely try and fix the relationship between Perri and the Potter/Weasley family! The reasoning behind why she is there will come out. At the moment I've held back and haven't revealed that information. It's coming though, don't worry. I need to develop Perri and the rest of the story a little bit more before I reveal that.

Thank you!

xx Rachel


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Review #17, by TidalDragonGlass: Glass

16th July 2014:
Howdy Gabbie! First off, sorry I'm late - so you're entitled to free review as promised in my thread. Just PM me whichever other story you'd like a review on and I'll take a look.

As far as this story goes though (and you know I'm normally long-winded), I thought it was brilliant. The characterization of Teddy was similar to that which we see in Transparent, but looking at things from Teddy's perspective was very interesting. We get a deeper appreciation for why he is the way he is. What I found particularly interesting about this was how through all his denials of having emotion, he actually reveals the intensity with which feels the singular "emotion" or feeling you lead with - emptiness. I definitely liked the Teddy you've crafted from this angle much better than in Transparent though (and I'm interested to see - since this is a companion piece - where it fits in the scheme of that story).

I thought the second half of the chapter was mixed. I'll confess in the early part of it (essentially the middle of the story) I began to feel a slight sense of things dragging on. I wasn't sure how this one-shot was going to track in terms of plot and so I was wanting to press on and get a sense of that. However, after it got past that point, where Fred (II) started laying the truth on Teddy instead of simply "letting him be" I could see where we were headed based on the beginning and where Dominique would tie in.

What I thought was particularly excellent was the ending. I know it was literally caused by the cold and shivering, but it was superb the way you made Dominique the assured one in the situation and turned Teddy into the stammerer. It was a delicious reversal and I think it was a great part of the transition to Teddy suddenly realizing that Dominique is what he years for. It's interesting because even though she is far more timid and generally nicer than Teddy, they are similar in their loneliness and I think that could be potential ground for a connection. I hope Teddy snaps out of it and shapes up after these events though. Maybe Dominique will do him some good.

TL;DR - Impeccably written, wonderful word choice, middle was a bit sloggy, but the ending was brilliant. Great work!

Author's Response: Hello!

TidalDragon, its good to see you finally! I was beginning to think that you were hiding from me. Hhhaa. I already sent you a message about a story that I'd like you to check out, hope I hear from you soon! :3

Now, I was expecting you to hate this one-shot. I thought, "Man, he is going to rip me a new one for this mess." So I'm really thrilled and VERY shocked that you liked it so much. That makes me feel SO much better about it because I wasn't at all confident when I posted it.

Anyhoo, I had the idea for this one-shot for a while but it took AGES for me to write it because frankly, Teddy Lupin is a headache. He's a difficult person to grasp but I managed to stuff all of his issues in pretty well. The lack of emotion that he feels is interesting but also sort of a shield against himself and what he has to face. He feels very strongly and that's something that he can't accept.

This hasn't been mentioned in Transparent but I'm going to work it into the next chapter so that it won't just be floating around on here. Dominique might not want to be as eager to remember it as Teddy, I think? Haha.

OKAY. I hated this second half. Let me be HONEST with you! I thought about scrapping the entire story, I struggled so much through it but what I loved was the bond that Fred has with Teddy. Their differences were fun to write but it did slog on a bit too long and I was getting bored, hence the ending that I wrote.

I was trying to push Teddy into looking at Dom in a different light...perhaps even noticing her as a woman instead of a little girl and I think I pulled it off. And oh, how wonderful was it to see Teddy being the weak one for a change? I totally did that on purpose. Cause...I'm evil.

And petty. Hahahah.

Anyway, thanks for the wonderful review and I hope that we continue to chat like this. I'll have to check out your own work soon but in the meantime, have some candy...

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #18, by TidalDragonThe Push: The Push

16th July 2014:
Howdy! First of all, apologies for being late on my deadline. You're the first I've missed and I'm sorry for that. As promised, you're entitled to a "free" review, so just PM me whichever of your stories you'd like me to check out next.

Now on to the story! I usually find it interesting when people inject characters into the canon era at Hogwarts. It allows us to see things from a different perspective, and if done right, nicely complements what we know from the books. I think your success with that was probably stronger in the beginning of this story for a few reasons.

First, your characterization was strongest in the beginning. You developed Lucianna and Helga through description and action more so than directly telling us about them (aside of course from Helga's quirk, which there's really no avoiding telling in a one-shot).

You also stayed within the bounds of canon (aside from creating two characters, one of whom is related to Blaise). I mention that as a strength at the top because I think it's very important in a story like this so that it doesn't feel like the story is swallowing up canon rather than working within the existing world. Big change is what an AU is for.

As the story went on though, I think some things you'll want to watch out for crept in. First, dialogue became much more prominent, to the point that it seemed a bit out of balance with the level of description and internal thought. It wasn't egregious, but it was noticeable, primarily because it created a sharp divergence from your previously solid work of "showing" rather than "telling."

Characterization also suffered from this increased dialogue. While some of the characters' speech patterns remained differentiable, most did not and Goyle was written far more eloquently than he appears in the books. In addition the dialogue surrounding the bet put Draco and Pansy directly at odds, which at this point seems at least peculiar as relates to canon since they're still in fifth year. I would be careful allowing plot points to swallow authenticity. Snape's helpfulness, even directed at a Slytherin student, even arguably bolstered by a desire to see Goyle succeed whre he failed, came across a bit off to me.

Finally, I'd be vigilant about where exactly you're headed. While this is a one-shot, it read more like an introductory chapter of a longer piece. We didn't reach the main "issue" until relatively late on and it concluded fairly abruptly, arguably with no resolution.

If you come back to this, I'd focus on leveraging your obvious strengths from the beginning third or so and trying to carry them throughout the story more. You did a lot of things well (as I've mentioned) in that zone and I think the story would benefit from sticking to that approach.

Hope my review was helpful! And again, sorry for missing the deadline - between the House Cup and other areas of life at the moment, things just got a bit hectic.

Author's Response: Hi TidalDragon! I really enjoyed your review. So very helpful! I have an explanation for your concerns. You see, I actually intended to turn this in to a novel at first, but since it was for a story challenge, I did not have enough time to complete the challenge (to where I would actually convince myself it was part of the challenge), so I turned it into a oneshot in the middle of writing it :(.

For that, I am sorry to my readers, because it is a major flaw in my story, many would like me to continue on with this, or do what I had originally intended and make it a longer story. I do plan on this.

About Snape: I really just like this character, and his part in the story helped me name it. Yes, I know he wouldn't do this, but I had fun pretending so, lol.


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Review #19, by TidalDragonRose-Coloured Glasses: Real beaches have sand

14th July 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by in response to your review request!

So a few things jumped out at me right off the bat. First, you've created a new character. Kudos for taking on that challenge, especially making them your MC. Thus far Jean seems to be quite the selfish rebel, though it's clear from a few moments that she's got some stuff going on in her past and that she's more fragile in reality than she first appears.

The other thing that stuck out most of all was the repetitive use of some of the italicized language you gave translations for at the top. Using another language is very believable if for whatever reason Jean identifies much more strongly with France (and attended Beauxbatons), but overusing it can create a distraction, and the illusion that you aren't as strong with word choice.

As far as where the plot seems to be headed...it will come as no surprise that it's not my cup of tea. Obviously infidelity is a part of life. I won't bury my head in the sand about it. But I'm hopeful that if you're going to address it, it won't all be excitement and allure. My main complaint about infidelity in writing, film, etc. (and especially in fic) is that it is glorified and/or used too casually. Here, for example, I'm not sure what Jean's deal is exactly yet, but I'm very surprised to see sexual thoughts about her sister's fiance entering her mind almost immediately. The plot and character certainly aren't boring or out-of-touch for Next Gen, but I'd just be careful going forward to give everything more than one dimension, infidelity included.

Hope the review was helpful!

Author's Response: Heya :D

First off, thank you very much for taking the time to read this and leave a review, as I know it isn't really your thing. It would have been simple enough for you to just say "sorry, I won't review this", so thank you for your kindness :) I really appreciate feedback from someone with a different stance on the themes of the story as most others. So thank you thank you thank you!! :)

I think, as someone who doesn't like infidelity, you'd be a little intrigued to know where I'm going with this Jean/Teddy thing. Obviously both of them aren't squeaky clean in the relationship department, but there is a big reason behind Jean's polygamy-bravado (as you mentioned, she has stuff going on in her past and is in actual fact quite fragile). As the story goes on, we understand what Jean's deal is, and why she's so guy-crazy, be they married or no. Never fear, any infidelity on Jean's part will NOT be pure excitement and allure :) Teddy is a different matter, however - he really is only in it for the excitement and allure (I'm sorry!!) because facing facts as you said, it does happen in real life.

I totally agree with you about fiction's ridiculous glorifying of infidelity, making it into something shallow where it could have been meaningful, and I'm very conscious of that while I'm writing this story, don't worry. Jean herself believes she's only in it for the excitement, but hopefully the subtext will tell the readers a different story as the story progresses. So I suppose this story does have that glorified infidelity facade, and if it's not your thing, it's not your thing. But I promise you it does go deeper :)

About the French titbits, as is mentioned in the story, Jean's spent about 5 years in France, and yes identifies very strongly with her French roots, so I thought it only believable that there are French bits and pieces in the text. I actually created a thread in the forums a while back, asking everyone what they thought of a glossary and foreign titbits in a story, whether it's distracting or not!! I'm doing the French bits all in moderation, and hopefully it doesn't distract too much. Thank you for bringing that up - no one else has, so far.

Once again, thank you VERY VERY much for this review. I cannot stress strongly enough how much it means to have feedback from someone who doesn't really like the story from the get-go. Most people just wouldn't bother reviewing it. So thanks :)

Cheers,
Jo


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Review #20, by TidalDragonRisking It All: Reality

13th July 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your request!

In the big picture I think this is an interesting beginning. I have seen various takes on Teddy/Victoire and Teddy/Dominique before, only one of which involved the two sisters actually having feelings for Teddy simultaneously, so I think you have something unique there. I also think the chapter had solid flow from scene to scene and moved at an appropriate pace. Crucially, you also avoided some of the biggest pitfalls I see about characterization on the archives - giving us a massive rundown of everything about a particular character or overwhelming us with so much dialogue that there's little space for us to get inside the character's head (especially deadly in first-person pieces).

In terms of things to work on, I would take a look at some of the internal thought and description and try to eliminate redundancy and excess explanation. For example, in this chapter you set up that it was out of the ordinary for Dominique to already be packed nicely, while leaving the reason mysterious. Then you filled in that reason by having her reminisce on her friendship with Teddy and working through her feelings for him and his relationship with Victoire. By this point, the reader should have already made the connection about why she's acting differently. You went ahead and explained it, and I just didn't think it was necessary.

In terms of the character development too, you did a lot of good things - Dominique's thoughts are distinctive and by telling us about her habits and her room you gave us more oblique insights into her. However at points you just out-and-out told us things about her rather than showing us through her actions or interactions. Be careful with the balance of that. Sometimes it's completely unavoidable, but other times sticking with your more nuanced, oblique approach can feel more natural.

Regardless, I think you're off to a solid start! I hope you've found my review helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to PM me!

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

This is extremely helpful to know. Redundancy was one of my worries so I'm glad you pointed out where I can improve with that, and I'll definitely go back and try not to over-explain things:)

Once again, thank you for the feedback! It's highly appreciated :)


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Review #21, by TidalDragonThe New Pride of Portree: The New Lineup

12th July 2014:
Hello again!

Ahh the clash begins! I had a sense that Molly's determination to succeed was going to collide with Fitz's fixation on proving himself. The good part is I thought the clash was realistic, taking place in their heads at the moment. I'm interested to see if the pair can learn together and to find out what happens with the captaincy - will he deny Molly that because of their budding differences?

While developing all that, I thought you did a great job depicting the attitudes and lackadaisical approach that individuals at a bottom-dwelling club might actually take. I think it's realistic based on the anecdotes you here about teams in our sports when they're not doing well. I used to have an old boss who pounded the saying "speed of the leader, speed of the pack" into our heads though, so I'm hoping that between Molly, Zara, and Fitz - they can get this ship straightened out.

I think my favorite part of the story so far is how authentic it feels. Honestly, it reads quite like a real book so far! Kudos on that!

See you next chapter!

House Cup 2014 Review

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Review #22, by TidalDragonEvent Three - A Good Elf: A Good Elf

12th July 2014:
Howdy! Filling your request just inside the five-day deadline!

Ahh! A "missing moment" story! This was a different and interesting take on the prompt. It was a nice wrinkle because the Kreacher we know is this dark, grumpy, brooding character, but here you do a good job of drawing a line under Kreacher's mentality while giving a nod to how he got that way with the scars, etc. As for the plot itself, it was also quite nice because it presented a potential answer to something I've always wondered - how did Regulus Black succeed?

I thought the descriptions you used were a particular strong point - from setting the scene at the beginning to the varying descriptions of Kreacher (especially his skin) - they added just the right amount of detail amidst the dialogue and action to stay balanced.

I also thought you did a good job with the relationship between Regulus and Kreacher. Kreacher did the heavy lifting in it given Regulus's state, but what came across nicely was the nuanced connection between master and servant. What I liked most I think about Kreacher's side was that there was this touch of concern at Regulus's condition, but it really turned on his desperation to keep serving. Though I think he did care of Regulus, service was his prime concern and I think that fits well with who he is and how he has been conditioned to behave.

I'm probably a bit more rambly than usual and I'm sorry for that. Sometimes it's tough to transition back to review requests when I've been doing them for pleasure, and yours is my first, so it's a little jumbled, but hopefully helpful!

Good work!

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Review #23, by TidalDragonThe New Pride of Portree: The Harpy With the Mohawk

11th July 2014:
Howdy! I've seen you posting statuses about this story, and having become quite burnt out on reviewing one-shots this week, I figured a Quidditch-based novel would be a good change of pace!

As it turns out, indeed it was! I haven't read any of the stories mentioned in your A/N, but I was struck right off the top how clear and well-defined the characters are. Molly is immediately interesting - with her distinctive hair, you'd fancy her to be a rebel from the word go, but as you lay out in her background, she's anything but (or seems to be right now).

Meghan certainly seems shrewd. She's struck fast with the element of surprise on the other managers around the league hasn't she? The thing I perhaps like most about her already though is that she's a female character in a big role in sport. I have always wondered whether the Harpies are proof of past (or lingering) problems with sexism in Quidditch or whether they're a shining beacon symbolizing how equally both genders fare in the sport. If Meghan is any indication, it's the latter in your world, and I think that makes things interesting when comparing it to how things are in our world.

I also enjoyed Fitz. He was a nice change of pace from the other characters and while he seems like a potential hothead with a side-order of frantic, he's readily differentiable from the other two that featured most prominently and he's distinctive.

As well as you did the characters, the plot was still very clear and stuck out as well! I'm very interested to carry on and see how the story develops!

House Cup 2014 Review

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Review #24, by TidalDragonViolet Hill: an iridescent colour.

11th July 2014:
Hello hello hello!

This one was a bit different and I thought it helped you end on a much more positive note both in terms of Scorpius and the overall consideration of death. By the time you close, Scorpius is much lighter - so light in fact that he isn't even focused on himself. And I love the way you challenge the concept of death and mortality with the idea that a person can be such a light to others that they can truly going on living forever, even when their body ceases to function. Nobody considers that when writing about the topic, but I thought it was very true to life that you did and that you boldly explored the idea of "legacy" in this.

I thought Lily (II) was a very interesting choice of person as Scorpius's best friend though. It obviously bucks a lot of the FF trends in that area, which I really like, but at the same time because of that I was also left wondering - why? What is is about Lily - aside from her understanding and light - that initially bridged the family divide between them? How did they become such close friends? Perhaps part of your intent was to evoke these questions and if so, you certainly succeeded.

All three pieces were a thoroughly enjoyable read and incredibly well-written! Also, Violet Hill IS a great song!

House Cup 2014 Review

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Review #25, by TidalDragonViolet Hill: the land of delusions.

11th July 2014:
Hello again!

This was such an interesting take on the prompt. The loss of a loved one (especially a parent) is certainly adversity of the highest order, but you took it more macro than that (especially at the end), exploring death as a larger force with varying dimensions.

The darkness Scorpius is in throughout the vast majority of the piece was very well done. I think you really captured the feeling of futility and desperation he was experiencing after his mother passed and you did so with more than imagery this time, but well-expressed emotions that pulled at the reader viscerally.

I also liked that despite making your prompts three separate chapters (which many did), you actually seem to be making them an entire story. That was a really interesting thing to do!

See you for the final installment!

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