Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
349 Reviews Found

Review #1, 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 #2, 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 #3, 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 #4, 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!

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Review #5, 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!

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Review #6, 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!

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Review #7, 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.

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Review #8, 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!

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Review #9, 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!

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Review #10, 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 #11, 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 #12, 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 #13, by TidalDragonRisking It All: The Face of 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 #14, 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 #15, 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 #16, 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!

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Review #17, 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!

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Review #18, 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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Review #19, by TidalDragonViolet Hill: a glimpse of infinity.

10th July 2014:
Howdy Kiana!

Eventually I am going to read Mottled Blue, which I have intended to read since the end of Rumpel's awesome challenge, but alas - life.

Anyway, moving on to this story, I was really impressed with how much you were able to pack into this with so few words. I've always admired authors who have the skill to be TRULY concise because goodness knows I struggled to deal with the 1500 word limit for these entries.

Truly though, forgetting the plot entirely for a moment, this was so well-written. It had everything I would look for in an excellent story. You consistently used strong, evocative language using it to create some vivid imagery ranging from the crucial description of the thestral to the more mundane color change of Scorpius's shoes. You also had really great variation of sentence length that helped the piece flow very naturally and managed to incorporate some great rhetorical storytelling devices like the rule of three in a less obstrusive way than normal. Bravo!

As for the plot, I thought it was really unique. Many people wrote about thestrals, but it was never this close to the loss of a loved one and it was never this intimate an interaction. I thought the closeness and the intensity of the end was a particular highlight and really struck at the heart of the prompt because the creature really had a true impact on Scorpius in those moments that was far from fleeting!

I thoroughly enjoyed this! Beautifully done!

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Review #20, by TidalDragonControl: “Stella I was twelve years old at the time. That’s the age where you just want a boyfriend so you feel like a teenager.”-Gwen Larson

10th July 2014:
Okey dokey!

This time I figure the best place to begin is with your A/N. I really wouldn't worry about word count. The important thing is the content itself. I have read stories on HPFF where every chapter is 500 words or so that are more impactful and well-written than stories with an average chapter length of nearly 5,000. So I wouldn't get hung up on length.

What I think would be the biggest boon for this story, which seems to fit with a lot of the work in this era and genre, is to be patient with your story. Some chapters are going to fly by in few words, but covering long spans of time. Some are going to spend a long time dwelling on a single scene. If you think back to books you've read, you'll see there's no singular way of doing it, but that attention to the critical tools you need is.

Here, I'm talking about balance (again), word choice, and characterization. You have an excellent opportunity with a Next Gen OC to develop this fiery Ravenclaw Gwen Larson into something brilliant. But because (I think) you are focusing so heavily on plot, that opportunity is getting missed a bit. You've nailed down that she's fiery, but we need to give her more dimension - and this is true of other characters in the story too. In terms of plot, you've nailed down the conflict between Gwen and James (II), now we need the descriptions, the thoughts, the artful language that is going to take us further.

Without a doubt, we've all been in that place, no matter how long you've been writing, where you are so caught up in the thrill of your story that it's hard to slow down and focus on these things. It's a reason I'll probably end up going back and editing some of the early chapters in my own novel on the archives. But over time, you'll see that patience pay dividends and as your confidence builds, your stories will grow in excellence along with it.

I hope I've been helpful and mostly encouraging! Wishing you the best going forward!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Thanks so much! Right now I definitely need to edit some things. The whole validation queue is a little annoying though which is partially why I haven't been wanting to edit until I'm well into the story but I guess I do need to slow down. I'm going to try to lessen the dialogue and add more description. I do thank you for not being a grammar Nazi though; looking back at all of my chapters I've seen lots of mistakes. This review was very helpful so thank you!

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Review #21, by TidalDragonControl: “So, which team were you on, Larson? The Drunken Pygmy Puffs or the Beards of Time?” -James Sirius Potter

10th July 2014:
Hello again!

This time I thought you did a much better job of balancing the different elements than in the previous chapter. While dialogue still heavily dominated things, the way you sprinkled in description and inner thought throughout made it seem less so and helped the chapter flow better from scene to scene and avoid seeming too brisk in terms of pace. That's not just a bonus for the reader, but for you too because it means they're slowing down and letting your words soak in more.

The one thing that did jump out here though, was the use of profanity. You'll note that in canon, with the exception of one word frequently used by Ron, there is almost NO profanity. Often even in adult novels profanity and crude language are infrequent. This is because of their impact. When such language is rare, it makes it all the more effective when it IS used because it is showing the reader both the intensity of the speaker's emotion and the significance of the surrounding scene to the story, chapter, or character. I'd keep that in mind going forward. I know today's society (and the Next Gen world) may not be so "old school", but there's a lot to be gained by sticking with tradition here.

See you in your final chapter!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: First of all, thank you for the review. Next, I've gone back and cut some of the profanity out. I guess reading so many stories on here with it, I decided to use it heavily. I think I realize now that the thing I need to work on the most in my writing is the amount of dialogue I use so I'm going to try to cut back on it. Thanks!

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Review #22, by TidalDragonControl: "I'm dreadful at potions and I have a hatred for James Sirius Potter." -Gwen Larson

10th July 2014:
Howdy! What's a house without supportive housemates right? So here I am!

What is perhaps most striking about this chapter is the dramatic change in style when you compare the beginning to the rest of the chapter. While there are certainly similarities, the beginning read much more like a typical story, with a good balance of description, dialogue, and internal thought. That's what you aim for. I'm not sure what caused the shift (maybe you wrote the chapter in different sittings?), but after the Quidditch incident wrapped up, everything became very dialogue heavy. In some cases this can work, but it's very rare and I think it hamstrung you here because the dialogue itself was mostly not crucial and you didn't vary style and sentence length very often. I'd strive to get back to more balance in the future.

Despite that, you did introduce a number of character who we learned enough about to form base judgments, most importantly Gwen. I'll confess at the outset that I'm not a fan of the "rundown" introduction, even when left to the middle, but you did tell us a lot about her - her age, role, friends, enemies, etc. What can be even more effective though is showing not telling. You did an excellent job of this at the top where you showed us through her interactions with James (II) that she was the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain and both logical and unafraid of standing up for herself. You touched on this some at the party too, where she was more of an observer than a participant, but in the middle you lost that. Stick with it! And use it for more characters!

See you next chapter!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Again, thank you for reviewing. I think I got a little carried away towards the end of the chapter with their conversations that I just kept going. Again, I'll try to work on lightening up on dialogue. And yes, I do write chapters in different sittings so I guess that's why everything shifted. Thank you so much for the reviews! They are incredibly helpful and detailed. c:

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Review #23, by TidalDragonHave a Biscuit, Lupin: Have a Biscuit, Lupin

10th July 2014:
Howdy!

This story was so well done! I really like he explored an unknown friendship, but a very realistic one - that between teacher and former student. Aside from the individual characterizations themselves, you handled that dynamic very well - the awkwardness of the initial interaction now that the relationship has shifted, the awkwardness again when the connection deepens - it was both authentic and in a way emotional.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how well I thought you did with the characterizations of both McGonagall and Lupin. I thought you handled McGonagall in particular well, differentiating her demeanor in class from her demeanor behind closed doors, but still maintaining faithfulness to her speech patterns and lines of thinking.

Lupin was also very much himself. A calm, collected man, who still struggled deeply with his identity and what happened all those years ago.

I really enjoyed this!

House Cup 2014 Review

Educational Decree #7

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Review #24, by TidalDragonHPFF United Collaboration: The Quidditch Ban

10th July 2014:
Howdy!

So the first thing that stuck out to me about this story was how well you did with McGonagall's dialogue! Too many people don't capture her speech patterns well enough, having her talk with a normal cadence rather than the measured pace and well-placed emphasis she uses in canon.

I was however, slightly struck by the fact that McGonagall would be the one to ban Quidditch. First, for me it seemed like something that would be left in Dumbledore's discretion. Second, it flies in the face of her own personal history. Though she clearly takes no pleasure in the decision, she nonetheless is committed to making it, despite the fact that she was an accomplished player at Hogwarts and (as canon shows) passionate for her house's success of the pitch.

Aside from those things though, I thought you did a good job dealing with the characterizations of James, Sirius, and Regulus (the other major characters in your story). You struck at James and Sirius's mischievous brotherhood and successfully painted Regulus as just a darker, slightly altered form of Sirius which I think is realistic.

Thanks for sharing!

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Educational Decree #7

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Review #25, by TidalDragonThe Amortentia Experience: The Final Straw

9th July 2014:
Howdy!

So this is quite a unique and hysterical idea for a prank by Fred and George! I think it fits their personalities very well to try to sow chaos amongst the staff at Hogwarts! And you saved the best for last with Snape to Umbridge! I'd love to see THAT love letter!

I think you also did a solid job differentiating dialogue between the characters, especially amongst the Weasleys, like Fred and George versus Ron. This can be a big problem for a lot of people and it's good you avoided it!

Thanks for sharing!

House Cup 2014 Review

Educational Decree #6

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