Reading Reviews From Member: TidalDragon
  
384 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TidalDragonSevenfold: ember in your name

18th August 2014:
Wow. Creepy dream there at the end.

I thought the introduction of conflict between Louis and Emily at the end was nice. It added a new dimension to both their friendship and the fact that I think they're dancing around each other at the moment. They sure know how to cut one another if they want to (which brought Louis's temper to the fore a bit) and what will push the other's buttons as well. Fun!

As far as the Bones goes, I think it's interesting that most of her development isn't really happening THROUGH her. In this chapter for example, we get the revelations from Molly about her history and background. I'm not really sure how these particular ones could have come out another way, but I think it would be nice for Eugenie to grow a little more before us. I'm hoping this will be the spark to that since it adds some more flesh to her on which Louis can base thoughts and observations.

This chapter also really bulked up the mystery though. You did a good job throwing in potential clues about different individuals here. Bones is obviously implicated, which would be an interesting parallel being that she's female like Ada. Neville (with Harry possibly acting in complicity) is also out there with the borrowed-cloak bit.

Since I also was kind of picking on Louis and his rapidly changing thoughts on the ladies, I'll come back and add that I felt this was a welcome change. Even though that was still addressed, he seemed to settle down a bit in that regard here. What's interesting about it is that Lucretia, Bones, and Emily are ALL still featured in this chapter, yet unlike before it doesn't come off as moving too quickly. Perhaps that's the fact that you spaced them out more and used other characters to address his feelings toward them than just his own thoughts? I'm not sure (I'm getting tired...), but I thought it was handled better here, even if I'm so pro-Louis/Emily his indecision and ignoring the obvious is driving me a little nuts :p

Looking forward to the next chapter!

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Review #2, by TidalDragonSevenfold: something in the way she moves

17th August 2014:
Hello again!

I noted a bit of what you meant in your detailed request about the worry of Louis being a mouthpiece as the mystery deepens. He did do a bit of that in this chapter, but as long as it doesn't continue, I wouldn't worry. It happens in every mystery (and a lot of books generally - even HP, where Hermione was often a mouthpiece as well as a character). I think the key going forward will be whether Louis continues to have some professional dimensionality as opposed to relying on his mixed up romantic life to add that.

More on the mixed up romantic life. I'm getting the sense that Louis doesn't know what he wants exactly in this area. What's a touch concerning about the bouncing interests from chapter to chapter though is that not much time is passing. I think that could make sense if Louis had been characterized from the start as being something of a "player", but it doesn't quite ring true for me from his earlier characterization that he's just moving on in his romantic interests from witch to witch quite as rapidly as he at least APPEARS to be here. Something to think about.

As far as Bones...she is really coming off for me as the consummate professional. I'm not sure if we need to get her in a more social setting or really isolate her in a tight spot and zone in on she and Louis's dynamic, but I'm just not vibing on her at the moment as much more than Louis's partner. If that's the aim, cool, but I got the sense that you have bigger dreams for her.

On the whole the plot is progressing fine though, I'm trying now to start zeroing in on who I should be considering as the potential murderer and I have an idea or three, but I'm not ready to commit to a first guess just yet. I think you're definitely keeping everything intriguing as far as the mystery goes and I'm definitely interested in seeing it continue to develop.

Also, lest I give you the wrong idea with my comments about Louis or others in this or my last review, I think you're still doing a great job internal to each chapter with characterizations. You're primarily showing, not telling about them which is crucial and you're supplementing their literal actions and interactions with setting and description in a positive way, zeroing in on things of importance with appropriate word choice.

I'd check for typos in this chapter as well when you begin editing.

See you in Chapter 6!

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Review #3, by TidalDragonSevenfold: in the midnight hour

17th August 2014:
Howdy Jenna!

So, for starters, I'm a terrible person, breaking my promise. The House Cup cropped up, plus life and trying to get out of a period I thought would be easy in my own story, but turned out to be nightmarishly difficult instead - you know, all the standard excuses - but here I am finally to start on the remaining chapters!

At any rate - on to the story! I know you asked specifically about Louis so I figured I'd start there. I think I understand what you're after going through his...history...but it felt a bit off to me. I think perhaps it's the fact that it was the lead-in to the section about Louis and therefore just kind of jumps out at you, but I guess what I mean is it just seemed like - BOOM - there it was. I think it certainly rang like thoughts a guy might think, but for it to read more natural, it might be ideal to lead with something that forces his thoughts down that line.

Though you made them a bit more literal with the scene at the seniors' home thanks to James's commentary, I definitely saw the flirting from Emily. Shame for Louis he's so clueless or closed to the idea at the moment - she seems like a great character and a great fit for him. He appears to note that she's objectively attractive (and she dressed up for him right?), but seems to undervalue the comfortable conversation and protectiveness that comes with her friendship. But apparently he has a thing for Eugenie Bones? Interesting. I had wondered why she kept popping into his thoughts earlier in the chapter...

The opening segment was very well-written with Ada. I love the portions where you address her and address Nurmengard because you do such an exceptional job describing the conditions and conveying the emotions of cold hopelessness. This was particularly clear in Ada's desensitized reaction to the deaths of the family and the young boy. Her desperately excited reaction at Ruth's return was an interesting change-up at the end of the scene and I am definitely left intrigued by "the Erik incident."

On the whole, I did think some typos crept into this chapter - and more than just here and there. I think you mentioned coming back to edit, so I'd just read through carefully and you'll find them. I don't think any were particularly pernicious to spot and we all suffer them (I'm the WORST about proofreading before I post), but I just dropped the note about them so you might take a look here in particular when you're reviewing.

Overall it continues to be great though and I can't wait to see things continue to develop through to the end! Is the latest victim Umbridge? If so, nice parallel with the Doloreuse (?) lady from Ada's era.

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Review #4, by TidalDragonTransparent: Empty

17th August 2014:
Okey dokey. Toying with people with cliffhangers again...tsk tsk.

Anyway, the great tension of this chapter for me is more in what's unsaid than what is, which I think is an accomplishment on your part. Obviously you have the APPARENT change in Teddy and his behavior (though like Dominique is asking herself, can we even trust that?) and you have Victoire trying to give advice (seemingly earnestly). But between the lines are the questions. What really DID transpire between Teddy and Victoire? IS Teddy being truly (to quote your title) transparent with Dominique? It made it easier and more compelling to read than the last chapter.

However, I think the dialogue in this one needs touching up in spots. Particularly toward the beginning with Teddy and Dominique going back and forth (and at other points in their conversation) it was quite redundant. I definitely get Dominique pressing for answers and Teddy being oblique, but this went beyond that were at times segments of the conversation read a bit like treading water.

Since you're concerned about pace, I'll be honest and say I think it's moving pretty slow. We've just had 18,000 words on not even an entire day (I'm feeling it's maybe...2:00 PM or so?). Because the characters are so interesting I think it gives you more latitude, but a large part of the pull to press forward is coming from well-written cliffhangers at this point. Obviously you'll have to hit this whole "Night in Knockturn Alley" business next (I think - but maybe you'll prove me wrong), but after that I think you'd want to make some substantial progression in terms of time unless you're really intending this story to fit in a very small window (a few months or less) overall (which isn't the vibe I'm getting since you're asking about pace).

Keep on keeping on. Your writing skills are killer.

Author's Response: Hello!

Bwhahah, one of my other reviewers called me the "Cliffhanger Queen" and I'm sort of living up to that nickname. She also said that I was the "Queen of Angst" and that I should take responsibility for making her cry but I shall not. Tears fuel my power, as I'm sure you know. >:)

Anyhoo! I had a hard time with this chapter, I hadn't actually written a fresh chapter for this story in about two months so it didn't really grip me the way it should have with a lot of aspects. It took me at least two weeks to just get this written and then I edited the living daylights out of it once I was finished. I'm still not satisfied...

What's left unsaid is mostly what charged this chapter for me as well. What isn't being said? Can anyone actually trust Teddy and what he has to say? Dominique has been wondering what happened between Teddy and Victoire for a while now and I think that she might just get her answers. I set up an entire history between those two that I can't wait to write but for right now...why does Victoire suddenly care? I think that was a good question to ask on Dom's part.

I looked over this chapter not too long ago and I think the dialogue sort of fell flat, I wasn't sure what happened. Its my own fault for taking such a long break and tends to happen a lot when I'm not really interested in what I'm writing. So...I take full blame for that.

I sort of want to go back and edit Dom's conversation with Teddy but I need to keep pressing on. I'm not sure when I'll be able to clean it up but I'll be more aware of it in the next chapter, which I just started on. Hopefully, it won't destroy me...

T-T My stories tend to move very slowly when it comes to actual plot progression. Its the one thing people are always fussing at me about so I'm going to try and just push on forward and skip a few things that I wanted to write in the next chapter, just to move things along. I'm going to try and challenge myself to write the Night in Knockturn Alley bit (I'm stealing this as a chapter title by the way so thanks. Hahahaha.) in this upcoming chapter. I'd wanted to introduce Lucy and Percy because I think you would enjoy seeing them but for right now, I might have to actually hold off. I also need to hint at things that happened in "Glass" so that might take most of my time. T-T

As for time, this story does take place in the span of a month or two. Compared to my other stories, this is actually two years behind "Abandon" (Roxanne Weasley thingy) and about three years behind Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince (My panty loving story with Albus Potter and friends) so I have to be careful about how much I actually put into this. I can't elude to something that was never mentioned in either of those stories so its difficult. T-T

Anyhoo, thanks so much for the words of wisdom and I'll try to do better next time! I'll have to request a review from you for one of my other stories, though I'm sure you won't like some of them...Hahahahaha.

Thanks so much!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #5, by TidalDragonTransparent: Liar

17th August 2014:
Yikes. Teddy selling Lupin's watch to settle his debts. It's hard to know for sure, but it certainly seems like a new low based on his reaction. It's intriguing to see him be the one in need here and though I would love for Dominique to just leave him swinging in the wind here, she obviously won't both because of the potential payoff and because of who she is.

Bill was an interesting character for me to see more of in this chapter though. Obviously we're not terribly bound by canon as regards him, but it's striking to me how cold he seems. I don't really know what he's been through post-War, but I don't know...I never expected Bill Weasley to rub me the wrong way, but here he is anyway. Fleur I can understand more, at least as you've characterized her, but Bill...man. Disappointing.

This chapter was again pretty heavy on the character development (seeming pretty Louis and Bill-centric) as opposed to moving forward really up until the end, but as usual it was well-written. You've got a real talent for making the goings on of part of a single, seemingly insignificant day somehow intriguing so kudos on keeping that up.

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for stopping by my friend from Fanfic Land. Its great to see you, I was just about to log off when I noticed that I had two unanswered reviews and got all giggly and such.

Anyhoo, on to this! I think that Teddy selling his father's watch was a new low for him and even as I wrote it, I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it. I had to actually backtrack a bit to see if this was what I needed from his character at the moment and for some reason, it fit better than some of the other things that I'd tried to work in.

I'm trying to set up his feelings for his father in a way that might make sense later but its hard to get past what he did. Dominique I think really had a hard time in deciding on whether or not she should leave him hanging but like you said, it wasn't really going to work out because of who she was and the thought of being free of him forever. Or until I think of something else to torture her with.

Okay, I have never written Bill and Fleur very often in my fanfics. I think that they're mentioned at most or have a brief cameo in my other stories but this is the first time that I've ever really written them and I had some trouble. From what I was able to hint at in the earlier chapters for this story, it was obvious that neither parent had a major relationship with Dom and that was tough to work around.

I think Bill is the sort of person that likes to live for appearances mostly and is a bit disappointed in how his family turned out. I'm not sure if it can be blamed all on him but its something that I wanted to try writing and my goodness, I'm sorry that he rubbed you the wrong way. Writing disappointed dads is hard! Compared to George, I think that he might just be like a poison.

I might have to go into more detail on Bill later though. I felt like I didn't give him much character or depth in this and since this chapter mostly focused on Dom trying to get a bit of attention from her mother, I kind of left him hanging in the wind. That's my own fault. Hahahhaa.

I think I'm going to try and lighten up on the character development for the next chapter. I'm trying to get the ball rolling a bit more for chapter eight and nine so I hope you can forgive the slow pace! D':

Thanks so much for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #6, by TidalDragonVox wuod Sanctimonia; Speed Dating Entry: Cupiditas

16th August 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by for the swap!

I'll start by saying I don't read Founders fics as a general rule, but this one stuck out to me because of the exchange in the summary. Somehow I had a feeling Slytherin was the one calling Ravenclaw loathsome...

I think you did remarkably well with his characterization. I really liked how he wasn't necessarily this sinister individual, just a talented wizard who was difficult to get along with and accordingly preferred isolation, likely also embittered by the persecution going on in his era.

The mention of that persecution as it related to the founding of Hogwarts was a delightful injection for me for two reasons. First it put a different spin on why Slytherin would be so attached to maintaining blood purity. Perhaps he feared that those with Muggles in their heritage would be too close to them, exposing them to danger or even sympathizing with them over their magical counterparts. It's an interesting notion and a much more nuanced take on him. Second, you did it without being overbearing. One of the reasons I generally dodge Founders fics is because the few I've read (other than by recommendation), seem to be historically heavy and desperate to hit you over the head with the era they're set in. You didn't do that. It was just a brief tidbit and a nudge in the right direction. Well done.

In the beginning the wording seemed a little excessively verbose and there was this sentence: "As it often did, though on a subconscious level, it left the man in a foul mood, drowning himself in isolation and bitterness" that I think something went awry with, but overall I thought the story was very well written. Good balance of dialogue, description, and inner thought and good handling of the complex character of Salazar Slytherin!

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Review #7, by TidalDragonJourney to the Centre of (Mollyís) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Take It Easy

16th August 2014:
Alrighty! Here at the end of what you've got so far.

Here I think description was your strongest suit. While the detail was done well also in the last chapter with Stonehenge, I got a bit lost from the big picture perspective about their movements there. Here it was much more straightforward and the detailed descriptions shone again along with the bigger picture of the area where they landed.

As far as characterization went, I thought Molly's skills and assessment came to the fore well here and you did a good job contrasting her with Heath more clearly in terms of how they approached the situation of finding themselves in an unknown location - especially in their conversation toward the end.

The dialogue for me didn't do too much but get us through the scene, but it did allow you to give us glimpses of the characters' reactions to one another. I think the dynamic is becoming more open and friendly a little rapidly for me, primarily because we've seen nothing from Molly's POV about why she'd thaw. Perhaps that's coming and if it is it will probably prove fine in the end, but if it's staked on the fact she's ready for a shake-up, it's not coming across as enough to me because while she was interested in a shake-up, she's not particularly happy to be on this assignment (based on earlier chapters) and certainly not happy about the Stonehenge portkey decision, so I'm wondering where the smiling behind the cup for example is stemming from.

All in all you write very well, I think there's just some food for thought in a few minor areas that would stand you in good stead to consider. I hope you found the reviews helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to PM.

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Review #8, by TidalDragonJourney to the Centre of (Mollyís) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Uncharted

16th August 2014:
This chapter seemed to be primarily an early introduction to the opening dynamic between Molly and Heath, so I'll focus mostly there.

I think by and large you did well with it. Heath seems to carry on in the role of the slightly cocky, yet tolerably affable American with a side of screw-up in him and I think it's quite appropriate that Molly starts off quite unimpressed by him. It was clear from the previous chapter that Heath was at least somewhat struck by Molly's appearance, given the detailed description he provided of it and it was interesting the way that you had Molly provide a similar, yet not nearly so superlative description in the opposite direction here. For someone breaking from the expected for her, Molly definitely still seems affected by some "judgment genes" her father may have passed on to her with the way she scrutinizes Heath's attire and behavior. It's appropriately more clinical from her end though.

As far as individual characterization though, two things have bothered me here. One is how remarkably recovered Heath seems after the dissolution of his engagement. For most people that's going to be a monumental event that would not be as easy to just put behind them, and that's how Heath comes off so far to me. Molly's reaction to the end of her serious relationship was more well-developed and clearly things had deteriorated over time so it makes sense to me on her side of things, but Heath...well, perhaps we'll find out later about him.

Number two is the Stonehenge Guy. I suppose he's comically some people's cup of tea, so I don't begrudge you that. Just being open and telling you he's not mine and we'll leave that there.

Be careful as well overcomplicating sentences that don't need to be. It wasn't a big issue here, but there have been some examples throughout and one that jumped out in this chapter was "Henry Zhang and she avoided each otherís company after that." It reads a bit awkward to me despite being grammatically correct and I think it would be more natural to simply replace everything before avoided with "They" - just a thought.

See you for the final (so far) chapter.

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Review #9, by TidalDragonJourney to the Centre of (Mollyís) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Counting Stars

16th August 2014:
Hello again!

Here you led with Heath (who I'm assuming is going to become involved with Molly over the course of their little adventure 'round the globe). Again you gave him a distinctive characterization which I thought was positive. As you mention in your A/N, he's obviously also breaking from expectations (though he appears, based on the description that I believe turned out to be about him in Chapter 1, to have had that more in him from the word go than Molly). I definitely don't mind that similarity, but I will admit that the fact that both are recently exiting serious relationships and the time-frame suggested by your title for their relationship to develop, feels a bit...convenient. Perhaps the development, given your strength with characterization and word choice will overshadow that, but only time will tell.

I'm interested to see what I encounter next chapter.

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Review #10, by TidalDragonJourney to the Centre of (Mollyís) World in (Less than) 80 Days: King of Anything

16th August 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request!

So, for starters I think you've really got an excellent start with Molly's characterization. She's clearly been affected by her upbringing as Percy's daughter, which I think would be impossible to avoid given that the epilogue tends to indicate he remained irritatingly overbearing. But you also give her internal thoughts a distinct voice and flair that makes her her own person even before you reveal the reasons behind her break-up.

I also think you did a good job in the story of balancing dialogue, description, and internal thought. This is always crucial (at least in my opinion) and while this chapter was bound to be less dialogue-heavy, you used what dialogue you needed to well to supplement the story's development through your very well-handled descriptions and internal thought sequences. One thing that made this particularly strong (aside from the characterization) is that you varied your word choice well, leaving phrasing simple for more straightforward or blunt moments, but not shying away from stronger, more evocative language when needed (as in Molly's thoughts on why she was okay with the abandonment of the track she'd been on).

The only thing that really leapt out as a negative to me was this sentence "She was certain that she was going high places in the Ministry, having followed a similar path to the one her father Percy Weasley, who was now at those fabled high places." I read it over several times and I think there's something missing in the clause between the commas because it reads broken to me.

All in all though a very strong start. Looking forward to the next chapter!

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Review #11, by TidalDragonJigsaw Memory: Jigsaw Memory

12th August 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by for the swap!

I don't know why this story in particular reached out at me, perhaps it was the quote in the summary, but I'm glad I picked it.

One thing that was interesting to me reading through this is the similarities and differences I could see between it and Stand Tall. Though this is obviously a much shorter story and format, I thought you did a great job once again developing the characters through showing rather than telling. Hermione's mother was obviously the focus, so she got most of it, but I loved the moments, items, and feelings you chose to show us about her that really conveyed how lost and yearning she as.

That mood was also impressively carried through and I liked the somber tone of the piece until the very end. I think too many times the Grangers are portrayed as just suddenly being cool with having their memories modified and their experience is treated kind of like a nice vacation. I like the way you've handled it here. Even if they can't understand or remember really, something felt a bit off. I know some might say "it's the other way that makes sense though because the spell wouldn't allow them to be this way," but I've always disagreed with that. I think in particular in Hermione's case, canon makes such a strong showing of the power of love and magic and I imagine it would be difficult for a memory modification charm to break that completely. After all, that would mean people could just go ahead altering memories flawlessly the first time to get what they wanted in life or in love, which doesn't ring true. The point of this rambling portion is that I really liked the mood though and I thought it very realistic.

I also really enjoyed how you had the memories returning to Monica. The way they literally rush back feels perfect and the fact that a lot of them are kind of "everyday" things we take for granted in the parent-child dynamic was a nice touch.

If I had to find anything I'd look at, it's maybe the phrase she's clearly been given as justification (repeated just a tad too often for me) and some of the cadence of the sentences in the opening third. At first I thought that was meant to convey the struggle and mental fragility this was causing Monica, but she lost that later and so it just rang a bit off.

Regardless though, I thought this piece was impeccably written! It's amazing you did it for the House Cup in such a short time! I'm VERY impressed!

Author's Response: This review has really made my day. I think this is probably one of my greatest achievements. I'm not too comfortable with first person, and this is probably the most stylistic thing I've ever written, so it really means a lot that you're impressed by it. I was rather proud of the way things turned out. +)

As a parent, I just refuse to believe that forgetting would take away the pain of losing a child. I think it's a much more complicated process, and I'm glad you agree. Also, like you said, this was Hermione's first memory charm, so it was bound to have some flaws.

I can see how it would get a bit repetitive. I wrote this in chunks and then scrambled them, so by the time I was done with editing it, the repetitiveness was lost on me. +)

Thank you for the swap and such a great review! Until next time.


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Review #12, by TidalDragonComplicated: In Which Cassie Misses The Train

11th August 2014:
Hello again!

Since your concerns were more general, I'm going to leave you a slightly more general review. On the macro level I don't think there's anything really wrong with this chapter. The reason I think you may not feel so excited about it is that it reads more like a filler than some of your other chapters. The story doesn't advance enormously, aside from Cassie's absence, and we get a fair amount of retreading of dynamics that we already understand (i.e. Clara being into Scorpius).

With all that said, aside from a heavy skew toward dialogue, I think the chapter is fine. The reality is that in longer stories, every chapter can't have a high impact event or some major plot advancement. Many chapters in real books are "day in the life" chapters, the subject-matter of which are quite pedestrian, but the writing of which are nevertheless important because you can't simply advance the story every time with passage of time language.

If you want things to tweak for a later edit, I'd suggest maybe altering some of what gets covered in the Hogwarts Express scenes. Perhaps you can use Cassie's absence and Scorpius's fixation on the paper to explore people or events Olivia might have otherwise missed. You could make one of these and event or person of later significance to the story. This might make you feel like you're "doing" more with the chapter and make you feel more satisfied about it.

Either way, keep on keeping on. And don't get discouraged. Sometimes the chapters or even whole sections of your story you think will be easiest end up being really hard and vice-versa. You'll be alright!

Author's Response: Thanks, that's really helpful feedback and definitely reassuring. I really appreciate you putting in the time to review. Emma x

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Review #13, by TidalDragonDeath on the First: Chapter Two

9th August 2014:
Hello again, Sian! I was excited when this popped up and knew I had to come check out the latest installment!

I definitely still like the way you're handling the killer's demeanor. He remains confident despite some of the unexpected changes in itinerary that the Aurors' extended stay have forced. It's nice that you've injected that and concerns about how long the staff were questioned though because I think even the most confident killer would have concerns over this. I'm interested to see if at any point stress starts to show, or if not, if we'll learn how the killer is able to suppress that. I imagine that in reality this would be an incredibly stressful situation for a "normal" killer so it would be good to know how/why yours is different.

I also really enjoyed the detail that's been injected into this. I know basically nothing about the game of snooker (except that it's kind of like pool somehow?), but I thought the game dynamic was nice. And poor Theo just can't help himself can he? He really seems rather dull or at least unthinking given what's going on to be saying the things he is.

After the conversation bit from the last chapter and then the reiteration of it in this one between Lavender and Padma I did somewhat expect that Padma was going to be next. I'm interested to see if we'll learn how the killer got her next though!

Since you've warned me I have to guess after this chapter, I'm going to go ahead and venture that it's Dean. I've been reading quite closely to see who the killer mentions actually seeing or interacting with and some of the phrases and comments made and where they've been positioned and it seems to me that I've been able to use that process to eliminate all but two people. Perhaps you'll prove to be a master of misdirection and there are definitely some clues that I think could cut either way, but I'm going to commit to Dean (at least until you reveal the next chapter and force me to rethink everything or something).

Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin! I'm excited to see you here!

I can't imagine any killer being completely calm and collected when the Aurors come to stay, even if they manage to maintain that outward demeanour that suggests they are. Stress could definitely be a factor that comes into play during the rest of the story!

To be honest, I don't know very much about the game of snooker either :P (I mean, I've played it before but I needed people to tell me what I was doing...). Haha, Theo's saying some very insensitive things right now!

Dean, hmm? Your reasons for guessing him are really interesting and unfortunately I can't say much more than that!

Thanks so much for this review; I'm glad you're enjoying the story!


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Review #14, by TidalDragonMake Do: Long Way Home

6th August 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request!

So first off, I think primarily the characterization we see is obviously Molly. I think you did a solid job capturing her history. You remind us that she has dealt with a lot of darkness in her life, but you appropriately cast her mood as positive in the face of those things. She focuses on the good. She is an overcomer. I can't really judge other canon characters too well because this is largely an introspective piece and we only get flashes of anyone else on which to judge them.

Re: your other detailed questions, I'll be up front that I'm not really a sentence structure analyst. I pretty much only mention concerns in that area when they pop out at me (i.e. you want a rapid scene, but you're writing very long sentences). I didn't have that happen here. Though most of your sentences were longer in the piece, I think that was fitting for an introspective one-shot. With pace, I thought you were fine.

Overall, one of the things I would do is try to achieve a bit more balance. The minimal dialogue was completely appropriate, but some additional description might have been welcome at certain points. The very beginning for example and perhaps while Molly is alone before Ginny and the others enter. I would also try to find points where you can turn on some stronger, more evocative language. I think this would be ideal toward the end because Molly is slipping away, but you can use such powerful words to convey the sensation and imagery of the moment in a more effective way, so it seems less sudden.

Finally, as for more minor things, I'd look at some word usage. For example, when you say the garden hadn't been "attended" for years, this is, I suppose technically correct, but I think the better word would simply be "tended". I'd also look at how Molly things of Harry and Hermione. True, they are not her biological children, but as you describe, she treats them as such. It seems odd that she would speak singularly about each of her children, but would reference Harry and Hermione together every time they're mentioned. This is even more true where Harry is concerned (at least in my mind).

Overall I think you have a good piece, which definitely accomplishes what you wanted, which was to get across Molly Weasley well. Now it's just a matter of deciding if you want to go back and tweak to elevate its impact even more.

Hope this review was helpful! Feel free to PM me with any questions!

Author's Response: Hi again! I really appreciate how your reviews are always so helpful and full of constructive feedback!

All of these are very helpful points - I'm definitely going to head back and edit this chapter to improve it. I am especially grateful for your advice on balance and how she views Harry and Hermione in this - I originally didn't have them included in the story, and I only added them in at the last minute so I can definitely see why that needs improvement.

Thank you so much for this very detailed and helpful review! It really does mean a lot :)

- Jackie


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Review #15, by TidalDragonThe Most Beautiful Flower: The Most Beautiful Flower

5th August 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request!

To begin with, I thought you started strong. The concept of James and Lily's funeral is not one I've seen explored in a fic before (especially as a starting point) so it was interesting to see you go there. Even more interesting was that the piece wound of being from Snape's perspective.

I thought you captured Snape well, from his thoughts to his feelings to his observations. Fittingly, he is heavily focused on Lily, but as in canon, it is impossible for him to ignore his own issues and hatreds in the process.

I see from your request that you're interested in more readers. Speaking from experience, I'll say that you're not terribly likely to get an enormous amount of readers on a one-shot. This is largely down to the fact that many people pick out one-shots only from the 'recently added' so if yours gets missed then, most likely your later readers are going to come from those who visit your Author's Page (meaning people from the forums or people who have read and enjoyed other things you've written and come looking for more).

That said, if you are looking for areas to improve generally, I'd look at two things. First (and this is minor, but stands out to readers nevertheless), be careful with plural possessives. I first noticed it in "Potter's" at the top. You're referring to "the Potters" collectively as a family, so the appropriate usage is "Potters' ". Second, inject strong, evocative language. This is obviously an emotional piece. You want the words you choose to convey those emotions to be powerful and detailed. Combine them with descriptions of setting, appearance, demeanor, etc. for maximum effect.

Hope this review was helpful! Feel free to PM with any questions!

Author's Response: Thank you! I totally forgot about the Potter's/Potters' rule, so thanks so much for reminding me. Tips are always welcome. :)

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Review #16, by TidalDragonHear us Roar: If All Time is Unredeemable

5th August 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your review request! If you're worried about rust - don't be. Would that my first chapter back from a similar hiatus had been so well-written...

I'll answer your easiest question first - yes, I do like it. I think it does the job of a prologue in a story with a mysterious MC well, raising A LOT of questions while providing few answers. It draws me into Ivy's tiny world and the hopelessness she must feel daily before flinging the door wide open with McGonagall's arrival. In short, it intrigues me.

As far as the character of Ivy goes, I don't know that I'd say I LIKE her yet. It's far too soon to tell. But I'm interested in her plight. How did she get here? Why did she stay? What was her significance to the First Wizarding War and her relationship to James, Lily, Sirius, McGonagall, others? So there's room for me to learn to like her as I get to know her if that's what's supposed to happen.

Re: word count, I am one of the more vociferous folks in the "anti-word count" brigade. I wouldn't worry about it at all. I've read exceptional 500 word pieces and 6000 word chapters that are just...bad. The key is did you accomplish your purpose and did you do it while writing well? I think the answer to both is yes. I've discussed purpose above, but the writing itself was also well done. In a scene relatively devoid of dialogue (and rightly so), you drew us in with strong, but not overly showy descriptions and sucked us into Ivy's being with simple expressions of her bleak thoughts - fitting for a character who has been in near=total isolation as long as she has.

Take heart! You've still got it!

Author's Response: *blushes furiously* Wow, thanks so much. You totally hit the nail on the head here, I was so worried that I hadn't written anything in so long that I wouldn't know HOW to write anymore. This fic has been in my head for so many years, and has been typed out in various styles, the plot's changed and so forth, but the one thing that's stayed the same is Ivy. She is, as a character, very close to me and very real in that she's been floating around for at least two years. It's great to get her down on paper (or in this case, Microsoft Word), but it was also a bit nervewracking to introduce her to the wider world. What I'm trying to say in a blabbery sort of way is that I am very very glad that she's managed to serve her purpose, and get you interested!

Your point about word count is bloody brilliant, I'm going to keep that in mind when I write all the time now instead of just staring guiltily at the word count all the time.

I was really worried about the lack of dialogue in this chapter, so I'm glad you pointed out that it worked. Also, thanks for saying my writing was well done.

I'm gonna try and get my ego back down to a normal size now, but seriously cheers, this review was just so amazing and helpful :)

~Aimee~


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Review #17, by TidalDragonThat Night: That Night

5th August 2014:
We meet again!

Well, Percy was as dour and taciturn as I might have expected, but his future wife certainly was quite different than I thought. I have seen many take the approach of her being a Muggle, but a Muggle stripper? Now that's something new.

Percy certainly was mean to her, but I thought his attitude was well done in the sense that you'd feathered reasons for it with clear early glimpses of his mentality from canon nicely. I thought it was a nice touch that you overlaid this simultaneous sense of arrogance and self-loathing in him. It certainly makes sense that such a combination would give rise to the type of bitter individual we saw here.

The biggest thing to work on for me would not be the length. I'm sure you've learned by now that I don't mind a long story if it's well written. Instead look at Audrey and Percy's interactions. Though it's primarily limited to their insults, a lot of the writing of their exchanges was repetitious. While they naturally aren't going to strike up some wondrous dynamic here, I think there are ways you could vary the language and attacks to make it feel a bit less redundant at points.

All in all though, another nice piece in this clever little universe of fics you've written. It's clear you have a very detailed vision of the Post-Hogwarts cast of characters and I enjoy seeing it put into action.

Author's Response: Hello!

Hey, Tidal glad to see you again and I'm sorry that I'm just NOW answering your review. Real life is such a pain! What's up with that?

Anyway, on to this!

Bwhaha, I think a lot of people have commented on the fact that Percy gets involved with a stripper but at the time I thought, "Why not?" and went for it. The story that this comes from (This is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste) actually was a request from one of my fans so if it came off as kind of out there, that's why. Hahahaha.

And let me be honest with you, I have too much fun writing about strippers. *Ahem*

Glad that you liked Percy's conflicted attitude, I certainly had trouble writing that at the time. I wasn't sure if I could balance him very well and I think that a lot of people were sort of miffed that I had him being so mean to Audrey. You're the only person who hasn't been stern with me on that point so here, have a puppy. :D

I kind of figured that you wouldn't mind the length of this but I put that in my warnings whenever I'm requesting a review because I think that its sort of a strain to read such a long chapter all at once. Hahaha. Most of their dialogue comes from the first chapter of This is Audrey Tang so that's my own fault, when I wrote that originally I didn't really have much in store for them, conversation wise. It sort of felt like I was writing the same scene over and over again for a minute there...

Anyhoo, thanks so much for liking this story and leaving an awesome review. I always like to know your thoughts too since you're always so honest with me even if it makes me want to cry sometimes. Hahaha. I hope to see you soon!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #18, by TidalDragonJigsaw: Piece #1

4th August 2014:
Howdy Sian! Before I get to legitimate comments, can I just say how nifty it is that your first chapter of your first novel ends the way it does. Obviously it's far from your first story, because your stories are brilliant, but at the same time, it's a first of sorts for you and it just struck me as really cool.

ANYWAY, I really liked how patient you were with this. I'm constantly running into an irritation with writing some of the "day in the life" scenes like you captured in this chapter, but they're truly instrumental to getting to know your characters and I thought they were very well done. Everyone seemed natural and differentiable and it was so nice to read. Like an honest-to-goodness book!

I also really liked the balance of description, internal thought and dialogue! I always think this is one of the biggest things and I've been a huge hypocrite about it lately, but this was really well done. You set scenes nicely without being too detailed and took us inside Rose's head enough to get a feel for her beyond her outward interactions, but still got enough characters involved in the mix to make her life feel real.

I'm really excited to see where it goes!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin! Ah, I'm so excited to see you here! And you're right, this is a big first for me, and I was really nervous to post this, so all these comments are really reassuring and helpful! Although I hadn't even noticed the link between me and Roxy there at the end until you pointed it out :P

This chapter's been in the works for a LONG time... like, over a year, maybe? The idea's essentially stayed the same throughout though and I'm really pleased that you think I did well with it, introducing the characters and things like that. And wow, that's a massive compliment, and I'm just dancing a little bit inside right now! *hugs*

That's such a huge relief to hear (or read) that you thought the balance between them worked well! It's something that I always worry about, but particularly in this chapter since I wanted to manage to do all of those things, setting the scene and introducing you to Roxy and the other characters. I'm glad that it's gone to plan!

Thank you for this incredible review, Kevin, it completely made my day!


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Review #19, by TidalDragonSunshine: Hero

4th August 2014:
Howdy Adi!

This is ABSOLUTELY Post-War Neville for me! He's grown into himself over the years, but after the battle ends (and at other intervals as the world slides toward normalcy and security again) he's going to be doubting. And he's definitely still shy! I thought you nailed that. But you also really captured how much he's grown. That when he gets those little signs and tiny affirmations he's going to take note and realize again who he really is.

I also like how you set this up to be something more for Neville and Hannah. How they share this little moment at the end of the battle, but it's not terribly significant at the time. I think everybody's mind is going to be elsewhere in the immediate aftermath and I'm glad you didn't go too fluffy and too shippy there!

I will say that I did think it ended a bit abruptly. I wanted...I'm not sure...something more there. Maybe a final thought from Neville. Maybe their eyes actually meeting. I realize that wasn't really terribly constructive, but it's just a thought.

That said, you better watch out! Now that you've put this Neville/Hannah out there, I am holding you personally accountable for more. :p I've got a fever and the only prescription is more Neville/Hannah!

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Review #20, by TidalDragonThe Forging of Ways: PART THREE

4th August 2014:
Hmm. Well I liked your ending if for no other reason than it actually seems (in light of the rest of the story) to be quite open to interpretation. One could take the dark view and say that Taddeus is going to falter - that he was too weak to stand up and won't overcome that weakness later. Or one could take a cue from his insistence that he would be a "good Slytherin" and hope that he lives up to it. He at least distanced himself from his family at the Slytherin table, so there's that. I feel bad for Milo though. He seems like he got a really raw deal.

As far as the chapter itself, I wasn't a huge fan of the wait during sorting. I definitely get why you did it and I thought the moments where he was weighing up his internal conflict were good. The whole "Feather twins" bit seemed rather drawn out for me though and I wasn't terribly keen on the "Hatstall!" yelling (especially more than once).

All in all though, I think you've done well with the piece. It was an interesting and enjoyable read. Feel free to PM me with any questions! I hope the reviews were helpful...

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Review #21, by TidalDragonThe Forging of Ways: PART TWO

4th August 2014:
Back again!

I thought this chapter built well on the first. You advanced rapidly to the action, but you made clear it was being done purposefully and you provided some detail about Taddeus's time with Genie that made it feel less like you were rushing.

As far as the question in your A/N, I was definitely glad that Taddeus went after Tristessa. She and Tarquin both seem incredibly twisted, but what's interesting about it for me is how they developed that way. It seems slightly odd that they would be so cruel while Timeus/"Milo" and Taddeus would be so different. Perhaps it's the closer exposure to the older cousins? This could merit some explanation if you ever expand the story.

The one thing I did not like about the attack in the salon was how the "dragon" folded in. Where previously you had avoided any sense that you were forcing a device into the story, this one was different. I think that's most likely because the transition in was not as smooth as it could have been. The description of all of it was very sound once we reached it, but getting there felt a bit like lurching forward and then getting jerked back before we dove in. Perhaps that's what you really wanted to happen, but to me it felt that if the rage was supposed to be as all-consuming as described then it would sort of just descend and there would be no lurching. Just my thought.

I also liked how you came back around to the way you began the first chapter at the end of this one though. That was a nice touch and you certainly portrayed the conflict in Taddeus well within the confrontation before he was beaten again.

I'm interested to see where we go from here.

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Review #22, by TidalDragonThe Forging of Ways: PART ONE

4th August 2014:
Hello again! First off, no need to apologize. I almost never get anything in my review thread that aligns with my preferences :p But I've gotten to read plenty of great stories I would never have otherwise read that way.

As for this piece, I'm definitely intrigued by the fact that you've moved beyond Next Gen. This is the first such piece that I've read and I think it is quite unique.

You also have a different style in this story than many authors here on HPFF, with the deeper vocabulary and more detailed adjectives in particular. I think you've done it in a way that's largely refreshing though as it reads naturally almost everywhere - you're not forcing it like many others that adopt that approach. I give you kudos on it because though I certainly have a big enough vocabularly, I just can't write that way.

The only part of the story that felt rather weighed down for me was the initial explanation of the "Who's the Liar" game. I thought it was an inventive concept - much nicer than just banking on Exploding Snap, Wizard Chess, or pick-up Quidditch (of which the rest of us are all so guilty), but I might've liked you to just let the game play out so we can understand for ourselves rather than deliver a flashback-informative recitation of the rules.

As far as the other portions (the creepy chase-intimidation bit at the beginning and the sorting news at the end) I thought you handled them well. You showed us about the major characters rather than simply telling us about them and made the "oddball sorting" of Timeus believable rather than having it come off completely like a convenient plot mechanism.

So far it's very well done! See you next chapter!

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Review #23, by TidalDragonTrixangela Snape: Year 1: The Prologue

2nd August 2014:
Howdy! I was beginning to think you weren't going to take me up on my offer. But here I am for the Prologue.

As far as the plot goes, you've given yourself the latitude to chase what you're after with the AU designation. While I am not sure how central it will be the story going forward, I did think the idea that Harry would be able to resurrect Lily with Voldemort's wand somehow was a reach. I also think that even within the confines of an AU, it was a bit of a stretch that Snape and Lily would actually get married and pregnant within the time frame required for this story. I will grant you (much though I dislike Snape/Lily), that there was a legitimate basis for a potential romantic relationship there, but I wonder how realistic it is for Lily to have gotten over the tragedy of what transpired Halloween 1981 so thoroughly so fast. I grant you that different people deal with loss differently and perhaps this will be explained later, but right now it feels unlikely.

With the characterizations, I think certainly Snape feels solid. He still comes across tortured and with a hatred from Harry because of his hatred for James. My only concerns with Lily are those expressed above. And I don't think we get enough of other characters here to really comment in detail on their characterization.

In terms of areas for improvement, the biggest things would be taking a look at Harry and Dumbledore's dialogue. Harry speaks FAR too clearly (especially with a difficult name like Severus) for a three year-old. Perhaps some of that is a difficulty in how to actually express his three year-old speech in written form, but I'd think about that going forward. As far as Dumbledore goes, the contractions are a must-eliminate (he almost never uses them) and I would imagine him being a bit firmer and exerting more pressure on this point. After all, recall how much he demanded of Snape throughout canon (and of Harry re: the blood protection). It seems unlikely he would be willing to let the issue drop as lightly as he does here.

Just my thoughts. I hope they were helpful. PM me if you have any questions!

Author's Response: Thanks soo mcuh for your helpful review! I will see if I can make Dumbledore more firm, but he also knew Snape was in mourning.

I have already been told about Harry, so that is also on my list to fix.

I am sorry I made you read a Snape/Lily story, ahaha! Forgive me.

Also, there will be some chapters that look into the past that will show a building relationship between Snape and Lily, because I too, felt it needed to be explained :)

You're awesome, you should know it!!!


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Review #24, by TidalDragonThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: Out of the Shadows and into the Limelight

30th July 2014:
Okey dokey!

I again thought you did a good job with Annett's attitude and views on alchemy. I think the Professor's reaction is rather harsh, but arguably justifiable in the second instance. For me the first was rather over the top though. It would be one thing to read the best and worst essays, but to actually identify their authors seems like a bridge too far for me, especially where the author of the so-called "worst" is concerned. It's a bit like taking a page out of Snape's book (re: Harry) - is this Professor really going to be that bad?

As far as characterizations, I think you need to start to move a bit deeper. One thing that is inhibiting that is the pace you've adopted. You're not moving incredibly quickly overall (after the time-jump), but when it comes to scene to scene, it feels like a number of them could use much more development in the way of description whether dialogue is present or not. When dialogue is present, it almost completely supplants internal thought by Annett and makes the scenes read very literally because that, paired with the relative paucity of description, forces you to make everything much more explicit. Changing those things can probably help you get a bit deeper into other characters by having Annett react to them more fully and exploring her observations of their body language and behavior more.

I would also again be careful with Annett being too perfect in the eyes of the Weasleys and Potters. You've made her: (1) very smart, (2) uniquely magically talented, (3) a peerless prankster... Yes, she has her flaws, but as written they do not come off as strong flaws. Instead she seems a relatively unstoppable force who has captivated the canon Next-Gen characters despite potential for clear house and personality contrasts. Just be careful with this. I'd recommend you develop those relationships a bit more before expressing them this way personally, but that's up to you.

At any rate, I'm sorry again I was late. I hope the reviews have been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM!

Author's Response: Hullo again.

Cunningham is quite harsh, but some people are. That's life. Reading essays out loud does happen (I've known an english professor to do this). Cunningham is a traditionalist, so she hates Annett for trying to change any ideas in Alchemy.

Annett is not very reactive. She's like a halogen. Because her electron-orbital is filled, she's satisified. She's an emotionally detached person.

The Wotters don't know that she's very smart, uniquely magically talented, or a peerless prankster. She keeps all of that to herself. They just think that she's lonely (chapter 3 describes her as a scary, lonely, shy, cat-lady with a secret-desire for some human company. That sounds pretty unimpressive to me).

I try not to have any house disagreements unnecessarily. The war is over. Gryffindors don't all hate Slytherins (who aren't all evil). They can get along regardless of their personalities (some of them).

She doesn't have much of a relationship, so there is not much to develop. She's very detached from the social ongoings of Hogwarts. Yes, she can observe people, but she's quite useless at deciphering relationships. Otherwise, she'd figure out why Rose and Scorpius aren't together yet amongst other things. I don't want to have her point out that she doesn't understand relationships because that's not something she'll admit to. She really doesn't care.

She's complex. There are so many layers to her that I must keep consistent.

Her flaws don't come off as strong flaws because she doesn't see them as flaws. She's perfectly fine with her lack of social capability or her having complete emotional control of herself because she's uncomfortable with vulnerability. To her, those aren't flaws (someone does point out what's wrong with this to her in a later chapter though).

She's actually quite naturally captured the attention of these people because of the train rides. Is it uncommon for authors to rely on chance events?


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Review #25, by TidalDragonThe Internal Monologue of Annett Sinclaire Kluge: Creative Output: Mischief

30th July 2014:
Hello once more!

With this chapter, I liked that you returned us to Annett's scientific roots in the middle. It was a nice (and very appropriate) touch to have her critiquing the way alchemy is taught under the circumstances. I still have my reservations about her self-developed skill in the area, but at the same time I think her reaction to the subject and its teaching is good.

What was a bit peculiar about the class itself was the mixture of different years of students. It seemed like you arranged that to conveniently have everyone you wanted to bring together in the class and just felt a bit too easy for me.

The only other thing I'd watch it recycling the Marauders name. Personally, I don't have a beef with it, but I know a lot of readers do, so it's something you might consider.

See you for the latest installment!

Author's Response: Greetings!

Thank you, I'm glad you like that bit :)

Alchemy is a sixth/seventh year course. The way I've thought about it is that it doesn't have enough students to separate these two years.

Looking out for beef, upon your warning ;)

Cheers.


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