Reading Reviews for Until Reality Strikes
  
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by blueirony The Start of the Ride

7th August 2009:
You requested a review on the 27th of July. It is now the 7th of August. That means I am almost two weeks late with this review. I am SO sorry. Uni started two weeks ago and I've barely had time to read my stupid textbooks let alone delve into the wonderful world of fanfiction. And I'm having withdrawals!
Believe me, I would sooo much rather be reading this than the reasons why the Reserve Bank lowers or increases interest rates. Why do I care? They all dress up in stuffy suits and have a meeting and order poor interns to get them coffee and have lots of umming and erring and finally come up with a stupid number that they put on a website and the whole world revolves around them.

*slight murmer of, "No, Ju, tell us how you REALLY feel" is heard in the distance*

Ahem. I'm sorry. You got the brunt of my rant. I'm sorry.

Umm... *skips in small circle*

Where was I? At laptop. Earphones plugged in. Cary Brothers singing (insert dreamy sigh). HPFF. RIGHT! I'm here. Supposed to be reviewing.

*looks down and checks vitals*

La la la. I'm sorry. I'm not usually this loopy. Ok, I normally am. Just... How about we start afresh? Everything I just said never happened.

*smiles sheepishly and sidesteps out of room*

Hokay.

First off, I would love to say that I LOVE the idea that James is not pining over Lily in this. Yes, they are sort of perfect for each other. And yes, we all know that he smartened himself up for her. And yes, they are the reason that Harry was born and, thus, is the reason we even have this fandom... but, honestly? I'm sick of them. Give me one Marauder story that doesn't have him describing her emerald eyes and Sirius and Remus teasing him with Peter being clueless and eating.

Gah. I'm so sick of cliches.

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for not having that pairing in here. I don't mind it if it's written well but it so rarely is... I just like the idea that James could have fallen for someone else.

Now you said that you had concerns over your OC. And you're not alone! I think that's every writer's worst fear. Which I find kind of odd, because I personally have a more difficult time writing canon characters. But, then again, I talk to and name inaminate objects and hug trees that I think look sad, so my view of something doesn't necessarily mean much, lol.

I think you've done well. Bethany is likeable. She is not a Mary-Sue. She's quiet. She's slightly weary of the Marauders. And that's good. If you made her this gorgeous thing with shiny hair that turned every guy's head when she entered a room, you would be worried. Come to think of it, you don't even have much description of her looks. And that's good! I don't need a whole physical description of every character. Too many writers don't leave things to reader's imaginations. If a reader is being told everything, where's the fun in that? I still think that is JKR's genius - she just tells a story. She lets the reader fill in the blanks about appearances and setting. That's why she is so successful, in my opinion.

And, to some extent, you have the same thing going. I like how you don't add too much description, yet you don't leave us hungry for more. I also like how you have interspersed Bethany's thoughts into the paragraphs without dialogue. It works well.

I would be weary of your voice, though. In the beginning paragraphs, you have a lot of "us" and "we" and "you". It doesn't flow with the rest of the chapter. I know how easy it is to slip into that, but I would consider revising it and talking from an absolute third person point of view. Please don't take what I'm saying harshly! It's just something that irks me slightly. *twitch* Lol!

Another thing, towards the end of the chapter you have this sentence:
“Excuse me?” Rae said incredulously, “Do I look like a house-elf?”
Now, I'm assuming that Bethany was once upon a time called Rae and once her name changed, you forgot to replace all mentions of 'Rae'. You missed one!

And... that's about it, really, as far as corrections go.

I really like how Bethany interacts with the Marauders. And I like how the Marauders sort of are a bit... mean to her? No, not mean. But the whole go-buy-us-food thing. It just shows so much about their personality. It sort of gives a starting block for the relationship she has with the Marauders. With that simple scene, the reader can predict where the story might go as far as how the relationships develop between them. And I like that. It's done well :D

I'm just very, VERY curious to see where Regulus fits in with all of this. He is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting characters of the Harry Potter universe. We know so little about him and it's just so much fun trying to pick him apart and wonder why he chose the path he did. Your summary hinted at it, and I hope you do his character well!

This was a really fun read. And I do apologise for my ranting about Uni at the start of this. It's late at night. And I'm slightly hyper. And loopy. It's not a good combination.

-Ju :]

Author's Response: Don't worry bout it, I understand. Lol, it is that time of year huh?

Well it doesn't seem likely to me that James would go 7 years at Hogwarts without having a single gf before Lily. My bf is likely one of the shyest guys in the world and he even had 2 gfs before me. Yet I find it hard to believe James was a huge player.

*SLIGHT SPOILER WARNING*I have to warn you that this will include JaLily later on, but since it is just yr 6 for them it will be MUCH later. I see Bethany as a bit of the transition between OotP!James and smartenedup!James.*END WARNING*

I'm just so un-used to writing OC - or at least OC-centric - stories. I do remember attempting them when I first got into fanfiction 6+ yrs ago, but really I feel that this is my first stab as I didn't really care for writing back then much and this is my first shot for this fandom.

I was actually worried that readers wouldn't like the fact that I didn't include a physical description of her here. I have similar feelings about descriptions as you do (which is why I think I have difficulty with writing them). I will include a brief description of her looks in the 2nd or 3rd chapter, but trust me when I say she is not drop-dead gorgeous and it will be a very basic description. I am glad you like how I handled descriptions as I feel that they're my weak point. If I read a really descriptive story, I'll skim over it unless it's written a certain way, so I find it hard to write them, and I fear that some readers would be turned off by my lack of them or the fact that they're rather basic. Like you, I like reading stories that focus on the stories and let me build my own mental picture.

I was slightly worried about that. Most of this chapter was written in 2007 and though I don't really write like that anymore I wasn't sure how to go about changing it or even I should. I prolly will eventually but it might be after I get back to writing this more and get a bit a grip on it and where I want it to go, if that makes sense.

That's exactly right on the Rae thing.

I'm glad you like that scene so much! I feel it was IC for the Marauders, but at the same time I feel like it might be hard to live up to later on, if that makes sense. I haven't written Marauders in a long time so I'm a bit nervous that jumping in with this might be difficult. Still, that's probably one of my favorite scenes of the fic.

Oh, I've always been interested in Regulus. And by always I mean ever since his name was first mentioned. I've always wanted to write him and this is one of 2 fics where I'll have the chance. The other fic takes place after his change of heart so it's completely different. I really hope I can do him justice.

I'm glad you like it and enjoyed reading it! Dont worry about it, I can relate. I recently started a review talking about my boyfriend. And you're "loopiness" as you call it was fun to read and added to the review. Good luck with uni, and thank you SO much for the long, thoughtful review!


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Review #2, by elisalinguine_x The Start of the Ride

6th August 2009:
Hey it's elisalinguine_x from the forums!

Sorry it took so long to get to your review, life's been busy here lately I really haven't had any time for HPFF.

Anyway onto your story...
It was an interesting start to the story, not much happened but it was still a good chapter. I like the interaction between Beth and the Marauders, it's very real and teenage-like which is good as they are meant to be teenagers :)

One thing that confused me is this line...

"We haven't," Rae confirmed. "It's Bethany. Bethany Higgs. Fifth year Hufflepuff"

Who's Rae? Is that Bethany's nickname? Or is it someone else? You might want to explain it somewhere (unless I missed it) because I got a bit confused there.

I couldn't find any grammar or spelling mistakes except just a reminded before closing the speech quote " and before the he/she said you should always have a ,
For example:

"Um...actually, yes, I was." she replied.

It should be:

"Um... actually, yes, I was," she replied.

Nothing a quick re-read couldn't fix. I just spotted it here and there.

Anyway, I hope I helped. Thanks for requesting on my thread!
Overall 7/10!

Author's Response: I completely understand! I actually just had to put my review thread on hold!

I'm glad you liked the interaction and thought it was realistic for their age!

Bethany was originally named Rae and I apparently I overlooked that when I was replacing the name.

Actually they originally were commas, but recently I wrote something and someone who looked over it commented that some of the commas should have been periods, oi...I'll look at my old English book for clarification (I'll probably go back to commas as that was my original thought).

You were helpful and I appreciate the review, thanks!


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Review #3, by Pretty Purple Pelican The Start of the Ride

6th August 2009:
Sorry that it took me forever and a day to get here with your requested review!

First of all, I like the name Bethany. It's unusal without looking like you did an hour-long search on the obscure name website. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Especially since she's a Muggleborn. That would be just silly.

WAIT. Who is Rae? I'm guessing that was the original name for the character, and you just forgot to remove it in some places. Good choice, though. Bethany is a much better name. I actually love that name.

I liked the beginning scene where she hardly said anything at all, and, truthfully, I was a little disappointed when she joined in on the conversation in the compartment. You said in her description that she tended to keep her thoughts to herself, and I think it would have served the character better if she just sat and observed. I think the point where Sirius asked if her if she was hungry would've been a perfect spot for her to be noticed. I actually really liked that little transition. It was so wonderfully cheeky of Sirius.

So far, I mostly like Bethany. My only concern with Mary-Sue-ness is stated above. It just seems a little cliche to make her suddenly get noticed by the Marauders and to include herself in their back-to-school conversation. She got much better at the ending, but I think her character would have had more of an effect if she'd stayed silent to begin with.

So there we go! I enjoyed this first chapter. Feel free to come back, if you want! :)

Author's Response: Don't worry about it!

I'm glad you like the name Bethany. Yes, Rae was the original name, and it actually wasn't easy thinking of a new name that fit her. I had thought Lorelei but then read over the chapter and realized that it seemed to...outspoken for her. Someone on the forums suggested Bethany, and I've always liked the name and it seemed to fit...I also thought Leigh, but now I'm glad I went with Bethany.

I do have to correct the assumption of her lineage. I realize the line about most magical families looking down at her thoughts of the transition probably led you to believe that, but I meant for it to have the opposite affect and make people assume she had lived in a magical household. Sorry for the confusion! I can really see how it was my fault though, and I will change it to make it clear.

Another reviewer has made similar comments about Bethany quickly 'fitting in' with the Marauders. Although I won't make her completely silent, I will at least make the transition slower or better explain it.

I am glad you liked that part from Sirius!

I must say that I don't feel she was so much noticed by the Marauders as circumstances making them come into contact, or at least that's what I was going for. However, I will certainly edit the chapter to make the transition more realistic and less cliche because I don't want to stray to a cliche or Mary-Sue.

Thank you so much for the helpful review! I will certainly request in the future - I will definitely need help with this story, methinks.


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Review #4, by jetaway The Start of the Ride

5th August 2009:
Hello there!

First off, I can already tell that I like your writing style. It's more casual than I generally enjoy, but you've got that perfect variance in sentence length and structure that I adore. And your description! So far, I'm genuinely liking the depth that you've added to your character and her thoughts.

I have to say that I think that it's weird how Bethany remembers Peter Pettigrew's name but not Snape's. I mean Pettigrew was really more of a nonentity than Snape was, in my opinion.

Hmmm. I'm assuming this is the Marauders' sixth year of Lily and Snape already had their falling out.

Okay I think that around the part where Lily breaks up Snape and James, your writing gets a bit "this is what happened, then this happened, then that happened."

I think you've lost some of the description that you had in your opening paragraph for this chapter.

Okay, compare these two sentences.

"The passage from the muggle world to the platform always gave her such an odd feeling, as if she were really opening a book to read it and suddenly got zapped in the pages."

"James turned around, and Snape pocketed his wand, his expression changing as he looked at Lily's face."

The first sentence has so much more depth and it really shows the reader who your OC is. I think that in the little section where Bethany comes in contact with the Marauders, you need to add more sentences that show the reader Bethany's thoughts. What ran through her mind when she saw Snape's expression change? Did she feel sorry for the boys that Lily was mad at them? Or did she feel like they got what they deserved? Whatever you want, write it! Just give the reader a little more insight on your character and her thoughts. :)

Okay and this confused me too.

"We haven't," Rae confirmed. "It's Bethany. Bethany Higgs. Fifth year Hufflepuff"

Is Rae a nickname for Bethany? Or is there another character named Rae. I'm kind of confused about that part...

Agh, okay I think there are some descrepincies here.

"But that's not the reason she did!" argued James. "It was because she wanted to pick a fight with me and because Snape was involved, and for some odd reason they're friends. Honestly, she's just a little - "

I'm glad that you didn't portray James as this brainless guy who was just obsessed with Lily and always comes to her defense. But, I don't think James would have come against her that strongly. And jumping back to earlier, if Lily and Snape were still friends. I think she would have pinned the blame on James for their little squabble, so she would have probably only yelled at James. :P

And as for Bethany herself, I think there are some characterization issues. Bethany at first, seems kind of hesitant and quirkily shy. But, I think she 'fits in' with the Marauders a bit too well. She gains confidence in seemingly a matter of a few seconds. And personally, that makes this story seem like one of those dime-in-a-dozen Marauder cliches. :(

I think if you smooth out the transition from shy to comfortable, it'll give Bethany a lot more depth.

Plus, I'd vary your sentence structure for you dialogue and such.

But overall, stupendous job for your first OC story!
I remember my first OC story *shudders*. That blasphemous piece of literature will never ever be posted. :P It was WAY worse than this. There are some small details to iron out here and there, but keep up the solid work! :)

And be sure to avoid those Marauder cliches!

- Jessica (jetaway)

Author's Response: Author's Response: Thank you so much - I'm glad you feel I did well in that area (especially since the revisions from 2007 were very light). On the Peter thing...I suppose it is odd but I figured Bethany would pay a tad more attention to the popular, pranking Marauders than she would Snape. Peter is one of the group, not to mention that Severus is a more unusual name than Snape. Still, with her confusion on Lupin's name I should probably add in something with Peter's.

Yes this is the start of sixth year for the Marauders, Lily, and Snape.

I must say you are probably right on those scenes with Snape] especially looking at what you pointed out...I will look into adding more detail there, on Bethany's thoughts if nothing else.

Oh boy...Bethany was originally named Rae. I looked like, three times or more to make sure I changed it all but apparently I missed one. Thanks for pointing it out.

Lily and Snape had already had their falling out. As for James...I think I had him acting that way because he was annoyed at Lily, both for the end of the year and the scene itself, maybe other incidents...but I might need to tone it down.

I will try toning down Bethany's quick comfortability, or try to explain it better.

Thank you so much for the helpful review! I really feel I need it for this story, and I appreciate it!


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Review #5, by Miss Lily Potter The Start of the Ride

4th August 2009:
Ha, this is cute! I really like it. Bethany seems... shy, but in a believable way, I think.
YES. Finally. A Marauder era that DOESN'T have James being overly obsessed. Thank you. ;D But, uh, seriously, this is really good. It doesn't have that much yet, but I don't think it's a Mary-Sue, no.
Thanks for asking for the review, I really like this!
-Jasmine

Author's Response: Yeah, I'm tired of seeing James-always-obsessed with Lily as well, which is part of the reason I chose this plotline. I'm glad she doesn't seem like a Mary-Sue and that you like the story. Thank you so much for the review!

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