Hi Illia, it's Blissbug from the forums here with your review. I'm avoiding homework and what better way to do that than fan fiction?
Right off the bat I noticed that there seems to be a lack of anchoring in the scene. This this is a period piece is so important to make sure your reader feels solidly placed within the time. Word choice, description, language, gestures, clothing, all these things can serve as a means of establishing the right atmosphere for the story.
Another thing I noticed was the way in which I kept getting pulled out of the stories. A lot of the time it was because of repetitive word usage. In the very beginning you use the word 'fight twice' and there are other occurrences where this happens. It breaks up the flow and mangles the reading, so just pay attention to that. Also, there were details that you put a lot of emphasis on that didn't seem to really matter. Like the grapes at the beginning of the meal. Why so much focus on grapes? What does that have to do with the story? How does it help move the plot, anchor the reader or further build tension? Ask yourself these questions when picking and choosing which details to give weight too :)
One last thing is the use of language, which I think we've talked about before with some of your other work. You use a lot of modern lexicon (phrases and terms and words) that are completely inappropriate to the period. A great example is here: "The parents began sucking it down almost immediately." See what I mean? I'll bet you can guess what's wrong with this sentence: 'sucking it down.' That's a really modern way of saying that the parents were drinking a lot. A more period appropriate phrase might be "They were hasty to drink, and indeed they drank often and generously." See the difference?
This all comes down to uh...well, to you being a young writer. Nothing wrong with that but if you're serious about improving your skills, consider reading some material written in the time that you're interested in. Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson are great female authors who did a lot to precisely capture the 19th century. And of course, keep writing. Nothing makes you a better writer than to just keep writing :)
BBAuthor's Response: Thanks for taking the time to review. =)
I understand that. Like I said, I'm not used to writing period pieces, so I honestly didn't know what I was doing. That's a good point. I'll work on it.
Thanks for pointing out my repetitiveness. That's something I don't notice I do. However, I respectfully disagree with your critique of my focus on grapes. I understand your point, but I don't think that scene was unimportant. I was trying to show the differences between their social order. She wanted to eat them with her fingers but was unable. In this way, the scene was important.
I understand your point about using modern language. I'll think about that the next time I try a historical piece.
I'll practice. Thanks for your review. =) Report Review
At first I was hesitant to read this because it was all OC and even historical, something that not many HP-verse stories are. But I was grabbed almost instantly, and their first meeting was so lyrical. It's like their relationship was this amazing dream. I had no clue in my mind that it would end any other way than just some happy, prosaic ending. I was literally shocked when it ended the way it did! It was a very thought-provoking ending. Great passion does not always have great consequences, huh. :-/ . This was a really awesome read! :)Author's Response: I totally understand. I'm generally not one for historical pieces. I'm glad you liked it though! It's important to me to grab the reader's interest right away, so it's great to know I did that ^-^
Yay! Surprise endings are what I'm aiming for. I'm glad you didn't think the ending was too far-fetched. Thank you so much for your great review! I really appreciate your feedback ^-^ Report Review
Hello, I'm here with the review you requested :)
You said that you were worried about writing the time period. I see no reason for worry because I think you've captured the feeling of the period quite well. Just a quick question though - didn't the girls back in the past have to be a bit plumper and not thin? Because I think that up until 20th century girls weren't supposed to be thin and all that, but really, that's a minor thing xD.
Anyways, I found it peculiar that they ended up together the first time they saw each other. I mean, I can understand Edgar as it appears that he wasn't what I presumed him to be, but Winifred didn't seem as the type. Though, if her parents were strict as parents tended to be in that time period, I could understand the will to be a bit wild and all :)
What struck me as odd was Edgar's reaction when he had heard the news. I expected him to be surprised, sure, but I didn't expect to accuse her of sleeping with other men and all, but then I realised that we actually don't know much about him, almost nothing, so his reaction was probably supposed to tell us what kind of a person he actually was.
All in all, it was an interesting story and it was very well written ;), I'm glad that you requested a review for it :D .
~ DeaVanityAuthor's Response: Hi!
Thank you! I'm so glad you thought I did a good job with the time period. I'll admit that I didn't check my facts before starting this piece, but if that is true, that makes it even better =P If Winifred was too thin to be desirable, it makes her even more of an underdog, making her meeting with Edgar even more extraordinary. But you're probably right. XD
I just pictured a really spur-of-the-moment, passionate moment, you know? That's the only way I imagined it. No words beforehand. Just do it. Maybe that's vulgar but that was my inspiration. =)
Yes, we don't know much about him. And also, you said you weren't expecting him to accuse her of sleeping with other men, and that's what I was aiming for. =P I wanted to throw a twist in there, but I hope it made sense in the long run.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your review =) Report Review
Your sentences are a bit stop and go. The use of a semi-colon to bring two sentences together, yet still letting the reader know their separate would work will. For example:
He was stony-faced and hard. He was the kind of person who didn't acknowledge things like emotion.
I think a semi-colon instead of a period would have worked better here. It would helped the flow of the words more.
And the use of 'extra fancy' for this time period just doesn't fit too well. I'd try a different synonym for 'extra'. When you're aiming for the correct wording for a period piece you have to sit back and think "would they really say that or would these string of words be found together in a published period piece?"
Also there's no need to break up the paragraphs with a single sentence unless necessary. In my opinion a story or chapter with very little talking and just details and thoughts are perfectly fine. The hr lines are a bit distracting also; you have to believe that you're readers are smart enough to understand that the next paragraph maybe pertaining to a different take or next step in the story. Or if you like a simple few dashes is completely fine as well.
As I said your sentences are a bit stop and go and that interferes with the flow of the story. Nevertheless I like the story so far, but Edgar's sudden dislike of her after he finds out she's pregnant feels forced. I mean one minute he's with her then find out and calls her a floozy the next despite being the one that got her pregnant. That bit is just not very realistic.
You've got to think about his actions from his point of view. As if you were in his shoes with his personality. I'm not saying mold him to your personality, but choose his words wisely. Did that make sense? The ending as well seems a bit forced. I'd like to see it flushed out a bit more; otherwise I like the idea.Author's Response: Thank you for your review. =)
I understand your comment about the choppy reading. I'll work more on that in the future.
I agree with you on the 'extra fancy' part. I don't write this time period often, and that must have slipped through the filter =P I'll have to focus more on things like this when I write in the future. Thanks for pointing that out. =)
I purposely left some paragraphs with only one sentence to emphasize them. Also, I like to use the hr lines as a way of breaking the story. Pardon me, but what is the difference between using a few dashes like you said or the hr line? A few dashes also shows a break in scene.
I agree that it's odd that Edgar suddenly switched sides when he found out she was pregnant, but that was my intention. He is supposed to be seen for his true colors there - an irresponsible sort of guy.
If you don't mind my asking, what do you mean by 'flushed out'?
Thank you for your review! I really appreciate your feedback =) Report Review
Hi Ilia :) It's lovely to see you back again, I must say. I'm thrilled you've requested a review from me, I always enjoy your work, you remain one of my favourite authors.
I'm a sucker for period fics, I must say - there's a lot more room for originality in a time without canon influence. Then again, I think it's always tricky to write a period fic because there's a lot more to remember that doesn't come naturally for everyone. But you tackled the era wonderfully, and I really got a feel for the time period it's set in - you've got the underlying theme of the different classes and the differences between them that would have definitely been present. For example, you've chosen the most fantastic names for your characters - Winifred and Edgar, so lovely and old fashioned and they completely slipped into the setting of your piece. Winifred's family were very appropriate as well, what with her older sister marrying someone of noble heritage, someone who her parents would approve of. Though it was probably more unusual for there to be a love as strong and determined as Celine's, it's not impossible. I think there's a lot of cases here of breaking the norm, and I liked that. Because I bet there were a lot of cases of skeletons in closets, just like Winifred and Edgar. I must admit, though, I found it hard to understand why Edgar was so forward with Winifred - even if there was a connection between them, I think perhaps Edgar might have been a bit more wary about starting anything with her. You've built up such strong characterisation already by that point, and I really think you could have taken it one step further by maybe having Edgar and Winifred meeting once or twice more before anything happened. That's just my opinion, though, and the piece works well without the extra delay. Though I think by the end Edgar remembers himself, what with not wanting to be associated with Winifred's child - again, just a hint of that kind of reserve earlier in the piece would have made it more realistic for me.
If I'm honest, I think you took a while to warm up - I found myself much more drawn in towards the middle and end of the piece than at the beginning. Your descriptions are consistently vivid, I could imagine everything clearly from the very start, but I think you really got into your creative stride towards the end rather than at the beginning; I felt the earlier paragraphs were slightly mechanical when compared with the later prose. Your descriptions at the end, though, were absolutely stunning - my favourite line of many was "it seemed as though the harsh winter had eaten him alive". Beautiful, and a wonderful finishing line. In fact, your ending was very strong and I really felt the emotions coming from both Edgar and Winifred. Her desperation was evident and it was slighly chilling how he just walked away, leaving her to face her family and the rest of her society.
Speaking of society - I think you got really deep into the pureblood vs mudblood conflict in a very few words. They were always going to have that conflict between the classes, which is probably why their relationship was so passionate. It was just the fear of being caught in that situation without being married, it was the mix between the classes that was so decadent. That's what made the ending so poignant for me, because he'd ended up superior to her; even though he wasn't a pureblood he still had dignity and considered himself better than a pregnancy outside of wedlock.
I found no major spelling or grammatical errors, as is usual for you. I'm always jealous how you can write with such beauty and accuracy with apparent ease. I think there were only a couple of things I can pick up on: the first being "slinked out" instead of "slunk out". I dont really like the word 'slunk', but I suppose that doesnt really matter when it comes to the laws of grammar. The only other thing I'd reconsider is the wording of: ""Worry not," he said, standing up. He gathered the ripped shreds that were once a shirt. "I will return."". For me it was a little awkward and a bit forced. Even though the piece is set in the past, I dont think it sounded natural, or certainly not from what I gleamed of Edgar. Although, the only other suggestion I have is "never fear", and I think that's a bit unnatural also. I'm sorry I can't be of more help than that, but if I think of something I'll let you know.
Overall, I really enjoyed the piece and I look forward to reading more from you soon!
- MarinaAuthor's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for reviewing.
I appreciate your praise! This was definitely stepping outside my comfort zone and I have always wanted to try a period fic. In reality, though, I wasn't sure if I could pull it off. I see what you mean about Edgar being so forward, but that is just the vision I had. I agree with you, though. A little more reserve would have been appropriate.
Haha, that's usually how I operate. I take a while to warm up. I'll keep that in mind for when I write in the future.
Thank you! I've been trying to say a lot in few words lately and I'm glad to see it's working =) The ending was a surprise for me, as well. I wasn't really planning on having him turn against her, but I needed to twist it so that my readers weren't expecting anything. =P
I see what you mean about that line, and I agree. What would you have said instead of "I will return"? Period fics, Marina... I'll tell ya. =P
Thank you so much! I appreciate your review ^-^ Report Review
that's all i have to say. it's just so perfect. i know its mean but i loved when edgar left. perfect.
FLOOZY!!!??? haha please recognize that that has just become my favorite word.
weird but at the part when winifred said "I have no relations with a man besides you." i was thinking of the whole Mary/angel thing ("but i've had no relations with a man...") random i know.
i'm loving your one shots. they give to just the right amount of information and let you think up what comes next.
LMSAuthor's Response: ♥
Thank you! Floozy is an awesome word. XD Yep, that's where I got inspiration from that line. Thanks for picking up on it =)
Thank you! Report Review
It has been a good three weeks since your review request. I offer no excuses or explanations for the tardiness of this review; I simply offer a sincere apology. I truly am sorry.
This was lovely. It really was. I may be biased since I absolutely adore period stories, but there is just something about that time that draws me in. I do not know what it is. But there is this essence about that time that I love. You really managed to capture that essence. You mentioned that you were concerned about the time period dialogue. You need not worry. All the dialogue was spot on. And, not only the dialogue. But the small details you added to it. Eating the grape with a fork. Throwing pebbles at the window. The corset. They might be small details, but they really added to the overall setting of the story.
You did something very clever when you defined Winifredís character in the beginning. She isnít as Ďperfectí as her older sister, Celine. It is implied that she is the less favoured daughter. It is implied that she may not be as attractive as her parents may wish her to be. From that one paragraph about what her mother says (a beautiful paragraph in terms of sentences, by the way Ė loved the repetition!), you establish sympathy in the reader for Winifred from the start. You draw the reader into her character, so that, in the end, we feel more sympathy towards Winifred rather than understand Edgarís reaction. Clever. And very well done.
You have sort of taken a very clichť and overdone plot but taken it one step further and made it something really special. You know the typical story, one of the couple is an aristocrat, the other a servant. They have a passionate love affair. We have seen the films. We have read the books. And, admittedly, I absolutely adore all of those stories. I really do. (One of my guilty pleasure, if you will.) But this was different. And thatís what I loved about it. You could have gone with the standard plot, but you didnít. I honestly did not see what was coming. I didnít see that she would fall pregnant. I didnít see what Edgarís reaction would be. I didnít see it at all. But you handled it well.
Part of what I liked about this was that no explanation is given as to why Edgar reacts in the way he does. The reader never sees any of their interactions, except for the first. We donít know how truly affectionate they are, or whether they are purely driven by lust and desire. We donít know any of that. And, for the most part, the reader would want to believe that Edgar wouldnít react in the way he did Ė the idealistic view of a perfect young gentleman who would do anything for his lover. Itís just so surprising that he rejects the child and Winifred. I love that surprise. I really do. It really is sad and horrible, but I like that you wrote it in as the end of it. It leaves so many questions open but, at the same time, it doesnít? Iím not explaining myself very well here. Just know that I really did like how you closed the story off. From what I can gather, I think you were trying to highlight the point that the era in which they lived in, the society and the culture Ė they all dictated what type of relationship the two of them could carry, nothing else. And I like that idea. I really do.
All in all, a really lovely one-shot. And one I really enjoyed.
:]Author's Response: Don't apologize about time. I should be. I don't have any excuses either. I'm sorry.
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. It was definitely difficult for me, though, because I'm not a period type of person. I just wanted to see if I could do it, to be honest. It's an honor to hear from you that I captured that essence that you adore. Really, it means a lot to me. I didn't consider myself someone to focus on details until you pointed out those few that I put in the story. Now that I think about it, I guess I pay more attention to details than I thought.
That paragraph was interesting to me, too. I felt like it almost didn't fit in with the rest of the prose. It felt like I was writing poetry for a few sentences, but I'm glad it worked. I didn't intend to trick the reader into sympathizing with Winifred at the end, but I suppose it did sort of work out that way.
Yay! That's so great to hear. I was trying to take a cliche plot and make it into something that is actually interesting. (It's a guilty pleasure of mine, too.) Thank you so much! I'm glad you were surprised by what I did.
What reason is there to know why Edgar reacted the way he did? I'm not trying to sound defensive; I'm agreeing with you. At that time, I think, a lot of the emotion was surface. As fun as it was to get deep down into their relationship, the reality of it was that they hadn't even met each other before. They were really strangers, so how in love could they be?
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your reviews (as always.)
♥ Report Review
Have I ever mentioned I love that "stealing is bad for your conscience" line you include in your author's note every time?
Ouch. What an ending. The entire time, we saw Edgar through Winifred's eyes, as she wanted him to be, or as she imagined him to be, without an objective observer telling us about him. Turns out he isn't quite living up to her ideal, I suppose. Actually, the ending makes the story, though. It's abrupt, like a sudden, raw wound, but it's anchored in reality and keeps the story from being a cheesy, fluffy piece.
There was one paragraph that I wasn't all that fond of. That paragraph where Winifed was talking about the electrifying connection was a little much. It seemed like that aspect was being forced . . . some of her other thoughts certainly conveyed that she felt that way without her stating it outright that way.
I love stories about OCs (usually) because I don't have any preconceived notions regarding the characters. You can do whatever you want with your characters, and I won't be pecking at you and telling you, "Well, I don't think this fits with the way JKR portrayed him/her." I don't think the story was long enough for me to feel that I truly got to know Winifred and Edgar well, but the story wasn't necessarily about them, in particular. I think they can stand in as representations for types of people and situations. I did feel impacted by their story.Author's Response: XD Thank you! I thought I was rather clever when I came up with it a few years ago XD
I'm glad you liked this piece! I had to do something awful to my characters to stay away from it being fluffy and cheesy, so thank you for recognizing that.
I understand what you mean. Sometimes I don't take all the time I need to put myself in the character's mind. Thanks for pointing that out.
Thank you for understanding my point! I'm glad you could see that my point was the main idea, and not the characters. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your review, as always. =) Report Review
I loved this. It was beautiful, the language was perfect for the piece. (: You are truly gifted.
I liked the ending; I was expecting them to be caught and him hung/killed/AKed, but I liked yours more. It was more unexpected, and it was a more powerful ending. I really felt bad for her, and am now wondering what's going to happen with her baby. xP
Great job. (:
-JasmineAuthor's Response: Thank you! I can't explain how happy I am to receive such a high compliment. ^_^
Thanks! I'm glad I could surprise you with my ending. I like faking out my readers hehe. Thank you so much for a great review! Report Review
Hi there. I'm here from TGS with your review, only four days late! How good am I?
In all honesty, I never cease to be amazed by your stories. I was very excited when I saw your request. Not that I couldn't just go and read one of your stories on my own, but I need a little push sometimes to make myself. Hence my review thread. Anyways, that is all beside the point. The point is that your writing is fabulous.
You manage, in so few words, in such small space, to pull the reader into the world you create and immerse them in it before jerking them out harshly with a horrifying ending. It's too incredible to analyze. Only your writing does that to me, despite the fact that there are so many talented writers on HPFF. Only you can do exactly that.
I hope this all made sense and conveyed the point that there is no constructive criticism to be given. Simply amazing, as always. Sorry for being so unhelpful, but I'm sure it's nice to hear these things too. I really mean them.
~CBGAuthor's Response: XD Thank you!
Wow, what am I supposed to say to that? I'm flattered. ^_^
Thank you! I'm glad you were immersed in the world, because when I had the idea and I was writing it, I was immersed in that world. If I can translate a little of that feeling into the reader, I'm doing my job. Thank you so much.
Don't apologize for your review! This has made me so happy. You are helping by making me more confident. Thank you so much. Really. ♥ Report Review
Wow. This was amazing. I've always wanted to read a historical story on this site and this was just fantastic. There were no grammatical eras that I could see, everything just flowed nicely. I feel so bad for Winifred and Edgar is nothing more than a jerk! When I first began this I thought the story was going to be about Celine for some reason, but I'm glad it was from the 'forgotten sister' pov. I really anticipated a happy ending as well, but I'm glad you ended it the way you did, it was more realistic that way. Great job!
Femme ^_^Author's Response: Thank you! I'd kind of always wanted to try to write historical fiction but never really knew how. This was my first shot and I had a lot of fun with it. XD Edgar was kind of a jerk, huh? I'm glad you were surprised by the ending! That's what I'm always hoping to achieve. Thank you so much for your awesome review! Report Review
So, this was brilliant. Really. One on hand, there is your writing - which, as always, was a treat. On the other, you have all these period details that really pull the piece together. The historical aspect is well-researched, and the tone fits perfectly with the time period. It's regal, somewhat detached, formal, perfect.
The only part that jumped out at me was this - Yes, things were going swimmingly for the young lovers. - mostly because it seemed to go against the tone you had set up. It's all very formal, like I said, and then I read the word 'swimmingly,' and it felt off. Almost silly. It seems as though you are making a mockery of them (which, in reality, you are... but not quite so bluntly as this).
As soon as I read that line about them exchanging a silent message (jumping back to the beginning now), I knew this fic would have a Romeo and Juliet feel. Star-crossed lovers, fueled by lust, with nothing real to cling to. You portrayed that wonderfully - the excitement, the thrill, the forbidden aspect of it all.
I also loved your characterization. Here is a woman who is called too fat, too quiet, too this, too that, and finally a man is paying attention to her. Finally, a man seems to be attracted to her. Of course she is going to give herself over to him. It's too bad he was such a monster, in the end. Poor girl, I do feel sorry for her. She's got this ignorance about her, but it doesn't make me angry at her, it makes me pity her. She's naive, fanciful. She believes herself to be in love, genuinely, and that's heart-breaking.
I also love the attention you give to your minor characters. The characterization of her sister's new husband is perfect. This line - He was the kind of person who didnít acknowledge things like emotion. - was especially great. Unique, simple, real. I loved it!
All in all, a 10/10 for you. I really enjoyed this. I'm really excited that you dappled into this time period, because it's one of my favorites. :)
GinaAuthor's Response: You and your amazing reviews. I blame you for the time it took to respond to this. I had to come up with adequate words.
The tone and sound of this piece was what I was most worried about. I'm not well versed in historical writing, so I'm glad you thought I did a nice job. =)
I understand what you mean about the word swimmingly, but I disagree with it sounding like a mockery of the piece. I don't think the word is so informal that it detracts from the piece. In fact, I thought the word was very formal, but people in modern times made it into a sort of slang. Like the word 'awesome'. It appears in the bible, you know. =P
Thank you, though! The forbidden part of it was the most exciting for me. It was fun to write and explore these people. =)
I'm glad you could feel for my characters. That's always so nice to hear, and it gives me so much confidence, especially coming from you.
Thank you so much! I always appreciate your reviews. I'm sorry I came off as an arrogant snob in this review, but I just don't know what to say because I'm always so floored by your reviews. ♥ Report Review
Ilia, Ilia, Ilia. I dedicate something to you...you dedicate something to me. I thank you, I really do. It's an honor to have a story written in my name by the one and only, Ilia :]]
Let me get straight to that sexy scene you wrote. Sometimes a scene requires passionate, hot words; sometimes a scene requires loving, careful words. But this, this was a mixture of both. It was hot, but it was careful. It was sexy as sexy can get, but it was tender. Of all the romance novels I've read, I believe this scene surpasses them all. I'm not even joking on that one, although I never do joke when it comes to your remarkable writing skills.
Skill. Yeah, that's right. Ilia, you have skill. We have a huge 20 inch monitor on the new computer. It's pretty epic. Anyway, my face was as close to the screen as possible. Your skill had me on the edge of my seat. All I could think was, "No, way. This is wicked." I have to comment on the title. Once again, you sweep my imagination away with your outlandish, not to mention fantastic, title. Here's what I got from the title after reading the story: Winifred is a queen in her own right. A queen of many qualities, a queen of her kind despite her 'imperfections'. And yet, her she is, weeping...and pregnant by a low-life.
It's all so stunning, really. The imagery, description, characterization. Perfection, utter perfection.
My favorite line of the lot: "She called to him after he left, but when she peered out the doorway, it seemed as though the harsh winter had eaten him alive." - It's almost like he was a mirage. Epic, pure epicness.
You know I loved it, I really did. I know you like honesty, as well, but I couldn't find a scrap of CC. Beautiful, beautiful 10/10Author's Response: Hey, girl, heyyy! Thanks for coming to review! How could I not dedicate this to you. We both know this would not be as hot without your help. I think I just fed off your energy. I'm more reserved than you so... I would be too scared to write something like this on my own. So thank you!
Thank you! It was important for me to keep it a little tasteful because I couldn't see this girl just going all out without any sense of morals, yknow? I'm glad you understood what I wanted to accomplish =)
Thank you! The title was the inspiration for the story, along with the amazing banner that Sarah gave me.
Thanks! I liked that line, too =P
Thank you so much! You are way too nice to me. =) Report Review
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