Hi there! Sorry it took me a few days to get to your review--my internet went dead for a couple days, and it's been a crazy week on top of that! But I'm here now, and I have to say that I was really intrigued to read your story just based on the title and summary. I personally love it when people take minor characters and give them a story, so seeing that you had put your own spin on the Dr. Ubbly behind Dr. Ubbly's Oblivious Unction was something that made me really excited to read.
It was great writing, too. I didn't notice any spelling mistakes or grammar errors as I was reading through, so that was lovely. :) I also love that you've given Quintella such a distinct voice. Especially from the first few paragraphs, I really got a sense of the type of person she is...and I really liked her personality. I don't think that the characters seemed unrealistic (which is what you asked about in your request), at least not at this point. It's hard to tell because I'm only just getting introduced to them, but so far, so good. The only suggestion I can really make in terms of characterization is that all of the characters in this chapter seemed to be kind of similar to one another in the sense that they were all kind of sarcastic and a little bit snarky (with perhaps the exception of Mrs Westbrook). Again, though, within the first chapter, it's hard to fully tell where you're going with the characters' personalities.
Now, the second thing you asked about was the transition between thoughts and dialogue. I do think that, just generally, there was a lot of ambiguity in this chapter that made it a bit difficult to fully comprehend it as a scene. In the beginning, especially, where Quintella is thinking, and then the dialogue starts, I had no idea who she was talking to--I actually thought she was talking to herself until a few lines in. I'd definitely just drop a sentence in there to make it clear that it's Alistair breaking into her thoughts. As for the rest of the chapter, I didn't think there was any trouble with those transitions.
I did, however, feel that you lost some of the impressive style you started out with--like I said at the beginning of this review, I started off feeling like there was a perfect window into Quintella's personality, but that window definitely shrunk as the piece went on. I'm a lover of dialogue, but there were some points where I felt like the talking was too back-and-forth, without any sentences of description or elaboration to break it up. I think it would have been great, for example, to include a little bit more description of their physical space. I know Quintella is getting photographed, and then she's with her mum on a streetside...but is it in the same place? Where did Quintella actually start out in this chapter? Have they walked a few blocks? Are the photographers still standing right there as they're having their discussion? Why is she in the place where she is?
The final thing that I felt created ambiguity was that these really salient points of your introduction left me wanting more elaboration. This potion that Quintella invented, for example--I know what it is, of course, but I think this chapter would have been stronger with a little more explanation of how exactly she made it, and what it does (for those who don't know), and why it's turned her into an overnight celebrity. Then there's the matter of her missing out on so many years of schooling. I almost feel like from your summary, you're going to stick her back into first year...which, in my opinion, would be AMAZING and so hilarious. It would be such a different take on the, "I haven't gone to school, but somehow I'm still just as advanced as all the other kids who have" storyline. Anyway, though, back to my point--that's a pretty major thing, to be ill and have it keep you out of school. I think you needed more explanation on that part. How long was she sick, and how long was she simply just not in school? How did she meet Alastair, if she's not at Hogwarts? Why wouldn't her parents make her go back, especially if her sister was there all along?
And, finally, I come to your last question: repetition. After reading the chapter through several times, I do feel like the horror over the name of the potion was dwelled on a lot in this particular scene. And it's true, not a ton happened. I almost felt like it should have been longer. However, most people are going to read your chapter once, and on the first read, I didn't feel like it was repetitive. I did still have the feeling of it being slightly uneventful, but I didn't initially feel like you were going over the same subject again and again. The thing about introductory chapters, too, is that they are by nature less eventful in a story like this--and considering that you introduced this really interesting premise, the fact that it wasn't too action-filled is minimized, in my opinion. The idea here is something that I think is great. The execution could have been carried out a little better, but if one or the other is really strong (and I do think the idea was really strong with this), I can personally look past whatever side may be lacking. Not all readers may feel the same way, but it wasn't a huge problem for me, at least! :)
All right, so, after all of that, I do want to say that I think this is a really promising start to what could be an original and really hilarious story. I'm also so intrigued by the fact that this appears to be set at the same time Charlie & Tonks are at school--I don't think I've ever read a story about that time, so I'm definitely interested to see what happens when Quintella does go back to Hogwarts. (And, in case I'm not making myself 100% clear: will you please re-request when this story gets updated? I would love to read more!) Apart from the ambiguity in places, I thought it was a great read! Thank you for requesting it!Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for the review! I'm glad the summary/idea seems good!
Now you've mentioned it, I suppose the characters are all quite similar. I'm in the middle of writing out character profile/outlines for each main character, so hopefully that will help. I'll go through chapter two and make sure they're not all too similar like Ella! :)
Okay. Well, I will edit this chapter sometime and I'll add in more description/names but at the moment I'm more concentrating on editing chapter two. I'll have a look and see if there's much more I should add in there. Thank you.
I'll try and add in bits and pieces more of her life before the story, okay. Originally I was planning on just putting her back in the right year, but actually, you're right, first year would be funny. :D It would actually help a bit with parts of the plot and maybe would be better as her tutor that she had before wasn't the best. Plus, I'm a bit worried with the whole 'joining Hogwarts later on' thing, as it's generally a big cliche, maybe that would sort things out. I'll have a look over chapter two and see. Answering the questions, she was sick for... from around six months to a year? I haven't really thought about this part very much. She was ill for a while, then she spent time just recovering, and then she began work on the potion, and got her tutor. Alastair she knew because they live nearby and finally... I suppose Ella persuaded them that there was no way she could create a great potion in school.
Okay, thanks. I did think that it was too repetitive, but I wasn't sure if it really was or if it was just because I'd re-read to so many times. But if you think it's all right in the end, then I'll keep it like that. :)
Charlie and Tonks won't play very big parts in the story, but they will appear. I'm happy you think it's a good start, and I will re-request, thanks!
Thank you so much for the review, it was very helpful! :)
- Ria_Lee Report Review
This is very original and funny. It seems a little disorganized at times, but overall it's really promising. I also love the names. Can't wait for the next chapter!Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for the review! :) I'm glad you think it's funny; it was one of my main worries at putting it up that it wouldn't be. I'm sorry it seems disorganised, do you mean that the way Ella's thoughts and the dialogue is mixed up? Anyway, I'll see if I can maybe sort that out in the next chapter. I'm happy the names seem fine.
Again, thank you so much for the review!
- Ria_Lee :) Report Review
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