I feel like a broken record when I tell you how beautiful your writing is, but I feel like I need to tell you, to remind you that there are people who love your writing and wish you never stopped. Seriously, keep writing because you have a true talent.
I adore your prose - the delicate balance of description and emotion, neither overpowering the other. I think I would enjoy it more if it wasn't from Severus's point of view. Not because I hate Severus, but your prose is rather "flowery" at times, which seems a bit out of character for Snape. Though I did love the last few paragraphs and thought they fit him perfectly.
This line is my favorite: Pure misery was kin to both emotions, and he had surrendered to it.
I did enjoy viewing Lily from his point of view though. He made her beautiful. You could tell how much passion he felt for her without having him outright talking about his love for her. It's all that 'show don't tell' they drill into you which you seem to have taken to heart.
Really beautiful, as usual. :)
forsakenphoenix (Ravenclaw) Report Review
I really like the concept of this piece - a stolen moment where Snape watches Lily, and enjoys who she is without asking anything of her and trying to change her. I also really liked the flow of emotions that occurred as the scene progressed, how the simple act of watching her can affect Snape so deeply.
I also liked much of your descriptive prose, though at points it might have been a touch over the top - for example the idea that anyone would have cried were they to see her dancing. Really? Also, having the stars and the flames in analogies that makes them seem sentient doesn't really fit with the person whose viewpoint the story is told from - Snape isn't flowery in his language, at all, and so it jars the reader back to thinking about the author rather than the narrator.
Otherwise though, a lovely and unique story. Thanks for requesting. Report Review
Oh my goodness.
I'm stunned. Almost beyond words.
This was so deep and moving. I wish you luck with this challenge, my dear! I know you said you'd like some real, clear cut CC, but I really can't think of any for this. I've ignored a lot of the typos because they really don't take away from the story at all. Minor, minor things.
It was just brilliant. Woww.. (: I could see everything that was happening, you know? I could hear the "primal scream." And it made me feel so sad..do you know the feeling that you get after you read a good book? It's like a feeling of calm and peace that makes you so happy after going through the torrential yet beautiful storm of a story. I'm feeling it right now.
10/10 for sure, my dear. Or more like 10/10 (; Hopefully you'll win this challenge!
~foundriapenguinAuthor's Response: I'm stunned, too! (But by the review!) Thank you so much for the lovely review, and for taking the time and effort to read it!
Others have mentioned the typos, which I feel silly for--that's what you get for late night/early morning epiphanies! Hahah, they'll be edited soon, because, although minor and careless, why no fix what can easily be fixed?
I know the feeling you're describing exactly (in such pretty prose, too!), and I can't believe my little fic gave you that! I'm both astonished and flattered beyond words. That's such a huge compliment; you're really too kind.
Thank you so much for the thoughtful review and the luck you've sent my way. I, too, hope so! We'll see...
Best wishes for a great start to the week,
V Report Review
REVIEW CHALLENGE #2.
That's embarrassing. You made me tear up in front of my family. Anyway, after reading this it's hardly any surprise that I sing your praises.
That opening paragraph - that openeing SENTENCE - was stunning. I know it's stupid, after all the years I've been on HPFF, I'm still shocked whenever I come across something so well written it should be in a published novel but yet it's not. Your writing is certainly awesome (like.. I am literally filled with awe at this. Wow).
The other paragraphs followed the same lines of awesomeness as the first. EXCEPT, nitpicker that I am, here;
"And as her moves slowed, so did his imagination, until the imae of the dancing girl had lost all of her color and was once again but a silhouette."
I would be totally in love with that sentence if it wasn't for that tiny typo ^.^
Perhaps if I was feeling sane today I would comment on how all the paragraphs are of similar length and how usually that would detract from the writing, and perhaps it does here too. But for once I think it adds to the story your telling.
I love how you never revealed who the characters are within the writing. It isn't needed and it just adds a mysterious romanticism to everything. The one thing my brain is begging me to say right now is "The WORDS!". I don't know why. I think it may be down to my new found facination with words and how people manage to string them together in different aways to invent wonderful, wonderful things. This is one of those things
And I'm crying again. Thanks ^.^. If I didn't love your writing so much (and you, I can't love your writing without loving you too because writing is whoever wrote it) I'd so be sending you my snotty tissues.
10/10 - How could I NOT love this. Srsly?
(P.S. Thank LLLB for this review. I would never have found this fic if it weren't for her) Report Review
Your opening paragraph is really good. You’ve set the mood and the tone well and your pacing is spot on. Only the last sentence of the first paragraph sounded weird: “Even when the night became so thick that even the stars themselves could not see past the darkness, her bedside candle still flickered, still cast a wondrous thing upon the linen.” I think you should try and reword this so that the ‘evens’ aren’t used in such close proximity. If you drop the second ‘even’ it would still get the same point across without getting sticky in reading.
This sentence threw me a bit: “The true beauty of her shadow was in its paradox, its mystery.” The last bit of it is the part that doesn’t make sense. I think perhaps it’s a bit too wordy… There’s something off there, I’m just not entirely sure what.
I like that you don’t identify the dancer and the young man. This works well with the story. I also like what you’ve done with the boy and the flowers. The way you’ve described what he was doing with the flowers as the girl danced was really well done.
There was a spelling mistake here: “…until the imae of the dancing girl…” There were also some grammar mistakes throughout, mostly in comma placement. But everything else was really good.
I love your last line.You’ve done an excellent job of showing Severus’ feeling for Lily without flat out saying them. It’s always better when you can show these things rather than tell.
You’ve got a really good balance between physical descriptions and emotions in this. You let the two of them support each other, and results are a very powerful story. It’s poetic in a way. You’ve done a really great job overall.Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review!
I'm glad you pointed that sentence out. It is strange. I think I'll fix it up. It definitely needs a bit of cleaning.
The sentence about the paradox of her shadow is pretty important to me, so I don't think I'll change that, but I still appreciate your pointing it out. At the most, I may drop the "mystery" part at the end.
Thank you for mentioning that you like my nameless characters. I like them that way, too, but enough people have said something about it that I was considering changing that. I guess I'll wait and see.
Agh! Thanks for pointing that out as well. I wrote this story very late at night/early in the morning, and I didn't read it through all too well because I was in a rush to get it in the queue. I usually pride myself on my tight grammar, so I'm have to give it a comb through. :/
It's funny you mention that! My old English teacher always told us, "Show, don't tell." He'd be happy to see I've picked up on that habit.
I can't tell you how much this review has been helpful! It was a great balance of constructive criticism and genuine compliments. I will definitely use your advice and comments to both edit this story and make my future writing better/keep doing what is working well here.
Thanks for your time and for being so thorough!
V Report Review
Oh my goodness. Let me just say that this is phenomenal, and I'm not just saying that to be nice.
This oozed with emotion and description, and I absolutely loved that. The descriptions flowed quite like poetry and it was refreshing to see such a vast vocabulary. One that was used properly, too. So kudos there.
I loved how you portrayed love without actually using the term, that was rather clever. Not to mention I can appreciate the notion that one is devoured by their passion rather than empowered by it. To me, that was more realistic.
I also love that while this was a romantic challenge, it lingered only on memories and Severus' guilt. That was quite beautiful and I think that you pulled it off quite fantastically.
As far as spelling and grammar go, I didn't pick up on any challenges or mistakes there so that's always nice. I do appreciate it because it makes it seem as if the writer paid special attention to the piece they were working on. :)
I loved your characterizations of these characters. It seemed quite true to form, especially the descriptions of Severus.
Thank you so much for entering my challenge. I quite liked this piece, a lot. :)
LindersAuthor's Response: ! (: ! XP ! YIPPEE ! ^^ ! 8D !
Above you will see a visual representation of my current emotions.
Yay for using the word "ooze." It's on my list of vivid words that make me happy. Today has made me overly delighted because the first reviews on this story appreciated the descriptive aspects, but did not necessarily cherish them, while more recent readers have really taken that facet of the story to heart. So, thank you so much for the compliments and encouragements in that area!
Wow, you really payed attention to the details of my story, which makes you such an amazing reader! Thanks for noticing all of those little things. It means that the time I put into this story was all worth it in the end.
I'm definitely a fan of grammatically correct fics, so I like to make sure that mine follow the rules as well. Otherwise, it's a bit hypocritical. So, I usually read them once or twice through each time I make a major change until I can read my fic through in its entirety without wanting to make any changes. It takes time, but people notice it, so it's definitely worth it. Also, that's how I catch many careless errors that would make me seem rather stupid, though they're only the product of hurried typing and poor autocorrect (if I'm working from my phone).
When I saw that I got Snape/Lily as my pair for your challenge, my heart did flips, but so did my stomach. See, I love them so much and am extremely intrigued by their relationship. Honestly, Snape is my favorite character. But they're both so complex that I was really worried if I could pull it off. So it was a mixture of delight and distress that thankfully ended in a story of which I am very proud.
Thank you so much for creating this challenge. I can honestly say I would never have written this story without that inspiration, and it is one of my personal favorites. It was very fun to write, in a bittersweet way. And again, thanks so much for taking the time to read and review. It's appreciated beyond belief.
Health and happiness,
V Report Review
Hey here for you review
I like how that you have not used any names but I do think that maybe you should at the end, like you can get who you are talking about but I think that it could add to the story.
You have writen this just great and you are able to discrip things so well that I was able to see the secen play out.
I really like the last part, it is a sad story for Snape that he love was never retruned, but I think that they way you hae done the last part was like that he know it well never work and now he will do whatever to make her happy.
With the flower I felt that you were inplaying that he would bring them for lily at some stage, and now he looks back to seen if one day he will have the guts to give them to her again.
LouiseAuthor's Response: Thanks so much for your review!
Someone else (or maybe it was two people? I'll have to check...) pointed that out as well. The lack of names is sort of characteristic of my style, but I do agree that I may need to alter it slightly, and after I finish a chapter for another story, I believe that editing this one is my priority.
I'm really glad you enjoyed the descriptions. It was definitely fun to write (but also sad). You totally got where I was going with the ending, so that makes me jump for joy!
Yes, each night that he makes the flowers, he makes them with her in mind, and as he is doing so, he imagines her wearing them. In my mind, he either takes them home, leaves them in random places, or puts them on her doorstep or below her window, depending on his mood. However, here he (obviously) destroys them, so game over.
Again, thanks so much for taking the time to read and review. I really appreciate it, and thanks for offering!
All the best,
V Report Review
So I love this. The writing was beautiful, and it flowed really well. There's no secret that Snape/Lily is my absolute favorite, and this really described the complexity of Snape's feelings.
The descriptions were top notch, and I really enjoyed it. The reality of their relationship is so very sad, and every way anyone tries to write it, it always ends in tragedy. I was really moved by the end of the story, the emotion that seemed to consume him so quickly. And it is sad! I wish that there was some way they could have worked it all out, but in the end, Lily was meant for James.
It almost seems to me, and maybe you meant it this way, that when Lily blew out the candle after dancing, it was like she blew out the candle on their friendship. Which I guess makes sense because that's when Snape got all weepy.
It's really a great story, I really enjoyed it, even though this review is in like pieces. I'm recommending it for the story seekers, which technically I don't have to do since it's my podcast, but I'll fill the form out anyway :)Author's Response: So I love this review. (:
If I were to take a picture of myself right now, everyone think that I am either
b) part lobster
c) allergic to my computer
d) trying out for the part of a tomato in a movie
e) incapable of applying make-up
because I am blushing so much right now! (:
I so, so happy to have a Snape/Lily fan review this, because that's exactly the sort of person it was written for. (And so, so happy that it was received well!)
I agree with everything you just said! It truly is a bittersweet relationship. Personally, I believe the greatest sign of true love one can make is to sacrifice their own happiness for another's. In the series, though unwillingly, Snape had to concede to defeat, and resented James entirely. But, after Lily's death, he realized that he would do anything, no matter the pain, to make sure that (if she were alive) she would be happy. So he protected a child that was a symbol of Lily's choice to abandon Snape and choose James. In a way, the end of this story is a much smaller, condensed form of that gesture. The agony and the pain, but the acceptance.
I definitely meant it that way! I know that candles can be a bit overused in metaphors, but it just seemed so apt. The candle (Snape's love and hope) is what allows him to see her shadow. But it's only an image of Lily, and not the real thing. When he finally comes to terms with the fact that it can't be, the candle is out, and he can't even see her silhouette. On the same token, Lily controls the candle (his hope/love/etc), so it was only ever her actions, rather than his, that would be the deciding factor, and he is forced to accept whichever fate she chooses. It's also apt that she isn't even aware he is watching. Without knowing it in the series, she turned her back on not only his friendship, but also his love.
Holy mother of a house elf! WHAAA? Do you hear that noise? It's not the ticking of a bomb. That is my heartbeat. I may be forced to mail you the medical bill for the treatment on my heart attack. I knew I recognized your username somehow. Well this is the most incredibly amazing and gratifying thing I've ever been told in a review. Honestly, people barely know me on HPFF, so I don't know how to thank you enough if you do end up featuring it. I love Story Seekers! (And, although I'm sure you've noticed, everyone else does, too!) I really don't know what to say.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review. It means so much to me, and I really appreciate the help and encouragement that everyone gives in their reviews.
V Report Review
Wow. That last line summed it all up. They were so alike, then so different. They could be both friends and enemies, depending on the circumstance. She would stand beautiful while he was in a frenzy below. Lily and Snape were true to their characters in this one shot.
You clearly focused on description to move this one shot, and it worked extremely well. The metaphors were true, and painted quite the picture. It was incredible.
I've always loved Lily/Snapes, perhaps because they can go in so many directions depending on their personality at the moment. Their stories can be used to inspire hope or crush dreams, and also be used as warnings. This one was gorgeous, showing how in sync the two were, how alike, and how the balance was delicate.
I'm the kind of writer that appreciates constructive criticism much more than an adoring review, but I'm hard pressed to find anything to comment on here. I cannot write description of any kind for the life of me, so this was particularly enjoyable. Perhaps you could work on the length of your sentences; some were a little too short and snappy, while some were running on a little too long. The content of the sentences were beyond good, but the lengths could be altered. Other than that, it was great.
This embraced several of the possibilities of Lily/Snape, and the description was incredible. I'm sure you know that description is your strong point; stick to it. Meanwhile, I'm adding this to my favorites.
~lllbAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for your review!
I love it when reviewers nail the story on the head! You totally got it, which makes me one very happy camper. I'm really glad you liked my characterization. Snape is so much harder than I thought! Lily, too, since we honestly don't have much, relatively compared with other characters. (Yet we know enough about her that it is possible to do her wrong!)
It means so much that you enjoyed the descriptive aspect of the story--it seems to have turned a couple of people off.
I agree with your take on Lily/Snape entirely. Snape is one of my favorite characters in the series because he is so complex. He's really a treasure, so exploring the only canon relationship (or lack thereof) of which we know is very interesting to me.
I love constructive criticism very much as well, but being told that it's hard to give is about the biggest compliment you could give anyone. I like your suggestion a lot, though. I may go back and see what was going on there. A lot of the time, I do that on purpose. I like the sentence structure to parallel the pace in the story and the actions and emotions being portrayed. However, I may have gotten a bit lazy with it, so I'll scan through and check. Thanks for the suggestion!
It's very encouraging to hear someone tell me to stick to description. I love it, but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. Being told to keep at it is a great comfort, so thank you.
Many, many uberthanks for the favorite! Your review was so helpful, thoughtful, and carefully constructed that I know I'll request again in the future.
First off, I love your word choice. It's absolutely lovely. The way you describe things is amazing. Although we know from the info who the characters are, it'd be nice to have some variation with the text instead of just "he" and "she". Names are good things! haha. But if you didn't want to use names, things such as "the boy" work as well.
Anyway, this really was lovely writing. It was a gorgeous concept and you made it all come together so well. I love their emotions, their feelings. It was great.
My only problem was it was kind of boring. Although it was great, there wasn't much that happened. I wish there had been more, but at the same time, what you had was great.
Sorry this is kind of a lame review, but you did really well with this.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review!
That's just about the greatest compliment you could have ever give me, since word choice is something I am personally trying to challenge myself with.
I have a huge habit of rarely using names. For some reason names, to me, anyway, break up the flow. But I definitely see where you're coming from. It wouldn't hurt to spice things up a bit. I think I'll take a read through and see where I might add some variation.
You're definitely right. This story is based on description rather than action, emotion rather than dialogue. That was actually one of my worries. Luckily, you got through it and don't dislike it, so yay! I don't really know how to make it more exciting without changing it entirely.
Not a lame review at all! I appreciate any reviews I get, since I don't get many, but this was very helpful, honest, and thorough, so thanks for taking the time to read and review!
V Report Review
i thought this was a very well-written and well-executed one-shot. you did a wonderful job of leave an aura of mystery over this while at the same time, creating something that was easy to comprehend and also easy to hold onto. that is quite a feat in my opinion. not everyone can do such a thing but did it very well so congratulations on that.
overall, i thought this was a fantastic story. i wish i had something more to offer you but i don't. you mentioned you like constructive criticism but i honestly don't have any for this particular piece. good news, right? feel free to request again on my review thread anytime you wish. keep up the great writing and have a wonderful week!Author's Response: Wow, thank you!
I really appreciate your review. I had no idea where to go off of for this story because I had no reviews when I requested. So, I had no idea if it was too much or too little or too boring or what. hahah. I'm glad it came over well. :)
I do love constructive criticism, but you've told me what you liked about the story, which was equally helpful, and very flattering. I really appreciate your thoughtful review and the time you took to read this. I'll definitely request again!
V Report Review
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