Merry Christmas from your Ravenclaw Secret Santa! I know that you said reviews aren't at the top of your list, but I'm always looking for an excuse to read and review more fan fiction. A few of your one-shots caught my eye, and I couldn't resist reviewing them. And already I'm very glad that I did!
I loved the way you've written all your characters in this story. I actually don't think I've truly read a Rolf-centric story before, but you have set the bar very high with this one! He's extremely likable, and I felt so bad for him, especially in the first section -- but he's got a very competent way to deal with his heartbreak. It's so fitting for a Scamander to escape the world's troubles by seeking out the company of animals. And I was extremely impressed with the way you wrote Tonks, especially, and that's mostly because though she only had a small part in this story, it's one of the more in-canon portrayals I've read of her lately. No one ever writes Tonks as being clumsy, for some reason! I don't know why that trait gets overlooked, but there it is.
I love the name Porsaggio for the lizard, too -- I'm always really terrible at coming up with names, and therefore envious of people who seem to pick them with ease. And again, it just really does suit him to use animals to get over Gail's rejection (though from the way you've written him, I can't think why anyone would reject poor Rolf!). The ending of this story was great in that vein, as well, with the positive note we get, with Rolf going to look at the magical alligator. Reptiles over girls indeed!
This was a great story, and if I may say so, it went by entirely too fast. I'm already looking forward to sitting down and writing another review for you! Brilliant work!Author's Response: Thank you once again! As you can see, I tend to gravitate towards minor characters when it comes to writing. And Rolf was fun, and I got some magical animals in and whatnot, but I also liked Tonks here. I hadn't expected to include her, but things worked out and I was glad I got her in. She's one of the characters I hope to write more of in the future. And she is so clumsy! JKR worked that in there ALL the time, and I agree people overlook that fact often.
I have no idea where Porsaggio's name came from-- I think it had something to do with the color purple-- but I found it and it was love at first sight. :P I don't consider myself particularly talented at naming, but for this story, I was definitely pleased with the outcome.
Thank you for the kind review! I'm really enjoying them. Happy holidays!!! Report Review
So, I'm basically a horrible person, because you won my Hooking First Sentence Challenge almost two years ago and then I sort of fell off the face of the Earth/HPFF and never reviewed your six one-shots like I promised. But now I'm back and you will get your well-deserved reviews! And I'm extremely sorry for the long wait.
I swear, everything of yours that I read is always so beautifully written and carefully constructed. You have an incredible talent for not writing too much and not writing too little; the pacing and flow of this one-shot are excellent. I also really enjoy your word choice. You have a knack for wording things in a somewhat unconventional way but still pulling it off magnificently. For example, I loved in the first few lines, when you described the owl's eyes and how they "always soaked up and swallowed his gaze." But I think my favorite part of this piece is when "Rolf briefly tasted the word suicide" and the paragraph that followed. Somehow, you make your protagonist contemplate suicide in the most logical, least angst-filled way possible, and it truly speaks volumes about the character you've created here.
I think it's your characterization that really makes this story enjoyable. It's very different from the one-shots I'm used to seeing on HPFF, in that it focuses on a very minor character (pre-Luna, nonetheless) and, in my opinion, is more character-driven than plot-driven. The story-line itself is almost simplistic (that's definitely not an insult) and I liked how you used the story to provide insights into Rolf's character, without forcing these insights on the readers. And you've definitely created an interesting character here, no question about that. I was particularly intrigued by how dependent Rolf seems to be on these magical creatures, as if he prefers their company to humans; I thought it was interesting (and humorous) that he would use magical creatures to help cope with his break-up. It definitely makes me wonder what kind of relationship your Rolf will have with Luna in the future, and I wish this was more than a one-shot so I could read more about your Rolf.
There were a few minor mistakes in here. Mostly, I noticed that your dialogue punctuation is a little bit off. When you have a dialogue tag (i.e. 'he said') in between two sentences of dialogue, it's followed by a period. For example, in
"I wish I needed you," he sighed, "You look like a wise old thing. But I already have an owl."
there should be a period after 'sighed' instead of a comma. So it would be
"I wish I needed you," he sighed. "You look like a wise old thing. But I already have an owl."
In addition, when you use a semicolon, both sides of the semicolon have to be complete sentences. So, with the sentence, "Gail had just given him the greatest gift of all; a reason to let her go," a colon would be more appropriate than a semicolon.
But, aside from all that nit-picky stuff, I don't really have anything to criticize about this story. It was well-written and funny, and I really enjoyed the characterization. I think a lot of authors could take a page out of your book on how to create realistic, believable characters with normal, not overdramatized lives. Overall, I really enjoyed this. Good job!
P.S. I just noticed the title and I love it. Has anyone ever told you that you're exceptionally clever? Because you deserve to hear that more often.Author's Response: Hey, don't worry about it, I'm the queen of falling off the earth/procrastinating. I entirely forgot about the prize, to tell you the truth, that challenge was back in the good old days when it was actually fairly uncommon for challenges to come with prizes... These days everyone feels like they have to lure contestants in with promises of reviews and favorites and whatnot.
But now that you're back, at least for now, I remember very clearly how wonderful and detailed your reviews have always been. So even though I'm a slow responder (feel free to kick me for that), you can rest assured that your reviews, with or without criticism, tend to make my day. They are always very, very thoughtful.
I think I word things the way I do because I shy away from long descriptions, and tend to rely more on word choice or a key sentence here and there instead. I have a huge fear of boring people. ;) It's great to hear that I pulled it off here, especially in something I wrote quite some time ago. As for the part where Rolf considers suicide, I vaguely remember wanting to talk about it, without making it long, dramatic, and something that would increase the story's rating. So I did my best to tone it down and keep it brief. It's reassuring to hear it worked out.
Arrgh, punctuation! You can definitely tell I wrote this some time ago, because believe me, I know my punctuation now. ;) I will go back and edit all those out. It's embarrassing to think of the number of stories on my page where it looks like, "'I need you.' He said."
Anyway, thank you for such a lovely review! I'm glad you think Rolf turned out to be a realistic character, quirks and all. Report Review
Firstly, the ending here is really clever, and you had me thinking it would be Luna for a while, so that was a refreshing surprise! :) I like the idea of Rolf, and I like the way that you portrayed him here, too. (Lee Pace is a good face I think!)
Iíd always tried to placate my own tastes by putting him closer to Luna in age, but I really like that Tonks is his friend here. I like Tonks, and think that her friendly, clumsy self is often unrepresented in stories about her and Remus :)
I think itís charming; the whole thing, and the little details, like Rolf is the one that the owner calls when she gets in a new specimen, and that in the end, he decides that itís over, and it doesnít turn into something that youíd expect. I think that the song really works with this story: I donít like song-fics that tell exactly the same story as the song, using the same imagery and everything. I think that this does a good job with keeping the actual message or point the same but doing it in a creative way. :)
I love the name that he chose for the little lizard, too. Itís clever and it sounds cute, like a pet would have it. You have a really extensive vocabulary, thatís clear, from reading through your stories I can see that. You just put words to good use; there arenít too many that it looks like you just stuck there because youíre supposed to. It all looks on-purpose, and itís very economical, not to reduce words to such things, but still :) Saying a lot, with a few letters, is hard. And you do it exceptionally well.
I like that this is a sort of unusual conglomeration of things, too. Pet store, meeting an old friend, work place... but the whole thing is hinged upon a breaking romance. It was nice, unusual. I like this one a lot :)
(pirouetting at this point)Author's Response: I believe I was trying to mold it into a Rolf/Luna for awhile, then gave up. I have no clue why. :P But either way, it was a refreshing change for me. This banner is one of many that I snagged from the UFG section at TDA; so many people rely on banners, but there's no need to request one when there are so many great ones up for grabs.
Tonks is actually very close to the trio/Ginny/Luna in age; I think she was in Charlie Weasley's year in canon, which isn't really that old. Considering Rolf never made an appearance in the books, and I didn't want to make him international, I just plopped him in Tonks' year. You know, for someone reason, I now have an odd desire to write Tonks/Remus. . . be right back. . . :P
It's definitely fun to write a story that follows a song, but it's dull for the reader. I don't know how I came up with this song (it's track 9 or 10 in an album where only the first 6 are really worth listening to), but I tried to mold Rolf's story to it a little less closely. I agree entirely that that makes for a better read.
Really, I have a good vocabulary? Well, that's nice to hear! I don't use thesauruses much, which I hear is a good thing. Even when I use them, through antonyms of synonyms of antonyms I usually end up finding a funky word I file away for a later date, and give up on my current word. :P
It's definitely shaky on plot, mostly because it was so hard to arrange the story around the song AND where I wanted it to go AND try and keep it organized. Nice to know it all straightens out by the end.
Thank you once more!!! And you think you're pirouetting? What am I doing, as the recipient, then? Performing entire ballets?! Report Review
This is so adorable! I just loved how simple it was, and I always enjoy stories that don't really revolve around canon characters.
"He was Rolf Scamander, and he owned a giant purple lizard. What else did he need?"
-definitely my favorite line.
Well done! Thank you so much for making me smile today!Author's Response: I love minor characters! They let you use your imagination, same as the trio's kids. I can do pretty much whatever I want with them, and I like that. And I think your favorite line is mine also. ;) For me, that pretty much summed up Rolf right there. Thank YOU for making me smile today as well. Report Review
Clicking into this, I was sure that it was going to be a Rolf/Luna. You surprised me, though, and I liked it! I can only imagine an old and shriveled, animal-loving wizard telling his grandson "Owning two huge reptiles beats a girlfriend any day." xD
I love how you included Tonks in this--I can totally see her as a friend of Rolf, Luna's future husband! Her characterization was perfect as well, she came off very Tonks-like while still giving heartfelt advice--which also came off as Tonks.
I loved Rolf's interactions with the animals, it read as so natural and second nature to him. And I love the name Porsaggio. :D
I thought the song lyrics fit the story perfectly, just to let you know. :) Overall, great piece!Author's Response: You know, I tried really hard to add Luna at the end, because I do like her, but each time it kind of ruined the mood of the story, as well as the lyrics. And anyone who loved animals as much as Newt would surely have some animal/life advice for a struggling grandson.
Tonks was an unplanned (well, the entire story was unplanned for the most part) appearance. I hope I did her justice, because as the kind of writer that finds darker characters easier to write, she didn't come out too easily.
The fact you said that Rolf's interactions with the animals were natural is a huge compliment! For me, anyway. I think that writing that comes out easy and natural is a big part of making a mediocre story into a good one, so that's really, really pleasing. And thanks for mentioning the song lyrics, I was a little worried people would think they had no importance whatsoever. :D Thanks for the review! Report Review
I'm finally here with your requested review ^^
First of all, I must say that I can't stand U2 so I didn't recognize the song until I read your Author's Note. That being said, I didn't really get at first how the lyrics were connected to the story but later on I realized how it might have inspired you :)
I suppose it's not good to follow too closely on the lyrics, but just use them to inspire you and that's exactly what you did. So I think that you don't have to worry about getting of course ;)
Anyhow - the descriptions. You could have described the Menagerie and Eeylops more - the different animals in the Menagerie, the sounds etc etc and how many different owls there were in Eeylops' but the story was more about Rolf than anything else so it's not that big of a deal.
All in all, I quite liked this because I'm a fan of stories about less known canon characters and getting a fresh view on them :D, you did a good job with it.Author's Response: Haha, well I love U2, so there. :P And don't worry about recognizing the song, it's the last or second to last song on their newest album, not at all something most people would know.
Good to know that even someone who doesn't like U2 didn't mind the lyrics, or even the fact they didn't follow the story too closely. I was just wondering because some people despise songfics, and if I have on up I want to know it's worth it. As for the descriptions, it's fine that you thought I didn't have enough. I want to know, because then I can add more, or make them more original, or whatever. Probably both. Anyway, thanks for the review! I love minor characters as main characters too. Report Review
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