I really love this story! You did such an amazing job! I love Dahlia! She is such an interesting character and I loved the way you characterized her. You did a wonderful job giving her, as an OC, a great personality that draws your readers in.
I really loved the way that you described the story and how you generated a brilliant picture in my mind as I read along. I really felt at times that I was right there with her. It was well balanced and you didn't overwhelm the story with it. The flow was smooth and the pace was steady.
I really thought you did a great job portraying the way people would act in Azkaban. It was creepy.
Keep up the awesome writing! =)
Recenseo 2012 Report Review
Did she go crazy?
And this story is great, because we don't really have an insight to AzkabanAuthor's Response: Man, I'm sorry this reply took me so long.
Whether or not Dahlia went crazy is up for the interpretation of the reader. ;)
From my author's perspective, I will reveal that, in my head at least, she's been crazy since the moment her husband tried to kill her and her hand was forced to kill him instead. The dementors really on worsen her state of mind, though, and definitely make her a great deal more crazy in her mannerisms whereas I think she might have actually been able to function with slight dementia and a lot of trauma if she'd never gone to Azkaban. (Wow that's a long explanation, sorry!)
I'm glad you liked it and I really wanted to explore the state of Azkaban and such, so I'm glad that came across well! :) Thank you so much for the review! -Liberty
Hi, RandomRed here from the forums. I am amazingly late but I am here now with a review for you!
I am going to start with the end because it is awesome. So, so creepy but at the same time genius. Haunting, truly haunting. You can hear her in you mind just repeating that over and over in her cell.
The story itself is very well done as well. I like her character Slytherin but not deatheater, kill every muggleborn that walks, Slytherin. Which I find is a good balance.
Well her husband obviously drunk the kool aid.
I don't really know what to say the ending is still on my mind, it is an amazing end to a one-shot.
Your writing flows very well and nothing seems stinted, which is good seeing as you involved flashbacks. The transition (sp?) between each one is very well done. :)
Ginny45/RandomRed xxxAuthor's Response: Hi!
My author's response is amazingly late, so that's alright.
The end was a bit of inspiration from the whole idea of insanity. I just started thinking of people and what they would be like after a couple months (or years) in Azkaban, and arrived at the conclusion that they must be constantly reliving the bad moments of their life!
I didn't incorporate that part into her character until I realized that I needed some conflict between her and Eli. I definitely did not want cheating, because I just find that overused and have used it multiple times in the past. So, the only other thing I could think of was a difference in belief.
"drunk the kool aid"? I'm confused, but that's alright!
I was so worried about the transitions! I was really worried that they'd come off choppy, but I'm glad that they were "well done."
Thank you so much for the review!
Liberty Report Review
Hello libby103! It's notreallyblonde44! I'm dreadfully sorry it has taken so long :/ Azkaban! It's such an undeveloped place and let's see where you take us :)
I hate to be so critical right away, but I do not like that she tells us what her name means. I find that names that describe the characters have become so cliche, especially flower names. I would never start my biography/life-story saying, "Oh hey! I'm Melanie, Melanie means blah blah (I have no idea what it means lol) and I was named perfectly by my parents because I am precisely blah blah." I'm sorry this is probably unnecessarily harsh, but it is a pet peeve of mine when names describe the character completely. And the flowers thing too in the Rowling world of HP, a bit irksome but nevertheless fine.
While I agree that she is probably unstable (is instable a word?), being in Azkaban in all lol, I would prefer to see it, not be told it. Instead of knowing it right away, I could get a juicy description and then at the end be like ohhh she's unstable! There's a suspense difference there.
'reduced to...the magical world's scum.' -great line and paragraph! It really sums up her character and her beliefs. Nice character building.
I like the way you handle flashbacks. They aren't like FLASHBACK and in italics, they are integrated into your character's memory and that shows nicely, which really makes sense for someone in Azkaban, who is left with nothing better to do then relive everything, especially the moments that got them locked up.
I'm freaked out that she killed her husband, they seemed to actually like each other. *gulp* wonder what happened/happens lol. Good suspense.
'supposed to be painful boils.' -supposed to be?
Not Molly! Telling us who she was cursing and her opinions was a nice way of showing us her timeframe and opinions once again.
'his love for putting a flourish to his spell-casting had been the end of him, just like I'd predicted.' -I could have done without her prediction. It was too obvious.
"We prisoners" repetition reminded me of Constitutions and the people's rights. I really liked this! I feel horribly bad for Dahlia, sympathetic too even though she's racist/classist/elitist. Her and Eli really came alive as characters for me because of how you expressed their differing views and lifestyle.
'The ones that go insane are lucky. They live in a different world.' -Dark and good!
Besides what I have listed above, I would work on diction. Now I know this was first person, so it's a limited POV, and maybe I should read something you've written in 3rd to get a better grasp of your skillz, but I always think a varied diction and some concrete description, maybe of the hellhole and what's around her (or not in her case cause she's mental) is always better. As you can see, I'm even torn about my own feedback here haha. But I still think that sometimes word choice could have been better, especially verbs in dialogue. Thrashed and stuff isn't something I see too often in terms of someone talking because it's unrelated to voice and tone. So I would watch for that, sometimes a simple said is good enough.
THE END IS SO CREPPY! Very nice, powerful and original (as far as I have seen in fanfiction). The circular pattern is great and really shows how she relives the same thing over and over again. It's rather sickening and haunting and I almost feel bad for Azkaban people now, well her and Sirius since he was innocent and she was defending herself. Of course, with Eli's contacts in the world she would be put in Azkaban. So excellent job! Overall I found this to be very believable and an enjoyable (in a morbid way) thing to read. I thought it was a great take on an Azkaban inmate. I think you had solid characters and the way you handled the genre was superb!
I hope this helped and, again, sorry I was so slow. good luck with the challenge!
nrbAuthor's Response: Hey there!
Thank you so much for reviewing! I didn'Ât really notice the time it took you to review, so that's fine.
I'm sorry I pushed a button using Dahlia'Âs name to describe her character, I was trying to be ironic...because she wasn't really unstable...just the rest of the world thought she was. I personally have a pet peeve with that too, but this story was hard to start off, and so I gave in. And when I saw the finished result, the comparison to what people thought of Dahlia and what she really is, made me laugh. People thought she was unstable because it seemed she killed her husband out of the blue, but really she had reason to, was very reasonable herself, and even now she's not unstable, she's just gone mad.
Oh! Instable's not a word...I've got to edit that soon. But, going back to above, I didn'ÃÂt mean for her to come off as truly unstable, rather than just plain mad. (I think this may be a misconception on my part, but I feel like unstable and insane are different things...)
I'm glad you like my characterization of Dahlia. I've never built up my characters so much before, so this was a stepping stone in my progress as a writer.
The whole FLASHBACK in italics is a pet peeve of mine that I try to avoid most of the time. So I'm glad that my story worked without the FLASHBACK in italics, I was a bit afraid it would be confusing to readers.
Ahah, I thought it would be even scarier that she killed her husband if they were truly in love. I made her kill him because of how he'd changed by becoming Voldemort'Âs follower, it also gave me the opportunity to shed my own personal opinion of how Voldemort'Âs followers were blinded by the promise of power and the threat of its loss.
Umm, the boils were "supposed to be" painful because I wanted to point out that Dahlia had never felt their effect herself, but rather only casted it several times on her victims.
I wasn'Ât planning on sticking Molly in there, but I was writing the scene out and the name "Molly Prewett" came to me like a revelation.
Sorry that part where Eli'Âs flourishes on his spell-casting was a bit too obvious to be worth mentioning. That wasn't there in my first draft, but when I looked over it, I thought people might not get it, so I just added it in for clarification.
I think that you mean to say my repetition of "ÂWe prisoners" is good, thank you? I hope?
I'm glad Dahlia and Eli were more than just ordinary characters, but they actually seemed to come alive to you. That's a good effect, I think, I just really wanted some sympathy for Purebloods in this fic.
I'm glad the dark comments I put in about Azkaban'Âs inhabitants are getting good feedback.
Oh please don't go read my third-person stories! They are dreadful and from 2 years ago! Really, I just have about 2 stories up which I am confident in, this being one of them. I wanted the descriptions here to be simple, because as you said, she's insane. It's also a thing I wanted with this narrative, because I wanted it to be one that shows us Dahlia'ÃÂs character more than anything else.
I'm so glad the end was creepy! I didn't know if the effect I was trying to impose on my readers would work, I was afraid it was cheesy because I'Âve seen this effect in many movies. I wanted my readers to feel bad for people in Azkaban, as a whole, because if you think about it, Dementors are just messed up. To the extreme. I swear, I'd rather die. Yeah, I thought about her being pureblood and therefore not being thrown into Azkaban, but then I realized that Eli was more important, as a politician, so I kept with it.
I'm overjoyed that you like this story as a whole, despite the morbid tone I keep throughout.
Thank you so much for the review once again!
It really helped me know what I need to change in this particular story and what to not touch.
p.s. I got first place in the challenge :) Report Review
Hey, Reyes from the forums to review for you,
So, this is just awesome. Seriously, I love it. Usually, using OCs as the main characters in a one-shot is tricky since the reader would want to know more about them. However, you told us enough about this Dahlia girl. She's a pureblood, Slytherin, arrogant, yet not enough to actually be forced into becoming a Death Eater. She seems like the female-version of someone like Blaise Zabini (who I'm just fascinated with). She speaks lowly of wizards who aren't purebloods, but had no want to join the ranks of Voldemort. I love that. It goes to show that even if some people may be prejudice, they all don't want to kill those they are prejudice against.
I loved every bit of this story. Your writing style was really cool. Short, direct sentences here and there. A part of me wants to say that a couple more...colorful, descriptive words would definitely add a little bit more to the story, but another part of me wants you to keep it as it is. Adding too much description can sometimes overpower it all, and I think you're in a safe, good spot with how you wrote it. However, there is one line that stood out for me for some reason:
"...we stop trying as the dementors get to us and plant roots of poison into our minds..."
I don't know, I just love that bit of description. You can show just how the Dementors (I believe their name should be capitalized) are truly effecting them, even to the point that the human guards keep as far away from them as they can.
This was very good, dude, especially the end. People who fight the fact that they're going insane are truly the most insane ones. They're scary.
Lovely ending, and an even more lovely, chilling story. I honestly want to read more, but it's perfect the way it ended. Besides, I don't see how much more you could add to this. It's great, thanks for sending this my way.
-Reyes91Author's Response: Hey Reyes! Thanks for reviewing so quickly!
You definitely got the gist of Dahlia's character. I'm glad she came off the way I needed her to. It occurred to me to go through the Harry Potter Wiki to find a Canon character, but I decided against it. I just made an OC character that had a simple personality, straight-forward and to the point.
I was at the same conflict when writing this. I didn't know whether I should be more poetic or not. However, the way it turned out was as a narrative, and from Dahlia's point of view. So I tried to have her personality come off in the writing. I think more colorful description would sort of ruin the effect I wanted to have.
I'm glad something is sticking to you. That description was added later in the piece, when I wanted to add some flair to it. I'm glad that the addition wasn't in vain.
I agree with the point that the Dementors should be capitalized. There are a couple of small spelling errors and typos that I have to fix, so I'll probably change that at that time.
I completely agree. Psychotic people who think they're normal are frightening...
I'm glad you liked it and the way it turned out. I seem to be having good feedback on this story (fingers crossed.)
Thanks again so much for the review!
Liberty Report Review
Here to review from my thread on the forums!
Wow. That's my first thought. The last few lines were seriously haunting, this was one seriously amazing story. Honestly, so very well written!
The plot of this is very interesting. I haven't yet read any Prisoner of Azkaban stories, but this has definitely set a very high standard. You came up with so many ways to describe Dahlia's feelings, thoughts and emotions while she was in Azkaban, and though they were almost repetitive, repeating the same point, they weren't because of the way you wrote it. It was completely compelling, seriously, and as I read more, I was just dragged in deeper and deeper, and I couldn't stop reading. This is one really well written fic. The beginning and the ending was really clever. The last few lines repeating really had an emphasis, and leaves me wondering what happened. The formatting of the slight angle also was very effective. The story of Dahlia and her husband was nicely thought out too, with the wedding, and the mention of Molly also added more depth to it.
Characterisation is wonderful. You've created a lovely character out of Dahlia, and Eli, and all the other characters were very in character too. No flaws at all.
Spelling/grammar/punctuation is just about perfect. I only found one spelling mistake: "I must've seemed quite instable to those around me." instable should be unstable. Although it is INstability, it is the state of being UNstable. Also, I think that the sentence may have even more impact if you write it as, "I must have". Just my thought.
Three other sentences I spotted that I wanted to point out:
* "Frank will be mad that I didn't send him a birthday present." Dahlia said that other guys make Eli jealous, and that she only went out with girl friends, so I just think it would be better (for consistency purposes) to make this a girl's name. Also, is this Frank Longbottom? It is unlikely a Slytherin girl would be friends with him anyway (even if said girl wasn't supporting Voldemort).
* "All thoughts of your favorite tune or the recipe to your mother's apple pie that was all taken away as well." Sentence doesn't quite make sense.. perhaps "or the recipe to your mother's apple pie ARE all taken away..." Also, favorite is the American spelling, if you want it to be more British, then it should be favourite. It doesn't make a difference to me, but some people get annoyed about Britishisms!
* "Soon enough, all energy is drained from us with our happy thoughts, and we no longer have the strength to be angry anymore." The 'with our happy thoughts' doesn't seem necessary, and doesn't make the sentence as effective as it could be. You've mentioned the draining of happy thoughts in many other sentences anyway, so I don't think it is needed here.
Overall, I LOVE THIS. Seriously incredible. Such a powerful insight into Dahlia's character and Azkaban. Amazing writing. I was engrossed from the beginning to the end. Sorry for the long review, but I hope it helped in one way or another!
- maskedmuggle / Charlotte :)
P.S *favourited* Author's Response: Hey Charlotte!
Thanks so much for the review, it's very helpful.
To address the criticisms first, I totally agree with my abuse of the contraction "must've," when I get around to editing this story that'll be one of the things I change. Also, I wasn't aware that it's "unstable" instead of "instable", I now fear for my English grade, but am glad that you pointed that out to me.
When I said Frank, I didn't necessarily mean tha to be Dahlia's thought. It was just a name off the top of my head. It's kind of how when people give examples of things, they'll say Bob and Mary were dating, but Bob broke it off, but Mary thinks they're still dating, how should they remedy the situation? Bob and Mary don't really exist, but are examples, like Person A and Person B, their sole purpose is to make a point. However, I do see how some readers could interpret that differently, so I'll be changing that to a female name later.
I get how the sentence is a bit confusing with "that was all taken away as well," but that's a personal style of writing and would feel like betrayal to change.
The point about British authencity is good though, I never noticed that, and am grateful you did. I need to proof-read for those better. I think I'll start using them in everyday life. "Remember Liberty, it's 'favourite' not 'favorite' and it's 'colour' not 'color'."
I'm considering omitting "with our happy thoughts" from that sentence, as you suggested. I'm not really sure about that one.
Now for my complete gratitude!
Thank you so much for your review! It's really helpful as to what I should be working on, and what to change in this particular story.
I'm so glad you like it. After I put so much work tweaking this story until I was cross-eyed, I'm just thankful that the few people who read this story actually like it! That's what makes all the hard work worth it.
My characters sometimes get criticism, so I'm so glad you think that they were all wonderful.
I was afraid that angling the last few lines would be a bit over the top, but I'm glad they turned out to have a nice effect.
When I first read that you thought my descriptions were repetitive, I was so afraid that they were horrid! Repetition has such a bad connotation in my mind! Then it sunk in that that it wasn't my wording, but my feel that was repetitive and that it had a good effect on you.
I was also afraid that my ending would get feedback life, "A little cliche, but alright," so I'm really glad that so far people love it.
The fact that this story pulled you in makes me so much more confident as a writer, something I never imagined myself doing. This whole writing phase I'm in is turning out to be more than a phase, and I feedback like that makes me feel all the more encouraged to carry on with it.
Thanks for favouriting it, that makes me feel really good about the quality of this story.
Your review was absolutely lovely. Thank you so much, once again.
p.s. I don't know if anyone ever bothers to read the Author's Response, but mine are a bit long. So if you do read, Apologies! But I always feel like I must address everything the reviewer does and add in some thanks on top of that. Report Review
Pure genious. I absolutely LOVED the ending. Congrats on an amazing story!Author's Response: Thanks! I put a lot of myself into this piece. I reworked it so many times until I knew about every word. Then I got a beta to tell me what needed fixing. And then I reworked it again. This is probably my first piece that I've ever put so much into. So it really makes me happy that you enjoyed it :)
oh, by the by, the funny thing is, I worked on this backwards, the ending was what I started out with! So I'm glad it's getting good feedback! Report Review
The end was bone-chilling, and I think that it correctly displayed the affect the war had upon society, as well as how not all purebloods were committed to Voldemort. the imagery was brilliant and it flowed very nicely. Great job!Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I'm glad some people noticed how I tried to show society's reaction to Voldemort. I stated this in a different response to a review, and I hope this isn't an insult to the Holocaust, but that horrible event in history inspired me while writing this. It will probably keep inspiring me whenever I write something Voldemort-related. Hitler's ability to suade people into his mindset was horrible, but it reminds me of Voldemort. We also hear tales of Nazis who felt bad in what they did, so I used that in my thinking up Dahlia's pureblood side.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It really makes me feel like all the stress (though there was enjoyment too) that came with ensuring that this story was as good as I could make it was worth it. Report Review
Hey, Lily here from the forums with your review!
Ok, to start off I really liked the overall feel of the story and I found it very touching. Dahlia's story about her husband was immensely sad and you showed very well how Voldemort and his Death Eaters poisoned people's minds and turned them against the people they loved.
Dahlia's character was very well written and the vocab used was descriptive and emotive. The created the environment of Azkaban and showed the horrors of living their and how torturous it would be to be trapped in there.
The idea was very haunting and I loved the bit at the end which signified that she was in fact starting to go crazy! It was a very unique and original idea!
Your writing style is very elegant and flows well, I found it a very enthralling read!
I only have a few CCs but they are all minor and just little things that would improved it a teensy bit. Adults at the wedding say 'anyways' quite a bit which I thought was bit unrealistic especially from pureblood mature witches/wizards who I would expect to be quite proper in the way they talk. The others are just little phrasing that I found a bit confusing (examples: 'he be set off into', 'we live not at all'). They might be like that on purpose and some people may like it but personally I couldn't quite get my head around them.
Overall though, very good job! I also read the challenge it is for and I think you have a good chance of getting a prize in it! So good luck with that!
Hope this review was ok!
Lily ^_^Author's Response: Hey Lily,
Thanks for reviewing! You got to it much quicker than I thought you would...
I'm glad you like my show of how people were induced to join Voldemort. I hope this isn't an insult to the Holocaust, but it, and Hitler's ability to influence people to join the Nazi party, really inspired me in writing that part of the story. And it will continue to inspire me whenever I write these type of stories.
I'm glad that my description of Azkaban is getting good feedback, I really just thought of every aspect of life, and made it downright horrid.
I don't really think my ending is an original idea, but since you say so, I'm beaming with pride.
As to your constructive criticism, thank you so much! I often feel I don't get enough of it.
I wanted the purebloods at the wedding to sound shallow, but I think I veered off too much into Valley Girl rather than the Southern Hospitality and British Primness I should've been going for. So I'm going to revisit this fic at some point to change that, because now that I've noticed it, it's really starting to bug me.
My phrasing is actually like that on purpose. I feel bad that it's awkward to some readers, but it's my personal writing style, so I don't feel the need to change it. However, thanks for your input, as I'll try to keep that in mind while writing.
Your review was wonderful, Lily! Thank you so much!
-Liberty Report Review
Wow! Great Job! I really felt the mood as I read the descriptios of Azkaban. The ending was a smart idea, its like she's finally going insane.Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you like it. When I first saw your challenge, I knew that my character had to appear sane, but be totally living in her own world in the end. So the ending was fate!
I'm glad you like my descriptions of Azkaban, I added those in last, I wanted to put in the plot then show my readers how torturous Azkaban actually is.
It was so much fun, and so much stress, to be in this challenge. Thank you so much for making it! It was fate for me to write this story, it's gotten me back into the habit of writing! Report Review
Truly enjoyable. A kind of story that haunts you for a littlewhile after reading, making you think about life.Author's Response: I'm glad it haunted you for a while, I'll take it as a compliment, seeing as it's those stories that I end up coming back to. I'm also glad that it made you think about life. I feel that reflects upon me as an author, and that thought just makes me feel the pride exuding from my aura.
I'm glad you enjoyed it! Especially after I put so much into this story! Report Review
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