Whoa. So this was quite different to your other stuff that I’ve read, but gosh, it was so good!
It was actually a little confusing at the beginning, but that confusion really added to the creepy/mysterious tone of the whole story so it wasn’t a negative point at all!
I like the theme of fear. It’s more of a classic ‘monsters in the woods’ fear but those fears are really not to be underestimated. Especially if the monsters are real ones. My heart was beating so fast while I read this, until I finally got to the end things were explained. I know that sometimes the ‘I woke up and it was all a dream’ ending is not preferable, but it seemed to work here.
I wonder why you chose James in particular to be the main character? Was that a deliberate choice, or random? Just fascinated ;)
I enjoyed the drama in this piece! And, as always, it was extremely well written.
-Annon ♥ Report Review
You shouldn't say Ginny. I mean,you've made it clear that it;s James ll and we know his mother is Ginny. So don't mention her name :)
There were many typos. That's the only reason for you to be unhappy about but other than that this story, like all the others, is amazing! Your portrayal of dreams, characters, creatures, emotions and all the rest is just impeccable. Really. I'm going to favourite you author :P Hehe
No seriously. I love your style and your use of imagination. the only thing is the little bit of typos I see everywhere. Get that fixed and this will be great :D
It already is ;)
*Hugs*Author's Response: Hey!
Thanks for letting me know what you think! It is pretty clear, and it definitely is strange for James to call his mum by her name.. so it is definitely something I will fix when I edit this story!
Ooh, typos in this story as well? Like I said, I'm pretty good with typos and things because I proofread and use spellcheck, but I'll take another look and see - thanks for pointing it out! :) I know you can't respond to this, but maybe a lot of them are just British/American spelling differences that you're picking up?
Anyway, thank you so much for all the really nice comments. They really put a smile on my face and I really, really appreciate it! Aw thank you! That means a lot to me :) Thank you for the really lovely review!
- Charlotte Report Review
I'm here again (:
Wow! This was great! Certainly a lot different from what I was expecting.
You held the interest up when you didn't reveal whose POV this was at first. I kept wondering if it was Harry and why he couldn't remember any of those incidents. I definitely didn't expect it to be James!
Such a creative idea of making him dream about stories he had heard his parents and relatives tell him. That is something that could easily happen.
It all made sense after reading the last bit, why everything felt so confusing (in a good way ^^) High fever can give you the most weirdest dreams ever!
Awesome one-shot! I liked this even better than the first two I read and they already were amazing!
~EAuthor's Response: Hey Elenia!
Ahh, I'm super sorry for the late response! Been busy and haven't really had time to respond until now! But to your review.. thank you so much!
I think I am inspired a lot by other writers, and while I was writing this, I think I was inspired to create one of those stories where the character/something is revealed at the end. So I'm glad you found it unexpected and that it left you wondering at first. I'm a person who never really has these crazy and weird dreams so it was definitely fun and interesting to write about.
Aw, just thank you so much for all the nice comments and for the absolutely lovely review! :)
- Charlotte Report Review
So, I know this isn't exactly the first thing on your author's page and so not necessarily the thing you really want reviewing, but I saw the banner and the summary and, ah, it just looked so interesting, so I hope you don't mind! ;)
I loved the beginning of it. It was familiar enough to make me kinda guess what was going on and unfamilar enough that I was still wondering who it was, why they were there, what was happening and where it was going to go. It was just such a perfect balance of information v. non-information and I really liked that.
The idea of fear was so evident throughout the story - I could feel that James was scared, that he didn't know what was going on, and, at first, I wondered if it was Harry or someone having amnesia or something. It made the ending so much better! I liked how you used things which, on their own, aren't necessarily scary: the spiders, the car, the centaur, even the Forbidden Forest, but combined them so well to create the fear. The individual scenes blended into each other so well that, honestly, I didn't really have time to think about what was going on or question it, I was just swept away in it all with James. It was really, really good :D
I remember there were a few bits here and there which I thought were perhaps a bit disjointed - ooh, and the exclamation mark after the word 'vroom' shouldn't really be there - but I couldn't really find any mistakes, as such, it was all more stylistic choices. I'm hugely description-heavy when I write, so I'm so impressed you managed to write this and keep description to a minimum, only describing necessary things. It kept the pace of the story up, which was so lovely.
Also, I really wasn't expecting the ending and I really liked that I wasn't expecting it, if that makes sense. I didn't think it was going to be a dream, and I didn't expect it to be James dreaming, either. It surprised me - the good kind of surprise! :)
I thought your characterisation of James and Ginny was good, as well. James was sweet - young and kinda naive, but also fairly logical and a bit more mature than people normally make him which was nice to see. I loved the last paragraph. That was just... ah, it was just perfect. A dash of humour and a dollop of seriousness. It was so, so lovely.
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph! :)
Of course I don't mind! Any review is always great! I am really pleased to hear that the banner and summary looked interesting though!
Thank you. I'm glad to hear that I achieved that balance, and that I didn't put anything too unnecessary in. I think my writing is generally lacking in description - which can often be a bad thing, but it's nice to hear that you thought it worked in this story! Dreams can be overused quite a bit, so I'm glad it wasn't too cliche and that it was a good kind of surprise!
Ahh thank you! Characters like Ginny are J.K.Rowling's so I try to have them in my stories like they were in Harry Potter. Since I wrote this a while ago, reading it back again now - the last paragraph feels slightly awkward to me.. but hearing that you found it perfect is reassuring.
Thank you so much for the absolutely lovely long review! You are much too nice and I really appreciate the effort! Thank you for reading and reviewing! :)
- Charlotte Report Review
Hey, Charlotte! This wasn't bad! I liked it because it kept me on the edge, "what the ** am I reading"? I didn't know what was happening and I liked that! I had the urge to skip ahead but I didn't because I hate it when people do that--you know, read the last chapter of a book when they're just at the beginning?
Anyway, spelling and grammar were fine; no noticeably weird sentences or anything. Concepts were confusing but hey, it was a nightmare! Of course it'd be confusing!
The only thing that I had a bit of "eh" on was the fact that James called his mom "Ginny" in his mind.
Actually, what I liked most about this is that it's exactly like how I am when I'm sick and with a fever. Those are the only times I have nightmares and after I have the same nightmare (every time), my mind goes off on some wild tangent of all the books I've read, movies I've seen, experiences I've had and stories I've dreamed up. So the way you wrote this was very real to me.
charlottetrips [Ravenclaw]Author's Response: Heya! :)
Thanks very much for reading a fic of mine!
Haha.. i think I may be one of those guilty ones who skip to the end.. ONLY SOMETIMES THOUGH. Only for the final DH book.. :P
Anyway, I'm very glad that it kept you on edge and that you thought it was real and could relate to it! I've never actually had a nightmare or a dream before.. so most of this was made up, hehe.
Thanks for pointing out that bit about James calling his mum Ginny! I genuinely had forgotten about that and it was nice for you to remind me! :P
Thank you for such a lovely review! :)
Charlotte Report Review
I've never had a chance to look at your stuff :P
I liked the drama and how you kept the mystery there of the nightmare. We could see it comparing to the forest scenes throughout the books and I kinda liked that.
The ending was a little bit abrubt I was hoping for some kind of explanation or something. But other then that it was written well and I enjoyed it! :P
Hannah xAuthor's Response: Hey Hannah! :D
Lol, I don't think I've read much of your stuff either :( [am going to try & change that!]
Thank you very much for the lovely review!
Hehe, I know there are some problems with the chapter, like the abrupt ending, so hopefully I'll get time soon to edit it a bit!
Thanks Hannah :) Report Review
Wow. This is your best story yet! And I still have a couple more to go!
The description throughout this story was great. The flow of your writing has improved, you write with more confidence, and I felt, as a reader, that you had a better grasp of exactly what you wanted to say in this piece than you did in your earlier work. The beginning of the Sirius/Sienna story was stronger than the earlier writing, but this piece blew that out of the water! Well done. :D
The weak point of this story is the ending. It can be really hard to figure out how to end a story, and this ending feels a bit like you were floundering for a way to wrap things up. The result is two or three paragraphs at the end that are a little odd and out of sync with the rest of the chapter.
I am also a little bit confused as to how James would be able to dream all those things. Those seem more like Ron's memories/nightmares, to be honest, with a bit of Harry's thrown in. Have Ron and Harry told their children and nephews about their adventures? Or is this a manifestation of James' magic? What age is he in this story? That wasn't quite clear to me.
The story was pretty cool and adventurous otherwise. It was apparent pretty quickly that it was a dream, and there was this frantic, feverish quality about it, which was quite fitting. It was also nice to see the return of the Ford Anglia and other old friends, if I can call them that. :)Author's Response: Hello! :)
Awh really? I kind of like this, but I kind of don't, so thank you! :P
Some of my older stories really make me cringe :/ but I can't bare to delete them :P Thank you ^_^
Yep, definitely agree with you there! I often use flashbacks to end it, but it's probably time to try something new :P
Yeah, I guess the dream is very.. detailed! I tried to have it so that Ron and Harry had told James their stories, but also, James' magic played a part in creating the dream that related to Hogwarts (and how "there's your first day to Hogwarts in two days") - so he's 11 years old :)
Ooh thank you :) It was actually hard finding stuff to write, so I just used the things I knew were in the forest :)
Thanks for the lovely review! :D
Hello! Diem here from the forums with your review. Before I start, I'd like to apologize for the delay; I've been getting back into the swing of things at uni, so I was slow to get on these reviews I got during winter break. I've gotten around to yours, though! Let's get into it.
First off, aside from this being a writing challenge that is out of your element, I can tell that you are a skilled writer. Although the sentence structure is awkward in a couple of places (because of the dream structure, I think), your diction is superb. I also really enjoyed your pacing, as it seemed very much like a dream. You did a good job slowly revealing bits about who the dreamer is, one at a time.
One thing I really liked was how you started IN THE MIDDLE of the dream. This is something I probably wouldn't have noticed without watching Inception, but it's so true, and I like that you plopped us down in the middle of the situation, just as James is.
In the first paragraph, you mention that James is suddenly able to "discern [his] surroundings." However, at the end of the paragraph, you mention that all he can see is "pitch darkness." This doesn't match up. ^^
Also, why didn't James know why he was wearing black robes? I feel that because he was able to identify the Forbidden Forest a mere three paragraphs later, he should recognize that he is a wizard wearing Hogwarts robes.
There should not be a comma between "nightmare, because." Just a minor technicality! :) Also, "at other's fears," the apostrophe should be after the "s."
I felt that describing the car's sound as a "tearing scream" was a bit strange. I liked that "tearing" went with the verb "rip," but for some reason, it sounded odd to me.
The sentence at the end of this paragraph that begins with, "And even though I am," is awkwardly worded as I reread it. I would restructure this and possibly split it up into multiple sentences, as it gets quite heavily worded and confusing.
I rather like how James waits for something else to happen. It seems very dream-realistic that he seems to allow his subconscious to run things, even though he is unaware that he is asleep.
I loved the alliteration in the sentence beginning, "The scuttling sounds." However, in the next paragraph, I don't think you should include the comma after the onomatopoeia, but rather italicize "vroom."
Ah, we finally have confirmation that it is a dream. I like that you alert us to this with subtle details, such as the spiders being the drivers of the car.
Another bit I really enjoyed was that you separated and italicized the key realizations James makes within the dream.
"A few are staring back at me," this sentence, I think, should say, "A few centaurs," just to clarify.
I realize that by calling his mum "Ginny," you clarify with James it is, but it's strange because the story is in first person. I think that instead perhaps having her say, "Goodnight, James Sirius Potter," might be better and more in-character.
To be completely honest, I don't think there is something "very off" with the writing in this chapter. I think the way in which you told it, with a lot of noun-verb, straightforward action sentences, really captured the sense that it was, in fact, a dream. In my dreams, the details are fuzzy, but the actions are all very clear. This is in-line with how you wrote the chapter. There are some bits that are awkward, but otherwise, I think the writing style was a good fit.
Overall, I liked this one-shot quite a bit. It was well-written and an original storyline; I rarely see pieces that are nearly entirely comprised of a dream. Great work! (My, this was a long review!)Author's Response: Hey!! :)
Don't worry at all about the delay. I do the same in my review thread, and I completely understand how real life can get in the way, and how you can easily get distracted hehe. And uni is definitely more important than my story!
You have definitely made my day with your review. THANK YOU. I seem to be getting good feedback on this piece, so it's rather confidence boosting XD.
I know I am great at writing essays. Writing fiction is another matter entirely, and that's why I practice on HPFF, because there's already a world to work off on, and there are lovely people like you to help give me feedback so I can improve.
You have pointed out a lot of the things that don't make sense in this piece, so thank you! I realise lots of things don't really match up in the other places - the lighting keeps changing :L
James didn't know why he was wearing black robes because it was a dream :L That was my thought behind it, but yeah, doesn't make a lot of sense, so I'll try to make that sound better :P
Some of my story is awkward and odd, definitely, so thanks for pointing out those things. I'm glad you liked how it was a dream, and the bits that were realistic! Thanks for all the nice things you said, and thanks for the critique as well! This has been really helpful, and I will make sure to follow up on your advice when I edit this in the near future ;)
p.s Happy Australia Day (even though I don't think you're an Aussie..) :P Report Review
Hi maskedmuggle! It's certainly taken me long enough to get to this review, so let's have at it and hopefully the CC will make up for my slowness ;)
'I know only that those questions are irrelevant, even if I have no answers.'-This confuses me. If the questions were truly irrelevant, why would they have been implied at all? And how would he know that he shouldn't know? Lol
'I don't know how long I run, and at the risk of being cliche,' -Ran not run. Also, your character realizes that he could possibly be cliche? That seems odd to me o.O Otherwise, at this moment, the tension was mounting and the suspense was building and progressing nicely.
When the location is revealed it made me really think about who this character could be (of course I already looked at the end to find out haha, but) I came up with many possibilities and I think not giving it away really added a fun dimension to your one-shot in terms of mystery.
'But I do. I am scared of losing control.'-If this truly is occurring in a dream, I'm not sure if I buy the realization James has here. Hmm I like that his character is building built on mystery and he slowly reveals himself to us with his feelings in the dream, especially the aspect about exploring fear, yet I guess I've never come to such an interesting realization about my personal character while in my dreams (afterwards sure) so I guess I'm a skeptic about this line for that biased reason.
'Somehow, I know that it will be blue, and it will be a Ford Anglia.' -I enjoyed how you explored this aspect of dreaming. For some reason I always think of what I know something's going to be before it happens, always creepy but there is still limited control. Nice job here!
'I do not know how I can drive, but I must be, because the car is moving.'- haha
'and the human stumbles'-what human?
'Ginny strokes my head,'-it's in his POV, would he really call his mum Ginny?
Besides what I have written above, I really enjoyed how you explored dreaming and illness/fever dreaming. When you are sick, dreams tend to get wackier, I don't know why haha. I enjoyed how you built up the story and revealed the character at the end. I thought these were creative approaches. You didn't make a large number of surfaces errors and that's always something to be proud of :) Some bits sounded awkward, most of them I've hinted at above, but otherwise I think you have a good set of skills in writing. I liked the action verbs, they helped with the overall suspense. I say not bad, especially for this being out of your comfort zone! The aspect of the story that I liked the most I think was having James embedded in his family's history and even a bit scared of what awaits him at Hogwarts for his first year. Some parts didn't sound 11, but it worked for the most part. Don't be so harsh on yourself :P (reference to your A/N)
Hope this helped and good luck in future endeavors!
nrbAuthor's Response: Hello! :)
Don't even worry about it, I know how tough real life can get sometimes, and I just appreciate you making the effort to review this at all.
I definitely needed this constructive criticism, so thank you for pointing out each mistake. You bring up some very good points, and some parts are definitely odd and don't really make full sense. :P
Awh, thank you so much. The main thing that bothers me about this piece is that the writing sounds awkward, and so far, mostly everyone agrees, so it's definitely something I'll be working on to improve.
Thank you very much for the kind review and the helpful criticism! I really am grateful, and I hope you know that.
- maskedmuggle / Charlotte :) Report Review
Hello, here for your requested review,
So, you wanted downright criticism for this piece because you weren't happy with it. Well, it was definitely a challenge for you to write, that much is clear, and usually when people first write something out of their comfort zone, sometimes little things are off.
In your case, there is something odd with the writing. First off, it is quite obvious to me that this is a dream (more so when he says he's living his worst nightmare). Writing a dream can be somewhat difficult, but I can tell that you were capturing a dream-like way of writing. Repeating words definitely made the writing feel like it was truly a dream or nightmare. However, there was still something I couldn't quite put my finger on that felt odd. Maybe the repetition was a bit too much at times. Like, when you're stating what he's doing, it reads just like that: you're stating what he's doing. At times, it seems to stop reading like a story and more like James is just recounting what he went through aloud. Perhaps if you use different words here and there (like the paragraphs describing him running; maybe throw in a few different words in place of the word "run"), it may just enhance it a bit.
Also, maybe even trim down on the use of the word "I" so much. Yeah, it's extremely difficult since this is first person, but it's something I feel the need to point out since I see this in my own writing a lot. It's something I'm trying to work on, and it's tough. Using the word "I" too much can really break a story written in first person. Instead of writing "I run," "I see," "I yell," "I know," maybe combining some of the sentences would make things flow a bit better and use just a touch of more natural description. Again, I only caught that because it's something I'm trying to fix in my own writing. It's tough and annoying, but it's something that can be easily fixed after a few read-throughs. Maybe even read it out loud and you'll catch it.
Now, besides the critique, this is a good story. Especially since it's not something you're comfortable with writing. A bit of it seems forced, but that doesn't make it a bad story. The concept of it is great, and it shows that James is still a kid and has normal fears like everyone else. And yes, as you stated in my review thread, I'm not the biggest fan of James II but I do enjoy reading different stories about him like this. They're more interesting and shows that he's not just some Quidditch star jerk that some people make him out to be, so I really enjoyed this piece. You're not bad writing out of your comfort zone; the more you do it, the more stories like these will easily flow out for you. Great work.
-Reyes91Author's Response: Hey!
I apologise for the late review response, (holiday), but I do want to let you know that I've read it, and that I really appreciate you taking the time to write such an in depth and helpful review.
You definitely point out something there in the writing being 'off' or something, because I completely agree with you. It's still something I'm working on, but I'll look at the repetition and the way I'm writing it. It is tough, but I will definitely look at it, especially at the use of 'I', something I've never noticed before.
Gosh, I really am grateful that you took the time to do this, and thank you so much! I'll follow up on your suggestions and hopefully this piece will improve a bit!
Thanks for reading and reviewing,
Charlotte :) Report Review
Hello there gingersnape here from the forums with your review as requested!
First of all, I felt this was absolutely amazing for being out of your comfort zone. I tried and could not come up with anything nearly this good, so it really isn't that bad.
That said, you are right that something is a bit off in this writing. It feels a bit forced, but it also feels a bit like how a dream should be. I don't think it's bad writing in any way, but the way the actual sentences read in my head is not quite right. With a bit of editing and a thesaurus or a beta, I really think that element of not quite normal could easily be turned into something really fantastic.
Now, other than how the sentences actually came together, I have to disagree and say that I really liked this. The story was very enveloping and I was completely sucked in the whole way through. Once I got used to how it was told, I actually really liked it and was completely surprised to find out it was a dream. The description in particular really made this story for me because it pander a really wonderful picture for me and I felt a lot of emotion for James in the story.
Above all else, I really liked reading the brilliance of the various musings in the story. You had an excellent mix of emotional contemplations (The number of big words I'm using is astonishing considering I'm not using a thesaurus and it's nearly one... I feel I should be scared that some mustering disease has come and filled me with a good vocabulary for once!) and in the moment heart beating quickly sections. This story rely made me stop and think and then race ahead, which is a quality few stories have.
Spelling and Grammar: I did see a few things, but they were mostly typos and there weren't nearly enough little things wrong to take away from my reading experience.
Pacing and Flow: This felt very in the moment and like I really was running in the forest with James. As I said before, it did take a while to get used to, but then I really ended up liking how unique it was to read a story that was told like that.
Overall, I was really surprised by how much I ended up liking this and I hope I will get to read more of your writing in the future, because I absolutely love it.
Good luck in the challenge,
-gingerAuthor's Response: Hey!
Wow. I can't thank you enough. Thank you so much for taking the effort to post such a long review, and thank you so much for all the nice things you said as well :)
I'm really surprised everyone likes this, because I myself don't. But maybe I'm looking at it too critically as the writer, and not as a reader. YES! Forced! That is the perfect word to describe it! I had to force myself to write this sort of, (out of comfort zone :L), so although i had a few plot bunnies, not a lot of inspiration. I'm glad you see potential in this piece to be even better.. and I'm going to consider a beta for this. And re-read it through to try and make the writing a little less forced!
Well, really, I just want to let you know that I really appreciate the time you took to read and review my story. So thank you so much. It's certainly been a helpful review! :) Report Review
Hey Charlotte :) I'm here with the review you requested!
You said you solely wanted criticism and I noticed that this particular story was completely out of your comfort zone, so to get the gist for comparison, I read another one of your pieces.
To be honest with you, this was a story that was very well pulled together, plot-wise, at the end I was quite surprised to find out it was only a dream. I thought that incorporating all that he had heard from his parents and godparents plus his first day anxiety made for a very creative story. But, you were right when you said something was off about it. I think it's because it's written in first person, present tense. Some parts do indeed seem strange to me when I read them. I wonder if that's what's bothering you about it.
As a side note, is it bad that this line: "I am on a centaur", reminds me of the Old Spice guy? Haha.
I hope this helped you in some way. It isn't the mini-essay I usually provide though ;)
LiaAuthor's Response: Hey Lia! :)
Awh thank you for taking the time and effort to do that! I really appreciate it! :)
Thank you so much! I'm glad my readers seem to find this alright! And I'm a bit surprised, but pleased to find you didn't expect the dream (because it's a total cliche hehe!) Yeah, the writing is exactly what is bothering me :l Haha I don't know who the Old Spice guy is, but that line is a bit weird lol.
That's alright! And it did help me! Thank you so much for the nice review! You should know that I appreciate it. A lot :)
Hi Charlotte! Guesss whooo? lol
I thought this was a fascinating story. I was like GASP! Then ohh and then Ah and then aw. Hahaha.
It was good but it needed work in the word use. The dream setting was very well done and was written beautifully but the repeated use of the word 'run' in this paragraph 'I hear a loud thudding to my right...' didn't work well as a writing device, it just seemed repeated and like you needed to use a thesaurus. But other than that, I though it was amazing. so well done!
My reviews are so much worse than yours but i hope it helps. :)Author's Response: HEY! :D
Um, I don't know? I forgot your name. Is it.. Cassandra? Clare? oh wait.. CLAUDIA! XD
First off, thank you so much for reading this so fast & reviewing it too! MUCH LOVE!
Second off, THAT is exactly why I don't like this piece! All the words and descriptions feel forced. So you're right of course. Some of it was written horribly :P, and what happened was a bit repetitive. I'll definitely need to take some time to make the descriptions better and stuff, as this was a bit rushed. THANK YOU CLAUDIA! :D
Oh, thank you so much for reading & reviewing! & it did help! I KNEW some? MOST of the writing in this is a bit dodgy, so it was nice to know I was right :P Thank you Claudia :))
Oh, Lottie, how can you say you don't like this story! It's wonderfully written, a very strong piece.
Personally, I think you did really well with showing the reader the emotion of fear. The first person, present tense really give out this feeling of imminent foreboding danger and I swear at one point of the dream I was reading almost breathlessly.
This sentence - "I am living my worst nightmare, because I am not in control of myself, of my mind and of my body." is really strong because the deepest fear of most people is exactly that - total and absolute loss of control.
I don't know what else to say - your descriptions of the action and the flow of the story are really amazing! Fantastic work!
MayyaAuthor's Response: Hey Maya! :D
Awwh first off, thank you so much for reading this so fast & reviewing it too! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Thank you so much! I'm glad you thought I did a good job :)
THANK YOUU! For reading & the lovely review! :)
*big smile on my face* Report Review
Im sorry your not happy with it, but personally i thought it was very interesting!! Ive never read a story like this, and it was really cool!! I hope you write more stories soon!!
-SarahAuthor's Response: Hey Sarah!
Awwh, thank you SO much!
You don't know how big of a grin I have on my face right now, so THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Once again, just thank you for reading and for the lovely review! :) Report Review
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