Reading Reviews for The Fine Line
  
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Review #1, by schoenemaedchen Those First Six Years

25th January 2011:
Hello there!

I was browsing through the Lily and James stories and came across yours! I see its your first story, and I always like to read and give some feedback for first time authors. We all have to start somewhere.

So I just love that you've chosen to write about James and Lily. Hands down my two favorite characters to write about, oddly enough. Oddly enough because there isn't really all that information we have about them, sometimes making canon a bit difficult to achieve. Whatever the case, I think you have a great start here.

I hope you don't mind if I can give you some constructive feedback on your story. I like to usually cover the areas of grammar, flow, characterization and overall impressions.

So let's start with grammar. There are some minor mistakes throughout. Nothing a little proof reading and editing couldn't do. I've definitely edited my stories at LEAST 10 times (per story or chapter). Make sure you're watching out for the words in the HP world that are capitalized, like Muggle, Muggleborn and Mudblood (to name a few). Check the punctuation, that the commas and quotes are set up correctly. You also had more than one sentence that started with "But"...remember, that's a conjunction and not really meant to start a sentence. Overall it really wasn't bad. I just wanted to give you a few tips to help you along in the future.

Flow: Here was where I wanted to give you the most feedback. You have some great material in your writing but the way its organized is not doing it as much justice as it could. On two separate occasions in your writing you write "I'm not sure where to begin, or I didn't know where to begin". I think your tone as a writer comes off here as very unsure. You really don't need this in your story; take it out. Be confident in what you write. Lily wouldn't write that either, she'd write exactly what she thought!

There are also some extreme jumps in the time. One minute you're talking about the sorting, then you're giving some character descriptions about Lily's girlfriends, and then you're talking about how James annoys her, then you're on to Lily and Severus' broken friendship in 5th year. This happens in about 3 paragraphs. Slow down a bit! Enjoy. Take more time and pride in describing Lily--this is about her and not what color her friend's eyes are. Let things flow and avoid jumping around. It was a little confusing for me.

Characterization: Here I thought you did a pretty good job. Like I said, the flow does effect the tone of Lily's narration, so I think fixing that up a bit will make her narration sound more natural. Go deeper into her thoughts. I feel you could really go deeper!

I wanted to caution about Peter Pettigrew too. Lily immediately says she can see he is nervous and more or less, a mess. I really think this is OOC for Peter in his school time. Remember, he was friends with James, Sirius and Remus--he bullied along side of them AND was able to perform the complex magic it took to become an illegal Animagi. He wasn't a complete wreck. I think his true nervous behavior started back during the wizard war. Most important is that his friends actually trusted him enough back them to switch to him at the last minute to use the Fidelius Charm. Lily was definitely involved in that decision, as the charm involved her. She would have had to trust him. Don't blacklist Peter before your story even starts...be careful.

So Overall: I really think you have some excellent material. Honestly, it's a great start. I would really be interested to see where you go with it. Just try to organize your thoughts in a more flowing manner. Flow has a huge overall effect on your writing and can make even some of the most beautiful and breathtaking writing confusing.

I hope the feedback wasn't too much. It was all meant with very good and positive intentions! :)

Best of luck as you continue writing in the fan fiction world.
-schoenemaedchen

Author's Response: I am so happy that you enjoyed it! Your review is great and very much appreciated. I am new at this and I need constructive criticism which you gave me. So thank you so much for taking your time to read my story and then leaving such a thoughtful review.

I agree with you on the flow of the story. I rushed a bit because I was so excited to just get it out there that it wasn't the best it could possibly be. Before I submit my next chapter I really want to get this one close to perfection.

At first I wasn't sure on where to begin and that obviously showed in my work. You have inspired me to be confident when I write and now I feel like really pursuing to make this story great. I honestly cannot thank you enough. I am very excited to go back and edit this chapter.

Thank you so much and I hope that you will keep reading and reviewing my story!

~LoveForever


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