Reading Reviews for Four Flip Sides
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ciararose Helga

22nd April 2011:
Ooooh that was definitely my favorite chapter! What an awesome way to end a story! This was by far the most intense and interesting of all of these chapters, and I loved it. Badass Helga Hufflepuff, I am completely okay with that. I am not sure how I can really go off on the writing technique of this chapter because I am too into what actually happened in it, so let me just say I totally respect you for writing a cool Hufflepuff. Seriously, this was awesome.

Author's Response: What's the opposite of a Hufflepuff? Intense, dramatic, tough, etc. This was the hardest to write, simply because it's easy to hide some things beneath the surface but gentle people rarely suppress a tough, aggressive nature. I instead gave Helga a bit of a defining moment, almost a forked path in her life, and left it at that. I was most definitely excited to end things with a bit of a bang.

Too into what happened in it? :P More than fine me. Thanks for dropping by ciara, five hundred and twenty years or not.

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Review #2, by ciararose Godric

22nd April 2011:
Aw, scared Godric! I think I liked this one the most so far, because you NEVER get to read about Godric being afraid of something. And yet, honestly, bravery has nothing to do with the absence of fear and everything to do with overcoming fear, so this still fit his character. I really liked the paragraph about not being able to fight the idea of a monster, because it explained perfectly Godric's feelings and really integrated the whole idea of his running away into the story, rather than just having him do something odd and leaving it at that. YOu gave a very rational explanation for the behavior. Wonderful job!

Author's Response: Hmm, I responded to this earlier but it looks like it didn't go through. Odd. Anyway, I entirely agree with what you said about fear, that it's something to be overcome, instead of just nonexistent for brave people. People can have weak spots, like spiders or snakes, but I wanted Godric to have an actual, logical fear. Dark seemed like a pretty good bet, because it's what you CAN'T see that scares you, and that's a lot bigger than some spiders.

Once again, thanks for the review!

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Review #3, by ciararose Rowena

22nd April 2011:
Wow, this was a very interesting snapshot. You have such a variety of moments in this story but each of them seems fitting to the character involved. I liked that you gave Rowena a very defined character even in a short work, the way she is portrayed as almost a bit of a control freak, but not in a terrifying way. I think it's very realistic. I like to think of the Founders just chilling on the ground as friends, it's such a fun idea, but at the same time there is something kind of ominous about this chapter, or the way it ends, that almost suggests that trouble to come. Very nice job.

Author's Response: My favorite part of this was definitely the image of the Founders hanging out on a summer night. I have an inkling that weather isn't necessarily pleasant up in Scotland that time of year, but I was cold when I wrote it so that was good enough.

As Salazar tends to be portrayed as the "bad" character, and this is a collection of opposites, it's fair to expect some darkness in the other three chapters. Had to have it coming to Rowena, anyway. Thanks for another review!

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Review #4, by ciararose Salazar

22nd April 2011:
So, five hundred and twenty years later, I have arrived to review, as promised, your story XD

I must say I really enjoyed this portrayal of Salazar. He is very often shown as this evil to the core person, and I like that you chose to give him another dimension. After all, even the most prejudiced and not so nice people have good sides to them, as reluctant as it can be to admit it. The very first memory girl mention confused me slightly, but I figured it out pretty quickly so it's nothing that needs to be worried about. I also enjoyed the little mentions of working out problems with the school, etc., very realistic, considering all the work that must have gone into creating Hogwarts. I think you wrote clearly and with a simplicity that didn't distract at all from the point of the story, which was nice to read. Great job on this chapter!

Author's Response: Hey, if it took you five hundred and twenty years to review, it took me a hundred eighty-eight to reply. ;) I know how challenge prizes go, no worries.

This story is all about second dimensions, things not seen. I figured it would be fair to give some people their good traits and others some of the bad things they could have hidden. With a story this short, hopefully your memory girl confusion was equally brief. I can take a second look at that. Anyway, glad you enjoyed, many thanks!

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Review #5, by libby103 Helga

29th March 2011:
I was going to wait until your name popped up in the review battle again, but I couldn't wait.

First thought after reading: WHOA.

First, Salazar Slytherin. Okay, so you showed the side of him we're all used to seeing that was completely absent in the first chapter. He was volatile and wild; not exactly traits we ever hear of with him, but definitely things we can imagine of him and would go with the character J.K. Rowling portrayed. We're not really sure what he and Godric were arguing about, but that added more as our thoughts weren't bogged down with "He's a prat for disagreeing with that," but more focused on his reactions. (Does that makes sense?) There was also his few little allusions to his prejudice against those who are not purebloods and the respect he has for purebloods that rounded it off quite nicely.

Helga Hufflepuff. Okay, this is her chapter. She wasn't overshadowed by Salazar too much, but I felt the focus was less on her as it was on the other founders in their respective chapters. However, by the end, our thoughts are completely with her. That was a haunting ending, but I'll get back to that later.

This is the darkest chapter of them all. I think you might've organized these so it went from the lightest to darkest, and I'm just going to give you, as a writer, the benefit of my assumption. So, for that, I praise you!

Going back to Miss Hufflepuff, Helga's character was perfect. Of all the founders I rarely read, I read her the least. Truthfully, I've never read her. However, I love how she restrained herself before suddenly breaking. Then after, it felt like she was resolved to hide her shame instead of confessing to it because of that moment that drastically changed her.

At first, I was confused when Salazar died, because I wasn't sure he was dead. However, unlike the other chapter, where I was wondering what the third light source was, this added to your story. There was some anticipation and suspense that was finally fulfilled with the last two paragraphs. I delight, or rather am haunted (which delights me), by the line "Something good had withered." It just makes me feel like Helga didn't have that flip side until now, until this moment of brief explosion of rage within her, that resulted in her friend's death.

This story was amazing. My overall thoughts are basically what I said in chapter 3 with my thoughts about the title's meaning. To add to that, this story is very attractive to a reader. It's short and yet it gives a lot of insight on your characters. It expands the knowledge we have of the founders, and it's not some long complicated fic with dreadfully long ultimatums and consequences. While this review is not that, to say it simply, your story is short and sweet.

I hope my reviews have been helpful and comprehensive (I always worry about that one.) I've enjoyed this little adventure we've had together. Or that I've had.
p.s. If I see your name pop up in the review battle, I'm going to use this review since I was writing it for it originally, if that's alright with you ^_^

Author's Response: Thanks for such a detailed review! I've been trying to figure out how to reply to it for a while, it was so all-encompassing. :D

I didn't give much detail into the big argument between Slytherin and Gryffindor for two reasons: 1, my word count goal would never allow it, and 2, I wanted to do as you said, and focus more on the reactions. In the end I realized that Slytherin is pureblood-oriented, and so I added the bits about Muggleborns to ground the story a bit more.

Yeah, I do know this chapter isn't so much about her. I was on the fence about that one, because I wanted to give the story some closure with this idea I had, but couldn't find a way to center it entirely on her. I'm glad you zoned in on her end the end.

I did indeed go from lightest to darkest with this story. I wanted each chapter to increase in length as well, to add to that idea of gaining in darkness.

I'm glad you liked Helga! She's hard to write, because, sort of like her house, she's the hardest founder to define. There's that running joke that Hufflepuff is the house where everyone who doesn't fit into the other three go. ;) But you got it with the hiding her shame piece. She realized that what she'd done was so enormously out of character, and decided she would try and erase it rather than running the risk of that action becoming a part of her.

When I was writing Salazar's death, I hoped people would get it. I was fighting a word count goal (still not entirely sure why I did that, I suppose it was some sort of test. But I stuck to it and refused to waver). But I also wanted it to be seen as an act of passion, in a way, for the reader to see it as Helga was seeing it. I agree completely that this was the birth of a flip side, and not Helga acting on a rage she'd always contained inside her.

Haha, your review is not this story's twin, but I appreciate it so much. I guess my word count goal was also to make it more attractive to readers, because I know Founders aren't popular (I rarely read them, even). I just wanted to see what I could do with a challenge like that, and it means a lot that you think I did well. ;) Your reviews have been entirely comprehensive, as well as helpful. And this was totally a two-person adventure!

Phew, that was long. Feel free to use this for your next battle review, if you get there at the right time. Thank you so much for these incredible reviews!

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Review #6, by libby103 Godric

29th March 2011:
Hello :)
So I've decided to read even further into this story. You know, I never noticed this was a short story collection, but now I know, the formatting makes so much more sense to me!

As you said in your author response, it is looking like Salazar's is the darkest of these founders' stories. In thinking of that, I see the deeper meaning to your story's title. At first, I thought "Four Flip Sides" referred to the founders' conflicting personalities, but they were still bonded together, like the heads and tails of coins. However, now I see that you might have meant to give a hint that you were showing the other side of each of these Founders, the side the characters in the stories we read, characters that came centuries after these founders and regarded them highly, never saw. (Was that sentence comprehensible?)

You wrote Godric well, showing that no one is ever brave through and through. This line, "For the first time, Godric found himself thanking the heavens that he'd experienced death." really emphasised that.

"Even Godric, the most accomplished of duelers, couldn't battle with just the idea of an enemy crouched in a tree. " This line really just gives a deeper insight on fear, and how you can't banish it from within you. The point of me mentioning that is just that it's really brilliant.

I was a little confused at the mention of three light sources, and then I thought about it a bit and remembered the lantern. I'm not sure if it wasn't clear enough or if I'm just not observant.

The encounter with the centaurs shows the rift between wizards and centaurs, and how it dates to way back when. It was a nice touch, like how Salazar charmed the girls' staircases.

Overall, a deeper look into fear as well as some great description! Like all the chapters, it exposes some side of a founder we never really hear about.

I look forward to Helga's story!

Author's Response: Haha, my original intent was for it to be about the sides of the Founders we don't see often. And your sentence was perfectly comprehensible. I do also like your original interpretation, however. I think these stories can also show the conflicting personalities of the Founders.

I'm glad you liked that line! I'll admit I was thinking along the lines of "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" for that one, along with Dumbledore's descriptions of Voldemort. I think in HBP, when he and Harry were in the cave, he talked about how Voldemort feared death because he feared the unknown.

I'll take a second look at the "light sources" reference. That probably came about because of my word count restrictions. ;)

I'm glad you liked the centaurs! I was originally going to have Godric all alone the entire story, but then realized not everyone likes to read 600-something words about walking in a forest. :P So I added in that bit. Since there seems to be so much bad blood between the races in Harry's time, I wanted to show some of the animosity even earlier on.

Thanks for these detailed reviews! They're so refreshing, and balanced well as opposed to gushing or critical.

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Review #7, by libby103 Rowena

13th March 2011:
Since I reviewed Salazar's story, I felt I should do this as well.

Anyways, just as with Salazar's character, this chapter shows a load of insight into Rowena and her eternal quest for supreme intelligence and wit-things she feels she cannot have while intoxicated.

The first paragraph shows what's important to all four of the founders and connects them very well. Godric cares of success, Salazar of peace, Helga of friendship, and of course, Rowena of wisdom.

It seemed inevitable that Rowena would drink, though I did not expect her to drink so much. Her experience with losing the security she always feels is quite interesting.

The way the rest of the founders encouraged her to drink showed the strength of the friendship that linked them together and how it overcame the need to be professional among colleagues.

This pales a bit in comparison with Salazar's story as there isn't that sense of anticipation that was there. However, the descriptive language you used her surpassed that of Salazar's story so I suppose it all evens out. The last line is poignant and, not haunting, but it still lingers in your mind for a little.

The chapter is written almost lyrically. It flows really well, though it's a short glimpse into Rowena's life, there's not much oppurtunity for transitions to be rough or otherwise.


Author's Response: Thank you for coming back! I'm glad you think these first two chapters have some insight into the founders' minds. It's tricky, after all, to get into the head of a person that lived a thousand years ago! And of course these little tidbits don't even begin to capture their full characters.

I figured the one thing Rowena could always rely on was her wit; it wasn't something she carried around with her, it was built-in tool. So losing that would be terrifying, and leave her stranded.

Something that's occasionally hard to grasp is that four entirely different people could become such close friends, and pool their talents to build such a magnificent school. But I'm definitely trying to include that bond in all four chapters of this, and I hope it shows. These are also the early days, and we don't know how much they knew each other before Hogwarts.

Salazar's is probably the lightest chapter of them all in terms of subject matter, but I do see your point about the anticipation. I suppose what really happens is that the drama in each chapter gets a little more obvious each time, until it all culminates at the end.

I'm glad the flow didn't suffer too much as I battled for that word count goal! This is one of the better of the four, I think. We'll see.

Thanks for stopping by! This was a lovely review. :D

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Review #8, by Jenna822 Salazar

10th March 2011:
Hello! Here with your review. :)
I review as I go then I'll go back at the end and touch on what you requested. First off, yay for more Founders and dark. I can't imagine how hard it was to write under such a strict word count! You're brave to even go for that. :) Now to get started.

Oh nice lead in with a canon wink. I like that. And you manage to really set the tone well with just the opening paragraph. I really like that you're painting the scene as the early stages of the school. And you've done great on that, making it flawed and still needing adjustment rather than all skipping-happy-perfect. One thing: Sir should be capitalized. :)

Awww! I love that you gave him such an affection for a daughter. That's really really awesome. So often he's painted as stone cold and harsh. But, I suppose that is exactly what you had in mind for the story, based on your summary. So: Mission Accomplished. I really like that. Just...yeah it was nice!

Okay, you mentioned thinking the flow was off because of the length. I can see why you'd go there. In a way, yeah the flow is a bit choppy, but then in another way, it fits. It gave the story a short and whimsical feel. I don't know if I'm explaining myself very well. It's meant to be praise. :) In regards to canon, it is hard to say exactly. Since we don't actually know how they were. A lot of people have things set in their mind on how the Founders should be, and it can be scary to go against that. Personally, I agree with your painting of Salazar. I mean, he did have kids, we know that. And he was friends with the other three before the falling out, so clearly he was a good man to some extent I can almost see his love for that adorable little girl as being the root cause for his later hatred.

Also, I love the name you gave her!

Can't really comment on the dialogue. What there was, was right. :P I really liked this. I wish there was more, honestly. I'll be coming back for the others for sure. :) --Jenna

Author's Response: It's funny, no one seems to think of Hogwarts in its early days! I, for one, can't imagine the school the Founders ran being anything like the one we know. That's probably why I find it so challenging: I'm daunted by all the changes. Sir now has a capital S, too.

That's an interesting point, that the flow works with the story. I was so focused on making it not-choppy that I didn't put a lot of thought into that. Usually my flow just comes out however I see it in my head. But that's a good point. I feel a bit better now. I won't stress about editing it. ;)

I've always wondered about Salazar, because he had such radical views and yet was clearly friends with the others. I picture him as quite friendly with everyone, except for blood status conversations.

I like the daughter's name too. It has a nice ring to it, but it's not exactly something that you would find nowadays.

Thanks for the review! It was extremely helpful.

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Review #9, by libby103 Salazar

7th March 2011:

So, towards the ending...whoa. I was not expecting that.

Anyways, this is less concrete movement and more of an exploration of 1) character and 2) Hogwarts! (There must be something else, but I'm too slow to recall it.)

Your descriptions were wonderful. Salazar's endless chores needed to be done for the maintenance of Hogwarts. It was definitely a realistic narrative, and it was more insight on Hogwarts was in the beginning (rather than my previous silly notion that it just appeared one day and the Founders started inhabiting it...)

I especially like the explanation of why the girls' dorms staircases are enchanted to become slides. That was just a wonderful way to tie an event, occuring a whole millenium before Harry Potter's time, to the Hogwarts era.

Salazar's personality was a differently portrayed than usual (I think, then again, I don't read many Founders fics), but quite honestly, I prefer it this way. Salazar Slytherin wasn't some Dark Lord, he was a Hogwarts' Founder who just was a bit prejudiced (though the prejudice wasn't shown.) He has a child who he loves and loves him back. He is real. And that's always a hard concept to grasp with these great wizards whose names are just in are history books (I treat the series like a history book, by the way.)

When all the mentions of Memory Girl were appearing, I was imagining some dark and horrible memory of his past where someone died. I was overjoyed to see that it was his daughter.

Sorry this review is so long and contains hardly anything really beneficial to you as a writer.


Author's Response: I always picture Hogwarts popping up out of nowhere too. I tend to shy away from picturing the actual first few months of Hogwarts, because I only have these visions of the Founders levitating huge rocks up one by one to construct the walls of the castle. :P

I've always loved the fact that girls can enter the boys' dormitories, but not vice versa. When I needed to give Salazar something to do, I figured that boys wouldn't have changed THAT much in a thousand years. :P

When I decided to write a collection of one shots on the sides of the Founders we don't know, I realized that Salazar was the only one who'd have a positive story to tell. I also realized his would be the hardest to grasp, because it's easier, for me anyway, to see good characters with a few flaws than one we see as evil having a lighter side. So I put the fluffy chapter first and hoped it wasn't OOC enough to put people off.

Thanks for the review! I'm sure I have plenty to work on for this short little fic, but the fact that you liked it is heartening. Happy bronze vs. blue!

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Review #10, by lily1995 Rowena

7th March 2011:
keep up the good work i love the tiny details they really add to the story

Author's Response: Thank you. I hope I got enough details in, as it took most of my word count goal just to keep my tiny plot moving. ;)

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