Reading Reviews for Self Defeat
16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MargaretLane Chapter Five: Salvation and Redemption

21st June 2014:
Ted Tonks tells Narcissa she should be in her dormitories. Did you mean "dormitory" or is there somebody else with her you haven't mentioned?

I do feel sorry for Narcissa. She is trying to balance what she's been taught all her life with what she knows, deep down, to be right and knows that whatever she does, she is likely to lose some of those she loves and cares about.

"Mum and Dad's" should have an apostrophe before the "s" at the end of "Dad's".

Wow, I really didn't expect Narcissa to say she'd go with Andromeda. It's quite a risk to take, knowing she would be dependent for her food and shelter, not just on her sister, but also on a family she barely knows and a Muggle family at that. I don't think many people would be willing to take such a risk.

You've written "dear with the shaming from my fellow Slytherins", when it should be "deal with."

Author's Response: Nope, no one else was there. I changed that part over a few times, and must've missed that when I edited it. Thanks for letting me know!

Yes, Narcissa did finally make a choice. But since it's not an AU, and we all know where she ends up, you'll find out what happens with that in the next chapter. I've been revising it for over a month, so I'm hoping it'll come out exactly how I've always pictured it.

Thanks for sticking with the story so far, and it really does mean a lot that you've enjoyed it!

--- Fae

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Review #2, by MargaretLane Chapter Four: A Snake, Just Like Me

21st June 2014:
I'm really surprised I'm the first person reviewing this chapter. The story is really good. From your A/N, I know you had a long break before this chapter, so maybe people forgot about it or lost track of where they were.

Love the little throwaway comment about the parents paying little attention to them which goes some way to explaining Bella's apparent anger at the world, Andromeda's rebellion and Narcissa's mental health problems. If they could have turned to their parents, perhaps some of those things would have been ameliorated.

Love the hippogriff phrase.

"Honeymoon" is all one word.

I love the way she looks back at her 16 year old self and realises how naive she was. Some stories, even published ones, tend to give older teens an almost adult level understanding and maturity. This sort of captures what it's like to have adult type experiences with a teenager's experience.

I like your explanation of how Andromeda does fit into Slytherin, while completely rejecting the Death Eater views and having pretty strong morality. It's good to see how Slytherin traits can REALLY be used for good. After all, even Slughorn still uses them to benefit himself, even if the benefits he receives are fairly harmless. Whereas Andromeda uses them to do what she thinks right and stand up for what she believes in.

Sentences like "what are you talking about, Lucius?" or "you never eat, love," should have a comma before the person's name or the epitaph.

Author's Response: Aw, you're making my blush now! I did have a few readers who kept up with this a few years ago, but I'm pretty sure most of them aren't active anymore ):

It really makes me swell with pride to read that you are enjoying the story so far. It was a struggle to write at times, especially the dynamic between the three sisters, and even Narcissa's relationships while staying true to their characters, especially since it was my fist time writing from the "villain's" POV.

They're definitely become three of my favorite characters to write, as you can rationalize and explain a lot of why they did what they did in canon, and come up with back stories explaining how they got to be that way. This has been one of the most challenging pieces I've done, although certainly one of the most fun. Andromeda particularly is hard, especially since she is a Slytherin, and they are so often stereotyped as the "evil" character.

Thanks for letting me know about the technical stuff too. I'm always trying to improve on that, and I personally think it's super helpful when my peers point stuff like that out to me, so I can (hopefully) remember and learn from my mistakes.

Thanks again for all of the reviews!!

--- Fae

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Review #3, by MargaretLane Chapter Three: Cissy's Big Mistake

21st June 2014:
Sorry for the delay in getting to this and in posting the results of my challenge. I've been really busy lately, but they will be up today or tomorrow, I hope.

I'm really intrigued as to what's going to happen between Brad and Narcissa, since we know she ends up with somebody else.

It might sound more natural to use "asked" instead of "questioned".

Ugh, OK, he's getting creepy, putting pressure on her like that. I hope he doesn't hurt her or pressurise her into something she's not ready for.

I really like the way you have her getting more creative, rather than sticking to the stereotypical version. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it's good to see some variety.

It should be "between Brad and me", not "between Brad and I".

Bella wearing a black gown seems so characteristic.

Oooh, there's something intriguing in the last line. I wonder what part he is going to play. I can't help feeling it's nothing good.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing all the entries, in case I haven't said it before. I got a new laptop, and for some reason everytime I tried responding to reviews after the first or second my response just wouldn't post, and got lost.

I still can't believe this story won second place. It hasn't been beta'd, and I really need to find someone willing to go over it with me, which I plan on doing sometime this week. I'll post the last chapter or two after that, so probably sometime in the next month. I did sort of have trouble picking the story up again, and was worried that it would come across as too choppy, especially since my writing style has changed so much over the years.

Brad is super creepy. He is the ultimate jerk. I sort of modeled him loosely after a guy I knew in high school, omitting his few good traits in favor of more "bad" ones I guess you could say.

I'm really glad you like my portrayal of the sisters so far. It seems like so many people associate Narcissa and Bellatrix with "evil" and Andromeda with "good," but I think it was way more complex than that, especially when they were all in school together with one another, living in the same house, etc. Anyone who has a sibling, or is parent to siblings know how insanely complex the dynamic between them, especially sisters, can be.

Thanks as well for the grammar/technical stuff. I really need to just suck it up and find a beta to go over this, I've just been so busy lately with the HC, it feels almost like there isn't time for anything else.

--- Fae

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Review #4, by MargaretLane Chapter Two: The Bonds of Sisterhood

21st June 2014:
Now, this might be a case of you using the character's voice, but in the first line she speaking of her mother taking "Andy and I" when it should be "Andy and me". You wouldn't say "Mother brought I".

Hmm, I wonder why Bella is wearing long sleeves. It's clear she's getting involved with the Death Eaters, because of the reference to blood. OH, I've realised now. The Death Mark!

And I love the way she describes Bella as seeming immune to male charms. It fits with the difference there appears to be between Bellatrix and Narcissa in the books. Narcissa seems to be very family oriented and devoted to her husband and son, whereas Bellatrix seems far more concerned with her cause.

There are a few places where you could remove the word "that" and make the writing sound more natural, like saying "I truly believed I would follow in Andy's footsteps" rather than "I truly believed that I would follow in Andy's footsteps".

Love the image of the bonds of sisterhood being chains holding Bellatrix back. You really give an insight into her detachment. I never thought of it before, but she's sort of like Voldemort that way, isn't she? She doesn't really want anybody in her life, although I guess she wants Voldemort and I doubt he cares one way or the other about her, so that's a difference.

I think you pretty much pick up on the ambiguity of Narcissa. The books never really tell us whether she agrees with what her husband and sister are doing or whether she just loves her husband enough to turn a blind eye to his activities.

I love the contrast you create between Andromenda and Bellatrix.

Author's Response: Ah, i'm so glad to see your reviews! I submitted all of the chapters of this without a beta, just because I knew if I waited around for one, I'd chicken out and not end up submitting them at all. Since I got struck with inspiration to finish this, I just went ahead and did it.

I'm so glad to hear that you like how i portrayed Narcissa. She's one of my favorite characters, and definitely someone that I can relate to on certain levels. Her and her sisters have always been some of my favorite characters to write, they are all just so complex.

Thanks again for all of the helpful advice, I'm planning on revising this myself while I try and find a beta for it. It definitely needs some work, as I tend to get too "wordy," like when you mention I could take out "that," and I sort of need someone to reign me in once in a while, lol.

Thanks again!!

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Review #5, by MargaretLane Chapter One: Reflection of the Past

29th May 2014:
Apologies for taking a while to get around to this.

Really like the way the first line gives the impression of being trapped. The door slamming shut really sets the mood.

I'm being super-nitpicky here, but I think you could tighten up the sentence, "Directly in front of me sits a woman whom I havenít seen in years, nor had I ever thought I would see again." It might sound better as something like "Directly in front of me sits a woman I haven't seen in years and never thought I'd see again."

You really create suspense well in the paragraph. I really want to know who this woman is and what part she played in the narrator's life.

Love the simile of the werewolf hunting its prey. It fits the wizarding world well.

And ooh, I hadn't expected that to be the explanation of who the woman is. Brilliant.

Also love the way you keep Bellatrix in character. A lot of stories show her as having been gentler in her youth, which of course is possible, but I like this version where she appears to have been vicious from childhood.

Author's Response: Ah thank you, I'm glad you liked it...

As I said in the forum, I actually started this a few years ago, it was one of my first.

It was actually pretty hard for me to write, because I personally see Narcissa being super snooty and pretentious, so I was sort of trying to portray that through the writing, while not completely overdoing it and making it un-relatable.

I plan on going over the whole thing in the next few months with a fine tooth comb, especially since my writing style has changed over the years (even though I haven't written much in that time), and I feel like it's just very apparent between this chapter and the later ones.

But, joining your challenge was a good kick in the behind to finally, after like three or four years, to finish this story for better or worse.

I'm also glad that you liked how I portrayed Bella. I sometimes vary in how I see her...I of course don't think she was a murderer at the age of ten, but I think she was a bad person right from the start, partly because of her parents and home life. For the purpose of this story I wanted Narcissa and Andy to be closer to one another, with Bellatrix sort of swooping in and (in a cruel, offhand way), picking up Andy's place (badly) once Andromeda gets disowned.

Anyways, I think I've rambled on quite enough for now, but thanks again for the invaluable input! Again, excellent challenge, and I can't wait to read/review the other entries as well!

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Review #6, by schoenberg12 Chapter One: Reflection of the Past

16th August 2011:
Great! The introduction is wonderful! You really think it's a spectator until you mention a mirror or something! Really well done. The only thing is the mention of schizophrenia. It's a little nitpicky, but schizophrenia is not the same thing as dis-associative identity disorder, which is what you are talking about. It's a very common confusion, but it needs to be fixed.

Author's Response: Ahhh, thank you so sooo much for my review! My apologies in my lateness replying, I've had one issue after another regarding my internet over the past like...four months. It's been terrible.

Anyhow, I do believe you are my first review on this story that I did not go to the forums and request, and I'd really like to thank you again for this!

I'm glad you liked the bit with the mirror. I can't remember where I got the idea, but I was just so inspired, and so incredibly happy with the way that scene played out.

In response to your comment on schizophrenia, I certainly hope I didn't offend you! To better explain my wording choice, which I am considering revising, I'll have to delve into the piece's background a bit more. This was essentially written for a challenge, and I was given a topic to write about, and the only requirement was that it end in a happy way. Now, I cannot remember word for word what my topic was, but it was something along the lines of "your MC is depressed, and refuses to see it or acknowledge that they need help. in a sick and diluted sense they know that they are wrong and need help, but still simply refuse to acknowledge the problem," or something like that. Now, one focus of the challenge was diseases, both mental and physical, and after extensive research, the closest disorder I came across is Self Defeating Personality Disorder. While not formally acknowledged by the DSM, it can also be mistaken/as an alternative to other personality disorders, especially since there is little known and it isn't widely accepted. I went as far as to consult with a therapist I know, and while she admittedly knew very little, that very little was a bit more than I knew before. I particularly wanted this disorder that I had stumbled across because it described, almost down to a "t," the behavior Narcissa exibited in my story and plot. The fact that it isn't widely accepted by most doctors furthered my wanting to keep this disorder, because Narcissa being in the magical community, any healer she could've possibly gone to almost certainly wouldn't have known of this disorder, seeing as most muggle doctors/therapists don't.

I hope that explains things a bit better at my choice. I'll definately have to check out Associative Identity Disorder, and perhaps use that instead. Had I been writing from a muggle's perspective, I probably would've dug deeper into something similar, but because of Narcissa's nietety regarding practically anything muggle, her choice of terms was simply to relate more to the reader, and to portray her lack of knowledge regarding mental illnesses at all, including her own. I don't want to spoil the ending of the story either, but part of her ignorance plays a big role in the ending.

I think I'm rambling now, and I'll stop. And I encourage any reviewer to be nit-picky, because I'll take all the help I can get!

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Review #7, by Atomic Chapter Three: Cissy's Big Mistake

14th August 2011:
Heya, it's Atomic!!

This is both so sad and captivating at the same time!! I love how vulnerable you've made Narcissa. And the whole Lucius being disappointed on the train was so sweet! I like seeing him portrayed as the good guy for once. I don't really think he was ever as bad as everyone makes him out to be.

I love getting glances into Bella and Andy's life too, although I wish you'd add a tad bit more of Andy. It seems a little bit heavy on the Bella side. Still really good though, you're great at keeping them IC.

Again, I don't think the imagery is overdone at all. Feel free to add more in!

The letter from Brad could have been a bit more harsh, though. It took me a moment to realize that he was spending the summer in Germany WITH his family. I thought he meant they were leaving without him, again. Still, good job. I love how Cissy knows she shouldn't be with him but she goes back to him anyway.

The plot flow so far is really good. I'm getting kinda anxious though to catch up with the present day.

But yeah, overall great story!! I definitely think you should keep writing it! I'd be really disappointed if you stopped right here, actually. Don't be nervous, you're doing a wonderful job! And totally feel free to re-request. I'd love to read more. =D


Author's Response: I really love your reviews! Again, I am apologizing for not responding to this one with the other ones. We had some bad weather here, and no power at all for a week. My poor writing and internet!

Anywho, I really am glad you seem to enjoy the story so much. It is heavy on the Bella side at this point, mainly because Bella is such a big, in your face kind of character, and that's mainly her personality. Later on in the story more is revealed, but I will tell you that both sisters will be coming up more and more, and that part of the reason why Bella is more prominent than Andy is because she vastly underestimates Narcissa, and believes that she will be easily swayed. I can't give up much more than that though!!

And as for catching up with the present day, don't get your hopes up yet! The challenge this was written for was all about a character's trials, and things turning out happy in the end. I obviously switched it up a little bit, but the next few chapters are still in the past, to show her struggles with all of her relationships, her self defeat, and most importantly her growth. There will be one or two more chapters in the present that pick up where I left off by delving into the diary and the memories, if all goes to plan that is!

I really would like to thank you again, your reviews are inspiring, not to mention helpful (:

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Review #8, by Atomic Chapter Two: The Bonds of Sisterhood

14th August 2011:
It's Atomic again!!

So, I definitely started tearing up when reading about Andy asking Cissy to join her. I had never really thought of Cissy and Andy (or Bella for that matter) as being close siblings and the thought of Cissy having to choose between them is heart-wrenching.

I'm not too sure about Brit-speak, seeing as I know I need a lot of work on that in my own stories, but you did a great job with wizard-speak in the first chapter, definitely try to keep that up. I don't think anything stood out to me as being really "American," but again, I'm afraid it's not my strong point.

I'm really loving how you're developing Cissy's character. Despite your fears, I'd actually like to see more description in her diary entries. You're doing a good job so far, but seeing as the very first paragraph I read in the first chapter was absolutely gushing with imagery, I know you can totally do that again. Don't be afraid to over do it. Readers like lots of imagery.

The plot is also flowing along very nicely. Can't wait to read the next chapter!!!


Author's Response: Oh, your reviews are making me smile! I'm really glad I didn't overdue the imagery, because that was a big fear of mine. I actually had chapters two and three a bit more detailed, but took a lot of it out because I thought it was too much. As for the diary entries, I wasn't entirely sure which direction I wanted to go in with them. I have never written a diary in my work, and it being the first time I was completely unsure, not to mention per the TOS, I didn't want to make it all a diary, and tried to keep it in a happy medium. The next few chapters have diary entries that are a bit more extensive though (:

I'm also really glad that you like the sisters relationships. I feel like theirs is one of my favorite, and I really enjoy writing from all three sisters POV, although Cissy is probably my favorite sister.

I'd also like to say thanks again for your awesome reviews (:

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Review #9, by Atomic Chapter One: Reflection of the Past

14th August 2011:
Hi there! It's Atomic from the forums, responding to your review request!!

This is an amazing beginning! I can hardly believe you're feeling self-conscious abou this! I was captivated from the very beginning, especially when I realized Narcissa was looking at her own reflection. I also really like the idea of a diary; it was really neat to see her reflect on her early years.

I think your description is absolutely wonderful, not heavy at all!! Your imagery makes it so easy to see her sitting there in front of the mirror. It was absolutely gorgeous.

As for keeping Narcissa IC, well I'm not really sure. I've always seen Narcissa as a cold, haughty person, but I can't say that you're doing it wrong. In fact, I absolutely love this new take on her. I would never have thought she would have been self-conscious as a child, and I can't wait to see how you develop her character.

Looking forward to reading the next chapter!! (Also, you included Andromeda and I absolutely love you! I'm sorry to give you such a gushy review but I love this story so far! And I love Andromeda! )


Author's Response: I feel so awful that I requested a review, and it took this long for me to respond. Once I post up the rest of the story, I'll re-request you to come back, and I promise to respond in a timely manner. Life has been super hectic lately, but I should be checking in daily from here on out (:

Anywho, I'm so glad that you liked this chapter! It seems that perhaps I should go with my initial instincts and continue on with it.

I never realized how much I loved Narcissa until I wrote this. I began forming this idea because of my joining a last minute challenge (and with only two weeks or less to write, I'm sure you know how stressful that can be!), and based on the prompt I recieved this was the first idea that popped into my mind.

Narcissa is such an interesting and complex character, and not much is known about her early life. She most definately is haughty and cold in her later years, or at least lends that appearance to the outside world, but I can't help but wonder what made her that way? I often read fics about her school years, and she is generally allied completely with one sister, and openly against the other. While I think this could've been true, I prefer to think that she ultimately couldn't chose between them until she absolutely had to, based on her interactions with her husband and son.

I really loved this chapter, because it is almost exactly how I picture Narcissa to be on her wedding day. I really am glad that you like it (:

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Review #10, by academica Chapter Three: Cissy's Big Mistake

20th June 2011:
I'm firmly Lucius/Narcissa, so I'm not particularly emotionally invested in Brad/Narcissa, I have to admit :) However, I must say that I remain impressed and anxiously await your next chapter. (As a side note, I also always totally envisioned Bella getting married in a black dress. Maybe everyone does.)

Author's Response: This review definately made me chuckle. I am definately not a Brad fan, but his role in this story is crucial for Narcissa's growth and change. He is the spark that changes her, which was one of the requirements for the challenge I wrote this for. I too and a Lucius/Cissy shipper.

And you shouldn't have to wait long for an update. I have quite a few more chapters written out, and I'm putting chapter four in the queue tonight (:

- Fae

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Review #11, by academica Chapter Two: The Bonds of Sisterhood

20th June 2011:
I'm inclined to agree with you -- Narcissa is clearly not as cold-hearted as her elder sister, and I think it is entirely plausible that she felt the tension you've so beautifully described, that of abandoning Andromeda and allying herself with Bellatrix. Another clearly thoughtfully written chapter. Moving on :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you like this one as well!

The relationship between sisters is a hard one to describe, and I'm glad I did it to everyone's liking so far. Most females are such complex and emotional creatures (I know I am), that I wasn't sure if I captured the three sisters characterizations at first...but I'm glad I did (:

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Review #12, by academica Chapter One: Reflection of the Past

20th June 2011:
I was in the mood for a Lucius/Cissy fic, and I'm so pleased that I happened to stumble across this one. You've done a great job writing it and I look forward to continuing to read :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you've enjoyed it (:

I began writing this for a challenge, and it quickly became one of my favorite pieces.

Thanks for reading!

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Review #13, by LilyGreenEyes Chapter Three: Cissy's Big Mistake

19th June 2011:
Another brilliant chapter. I just get totally swept up in Cissy's head it's quite unbelievable actually! I usually make notes as I read to remind me when it gets the this little box but for your story I totally forget to do that, you just draw me right in and once I'm reading, nothing else matters!

I love the introduction of Lucius. It's just so subtle and delicate, I just love it, no other way to put it! :) I can't wait to see where their 'relationship' goes next, it'll be brilliant I'm sure :)

Again, there really is nothing I can fault you on. I find your characterisation to be spot on and incredibly believable, your plot is amazing, the flow is perfect and all together you are displaying a lot of talent here!

Please keep writing and let me know when you have updates ready :) It has been a pleasure and your story is favourited :)

Author's Response: I'm gushing again! And probably blushing from so much praise too!

It's funny that you say you write down notes before leaving a review, because I do that too. I have tons of notebooks filled with notes on reviews for this site. I guess I just really like writing things down.

I was hoping not to fail on introducing Lucius, as he is after all a very crucial character. Their relationship will have several twists and turns, and I have a few more things planned for them!

I'm also glad you like my characterization. I find that the females (even crazy ones like Bella!), are much easier for my to write, being a female myself. I know how we think, what we think about, etc etc. As I stated earlier, the Black Sisters have always intrigued me, and I've wanted to learn about them as much as possible. I always picture Narcissa to be more on middle-ground between the two, but favoring Andromeda slightly more, simply because of Andromeda's sweeter disposition.

Thank you for favouriting! I'll most definately let you know when I update again, and it should be in the next week or so! Thank you so so much, again!! (:

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Review #14, by LilyGreenEyes Chapter Two: The Bonds of Sisterhood

19th June 2011:
Another beautifully written chapter! I really don't know what you have to worry about, it's just perfect in my honest opinion :)

It is great to see an insight into their family life and the way things are. By using the diary and then her reflections, it really does help the reader to sympathise and understand her predicament :) I love the whole 'anti Bella' aspect and that twist in the plot, it makes the story stand out :)

Your descriptions are brilliant by the way. So eloquent and delicate yet incredibly powerful at the same time :) They create vivid mental pictures and really are a joy to read :)

And so, once more, I am off for another chapter! This is a brilliant story :)

Author's Response: Can I say that I love the way you describe my writing? The words in your review are just beautiful! I can't even explain how it makes me feel that you've enjoyed this story so much.

I was sort of on the fence about a story like this at first. I knew I wanted to do something like this, but I know that a lot of times things like this just fail in general. They're mostly monolouge heavy, and the lack of dialouge can easily bore the reader. That was my biggest concern with this piece, and I'd really like to say again how glad I am that you enjoyed it!

Research is a big part of my fanfics. I do my best to read stories with similar plots/characters/pairing as mine, just to try and stay away from cliche things, and to see other peoples' viewpoints on certain subjects. After the extensive reading, I sort of map out my own characters and work from there. The three Black sisters have always intrigued me! Everything from them as individuals, to their childhood, to their relationships with one another. Writing about them has been an absolute joy and a wonderful experience, and I'm so glad to have someone along for the ride that's enjoyed it just as much as I have (:

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Review #15, by LilyGreenEyes Chapter One: Reflection of the Past

19th June 2011:
Hi there! LilyGreenEyes here to review as requested! And can I say straight off, thankyou so much for requesting! This is one of the most original and quirky pieces I have read in a long time!

And to the review.
Your story had a great intriguing start, hooking the reader into the story and, unlike you said in your AN, I really don't think it is a slow starter :) I was hooked from the second or third paragraph ;)

You have a brilliant elegance with the words you use that help the story to flow and carry the plot well. It's beautifully written, and with the introduction of the diary, you retain that flow and explina things slowly to the reader, which is the way I like things :)

I found this to be quite enchanting, you have what I think is a strong and intriguing plot line, great flow and so far very accurate characterisation as well. It was a delight to read and so, without further ado, I'm off to read more! :P

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm absolutely gushing right now, and have never gotten a more delightful review. I too am glad I requested it.

I honestly didn't expect anyone to like this story. I've had this plot bouncing around in my head forever, and I was going to use it for the this challenge called "The Sunrise Challenge." I actually sort of forgot about it until a week or two before the deadline, and I just sat down and made myself write this. The words all just came out so quickly, like they were meant to be written as a part of this story. It's probably my favorite that I've written so far, but I honestly didn't think anyone else would like it!

So once again thank you!

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Review #16, by ToReleaseMe Chapter Two: The Bonds of Sisterhood

13th June 2011:
I'll definitely be keeping up with this story!
I love fics about any of the Blacks, whether it's Regulus and Sirius or the sisters. And yours is going in a great direction!
Please update soon and expect more reviews from me


Author's Response: Thank you very much! My first review on this story! You just made my day. And definately be expecting regular updates, as I've written almost all of the chapters. It's intended to be a short story of about 7 or 8 chapters, although it may very well turn out to be more!

Thanks again, and your review is greatly appreciated!

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