Hi there, thought I'd give this a read as I'm currently waiting validation on the forums so I can enter this challenge too, as like you I thought it was very interesting and different, good luck to you! :)
I thought the prompt you got was a cute one and I do like that you've incorporated it within a canon timeline. However, if I might be so bold as to give you some tips that you may or may not choose to take on board, but either way I'll list them below in hopes of your victory in the challenge :)
I thought your dialogue was strong, however it seemed to be the main feature within this story thus far (I'm assuming, as you've labelled it short story). There was limited description to accompany it to help build upon the plot you're going with. We didn't know it was based when the girls were 11 and 12 respectively, thus in Ginny's first year or Hermione's second. The only way of knowing that was the introduction of Lockhart into the story. Might I suggest some revision to really boost upon the backstory, so it doesn't rely so heavily on the dialogue? It will give your story a nicer flow and be more engaging for the reader/challenge organiser, and could help your chances of winning? Plus engaging the readers senses, eg smell etc, add further description to your words and can really be a useful tool when writing stories, it helps draw people into your words so they wont want to stop reading :)
I did notice some grammatical errors too, mostly to do with the dialogue. For example, “Very well, you may go now” he said.
With the spoken word on page, whenever you include an action (eg, he said), you must preface this within the dialogue by a comma, for example: “Very well, you may go now,” he said. Thus it carries on the sentence appropriately. For example, if he were to have shouted it you would have included an exclaimation mark with the words "he shouted" following, if you follow me. I did notice it quite a few times throughout this chapter so I just thought I'd point it out to you, in case you wish to revise it or seek help from a beta reader, or just for future reference if nothing else :)
Another thing which I believe you can build on to boost the depth of your story to aid the structure of the plot, as well as for entertainment purposes for the reader, would be to work on your character description a little more. For example, Hermione reading her book, she could have had a quick quotes quill or placed a spell upon her regular quill to take notes on a parchment beside her whilst she read, noting that it was moving with lightning speed to keep up with her as she muttered the words she wished it to note? Just things like that add further depth to your story and engage the reader more, and the fun part is the more depth you include, the more you can reference things later on which the reader will appreciate.
The other thing I wanted to comment on, and please dont take any of this in the wrong way, I just like giving in depth reviews when I read stories, is the pacing of your story. Take your time to set up the scene, rather than just dive in head first. It gives you time to create a backstory and develope your characters how you want to bring them to life. Always think of fanfiction in this way, even if it seems unlikely: Assume your audience has never read Harry Potter in the first place. With that in mind, you can create your own world (even if you do base it heavily on the canon within the book) within, for example, Hogwarts. Whilst I'm sure everyone on this site has read the books, if you create your own world, you're doing just that and it will make your story stand out from the rest on this site and bring your readers back wanting more each and every time :)
I hope you find this review of some use, but feel free to disregard what I've said as it is of course your story, I just hope you dont think me rude for offering advice. I wish you all the best of luck with your story for this challenge and I hope you go well with it. Hoping to be joining you on the entrants list soon, and have a wonderful day, Bobby xAuthor's Response: Thanks for reviewing. Sorry for taking such a long time to respond, I kept forgetting. I don't think you rude for giving advice. All of your suggestions are really helpful and I'll take every one of them into consideration. Thank you so much for all your advice and I wish you luck in the challenge too! :) Report Review
Your idea is super cute! and since Ginny is my favorite person in Harry Potter!! I had to read this :) Like I said your idea is wonderful, and I really liked the bit with Lockhart that made me and my cousin laugh, and she normally doesn't like Ginny.
(weirdo) Anyway, if you want I would love to help you on this story, I only write Ginny/Harry.
My name is lizmusic16 on the froums, and lizmusic45 on the tda, just write me if your interested.
LizzieAuthor's Response: Thanks for reviewing! I'm glad you like my idea and since Ginny is your favourite character that's even better! I'm glad my story made you and your cousin laugh, even though she dosen't like Ginny. If I need any help, I'll be sure to get in touch with you. :D Report Review
I had to laugh when I read the summar, since Hermione doesn't really strike me as the love guru. Disaster awaits!
And seriously, dwarfs? Made me laugh so hard. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the books ;)
This story has a lot of promise, you just need to be careful that you don't rush it. It could use a bit more explanations here and there, otherwise, it's fine.
I'm fairly certain Harry won't fall for a couple of dwarfs and a bad poem so I can't wait for the next chapter. I sense more embarrassment ;)
Keep up the good work.
forum name: xdaanana
house: slytherin]Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! You are right, disaster is just around the corner. I just checked the second book and it was a dwarf that delivered Harry's Valentine from Ginny. I'm glad you think my story has a lot of promise, and I'll try not to rush it. I'm glad you can't wait for the next chapter, and I promise you there will be more embarrasment within it :) Report Review
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