This was such an amazing chapter!
From the White World to Kendra, I loved every single moment of it. Everything flowed so naturally and I just wanted to keep on reading the whole time. I was a bit sad when I realised that the chapter was almost over, but no worries, there's still chapter 4 coming up. :)
This is the first Ariana fanfic I've ever read and I have to say, it makes me want to read more! You've written her so nicely. Her moods are consistent for most of the time and when she's angry, she doesn't just lash out. I don't know...there's something about that type of character that makes me want to know more about her.
This has got to be one of the best fanfic I've read so far! I just love love love love love it so much! ♥
~Izzy Report Review
Greetings! It's Whsieky from Holiday Review Swap!
I thought this was a touching beginning, in that retrospective, melancholic sort of way. It was dark but not angsty, kind of like a fairy-tale.
Although I did feel that the descriptions where a tad confusing at times. I am not sure how much of that was deliberate, but here are some moments that I found made the reading a bit difficult.
First, "the white world" is an interesting and strong visual trigger. It sounds like it's a parallel world to ours that is timeless and static, sort of like an empty matrix :P. This imagery is used often to signify a place one goes to after death (not unlike the King's Cross Station Harry goes to when he dies). What unites all of these "white worlds" in literature and film is usually, well, that they are white. They always seem clean and minimalistic and kind of artificial. So you can imagine how it was difficult for me to connect growing trees, a lake, bushes etc.with the name "white world". If the world she occupies does look white, why would she choose to call it that?
This doesn't mean that I am suggesting you should change the name, but maybe add or adjust descriptions to signify a more surreal landscape. Maybe the trees are a different color than is normal (like..white? ^^)and have a different texture. I liked how the lake's surface never rippled..,more details like that should do the trick.
There were some formulations that I think could use a little rephrasing:
" I was an irrevocably permanent part of this world" irrevocably and permanent both mean "for ever" and, put together, are like saying cold coldness, you know?
"spilling an inky substance into the white earth up into the grass." Here, there was some direction mix up. spilling INTO the ground, but then UP into the grass. I couldn't really picture anything spilling upwards. Maybe use a word that implies force, like sucked up into the grass or eats its way up into the grass.
At one point, you say "I was none the wiser even after my long imprisonment."But then you say "I understood the ways of this world, as it understood me." Which is a bit of a contradiction. I am aware that there is a difference between knowing answers and intuitively feeling how things work, but this was still confusing. Does she feel trapped and unhappy or has she resigned and found her place there?
There were a few other things like this that tangled the narrative a bit. I think it is easy to fix if you just go over it with a fresh eye :)
I really liked the rotting, beating heart inside the hill and how she was sometimes tied to the hill and couldn't leave it.There is great potential in this imagery. Going a bit more into how this must weigh on her, I think, can add a clearer structure to this prolog. It could help the reader identify the conflict more easily. As simple as it is, contrast is a almost always a good tool.
Well, I really enjoyed this and I think I'll be reading on :D I hope I didn't come off as too critical, because it wasn't meant that way at all! Happy writing ^^
Cheers! Report Review
Hello! In regards to your Author's Note, I can say that I haven't read "Sitting in the Orange Tree" and I still found everything understandable (though it was also mysterious and I am full of questions). So I don't think that you need to worry in that regard. :)
To begin, your summary really drew me in. Ariana has always been a very intriguing character, underexplored in fanfiction, and stories about the afterlife are always interesting because there's so many things that you can do with the concept.
I found your description of the afterlife (or a stop in the progress of life after death) very interesting. I wonder why Ariana was chosen to become this keeper of sorts (was it because of the tragedies in her life? Is she suited for this job in a way that no one else is?). I love how you've made time irrelevent and random in the afterlife; the afterlife doesn't have to be orderly or straightforward and this displays that concept magnificantly. Most of all I'm very intrigued by your almost vague descriptions of the afterlife. What role does Strawberry Hill play in her life? Can she touch the lake without it harming her? What happens to those who are lost in the Orchard? Are they lost there forever?
I suppose that this all adds up to the fact that I'm very curious about the direction of this story. Will Ariana see her brothers? If so, what effect will their appearance have on her? Would she stop being the keeper? So many questions (sorry for all of them)... And such an easy way to answer them all. :)
All in all, I think that you wrote beautifully here. Your descriptions are wonderful and your story has caught my interest. Great work! :D Report Review
Amazing. Completely amazing.
The imagery in the chapter. Wow. It's like I'm almost watching a movie in my mind as I read each line of the chapter. You have such a way with words that everything just comes together so smoothly -so naturally.
I find it really intriguing that Ariana is not able to get past Strawberry Hill, like Elizabeth did. Is she not prepared for it yet? After all, she's struggling so much. The way she talks about her age, and how she's trapped in her ever-aging body...I'm thinking she perhaps might feel a little unjustified with her life being cut too soon? I don't even know anymore. *shrugs*
Anyway, this is a really amazing story and I really want to know how the story's going to come out. :D
I'll be back for chapter three,
Izzy xx Report Review
Hi, StormThief here with your review :)
Since this is the first chapter, I can't say much about the plot or characterization, but I can say that your writing is pretty impressive. It really just draws you in with all the images you use to convey Ariana's emotions. This is a great example: "I could imagine an engorged heart buried underneath the surface, throbbing as its veins turned black, spilling an inky substance into the white earth up into the grass. The darkness within me would one day poison this entire world, cracking its immaculate surface until the souls of the dead fell through the chasms." It really gives me such a strong picture of what Ariana is thinking and feeling. I didn't pick up on any obvious mistakes, so good job on that! As I review more, I should be able to say more about flow and chracterization. So far, so good!Author's Response: Hi StormThief :)
It was so important for me to get her emotions right - it's very hard not to go overboard on description heavy pieces so I wanted to get the balance right. Her thoughts and emotions tend to be expressed through her reactions with nature and I really love putting in all the imagery that helps me put across how she is feeling.
Thank you so much for the review :) Report Review
Okay, so I don't really remember what happened earlier but THIS WAS FAB. Short but simple and so, so beautiful as ever. Lovely angst and I love this world that you've created so (seemingly, even if it's not) effortlessly. It's so uniquely yours and nobody else has a patch on you.
xx Report Review
Oooh. I'd never given much thought to the relationship between Ariana and Kendra before but this really brought it to life. This is so wonderful, lovely. WRITE NOW.
xxAuthor's Response: Kendra and Ariana's relationship is a key part of this, so hopefully you'll like the rest too :D love youuu Report Review
Keeping this short. You are so, so, so, SO talented. Ariana's voice is so tragic and I just feel so much of what she sees and lives through your writing. This world comes to life with your words and I just adore reading it.
Beautiful ♥Author's Response: ♥ I really was going for tragic. It was so sad what happened to her and I think her being stuck in that world must be real torment for her. Thank you ♥ Report Review
Again, this is such a beautiful piece of writing! I'm convinced that its a natural thing. The chapter was written with so much ease, from the very start it gave me this 'relaxed' atmosphere and I enjoyed the story 'til the very end. No specific line bothered me or anything, its just perfect.
Your descriptions are so good, I can imagine everything so easily. Its almost like watching a movie, so vivid and real. This is such a great story. I love it!
Recenseo 2012Author's Response: It's so flattering of you to say it's natural :) Everything I write seems to come with a real struggle so it's nice to know it doesn't read that way. Thank you! Report Review
Still so lovely, I love meeting her mother and seeing her thoughts. I love how out of this world it is, with the descriptions of the orchard, they're so well written I don't even know what to say! Update soon yes? Awesome Author's Response: There are some real themes here to do with her mother and I hope you'll see how that develops later on between them. Thank you so much! Report Review
This is so gorgeous, oh my! She's in the last of the dead and she carries people through? Why can't she pass on? Poor girl. I feel like I've misunderstood something:L But, it's written so well, so many beautiful lines, I can't quote them all. It flows well and I like how quiet it feels. It's peaceful writing. Author's Response: You haven't misunderstood anything :) It's confusing for Ariana too, which is why it will only become clear later on. The others will pass on when they're ready, and it seems the same should be true for Ariana but it's not - you'll see later. Thanks so much for the review! Report Review
This is so beautiful, so, so beautiful! Ahh THIS: ' I could imagine an engorged heart buried underneath the surface, throbbing as its veins turned black, spilling an inky substance' Angsty and gorgeous! Who is the storyteller? I missedthat :/ Is it Ariana? I love this, it flows and it's mysterious and it draws me in! :)Author's Response: It is Ariana. Thanks for reviewing :) Report Review
Another wonderful chapter. You've shown that you don't need to have a story with alot of dialogue to produce a good story. It's just a case of how you write the words and the feeling that you put into them.
I wonder what that was all about with her mother? And what is Ariana needing to find the answers to?
10/10 and adding to favs so I know when you update.Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review :) Report Review
So that's who the wandering spirit is Ariana (probably spelt wrong), the sister of Albus and Aberforth.
I wonder why she's wandering in what I believe to be the inbetween world between reality and heaven. Another 10/10 and moving on.Author's Response: That's the right spelling! Thanks so much :) Report Review
An interesting start. I love how you started this without dialogue (I myself have done a one shot without dialogue called Ultimate Devotion) it enables a person to draw their own thoughts on a matter. 10/10 and onto the next chapter.Author's Response: This and its companion Sitting in the Orange Tree are very heavily dependent on imagery, mostly because it's set in such a different world to ours that it's important to be able to see it clearly in your mind. Also, the world itself often says more than the characters can themselves - it has meanings and themes in it that wouldn't be expressed properly by people. Thanks so much for reading! Report Review
This was another chapter amazingly done. I honestly do see this almost like a painting at Hogwarts where the charcters move, all the splashes of color and high detailed descriptiveness.
I really love Ariana. She is an amazingly sweet girl...woman. I thought your characterization of her carried over from your previous chapters which was really great. It helped link them all together.
I think that the development of the story is progressing at a nice pace. It's a new place that we aren't completly familar with so it's nice to see that the flow of the words and story aren't being rushed through.
I did want to point out a sentence that completly captivated me...
"Every time I held my hand to their weakened hearts, I took a piece of them with me, feeling their nostalgic last pulse in the palm of my hand."
It's such a beautiful sentence and highly relatable to real life as well. I think a lot of us feels like a piece of us dies when someone we love passes on. So I found this to be very moving and real.
You're an amazing writer and I cannot wait to see what else occurs in this white world that Ariana is aging in. My curiousity is highly sparked! =)
Keep up the great work!! Let me know when your next chapter has been validated. I would be more than happy to return to read and review some more.
P.s. I am adding this to one of my favorites. Just wanted to let you know. Report Review
This was amazing. I loved all the descriptiveness that you put into this chapter. It really made it pop all the more.
The flow of your chapter was great and you didn't skip a beat connecting it from the prologue.
Your characterization of Ariana is beautifully done in this chapter. She is still internally struggling with her death. She has this unexplainable depth and beauty to her that takes you beyond the fact that she has passed. You can feel her anguish towards Aberforth and the others that she can't help.
It's almost like you took a paint brush and a sensitive topic (death) and painted a beautiful masterpiece with tones of darkness. It's very breath taking and very tricky, but you pull it off with such ease.
Keep up the great writing! =)
-SR17Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked the descriptiveness! I'm so glad the flow between chapters was good, it's always a hazard when you update slowly that the chapters don't necessarily read well together, but it's good to know that you didn't have an issue with it :)
I thought long and hard about Ariana's character and I think it helps that I've been writing her in another story since 2008 - I've got to know her pretty well and that helps so much when I come to write. Overall, what happened to her was unfair and there's this sense of injustice she feels because she was taken too soon.
When I write I tend to imagine painting a bit, is that weird? The main thing I want to get across is that although the in between world is beautiful, natural and calm, there's a turmoil that Ariana has that gives it its darkness. All is not as it seems.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review!
Marina Report Review
This is a really unique prologue. I haven't read anything about Ariana Dumbledore before so this is quite interesting to see things from her view point.
I think that the flow of this chapter is done wonderfully. Usually when I read a chapter for flow I look for words that seem out of place, typos that make me stumble while reading or sentences/phrases that just don't fit with the rest of the piece. (Just so you know) I didn't see or find any of those problems here.
Your characterization of Ariana is nice and has a lofty feel to it that is still childish, but being caught in between and ushering others on plays right into the life she had while alive. She was living a happy life until that fateful day and she was trapped in her own mind.
The descriptiveness paints a wonderful, vivid picture in my mind so it is easy to see what you are talking about.
I really like this and I can't wait to see where you take it from here. Keep up the good work! =)
-SR17Author's Response: Wow, this is some seriously high praise :D
As you may have seen in the author's note, this is a companion piece to another story I wrote. She was a minor character in that, still in the same role, and acting as a guide to the main character. She was always different from all the other characters I wrote in this world, because she ages. So in my mind I knew even back when I wrote that story that Ariana was different. So now I'm writing this, I have the chance to explore the unexplained character.
I'm glad you thought the flow was good! I worry that the description can be a bit heavy to read, but I know it's necessary to set the scene.
Thank you so much :) Report Review
Wow. Just... wow. I'm sorry in advance if this review is mostly mindless squeeing or very short :P
This is just amazing. Your writing alone is beautiful. It flows so wonderfully and I can imagine everything exactly as you describe it - I can see the lake and the orchards and the hill and I can almost feel like I'm actually there watching her. It's incredible.
I love the way you've brought Ariana to life as well. You've really highlighted how young she was when she died (she was a teenager, I think) and how that's affected her, as well as the memories of what happened to her and what she did. Even though this chapter was mostly description, you really give us a feel for her character.
This really, really intrigues me. You haven't given much away about the plot but that's a good thing - I want to know where you're going with this.
Ah, it's so beautiful! I'll definitely try and find you in the review battle again (otherwise I'll forget, unfortunately) and come back to this ;)
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Thank you so much!! I feel so comfortable writing in this world again, even though I didn't write anything about it for over a year while I was struggling with the first plot I had when I wrote the first version. It's nice to start over again and write it properly this time.
She was not only young in age, she was young mentally too, I think. Circumstances never really allowed her to grow up when she was alive, so she's had to grow up after she died. That's perhaps one of the reasons she ages after death instead of staying in the same shape like everyone else - she never reached her full potential while she lived, so she's getting that chance now.
Thank you so much for the review! Report Review
Hello, Marina! Stopping off with a rather late QTR review for you. :)
I've found this to be a common theme with most, if not all, of the stories of yours that I've read, but your imagery is simply to-die-for gorgeous. ♥ At once I was nearly swept away by how lush and vivid everything you're writing about is -- the colors and sensations of this world you've created, like a small, thick cocoon of words and mental images. It's so gorgeous, and I really cannot even get over it. It's a bit difficult. ;) You should never, ever stop writing like this!
The concept for your story too is so intriguing, and already I'm itching to find out more -- I'm confused, but a pleasant sort of confused. The sort where I know that all my little unformed questions might get answered with time and patience, and so I'll just wait for that. The memories in the lake, and the nearly-infinite trees... Don't mind me for now, though; I'll just continue to drift along this little literary sea. ♥
Fabulous, fabulous work -- I expected no less, of course, but I'll go on and tell you anyway. :) This really was such beautiful writing, and the first opportunity I get, I'm sure I'll be back for the second chapter! Your writing style's amazing! Report Review
Ooh, this was lovely! I haven't read Sitting in the Orange Tree, though I have to say that now I'd really like to.
It balanced mystery and explanation well, if that makes any sense - enough that while I had the basics (like the fact that she's dead :P) I still want to read more and find out what happens.
The description here was absolutely gorgeous, maybe some of the best I've read. It definitely had this sort of ethereal quality to it and painted this picture in my head that stayed there. Eek. I'm totally in love with it.
I honestly can't wait to read more of this - I'm already excited to see what's in store! :) You've done a fabulous job here! ♥Author's Response: Thanks very much :) Report Review
This story has such aÖmelancholy-ish feel to it. Ariana seems so distraught over being stuck in this world; of being sucked back into the real one, even though her acceptance of being dead. Itís so sad, yet itís near impossible to stop reading. It gives such an in depth view of a girl who always seemed to be pushed away, hidden from sight and thought.
And it not only makes Ariana a more real character, it defines Aberforth too. It gives you a feel for his character that canít quite be described with words. Part of it is guilt, for that Iím almost sure, but thereís more to it. I just donít know the words to describe it with.
Now the thing Iím waiting for is more with Albus. His connection with her, his guilt, his way of being that seems so detached from her, from who he was when she was still alive; itís something I really want the opportunity to explore. It really has my curiosity and I definitely cannot wait for more chapters of this! Its characterization and description are excellent and justÖawe inspiring! Made even better by Arianaís need for solitude. Having little to no interaction with others of this very strange world really put a new twist on the white world with how it is.
~Santa of the secretive sort Report Review
I know I say this within almost every review I leave, but it holds true for so much of your writing. Itís amazing. Truly and fully amazing.
I loved how this started out with tons of great imagery and raw emotion. Itís strange, how easy it is to feel for Ariana and how sheís stuck in this in between world. Yet I adore every word of it, because for everything that Ariana learns in this strange world, I take something away from the words that causes me to think. Itís really neat.
Another thing I adore out of this chapter is Strawberry Hill. I love how vividly you word things so readers understand what the island of strawberries means to Ariana. How itís her rotting heart, and how the water around this island is able to magnetically draw her to the images, even if she doesnít want to see them. It really defines the white world and how it works.
Though it does make me wonder why Ariana wants so badly to get away from it. It makes me wonder more about her past [I donít recall much of itÖmust re-read DHÖ], and how she did think and feel about her brothers. I can honestly say I have not read a single story [Before Sitting in the Orange Tree of course] that even said Arianaís name in passing, which I think just further intrigues me about her character. [The way you have her developed though is past the point of amazing! You really have a clear knowledge of her character in your head :) ]
Amazing job, once again!
~Santa the secret Report Review
Yo, Marina. I hope all is well :)
I loved this chapter, it was just as beautiful as the last one. I'm so glad you decided to rewrite this instead of getting rid of it as so many writers do as I never got around to reading it the first time but I'm so happy that I finally got chance to because this story is mezmerizing. I'm really enjoying your take on this world. Your imagery is fantastic, it's just so beautiful and everything can be imagined so easily. Once again, your choice of language was perfect. And I will be returning to read chapter three once it's up because I really adore this story. It's so original.
- santa signing out now cause the raindeers need a walk.Author's Response: I'm so thrilled you thought it was beautiful! I never would have removed it, because I was waiting around for inspiration to strike, but I'd started it too soon after its companion fic ended and I should have had a break to really think about what I wanted to write about in this. Anyway, it took me a year of not updating to realise that I needed to start over. Now it's going to tell the story I should have written years ago.
Thanks for the review, my lovely santa! Report Review
Hey :) This is santa, yo. Merry Christmas.
This has to be one of the most original stories Ive ever read on this site. It's such an interesting idea. Damn my brain for not being orignal! It's captivating and I was enthralled with it from start to finish. You're an excellent writer, you have such a talent for it, the words just from page into my head creating a beautiful story. Your descriptions are beautiful and I adore the word choice. Everything just suited this memorizing perfectly and I am feeling a slight case of the green eyed monster, which sucks because I look better in red, not green. Anyway, this is a haunting, beautiful peice. It was truly stunning. I am looking forward to the next chapter.
- Santa is signing out yo, cause those mince pies won't eat themsevles. Report Review
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