this... this was absolutely magnificent. First of all, cudos for writing such a great story in just 500 words. I could never do that. And even within these 500 words, there is so much detail. You really did well with this one.
This paragraph did me in:
I apparated to the forest for the first time in April, the air heavy and my shoulders hunched from something stuck between despair and denial. The evergreens towered over me ominously like guardians to the Underworld, tiny beads from the rain the night passed greeting me, clinging to my robes as I pushed past the branches. They decorated the cotton, rich like pearls. As the light faded, the great trunks seemed to have clustered together, as though they were cowering under their canopies, children beneath their blankets, hiding from the approaching night.
The description of the forest where she lays was haunting and beautiful, as if the protagonist's entering a new world. There's some sort of fairytaleish, dreamlike sense to the air, of an undiscovered world. It came together nicely with how the protagonist was feeling as he/she visits her resting place for the first time.
Also, the repetition at the beginning and at the end was very powerful:
If I close my eyes and I lay where you lay, we are almost touching.
First off, that sentence is gahh heartbreaking - but it seems that the protagonist has to assure himself/(herself?) that Bertha Jonkins and him are still close, that she isn't totally gone. I loved how you made it the tale of the brother and sister. Of how there was a balance that couldn't be restored. That demonstrates the effects of war perfectly, how family's are affected by war.
I liked how there wasn't that much focus on the protagonist, but more like on the side effects of Bertha's doings - her childhood, her foolishness and eventually her death and how they affected the siblings. There is a bitterness in the protagonist's words, and yet so much love for her as he lies on the ground to feel closer to her. Also, this is the first time he's gone to see her on her travels, on her last travel. That was kind of neat. And the napkin bit... Brilliant.
I loved this little piece, especially the fact that it was about Bertha Jonkins who is probably the last person I'd ever read anything about, but now that I did, I can't see why I ever thought it boring. This was magnificent, dear. 500 words of pure brilliance. Well done!
(This is nearly as long as the one shot... hehe sorry! :D)Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for such an amazing review! Ohmygosh, just thank you, I am so flattered right now!
I am so glad that you liked this. Of all my pieces I think it is this one I am most proud of, which is saying a lot because normally I hate everything I write :P I really wanted to create like a numb and hollow atmosphere about this, and really make it all about Bertha and emphasise the loss in it. I picked Bertha because there's so much to her that is just never explained and her death has to upset someone, even if Ludo Bagman just scoffs and makes jokes about her... I loved the challenge too, because normally I don't write things that are very long anyway, and it made everything seem very neat and tidy :) Oh god, I'm rambling, because HONESTLY, I am just overwhelmed and so flattered. Just, thank you so much!
AHH. THANK YOU. Laura xxx Report Review
I am a big fan of details and descriptions. In fact I catch myself all the time when reviewing, asking others to add more details. My own stories have tons of descriptions. So I can appreciate the effort that you put into this one shot in all those little details, however, there are times when too many descriptions can become confusing.
Since this story is so short, all the descriptions seem to clutter up, making the flow seem weird. There were times when the sentences just seemed to go on and on, even with the comma's breaking them up it seemed too long.
When I first saw the title I thought that the story might have something to do with the golden trio and the lost of one of them. However, I liked that it was something completely different than what I originally thought.
I like the fact that you had the courage to pick a topic that not many others would have used to create this one shot. This is the first time I have read anything to do with Bertha Jorkin's death and how it might have effected her family. I think that you might have gotten too caught up describing everything around the speaker, when you could have gone more in depth with how she was feeling. I get the feeling of sadness with your character, but not much else. Is she angry with the one who killed her? Could she be mad that her sister for going off on that trip to begin with? Mad with the ministry workers for not bringing her home? At the same time relief that at least you have a beautiful view where she is located? Is her extreme sadness due to the fact she feels guilty about not being closer to her sister?
You have a nice little story here.Author's Response: Helloo!
Thank you for your lovely, lengthy review. I do know what you mean about a lot of the description though, and will definitely take this on board. Again, this is a one shot about loss, much like 'He', but I tried to approach them differently. I wanted the sister to feel bland and quite numb from everything, really dwelling on her sister and her relationship with her. To me Bertha is a really interesting character that has been so underloved. I felt doing her death justice was needed, rather than scoffing at her stupidity in the books.
Thank you so much for a brilliant review. I will certainly revise this one shot.
Laura xxx Report Review
Hi!!! Wow wow wow. This is marvelous hun so so beautiful! I don't know if i can find the words to say how emotional and lovely this is. I can almost feel myself there feeling the same hurt and wondering what it would be like to lose a sibling. Gosh, your wording and structure is brilliant and lovely and it makes me think of sunshine and daisies and sunrises in the desert. :D
okay i should stop gushing but i can't think of anything wrong with this piece, it's really touching and i love how did it from this unknown perspective and really gave a voice to Bertha. i loved the imagery of the paper napkin ripped in shards and the one in three, a third, a fraction. Simply lovely how that part was written. I also love love love the last sentence. Perfect way of ending it and it really pulled how the sibling love, even if they weren't close transcends all. Lovely job
-zay Author's Response: Thank you so much! You're so kind, thank you!
I really racked my brains to think of who to write about, and when I thought of Bertha I knew it couldn't be about anyone else. She is too under loved, and a voice is exactly what she needs.
Thank you so much for this beautiful review. The loss of a sibling, of a part of oneself was an idea I had never explored before, but I really enjoyed writing this. Thank you loads :) Laura xxx Report Review
Goodness! This was gorgeous. I'm absolutely, positively, 100% in love with your diction. Bah. Word choice. It's really, really lovely.
This had to be my favorite line (well, one of many): "a neglected lamb, shuffling into situations you shouldn't be in and keeping your stare vulnerable and innocent." The imagery is unique and I love that you were able to find such an original metaphor.
And the "rich like pearls": absolutely gorgeous. I can't say enough about this one-shot! I'm in love. Probably the stupid kind where you get cartoon hearts in your eyes and drool a little, but I'm perfectly OK with that.
Lovely. I'll say it again. :D
- RinAuthor's Response: Wow, thank you so, so much! And to have these compliments coming for you is just.wow! Thank you!
I really tried to include as many metaphors as I could, and I worried it sounded a bit rigid, but I'm uber chuffed you thought it was alright. I loved the challenge, though! I was really proud of this once I had finished ^.^
Haha, no, cartoon hearts are cool! You're adorable, thank you loads! This review was brilliant, thank you! Laura xxx Report Review
Laura. Oh gosh. I can't even.
This was so incredibly beautiful. Honestly, the whole piece was this wonderfully executed work of art. Gosh, I'm in awe of your talent!
For your first one-shot, you did wonderfully. This piece had just the right amount of detail. Between the first paragraph and the banner, I could tell it had something to do with death, dying, etc, so it all made perfect sense.
Your choice of words here is magnificent, like it is in everything else you write! I love the way you describe her as the child that never grew up. I also simply adored the section about the 1 of 3. It created this sense of hollowness that made me so incredibly sad reading this!
I love love love your use of second person. It's done so incredibly well. I can imagine her hurt and grief as she struggles to talk to her dead sister but she knows she cannot. It's so insanely sad and yet I can only marvel at how well you write!
I'm so amazed at your talent, Laura! Teach meee! No honestly, I bet this is the most useless review you've gotten but there's simply nothing wrong with this piece. The idea and execution of it is marvelous. I love this piece, as I love the rest of your writing!Author's Response: Hello!
Thank you, so so much, for this beautiful review! It means so much! It was my first real stab at a oneshot, but I'm so chuffed you liked it, I really am! I wanted to suggest that theres this underlying sense of binding between siblings, even those not so close, and grief was a big theme. The way she was blank, almost dead herself. And yeah, totally, I've always seen Bertha as a big kid who just dabbled in the wrong things...because thats really what happened. From the books we know she followed Peter into the forest and thats how she died...she was a fool, through and through.
I'm really over the moon you feel there's nothing I can add to this, cos, like I said, it was my first real attempt at a one-shot. It's amazing to know it was okay! (Though this may have to do with the 500 word length...what a helper, haha!)
Thank you tons! You're the best in the universe, thank you! x Report Review
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