I think you did an amazing job at not making this cliche! First of all, you made her from Canada. I was just in Canada a month or so ago and started trying to figure out what the heck Canada actually does? In the US we just kind of think of Canada as our little brother. So, anyway, making her from there instead of Brazil or something was an amazing idea!
I like that you had her meeting the Hufflepuffs, and that Cedric was just being nice and admitted his crush on Cho. It made it obvious that she wasn't this gorgeous new transfer to sweep everyone off their feet.
I like also that you had her befriending this group instead of a more well known one, it was perfect to make her more 'normal.'
Good job with the sorting hat! You had him perfect! The way he talked felt like it could have come straight from the books!
This was a great and fun one shot. Your descriptions and dialogue are all very natural, and you turned just a few normal moments of what a transfer would go through, into very realistic ones that were fun to read about :)!!
JamiAuthor's Response: Hey Jami!
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! I haven't had much feedback on it, so I'm really happy to hear that you liked it. I'd never tried to de-cliche something before, so this was new for me. I also don't often write OCs. :o I'm glad you liked the way I wrote this and all the details! I really appreciate your compliments. Thanks again for reading and reviewing!
--Emily Report Review
Hi! This is fauxthefox from the forums FINALLy getting around to reviewing all of the entries! Sorry about the delay.
Right off the bat, I love your use of Penelope and Percy! They're rarely written about, and you wrote them both very well, without maximizing Percy's personality to the point of grotesqueness.
The awesomeness continues in the second scene, where you smoothly incorporate canon characters and events into the story! Frankly just amazing.
And you show the "everyone loves her" through McGonagall's smile, instead of the typical "all the boys want to choke her with their tongue" route, which gives you a good ten points toward the declicheing tally.
Very cute! Results will be up soon!Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this! :D I'm really happy that you liked the story. It was difficult to write, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out.
I had to really think about how to decliche this one, but I'm really happy I settled on making younger students and McGonagall like her. I agree that it's obnoxious when some random girl shows up and EVERY boy in the school this she's perfect beyond belief. Ugh.
Again, thanks for reviewing. I loved the challenge, can't wait to see the results! :D
--Emily Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie with your (very late) review. Sorry - November has been insane for me.
Before I get into the core of the story, I want to mention a few things that struck me as a bit out of place.
First, just before Olivia got on the train, you say that her father straightened her robes. She's presumably fifteen - I can see parents doing that for small children, but certainly not for teenagers.
Second - and this is really minor, but I thought I'd mention it - I believe that Penelope was actually a year behind Percy in school, so he would have left the school by the time she became Head Girl.
Third, while I thought that you handled the scene with the Hufflepuffs well on the whole, I did wonder why the Hufflepuffs had run into her compartment in the first place. Didn't they have their own compartment? And why was a fifth year boy sitting with three third years and a first year in the first place? It seems like an odd group.
I think that while your description is good and your dialogue is good, you often didn't really combine the two well. A lot of the dialogue was just broken up by things like, "She smiled," (all the characters seemed to be smiling an awful lot) or "He said," or something similar. I have difficulty with this, too, but I think it would flow better if you introduced something else in to chop up the dialogue a bit, or even condensed it a little by summarizing some of the dialogue rather than showing them saying it. (That was a piece of advice a reviewer once gave to me, and boy, did it help.)
Your characterization was strong on the whole, but I think the part where Olivia is saying goodbye to her parents could use a bit of work. It's such an important moment for her, and while you talked about her eyes looking in every direction, you didn't really get into her emotions, just her actions. You also didn't really describe what exactly was new and different about the scene. You could have said that she'd never taken a train to school, or that the huge numbers overwhelmed her because her school was smaller, or... etc. Her goodbye with her parents would have flowed smoother with more description of the setting and her feeling, in my opinion.
However, once she actually got on the train, I thought that it worked quite well! You portrayed her nerves well without going overboard, and I liked the introduction of Penelope rather than some major canon character (which is the road a lot of people seem to go down). I thought that Olivia's reaction to seeing Penelope greet Percy was also terrific - those sorts of moments are things that friends can mostly ignore, but which make people already ill-at-ease even more so.
I do think that you did a good job portraying all the characters you had, but I think that it would have worked better if you'd made some or all of them OCs. Penelope and Percy weren't a problem for me, but chances are that if a few random students ran into her compartment, some or all of them would have been students who'd never appeared in the books at all, you know? I think that often authors want to stick to canon at all costs (I know I used last names from the books rather than coming up with my own at first), and it's really okay to break away and create new students, you know? I did, however, like the fact that you made them younger - it is too convenient that the people always seem to be the transfer student's age or older. Your depiction of the Sorting was also refreshingly normal - people often turn it into a bizarre argument or protracted conversation about random things, and you kept it to the point.
It's a good piece, and you're definitely a good writer. I almost always have a little section at the beginning of my reviews pointing out mechanical problems that I noticed, and I didn't need to include that here at all. I think you de-cliched it well, and I just would have liked to see a little more description. :)
Sorry again for the delay - I swear it's just November that's making me terrible. :(Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review! It made my night. I love that you took the time to really tell me where I could improve and I'm absolutely going to take your advice into consideration. I really appreciate it. I suppose one of the reasons I didn't add many descriptions was because of a shorter time-limit that I had to write this since it was a challenge, but now that I've got the time to go back and change things, I most certainly will. I appreciate all your advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. :D
--Emily Report Review
Brilliant! The character development was good. Although it wasn't overly detailed, it didn't need to be. You immediately drew me into your main character and skillfully weaved her into the already established HP world - using the Hufflepuff characters to surround her. At the end I was left wanting to go on to the next chapter.Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! This was definitely a challenge for me since I don't usually write OCs and I try to avoid cliches. I'm really happy you liked how it turned out. I appreciate your feedback more than I can say. Maybe I'll go back and add in some more details...thanks again for your input! :D
--Emily Report Review
Hi! This is Chocolate_Frog from the forums with your review! :)
I think that you wrote this piece very well, actually. It was very enjoyable and didn't seem too cliche'd (cliche-d? cliched? Ah, whatever) at all, so I think you addressed the nature of the challenge perfectly.
I like how you made your OC a normal girl, liked by /younger/ students--That was a unique twist on the usual cliche. Kudos for making her a Puff as well! I was always sad that it seems to be an under-appreciated house.
As for descriptions: Your beginning started out strong, with your Olivia's feelings, and her dialogue with her parents flowed really well. I also liked the nice canon touches here and there with Percy/Penelope and Cedric/Cho. Everything seemed well thought-out.
Your one-shot was also pretty much error-free, except for one thing that I noticed: Some of your dialogues need to be capitalized, such as:
+ the 'just' in "Shh," a girl's voice whispered fearfully, "just stay quiet."
+ and the 'we' in "we should introduce ourselves after bustling in here unannounced. I’m Hannah Abbott, third year. We’re all in Hufflepuff, except Laura."
~Chocolate_FrogAuthor's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing for me! I really appreciate this and it truly made my night that you enjoyed the piece so well. I'm happy you think I addressed the challenge adequately.
The reason those pieces of dialogue don't need to be capitalized is actually a comma rule. If you think about taking out the part that says "a girl's voice whispered fearfully," you see why "just" isn't capitalized--"Shh, just stay quiet." See? That's also why there's a comma after "fearfully." It leads into the second part of the sentence.
Anyhow, grammar rules aside, thank you for the review! I enjoyed reading it a lot and it means a ton to me that you enjoyed this.
Have a spectacular day!
--Emily Report Review
It's not that pointless since it was written for a challenge.
As for the 'de-clichéd' bit, I think you did pretty well. You didn't make her too ugly and too dorky, you just made her a normal student with not so much attention given to her. She made McGonagall smile so uhm...is that a clichéd? I don't think it is. But yeah great work.
I love the way you made her a Hufflepuff and not a Ravenclaw. I'm not really a fan of house hate but I think that some of us can be a bit judgemental on what house a person is in. So yeah, the 'Hufflepuff-factor' gives me a bit more respect to your story.
Your description wasn't pressed on the story heavily. I guess there was just enough for the readers to understand where the setting and happenings are.
Your plot was simple and I don't take it as a bad thing for you since it was a challenge any ways and you can't really alter much about it.
Your characterisation was great. I think this bit makes up for your description. You made the characters so like the ones in the books.
Overall, I'd give a 9/10. Great job!!
Ta-ta for now,
CloakAuror9 xxAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! That's really sweet. :D You made me smile and I'm really glad you liked the story. It hasn't been up for long, so I haven't gotten any feedback on it, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
--Emily Report Review
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