Reading Reviews for Grimm Expectations
  
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap The Questionable Sanity of Tessa Davies

17th May 2012:
How are those sessions with Andrew Faust going? Or what about your mother? Has she drank and gambled her way to the grave yet? Or how about your brother -

^ Woah. Tessa was an interesting character to introduce. She really does seem similar to Natalie and then at the same time she's different.

The brother thing was interesting. I really want to know where he is now and where all those muggleborns are going. Methinks the plot is thickening! It'll be interesting to see if Tessa is 'taken' because then I think it'll hit Natalie more that something really is going on. It could be connected to her brother.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. :)

Yep, things are definitely becoming more interesting. I'm sorry I can't give much away regarding what happens, but I think you'll be somewhat pleased (not sure if that's the right word!) with the outcome and turn of events.

Thanks ever so much,

Bethan.xxx


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Review #2, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Just a Glimpse Down the Corridor

14th May 2012:
Okay. One really BIG thing:

Natalie Grimm didn't know why she was here, but there was something nagging at her conscience, and when it nagged, she could do nothing to supress it. And so, for the sake of the unknown, she sacrificed herself to the rain and the cold and the mindless fools that sat screaming around her, and waited patiently for the endlessly boring game played out in front to end.

She responded with a slight nod of her head, which could have been anything from a dismissal to a 'thank you', but she didn't want to push her luck by believing in the latter.

^ You have this twice in the story. I think you must have copied and pasted the first section twice because it repeats itself.

That really shocked me because I thought for a second you were trying to rewrite the scene from some other view and then I realized it was the same one I just read. Just a heads up because that can be a big turn off for people even though it's just a mistake.

Anyway, I really liked the interaction between Dom and Natalie. It gave me more of an understanding of why Dom likes to be around her. The thing I'm wondering is...is that the only reason people like to be around Natalie? It seems Dom and James like to be around her for the same reasons.

The ending was really eerie and I can't comment on it right now only because I'm not entirely sure what's going on. I can't wait to find out though!

Author's Response: Wow-wow-wow. I had NO idea that was there twice. Thank you so much for pointing that out. I remember I had some editing issues when I wrote this and I'd accidentally duplicated the whole chapter halfway through the original, so when I was finding where it began I must have missed that bit.

Ah - I'll change that asap. Thank you!

I think Dom and James have been subject to a lot of people who fawn over them because of their parents' status and because of their *own* status, and it's often hard to tell who's actually being *sincere* for once. With Natalie there's nothing like that. She's blunt, brutal, and to them that is strangely refreshing, I think. She won't put up with a lot of things, and they appreciate that about her - I think they almost wish they could adopt an 'I-don't-care-and-I-don't-want-to-talk-to-you' attitude when speaking to certain people, but obviously for the sake of appearances (which Natalie has completely forsaken), they can't.

I *will* be expanding on James' and Dom's characters very soon - a lot of ^that will be brought up, too.

Thank you so much for reviewing this story, I appreciated it so much!
Bethan, xxx


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Review #3, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Counseling the 'Counselor'

14th May 2012:
That's a lot of sarcasm to read in one chapter. Haha! This review will be shorter than my other (sorry) but I want to try to read the other chapters and I only have a little bit of time left.

I think what I really want to say is that her last name really fits for her character which is borderline depressing. I wonder if she was ever...happy? You know? Because she doesn't really mention the past too much, she doesn't seem to think about it. It's like:

Fire.

Well whatever.

Dominique.

Well whatever.

She surpresses so much I'm not even sure what she says is the truth or if she has just created this character for herself to get by. She's really just an interesting character.

I have a question though. How would you explain the use of electronics in Hogwarts? Since we know from canon that the use of phones or anything else wouldn't work because of the magic and such?

Author's Response: Hahaha. Short? It's not short at all - it's lovely to read your comments. :D

She can be happy, though it's rare, and she does talk about her past in chapter five, which I think you may be reading as I type this. :L I think she has just a very closed-off, negative outlook on the world. I think the word is 'pessimist'. A huuuge one. ;D

I didn't mean to make her as sarcastic perhaps as she came across, I think she just reaaally doesn't want someone like Faust interrupting her life. He's trying to analyse her and judge her - he epitomises everything she hates, and she really just wants to be left alone. Looking back on it now I probably should have left her in stony silences, but... We'll see.

'She suppresses so much I'm not even sure what she says is the truth or if she has just created this character for herself to get by.' I think that is mostly true, what you've said. She's tried to stop herself so much from (cliche alert) getting herself hurt, that she's had to keep it all in. And I think over time that she's *become* this person, this anti-social, anti-*human* person who finds it really difficult to see the good in things anymore. One could also argue that she's just seen and experienced more than the average 18-year-old, and she's had to let her mind deal with those things in its own way. She's settled on a rather more morbid approach than one normally would, but I wouldn't have written about her if she hadn't.

Another thing is, I'm trying to adopt a different style when I write these. I'm trying not to look so much into what people are thinking and feeling, but rather just what's *happening* - what the mystery is, and what the character's do. I tried to do that in the first chapter, but after req-review from Beeezie, I don't think that was received as well as it could have been. I'm still going to try it, though, which is why perhaps Natalie's thoughts are on the minimum here - I think her actions and her words speak a lot louder than her thoughts, nevertheless, and often the *absence* of her thoughts can give her... more of an impact.

*sigh* I don't know. I really do like this story, but I'm not focused on it as much as my other one, so I'm wondering if there are a lot of writing errors which perhaps I've overlooked.

Thank you so much for your review and your wonderful comments. They are so appreciated!

Bethan. :) x

PS. I knew this question would come up sooner or later. :D I actually have a big explanation coming up in... oh, I think chapter seven? It basically involves the Electromagnetic Spectrum.


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Review #4, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap The Art of Being Left Alone

14th May 2012:
I'm back for chapter two and I really wish I could just sum this review up with a: 'wow' and then go on to the next chapter.

But 'wow' doesn't really explain much, does it?

Your description and your characterization is amazing. I picture Natalie looking as Rooney Mara (I think that's her last name) in that movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from your description of her. That's a bit eerie to be quite honest because there's something about a lot of piercings that gives me chills and I actually am into that stuff. I think it's more having to do with reading about them and seeing pictures upon pictures about infections. My friend had gotten her tragus pierced and let me tell you something it was a huge mistake for her. Her ear was always oozing with puss and inflamed.

Urgh.

Anyway! I really liked this part right here:

People simply didn't want to be faced with the harsh reality of things that happened in society; they didn't want to be pulled out of their safe, conformed world that they had built up around them like a solid wall.

^ I thought this set up the chapter and the characters well. Dom doesn't want to deal with what would happen or what society would say if they found out she kissed Natalie (why did she -- was it just because of the alcohol?). Natalie doesn't want anyone to accept her as...fragile (since that's what James seems to think she is).

Oh, James. I liked how you focused in on him too. His character wasn't in the chapter much, just until the very end but I still got a good sense of him. It was interesting how you added his hormones into the mix but went a little beyond that. We focus so much on the sexual desires of what the next-generation children want (well moreso the boys) that showing James as a person who thinks and tries to understand Natalie and what's going on is refreshing because he's not just like 'Hey, I want to snog her.'

Even though I write like that all the time but I don't write anything serious like you.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Rooney Mara was absolutely perfect for the portrayal of Natalie. I got a lot of inspiration from Stieg Larsson's 'Lisbeth Salander' for Natalie, but I've tried to add some significant changes so that they're not *too* alike.

Oh dear... lovely imagery! :L :D

My sister has a *lot* of piercings (I think she has all the ones mentioned except the eyebrow piercing and the tragus, which the piercer said was too small to do, so I have a little experience with such things. *Thankfully* she hasn't had any infections (touch wood), but you've just given me a bit of a laugh, and I might be able to mention something about this somewhere in the story. I can imagine a scene with James just staring at her and, without thinking, goes to touch one of her piercings... Oh, her reaction...

Yeah, it was because of alcohol, but also I think it was a semi-conscious way of "acting out", and not fitting into the conformity of the world like I described. I think it was about doing something not *expected* of her for once. If you asked her, she'd probably just say it was the alcohol or flat-out deny it. ;D

Ah, I just can't enjoy male characters like that, but then I'm not one for humour.

I'm really looking forward to writing more about James. I think he's such a down-to-earth character - and a lot of this story is going to focus on 'identity' - that he's a genuine joy to write about and think about, too. And also I don't think it's so much about the 'Hey, I want to snog her,' mentality, but more the, 'I really want to understand her.' She's so different to anyone he really knows that I think he's developed a genuine respect and fascination with her that's got nothing to do with hormones and lust, but just real human curiosity.

ANYWAY! Thank you ever so much for your review - it's a delight to hear your thoughts and also to allow me to think more about my characters in more depth this way, too! :D

Take care,
Bethan.xxx



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Review #5, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

11th May 2012:
The corridors ran through the whole of the hospital, like roads and pathways through a web of illness and grief and machines and a mechanical slowness, each carrying with it that singular air of despair that made you never wish to return.

^ I really liked that part and everything else that came after. Woah. I wasn't expecting that. When SamMalfoy93 (on the forums) rec'd the story I didn't know what to expect.

How dark. How twisted. How wonderful! My interest is really peaked. I'm wondering what happened to her brother, to her father, to her mother just because it seems they each have their own story. Natalie is kind of rough around the edges for me but I can't blame her. She gives me this eerie vibe.

Really wonderful job. Great descriptions. I must read chapter two later!

Author's Response: Wow, thank you!

I'm so pleased you enjoyed this first chapter. It underwent (sp?) a lot of revision after some help from Beeezie in a review, so I'm hoping it's up to scratch.

I wanted to go a little out of my depth (pun not intended) with this story - and that meant writing something dark, slightly twisted, and writing also a character who *was* rough around the edges. The characters I am and have written in the past seem a little too 2-D - a little too picture-perfect for me sometimes, and I just wanted to write someone who readers could judge and criticise the actions of, and for once not really mind, y'know?

Anyway, I'm really glad you liked this chapter and I'm sorry if the rest of the chapters don't interest you as much, but thanks ever so much for reviewing. :)

Bethan. xxx


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Review #6, by padfoot88 The Questionable Sanity of Tessa Davies

6th May 2012:
Things are getting really interesting now! Natalie is such an interesting character and so is Tessa. I love your writing style, I'm getting really addicted to this story! Can't wait for more!

Author's Response: Thank you ever so much!

Glad you're enjoying it - the next chapter might be a little delayed because I have exams coming up, but it'll definitely be continued soon! xxx


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Review #7, by LongLiveFred The Questionable Sanity of Tessa Davies

3rd May 2012:
Very interesting story! I love Natalie, she's an amazing character and I love how you potray her as an independent woman who doesn't really care about what other's have to say. Tessa and Dom seem like bitches, but I can understand, to a point, Tessa's reason. Dom, on the other hand, I just don't get. Oh well, I didn't like her anyways.
James is interesting. (;
I'm very excited to read more from this story! From the first chapter, I was already so engrossed in it I had to continue. I absolutely love it. You write mysteries well, and I encourage you to continue writing, because I'm a huge fan and love your work.
Oh, and sorry about reviewing on only this chapter. I was in such a hurry to continue reading I didn't on the others. My apologies! 10/10 on the entire story though!

Author's Response: Ah, thank you so much! :D

Yes, Natalie's very independent - perhaps to a fault, because she's too suspicious of others to ask for help when she's going to need it. She has a lot of learning to do.

Tessa's very interesting, I agree, and one of the reasons I like her so much is because of her weird, ever-changing personality. She's completely unpredictable, which is hard for a person to write, but also fun and intriguing.

I'm doing somewhat of what I like to call 'The Harper Lee Technique' - where you build up characters to be mean/cruel, but they're actually pretty nice. The same goes for Dom. Perhaps not to such extremes, but she isn't as bad as I'm making her appear. I think the reason she's unfriendly is that her looks and status have gone to her head a little, much the same as people in our society today. No underlying, deep meaning, there - just your average flaunty teenager. ;D

James is wonderful and I have big plans for him - he's coming up in the next chapter, so I'll give you more of an insight into his character. He and Natalie are really the only two fully genuine characters in this story, I think - hopefully you'll see that more throughout.

Thank you so much for all your appreciation! Of course not! Don't worry at all about reviewing; it's lovely to receive one, but I'm just happy that you're enjoying my writing as much as I am enjoying writing it. ;D

Thanks ever so much,
Bethan. x


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Review #8, by blue_splash The Questionable Sanity of Tessa Davies

15th April 2012:
Wow.
I really disliked Tessa at first, her attitude irked me and I was silently cheering that Natalie punched her haha. Another great chapter. I love the new details we're learning about Natalie and her brother. The missing kids sounds crazy and I can't wait to read more about that. Overall excellent chapter! And I can't wait for an update.

Author's Response: Tessa is indeed an oddball. I do pity her in some ways - she's very desperate to stay alive and to fight and actually mean something, but she goes about it in a very wrong and somewhat disturbing way.

Hahaha, when I was writing it I just thought that a slap would be spot on. I was like, 'Now, what would SHE do in this kind of situation...?' Violence seems to be the way to go when it comes to her.

I'm really glad you're enjoying the story so far! :) Thanks very much for the review, :D

x


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Review #9, by blackangelwings Just a Glimpse Down the Corridor

8th April 2012:
i like this, it's really interesting and well written. i really like Grimm, and how you showed what other people see with the somewhat Dominique's point of view- still in third person, which is cool. i want to know what happened to them, and who is talking to her at the end. is it james? i think it's james.

anyways, update soon!

Author's Response: Really glad you like it; I need to revise the second & third chapters, but I like where the story heads.

No, it's not James, I'm sorry to say. The chapter is with my beta at the moment so you'll find out then. ;) James *does* turn up in the very near future, though, so fear not.

I'm going to switch POVs around in this story. The main ones will be Natalie, Dom, and James, but then sometimes a minor character will get their bit of limelight, too; I want to keep things interesting.

Glad you like it. Thanks ever so much. :)

Bethan. xxx


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Review #10, by blue_splash Just a Glimpse Down the Corridor

26th March 2012:
I really have to tell you that I'm starting to love this story!
Everything about it fascinates me. The way you describe Natalie and her dark personality, its just amazing. This story is dramatic and mysterious and its everything you want to read but don't find often. Incredible I hope you keep updating cause I'm certainly going to follow. Excellent job.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this lovely review!

I value this ever so much, and thank you for pointing out the details you're enjoying; I'll be sure to have those things emphasised or at least present at all times during the next chapters and aim to keep the consistency of those details, too.

I wanted to try something a lot different from some of the other things I read. They're often fluffy romance, comedy (which I think is very hard to pull off, in a way that people are genuinely amused. I tried it with the original plot idea for this story, but it just didn't feel natural to me, so I went with this darker story), and sometimes they don't seem to have a genre at all. I'm hoping to focus much more on the mystery and the actual plot than any stray sub-plots.

Thanks ever so much, blue_splash, and I'll update soon!
xxx


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Review #11, by SerpentineOffering People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

26th March 2012:
I really enjoyed this so far - you are an amazing writer! I love how you brought everything to life with your writing, it really felt like I was walking beside Natalie, watching what was going on instead of reading it! I never read 'Her Little Misconceptions' but I'm incredibly excited to get to the next chapter! I loved it - great job!

Author's Response: Gosh, thank you for such a compliment!

Over the past year I think I've developed more as a writer, but I haven't yet found my own personal style; it tends to alter depending on what particular novel I'm reading at the time. But with this story I'm aiming to put in my own descriptive style, along with a little of Stieg Larsson's, who was very much the inspiration for this story.

Ahh, HLM wasn't great, hence it's deletion. I tried to make it into a comedy but it didn't feel very natural, so I deleted it and re-created the characters and the plot and converted it into a much darker kind of story: Grimm Expectations.

So glad you're enjoying the story so far, thank you ever so much!

Bethan. xxx


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Review #12, by Beeezie The Art of Being Left Alone

6th March 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! I'm so glad you found my last one helpful enough to come back. :)

I went back and reread your first chapter to refresh my memory, and as I was reading, I noticed that you'd made some changes. Then I got to the end and saw the A/N mentioning me. I am so, so glad that you found my review that helpful - there is nothing that I find more rewarding as a reviewer than seeing that someone found my comments that helpful and used them to improve their story.

So, onto the review!

Mechanically, this was quite solid. The only real problem I saw was with your punctuation. It's fairly minor, but there were points where I thought a period would have been better than a comma, and others where the addition of a comma would have helped make the story flow a little more smoothly. Sometimes, this was because the sentence was starting to turn into a run-on, and sometimes, it just felt a little awkward to me.

To show you what I mean, I'll use the first paragraph of the first section as an example:

Natalie Grimm was not a soft person; she never had been. Her mother use to say that even as a baby she didn't smile of giggle[, -> .] [S]he simply sat in silence and stared at the grown-ups around her that were making the most ridiculous noises, with an expression on her face that said, 'God, you lot are stupid.' - Again, as I said, it's minor, but just the one change in punctuation helped stop the second sentence from being too long and cumbersome.

Other examples of run-ons that I noted while reading were in the fourth, fifth, and last paragraphs in the second section. I didn't jot down all of them, though, and I'd recommend just combing through once or twice to try to identify sentences that are a bit long and unwieldy.

Another situation with incorrect punctuation was in the fifth paragraph of the first section:

Her clothes shrouded her, giving her an indefinite, formless shape[,] but she moved with an uncommon grace and fluidity for someone so seemingly leaden. - When you're connecting two independent clauses (something that could stand on its own as a sentence) with a conjunction (and, but, for, or, etc), a comma should come before the conjunction. Sometimes you can get away with not doing it, but I tend to recommend erring on the side of caution and putting it in, because it's always correct to do so. You usually did do this, but sometimes you didn't, so I thought I'd point it out.

Again, it's really not a huge deal, but at the same time, little things like punctuation can really improve the flow of a piece and make it feel more polished (at least for me). Other than those minor things, though, your writing was lovely - I could really get a picture of the scenes you were describing. I probably wouldn't even have mentioned those grammatical things except that you were so good otherwise that I had very little to critique.

Mechanics aside:

You definitely built on the picture of Natalie that you established in the previous chapter, and on the whole, I liked the way you described her and how much detail you included. I actually often dislike in-depth descriptions of characters' appearances, because I think it's difficult to do without distracting from the narrative of the piece overall. You, however, did a nice job of integrating it so it fit and actually added to the flow rather than taking away from it.

I felt like you did the same thing when you described Dominique and her friends; though you used less detail, I really felt like I got a sense of who they were and how they behaved from what was really a pretty limited amount of text.

What I didn't get was how Natalie felt about Dominique. I can kind of understand Dominique following her around to keep her quiet - kind of - but I didn't get much sense of why Natalie kissed her or how she felt about her. There's room to expand on that (or not) later, but I would have liked at least a hint of it now, just so there's something to build on later.

That stood in stark contrast to Natalie encounter with James. I think I recall mentioning last chapter that you made excellent choices about what to reveal and what to hold back. While you slipped on that a little in regards to Natalie's feelings about Dominique - I was left more confused than intrigued - you brought it back full force with the section in which she bumps into James.

There were a lot of interesting questions that got raised for me here. I wanted to know more about her relationship (or lack thereof) with James. I wanted to see more about how his feelings about her affected his interactions with her and whether he talked about her with his friends. I wanted to know where their relationship (or lack thereof) was going to go and whether he would end playing a major role in the plot.

Those questions didn't feel awkward, and they didn't make me feel like the chapter was incomplete. I felt like you gave me just a little glimpse of where the story is headed, and I was left eager for more.

Natalie continues to feel quite realistic. My only comment about her characterisation is that while I enjoyed reading about her and am interested to see what happens next, I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with her. While I understand that she's really supposed to be a little standoffish and removed, I wanted something that I could look at and really feel drawn into. I felt that in the first chapter, and I feel it about the story overall, but Natalie herself just isn't quite reaching me. I enjoy her. I just don't feel a connection with her.

The pace continues to be excellent, and the story feels quite realistic as a whole. I enjoyed this chapter a lot - please feel free to rerequest, and I hope I was helpful! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much, Beeezie, and I'm so sorry for the terribly late response. But better late than never, though! ...Right? :S

Ahh, my silly punctation! Often I think I can get away with missing those wretched commas, but more often than not I just can't. I recently employed the help of a beta, so hopefully she'll be helping me point out my errors in that department. I am rather prone to them, unfortunately!

I build on Dominique's part in the next chapter - about a third of it is from her third-person perspective, which gives more of an insight into their relationship, and I plan to use Dom more often throughout the story as a means of portraying Natalie. The same goes for James.

Which brings me onto the connection (or lack, thereof) that's present. In the early stages Natalie's very detached, and I'm very aware of that. I'm trying to stay in her mind when I'm writing her, and instead of the main character in my other WIP who's VERY emotive, Natalie is far from it. I think because of this, perhaps I'm not including as much emotion when writing her as I SHOULD do. Thank you ever so much for pointing this out, though! I probably wouldn't have addressed the issue as much as I'm going to without the pointer.

HOWEVER. We're only three chapters in, so there's a long way to go yet - hopefully by the next chapter or so there'll be more of a connection with her and the other characters.

Thank you ever so much for your help, Beeezie! I'll revisit this chapter as soon as I get the chance and correct/alter the parts you pointed out.

Thank you for your awesome and brilliantly helpful review,
Bethan. xxx


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Review #13, by TheHeirOfSlytherin People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

6th March 2012:
This is a great setup for what I think will be an amazing mystery story... Which is, like, my favorite genre. :D

I like the back story to Natalie, with her parents; it gives her more depth, why she is the way she is. I feel sad and sorry for her, but she sounds like a great character, so I'm loving her.

Good job.

Sam.

Author's Response: :D Thanks Sam!

Sorry I've taken so long to reply to this - life and stuff. ;D

With my other WIP I felt like I missed out quite a bit on her background, but I wanted to give this one a more 'fitting feel' - not just shoving it all in, but giving the readers enough to get the general picture.

Thanks! :D xxx


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Review #14, by LunarLuna People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

17th February 2012:
This was really good! :D It was well written, and the description was perfect. Not too much, not too little either.

It was a little confusing at some points, in the hospital when you seemed to skip from describing one character, to describing the next without much "in between" so it's hard to know how the "time flowed" as in, I couldn't really tell how long had passed between each visit. Hours, days, minutes, no time at all? It's not really clear.

Other than that though it was great!^^ I love Nathalie's dark and bitter personality. Her backround story really adds dept to her character and to the story. Well done^^

In any case, the burning of the house, the way she seems so angry about everything. It worked well on me :)

Very well done! :)

9/10

Keep it up!

-June

Author's Response: Thanks very much, June!

Hmm, I see what you mean, but I was trying to show the more 'timeless' side of hospitals. There aren't any windows, just this artificial light above her, and I wanted to convey how everything's pretty surreal and detached from real life when you're trapped inside a place of illness and death - an Earth-bound purgatory in a way. But I do see your point, so thank you!

I'm glad you liked Natalie's personality - her apathetic, detached ways are very intriguing to me, and become more so as I continue to write about her. It's hard trying to stick to that though, and having to constantly remind myself 'would she really say something THAT nice?' or 'would she actually smile or anything when she says this?'

With complicated characters the whole plot becomes more complicated, unfortunately. :(

Thanks ever so much for the review - it's much appreciated, June!

Bethan. xxx


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Review #15, by Beeezie People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

25th January 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, finally here with your review! I'm really, really sorry about the delay - my life has been insane lately. I'm assuming your concerns with this are the same for those you posted for "Out of Your Depth," since you didn't specify any new ones.

Was it believable? Absolutely, and more than that, it's original. This is not an idea I've seen written before, and I'm interested to see where you go with it. When I've read stories about squibs before, they've come off as ultimately sympathetic characters. Stephan is clearly not that at all; maybe you'll introduce some softer qualities later on, but right now, he's coming across as a pretty awful person, and the idea that he's exploiting his children for their magical abilities is chilling. And, as I said above, absolutely realistic. It's a creepy dynamic, but it's one that I have no trouble at all buying into.

Natalie's reaction is perfectly in line with what I'd expect of someone in her situation. Of course she resents her father - thus far, "hates" seems like it might even be a reasonable word for it. Of course she doesn't want him to recover. That makes perfect sense, and I thought that you showed the effects of growing up in that sort of household quite well.

Furthermore, I thought that this was a great first chapter in terms of what you chose to reveal and what you chose to keep secret for the moment. That's a hard line to walk - reveal too little, and the reader (or at least, this reader) just gets confused and frustrated. Reveal too much, and they (or at least, I) don't really get drawn into the story in quite the same way. You told us enough for me to feel like I had a solid grounding in the premise and in Natalie's backstory - her father's abusive nature, her mother's leaving, her brother's disappearance - while still retaining a lot of curiosity about where the story is going to lead.

I do have a couple criticisms of the chapter, though. The Disilllusionment Charm seemed a bit much - that's a highly advanced spell, if I recall correctly, and I'm not at all convinced that either Natalie or Dylan would have been able to cast it at that age. Especially since it doesn't appear to be a major part of the plot thus far, I'd suggest changing it to something a bit more age-appropriate.

Additionally, while I felt like you were setting up the story brilliantly, I did think that the overall flow could be been a bit better. Part of the issue was that the descriptions just occasionally fell a little flat - in the hospital scene, for example, you describe the doctor's appearance in some detail and include verbs like "gave her an assessing look" and "resisting the urge to roll her eyes." None of those are bad details to include, but they're not really the kind of details that bring the story to life, either.

You've got a great premise, and I think that the story is shaping up to be quite interesting. However, I also feel like the tone needs a little work - I'm intellectually intrigued, but you haven't really crafted together imagery to get me as emotionally invested as I think you could (if that makes sense). The first few paragraphs of the chapter were great, but after that, the first section seemed to go a little downhill in this regard. The second section was a bit better, but could still use a little work.

Does that make sense?

On the whole, this is a good chapter. I don't think that what you have is bad. However, the premise is so intriguing and so strong that I think that it could be great, not just good, and the lack of detail is getting in the way of that.

One final quick point, that really has nothing to do with the chapter: your story summary to me seems a bit long. If you could find a way to tighten it up a little, I think that the presentation would be a bit better. Just a thought, though.

I'm sorry again about the delay, and that this was a bit on the short side. Please feel free to rerequest. I really enjoyed reading this.

Author's Response: Thank you ever so much for this fantastic review - no worries about the wait, life's been hectic for me, too.

Thank you ever so much for the compliments - it's wonderful to see I'm doing *something* right. In response to the criticisms:

Disillusionment charm: Got it - I don't think I'd really thought that through well enough, rather I was just thinking about the motive behind such a spell rather than the level of skill it would require. I may or may not alter that depending on if I expand the reasoning behind that later in the story, but it's such a minor want for Stephen that I think I'll simply alter it to a less demanding spell/charm.

Descriptions: Oh, believe me, I know! :L I struggle a lot with trying to get 'words to paper' (figuratively speaking) when it comes to describing a scene - and I understand your point completely. I will revise this chapter and work on the description because it's something that definitely needs to be improved and something I am all too aware of, unfortunately. As you said I think I'm capable of doing so, but I think I was more focused on the background of the story rather than "setting the scene". I'll also improve the description of the house as well; I think the state I picture it in wasn't conveyed well enough and therefore lacked the pathos it was supposed to inspire the readers to feel towards Natalie.

Story Summary: Changing it now! I recently wrote a different version of it so I'll go over and do it now. ;)

Thank you so so so much for this - it's brilliant and I appreciate the length and time and effort you've put into this ever so much.

Bethan. xxx


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Review #16, by AC_rules People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

10th January 2012:
Helllo there! First off, I really like the title. It sort of reminds me of Great Expectations and I always love a bit of Dickens :)

I thought the start was really good with the way that you hid the identity of the person who had gotten caught in the fire for a little while before revealing it to us. I was really shocked when I found out that it was her father who'd been hurt and it really through me for a minute (I was more thinking work-collegue) so that was really effective :)


I also liked how impassive you made your OC all the way through the chapter with the only points she showed emotions being when she was on her own packing her suitcase.

This was all very intrigued and you certainly hinted at more horrible things below the surface of what was happening in her life - again, very well done -so yeah, it was a really gripping first chapter and I'm glad I had the chance to read :) :)

-AC

Author's Response: Thank you ever so much, AC.

Haha, the Drama production of Great Expectations was on TV around the time I wrote this, so I think that had a sub-conscious influence on me. ;D

Yes, that was exactly what I was going for with the surprise of 'Hey, it's your father in the bed over there.' I wanted to really emphasise her impassiveness towards her father's injuries, and how little she really cares for him (hopefully leaving the reader wondering if that extends to others, too).

Yes, I wanted to get down some background info. in the beginning, and building up around it with bits of opinion and the character's thoughts and details.

Thank you ever so much for the review, it's much appreciated, AC! :D

Bethan. xxx


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Review #17, by blue_splash The Art of Being Left Alone

6th January 2012:
Another great chapter. I honestly have no idea where you're going with the story and I love it. Its new and I love how dark the story is compared to other things I've read. You're an excellent writer and I can't wait to read more. Great job

Author's Response: Haha, thank you so much! I'll get a new chapter up soon! :)

I've tried the comedy thing but it really wasn't working out for me - dark plots with subtle dark humour and sarcasm are my forte, I think. ;)

Thank you ever so much for the compliment!
Bethan.
xxx


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Review #18, by blue_splash People That Play With Fire Only Get Burned

6th January 2012:
Very interesting.
I found this beginning intriguing and can't wait to read more. Good job

Author's Response: Thank you very much! *hands award to first reviewer*
I'm glad you liked it! :)
xxx


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