Reading Reviews for The Shadow
29 Reviews Found

Review #1, by academica Valentine's Day Surprises

21st January 2013:
Okay, the spacing is wide in this chapter. You can fix it easily if you go back and use the Simple Editor. Also, I noticed some more of the short scenes that bugged me a little in the last chapter--for instance, the Slytherin-focused scene.

I did notice a number of potential areas for improvement within this chapter. On the one hand, you could probably proofread each chapter once or twice more before posting it. I've noticed several little things that, while not really getting in the way of my enjoyment of the story, do make it look a little rough around the edges. For instance, I noticed one place where you have a quotation mark at the end of a sentence that isn't dialogue. Additionally, watch out for dialogue tags and proper capitalization and punctuation with dialogue. I also realized that you have a tendency to join up lines where different characters are the focus into the same paragraph. For example:

"I wouldn't have let you get out of the dormitory. Don't you know I've always got your back?" Jane laughed as they entered the Great Hall.

^This was really confusing for me initially because I knew Jane was the one who received the chocolates and Lily was the one who helped her out, but this sentence makes it sound like Jane is laughing as she says the line of dialogue. It's good practice (and proper style) to start a new paragraph, however brief, when a new character starts speaking or becomes the focus of the action.

The other area on which I think you could work would be character development and follow-through. Unless you take the time to think about how your character would logically react to a given situation, based on his or her prior behavior, your characterization can seem shallow and inconsistent. For instance, are you sure that Sirius would so quickly drop the subject of secret admirers after Jane's little slip of the tongue, or would he be more likely to push her a little more? Would Snape be willing to trust a girl who's been seen around with Sirius with one of his deepest and most painful secrets, or would he possibly insult her or just ignore her and get out of there fast? I would encourage you to seek out more feedback on this story from reviewers on the forums, because a lot of them "specialize" in characterization and could give you more feedback if you request it.

Okay, that's plenty of critique, so I want to make sure I mention what I did like about this chapter :) For one, I think you did a great job with Remus. He's appropriately studious and compassionate, and I like that Jane trusted him to talk to Peter. I also liked the interaction between Lily and James; he clearly still makes her uncomfortable, and it was nice to see him actually react to her dismissal of him rather than just laughing it off with his friends. In addition, I really liked getting a glimpse of the "other side" with Regulus, though I should note that Lestrange would probably be too old canon-wise to attend school as the same time as Regulus. (Obviously, I think Rosier is an okay fit.)

This is going along very nicely, and I'm looking forward to continuing on later. By the way, I've really appreciated getting your feedback through the swap, and I hope you've found mine helpful. I think that this long-term swap was a great idea!


Author's Response: Yeah, my grammar and punctuation is atrocious. I wasn't sure about that line. It just felt weird to write:

"I wouldn't have let you get out of the dormitory. Don't you know I've always got your back?"

Jane laughed as they entered the Great Hall.

“Yes, I’m glad I have you to knock me out in case I ever get into strife.” She grinned, patting Lily’s back.

But you're right, it's very confusing.

With Sirius dropping the secret admirer thing, I just put it down to him assuming that Jane had made an ill-received joke. Severus however is a little more difficult to rationalize. While he sees her around with Sirius, he also sees her with Lily. Perhaps he thinks, even sub-consciously, that if he befriends Jane, she might convince Lily to give him another chance. I might rewrite that scene to make it a little more confronting rather than confiding.

I love Remus Lupin so much, he's always fun to write. And James is great too. There'll be plenty of both Remus and James/Lily coming up :)

Well according to the Harry Potter Wiki, Regulus was born in 1961, one year after the Marauders. And Rodolphus Lestrange was born sometime in the 1950's or 1960's. It's a bit of a stretch, but I decided to just make him born in late 1959 like Sirius. We need an antagonist, after all.

I'll get back to your story as soon as I get a minute :D Thanks so much for your help!

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Review #2, by academica Hogwarts

21st January 2013:
Hello again :)

I really liked how Sirius was respectful of Jane's desire to go slow and not be all over each other in public. It shows a maturity that I don't often see from him when he's written as a teenager in fanfiction. I also really loved the ending; I thought you did a great job of setting the scene and showing it to us through Jane's eyes, and I liked how it was Peter who's secretly crushing on Jane. I wonder what she'll do with that information...

I noticed that it seems like you have a lot of short, snappy scenes in this chapter. I think to improve the flow, you could combine some of those scenes, so the chapter feels cohesive rather than jolty. For examine, Lily's warning to Sirius seemed really clipped. You could probably fold that into the scene with Grace, and it would be kind of a snappy ending.

Great chapter! I'm going to do one more today.


Author's Response: Hey!

I read this a while ago on my phone but it's taken some time to respond. Sorry about that.

Thanks :) This is just the way that I perceive Sirius, so I'm glad that you liked him. Yeah, Peter was a bit of a surprise, but you'll uncover a bit more about that soon.

I do know what you mean about the short, snappy scenes. When I'm writing I think of my stories as movies, and so the short snappy scenes to me kind of work alright at the time. But I'm trying to change that, because I know that it's not screenwriting. I'll take your advice on board :)

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Review #3, by megthechef43 Realization

11th January 2013:

I'm sorry it has taken so long to write you a review, as you know RL gets in the way at times.

I'm liking what I have read so far. I'n going to honest, I haven't read a lot of Marauders Era though.

I think the characterization going on is good. I'm liking the cocky Sirius when the poor third year approached him. I'm not sure that it is canon but I know it is fanon for sure. I tend to like the cocky womanizing Sirius better. I can see a good catty relationship between him and Jane and I'm excited to see how you develop that particular relationship.

James was great. I'm liking the love-sick boy you have. I feel so bad for him when he is talking to Remus in the empty class room. I think his undying love for Lily even though she wants nothing to do with him is so awesome. I like reading the development of how he finally wins her over. You have me intrigued, it's a good start.

The characterization of Remus was great. I have always seen him as a male version of Hermione in a way. I think him helping Sirius with his essay really helps with that point. I like it.

I think Lily's irrational hate for James was humorous in this chapter. Again I can't wait to read how James finally changes her mind.

Jane's character is cute but I find some discrepancies in her characterization in this chapter. At first Jane is a bookworm with Lily, then she is trying to get Lily and James together, then she is sassy with the nurse and then Sirius calls her dull. At first you have her dull and then she isn't and then she is dull again. Was this on purpose? I think something will happen between Sirius and Jane so maybe this is just Sirius perception vs the fact that she is not dull. Im not sure exactly.

Other than that I think the flow is good for the most part but the switching between characters can get a little confusing. Once I read the first sentence I understand what has happened but it can be confusing at first.

I think you are off to a great start and I hope to read more.


Author's Response: Meg, I never thought you'd come, but I'm so glad you did! I completely understand about life getting in the way :)

Sirius in this story is a little cocky, but I think it'd be to cover up his many insecurities. It can't have been easy growing up in the family he did.

I adore James. In my head he's one of my favourite characters from the books, even though we know very little about him. I've written quite a bit of stuff on the James and Lily plotline. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it's cute :D

This first chapter is a very brief introduction to each of the characters. So, we'll see the different sides of everyone including Remus and Lily in the future chapters.

The same can be said for Jane. She, like Lily enjoys to read. However, homework and textbooks are not they're favourite thing in the world. Jane's far from dull, don't you worry about that. Through Sirius' eyes however, she is exactly like Lily. A humourless, antsy bookworm. He'll soon find out how wrong he was :)

I know what you mean with the switching character POV. I'll try to fix that, because it kind of bothers me too.

Thanks so much!

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Review #4, by academica Dorea's Mission

29th December 2012:
Hi again :)

Again with the cliche-busting! I love the scene where Jane snuggles into Sirius's bed, mostly because there's no Sirius there. It's just her, his scent, and her feelings. I also love how oblivious she is to the fact that it's her initial inside the heart.

Oh, a Marauder never reveals his secrets.

^Love this. Can't have Sirius be too sentimental!

I really love how Mrs. Potter is acting as the hopeless romantic in this chapter, and in the last as well, really. She and her husband have this interesting role as the narrators of the romantic entanglements of the main characters, in a way that makes sense as omniscient. That is, it would be weird if James were talking about the nature of love and how people end up together, because he doesn't have that kind of worldly wisdom that comes with age. His parents, however, sort of do. Like this: Sweetheart, you see things in black and white. Jane doesn't. You need a spoonful of that. It seems like such a motherly thing to say, and ugh, I just love your characterization here.

The one thing that seemed off, speaking of characterization, was Sirius's frank revelation about his lack of conquests. That seemed a little forward even for Sirius, who can be quite blunt. I did like his comment about how he regretted not kissing Jane that night in the castle--that seems very Sirius, just being honest and kissing the girl instead of beating around the bush about it.

I've probably mentioned this before, so ignore it if I have, but I think this story would benefit from some beta work. That way, you can get additional feedback and work on the technical kinks I see.

I'll be back for the last two chapters soon!


Author's Response: Okay, so I loved this review! Yeah, I liked that little scene in Sirius' bedroom. I think the way a person keeps their bedroom can tell you a lot about them. I love Mrs. Potter, and I absolutely love her relationship with Sirius. I feel like he's this second son to her, but she keeps an extra eye on him because she knows that he's not had the happiest childhood. I wanted Harry's grandparents to have a bit of significance in my story.

That's fair enough, with Sirius' confession. I guess he just doesn't want Jane having the wrong idea about him, and he doesn't want a false reputation to ruin his chance. But I definitely see what you're saying.

Yeah, I might consider getting a beta reader. It's not a bad idea.

Thanks so much. You made me smile :)

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Review #5, by academica A Weekend at Potter Manor

29th December 2012:
Hello! I've returned for another review :)

He found it refreshing to have a girl around who did not cling on to him like a leech. But at the same time, part of him wished she clung more.

^I love that. It shows that Sirius is developing feelings for Jane, but at an appropriately slow pace. He still has his reservations about her, and yet he can't deny his growing affection for her. It lacks the extreme quality of so many "I love her, I hate her!" Sirius/OC fics I pass over on the archive.

I liked the little bit about Peter having other plans. Part of me has to wonder what they might be, though it seems a little early for Death Eater action.

The scene switch to the Potters' house seemed a tad abrupt. I think it would flow better if you tried to set the scene with imagery instead of just using a line break and cutting right to James and Sirius's conversation; the same could be said for the transition to Jane's house. I did like James's comment about how his dad says to tell people how you really feel. That seems highly appropriate in the midst of war.

I liked getting a glimpse at the friendships present among the characters in this chapter. It was nice to see Lily and Jane talking about boys and James teasing Sirius about his attraction to Jane. I also liked the dinner conversation; the dialogue seemed very natural and the interactions made sense.

The bit about the war at the end felt a little tacked-on. I think you could improve this and help it stand out from a lot of other Marauder-era stories if you try to thread those ideas throughout this chapter and the rest of the story instead. People tend to focus on the romance and forget that the war was raging right outside the castle!

Good work! One more chapter for tonight.


Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I always look forward to them :)

Yeah, there's definitely not that love/hate dynamic in this story. Maybe a little for James and Lily, but that's all. The female characters always come across as kind of rude.

It's certainly too early for Death Eater action. I feel that there needs to be a progression to it. He can't just one day wake up and decide to be a Death Eater. But there will be some of that progression in the story.

I know what you mean about the scene changes being abrupt. I tend to see my story as a movie, and therefore the sudden scene changes stem from that. I'll try to make it less abrupt, because I do see your point.

My story certainly has a lot of war in it. It's less about a blossoming romance and more about how it is to be living in a time of such uncertainty, where the people you love can be taken from you in heartbeat. So don't you worry about that, little missy ;)

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Review #6, by academica Pick Your Poison

11th December 2012:
Okay, one more for tonight :)

Again--watch for inconsistencies. Hagrid didn't "single-handedly" deliver the trees, right, because Jane and the boys helped him in the last chapter :)

I really liked the character development in this chapter. It seems perfect for Sirius to purposefully get detention to see Jane, and for James to support him (after all the crazy things he's done for Lily). Speaking of James, I seem to remember giving you that idea of James filling her room with flowers. I'm glad you liked it enough to actually adopt it! I also really liked Jane's little anecdote about her mother and Bertie Botts. These details really helped make the chapter come alive for me and kept me hooked.

In the interest of further character development, don't be afraid to keep the pace slow. You've got an entire story to get Sirius and Jane to fall for each other, and it seems a bit hasty for her to feel like everything she thought about him was wrong after only a few hours of intense personal disclosure. I can definitely see her starting to question those assumptions, though, and wanting to get to know him and spend more time with him.

I really love how you pulled details from canon into this chapter. I found that to be one of the hardest parts of writing my own Marauders-era story, so I admire you for being able to keep the flow going so well. The only thing that would have made that better would have been to save a few moments there at the end for Jane to reflect on the night. I'm dying to know what she thinks of all this! :)

This story is really good. I'm enjoying reading it, and I'm glad we were able to work out the swap. Looking forward to picking it back up in a few days and seeing what you think of my next few chapters.


Author's Response: When I say that Hagrid single handedly delivered the trees, I meant that after James, Sirius and Jane helped him cut them down, he came back the next day and carried them to the castle. I see how it didn't make sense, though. I'll try to twist it around a bit to make it read better. Yeah, I thought that was rather sweet of Sirius to purposely get in trouble just to spend more time with Jane :)
Oh my gosh, that was you! Thanks for the idea, I was completely stumped for what to do about that. I'm glad you liked the Bertie Bott anecdote, it was rather fun to write actually. I know what you're saying about taking it slow. I do feel like these first chapters are going a little too fast, but really this is just the introduction to the story. Things will slow down. I love making my story as close to canon as possible. I've noticed you've done a similar thing, making sure to use particular canon spells and everything. It's important to me to have the timeline as close as possible to the original timeline. You're right. It would have been good to have a little of Jane's thoughts at the end, but never fear. We'll see how she's feeling in due course :)

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Review #7, by academica Christmas Trees and Pink Flamingos

11th December 2012:
Hello, I've returned for chapter three :)

I see you tried to fix the wide spaces here, but I think the writing looks a bit cramped now. Once you go back in and edit it with the Simple Editor, all of this should be cleared up, no problem.

One thing that I noticed in this chapter were a few small inconsistencies. I don't know how far apart you published these chapters, but sometimes I have to go back and check old chapters when I update because I forget little details in my new chapters. For example, you stated in a previous chapter that James and Sirius were always separated for detention so they wouldn't goof off, but here they have detention together twice. You also mentioned that they were doing detention with Hagrid in the morning, so it didn't quite make sense for him to worry about them being out late. These are just little things for you to look out for.

I do like your ideas for detention, though! The Detention Chamber sounds like the place for the "worst of the worst" or repeat offenders. I bet it's miserable, especially when alone (or with someone you hate!). Hanging out with Hagrid and helping with trees, however, sounds like an awesome time. I'd say Jane, Sirius, and James lucked out there :)

I don't feel like too much happened in this chapter, but it was nice for Jane to bond with the boys a bit.

Again, the dream seems a little tacked on. If it's going to be a significant theme in the story, I would consider maybe spending a little more time describing the dreams and tracing their origin and meaning. I'm sure you'll get to that in time, though.


Author's Response: Hey!

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely give Simple Editor a go.
I see what you mean. When I said that the Professors always separated James and Sirius for detentions, what I meant was, they often separated them for detentions. It may be my Australian exaggeration coming out. I'll change that to 'often' to avoid any inconsistency. I don't recall making the detention in the morning. I'll have to read through the chapter again. Yeah, the Detention Chamber would be awful, particularly if you're in there alone. But at least it's not like the Chokey from Matilda. I'll go over the dream part again, because I feel the same way.

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Review #8, by academica Detention

7th December 2012:
Hello, I'm back for chapter two :)

One thing I noticed is a lot of large spaces between paragraphs/lines. This typically happens if you just copy and paste directly from your word processor. I used to have this problem, so now I always use the Simple Editor. You have to go through and add in the bold, italics, centering, etc., but it does seem to make the chapters look much cleaner overall.

Sirius plays Quidditch here? Cool! I always felt like it would fit in with his personality and his friendship with James, and I'm glad to see it included.

My major critique here is that the dialogue and action both seem a bit more shallow than in the previous chapter. We know from canon that James and Sirius liked to prank Snape, got detention frequently, and came across as being arrogant. I think you sort of missed an opportunity here to expand on why you think all of that happened. Same thing with the dialogue--you can step out of the realm of the cliche by varying the conversation a little so it isn't just witty banter between Sirius and a pretty girl. As it is, I don't see why they would be attracted to each other. There's nothing obviously vulnerable about either of them. The stuff you fill in between the cliche and canon is what will make this Marauders story unique :) I also think adding in more in those respects will help slow down the quick pace of this chapter.

I did like to get a glimpse of the interaction between Jane and Sirius, though. It was kind of cute that they lost track of time in detention because they were enjoying getting to know each other. I hope to see more fluff in the future!

Hope both of these reviews have been helpful!


Author's Response: Oh my gosh, thank-you so much. I've been trying to fix the huge paragraph problem for months! I'll use the Simple Editor from now on.

Yeah, I liked writing Sirius on the Quidditch team. Particularly the actual Quidditch matches that are in the much later chapters, where we meet the rest of the team. I'm not too happy with the way this chapter turned out, so thanks for your advice. I'll try to restructure it and expand on everything a bit more. Thanks so much, you've been super helpful :)

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Review #9, by academica Realization

7th December 2012:
Hello! I'm here for the first part of our swap :) I'm going to work on a couple chapters here and there until I finish. Looks like it's going to be a great story!

Okay, my first thought was oh, no, not another playboy Sirius! but I actually like what you've done with him here. He seems to fit with what JKR intended in her brief characterization of him: he's clearly attractive, but he doesn't take advantage of it unless he wants to have a little fun. He's not continually being draped with women; instead, he actually feels a little anxiety about being faced with a pretty girl in whom he has a real interest. I really like him so far, so very nice work!

I like the characterization of your OC, too. I like that she's not fiery and hot-headed, the type of girl to just walk right up to Sirius and take him down a few notches. I would like to see a little more softness from her in his direction; if she feels bad for James, it seems to follow logically that she might feel a twinge of pity for Sirius, especially if she has witnessed the way other members of his family treat him for being in Gryffindor. I also like how James is already sort of sympathetic here. It almost makes Lily look like the unreasonable one!

I like your imagery a lot. The thought of Jane's injury actually made me cringe a little bit :D

Technically, this chapter is pretty good. I didn't see a whole lot of problems with grammar, spelling, or punctuation. There were a couple of places where you missed a dialogue tag, so you might want to look for those little missteps when proofreading, but there's really nothing here that gave me pause.

The ending here was interesting. On the one hand, I really liked the idea of covering Peter up with blankets and pillows and then Remus telling James and Sirius off for doing something so dangerous. All of that seems quite in character to me. The dream, I have to admit, seemed a tad tacked-on. I think you could improve it a little by spreading it out beyond one big paragraph and focusing on the imagery, to help the reader sympathize with Sirius's emotions, be they fear or mere confusion.

Hope this is helpful! I'm going to do chapter two now and then I'll be back to continue later. Looking forward to getting your thoughts on Post Scriptum :)


Author's Response: Hi!

I'm so glad you're liking the first impression of Sirius. I hope you continue to like him.

We'll certainly learn more about Jane in the coming chapters. You're right. She's not a hot-headed type of girl. At the moment she doesn't know much about Sirius Black at all, but when they learn more about each other, they'll warm up to one another.

I'll have another look through the chapter to fix the missing dialogue tags.

I agree with the dream feeling a little tacked-on. I think you're right about spreading it out a little more.

I'm a few chapters into Post Scriptum, so I'll post some reviews after I respond to your other review :)

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Review #10, by Pravleen Sidhu Hogwarts

12th November 2012:
this is a great story. hope to see it updated soon.

Author's Response: Oh my gosh, my first review in what feels like forever! Thank-you so much :)
The next chapter should be up within the next few days.

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Review #11, by No_oneKnows Pick Your Poison

3rd October 2012:
That was cute :P I loved Sirius intentionally hexing someone to get into detention that night! The dialogue was really good and flashy, it suited James and Sirius very well :D

I certainly did like this chapter and I can't wait for the next one!! :D

Author's Response: Yay, my first review for this chapter! I thought it was pretty cute. Aubrey was a tosspot, anyway. You can tell from when James whispered to Jane what Sirius had done, that he was rooting for them :) I'm so so glad you liked it! I'm working on the next chapter at the moment. Thanks so much for reviewing, because having this review is really like a kick in the butt to keep writing. It should HOPEFULLY be updated within the next couple of days.

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Review #12, by No_oneKnows Christmas Trees and Pink Flamingos

3rd October 2012:
Hello again!

First off, just a bit of nitpicking with the flow:

At ten minutes to eight that evening, Jane closed her books and silently rose from her armchair. Waving goodbye to Lily, she left the Gryffindor Common Room and slowly made her way down to the Hogwarts grounds. At lunch, Jane had been disrupted by McGonagall just as she was about to bite into a pheasant sandwich.

I think you should just make it a bit more obvious that the next scene unfolding was a memory because it seemed a bit jumbled :)

I really loved Lily's character in this chapter! She was very amusing but serious (I almost spelt it as Sirius) at the same time. I'd love to see more of her though :)

Again, I loved the interaction between Sirius and Jane! I'm beginning to think that they are really cute together :P Also, would there be more of the other Marauders??

Author's Response: Yeah, I can see what you're saying. I'll figure that part out, because it is a tad confusing. I love Lily too. There'll definitely be a lot more of her in this story, and maybe a little Lily/James action in the future ;)

Thanks! It's hard to create a character that a reader is going to accept when it comes to Sirius. He deserves a nice lady :D There's going to be a lot more of the Marauder, don't you worry about that!

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Review #13, by No_oneKnows Detention

3rd October 2012:
"His name is Sirius."

"His name is Satan."

I LOVED THAT HAHA! That made me giggle :P

the transition between the Sirius perspective, to the detention scene and then back into Janes perspective was done really well because it really flowed and melded in together.

Just maybe instead of a long gap between the the common room and Hogsmeade, you could use something like ~ or a - just to signify it a bit more obviously. The big gap disrupted my reading flow, but I'm not sure if that's the same case for everyone :)

Despite that, I really like this story so far! :D :D

Author's Response: Haha, yeah I quite like that line too :)

I've been trying to fix my formatting for the longest time. Whenever I paste my chapter on to the website, it messes up and all these gaps appear. I'll try to fix that up somehow, because I know exactly what you mean.

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Review #14, by No_oneKnows Realization

3rd October 2012:
I found this first chapter a very nice one to read :) I really liked your portrayal of the Marauders (so far), especially Remus because you've portrayed him just so cutely :P

I'm beginning to really like Jane as well, how Sirius has described her as being dull and how she seems like a klutz as well. The interaction between herself and Madam Pomfrey showed a lot about her character too, which is good :) Just be careful with her becoming too much of a Mary Sue character :) Make sure you continue portraying her as dull, but intriguing to the reader (somehow!) without the patent perfection of a Mary Sue.

I'll be reading more! :D

Author's Response: A review! Firstly, let me say thank-you SO much for this. It made my day having a review to come home to :)

Yeah, I love Remus. He's such a sweetheart, and there's a lot more of Remus being adorable in future chapters. I know that it's not always easy to like an OC off the bat so I'm so glad that you're liking Jane. I know what you mean about steering clear of Mary Sue. Thoughout the story, we'll begin to see that Jane has some pretty big character flaws, and that appearances can be deceiving.

Thanks again for the review. It really did mean the world!

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Review #15, by True Author Detention

22nd September 2012:
Hello! It's True Author with your requested review! =]
I'm glad you found my last review helpful! I was actually going to read n review this one today :D
Anyways, you have started the second chapter with some nice scenes in it. This is a very important chapter as in this one, the reader begins to get interested in your well planned plot. :) Jane, as I said was perfect and I LOVED- "Lily, you see only what you want to see" ;) Nice one! haha
Some small corrections of grammar are there. for example His arrogant," should be- "He's arrogant", Hes the exception, Lily muttered should be 'He's an exception." muttered Lily, and "The two talked all night" is correct, but I think, "They kept talking all the night" would be better. :) please correct them!
Work on the formatting of this chapter too. :)
Otherwise, nice chapter! Loved your plot!
I hope this was not a harsh review. I just want this story to be perfect without an error. cheers!
True Author :)

Author's Response: Thanks! Your reviews are so helpful :)
I didn't even notice those grammar mistakes, I'll go fix them up right now. Yeah, I love Jane too. There'll definitely be a lot of character development for everyone, as well as a better insight into each of the friendships in future chapters. The review wasn't harsh at all. You're telling me what I'm doing right and what needs improvement, which is incredibly helpful.

Thanks so much!

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Review #16, by True Author Realization

21st September 2012:
Hello! I'm True Author with your rrquested review! =]
Hmm... I must say this is an interesting plot. :) Your story has plot clarity which is rarely found. You know what you are going to do after this don't you??
OMG and I just loved Jane!! I'm sure she and Sirius will be in love... I hope actually haha :D The charachterization is neatly done and grammar is good.
Please do a bit of work out on formatting. you need to reduce the spaces between two paragraphs and just look at the flow of your story. It sounds stiff in certain paragraphs like the one in which Sirius is lying on his bed.
I liked everything else!

Author's Response: Yay, a review!

Thanks so much. Yes, I know what I'm planning on doing for the rest of the story. It's all mapped out :) I love it when people like Jane! As an OC, you're never quite sure how people will respond.

About formatting, I always seem to have an issue when it comes to actually publishing the chapter. It looks nice and neat in Microsoft Word, but when I paste it to HPFF, all these massive spaces automatically appear. Thanks for mentioning it, I'll try to fix it, because it really annoys me too, haha. I agree, the paragraph were Sirius is in bed has always kind of bothered me. It does sound stiff. Thanks so much for the review. Overall, it sounded quite positive. Phew!

Thanks again :)

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Review #17, by PhoenixCatchingFire Christmas Trees and Pink Flamingos

27th February 2012:
I must correct you - not a reader from Israel, a FAN from Israel.
Beautiful chapter! You get into James and Sirius' head perfectly! Im in love ;3
Another chapter! Another chapter! Another chapter!

Author's Response: THANK-YOU!

You've definitely made my day with this review. I'm trying very hard to get the next chapter out to you. I'm just trying to fix some issues with it and then it'll be posted. Sorry for the delay :)

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Review #18, by inkbutterfly Christmas Trees and Pink Flamingos

23rd February 2012:
Short and sweet is fine :)
Oh, and is that how the legendary couple James and Lily get paired up, by getting tips from her best friend. Nice! Also, I really like Jane. The way she and Lily act is very best friend-ish and Sirius, James and Lupin make me smile as well. Not much Peter though, but its fine because I really hate him.
One way you could improve is if you make less blocky paragraphs so it floes more :)


Author's Response: I think Jane's involvement will be a significant factor in the James/ Lily story. Though, at the end of the day it's up to the two lovebirds to make it work.

I'm so glad you like Jane. That's the most important thing for me. We can't have our heroine being unlikable, can we? Jane and Lily have a very good friendship, I must agree. I wish I had a friendship like theirs. And the Marauders have the most amazing friendship. I mean, they'd die rather then betray each other. Except for that scoundrel Pettigrew, who WILL make an appearance within the next few chapters.

Thanks for the tip. I certainly need to work on making the story flow. Thank -you so much for the reviews. Reviews are my anti-drug.

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Review #19, by inkbutterfly Detention

23rd February 2012:
Well, no wonder Lily doesn't like James when they prank Snaps for FUN! Not that he doesn't deserve it.
Oohhh! I see a hint that either Sirius, Jane, or both will end up liking the other.

Brilliant chapter :)


Author's Response: Yeah, James and Sirius are very harsh on Severus. But it stems from their hatred for the Dark Arts, so I think they can be somewhat forgiven. I think you may be right. There is some romance on the horizon for Sirius and Jane ;)

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Review #20, by inkbutterfly Realization

23rd February 2012:
I really, really love it.
I mean, alot! I love all things Sirius, but I love this for the way you write and the general awesomeness of it :)
Going to the next chapter now ;)
Oh, and if you have time, could you check out my stuff? Hope you dont mind me asking but I'd like to hear your opinion...


Author's Response: Thanks!
I'm very critical of my own work (particularly this first chapter), so it's so great that you liked it :)
I've just come back from reading and reviewing your stories. They were both wonderful, and I'll keep tuned in for any updates.

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Review #21, by MissSeer Christmas Trees and Pink Flamingos

22nd February 2012:
Omg, please update! It was cool how Jane didn't want help with the trees. Maybe an indication of how she is? Never asking for help or wanting to take the easy way out. You did a really good job at writing Hagrid. He was spot on, and I'm excited to see where you go with this story.


Author's Response: Thank-you so much :) Yes, Jane is very stubborn like that. She doesn't like depending on other people, and likes to show that she can handle everything on her own. This can be very self destructive, so we'll see what happens with that ;)

Hagrid is one of the much harder characters to write, so I'm so so happy you didn't think he was shockingly OOC.

The chapter should be up within the next few days, so stay tuned!

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Review #22, by SelkiaMalfoy Detention

17th February 2012:
I love it! Honestly, Lilly does need to get a life! LOL. Keep up the good work!!

Author's Response: THANK-YOU!
I know, right? That chick needs a boyfriend or something ;)

I really appreciate the review. I'll have the next chapter up in the next few days hopefully.

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Review #23, by PhoenixCatchingFire Detention

15th February 2012:
Wow ;))
I'm reading your story from Israel.. Believe it or not XD
What a beautiful story! Totally one of my favorites..
I hope it will get better and better becouse it's wonderful :D
Get redy to a seriously head ache from me :3

Author's Response: Yay for a reader from Israel! :)
Thank-you so much. Your comment means the world to me. I'm so excited to update for you.
Stay tuned, the next chapter should be a few days away.

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Review #24, by Pen2Paper Realization

27th January 2012:
Hey there,
Its Pen2Paper from the forums with your requested review. Sorry it's taken a while. Anyways here goes.
You had several concerns and I will try to address them all to the best of my ability.

Summary: It's a good summary, short and sweet. :) It's vague but intriguing. A very general line about love and its power. It does give the reader an idea what to expect in your story but you could make it more hmm... how I say this, magnetic? Something that sparks the interest of the reader and draws them in?...

Now onto your story.
Format: Your third person narrative shifting focus from one character to another was very nicely done, I haven't come across many stories with that dynamic in their story but it really adds something to the story. Good job! :)
You've generally done very well here.However at times there are some uneven spaces between paragraphs and the part where focus shifts from Sirius to Jane there is a make-shift divider that you've used which you an replace with the one provided by word processor for consistency. Other than those very minor issues you've done well!

Description: You've got a good level of description going, especially in physical attributes of the characters, eyes hair etc and also mannerisms strikingly in Sirius which all really help to bring out the characters in your story. You've done very well in this aspect of your writing.
You can however improve description of your setting. It is difficult often to find the balance between too much detail and too little, so put in what you feel about the setting, time of day, lighting, ambiance, emotion, etc etc when you're writing a scene. Once you finish read it out loud and see if the descriptions distract from the flow of the scene. If not you're doing fine, if it is then condense them into short and clear sentences to help visualise what's happening and remove the unnecessary details.

Story line:
Well, not too much had happened in this chapter. Which is understandable since it is just the start. You've introduced the characters strongly and established their relationship. Plot wise it is interesting to see how they interact with each other. The last bit with the futuristic vision was very intriguing and i was very curious to know what that would lead to. So you've got a good plot going. Keep it up and build on it. Give your characters capacity to mature over time as your story progresses.

Characterization: You've introduced only three of the Marauders. Be sure to include Peter too. He often gets completely erased during the Marauder stories that it is like he never existed. I myself don't like Peter but to bring up your story's credibility give him an appearance now and then.
Your Remus and Sirius came across as quite stereotypical. Tortured, modest and studious Remus Vs. Mischievous, attention-loving playboy Sirius.
Its not a bad thing to start a story on familiar ground where readers can quickly relate to the characters from the books. But as you build on these characters make sure they are more realistic with dynamic personalities. There's got to be more to Sirius than chasing girls right? And Remus had to have his hand in the classic pranks that made him part of the group? and also give emphasis to how they are as individuals and how they are as a group.

It was nice how you said Remus sort of envied the confidence Sirius had because he never had it, that was very realistic and helped to bring out his character. I hope you see what I mean.

OC, Jane was very well depicted and I can't wait to see what you have planned for her. She's instantly likable although being Lily's best friend you might want to be wary of her becoming a Mary-Sue. So far, she's great! I really like her.

James: not much to say as we didn't get to meet him much but it was surprising to see him reduced to tears by Lily. Definitely a new turn of events!

Lily: She too wasn't very different from the girl we knew from the books but she does have much potential to be anything you wish with the way you've created her in your story.

Overall you've got a very promising story on your hands and one with great potential. I do hope you continue to bring the same level of dedication you have for this chapter and I hope you build well on the strong foundation you've created here. Well done indeed.
Best of luck with the story.


Author's Response: Hi!

Sorry my response is so late. I wrote this big long response the other day and then my computer crashed before I got a chance to submit it.

So let's try this again. I think the summary is very important in actually getting readers to the story. Because on HPFF, you can't help but judge a book by it's cover. I'll maybe go on to the forums for help on making it a little more magnetic :)

I'm glad you like the way the story switches from one perspective to another. This was a big concern of mine, as it can kind of detract from the flow of the story sometimes.

I've replaced that makeshift divider with a normal one (I don't know how that happened, lol), and I have tried to close up large spaces for better readability. It was an awful mess.

Thanks for complimenting my character descriptions :) makes me all fuzzy inside. And I certainly agree about the lack of description when it comes to the scenery etc. I'll keep your tip in mind.

I've got the future of my characters all mapped out, and they have a lot of personal growth happening throughout. I don't think anyone can live through a war like that and be unchanged.

I'll definitely be introducing Peter in the second chapter. His absence from Chapter One is actually part of the story line. So, never fear. I haven't left him out completely :)

I don't think James was always as cool, calm and collected as he made out. I think behind all that, he was just a big softy.

Lily: Like I said before, I've got the characters all figured out, and there's more to Lily than being a grumpy, bookworm. James must have seen something else in her, beyond that. He wouldn't have doted for years over just a pretty face.

Thanks so much for your opinions and advice. I'll keep everything you've said in mind during the rest of my story.

Have a lovely day!

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Review #25, by SilentConfession Realization

27th January 2012:
Hi, i'm here for your requested review :D

First of all, i'm going to start with the things i liked about this chapter before i get into your specific questions about this chapter.

What i think you did a good job on was keeping it simple, that is, not adding a bunch of unnecessary flowery words to get the readers attention. When writers do that, those sentences always stick out like a sore thumb and i think that your style was definitely easy to follow and read which i really appreciated.

Summary: It seemed fine to me, it was quick and snappy and hinted at something a bit deeper than just a common romance story. If you want a revamp of it, i'd suggest going to the summary help section on the forums.

I feel like your characters, although well written in some respect, are relying a lot on stereotypes and clichs. Things like Lily hating him that she can't see any of his good qualities, every girl chasing after Sirius, Remus being the kind hearted helper. They can be effective but i just want to warn you that you really need to explain them and give them a reason to be there ( the cliches i mean). It's too early to really comment on a lot about characterization only because this was such a short snippet of them and Id like to see how you go about showing them first. I think if you were more active in your descriptions though they would come alive more. I feel like it was more passive and you were telling us who they were without letting us discover it for ourselves. Although the one characterization I will comment on was James, Im not so sure hed be sobbing over Lily. Im curious to know how you interpret him though and why you think it would work.

If Sirius hadn't never really thought of Jane and thought her so dull, then how could that one moment suddenly change everything? It wasn't a big enough moment and if he hadn't gotten to know her all these years, i'd think that it would take a bit of time for him to become interested in her. I say this just as a warning not to jump into to the relationship too quickly, many authors do that and ruin what otherwise could have been a brilliant story.

You asked about storyline, i'm honestly not sure where this story is going. The summary gave some hints of something in the future that might be hard, but i didn't feel like there was enough going on in this chapter, especially for a first chapter. It may be good for a second or third chapter, but as a first, you really want to grab the readers attention otherwise there'll be nothing to make the readers click the next button. You did however, introduce all the characters, which was nice so that the reader knows who is going to be involved with this story and they won't be surprised in, say, the 5th chapter when suddenly Remus or Jane come waltzing into the picture ;D .

The blocky paragraphs made it hard to read and there was so many POV jumps in such a short chapter that everything felt a little confusing to me, (this may be because i'm ingested copious amounts of caffeine tonight and nothing makes much sense to me). If you want to have those POV's, i think there needs to have a little more in each one so that the flow of the story isn't interrupted. There was also a few times that i noticed that you would repeat the name of the person over and over in a paragraph. The scene with Jane's POV really stood out to me. You can switch some with just her and she. A rule of thumb that i usually go by is thinking about how many times i say people's name in my head or when i talk with people, do i actually always say their names? Typically not, unless i'm being silly.

Thank you for requesting me and I hope my review didnt sound overly critical or mean, I have a tendency to be very critical of Marauders era stories and I just want to help make this the best story possible. I think this does have potential to be a very good story :D

Author's Response: Hey!

Yeah, I know what you mean. Detail is important but not when it detracts from the story. So, thanks for that :)

I'll definitely be adding more depth to each of the characters. Like with any person, it takes time to get to know them. Rest assured, they all have pretty developed back stories written up. I'll make sure to not be so passive when it comes to characterization in future.

Like with the back stories, I have already sort of figured out when Sirius and Jane get together, and it's not right away. Because I agree that putting them together would be a bad move. Though the story is predominately about their lives AFTER they fall in love, but I'm with ya ;)

Yeah, that's a good tip about the overuse of names. I'll go back and edit the chapter a bit to fix that.

Thanks so much for your time and review. It's been very helpful :)

Have a good day!

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