Did I somehow miss the fact that you'd updated this? Anyway, I'm here, and happy that you asked me to return to this lovely story. Thanks for the swap :)
I love how beautifully you've captured the essence of the Weasley household here, even under the weight of the theme of Lucy's death. The elder Molly reverts to serving dinner and hugging, because those are the things in her coping toolbox. Everyone gathers around and shares fond memories of Lucy or idle chatter, and the house is full, just like the table. I like how you even described the way it smelled, like "cedar and musk."
I think part of what makes the atmosphere stand out to me is the way in which you've isolated Molly from all of it. She's clearly very much inside her own head, which is most visible when she sees something that reminds her of a memory with Lucy or catches a shred of conversation, or when she is surprised by an attempt at a comforting touch. I think that's all very consistent with your portrayal of her illness, and it all makes sense to me. I don't know if I've asked you before, so if I have, ignore me, but--would you mind sharing where your inspiration for this story originally came from? I'm not trying to be intrusive; I'm just quite curious.
Love the little "surprise" (sort-of?) there at the end. I sense that things are about to get more complicated, and maybe a little scary, for poor Molly. I wonder how the family will deal with that.
Nice work! I think I'll bookmark this for updates.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: :P
I'm really pleased you connected to the Weasley bit because it was something I was worried about- trying to handle such a large cast for one chapter. It was a bit hectic to be honest because above all else there had to be this sense of loss and yet i didn't want it to be so overwhelming for the other characters. Not like it is for Molly anyway. I've never seen her good in big social situations and then compounding that with her confusion and grief she folds into herself like a hedgehog.
Inspiration for this? No, i don't think you've asked. Honestly, the idea sort of warped from my original plan. I have this story Perfect Spiral which is where I got Molly from. I knew i wanted to write more about her and make a more in depth story of her. It was her coming unhinged and I was definitely intrigued me to see how far it could go and what it would take for her to get better. It warped a little from the original plan because my first idea was to have a short Molly/Oc story that had her growing into herself. However- as I was dwelling on what was going to push the story forward I thought what would it be like if a character like Molly lost someone, the only person really close to her? How would she react? Things just started to fall into place after that. I realized that was the story I wanted to tell rather than the original thing I had planned.
You're not being intrusive at all! There is no personal connection to this, sure i've used some feelings and emotions from the funeral scene to try and get an accurate representation of it but it's mostly just been a lot of stewing about in my mind. (that sounds creepy like i'm a really dark character for thinking of a plot like this... *shifty eyes* promise you i'm completely normal ;) )
But yes, things will be getting darker for Molly, scarier perhaps, it's not going to be a downright horror but it won't be easy for her either.
Thank you so much for your lovely review! I always appreciate it! Report Review
Oh this story is really good. I can't wait till you update!Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm really pleased you like it. Hope you stay around for the next update :P Report Review
Woohoo! I love getting to be the first person to review a chapter...though everyone else doesn't know what they're missing.
Before I jump into all the things I loved about this chapter, I did notice a few small grammatical issues. Nothing major, but since they repeated throughout the chapter, I thought I'd make a quick note of them here. There are a couple of instances where you have commas, but what you really need is a "stronger" form of punctuation. An example:
-- Our family never came over as much as some of the other family members, mum was never one for big crowds and neither is dad for that matter but I still associate this place as a second home because it was here I first did magic.
What comes both before and after the comma are both complete sentences, so they need something stronger to hold them together. A semicolon would work, or a period. Even a dash would be okay here. Also, the latter part of the sentence is missing a few commas (perhaps around... "and neither is dad for that matter...")
The same issue pops up again in the following:
-- I felt my pulse quicken at the thought but I ignore it, (this comma here) it's probably my nerves, nothing else
I'm not trying to nitpick. It's just that run-on type sentences can break up the flow a bit, which would be a shame since this is an otherwise really strong chapter. Now with that out of the way, on to all the good stuff!
I'm continuing to love your development of Molly's mental state. In addition to the grief, and obviously the hallucination (???) at the end, I'm picking up on something else almost obsessive in nature, like when she references who she's "supposed" to see and on what days. She did it in the last chapter too. I don't know how much it will come into play in the future, but it's a really interesting addition to her character. And her issue with using past-tense for Lucy... I noticed that in the last chapter too. It really speaks to her inability to let go.
You had some really lovely lines in this chapter. I think my favorites were:
-- Her face is like an everlasting flame in my mind. It grows and it consumes everything in me.
-- I am wound up like the gears of a clock but I think someone has shoved in a wrench or thrown out a screw.
I don't tend to gravitate toward really "poetic" writing, but these were wonderful -- not only beautiful, but also effective in conveying how Molly is feeling.
Overall, another great chapter. I'm really glad we got paired up for the review swap so I had the chance to read it.Author's Response: Thank you so much for pointing those mistakes out! I really appreciate it! I know grammar is one of my weakest points so i always like when someone explains things to me! It's not nitpicky at all, grammar can really make a story sound loads better! Thanks!
I'm really pleased that you picked up on the obsessive part of her personality. It isn't something that I ever come out and say but it's definitely part of who she is with things being put in very specific places and she compartmentalizes her life and emotions. I don't think it will be a massive thing for future chapters it's just part of who she is and i think it adds to her inability to distinguish reality vs non-reality because she expects things a certain way.
Thank you so much for your review! I'm really pleased that you thought this was good, poetic writing and all! (that's a huge compliment because i know that isn't something you gravitate towards) It's something that comes into my writing a lot, especially if i write grief or angst. I don't know why but it makes me feel good that the story didn't get lost in the midst of it all :P
Thank so much! I'm really happy you seemed to enjoy this! It was great being paired together for this! Report Review
Hello, SC. I'm here (a little late) for the TGS Review Swap.
I did read chapter one, but I really wanted to make sure I had the time to review chapters 2 and 3 since they had less reviews on them. I hope that's okay. And I have to say right up front, I was really excited to see this story is next-gen. It's my absolute favorite era to read. And I've only ever read a few Molly-centric fics before, so this definitely caught my attention right away.
This was a really interesting chapter (as was the first). I love the way you're playing with the boundaries of reality. Clearly Molly's grief has unhinged her, or else brought out some underlying psychosis, and yet there are parts of the chapter that are very grounded and true to life, which only serves to make the parts that are "questionable" all the more vivid.
I think one of my favorite points in the chapter was:
-- I can see in my head a reflection of what will be once the director shouts cut and the dance stops. I dream of that moment. That moment where I will stop living someone else's life, where the curtain will be called and I'll step out and she'll be clapping because we've done a smashing job.
What a great metaphor for the way Molly must be feeling -- like an actor in her own life. As if only someone could just yell "Cut!" and life can go back to being normal again. And I love how you weaved that idea throughout the chapter, with all the references to the stage and the cinema.
I also thought all the repeated references to "blue lips" was wonderfully effective. It's so true how in tragedy, we can focus in on the most unusual of details. Of all the things that could haunt her, it's the thought of the blue lips that she just can't seem to let go of.
Well, this story is definitely off to a great start. I'm off right now to read the next chapter!Author's Response: Hey! Sorry for the delay in responding to this!!
thank you so much for your review! I really appreciate you comments on these last chapters!
The thing with psychosis or any mental illnesses is that most of the time the person can be completely normal at times which is why it can be easy to hide (at times). There are going to be moments where a person is grounded in reality and as you said it makes those more unhinged moments even more chilling. Think of some of the most horrible events recently the Newtown or the Aurora shooting. Generally speaking many said the person seemed normal or they were shocked but as people look deeper things start making sense some of the quirks don't just seem like quirks anymore but a more underlying illness perhaps. That's just an example, not that all illnesses will lead to violence either. Anyway, that's a bit of a rant, back to the actual story... I guess that's why i chose to try and portray it this way where she's grounded and yet there are definitely moments where she comes apart and the contrast as you said does lead to highlighting those breaks in her mind.
I'm really pleased you liked the metaphor of the actor/stage. I wasn't sure if was too cliche or a dry one to use though i'm pleased you connected with it and how it signified everything she was feeling at the moment.
Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm really pleased you've enjoyed this story so far :P Report Review
Hope you had a good christmas.
When I read the summary to this story, I was afraid it would be too heavy and dark for me. That's usually how funeral scenes are, but not yours. Somehow you managed to, once again, not over-do-it, but keep it dark enough too make me feel it. I'm actually crying right now. Exactly six years ago (on this exact date) I lost a close family member, and you actually managed to make me feel everything I felt that day (and that's a good thing for your story). I'm just so blown away by your ability to create this mood, and make me feel it myself. Just WOW!
I also have to mention that I love how you begin this story. That first line "I'm not convinced it's not a dream" pretty much sums up how a lot of people feel when they loose someone close to them, and it drew me in. I wanted to find out more. I also love how you don't mention who's dead until the end, because it makes me wanna keep reading to find out. You slowly unfold the story, and you do it in a really good way. That great imagery you have in the second paragraph is just wow. I can't even describe it. I could totally see her in my head. You are really good at this!
I also love Molly. Writing about a person after someone close to them has died is actually really hard, because a lot of people change their personality when they loose someone they love. Molly makes a good narrative, and seems like a strong character. I love how she almost seems in denial, because that's really realistic. I also love how it almost seems like she is a bit lost, like she doesn't really know why this happened, and can't really seem to understand it. That's also very realistic.
This is just really good. I look forward to the next chapter, and to finding out what happened to Lucy and find out Molly's relationship with the rest of her family (as well as Lucy). Nice job. 10/10
- Your Secret SantaAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! I know, funeral scenes can be so over dramatic and staged and i didn't want that. I also really sorry about your loss, I know how it is to loose family and it's a hard experience. :( trying to incorporate grief into a story is hard because, as you've said, there is a balance between overdoing it but also getting that emotion there. I used that experience with my family member and my employer (who i was fairly close to) who died a few months before i wrote this and I think I drew a lot on that experience and the sounds and feelings of the place.
I'm glad you liked the mystery of it. I've gotten the impression from some readers that it's too confusing that it's distracting not to know who it is. However, it's good to hear when a choice you've made while writing is a good one.
I'm really glad you liked how i started this chapter and i'd love to hear your thoughts on it as it continues if you chose to come back and read it XD.
-zayne Report Review
Ah I love the second paragraph and how she explains why it isn't her Mum, there's some good imagery in there Red lips and not this blue as if she had bitten on the wrong of the end of a quill. I can totally see how the banner fits this story, because I can see a lot of color in Molly's dream (or not-dream). Ah, I spot a typo (I think, anyway). The only times her eyes are closed is -> 'is' should be 'are'
Ooh, I wonder a bit about her family now, trying to pick apart what is the dream and what she really thinks of her family - especially since a dream can reveal the truths! I couldn't get as clear of a picture in the middle sometimes, because the scenes were changing quite quickly. I think it's handled well for something that is supposed to be confusing, but there were points where I wasn't sure what sort of description I should be focusing on, since there were a lot of adjectives at times, so just a bit of cleaning up of descriptions might improve the flow.
The end, I think has some great imagery too! This is quite heartbreaking to see: “I’m sorry, she was-” Is, I correct in my head. She is. Is, is, is. and The three of us. Such an incomplete number. I really really love these lines :D
Lovely first chapter!Author's Response: Hi! Sorry for how long it's taken to get back to you with this!!! *hides in shame*
I think i might have confused you with this. It's not her mum that she's confused with, it's her sister. I think it was my wording though at the beginning that might have made that less clear.
I'll definitely look into cleaning it up a bit. Though, I think you took the whole dream this a bit too literally which is why this may have thrown you into a loop. Part of me is happy you did because it does play a part later on in the story and it will get a bit more confusing (for Molly). However not to the extent where she lives in a dream land and no one can figure out what's going on. I hope that is clearer next chapter though i'm still planning on looking over this one to make sure my point is clear. :D
I'm really happy you liked the imagery though, thank you so much for stopping by and reviewing this story! I appreciate it a lot! :P Report Review
I actually read this chapter directly after the first, but I've been so preoccupied that I've yet to leave a review for it! No matter - I'm here now, completing the Review Exchange.
Again, I am absolutely, 100% thrilled that you're not melodramatic. It would be so, so easy to take a curve into the "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME, I HATE EVERYONE, LEAVE ME ALONE FOREVER" kind of thing (sorry for the caps), and you haven't. I think that's a sign that you're very in control of your writing, whether purposefully or just sort of subconsciously. Either way, you've written enough to know what you're doing, and it's marvelous.
And there are little snippets of questions that you've sprinkled around. They're mostly your main character asking them of herself, but I like that they a) sort of break up the flow in a nice, short way and b) make the reader stop very briefly and consider them. It's a great way to get people involved in the writing, and I think you've done a fantastic job of it here.
And I think I mentioned this in the first review, but if I did, it bears repeating: your character has a marvelously strong voice. (Stephen King says never to use adverbs, but I'm going to ignore him here and use "marvelously" anyway because it is marvelously appropriate to use the word "marvelously." Anyway.) I don't know if you've really made an effort to plan her out and flesh out her character on paper or not, and I don't really care either way, because whatever you've done, it is working really, really well for me/you/everybody involved. Her thoughts, her actions, her inner motivators... they make her extremely likable and create this vulnerable atmosphere that's just... gah. Blissful to read. Blissful in the sense that it flows really nicely and the writing is good, not blissful as in, "oh yay! Grief!"
Your second chapter is marvelously (take that, Stephen King) marvelous and I am completely (sorry, Stephen King), irrevocably (this is ridiculous, Stephen King) in love with it. You've done a fantastic job of setting up your characters and their inner mindsets, and I cannot praise it enough.
xxAuthor's Response: I again have no idea how to respond to this absolutely stunning review. You've left me speechless by all your marvelous adverbs ;). I will try to sound coherent but i've never really been great with such praise as you've given here. I'm actually a little scared to complete the next chapter as i'm not sure it can live up to such high standards!
I'm thrilled that you still think it's still not overly dramatic! This wasn't something i did intentionally I think, but i think it happened because i'm not naturally a big fan of the overdramatic stories here and there is more to this story than just her grief.
I have not planned her out that much so it thrills me to hear that you feel she's so fleshy. :D I have this floaty idea of her in my head and have general things written about her like her hair or eye colour but i don't really like those big character sketches people do. I like seeing the character take shape as i write the actual story and let her breath and move in it.
bah thank you so much for this squee worthy review! I'm completely blown away by your praises and insight! thank you very much and if you do continue reading this, i'd be very much interested in how you think it turns out. :D Report Review
Here for the review exchange!
To be honest, I was almost a little afraid to begin this chapter, because funeral scenes are usually really melodramatic and people are sobbing and throwing themselves on the floor and whatnot. But this, THIS. This was really, really beautiful. I was very pleasantly surprised, though I suppose I should have expected nothing less from an author such as yourself.
I thought the lines about the past/present tense were so powerful. This in particular: "...but she always seemed – no, not past tense – she always seems to be taking a stand against something." And then you did it again at the end there, and tied it all together. It really brought the chapter full circle, which I loved.
I also really appreciated the fact that when you started, I wasn't sure what was going on. Your first sentence completely drew me in and then the scene slowly, slowly unfolded. It was all very dramatic without being melodramatic, and I didn't get the sense that you were trying too hard or were writing with a specific "LOOK AT THIS" in mind. That is really, really lovely. I cannot even express how happy that makes me, because like I said before, so many funeral scenes are SO overwritten and the people in them are so unbelievable.
Speaking of your characters, I thought that your Molly had an extraordinarily strong narrative. As a reader, I could completely see what she was seeing and feel what she was feeling, and that was marvelous.
And your description! It wasn't purple or really heavy, which is great, but it was still amazingly beautiful without being too weighty. Your attention to detail is marvelous, and I loved the way you included bits about sound (either magnified or far away) and how Molly is hearing things.
Overall, I think this is a really well-constructed first chapter, and I'm excited to read on!
xx RinAuthor's Response: Hey Rin!
I don't even know how to respond to this review. I'm just so pleased and happy that you enjoyed the chapter.
I completely agree with you, it was a bit daunting to write because i didn't want a scene were there was wailing and an outpouring of raw grief. That never seemed particularly real to me either and i wanted to just be able to explore the grief of one person as they mourn the death of a loved one. I'm really pleased that it came off realistically and not overblown. I'm just pleased that it came of naturally.
I'm extremely pleased (how many more times can i say this in this review response!!?) that you didn't feel this was purple-y! Ahh! I've never wanted my writing to turn out that way as the story is more important than the prose. I have a weird tendency though to write a bit floaty descriptions that i fear people will see as being a 'look at me and what i can do' thing. Which is definitely not the goal at all!!
Anyway, thank you so much for your lovely review! I appreciate your kind words so much!! :D
-zayne Report Review
Hi Zayne! I'm here with another requested review :)
Ooh, your Molly's got a touch of psychosis, or maybe even schizophrenia - is that right? Very interesting! I like that she's falling apart little by little instead of just having a massive psychotic break in Chapter 2. It seems to be building so that when she finally does break, when the voices finally become too loud and her paranoia becomes too overwhelming, the effect will be frightening.
I like James, too, what little I've seen of him here. He seems appropriately confident and casual but not the over-the-top prankster that I see a little too often for my taste. He's, you know, adultish :)
The description here is nice, particularly in terms of how you discuss Molly's thought patterns and her wild fantasies that pull her away from the real world. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about this being more character-driven than plot-driven. I'm a firm believer that it's okay to have a story without a lot of "action," being an author who often writes them. The way you've set it up, this is going to be about Molly's personal journey out of whatever darkness she's experiencing, and I think that's plenty interesting. Hopefully everyone else does, too! I also think the flow here is fine - the chapter length is good, and I like the way that Molly's disjointed feelings drive the chapter along haphazardly.
I don't have much critique here, I'm afraid - if my diagnosis is wrong, feel free to let me know so I can go bury myself in a hole (kidding, kidding). I at least hope this review is a pleasant find for you :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Oh days!! This is a pleasant review to read. It makes me squee a bit inside.
Yes, your diagnosis is right, what a good little psychologist you are :D. I wanted to check to see if it was even alluding to something like that as i've got some reviews thinking that she'll come to realize the death soon or she'll pull out soon. I though that maybe it just wasn't clear that she was going to face some tough stuff before then.
Anyway, i agree, i really don't like when fics present mental illnesses as an overnight surprise or something you open for Christmas. It's suddenly just there. It's more interesting to see the slow fade of the person as they fall into that. I'm going to try my best to portray it, but i hope you won't mind following this a bit as it's more your expertise.
Yah! You like James! He's not such a prankster here and isn't too over the top confident arrogant and basically a mini Sirius/James. At least, i'll attempt that because even though that is his namesakes he's still Harry's son.
Thank you so much for your lovely review!! I really appreciate all your lovely words and compliments!! Report Review
Ahh. This is an absolutely breathtaking story, did you know that? I love your Molly - she's so real and so confused and just... wow. I always enjoy reading Next-Gen stories because I love seeing - reading - the author's takes on all of the characters, and yours is no exception :) There were few mistakes, but I did spot these two:
but they feel like sand that keeps getting sucked away - you know how present tense usually uses verbs in plural and all? I suppose I just felt like the balance was knocked off because of this sentence, so maybe it should say but it feels like sand that keeps getting sucked away? However, other than that minor thing, I loved all of that paragraph :) Your imagery and descriptions are beautiful.
and I breathe exhale in relief - reading this over, it really should be one or the other, so either and I breathe out in relief or and I exhale in relief. I like the second option better, but that's just my two cents.
James was adorable :D I love everyone's James, and yours is no exception. He's a breath of fresh air for Molly - sure, a quick-talking, never-staying-on-one-subject breath of fresh air, but something new for her, all the same. I still like Molly, and her job - I approve ;) It's definitely written realistically, and the pacing is perfect for the story. All-around awesome, in short. Thanks for requesting, and good luck with the rest of this story and all of your others!
--LinnAuthor's Response: You're reviews always make me feel like i'm a pile of mush! :P I haven't read that many next gen's or written any myself (this is my first proper WIP) and it feel SO good to hear people say that my Molly seems so real! emotions and characterization are the most important things to be concerning story so it gives me happy butterflies when someone compliments me on one of them!
Thanks, i'll go in and change that! :D and it is i exhale! haha, boy, i don't know how that little mistake in their slipped in there like a ninja.
James! I'm glad you like him, there is SO many stories out there with him in it, and although i've only read a few, i don't want want him to be generic here or typical. I think he's something that she needs at the moment, someone to help her though her life.
Thanks for your lovely review!! I found it really helpful! :D Report Review
Hey Zayne! I'm here with your requested review :)
I like the present tense here a lot - I didn't read it back when it was past tense, but I think that present tense does a lot to convey the emotion and the sense that Lucy should still be next to Molly in the moment, should still have present action.
I like Molly's personality here. I don't read much next-gen on my own, but I've seen her characterized in many different ways. This one seems earnest and real, like she's acting her age but still feeling the loss of someone she loves. I feel like any girl her age would have the same thoughts upon losing her beloved sister, thoughts that wonder how it is that the lost loved one will not simply reappear as usual later that evening.
I also felt like the description of Lucy's change in outfit felt authentic. I don't know if you've ever been to a funeral, but I can distinctly identify that feeling that the person laying in the coffin in front of you is eons away from the living person you knew. It's really amazing how quickly and easily death can change everything about a person. That said, though, the beginning of this confused me a little. Until I realized what the piece was really about, I thought Molly was describing her mother, not her sister. One way to fix that might be to separate out the line about what her mum says, so that a new paragraph starts when she's talking about how this isn't how her sister dressed. It's just something for you to consider about this.
Overall, this is good, and I enjoyed this first chapter. Nice job, and I hope this review is helpful!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks for stopping by, i really appreciate it!
I really like the change too, i'm glad that it conveys her confusion and emotion. Rachel (penguinswillreignsupreme) suggested i make the change and i'm glad i did because it seems to be getting a good response.
I don't read or write a lot of next gen myself so i'm winging them here. Though it does come in handy as i'm not influenced by others interpretations of them. I'm really pleased you felt that she was a real character here and that her actions and thoughts were identifiable.
I have been to a few and i was trying to capture some of those feelings of not really believing that the person is gone. Seeing them in that coffin is a completely different experience than seeing them alive. They do seem like different people, especially when you're used to seeing them as something else. I'm glad i got that across because writing grief is difficult as i didn't want it so melodramatic but i also wanted her emotions to be apparent.
Anyway, i've had a couple people comment on that so i'll probably go in and change that around bit so it's not so confusing. :D
Thanks again for stopping by Amanda! I appreciate your review and it is helpful, thanks!
-zayne Report Review
My Godric :o This was... beautiful. There really is no other word for it. At first, I didn't know what you meant, and then Molly went on about how Lucy 'isn't sleeping' and then I got it. And... wow. Present tense works brilliantly for this - I can see her emotions, feel her emotions, and while it would still be a lovely read in past tense, present tense makes it raw, somehow, magnifies her emotions and her thoughts as if it's floating right off the page. Present tense is so hard to write, but you pulled it off perfectly.
I can see next-to-no mistakes, so well done :) Molly was just so heart-wrenching in her grief, and everything she thought was just - gah, I really can't even begin to describe it. Your imagery is beautiful - I can practically see everything right in front of my eyes, the coffin, Lucy's ghost and dead body, even Molly herself and her parents and the other mourners and just... I don't understand why this doesn't have many reviews, because it was an absolutely brilliant read. No complaints at all :)
Anyway, all that aside, thanks a bunch for requesting, feel free to re-request, and good luck with the rest of the story! I can't wait to see how it turns out in the end :) A marvellous story, I'm sure. 10/10
--LinnAuthor's Response: Eeeps! Thank you :S I'm a bit overwhelmed by all your lovely comments i don't know what to say!
I did want it to be ambiguous at the beginning because i wanted it to reflect Molly's mental state and how she wasn't sure what this whole thing was and wanted to believe that it wasn't real. So it does please me that it came across and that eventually you did get it.
I like the present tense too and i'm glad that it makes you feel with the character. The thanks goes to my beta (PenguinsWillReignSupreme) as she suggested that i switch it to present and i'm glad that i did because I think it's made it a better story than what it was.
Gah! I just don't know how to respond to this lovely review i'm all happy and squeeing over it. Grief can be a hard thing to write and i'm just pleased and flattered you felt it so much and saw so much in this chapter. I've been to funerals myself so the only thing i could do was try to draw from those experiences to get the emotions to come out right.
Thanks again for all your comments! I really appreciate them! ;D Report Review
It’s Roots in Water here with your review!
This was a very beautifully written chapter! It was very lyrical and showcased her denial of Lucy's death very well. I like how you showed Molly's conflict about her acceptance of Lucy's death through the repetition of certain words like "blue lips". It really brought her conflict to the forefront and made it seem real.
As well, I liked how you let little hints of the details about their lives slip through in the chapter without ever explicitly saying them. It certainly made the chapter flow more smoothly and it made the details fit more realistically into their lives. In particular, I think that Molly as an editor suits the personality you've given her: organized, detailed and predictable (in that she doesn't like surprises). The way you revealed that Lucy's job was a director was interesting - Molly's thoughts about how Lucy would direct a scene at her work and how Lucy would have to appear at the dinner that night really emphasized Molly's determination that Lucy is still alive.
As well, I liked the way you characterized James: confident, friendly, funny and supportive of his family. He seems determined to bring Molly back out into the world and I wonder what will happen at the dinner. Will you be writing the dinner scene for us to read? It would be interesting if you did for as of yet Molly has had very little interaction with other people - she's left mainly to her own thoughts. It don't think she'd handle being forced to converse with many people very well.
Furthermore, I like how you've shown, in more ways than one, how Lucy's death has affected her. Not only is she in denial, but she's changed how she interacts with everyone. With her forced sick day and the returned draft to Greene she's definitely changed her behaviour and it will be interesting to see where you take the story from here. You said in the summary that Molly seeks perfection and now, possibly, she's deviated from her sought perfection.
How will she react when (for she will surely have to eventually realize that Lucy's dead) she finally accepts that Lucy is dead? I think that this revelation will be occurring soon and it will certainly change the way she's been living. And I can imagine this change being a permanent thing, changing the way she looks at life and what she wants out of life.
All in all, I think that you did a great job with this chapter and I look forward to seeing where you go with this concept. Thanks for requesting and I hope my comments are helpful!Author's Response: Hey Roots!
I don't even know what to say, i'm a bit overwhelmed by all your lovely comments! I'm really pleased you liked the choice for her job, i was going to put her in this boring desk job a the Ministry but then as i wrote this the editing job just sort of popped up into my mind and i'm glad it works in well with her personality.
I added that James scene in last minute and wasn't even sure how well it fit in at all! But it leads nicely into the next chapter (which answers your question, yes, i will be writing that scene). I wasn't sure how to write him a i've never written any next gen characters other than Molly. So it was new territory for sure.
The death of her sister does change her and her confusion of it also is warping her. Were that warping goes, only time will tell, but yes, perfection is her and now her world has been turned upside down and she no longer has any ground to stand on so she's sort of just like this poor flailing fish who hasn't learned to properly cope with anything in her life.
The revelation will happen... at some point but i'm really excited about what happens between this chapter and then. Thank you for all your comments and words! Gah! There were too nice! I hope you don't mind continuing reading this! :D
-zayne Report Review
*lollops in full of shame and a thousand apologies*
I hate life sometimes. I'm so sorry this has taken me so long but I hope to make up for it by reviewing a couple of your stories by way of apology and I hope that this review isn't too awful. I'm a bit out of practice.
Okay, so firstly: Molly II ♥ She has a very special place in my fanfiction heart and it still amazes me that it's taken so long for her to become a character people consider making a protagonist in their stories, or at least not representing her as mini-Percy (far less common now than it used to be but still hugely annoying!).
I think this is a beautiful concept and you set up the backstory really well in the first chapter which is obviously crucial. You set the scene really gradually and it started to piece together bit by bit, which is always an indicator of someone's talent. The fact that Lucy was dead was always lingering there but by not making it explicit until the end of the chapter let some doubt creep in.
Your characterisation is really strong, too, which can probably be traced back to your description and the way in which you've written it. It's a huge positive that you can bring across the emotional depth of the funeral without ever really explicitly saying that is where we are. Even the snippets of Audrey and Percy that we see here allows the characters to come across really strongly and I got a good sense of what you wanted to do with them and how the family dynamics work (and used to work, when Lucy was still there).
Some of the spelling and grammar was a little off which detracted from the flow quite a bit but that's nothing that a good beta wouldn't be able to put right very quickly and easily. Take the first sentence: I understand what you wanted to get at and the effect you wanted, but the two negatives don't quite work and make it hard for the reader to get their head around (and it might be even harder for someone whose first language isn't English). It's just little things like that which add up and disrupt the flow a little bit but which are really easy to fix with a good beta.
I think the most important thing, however, is getting the reader to want to read on and I most definitely do. Although we've had the backstory, the actual plot of the actual story isn't yet clear so naturally, I want to see what comes next and how this chapter impacts upon the rest of the story. The story's summary is intriguing and the title is absolutely beautiful so I doubt you'll have any problems in attracting readers.
Like I said, I'm a bit out of practice so I don't think I have much else to say. I think this is a really solid start and that you have a really good writing style that could be improved with a bit of work on the grammar/spelling side of things. If you've got any questions at all, please feel free to PM me and if you want a beta, I'm free and would love to work on this with you! This story has a lot of potential.
I'm still so sorry about how long this has taken but thank you for being so patient!
RachelAuthor's Response: Oh my days! No worries Rachel, RL comes first, always, no need for an apology at all! I was actually a little nervous for you to come and review at all because you mentioned in your response to my review that you hate 1st person as well and this thing is definitely all in 1st.
=D I really adore Molly and i'm glad you feel for her as well. I feel like there are so many James/OC, Rose, or Albus stories that some of the other characters just get missed or people rely on the easy interpretation of them, like Molly being a mini Percy for instance.
I'm pleased that you felt like i set the stage well. I thought that having the death known from the very beginning would actually detract from the emotions. It was the ambiguity and her own confusion that i wanted to express the emotion of this piece. Which is one of the main driving forces behind this tale.
It's such a huge compliment to me when you talked about the strength of the characterization so thank you for that. For me, characterization is a major part of the writing i do. I never really have a firm grasp on them though, i mean, I have vague ideas but i like to let them surprise me along the way. That's one of the things that keeps writing interesting for me. There is that element of letting them just write themselves. I hope that makes sense and i'm not just blabbering like an idiot. Molly was the only one i knew about as i already wrote something on her and it's in my mind to keep the two stories tied together.
You want to beta this thing? bah! I love you. I really do! I know i have issues in the grammar department but it's SO hard to find a beta sometimes, a good one, and i'd be delighted if you would help me along the way! I'll PM you tonight or tomorrow about it though.
Thanks SO much for this review, honestly, it was really lovely and you really seemed like you got it.
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums here to review for you! :D I know you requested this review MONTHS ago, but things have been very hectic for me...I'm sorry! So, let's go over things:
First off, wow. I really loved this. Your style was beautiful. I'll chat about your concerns first, then move on to my other thoughts. So, here we go:
Characterization: loved it. Molly was so realistic. I liked how vulnerable she seemed in such a difficult situation. Very well done.
Flow: This was flawless. I realized early on what was happening and from there, things really made sense. It was really sad seeing everything from Molly's POV, but it was obviously the best choice for this story. Great job.
Emotions: these were absolutely amazing. I recently went to a funeral, the first I'd ever been to, and I can see exactly why she was feeling how she was. Her emotions, shock, hurt, confusion, it was all very realistic. Terrifically done.
Now for my other thoughts:
Descriptions: the beginning with your description of Lucy was wonderful. I loved seeing through Molly's eyes what was happening. And I love that this story is so original. I've never seen anything like it.
Plot: Again, I appreciate your originality. Not many people write about Molly and Lucy and this particular plot is all new to me. Great job.
Style: Beautiful. Realistic. Painful. Wonderful.
Terrific first chapter. I'm really sorry it took this long for me to get to it. You did wonderfully. Keep up the good work.
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Hi! I'm so sorry how long it's taken to respond to this! I thought I had and then low and behold i saw this today still in my unresponded reviews! Bah! I'm so sorry! It's not that i didn't appreciate what you've said because i do! SO much!
Gosh, i don't even know where to begin. I never thought that this story would get the sort of reaction that it's getting. I never thought it would just that sad and painful for people to read (which was a little naive of me i suppose but i just didn't that my writing would convey that sort of depth and sadness as it seems like has). I am however pleased that i was able to capture this moment. I think the death of someone close is so hard and unbelievable cruel to have to go through and it made me sad for Molly to have to deal with the loss of her only sister.
Thank you for your ubberly kind review! I'm pleased that you enjoyed it ;D Report Review
Thanks for participating in my challenge! It's great to see that it inspired something like this!
This was so beautiful and sad, and sort of confusing in a good way. Meaning that I didn't know at once who was talked about and who was dying. But that added a mystery and something of the atmosphere to the story. She is confused herself so it follows logically too that the reader is a bit confused too.
One thing that's maybe a bit too confusing is this sentense though: "She had adopted muggle wear because she believed they were being implicitly prejudiced against and she was taking a stand." I think something is missing here; prejudiced against what? She had adopted muggle wear to wear normally? Because now she was wearing dress robes, right? And who was prejudiced. You could maybe work a little on that sentense to make it more clear.
I think this might be intentional, but I just point it out anyway. It took a really long time for me to realise that she wasn't talking about her mum anymore, and I'm still not completely sure if there's more about her than "mum said it was real". Like is there something about what she's wearing or is it all about Lucy after that. Like i said before, I do like the confusion of not knowing who she is talking about and what is going on. It fits in to the situation. But this was a thing where I had to go back to read again to see where she started to talk about Lucy or was she talking about her all the time. So what I'm saying is that it's all up to you what you want the effect to be.
The part about how she thought or tried to convince herself that it was all just a dream was really beautifully written. I loved that especially. Also the fuzziness in her thoughts there tricked me to believe that Molly was the one dying, and then later I realised that she was at a funeral and it was Lucy who had died.
The chapter's called "Don't be sad" but I can't help but be sad. She's in denial, but it still gives me cold shivers. Poor, sad family. :( Once again: beautiful and sad. I'm excited to see what the next chapter brings.Author's Response: I'm SO sorry for the long reply! But i do appreciate you stopping by and giving me your thoughts! I'm so glad that you challenged it because i was really wanting to write about Molly but the plot was definitely evading me for a while and the quote was just too perfect and fit my Molly.
I will definitely go back and relook at what you've suggested to clean it up a little. I tend to have the answer in my head but forget to write it out and assume everyone is on the same wave length as me. Clearly, this is not the case and thanks for the pointers! I don't want it to be confused with that actually, i was unsure myself if that part was clear that she went back and was focussing on Lucy again. It's like she's expecting Lucy to stop by her flat later on and say this was so funny that they were all mourning her. I'll clean that part up as well.
Not to sound morbid, but i am pleased that the overall effect gave you shivers. I really enjoy writing this but it's hard to get into Molly's POV as, to me, she's a bit unstable and emotional. It's hard for me to tap into that and i'm pleased that i've at least gotten this scene done right.
Thanks again for your review!!
Hey... I've been wanting to read your work for sometime and now I'm finally able to...
Wow. this story is beautifully written. I'm not sure where I should begin my review but let me just start by saying that this story is that kind of story where you (well, me) need your full attention. Because if not, you'll just get lost. That is mainly because you did not reveal everything until the very end. And you had to use 'she' when referring to Lucy. It's just sometimes I was confused whether the 'she' referred to the girl she mentioned at the early part (which at the end turn out to be Lucy) or her mother. The example for this is the paragraph after Molly's mom asked her if she was okay. You begin the sentence with "She probably thought this whole thing was a laugh and would probably come to my flat tonight..." I still thought it refers to her mother but that doesn't make too much sense because why would she think the whole thing was a laugh when she clearly didn't show it on the previous paragraphs. Then of course I know I was mistaking her to that girl (Lucy).
A tiny mistake I spotted: "Lucy couldn’t be gone; her light was just too bright and I could[=b] still her [b]reflection in my eyes". I think you're missing a "see", no?
I gotta say, I have no clue what or where this scene is happening until almost the end of the chapter. Everything was tied together after she said "The three of us. Such an incomplete number." I know by that time that it was a funeral, and it's her sister's funeral... So, I re-read the story again and everything made more sense. I could really see how Molly felt like dreaming. I've lost a loved one before and It sure does felt like that. I think you captured the emotion well.
And despite the confusion one might find when reading this story, you wrapped it up very nicely at the end. And as for me, I felt very fulfilled... it's like reading a mystery novel where you tried to tied everything together and figure out the most important clue and the reasons behind everything. And when you finally got it you're like "man!" and light bulb seemed to really be popping out inside our head. Very nice indeed...
I realize this is not a one shot (though this would also qualified as a very good one shot), so I would be looking forward to reading more of this.
HufflepufAuthor's Response: Hi,
thank you so much for your review!! I'm shocked that you've wanted to read my work, if you want to call it that, for a while. But i'm glad you chose this one. It's a new project and it's near and dear to my heart.
yeah, this is definitely a confusing start because we're looking through Molly's eyes and she is doesn't really understand what's going on either. None of it makes sense to her so i'm glad that feeling really portrayed well.
I've had another review saying they were confused whether that she was her mum and I'll look over that to make sure it's clear because i don't think i want that to be confused.
yes, i meant see, *blushes* thanks for pointing that out.
Losing a loved one is hard and i really wanted to capture the feelings that might be felt in those moments. I've lost people as well and I just tried delving into those really raw emotions. I'm glad you felt they were spot on because i wasn't sure if it would translate over screen. Thank you so much for your thoughts and words! Report Review
Hi, SilentConfession, it's VioletBlade here with your requested review!
For starters, I just wanted to say that I think you've found your way into the world of next-gen perfectly! ;) This was impeccably written and I'm glad I got a chance to read it!
Plot: The plot is very unique, simply because you just don't find many next-gen stories based upon death. In that way, you've made your piece one of a kind. Another way you've done that is by beautifully describing the heart-wrenching emotions Molly feels during her sister's death. It was very believable and made my heart ache for Molly! Finally, I really do like the way you didn't tell us who it was until almost the ending paragraph. I was going to tell you it was confusing, but I made up my mind I liked it instead because it gave us an urge to finish the piece. I actually found myself conflicting with myself, whether it could be Victoire, or Rose even! I had no idea. Originally I thought it could be Victoire because you said it was a Teddy/Molly II pairing (though I didn't see much of that, really, either) but I was actually glad to see it wasn't. To me, the two don't really seem all that compatible in next-gen fanfiction, but if an author really wanted to, I suppose they could make them friends. Just the parents they have I would think would make that difficult for them from the start! Overall, though, the flow was great, (some sentences broke the flow a tiny bit, but it was recovered easily) and the pace was just right, so bravo!
Characterization: I must admit, I don't see hardly any Molly II fanfiction out there, and it's something that kind of saddens me! Thus, I'm really glad you picked her as your main character. You see all sorts of stuff about Rose (especially Rose), Victoire, Dom, Lily, even Lucy, but not poor Molly II! And I think you've written her brilliantly. Her emotions were raw, something I definitely would expect from the loss of a sister, and she really made the reader connect to her situation. I also like the way you've portrayed Lucy, as well, as someone who was like Molly a little, but was mostly her own person and everyone loved her for that!
Grammar: The only thing I think I want to comment on that made me go 'that broke the flow a little' were the two sentences in the first two paragraphs that repeated the word 'wasn't' twice in the sentence. I feel like those sentences were much harder to get my head around and it distracted from the story, but that's just my opinion!
Thanks for the wonderful read, and thank you so much for requesting from me. I hope you've found my review helpful in some way!
~VioletBladeAuthor's Response: Sorry for the late response but you're review is VERY appreciated!
Thank you! I've always been wary of it as there seems to be so many littered with cliches and i just didn't know where to go to find an original plot line. Then i thought of Molly and I really wanted to explore her and what it might be like to lose a sister, it was actually just supposed to be exploring their relationship but somehow i felt like this might be better at exploring that dynamic. If that makes any sense at all.
Hm, it's NOT going to be a Molly/Teddy!!! Definitely not, Molly/OC (Original character) not Teddy. I don't see him ending up with one of the Weasley's either so don't worry there will be none of that in this story or just vague illusions to his past thing with Victoire or whatever. Of course, he play's an important role in the Weasley and Potter household but I agree, that their parents and his history, i just see him ending up with some unknown witch or something. I don't know.
Anyway, thank you so much for your comments and lovely review! i'll be coming back for if you don't mind :D Report Review
Wow. This is breathtakingly beautiful. I have never seen anything like it.
You gave us a lot of details to work with and I am truly overwhelmed by how good you manipulated them. Usually, when authors use a lot of detail everything gets blurry -the total opposite of their goal- and very hard to understand.
Fortunately, you manage not to do this and I understood what's happening quickly, but no so quickly; it took me some few sentences to work out the scene is at a funeral and a few more to work out that the funeral is Lucy's. But I think its just the way you didn't mention who died and what was really happening from the start and instead put all the more important information in the middle of the story!
(Also, whether done purposely or not, it's a really great tactic! Reveal the key informations somewhere in the middle of the story and leave the reader nowhere to go but the end.)
I am just so... surprised, shocked, and amazed on how this whole chapter turned out. So beautifully heart-breaking. :(
Overall, I think this is going to be a really great and interesting story and I would love to keep reviewing it (if you want me to! :P)
This is awesome!
CloakAuror9 xxAuthor's Response: Hi! i'm so sorry for the late response! I feel terrible but you're thoughts are very appreciated!
Anyway, thank you for your compliments and i'm a little taken aback by them to be honest. I hadn't really expected such a lovely review as this story is just, i don't know, it's going to be a bit depressing. I'm pleased that you think the detail is spot on, that really is such a huge compliment and i'm blushing a bit at your comments. I definitely didn't want it to be known who it was or who was even speaking till closer to the end. It just felt right because she's just so confused at the whole situation. I'm glad it wasn't a turn off or annoying.
Thank you so much for your lovely review and yes, i'll definitely come back for a review when the next chapter is out :D Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review!
I definitely think that this is an interesting start to a story. You've jumped immediately into a delicate situation, full of emotion, and I think that you've done a good job of handling it well.
To begin, I think that you began very strongly and I liked the way your final sentence brought back her feelings of doubt. The way you elaborated on what was so wrong about the scene was very well done- you gave more than just physical descriptions. You gave reasons and small details behind the ideas, allowing us to see Lucy's personality and the relationship between the sisters.
I must admit that it took me some time before I realized that Molly was at a funeral but this is in no way a bad thing. If nothing else, this helped to transmit Molly's confusion and conviction that this was all a dream. Furthermore, I believe that you've done a good job of creating a sad atmosphere, especially in some of the smaller moments, such as when she just wanted the speaker to be quiet. Her emotions felt real and definitely believable.
Just a small thing I noticed: in the phrase "mum's hand on my shoulder" it should be "Mum's". I would just watch the capitalization of proper nouns- I noticed that a few times the "Mum"s and "Dad"s you used weren't capitalized even though you were using them as proper names.
As well, though I haven't seen a lot of Molly yet, she's a good, realistic character from what I've seen. She obviously had a close bond with her sister and a good one with her family in general, a trait that all the Weasleys seem to share. I was a little surprised that there weren't many references to the rest of the Weasley family- I would assume that they'd be at the funeral because Lucy was family. I don't think that they would have allowed them to grieve along.
All in all I think that you're off to a great (and interesting) start. I hope that you continue to handle her grief, as well as the rest of the family's, with care. It'll be interesting to see where you take this story from here- will we be following the progress of her healing? Seeing what led to Lucy's death? Will this be another "backwards" story?
Thanks for requesting and, as always, I hope my comments are helpful!Author's Response: Yes, i had thought about not having the rest of her family in there after i had posted it, but i will go in and change that up because it is a bit weird that they aren't even mentioned. ;D
Thank you for your comments and i'm pleased you think i handled this delicate situation well. It's sometimes hard to handle grief in a mature way and i'm glad that you feel like i've captured that.
It's going to be a normal story, that is, in chronological order. I may be mixing up the style a little bit but mostly it'll be going forwards from this moment on.
Thanks again for taking the time to give me your thoughts!! Report Review
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