Okay so hey there! Its AC finally here to review your entry to the Improvement challenge! Bet you never thought that I'd get to this point, but here we are. My apologies for taking so long to get here though - things have been really hectic with lots of holidays and moving out at the weekend.
Firstly I'm going to stand with the spacing of the first section of flashback dialogue. You need to make sure you've got a double return between each line of dialogue. Now, it doesn't seem like too much of a big deal but..
"Get out of my house." He said suddenly.
"This is my home..."
Seems a lot messier than the correctly spaced.
"Get out of my house." He said suddenly.
"This is my home..."
Also, the beginning of the dialogue tag should be 'He' rather than 'he.' Dialogue is one of those dastardly things that still makes my head hurt in terms of punctuating and there's a great topic on the forums about it if you wanted to check that out. Most of the other bits in that section is right, but some could do with a little more tweaking. I'd really suggest reading it - saved my life plenty.
Then to the content of the dialogue section. Well, firstly you have disparity to how you've referenced to the mother figure. At the beginning it says 'her mother crumpled' and then later ' Georgia' - we know that they are the same person thanks to the 'Georgia!' and then the reference to the mother, so I'd suggest changing that second bit to 'he packed away from her mother' or some similar variant. Just for a bit more cohesion.
More though, I felt like you could have been more clever and subtle with your dialogue use. You've given us all the information quite... well, outright. And it could be considered a little heavy handed? Maybe allude to things a little more rather than stating them out right. Even just little changes like "I want you to leave' rather than 'get out of my house!' which just seems slightly more melodramatic, if you see what I mean?
One last thing about the dialogue. Using 'suddenly' as an adverb I think should be generally avoided - it always seems to me that it makes something sound slightly childish, you know? like SUDDENLY the hero turned up and EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Especially in terms of speech; in the middle of a conversation it's sort of backwards to say someone said something 'suddenly' because the way conversations work is generally turntaking - which isn't sudden. That's a picky thing but, eh, I think it makes a difference :)
Now, backing up to the beginning (should have done this in a logical order, sorry) you have two sentences right at the beginning which have the same structure. Her bike hit a bump in the road and she went toppling down, laughing. She lay there for a minute, pausing. - see how you have the main meat of the sentence then a clause with just a present participle (laughing/pausing) at the end? Now there's nothing wrong with this type of sentence at all, but having two so close together makes the piece seem almost formulaic and it loses its flow slightly. Otherwise in that paragraph there's some really nice description and it gave off a really nice air of innocence which juxtaposed with the more brutal dialogue nicely - I liked it.
Right now moving on to the third section, if you will, which I'd quote if I could (not 12+ ;) ) I thought there... considering from the first bit that the girl seems quite... sensual? That sounds odd. But obviously she takes note of the daisies and the cold breeze and the sun - so maybe you could go more into the sense of things?
Mistake here. She would come home from school and hole herself in her room Hole should be hide/haul.
I really liked the snatches of dialogue between James and Lily, actually - although I'm slightly curious as to why James would assume that she was a witch, especially as she'd been sort of staring at the galleon although it was a bit odd. But it was all cute and sweet and eleven year old esque, which was looverrllyyy.
And of course the ending was really cute too. I liked the whole 'lily' bit. As this was quite short I'm not entirely sure I have anything else to say about it. It was really nice to get a chance to read some of your work and thank you for entering the challenge. Hoping to read your second piece soon! :)
-AC Report Review
Pass the parcel~
Wow, I really enjoyed this fic! It was kinda short, but it felt like such a lot was conveyed during it. I really loved the ambiguity of who the girl/guy is from the start - it really drew me into the story. Another thing I really liked was how it feels so happy and light at the beginning before going into some history and some past more unhappy memories - they were really interesting and well written. You made me feel really sorry for Georgia. And the tangent about love felt really realistic between an adult and child - that thing about children not understanding but they will when they're older. The thing I really liked was this: A ping of a coin hitting the ground startled her out of her daze. That line actually made me feel like I had been part of that daze and I was like, what? oh! where were we before then? So I think it was fantastic that you really drew me in so well.
Just a couple of things I noticed: a desparate woman, convince she was in love. spelling - desperate, and I think it should be convinced.
You keep telling yourself that, Honey Not sure why it's capitalised? Same with Mums face, and an extra apostrophe should be added for possession (mum's face). Also, with out should be one word - without, and did you mean inkling for inking? The only other thing I wasn't sure of was the ending where Lily tapped her nose. I thought that was a slightly odd movement - was it to indicate something to do with a flower and how you smell flowers?
Other than that, I really liked this story! The memories and the past really tied in well with the ending - that was just so sweet. It makes me curious to wonder how the guy and Lily both recognised that the other was magical. Okay, so I wasn't too sure on who the guy was so I had to check the ship in the story summary but James/Lily makes it even cuter. It was just a really lovely one-shot all around! Nicely written :)
- Charlotte Report Review
~Slytherin Review Tag
Wow that was very... intense. I don't think I've ever read a story on here that seriously... I dunno how to explain it... move me? Not quite the word... I wouldn't say saddened or scared either... eh. dunno, made me feel like a small little girl with wide eyes and a quivering lip? Dunno how to word it differently :P
In any case the angst was very... angsty we could really feel the characters pain. Very well written!!^^
And with a touch of hope at the end, that was nice^^ Only it was slightly confusing, at first when you said raven hair I thought "Severus" instantly so I was slightly befuddled by the hazel eyes and by him not knowing that Lily is a witch. Maybe just clear that part up a little? i had to go and check the main page to be sure it was James we were talking about... or maybe just a change of adjective when talking about the hair, dunno, raven is a very dark, but very intelligent animal, in mythology and I kinda unconsciously associate it with Snape, though that might be just me, I dunno!^^
In any case, great job on this!! :D Loved it!^^
-JuneAuthor's Response: Haha, I see. Thanks, no matter what you call it. ;)
Anyway, I've always heard both James and Harry's hair as raven coloured..huh. :P Sorry for the confusion. And they're both supposed to be eleven, right before they go off to school - which is why Lily is confused about the Galleon. :P
Thanks again! Report Review
Hello PolyJuice_! On behalf of the entire HPPC Staff, I want to thank you for entering our challenge and for writing such a great entry for it! ^.^
The descriptions in the opening paragraph are really nice. I love that she laughs when she falls off the bike - I know it's a tiny detail, but it's so the reaction I have when I do something stupid like that, so it fit really well! All the small details in the opening are what makes it so pretty of a start!
Speaking of how pretty the opening is, it actually makes that second group of dialogue even more powerful because it's such a contrast! We see how happy Lily is just falling off her bike and landing in some flowers and then Boom! We get hit with this really serious issue! I've never seen Lily's parents portrayed this way before, as having an unhealthy relationship. We always see her family portrayed as being really lovely to her, with Petunia as the only potential bad egg of the family, but you really made sense of your choice to portray them this way instead. The truth is that there are so many women who stay with men that treat them this way because they're 'in love', regardless of how terribly they're being treated. And to be raised in a household where this sort of behavior is considered 'love', why would Lily want that? I think it makes complete sense for later in life as to why Lily's so resistant to James once school starts. Once he starts to pick on people even a little, pulling those pranks and teasing Severus, ect., I bet she sees just that tiny flash of her father in him (even though we as readers know that James is nothing like that at all), she probably draws the comparison and it makes sense as to why she sees him so harshly, because she's afraid he could grow up to be like her dad. But that little glimmer of hope you give her here is really sweet, too - that maybe there's a better love than the one she sees with her parents; a love more like the stories she's read.
As a side note, I would consider going back to that dialogue in italics and add some spaces between the sentences cause it's just looking a little too cluttered without the proper spacing.
I really liked how you did the little name trick at the end, where in Lily's POV we think she doesn't say her name, but then it switches to James and we get it, hehehe It's simple, but I really enjoyed it - it was a nice way to end the story! :-p
Some favorite lines:
"If that was love, she thought to herself, she would rather do with out." (Although that 'with out' should be one word: 'without'.)
"She would pretend that the angry weals left on her Mums face were love-marks and a flush of excitement, that the screaming matches were light conversations."
As far as the challenge itself goes, I think you incorporated both quotes really well, but especially the first one. When I read that quote (and most of the quotes that were options to use) I could really only see it in a humorous way, but you really created a sinister, dark twist on it and it was very inventive of you! The second quote you used confused me a bit: I had to go back and reread that section to figure out exactly what she meant by it. I think it's just missing a connecting thought, maybe? Or possibly it's obvious and I'm just an idiot! Totally plausible, btw! :-p
It really is a very lovely piece overall, but I do have to tell you that unfortunately it cannot be counted towards the prizes because it's rated Mature and the rules of the Challenge were to write only 12+ or 15+ stories, so it is, sadly, disqualified. But I hope you know that we're still so happy you participated and wrote this lovely story that I truly enjoyed, so thank you again! *hugs*Author's Response: Aw, thanks for this! I really appreciate it. :)
*Facedesk* How stupid can I get? I really need to learn to read things through properly. >.<
Ah well. Thanks again. Report Review
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