You have definitely gone inside her head. The thoughts, actions, emotions, desires, hunger, burning, all of it as you have explained, is EXACTLY like her. No diversions. You have impersonated her perfectly. Characterization is impeccable.
There were a lot of typos, which are just typing errors and silly stuff so no biggie at all. Just get this through a beta and it'll be fine.
I think this is second person, I'm not sure because I'm not familiar with second person, but it was brilliantly done. I really like it. For a person like Bella, that is the most suitable POV so crack on love ;)
You're great at getting inside her head, so please PLEASE do more :D
*Hugs*Author's Response: Oh my, I can't believe I haven't responded to this yet!
Wow. You're amazing, you know that? This review literally made my day, thank you so much! :) Haha i agree with you about this POV suiting Bellatrix the most. I'm glad you liked her characterization! Thanks a lot! :)
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Bellatrix is one of my favourite characters, so I was sure I was going to like your story :) If you hadn't said so yourself, I would have never noticed that this was your first attempt with second person - you pulled it off pretty brilliantly! :) I like how she doesn't say anything in the present time, only in memories; the silence makes Azkaban prison and her cell even more frightening.
My favourite scene is when Voldemort tells Rodolphus to marry her. I like how you managed to keep it canon-compliant, since JKR said that Bellatrix only loved Voldemort, and not tried to romanticize it in any way.
All in all, very good :)Author's Response: Hey! Yes, Bellatrix is also one of my favorite characters and pretty hard to write too :P And really? That makes me so happy! I'm glad that you thought I pulled it off! Ah yes, I wrote it exactly the way I imagined it and I'm glad it frightened you too (even of that sounds bad of me :p)
Ah yes! I loved that scene too! It really brings out the fact that Bella really didn't marry Rodolphus out of love for him or anything. I've always believed that Bella was in love was Voldemort. And yes, romance between the two is not something I support in any way. Even to me that's wrong. :)
Thank you so much for your review! :)
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I really like that you had Bellatrix currently in prison told through second person, then went to third person for the memories! I think it was an amazing and perfect choice!
I also think you characterization of Bellatrix is spot on!!! I'm happy to see you like her, because I take you into her brain a bit for the next chapter I will request on Before They Fall :).
You had her insanity mixed with obsession for the dark lord shown perfectly!
Your imagery was wonderful, very dark and terrifying. I did notice a few descriptive words being used very close together in the first paragraph. It didn't take away from the piece at all, but changing the repeats might do something good :)!
Also, I was a little unsure about his reason for Bellatrix being told to marry Lestrange. I LOVE the idea that the marriage was on Voldy's orders, but I think it might be better if you don't have him give a reason. Just say something about he ordered them to, I just can't see Voldemort explaining his reasons to anyone regardless of what the order was.
Your writing style was amazing, this piece was enthralling. I love how you ended it, we know what happens next... :S.
I am so happy I chose to read this piece. I was VERY impressed with your writing style! Great job!
JamiAuthor's Response: HEY! Oh my god, I just read your comment on my status update and literally RUSHED here! Seriously, thank you SO MUCH!
WOW. Your comments have made my day, seriously! When I wrote this one-shot, it was on a whim and I hadn't really had any intention of typing it down. But then I was like, I should do it. And the response it got! Really, it's overwhelming. So thank you once again! :)
Ah, yes. You know what? Initially, Voldemort didn't give a reason. I added that later. Because when I read it again, I felt like it was missing something so I added on that reason. But you're right and I agree with you totally! I know, I think Voldemort wouldn't ever think that he needs to justify his orders and others won't really need a reason either. Thanks for pointing that out! I'll fix that soon! :)
Thank you so much for dropping by Jami! I'm very glad that you chose this piece to review too! Really very happy! Thank you thank you thank you! :D
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Hey there! So, I'm finally here - sorry it took so long, life has been pretty hectic lately. First off, thank you so much for the little mention at the bottom of the one-shot - I really didn't expect it at all, and it really does mean a lot that you liked my story that much :D So, thank you!
Moving on! I lovedlovedloved the idea for this. Myself I've written Bellatrix as a teenager and as a child, but I've honestly never thought of doing one where she's in Azkaban. It's such an interesting idea - how she went insane, what it was like in there - and I felt you captured it perfectly. The whole idea of Azkaban - the stone walls, the sea surrounding it, the dementors constantly floating around - was just perfect. I was imagining the shots of Azkaban from the movies when I read it - I could easily see it happening as part of a film. It was great. Also, you really got the feel of Azkaban, I thought. The idea that it was pretty much inescapable, plus the bleak location and surroundings, and the way it drives its prisoners mad. It was really pretty creepy (and things don't generally creep me out, so kudos :P).
Ah, Bellatrix! She's absolutely my favourite character in the whole series (such a coincidence, lol) and I loved how you portrayed her in this! She was just... so real. I could see HBC acting like this as her, I could imagine the character thinking like this and acting like this and doing those sorts of things - reacting like that. Honestly, yours was probably one of the best Bellatrixes I've read in a long time (and I've read a lot, seriously. On a side note, I'm not entirely sure what the plural of Bellatrix is... anyway...).
Voldemort was good too - he was absolutely creepy and cold and evil and just... well... him. I don't think he seemed off at all - maybe a bit more screen-time for him would have allowed you to develop his character more and pick up problems, I dunno... but, no, I couldn't think of anything wrong with him when I read it. He seemed so like the one in the book - just almost gliding everywhere, stopping behind people to freak them out before asking them something... it was really good.
And Roddy. Dear, dear Roddy :P Obviously he wasn't in it for much (and, being a secret Roddy/Bella fan, I must frown at you for that ;) ), but I felt you developed him enough for the one-shot, considering how it was mostly focused on the one-sided Bella/Voldemort aspect. He seemed real, which was good.
Honestly, I thought the second person worked perfectly here. I really liked the way you used it to get inside Bellatrix's mind - it worked partly because she is insane, and who really knows how her mind works, but also it fitted with the one-shot. I dunno... I've never actually read something in second person other than going over my own stuff for mistakes, so sorry! :P (I feel very unhelpful, lol) Seriously, though, I don't think it would have worked anywhere near as well if it had been in first or third person.
Also, I loved the use of the flashbacks. The actual present-day stuff was fairly every-day sort of thing, you know - not hugely full of plot until the end - and the flashbacks were relating to (certainly what she would consider, I imagine) pretty important events in her life. The combination worked really well, and it was interesting to see the differences between her then and her now, as well as the similarities.
I loved the descriptions as well - just had to mention those! They were flawless - really in-depth, really good. I could imagine everything pretty much perfectly.
I really, really enjoyed it (and will add it to my favourites once I've finished typing this). It was practically perfect :D
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hey Aph! Thanks for coming by this story! I'm glad you liked it! And your welcome; you totally deserved that shout out. :)
Oh my. This review is one of the best reviews ever! I haven't ever had anyone give me such amazing compliments! Thank you so much! You've made my life and not just my day! I can't believe you actually thought of it to be a part of a film! E! Thank you!
I've always thought of Bellatrix as a very complex character to write. I'm so glad you thought I nailed it. And NO! You seriously thought that?! THANK YOU! I'm on cloud nine! It means so much to me to know that someone who's favourite character is Bella thinks mine is the best one they've read. I seriously can't believe. I'm jumping up and down in my chair at the moment! :D
No you aren't being unhelpful at all, I promise. I'm glad that you thought that second person seems to work nicely here. You're right, when I wrote this one-shot, I couldn't imagine it being better than it is in second person. I agree with you that it captures Bellatrix's personality the best.
The descriptions! They matter a lot to me and I can't tell you how good I feel right now! It's like.. WOW! Thank you thank you thank you! SO MUCH!
FAVORITES?! WOW! APH I LOVE YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS WONDERFUL WONDERFUL REVIEW!
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Hey! It's Renny! I just read your super, wonderful, nice review today and since I had a free moment, I thought I'd check out your author page. Hope you don't mind. XD
I'm trying to recall if I've ever read a story in the second person, and I really don't think I have. Probably in English class or something years ago, but definitely not recently. It's a very unusual voice to use, but interesting. The opening of this is very well done. I've always kind of considered a life sentence in Azkaban to be cruel and unusual punishment. Yes, Bellatrix and the Death Eaters did horrible, unforgivable things... and I'm usually very anti-death penalty, but in these cases, I almost think they should just be executed and everyone should move on. Of course, that means someone like Sirius would have been put to death wrongly, but torturing someone mentally with dementors for fifty years or whatever? That's just messed up. I felt bad doing it to Severus for like three days.
"Her right hand automatically began rubbing her left forearm, the clear, blank on it mocking her." --I thought that was a great image. Kind of the opposite of someone like Snape who would spend the rest of his life regretting the Mark and being self-conscious of its presence.
I never thought of Bellatrix marrying Rudolphus because they were ordered to, but now that I think about it, it makes absolute sense. Of course Voldemort would want to ensure the best of the best intermingled to create his future pure-blood society. It sounds a lot like something the Nazis would have done (*cringe*). I've often wondered why Bellatrix was married at all because JKR makes it pretty obvious that she's in love with Voldemort (um, cause bald is beautiful? I dunno. Beats me.) So the thought that it was because of Voldemort's orders fits very well. She'd obviously do anything for him in a heartbeat.
The only thing I would personally do differently is to not use Voldemort's name. I kind of always got the feeling that the Death Eaters would mostly use the Dark Lord when referring to him, even in their thoughts. With the second person part, you can probably get away with Voldemort since it's the narrator who's speaking, not Bellatrix... I guess I would at least use "Lord Voldemort" since I feel Bellatrix worships him too much to use his name alone like pretty much only Harry and Dumbledore do.
In response to your questions at the end, I thought both Bellatrix and Voldemort were very well done. I don't see a problem with Voldemort at all. He's obviously cold, calculating, and indifferent to his minions' wants unless he can manipulate them to serve his own purpose (like Bellatrix's obvious obsession with him). The contrast to Bellatrix's almost innocence in her memories to her desperation in Azkaban is very stark and believable. I'm kind of not a huge fan of Helena Bonham Carter's raving mad Bellatrix, thinking the character in the book is more of a sociopath than a psychopath, but I can see how if she really did go through things like you wrote in Azkaban, yeah, she'd come out pretty messed up and even more fanatical about serving Voldemort than before.
Over all, great job! I normally wouldn't read something about Bellatrix, but I'm trying to broaden my horizons over here (meaning, ahem, I need to read things that aren't all about Snape. At least once in a while.) Thanks again for your review of my own story, and I hope this one of mine was helpful. Have an awesome day and keep writing!! :) ~RennyAuthor's Response: Hey Renny! Thank you SO much for dropping by! And no, I don't mind at all! your review actually sort of made my day! I wasn't expecting it which made me even happier! =) So thank you so much!
Yes, I know, the Azkaban sentence has always been pretty harsh. It's interesting how severe the punishment is; I think that getting executed is far less tormenting than the ordeals the prisoners face in Azkaban. I'm glad you liked the opening! =) Also, I hadn't even known that such a thing as second person was possible to write until I joined this site. It's not common but I think that it allows authors to write great stories!
I've always believed that Bella was actually in love with Voldemort; she regarded him with the same reverence one would regard an extremely loved one or a superior. I think her attitude fit this explanation perfectly, that's why I used it. =) It's good to see that you somewhat agree! And yes, I never understood why she married Lestrange. Someone like Bellatrix couldn't possibly have any wishes for marriage and a family; I always thought that it must've been for a different reason that she married him. I guess I found one while typing this story. =P
You're right about the usage of the name. I'll change that point as soon as I have some time on my hands! Thanks for the tip, Renny! =)
Yay! Thanks for saying that about the characterisation of Bellatrix and Voldemort! I think that they're pretty hard characters to get absolutely right and I'm very happy to know that you thought that I was able to do them some justice. Thanks for that!
Thank you thank you thank you for this review! It was wonderful and I couldn't have been happier after reading this! This response is after I read the third time! =P And of course it helped! Thank you so much! Keep rocking! =D Report Review
Sigh...so I know this review is way, WAY overdue. And I really hope you don't think I'm obnoxious for making you wait this long! I blame college...all my professors decided to drop papers and projects and stuff on me at the same time :/
So, done with excuses, and now on to the review! There are a lot of things I really like about this, and I'm really glad you requested it :)
You mentioned attention to detail and description as areas of concern in your post, and those are the things I most loved about this! I'm really impressed with the depth of detail, especially in the 2nd person parts. The grotesque imagery of Azkaban actually made me cringe a few times, so I'd say that's a plus in terms of description. It's incredibly vivid and rich, and I love it! I tend to just give the bare bones of description when I write, so I love reading stories like this so I can learn from them :)
One small suggestion I would make in terms of detail (and this is purely my opinion, so you can take it or leave it): I don't think you should reveal Bellatrix's identity in the first section. The sentence where you do ("In the midst of it all you, Bellatrix Lestrange, lie") is sort of an abrupt change of focus. The narrative shifts from description to Bellatrix for that single line, and then right back to description again. To smooth that out, I would have that sentence just say something like, "You lie in the midst of it all", and then let us figure out Bellatrix's identity as we read on to the flasback. I just think that would add so much to your introductory sections.
But that's nit-picky. Sorry. I just got carried away with that idea for a minute :)
Anyway, I also think you do an awesome job with Bellatrix as a character. Her slave-like devotion to Voldemort really comes across well, and she just seems to be hanging onto her sanity by a thread (which is how I always imagined Bellatrix in the books.) Great job with her!
As I've come to expect from your stories, I saw some lines of description that jumped out at me. Here are two of my favorites:
"...the prisoners, as they attempt to continue living."
"...your life seemingly seeping back into you."
I just really like those; they're very creative :)
Here's the biggest concern I had while reading: your sentences tend to be very long. In paragraph 3, the sentence that begins "Your cheeks are deathly pale" is an example of the kind of sentence I'm talking about. Sentences like this take a lot longer to process, and it makes for a somewhat difficult read overall. Your ideas flow well, but more variety in sentence structure would improve the readability a lot. Any place you can find where you could break a long sentence into two, or even cut a few words out, would help. Here are a couple of suggestions:
"Voldemort smiled, his lips curving upward"
-Since this description is a bit redundant, you could get away with taking out "his lips curving upward"
Also, any place with two words in a row that mean the same thing, such as "blissful ecstasy." Only using one of those terms would tighten up your sentence a bit. Just little things like that :)
All in all, I liked this experiment a lot! You did a great job with the second person (I forgot to mention that earlier, sorry!) and I really enjoyed losing myself in the fantastic imagery. Keep up the great work! :)
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hey! Ah, don't worry about being late, it happens and it's completely fine with me. =)
Yayay! I can't believe that you liked this that much! I hadn't thought that I could accomplish such a thing and I'm so very happy to know that you thought I did a good job! Love you for that! =D Yes, I do pay attention to description most of time and I was in my writing mood when I wrote this so it turned out to be better than I expected.
Ooh, you have a point there with the flow, I can totally understand what you mean by it; I'll definitely edit that as soon as I get some more time on my hands. Thanks for pointing that out!
Yahoo! I'm SO glad that you liked my interpretation of Bellatrix! I did do a lot of thinking on her part so it's awesome that you thought it was good.
I'm so happy right now, you have no idea. I've never had anybody like specific words that I've written so right now, I'm on cloud nine! Thank you thank you thank you!
Thanks for the suggestions with the words. I do get carried away with description sometimes and repeat words. So thanks for pointing those out too. =D
I love you Maggie! You're fantabulous! Thank you SO MUCH! Report Review
i like very good idea about black and lestrangeAuthor's Response: Yay! First review on Lifeline! Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it =) Report Review
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