Hullo there! Ac here reviewing for the Improvement challenge. Sorry its taken a little time for you to get this review - I've been ever so slightly crazy busy (moving out next week, still so much to do) and there were lots of reviews and things so things got way hectic.
First thing, I really like your first sentence. That little paragraph actually, is utterly wonderful. First sentences have to really reach out and grab you (like that suffocation).
But the second paragraph I found... slightly heavy handed maybe? I think it might be that line of speech just came off slightly wrong to me. I didn't like the repetition of 'don't you see' the way you had it either. For me I thought that bit would be more effective if you had it as 'The line echoes all around me until I'm sure... even if it lasted mere moments. Don't you see. Don't you see
I also figured that the moment of passing through the barrier was brought on the sudden suffocation? I thought you should make that a little clearer too. Just so we all know where we are :)
Then, crying. Right. I always seem to say a lot about crying in these reviews but I guess I write about it a lot. A lot of crying seems to happen utterly spontaneously and go from dry eyed to sobbing all at once, which does happen but not that often. In terms of 'tears fall from my eyes, and my eyes sting' well, for the most part eyes sting when you're about to cry but haven't started yet (unless when crying you've managed to get mascara or something in your eyes) but, well, I know this is picky. But I'm a big believer than proper descriptions of crying/nearly crying/ not quite crying carry the emotion of the piece. So, I'd have Rose's crying on more of progressional chart. Maybe at the beginning her eyes are stinging and she's blinking a lot because she's trying not to cry when anyone can seee her (as like you said, hard to explain) so is all sucking in breaths of air and fixing all her energy on getting somewhere she can just cry . Before, when she's finally on her own, starting to cry. Its just crying is something that pretty much everyone has experience of and explaining the little preventative details and the like make it more relatable and your reader can feeel the emotion of it all.
I really liked the description of the flowers too. They were really pretty and made me all smiley.
Okay so, the Scorpius bit. For one I find it relatively unlikely that Rose could burst into a compartment and not notice that he was there - even without checking - so I think you should clarify that slightly. Work out the logistics of everything. So, maybe Scorpius is sat with his trunk next to him on his seat, so his presence isn't completely obvious? Or Rose could mutter a 'sorry' before staring to properly cry.
On a note of the Scorpius bit... he does come across as having a lack of worry about Rose and more excitement over the prospect of her being single. Which is fine, actually, but I think you should highlight the fact that isn't exactly a nice immediate response. Also, prehaps have him flapping a bit? Most of the teenage guys I know are absolutely terrible with crying girls. Seriously.
Eeeeh, and then we're back to Rose. Okay so my main problem with this section is Roses's description of Scorpius. Put yourself in that position: you've just burst into a compartment and started crying, then you realise that there's someone there who used to be one of your best friend whom you don't talk to any more - I wouldn't then start thinking about his physique. At least not straight away. So, either shift that description to a later point in the conversation or spread it out so it's more subtle. Maybe start with the bit about his eyes? Then moving onto the rest.
Now the rest of it I couldn't see anything much and I really enjoyed it. You have a nice flow to things, actually, and you've sustained your present tense in a really lovely way. It was honestly a really pleasant story to read.
So, I guess the things for you to improve are being more precise in terms of detail. Just knowing where each character is in each scene and making sure that the distances between them make sense and can be understood from a readers perspective. Then getting under the skin of the characters more (you're already really good at this, but it never hurts to go in deeper) and make sure all their reactions and narrative are believable and make actually sense in terms of characterisation.
Thanks for entering my challenge and I hope to see your second entry really soon! Thank you :)
-ACAuthor's Response: Hi AC! Oh my gosh, I am so incredibly sorry for not getting to this sooner! Real life has been insanely crazy, and I didn't even see you had posted this until about a month after you did! :/ So you have nothing to apologize for at all!
Thank you! One of the things I really felt I needed to focus on with the re-write of this story (which is it is, by the way. The original story was begging for a re-write, really) was to make the first chapter more exciting and something that pulled the readers in. I'm glad that worked out! :)
Hmm, re-reading the second paragraph, I agree it could use some tweaking! Hopefully I will get around to editing this chapter very soon! :)
Yes, I think the suffocation was partly due to passing through the barrier and also the fact that Rose felt as if she were almost stuck inside that moment for far longer than she should have been. What I mean by that is that when she stepped into the barrier, in reality and to others, it didn't seem as if she got 'stuck' if you will, but all those things that happened to her in that moment made her feel like she was suffocating and couldn't breathe. All in her mind, really, but I will definitely make that more clear when I edit the chapter :)
Ahh the crying. Never can get that right, can I? My original version of this began with crying, since I thought that would be a point that would draw the reader in xD You're correct in saying it's often spontaneous, and that I have a hard time with sequencing emotions correctly. Often times I forget to put myself in the characters shoes and think about what I would do if I were them xD All of what you've mentioned makes perfect sense of course, though!
Ahh that description took me aggeeesss to get right it seemed! I wanted the reader to be able to picture them perfectly and yet not make it dull, you know? So I'm glad that was something that worked out well!
Ehehehe... I think I was guilty of this in the original version as well, to be honest... It's always something I have an issue with. Instead of making it the proper thought process of the character's point of view that I'm writing in, I think of how my readers NEED a description now dammit! xD Yeah, the point there was she didn't notice anyone else was in that compartment (although an empty compartment, again, is probably quite unlikely unless Mean 'ol Scorpius scared all the others away! xP) But I really like the suggestion about him being hidden by his trunk! That could really work!
I think I'll reword the sentence about Scorpius caring more about her being single than he does for her happiness. Although flaws are good to have in a character, that's not really one I'd like Scorpius to have, to be honest. That's really one of the things he's got going for him! He genuinely cares about Rose so much he'd do anything to make her happy.
I'm glad the rest was good! However, it's really important to me to get conversations and interactions (especially between two main characters) written right, because I think that's essential to any story, but honestly, especially mine since it's a lot of relationships that drive the story. (but hopefully in a good way!) I will try to get detail down more in the next chapter for sure!
Speaking of the next chapter, I think I had about half of it written before I entered your challenge, but I'm planning on revising tons of it. I hope that's alright! And I'm also trying my hardest to get it in the queue before the deadline (esp. since the next day is NaNo, but if I don't, is it okay to PM you anyway for the link? I don't expect to win or anything of the sort or even be considered for the challenge, but I would love for you to see that I took the advice you took a long while in thinking out for me and that it wasn't a complete waste of your time!
Thank you so so much for such an in-depth review! This was an amazing idea for a challenge-- so creative and exactly what I needed for this story!
Hello dear! First of all, I am extremely sorry for the RIDICULOUS amount of time it has taken me to get over here and read and review this! I really hope this review can make up for it!!
This is absolutely amazing. It flowed perfectly, and I found myself leaning closer and closer to the screen as the chapter progressed... it was very intense and emotional. I think you transitioned between Scorpius' and Rose's points-of-view flawlessly, and I love how Scorpius' feelings for Rose are made clear without him actually saying or thinking 'I love her'.
Your characterization was flawless here as well, and I LOVED the fact that Dominique was a boy and Lorcan was a girl. It kind of threw me off at first, I thought it might have been a typo... but as I continued reading and re-read the sentences I understood and nodded my head and smiled; this is the FIRST story I've ever read with Dom and Lorcan's sexes opposite and I think it's fantastic. So HUGE kudos to you for originality!
I also loved how Rose and Scorpius' personalities have been made clear through their interactions with others and their thoughts. For example, it shows a great deal about Scorpius when he thinks of his fights with his father over his fascination with Muggle artifacts and hobbies, and it shows a great deal about Rose that she's still able to come up with a smart comeback to Scorpius while crying. You didn't actually have to come out and say, "Scorpius is strong-willed and refuses to change who he is to bend to his father's wishes", because that was shown through the narrative. Being able to do that (give away clues like that, I mean) is the mark of a great writer - and you did it perfectly.
In fact, everything about this chapter was perfect! You've created enough suspense to keep the readers wondering what could possibly have happened to poor Rose, and what's going on with the flower dreams, as well as what sort of connection there is/was/will be between Scorpius and Rose. This is the perfect way to start this story; readers will keep hanging on the edge of their seats, waiting for more.
This truly is amazing, outstanding, fabulous, perfect... and a bunch of other words synonymous with AWESOME! And once again, this story is going in my favorites!! :P Well done, and I can't WAIT for more!! And again, I'm really sorry it's taken me this long to do this!Author's Response: JAYDE! *glomps!* Sorry I have been so awfully dreadful and such a bad author by not responding to this review until like two months after you left it!! D: I'll have to leave you a comment on the forums after I'm done so you know I did it :P
Anyway, as a fan of the original story, I'm SO glad you like the first chapter of the re-write. I'm really liking how I've characterized Rose and Scorpius this time around because I don't think it's nearly as cliche as it used to be, hehe :P I've read so many of the pairing now that I know what NOT to write! AND I got rid of that awful Dominique/Scorpius/Rose triangle... yeesh!
Also, hee-hee, I absolutely loved switching their genders around! I just didn't want to make it the same as the original story which to me meant giving Rose a different best friend, which definitely threw the dynamic of the story off, but I think in a good way! Also, I never read fics about Lorcan or the twins in general, they're quite underrated for Next Gen characters! But anywho, I'm glad you like the switch as well! :D
Haha, that line of "Scorpius is strong-willed...etc." made me laugh! It's sad because I'm almost positive the original had issues with me doing things like that! Thank goodness for improving on writing skills, eh? ;)
I know it's a little anti-climatic for you as you basically know what's going to happen for a bit, but I do hope that you stick with this version because there are going to be some twists and turns that weren't in the first version, AND I actually plan on completing this version! I've already grown attached to writing it and the new characters I've created! xD I'm in the midst of writing Chapter Two now, even though it has taken me so awfully long and hope to get it in the queue after all this Task One business is finished with so there will be an update SOON! (RL-willing ;))
Thanks again for the amazing review, it made my day to read it! Definitely has given me new zest to keep writing the story! (I would, even if you were the only person reading it haha!)
Hey! Thanks for the swap! :)
I really like your imagery in this piece, particularly the beginning part with the flowers. I thought it was a unique way to describe Rose's tortured feelings. I also liked the way you alternated Rose's point of view with Scorpius's point of view. It never got confusing for me and it was nice to let both of them tell the story of their failed friendship together.
The flow and pacing is good, and you've created some degree of suspense as far as why Rose is acting so strangely and the question of if she and Scorpius will ever be friends again. I think this chapter was a good setup for the rest of the story without losing plot interest, which can be hard to accomplish.
Nicely done! :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hey thanks for the lovely review! Sorry it took me so dreadfully long (at least for me) to get back to this!
I'm glad you said that. Imagery and descriptions are things I'm constantly trying to work on and make better so I'm glad it produced the desired effects! And yes, the switching off for POV will be hard to continue, but I think it's almost a nice break for me too, because the original version of this was just solely in Rose's POV.
I'm glad it kept your interest throughout-- that was another thing I needed to fix for this rewrite! Again, thanks for the lovely review! :)
~VioletBlade Report Review
I really enjoyed this, but I really want to know what happened to her, I am so curious!
I really enjoyed how you wrote this, I could really feel her pain.
It's really different, seeing Dominique as a boy, as I have always pictured her/him as a girl :P
And the same with Lorcan Scamander, I always pictured him/her a guy :P
But I like seeing how you believe the next generation goes, because we all have our own opinions on age/gender.
I really want to know what happened between Scorpius and Rose, with what happened to make them stop being friends!
I really like this, really interesting(:
XxxxAuthor's Response: Thank you for the lovely review! (: I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, I was trying to branch out with Lorcan being a girl and Dominique being a guy, actually, so I've never tried that before! Thanks again!
~VioletBlade Report Review
Okay, so I saw you put this as an update and thought, why not. I've got time to spare. So I read it.
I am sooo confused right now. Not in a bad way though. I am confused in the way that makes me want to read more. I really want to know what really happened between Scorpius and Rose. Also, I loved that they were both in Ravenclaw, and not the typical Gryffindor/Slytherin.
Just so you know, I like Dominique as a guy and Lorcan as as girl. I think it's unusual.
Cannot wait to read more...just to put my hurting head at ease. =]Author's Response: I'm so happy that you did! It really made my day that you were so sweet and took the time to just review because you could! (I want to be more like that, honestly! And I do try, but it doesn't happen as often as I'd like, I'm afraid!)
Haha, well I'm glad your confusion isn't of the bad variety! :) And yes, I was really trying hard on adding unique touches to the much cliched pairing of Rose/Scorpius. Making Dom a guy was one of the ways I did that, as my previous novel with the same plot (generally speaking) had the cliched love triangle with Rose/Dom/Scorpius and I was afraid of writing that again so voila! Guy Dom! :P
I hope to update this within the month! I do try and update each of my WIPs once a month! (:
Thanks for the super sweet review! :D
~VioletBlade Report Review
Hey! Here with my review for you. First and foremost, I have to say that first bit of the story was killer. Seriously. You have a way with words some of us (okay, mainly me) could only dream about. I'm not one for liking first person, let alone first person present tense, stories but this was pretty good.
I almost wish that this was a full story already, because I would probably keep reading right now (even though I have things to do, so thanks). I want to know what was going on before. I need to know what happened to Scorpius and Rose.. I just wan to know everything and anything. But... I need to be patient.
I like that you've had Rose cut her hair.. In ever story I've read with her in it she's always got long, flowing red hair and it is a welcome change. Also, Scorpius' eyes are excellent too. Never expected them to be brown.
As for the other characters: Dom being a guy? It's neat, different. Lorcan as a girl? Also neat. I have to be honest, it has been a while since I was into Next-gens so I can't be an expert on it right now but still I know good stories and this is an excellent start.
I'll be watching for updates. (:
BrittaniqueAuthor's Response: Aww, you are so sweet! (: Yeah, I don't really know why I wrote it first person-present tense POV, but the old version of this was written that way as well. I think it's more effective for action-y stories and ones that are focused on just a few characters, but other than that it gets a bit iffy for me as well! I'm really glad to hear the first bit grabbed you; making sure it kept my readers captive throughout the chapter was something big I wanted to focus on! (:
Haha, well, you're welcome! I haven't even started Chapter Two yet, but I am going to make myself soon, I swear! (That's a lie, I've started, but it's only like 300 words so far!) :P And I'm seriously glad to hear you would have been intrigued enough to keep reading because that's something the original... well, rather lacked. It started off well (apparently) but then excitement and interest dwindled after that so it needed to be rewritten haha!
I know! That was partly inspired my own life, haha, because I just did a 10 inch cut off of my own hair and have never gone as short as I did ever before. But I was just looking for other ways to make the story unique so I'm glad that it worked! :P
Yeahh, I was experimenting with that! I have never written them that way before! I usually completely try to write everything completely canon, but this story begged for me to stretch the bounds a little, since it has a little more of non-canon stuff in it, as well. However, it IS next-generation, so a lot can be interpreted, I feel like, how you want as a writer, which is what I did! (:
Thanks for the awesome and lovely review! Really brightened up my day!
~VioletBlade Report Review
I really enjoyed this. I don't read many next-generation stories but that didn't stop me from enjoying your story. I love the way that you wrote this from both Rose's and Scorpius' point of view (that doesn't happen very often) I also liked how you wrote this when clearly they had history, often in stories they start the story from when they first meet. This was original (at least from what I've read)
I didn't pick up any grammatical mistakes which really pleased me :) Can I also just say the first line really grabbed my attention.
Great story and good luck with the rest of your story!
JasAuthor's Response: Thank you! :) Yes, I wanted to try that out... I'm not entirely sure if it was successful *laughs* but I hope at least that it wasn't *too* confusing! And you're right, it doesn't happen very often! And in the first draft of this novel (which had eight chapters up on the site) they didn't have any history except constant bickering (like you see in all those cliche stories) and I knew that had to go! :P
Thanks! I'm glad the first line grabbed you! I wanted to make sure that kind of continued throughout the chapter, not like the excitement dwindles down, but that there's enough suspense that you aren't let down. That was one of my main focuses for this chapter!
~VioletBlade Report Review
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