Reading Reviews for Pretty How Town
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by DumbledoresArmyOfOne Autumn

30th September 2012:
oh. well. I'm not quite sure what i'm going to write, but i KNOW that I have to leave a review.
This was... glorious.
i've read this poem several times, and I think i get it more and more after each read. But you, you seem to get it inside and out.
Caradoc and Rosmerta? Who would have thought that such a strange pairing could be this perfect?
I love what you say about caradoc: about the anonymity that seems to come from fame. And about Rosmerta, who is invisible because everyone sees her.
There is so much insight and beautiful writing in this, it actually took my breath away for a moment. At first, the dialogue surprised me: it seemed a bit out of place, but after re-reading, it actually flows beautifully with the rest of the story.
There's not much else I can say, and nothing I can critique,
so thank you for writing this beautiful story!

Author's Response: Oh my goodness! This review caught me really off gaurd (in a good way of course). It thrills me to goodness that you have read this more than once, and even more that you took the time to read the poem. I knew going into this little story that I wanted to use Rosmerta... my choice of Caradoc was based largely on a fic I read a long time ago called Ripples by Margravine in which she placed Caradoc in Slytherin. A slytherin member of the OotP was just what this story called for. :P I do think I know what you mean, the dialogue is a bit jolting from the rhythm of the piece, but I'm glad you think it works! I still have mixed feelings about it. There are three more chapters of this story left to go that will explore other passages of the poem that I hope to get around to posting someday. :P

Thank you so much for this lovely review!

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Review #2, by Indigo Seas Autumn

21st July 2012:
Lovely, you need to get published right now. No, honestly, I need you to bundle your writing with twine and send it to the nearest publishing house, and then make millions of dollars off of what are sure to be huge successes in the literary world.

Because not everybody (and I'll amend my statement to "practically nobody") can write like you. And, simply, I think it is some of the most fluid and beautiful and stylistically original writing I have seen.

Please, please send this to someone. Anyone. I need you to get rich off your novel sales and then send me a check in the mail saying, "because you told me to!"

xx Rin

Author's Response: RIN!RIN!RIN!

omggg. this review, like how am I even supposed to begin responding to this?? You are far, far too kind to me, but I appreciate your loveliness nonetheless. :) I think I have a strange subconcious block against letting me write OF but it's definietly something I'd like to try someday.

Thank you so much, you wonderful person, you.


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Review #3, by DarkLadyofSlytherin Autumn

15th July 2012:
Bam! Right from the get go you had me wondering who the barmaid was talking to, and who she was too. When you listed off who the patron was associated with, I tried to think of everyone who it might be. Let me tell you, I was no where near close. Why? Because I didn't even think to guess about half the characters, to be quite honest. And most certainly not the ones you've chosen. However, that being said, I absolutely love that this is about Rosmerta and Caradoc.

Given that you've written this in a style not at all like your norm, I'll give you credit for writing it this way all the same. I think the style gives the story an air of mystery. Something for us to look forward to. It works well with the plot, and I think you've done excellent with it.

It should be interesting to see where you go with this. Good luck!

Author's Response: Hey, Len!

See...I think that the beautiful thing about this story is that it can really be about any two characters. To refer back to ee cummings' poem, they really are nobody and anybody... So the fact that you spend the entire chapter wondering who they are makes me wonder if I missed my mark. Their identity isn't what's important in the slightest.

Also, I feel like you giving me credit soley because this story is a bit out of my normal writing style is a bit of a discredit to the story itself. Mystery is not my intent here, so again, I'll have to revisit this.

Thank you for your review.

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Review #4, by Aiedail Autumn

11th July 2012:
kay. you keep doing this to me! this is your requested review but i am afraid that is not going to make it magically mature or professional, SORRY ♥

your areas of concern are use of parenthesis and "anyone" vs "no one." i will answer these before i blubber on forever. which i will. and i know you can believe this.

first of all, the parenthesis are something that i have seen other people experiment with before and to be quite candid, have done so with less effect and less success. because so much of what one finds in parenthesis in cummings's work, i had a good expectation about how you would be using yours and i am not at all disappointed. generally speaking in poetry and in cummings's specifically is that when something is in parenthesis it isn't because this is an afterthought or something that the sentence felt like it needed to fit but for which it did not have room. no, the parenthesis in a poem open up the lines preceding, they usually break down or reflect upon the argument there, and change it, and make it different, a bit discordant or illuminating. your use of them here is doing that. as an example i will analyze this paragraph:

But you are merely a barmaid, they remind you. (their stern faces speak to your intrusion) You have hung around the pub long enough to know your role, and flies on the wall should not speak or prance about in fine gowns. Unless there are empty mugs to fill with ale or bruised prides to nurse with a flattering grin, unless there are grumbling stomachs in need of a hot supper or broken hearts in need of empathetic ears, you are no one to them.

firstly, and i have said this before, but nobody else whose work i am in the habit of reading on this site makes me believe the impossible image the way that you make me believe it. their faces are speaking, and when i read that i not only have an appreciation for the sparseness and richness of that language, but i also have a clear picture of the imagery. that is beautiful. similarly, what is in parenthesis here is really informing the rest of the paragraph and because of that there's this tension there, between what we accept as the role of the parenthesis--what is inside is an aside--and what it is actually doing, which is the point i'm making, because your parenthesis are doing work. you list off the ways, and they are numerous, that rosmerta is needed, but we know that the people whose aid she delivers do not appreciate this and the great irony of this situation is lost to them, and that they're doing more than being ignorant but they're actually affronted by her. it makes me smile, pessimist, literary student that i am. (and, of course, i am not blind to the punctuation or, lack thereof, within these parenthesis.)

as to your second query: i understand anybody and no one because i'm familiar with cummings' word play, and that you're using these words as names instead of what they mean detached from a persona. it makes sense, and the way that you're using the lines of the actual poem are taking on a different meaning in light of this story. i keep thinking of the lines of the poem, "one day anyone died i guess (and nobody stooped to kiss his face)" and hoping that you will touch on this in a later chapter.

so basically, here are my ending thoughts: your imagery is spectacular, as per usual, your fluff is the only fluff for me, as per usual, your writing is smart and precise and still dreamy, as per usual, and this, more than others of your stories, really reads like a poem.

i love this. and i think you are an amazing writer. ♥

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Review #5, by RosieQueen Autumn

10th July 2012:
It's Rosie from the blue vs bronze review battle! :)

This was such a sweet, fluffy one-shot! I loved how this was written, and I adored your word choice. The description was amazing, and I loved how you conveyed the mood.

I also liked how the way it was written was similar to the quote from Little How Town. You know, with the parenthesis.

It was nice to learn more about Rosmerta, who is a very minor character. I really enjoyed reading this. :)


Author's Response: Baww. Thank you so much for your kind words. I know that this hasn't been updated recently, but it is intended to be a short, four chaptered short story!! It's great to hear that the parentheticals resemble the structure of the poem. That was one of my goals from the outset of this project.

Again, thank youuu!

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Review #6, by Cavell Autumn

5th July 2012:
Hey, it's me again! (ahaha, I can't believe I managed to live to the day I would say that) I love this one-shot of yours. I haven't heard of the poem (I wish I had) but this was a lovely read and just so different from your usual style. It has that floaty, lofty air about it, and your descriptions were amazing o.O I don't know how you do it, honestly, and I adored Caradoc and Rosmerta - two of the most minor characters the HP world has to offer, but you pulled them off perfectly. Another brilliant one-shot you've got under your belt, I say ;)

~ Linn

Author's Response: Hey! lol. It's always good to see a review from you!! :)

It's good to know that you were able to enjoy this despite not being familar with the poem. Whenever you get a chance, you should definitely look it up and give it a read! It's so good. It's very excited to hear that this is different from my usual style (whatever that is :P ) And alas, you can read more of this story if you'd like, since this isn't a one shot. It'll be a four chaptered short story. :)

Thanks again!

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Review #7, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Autumn

5th July 2012:
Wow. This is the first time I've ever read either character and you've made me love them completely.

I kinda just wanna hug Caradoc and tell him I'd talk to him.

This was amazingly well written, the way you described the scene and I really liked that we got to read through Rosmerta's eyes.



Author's Response: Hey Sam!

Thank you so much for this review! Yeah, Caradoc is sort of a babe. :P Your compliements are very kind and I appreciate them.


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Review #8, by Jchrissy Autumn

2nd July 2012:
Okay. Iím not sure how to review this, to be honest. But thatís because of how very good it was. I usually take things paragraph by paragraph, commenting on anything important I notice. Iíll point out my favorite bits.. but I canít really do any of that with is. Itís all so amazing and wonderfully described that I wouldnít know where to begin.

I have always wondered about the barmaid, so it was really fun to read something involving her. I love the way you have it so brutally honest as to how she is treating. She a confident to those who are drowning their sorrows, and a simple pest that best be seen not heard to those that donít need a friendly shoulder.

You have such a poetic style in this and I really love it. The way the words roll together and make more of stanzas than paragraphs, itís wonderful. You do an amazing job at making it clear as to what character is doing what, so I can picture it all in my head.

Honestly, I donít know enough yet to comment on the plot. Thatís completely fine and not meant to be an insult, itís only the first chapter and this is very foreign territory, so I just donít know how to accurately comment on a plot. Ya know?

The writing style immediately took me back a hundred years. It was such an amazing feeling being brought through time to this town of gossip, where ladies walk about in overly large dresses and men are donning their carriages. Iím not sure if Iím even supposed to be in this time frame.. but I am! haha!

This really interested me in your writing style, I am more than open to a swap any time, actually Iíll probably just get curious and read your writings anyway because I can see you truly have a talent with words.

Great job, darling!

Author's Response: Oh my goodness.

This review! I'm literally at a loss for how to respond. I'm thrilled that you described the format of this as almost having stanza's. It was inspired (and is loosely based on the plot of) by ee cummings' poem Pretty How Town, and I tried really hard to bring a sort of poetic feel to the narrative. I can assure you that not all of my writing reads this way, seeing as this was a very deliberate style choice. I'm so flabberghasted by your kind words!! And now I'm feeling self concious about the review I left for you!

Ah, I think your mind took you back a bit further than I intended, but honestly, the story is universal and can really be applied to any generation. This takes place in the early 70's when the first Order of the Pheonix began forming. But reading Harry Potter, I always got a feel that walking into a magical establishment was a bit like stepping back in time.

Gah, I could ramble all day, so I'll just end my response here and say, I am sincerely grateful for your kind and encouraging words. :) Thank you so much! I plan on reading more of your stories in the future too!


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Review #9, by forsakenphoenix Autumn

27th June 2012:
Oh, Mel, this is so, so pretty. That whole first paragraph - oh my god, there are no words to describe how beautiful it is, the way you've described Dearborn. The Slytherin who runs around with the revolutionaries (and what a beautiful word to describe them, I love it). The idea of him suckling from the breast of the heavens - just that whole pedestal they seem to put him on, and Rosmerta's casual observation about how normal he is - how he drinks the same ale and eats the same food. It's all kinds of perfect. I especially love that bit you had showed me before you posted - the entire description of the ale.

All the ways you've opened up Rosmerta to us too was wonderful. It's interesting to see how no one seems to care she's there unless she's need, but Dearborn, he notices her and he's all like, "Anyone would be lucky to talk to you." *swoons*

Your descriptions here are phenomenal. So well-written and I'm going to be so repetitive and telling you how beautiful it is, but I honestly can't get over it. You need to write more like this, I think.

Their introduction was sweet, with a hint of promise. I can't wait to read more. So, so good. I love it and I'm sorry I didn't review this sooner.

Author's Response: Missy!

I know you love your poetry, so I was very anxious to hear your thoughts on this first chapter. I definitely tried to adopt a specific style with this piece with the second person and the present tense and all, and so it's wonderful to hear that it worked out!! I'm glad you think that I managed to portray Rosmerta's character here too! I worried that I had placed too much focus on Dearborn and left her to the wayside... but then again... that is sort of how she is. I don't think she notices herself, if that makes sense.

Anyway, thank you so, so much for reading this and for taking the time to leave this lovely review!! I really appreciate it.


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Review #10, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Autumn

19th June 2012:
Hey there! It's Deeds here with your requested review. I'm excited to read a new story of yours so let's get started! So you didn't write anything for 'areas of concern' so I guess you just want a general review? I hope that's okay with you!

Slytherin, of blood so pure rumour says it runs clear through his arteries and veins, who trounces around with the likes of Bones, Vance and the Prewetts.

^ This section really caught my attention. I love the description and the imagery right here of the 'clear' arteries and veins. I also really like the way you end the first paragraph because if I didnít know you were talking about Rosemetra I would still think it's someone who works in a pub/bar or a restaurant of some sort, wiping down the tables and having to begrudgingly listen to patrons talk on and on.

You have hung around the pub long enough to know your role, and flies on the wall should not speak or prance about in fine gowns. Unless there are empty mugs to fill with ale or bruised prides to nurse with a flattering grin, unless there are grumbling stomachs in need of a hot supper or broken hearts in need of empathetic ears, you are no one to them.

I really just want to copy and paste everything and tell you how much I adore each part but I have to pick and choose or else I won't have enough room at the end. This description you have going on in this story is really something else. I like how you paint the picture for us, it kind of shifts here and there into this dream-like world of hers and then back to reality again but itís very subtle.

I think you also put us into the mentality of what it is like to be a barmaid. You have the whole fly on the wall aspect, someone that really doesnít matter to them down. It's actually quite sad because it's the truth. I think it's like that when you go anywhere where they serve you. The server says their name, asks you if you need anything or what and you just forget the name, forget the face, don't really care because the person who is serving you changes each time and even if they don't change they are just there.

No one wants to talk to him. Anyone would be lucky to talk to you.

I enjoyed their conversation though it was very fleeting and not much. I feel like you showed us who the characters were in that small interaction. I think you have a great beginning to a very interesting story.

The pairing is one I have never read before and I love it when I come across pairings or characters I would have never gave a second thought too. I also think stylistically this might be different for you but you're doing a fantastic job so far.

Thanks so much for requesting! If you have any questions/concerns feel free to PM me.

- Deeds/Alyssa

Author's Response: Hey!

I always love reading your reviews. They are always so helpful and encouraging!

Oooh! I do like that passage you picked out from the first paragraph. I think you may be the first person who has commented on it. We don't know much about Caradoc in canon, so it was sort of fun to craft his character here. I reckon that Sirius cannot be the first person from pureblood lines who was opposed to You-Know-Who's reign, and it was interesting for me to have someone from slytherin house.

Ah! I'm glad you were able to get into Rosmerta's shoes or head or whatever. I have worked in the food industry and so I was able to draw some of her views from my personal experience.

The parallels that I made between Caradoc being anyone and Rosmerta being no one are inspired by the notation within ee cummings' poem that this was inspired by. If you've never read it, you really should. Tis brilliant!!

Anyway, thank you so, so much!

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Review #11, by academica Autumn

17th June 2012:
Hey Mel! I'm here with your requested review :)

I loved your use of second person - I think it's particularly effective when you're trying to emphasize how 'normal' a character is, because I think a lot of people can identify with being just an employee around clients or customers at work. I think the present tense works, too, because it put me in the mindset of the busy everyday atmosphere of the average pub.

The only things I noticed in this that could potentially be improved are the names. I think Rosemerta is actually spelled without the first 'e', and you put an extra 'a' in Salazar, although that might have been an attempt to mimic an accent.

I love your characterization of Rosmerta - in canon, I always got the impression that she was kind of tough and confident, and I like seeing a more vulnerable side here with the realization that she's just a 'fly on the wall'. I also like Caradoc - he seems like he has some fight in him, which I like.

I liked your imagery, especially the way you described the staleness of everyday life at the pub. I thought the piece flowed nicely, and I liked your writing style a lot. It just seems very natural and easy. I really enjoyed this, so feel free to re-request.

Great job, and I hope this review was helpful :)


Author's Response: Hey, Amanda!

Thank you so much for this review! I really appreciate hearing feedback from you. Ah. Second person and present tense... both are so foreign to me, but I'm glad that they seemed to suit this piece. It was challenging to balance description and still keep with the rhythm of the piece.

I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter and will most likely rerequest in the future. Thank you so much!

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Review #12, by charlottetrips Autumn

17th June 2012:
Ooh, this was different. GOOD different. I'm not a poetry type of person and so was a bit confuzzled with the first two lines but once I got into the rhythm of the story, I really got into the rhythm! I appreciate this style.

There are times when I read a story and honestly kind of skim over it, not skim-skim but read it quickly, meaning not really reading each word. (God, I hope that doesn't make me sound like an awful reader because I'm not really.) Your story had me savoring the words. I wanted to read each line to really get what you were trying to say. It's not that the way you wrote it was confusing, it's that the story was just so worth reading.

The moment when Caradoc actually spoke to Rosemerta was so filled with heightened emotion that I was sitting over here feeling a bit giggly at the whole exchange. And the whole, "Anyone would be lucky to talk to you" bit had my heart melting.

I liked how you couched the judgments that the other patrons of the bar would lay on the line about Rosemerta and about Caradoc and how she knew but didn't really care. A barmaid, to me, would be pretty observant, like she wouldn't be able to help but be that way at all.

Anyway, I think I've blabbered on enough about this awesome story. Thank you so much for deciding to branch out and try this style. It was great to read!

Author's Response: ooh! Hey!

Good different is an excellet compliment, so thank you!! I hope this doesn't sound egotistical, but when I wrote this I literally deliberated over word choice so much. I'm glad that you savored the words!! I really wanted to mimic a sort of poetical feel in this.

Thank you so, so much!!

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Review #13, by Aderyn Autumn

13th June 2012:
Review tag!

This is a lovely piece. I think the style of it is beautiful! It's in second person, which I think is hard to do right, but you manage it well here. What Rosemerta is thinking is all the more clear and relate-able because of it.

I love the first paragraph especially. It creates wonderful imagery for what Rosemerta has heard about Dearborn and it tells us so much about her character and how she sees herself. I also think that including the phrases in parentheses really enhances this piece. It's almost as if they are more personal thoughts than the rest of the story, though that's just me guessing.

From reading the snippet of the poem at the beginning, I see where you get your inspiration. I really liked that quote and it's mood and style are apparent in this, though you've made this story your own.

I'm so glad that I got to read this! I love stylized pieces. They can be so poetic and a nice contrast to other pieces, because they're so lyrical.

Author's Response: Oooh. Tag much appreciated!

I was feeling really cramped with the narrative style of WAT and have been looking to do something more stylistic for a while. So this was a bit of an experiment. oooh!! That's an interesting assessment of the parentheticals. I actally suppose in part there are a more private bit of narrative, but I initially started using them to mimic the style of ee cummings' narrative in his poem. BUT YOUR THEORY SOUNDS WAY COOLER. I may adopt it. :P

Thank you so much for this review! I hope you'll continue reading when the next chapter goes up.

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Review #14, by TenthWeasley Autumn

13th June 2012:
Mel, I told you when you showed me a snippet of this that is was gorgeous. And guess what? It's STILL gorgeous. ♥ You need to write stylistic things more often -- this is inspired by a poem and is a poem, all on its own. I'm already eagerly anticipating the second chapter. :D

I love the characterizations you've given to two minor characters -- so different from how I wrote them both in ITR and that makes them even more enjoyable! And you tied it into the 'anyone' and the 'no one' splendidly.

And your parentheticals! I detest them when they're used to a poor advantage, and yet they were my favorite part of this story because they contributed so well to the plot. I think they gave it a depth it might not have had otherwise; truly brilliant stuff, Mel. :D

Favorite bit: He drinks the same ale Ė a harvest blend, spiced with a hint of pumpkin Ė and eats the same bread as they do. He is not adorned in gold leafing, nor carved from some rare, ancient stone. -- There are such warm feelings that emerge from how you wrote that. Warm, autumnal feelings. It's so gorgeous!

Such lovely writing! Such beautiful descriptions! I am in perpetual awe and shall be keeping my eyes open for chapter two. :3 Write on, says I! ♥

Author's Response: THIS REVIEW. √ʬô¬•√ʬô¬•√ʬô¬•

I love writing stylistic things, true story. But I can't let myself write them too often or I'd make like zero progress with anything. You know how slowly I write (my blisteringly sluggish word race pace ring any bells?) normal narrative... well stylized narrative is like even slower. -woe-

It is /such/ a relief to hear that you like the usage of anyone and no one. Literally, everytime I needed to use no one it necessitated a double negative and I didn't know if I wanted to take that stylized risk and urgh. I had to play with those bits for a long time. I'M HUGGING YOUR COMPLIMENTS AND NOT SHARING THEM EVER. √ʬô¬•

I really don't typically use parentheticals, and don't really like to... I'm much more of a dash sort of person... but I wanted to mimic the style of ee cummings' writing a bit and so parentheticals it was.

Chapter two will be posted next week sometime... maybe sooner... we'll see how my will power holds out. :P

Anyway... thank you so much, Rachel. I really admire your writing and seeing your compliments here makes me so very happy.


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Review #15, by Toujours Padfoot Autumn

13th June 2012:
Mel! This is so gorgeous!

I remember you saying a few times that you were itching to write something more stylistic, and this was just the perfect way to do so. Your diction was just hnnnggg. So jealous. It's so hard to narrow down my favorite lines, but I think that these are the top three of my faves:

Neither of you are a somebody - a part of the plural third - you are anyone and no one.

"Rosemerta," he says drawing the syllables out and swilling them around his mouth like a wine too fine to be served at pub such as this.

You are no longer your secret's lone confidant, and his understanding wraps you like two warm arms.

Arghh the imagery and the language and the gahhh, green with envy. You worded it so perfectly. And the tense of the story, and the characters involved, and the setting in the pub with the heels of bread and the ale and the mysterious man who comes in with his seven knuts - it's just so fab. It's so different from Luna and With All Things, but it's still you and I love it, of course.

Author's Response: Sarah!!

I'm like dancing in my seat answering all of these reviews from you. Please take my offering of brownies and puppies and coffee to make up for how long some of your reviews have been waiting to be answered.

Heee. I do complain a lot. But this was a good outlet for my writing, and I'm very glad I started working on this when I did. oooh!! One of the lines that you picked out is my favorite, too, but I shan't tell you which one at the risk of sounding egotistical. :P

I'm sort of pleased you commented on the diction. I know you read all my WIPs and to hear that this sounds distinctly different from Luna is marvelous. I love me writing description, and so I always feel at risk of going over board etc etc.

Anyway... Thank you so much for this lovely review and for reading this right after I posted it and for everything. You're an amazing writer and your support of my stuff means so, so much to me. √ʬô¬•

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