Hi! I'm here for the review from the Gryffie common room! =)
Idea of writing about Astoria and Draco is interesting and I'm always intrigued to read more about them, as they rarely get spotlight in fanfiction.
You had plenty of plot material packed in such a small place that with a little extra writing this story could have just as well been a short story.
I did like the idea of Astoria being bookish and that you gave her and her family plenty of room to explain reasons to marry. She felt bit passive though and personally, I would have liked to hear more about Draco. It would have been fun to read how she felt when they first met and got to know each other.
What puzzles me most is that this story doesn't feel very contemporary. Your writing style, some of the word choices and the plot is pretty close to what I could expect from a Regency or Victorian era story.
I personally prefer the standard formatting for dialogue, since it makes reading easier. Now your dialogue kind of disappeared into the other text which made reading it more challenging. I was occasionally unsure whether the dialogue was spoken aloud or just Astoria's thoughts.
I noticed that you used lot of telling in this one-shot. Sometimes its more effective to show what people feel instead of telling. Just a food for thought. =)
All in all it was a nice one-shot to read and left me feeling like I would like to read more about the Malfoys. =)Author's Response: Thankyou so much for the review! :) A lot of people have said that, and I tried writing that scene, but it didn't work out so I left it at that.
I think so too. But could you imagine the pureblood society being contemporary? Arranged marriages aren't uncommon today in societies like those. The style of writing is like that to set the tone.
I realised that the whole italics thing is confusing, and I wanted to change it, but the whole story is just looking through Astoria's mind; her thoughts. I know that might not make sense, but everything is Astoria's thoughts and the way she sees it, so it's okay to not differentiate between her thoughts and the dialogue through her eyes.
Thankyou so much for the CC! I'll definitely be editing this piece soon.
hey there! It's Ac here finally coming around to review all these challenge entries - sorry it's taken a while, it's been much busier than I expected to be. Confusing all round, really.
This was really really great! I loved how crisp and nice the whole thing was, it was truly a pleasure to read and I'm really glad I got a chance to read this (I don't think I've read any of your writing before, and it was really nice).
The exploration of the belief was interesting too. I haven't read many things from this perspective and I like it - a sort of assumption that it'll be okay and then a complete silence following it that lasts for quite some time. Also, I liked the way we never really got to a proper resolution - just the beginning of a new relationship.
So, basically, I really like it! I think I've got two more stories to read and then I'll be posting the challenge entries :)
-ACAuthor's Response: That's alright, thankyou so much! :)
Yeah, I was distraught over the ending at first because it wasn't turning out right, but I managed in the end. I thought it would be too much to go on more, because it sort of felt finished leaving a few loose threads here and there.
Again, thankyou. I can't wait for the results! Report Review
Hey!! Her I am for your requested review. :)
First and foremost let me say that I adore stories that experiment with style and structure and atmosphere. This was a lovely little one one-shot that really seems as though it suits the central theme quite well!!
That being said, I'm not sure that the numbering system was quite as effective as it could be! (I mean this is the nicest way possible) The first scene, for example is introduced by a simple sentence -- this works WONDERFULLY and really sets that line apart from the scene that follows. Some of the scenes seem to lack this succinct lead in and instead start with normal narrative. I think that the short numbered scene style would be much more effective if you remained consistent with your structure.
That little bit of critique aside, I think that you did a brilliant job painting Astoria's characterization -- her tendency towards academics, her glasses, her passion for flowers and reading. Gah, it really was perfection. The relationship she has with her mother was well delineated as was her eventual relationship with draco. You painted a very sad, quaint picture of her life and it was gorgous.
I was really happy (despite this being an inherently sad story) when I got to the end and Astoria finally realized that she can learn to love this man who is her husband. Hope is an extremely powerful force and I'm so, so glad that this character that you've sculpted so beautifully now has it on her side.
-MelissaAuthor's Response: Wow, thankyou so much! :D
Aaah, I know. I keep editing it, and then un-editing it and then..well, it's all over the place. I sort of lost my muse slightly in the middle, which is why they're less effective. That aside though, I'm definitely working on fixing it.
Again, thankyou ^__^ I loved writing Astoria as well, it's extremely different from anything I've done before. Hope is definitely the best thing at times.
I really appreciate you taking your time out to review my story! Report Review
Hi! I'm here with your requested review :)
The first thing I noticed that I want to point out is the italics. While yes, it's used as an emphasis on certain words and parts I think it was a little bit too much. I was kind of confused because all of the dialogue was in italics with no quotation marks? (correct me if I'm wrong and she's just thinking those things; I guessed the first because the story is in present tense) I think if you changed that formatting it would be less distracting.
For me, though, that was the only thing that I noticed that disrupted my flow of reading, everything else between each of the numbers transitioned over well. It kind of reminds me of Alice in Wonderland! I don't know if that was your intentions at all but with the arranged marriage and life and her love of being in the garden it reminded me of that :) I think the pace was a little quick, but as this was formatted to be a small glimpse of everything I think it worked.
There were two places where I think you could expand on things a little. one was to maybe add a little bit is in between their first meeting. It went directly into the wedding and I thought that felt a little rushed.
The second place was the end. I was a little confused how it went from Draco wanting to meet up with Blaise, Blaise says the wrong thing, and that just makes her change her mind. I understand that it shows Astoria that Draco can protect her, but I think if you work on expanding how her feelings changed instead of just changing them it would flow a little smoother at the end.
I know you didn't mention this in your request but I want to commend you on your details, they're very beautiful descriptions! I got a great idea for her surroundings and I thought they were very well done.
I liked your characterization of Astoria. I have to admit I've only read a few Draco/Astoria stories but I've never read her characterized in this way and I think you have an interesting and original take on her. I also enjoyed your takes on Draco and Narcissa - especially dealing with the death of Lucius. I think it was very believable that Draco would take a lot of time to open up to someone, (arraigned) marriage or not.
The big thing I would look at is what I mentioned about the dialogue being in italics, but I think this was really neat and original! I've never read an arraigned marriage story before and I think you captured it with a certain respect and poise to make this a neat one-shot! Great work and good luck in your challenge!
-JulieAuthor's Response: Thankyou so much ^__^ I really appreciate this review!
I think I should change the dialogue part. I'll go over it, and edit as soon as the queue opens up.
Oh, I never looked at it that way actually! Funny how things work out. Now that you mention it though, it is very similar.
I tried writing their first meeting, and it just doesn't turn out the way I want it too. So far, everyone has told me to put something there. I'll try my best. I'm definitely expanding the ending though.
Thankyou :D For most scenes, I jot down every detail - including every object in the surroundings of the scene, so the descriptions work out well.
With Astoria, I just shaped her according to her experiences, and she became a very enjoyable character to write.
Thankyou so much again for the wonderful review! I'll fix everything and put in the edited version of this as soon as the queue reopens :) Report Review
I completely loved that! It was amazing.Author's Response: Thankyou :D Report Review
Ever here with your review!
Characterization: I adored this. I particularly liked Draco...he's just so Draco! I love it! I've never seen Astoria like this, but its definitely a nice breath of fresh air! She was so interesting to read and get to know!
Flow: I don't understand the numbers in front, but for the most part it was okay. Sometimes it was rather abrupt but it wasn't too distracting.
Pace: I think the pace was actually great for a story such as this! it wasn't incredibly fast so we got a good feel of the emotions! I was sad when it ended like that! The last line really made me want to know more, and see how they progressed.
I was in shock when Blaise said that. And I was cheering for Draco when he gave him a good ol shiner!
I enjoyed reading this, and it was very unique. I think Astoria's parents divorce was a nice touch to it, and it really affected her. I was a bit flabbergasted at first, to think of a pureblood divorce. I was like...well, I was just speechless. I've never seen that attempted at before, and its quite hard to pull off, but you did it well.
I think this was a great, quality story and a wonderful Draco/Astoria to read! It was quite fascinating! Good job! If you continue this or make a sequel, let me know(:
EverAuthor's Response: Thankyou so much! I loved writing Astoria, to be honest. It's enjoyable shaping her personality in such a close relation to her experiences.
The numbers are nothing really. They're in chronological order, representing chapter (or scene) numbers like you would have ordinarily in a story.
To understand why I ended it like that go ahead and listen to Taylor Swift's song, "Haunted". I heard it when I was in the middle of writing this story, and thus found inspiration where the title is concerned. It's not that similar to the story in the general sense, but you can relate to few parts. It ends on a cliffie as well, so I decided to end the story in a completed-but-not-so-completed way, with many loose threads that have a possibility of eventually tying together; depending on how you look at it.
Thanks again, I really appreciate the wonderful review Report Review
Tagging you from the review the person above you thread in the common room.
This was a really interesting take on Astoria as a person as well as her relationship with Draco, and I really enjoyed it. You have quite a talent for pace and progression. It always felt as though the next scene came along just as I had gotten my head around the one before it. I never felt rushed or bored.
Your characterization of Astoria as quiet, mousy and not especially girly was unique, and I liked it. Her relationship with her mother and sister was obviously not a pleasant one, although her father clearly adored her. I felt a little curious as to why he's no longer a part of her life. Did he simply leave after divorcing her mother?
I like the fact that Draco was attracted to her because she was different from the other pureblood debutantes. It fits nicely with the way I like to think of his character. This is the first part of the story where I would have loved to see you expand and elaborate. The first meeting between Draco and Astoria must have had some interesting moments, and I would love to know more about them.
Your portrayal of Malfoy Manor was rather haunting. This big, empty house where nobody speaks to anybody else, nor are they forced to. It sounds so impersonal. Draco and Astoria seem so damaged, which makes sense in the aftermath of the war and losing Lucius. Narcissa, in particular, comes off like a shell of a human being. It sounds as though she and Astoria never actually speak.
The process of Astoria gradually learning to open up to Draco was definitely the most interesting part of the story. I think the best constructive criticism I can offer you on that part is that the descriptions of Draco in the various moments you depict were pretty sparse. I'd love to know more about Astoria's impressions of his moods. What was his body language saying? What emotions did she see in his eyes? I think a bit more descriptiveness would go a long way in this section to help fill out the picture of how a very unnatural relationship gradually warms. Don't get me wrong, I really love the underlying concept of what you're doing. I'd just like to see more different aspects of it. It's like your sphere metaphor -- which I absolutely adored, by the way -- I want to see more sides of it!
Your writing was technically solid. No distracting typos of grammatical problems that I could see. You have a distinctive style that I find easy to read and pleasant. This was well done.Author's Response: Thankyou so much for this amazing review! I really appreciate it :) Yes, he left. That's basically why she misses the life she used to have because it was before her father left and disappointed her. Now she had no one to look up to. I'll definitely try and fix everything you've mentioned. Where Malfoy Manor is concerned though, that's exactly how I wanted it to be. Haunted. I'll edit the areas where Draco comes in though, you have a very valid point there. Again, thankyou so much! Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection