Hey there, it's Missy from TGS. I just want to apologize for taking forever to get to your story. I honestly have no excuse so I hope that you can forgive me.
I really enjoyed the first chapter of this story. It went by really fast! I was impressed at how much you've packed into one chapter and while ~3000 words isn't all that much, I was definitely surprised when I got to the end of the chapter.
Your introductions to your characters was really great. I love that you use Lysander! He's quickly becoming one of my favorite Next Gen characters and I really loved how you depicted him here. He has such an easy rapport with Harry and he's obviously been friends and then partners with Lily for so long that their interactions are just so natural and realistic. It's so cute how nervous he is about proposing and I loved that Harry was telling him about his own concerns when proposing to Ginny. I think it's great that they have such a good relationship that he could go to Harry for advice and all that.
I love how sweet and romantic the scene at the alcove was but I also enjoyed how you sort of tossed them into this adventure first thing. You've given us an idea of how much they love traveling and exploring new and exciting things.
You had me all keyed up at the altar scene and I was a little panicked when Lysander couldn't see what Lily could, wondering what was going on. I forgot, based on your summary, that Lily is the one that's cursed because I thought for a moment that when Lysander cut himself and then all he could see was darkness, that something horrible was going to happen to him.
I think you did a great job balancing between description and plot, both which drove your story onward. You certainly have a very interesting and unique plot with this story and I'd love to be able to see where you take it.
I did notice a couple of grammatical errors but since it's unbeta'd, I'm not too concerned with them, especially because they didn't really detract from the story all that much.
Overall, this is a great story, Len, and I can only hope my review is adequate enough to make up for how horribly late it is. Sorry again! Report Review
Hey! This is Becca from TGS. It occured to me as I was reading that this is actually the first thing of yours that I've reviewed! I'll definitely have to rectify that in the future.
Firstly, I thought this was great. You have a really good writing style, that kind of zips along. It reads really well, and since I saw the word count was around 3000 words, I was quite surprised when it seemed to end so soon!
Your building up of suspense is also fantastic. I love this kind of story, and you definitely use your style to great effect in this one. The change in tone from romantic to more frightening could have been jarring, but you managed to make it feel really smooth, so well done! As well as that, the gradual build up of eerieness in the underwater caves was masterfully written. It was really, really good.
I also love the characterisation in this chapter. Even after a short time I get a really strong feel for Lysander's character. Lily slightly less so, but I have no doubt that will come in time. I love the references to their shared interests, and you seem to have found a way of writing them in which makes sure to emphasise theirlove of adventure but without it becoming overdone.
Their romance is really well written as well - it's just fluff, and good fluff at that, at least at the beginning. The perfect fit of them is cute, as are things like Lorcan wanting to show her his private cave. It just makes you want to squee, really. The last bit of it is a change in tone, and it really works. It gives the relationship more depth, if that makes sense. It really shows that he loves her, which is always good.
The one thing I think you could improve in is some of the dialogue. It's done really well in some places, such as the exchange at the cave door, but in others, the sentences are too long or you use words which may become contractions in ordinary speech. It's a minor thing, and easily fixed by reading the dialogue out loud to yourself.
Also, just little thing I noticed: 'What if she said no.' needs a question mark at the end.
Overall, however, I think you've done a great job on this first chapter. You pack an awful lot of information in, as well as establishing the characters and putting the pieces in place to continue the story. It really makes me want to read on. Good job!Author's Response: Would you believe I hate writing romance/fluff? To me, it is the hardest thing in the world to write. I found this incredibly difficult to sit down and do. However, I am glad to know it worked, because quite honestly, I'm no expert in writing romance. In my head, I'm pretty bad at it.
Dialogue is my biggest downfall. Sometimes I can get it perfect and other times it falls flat. I'll have to take a look and figure out how to fix the parts that fall flat. Thanks for pointing it out.
I'm glad you enjoyed the first chapter and I do hope you'll read more of my stuff, Becca. Thanks for the lovely review! Report Review
Agh, sorry this review took me so long. Road-tripping is not convenient with a laptop. ;)
ANYWAY, I cannot believe you've managed to fit all that you did into a single (first) chapter. I find that really impressive, actually. You've introduced your characters really effortlessly, and you've got a wonderful exposition going. I always think first chapters are hard - as a writer, you have to worry about so many things when writing. Setting, main characters, their relationship, how fast your plot is going to unfold... I think you've got a magnificent start here.
This also seems really well-planned. Maybe you're just someone who can sit down and write a chapter like this in a day, and that's great, but I'm definitely the kind that has to think about what I need to happen in it, etc. This appears to be really well-crafted, which is great even if you didn't sit down and plan like I do.
Your meshings of description and plot are really a marvel to me. I always, -always- have difficulty figuring out how to weave description in with what's actually happening in the chapter, and you've done it absolutely effortlessly.
Well done. I thought this was an excellent first chapter.
PS - I love that you used Lysander. I think he's under-utilized, just in general, in writing sometimes.Author's Response: Haha, write this chapter in one day? Yea, right. I wish. Sometimes I can do that, no problem. Other times (and most especially with this fic) it takes me weeks to figure out. Planning however, was not really included with this. I have vague ideas of where the plot should go and everything in between those points is pretty much up in the air.
First chapters are the worst. I hate them. They are so hard to write. How much do you include? How much back story? etc. always goes through my brain when I start a new story. This one I knew only one thing was supposed to happen (and it so didn't happen). But it was absolutely the most fun thing to write.
I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it, Rin. :) Thanks for the lovely review. Report Review
After reading many of your fics in the past I was really excited to start on this one, and as this is the first chapter I really hope you'll find my feedback helpful.
I loved the start of this chapter, the way you carried on the suspense about the proposal, before Harry mentioned it so casually. It really was super effective, and I actually grinned to myself when Harry mentioned how he proposed to Ginny - cutest ever! Through this I've got a really lovely image of Lysander - the fact that he wants to settle down and he's not nervous or awkward around Harry is really nice and really unique. I imagine he's quiet but bold, and he must really love Lily to do all of these things for her. Their relationship, too, is one of the things that struck me as being really genuine and realistic, even just through little things, like the way you allow them to respond to each other. Sure, drama is good, but sometimes it's comforting and perfect to have a couple so made for each other too.
I love the way too that right from the word go we're being plunged into this adventure, once we think it's going to be all fluffy romance! Both of them are so adventurous and keen, so I can tell that their characters are going to compliment the direction you choose to go wit this story. And eep, the strange cave/alter! I got a little freaked out while reading this. I know its a bit childish but I think I will always be scared of the dark, so to have both of them thrown into this creepy cave was pushing me to my limit, haha! But no, in all honesty it was really excited and so different to what I had expected. I do have some CC though, and that is that I kinda felt as though it needed a little more description about the staircase cave, and also maybe about the first cave too, and them swimming as well. It would have also have been awesome to linger a little longer on their moment on the beach together, because it would make their discovery all the more contrasting to the quiet, romantic evening Ly had planned! :D Without though, this is still a really strong first chapter, and I am really intrigued about what is to come!
Most of all though I loved the way you lured us into a false sense of security with the proposal, before, wham! adventure time :) As of right now I have a hold on the characters and what they are like, which is a fab place to leave me at before the next chapter, as well as the element of mystery wanting me to read more too :) Can't wait for more! Good luck with the update :)
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: OMG Laura! I love your reviews so much. They are always so full of detail and sometimes have me in a puddle from your gushing.
Let me tell you, that whole cave scene, SO NOT PLANNED. It really was supposed to be all fluffy and about the proposal but as I wrote, it became less and less likely that Lysander would have the opportunity to propose.
As for why there wasn't much description about the cave, well, to me, caves are all quite the same. But I can definitely see how adding here might add to the story. I just didn't want to bog down the reader with too many details as they could probably picture a cave and a staircase however they liked.
Anyway, as always, love the review! Report Review
This was awesome Len! And I love the banter you had between Lily and Lysander about whether to go into the cave or not. It was really cute. Can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve for this one! Report Review
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