Hello there, dear! Happy Valentine's Day!
Being the strange person that I am, I chose the story written for the "Sad Story" challenge to read on the day of love. But the love in this story made up for that entirely, since we aren't just seeing romantic love, but also sibling love and parent love.
I loved how this story was written, with everybody getting their own private interview, their own chance of telling what happened and how the story comes to life through their tales, instead of it being remembered by Dominique. It's a very interesting writting style and it fit this story perfectly.
What I like in a story is getting something to think about. And this most certainly gave me something to think about. What would I do in her place? Knowing what fate awaits those I love? I guess it may vary from person to person, but I believe we make out own fate and if I ended up seeing it, it's for a reason and I'd tell them. Not now, but if I were in her shoes I'd go to my sister's house and tell her "Hey, get that carpet installed and stop being lazy." I guess it all depends on how people look at destiny and fate and what is to come. I for one do not think it is set in stone and the things to come are changing constantly due to our choices.
I have rambled enough, I loved this story, your writting is flawless, I have nothing to comment on that and you will be seeing me around soon enough!
RalAuthor's Response: RAL! XD Happy (belated) Valentine's Day to you, too! I'm so sorry for the lateness of this review; I intended to reply earlier but time just ran away from me. :3
Hehe, I don't mind at all! ;) Ahh, thank you! It's certainly unusually love-filled for something so angsty! :P
I originally wrote this story to be internal monologues of all the characters, but when I started on Dom's POV I got the idea for the Polyjuice and went back to change the story to the interview style it is now, and I'm glad you thought it fitted the story perfectly!
I agree with you here - indeed, when I was assigned the curse for the Cursed One Challenge I realized I wanted to put a different spin on the curse. - Victoire dies when she's elderly - will Dom be alive then? Will Victoire even listen to Dom? Or, if we think about PoA, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione not to alter history... what if Victoire is -meant- to trip over that carpet, and Dom stopping her means she alters history? What if Dom saves Victoire, only for Victoire to die a long and painful death instead of a short accidental one? Life and the future are a thousand shades of grey, and you're right, it's not set in stone. There are so many possibilities... maybe even too many. (Those sentences are actually borrowed from the sequel!)
Thank you so much for reviewing and for your lovely compliments! ♥ Report Review
Hey there! (:
I absolutely enjoyed reading this one-shot! I'm so glad I came and read it. It completely made my night. ♥
I love how the mystery of Dominique's curse slowly revealed to the readers. It kept me wanting to read on and on to discover what was wrong with her.
The interviews were really well done! I love how you labelled each person not by their name, but who they are to Dom. For me, that really added to the whole 'mystery' atmosphere you had going.
And oh! That twist! I couldn't believe it when I realised that Dom drank polyjuice to turn herself into Mrs. Kettering. That was really nice surprise! Though, what else would we expect from her? Her Uncle owns a joke shop, after all, and her cousins are infamous for causing mischiefs of sorts while they were in Hogwarts...wait. How does that even relate to Polyjuice? Sorry, I wasn't quite sure where I was going there. xD
However, in all seriousness, I do feel bad for Dom. She's already suffering and it's only the beginning of it. And even though it might be unlikely, I'd like to think that in the end she does find a cure do this.
A really great job! ♥. I enjoyed reading it! :D
38th review out of 100Author's Response: Hello!
It's good to hear that you enjoyed this one-shot, and especially that it made your night! :D
Thank you very much! That was my intention when I wrote this one-shot, so it's good to hear that it was successful.
Ahh, thank you very much! ♥
Oooh, yes - that twist! I totally get what you mean about George and the joke shop, and her cousins. And don't worry about going off on tangents - I do that too! XD
I do, too! I felt really bad for her while writing this... and at the same time, it was so much fun because I love writing angst. I'm currently working on a sequel, so we'll see about a cure. ;)
And thank you very much! Thanks for reviewing!
-Katie Report Review
Hello there, Katie :D
I've not read a good mystery fic on the archives for quite a long time...and I do count this as mystery; there's plenty of drama and angst but there's also so much tension and suspense and conflict, there's that air of the unknown, that something dreadful has happened but just what exactly it is and why is it such a big thing...the details aren't all revealed at once.
OK, I'm being a bit incoherent here with my terrible sentences - your pacing is just absolutely wonderful in this story (I know I keep talking about story pacing in all my reviews bahaha but you just do it so well :D); things unfold so slowly, and so carefully...and I really enjoyed the structure and formatting of this fic. The way your story is broken up into segments with each one containing an interview with a different character - it just adds a lovely complexity to the story, and so many layered voices, and of course, each character reveals a little more detail about the event, and a different facet of Dominique's life. Through all these different interviews and the shifting voices, you really built up a lovely picture of Dom's life and character and all her relationships with her loved ones...and this makes the end moment even more poignant and so terribly heartbreaking when it's revealed that Dom chooses to avoid any sort of physical contact with them, to put up some sort of barrier between herself and her most loved ones.
And then there's the mystery of the interviewer; I was trying to puzzle out who that was because I just couldn't believe that she's just some OC who was not in any way involved with the incident. My suspicions were confirmed in Lysander's interview, especially with this part:
"Please, Ly-Mr Scamander," I say, holding my hands up in surrender.
I thought, aha, so this mystery interviewer knows Lysander by his first name...but how come he doesn't seem to show any recognition toward her? Well, I would have never guessed that it was Dominique all along :)
When I was reading Victoire's interview and it became clear to me that the curse that hit Dom was one that made her see the future - I admit I got a bit sceptical about this. It made me wonder about everyone's reactions so far. I was wondering if it was that bad at all, being able to see the future, even if you did see one or two bad things. I had expected something like physical disfigurement or well, something else. I was wondering if this indeed was a curse, and if everyone was just overreacting. But then I came to these lines near the end :
Until now, I had never realized how much I touched people. I had never counted the hugs I gave, never gave a second thought to people who I brushed past in the street.
... all I can do is hope, and keep away from people because quite frankly, every time my skin meets someone else's, it is a bittersweet touch.
You convinced me with these lines that yes, Dom is in an awful, terrible position, that she is forced to isolate herself from her family and friends to a certain extent. There's this terrible play with the phrase "loss of touch" - physically she can't touch others without tapping into their possibly tragic futures, and also - and perhaps this lack of physical contact may also eventually result in emotional alienation from her loved ones...well, at least that's what I'm inferring from the curse :)
Really good oneshots, for me, will have a certain moment in them which will change my perspective entirely - which will make me see the whole story in a completely different light. There is a plot twist in your fic where Mrs. Kettering turns out to be Dom herself...but the real moment which...just...hit me so hard and changed my entire perspective of the fic was the part where Dom reveals to Roxanne on how she sees her sister's death in the future. That was just so heartbreaking and I just really felt for her, felt the horror of that curse and yes you've got me convinced that this really is a horrible curse.
OK, well, I do have suggestions for you, and the main thing would be the way the interviews went. Not all of the dialogue sounded very natural, to be honest - I know you wanted to really show the relationship between the interviewees and Dom, but some of the lines uttered felt like they were more suited for narrative rather than part of dialogue e.g. Bill when he says this "...a beautiful reminder of how she is compiled of half of my genes and half of my wife's" It is rather formal, and I'm not sure people will really talk like this, even if they are being interrogated. I think it would also have been more realistic to have the characters vary a little in their responses to being interviewed. Everyone talks a little too readily, and probably in too much intimate detail...perhaps some characters (e.g. Lysander) would be more withdrawn or detached in their responses? Characters can say just as much with fewer words as they can with whole speeches :) And sometimes fewer words can be more effective and have greater emotional impact. I think if you really tightened up your dialogue things will be much sharper and cleaner and more focused.
OK, whewww this is one long review bahaha. And I apologise for its incoherence! But overall, lovely, lovely writing, and fantastic idea! I really enjoyed reading this; it's something so different from what I've been coming across on the archives lately! Best of luck with the challenge; I definitely think you've made the most of your assigned curse! Toodle-oo!
-tehAuthor's Response: Confession: I turned into mush when I saw the length of your review - I had to scroll down forever to get to the end, and it looked so long that I even copied and pasted it into my word processor to discover that it was 982 words and five thousand, five hundred and eighteen characters long. 5518!!
I didn't actually consider this one-shot a mystery until you described how it made you feel reading it, and I'm so honoured that my writing evoked those feelings!
Your review isn't that incoherent, as it makes sense to me - although I suppose it's entirely plausible that that may be down to the fact that I'm a lunatic. I'm so glad that you think that I do pacing well - I'm slightly worried about that in chapter seven of Sheer Abandon, but I digress - and that you enjoyed it more in this one-shot! When I first received my challenge prompt, I was a little concerned about how I could explain it properly. And then I thought about how major events don't just affect victims; they affect victims' families too. At the same time, I wanted to challenge myself and write next generation (because I hated the DH epilogue) and of course, Bill being a curse-breaker made it an easy option to explain how Dominique became the victim of a curse. I thought that different viewpoints of her character would explain who she was better than an internal monologue just from her point of view.
I love how you puzzled about who the interviewer was! I added that bit in because I like putting Easter eggs in stories and because I didn't want the reader to go: "Wait, what? Dominique's the interviewer? But that doesn't make sense - there was nothing to suggest that!" so I decided to play it safe and add that slip of the tongue. Also, you're the sixth person to review, and yet the first to actually mention that! :P
The first quote you gave me of the two that convinced you about how serious Dominique's curse was is actually one of my favourites from this one-shot! I confess that I felt extremely self-important while I was writing that, because I just -knew- how important that sentence was. :3
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I really wanted to do that curse justice, and to make people -feel- that the curse was real, and it affected not just Dominique but her family too, and that it wasn't just one of those curses you could wave a wand at like in (most) of the books. In a way, I wanted to symbolize Frank and Alice: I wanted Dominique's curse to be on the same wavelength as theirs - to be so detached from their loved ones, and to have everyone wondering and hoping that one day, there'll be a cure, and yet never being sure.
Oh, that doesn't surprise me at all! Confession: the plot was originally internal monologues from all the characters concerned bar Roxanne, but then just as I started writing Dominique's POV, I thought "Why don't we make her interview her family under Polyjuice Potion?" so I had to go back and rewrite the whole thing to make it all from Dominique/Mrs Kettering's perspective, which explains the dialogue issues - that's why I had concerns on that topic. It also explains how everyone talks a little too readily - although that could be down to the consequences if they don't co-operate with the Ministry. ;)
BAHAHA YES IT IS. It scared me when I first saw it, thinking how on earth was I going to respond to it in a worthy way?! Again, don't worry about the incoherence - as I said, it made perfect sense. Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments! ♥
-Katie Report Review
Hey! Finally here with your requested review.
I must say, this was a very well-written one-shot. I absolutely loved it. Your whole plot concept was great, and I really enjoyed your writing style of breaking up the interviews.
I really liked the way you maintained a certain air of mystery around this story right from the beginning, and then unfolded pieces of information gradually and very cleverly through the interviews and such. It was really well-thought-out.
Coming to characterisations, which was your one of your main concern, I think you did a pretty good job with your characters.
Dominique was crafted brilliantly, and her plight and despair was expressed quite well. I liked the twist in the end of the interviewee turning out to be Dom herself, it showed how desperate she actually was just to find someone to blame, and then accepting the fact that actually it was no one's fault. Her confiding in Roxanne was nice too, it showed somewhat how she really needed to talk to someone. Her reflections towards the end were very thoughtful and again quite well-written. All in all, I really liked how you characterised her. I would suggest though to add in (if it suits you) some more details and descriptions about her distraught emotions, or maybe some flashback of Egypt, or the hospital etc that throws some more light on how she really feels completely ruined.
I think you portrayed Bill as the despairing father who blames himself, quite well too. I liked his talking about the day Dominique was born, and getting all emotional, and feeling he should have protected her. It was quite touching, and even in that short scene you showed his feelings and thought-process smoothly.
Lysander came off as slightly different-than-I-imagined, especially since I expected him to be a little more distraught about his girlfriend/lover's condition than what you showed. But I guess I can accept that he was perhaps trying not to show those emotions in front of whom he thought was a 'stranger' and instead vented out his feelings via anger and such. The ending of his interview struck a chord though when he also blames himself and a tear rolls down his cheek. I think you showed his transition from being this aloof angry person to an admitting hurt self-blaming lover really well.
Fleur and Vicoire, again, were written really well. I liked how you portrayed them as the respective mother and sister. Both their interviews were very touching too, in their own ways.
So, basically, I think you captured all your characters very well, and frankly, I dont have any critique to give you here :)
The story flowed effortlessly despite the 'chunky' interview thing. The writing style definitely did not affect the flow in my opinion. To me, the story seemed very smooth and clear, and I think you did a wonderful job in handling everything perfectly.
The one-shot was well-paced too, and your grammar was okay, except for a few minor punctuation and phrasing errors which I think you can correct by re-reading this once more or getting a beta.
All in all, a very well-written story, and I dont have any CC to give you apart from what I said about adding in a little more detail on Dominque's feelings via flashbacks or so. This was definitely a brilliantly-thought-out and smoothly executed one-shot.
Great job! 10/10
P.S. Thank you for requesting this story's review from me. Feel free to re-request for any other stories you have :)Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I'm really pleased to hear that you like my plot and my writing style!
I'm happy that I succeeded in making this mysterious, and that you felt that my characterization was spot on. With Dominique, I wanted to emphasize that she was a victim and, as a lot of victims seek to hold someone responsible, I wanted to write something realistic about how sometimes, there simply isn't anyone to blame. I wanted her to be able to talk to a counsellor, and reveal her feelings - thus revealing Victoire's future - but I was sceptical of her confiding so deeply into a stranger, so Roxanne provided the perfect person - she's close to Dominique, but detached from her immediate family enough to be on the sidelines. But I digress.
With regard to Bill, I've always regarded him as a doting father - so his voice was one of the ones I was certain about writing. Lysander, I think, was much more difficult - I wanted to make him different from Bill, but also distraught at Dominique's curse, and I viewed him as a protective boyfriend who feels like he failed.
Thank you so much, for all your lovely words; I cannot express how much they all mean to me. I'll definitely fix the grammar, and thank you again for reviewing! ♥ Report Review
Hey! I've come for your requested review :P
I really like how you've characterized Dominique in this piece. I think she's adjusting to the trauma in her life as you might expect. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like if i saw the future of people i love. Or saw their death as she saw her sisters. That would throw me so much and i think i'd probably hide as well because how else are you supposed to deal with it? I think they'd either do how you wrote it or they'd try and fix it and go a bit mental trying to make all the bad things she sees good. I like how you chose to write it though and i think it fit her character well. I found it really interesting that she had to pretend to be someone else to get these answers and to be able to talk to her loved ones. It makes me see how detached from everything she must have felt and knew after the incident.
Your other characterizations were good too i think. We don't know a lot about any of the characters you wrote about so it was really neat to be able to see your view of their family relations. I wanted to see a section of Louis pov (since you included Fleur's and Victoire's) or at least, an explanation to why he wasn't included in the questioning. I especially liked the section with Roxanne, I felt that it would have been one of George's kids who'd act like things were normal and just be a friend to the person. it was how the twins were like to Harry.
Your flow is generally smooth, though i might go over it again as some of the sentences were a bit long and had some syntax errors. It's small things like that that will make your writing easier to read and put the readers into the mood of your story. The flow of your overarching arc of your story line did feel a little rushed. I think i would have liked to see the first segment a little more in depth, it's mostly dialogue at that point. I think that if you included some of her insecurities and raw fears before her realization I think the final segment would flow better. For instance, perhaps introduce the idea of her hating people dancing around her or that she feels trapped, alone and needs someone to blame. It gives us as the readers the question why she's feeling that way and makes us want to read on so that they are answered. It'll help us feel more invested in the outcome.
Your dialogue is fine, i think it flows naturally enough for their situation. They probably don't want to open up to a stranger but know they have to say something to the supposed Ministry official. There is that awkwardness to it but i think that probably stems from the fact that they are supposed to be strangers. So good job with that.
Overall, i think you have an interesting story here and a lot that could potentially be explored past this point as well which is exciting if you ever plan to expand this idea. Thank you for requesting me and I really hope you found this review helpful and that i answered all your questions satisfactory.
-zayneAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for your extremely long review! I actually considered leaving the opportunity for Dominique to change the consequences of Victoire's death - not to change -everything- but just to save a life - in the future, but it didn't fit with the theme of the story. I'm really glad that you found the idea of her disguise interesting; it came almost at the end of the one-shot, which meant I had to re-write what had previously been internal monologues from each of the characters, and I'm relieved that it was worth it!
I kind of had the idea that the incident would have happened during the summer after Dominique graduated - sometime in late August - and her reaction to being cursed would have occured (factoring in hospitalization / recovering time) sometime after Louis had returned to school. I see your point though, and I'll get on fixing that. :) Haha - my head-canon is that Freddie and Roxanne are in Victoire and Dominique's years respectively, and that Louis is much younger and is in James II's year, with Molly II being in with Albus and Rose, and Lucy with Lily II and Hugo. (The Scamander twins are in Dom's year.) It's much easier for me to handle the dates then, and lessen the chance of accidentally creating plotholes. ;)
The first segment - did you mean the conversation between Dominique and Mrs Kettering, or Bill's interview? If it was the former, I felt that I didn't want to include too much detail or I'd spoil the plot twist. If it was the latter, I felt that Bill's POV would be the most interesting to explore, and that he could explain the situation (ish) because he was there, right next to Dominique, when she was cursed.
To be honest with you, I did think I had dropped enough hints about her wanting someone to blame up until the end - but then again, I'm the author and I know the story (and the bits that didn't make it in) so obviously I would think that. :P I'll definitely take into account what you've said, and try and rework that segment. :)
Ah. That may be due to my re-write. :/ I'm glad that I can pass it off as the Ministry official being present, though, and I suppose a part of it is, anyway.
The review was definitely helpful and you did help to point out what I was worried about. Thank you so much! ♥ Report Review
So sorry that I've taken forever to come and review this! This is Perelandra, by the way! From the forums. Back in Dec 21 I asked for one shorts and you asked for one...so I'm FINALLY here...!!
I have to say...the first part 'Bittersweet' immediately caught my attention. I wanted to know what was going on! So fantastic job on that intro!
Overall this was a great story! I usually review as I'm reading along but your story sucked me right in and wouldn't let me go until the very end.
To be honest, I don't see anything wrong with it. At least nothing that jumps right out of the story and is screaming "wrong, wrong, change it!!"
Absolutely nothing like that! :D
I felt bad for Dom, though, to be cursed that way. It definitely sounds tough to have seen your own sister's death...I couldn't imagine having that vision in my head and holding on to it.
Thanks for the read!! :D
--Rosie/PerelandraAuthor's Response: Hi!
Thanks for stopping by to review! XD I'd actually forgotten that I'd asked you for a review so this was a nice surprise to see! (Don't worry about the delay- better late than never!)
I'm glad that it caught your attention! I didn't think that Bill's interview would explain that Dominique was cursed sufficiently enough for the reader to understand it, so I added that bit at the very end of writing Bittersweet!
I'm glad that my story sucked you in and wouldn't let you go! XD And it's good that you don't see anything major wrong with it, although I'm a nitpicker and I demand perfection in the small details. (I don't know why, I just do.)
And I know. Poor Dominique. :( It's an awful thing to see, but hopefully she'll work out that perhaps she can do something to change the future- demand that the carpet be put down as soon as it arrives, for example, changing what she's seen. She's still in shock, but eventually she'll see the positive side of her curse. :)
No problem at all! I'm glad that you liked it!
-Katie Report Review
I'm here with the review that you requested oh-so-long ago, and I'd really like to apologize for my lateness. Real life gets in the way a lot, especially near the holidays.
But here we are, at the end of this story, and here I am, about to give you a review!
You said in your request that you weren't sure what was wrong with the story, but that it needed fixing. Here is my suggestion: Change up some of your sentences. Sometimes the words weren't quite right and sometimes the length or syntax was a little weird. I know it's terribly time consuming, but if you really want to make each sentence pop with the most impact that they can have, read the whole thing aloud. Pretend like you are the world's greatest actor, and read each bit of dialogue like you think the characters would say them. If you feel that your words are right, then let them stay! If they don't quite meet up with your idea of what they should be, then play with tightening the sentence or reworking it to be more... Say-able. This will make the characters seem more real and more emotional, which (I believe) was another concern of yours.
For the parts where no dialogue is spoken, try to imagine yourself as the character, doing the things you've written for him/her to do. If it feels or seems unnatural, rewrite the sentence so that the character is still doing essentially the same thing, but in a less-awkward wording. (For those few spots that were a bit off.)
In my opinion, other than some syntax/diction things that can be fixed very easily, you've done a brilliant job. The twist at the end, with Dominique and the polyjuice potion, was unexpected, and (dare I say it) wonderfully executed. Keep up the great work!!
~UnluckyStar57Author's Response: Thank you for your review! I understand RL gets in the way, and I apologize for the delay in replying- I've been away on vacation over the New Year.
Thank you for your suggestions! The story was originally written to change from the perspectives of all the characters, and was changed when I decided to put it all in Dominique's perspective. I'll definitely do what you've said and hopefully improve the story!
I see what you mean- I'll work on that too. :)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad that you like this, even with the syntax/diction errors! XD I'll definitely keep it up!!
-Katie Report Review
I really enjoyed this, for me this is an example of a good story. It surprised me, it had that twist that many good stories have and I loved the way you expressed each character.
Now I must be honest but damn did it have to be a one-shot now my mind is just thinking of all the possibilities that the ending could lead to...
Argh you've done the worst cliffhanger ever...
*applause* Well done, all in all I enjoyed this lots ^-^Author's Response: Thank you! ♥ The original plan was just to view the situation through the other characters' eyes, but halfway through writing this one-shot the twist came to me, so I had to go back and add bits and change other bits... so I'm happy that it turned out well! XD
I'm sorry, but I just have to take those comments as compliments! I'm so glad that you felt intrigued enough by this one-shot to consider what would happen next. I'm afraid that for now, though, this is staying as a one-shot, although I -may- write another one-shot as a sequel... -maybe-. :)
Thank you! I'm glad that you enjoyed it! Report Review
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