The amount of Quirrel stories I've read? This is the first! Oh geez, I like it.
That challenge you had is certainly a difficult one. So, she gave you words, or did you come up with them on your own? Either way, you had to somehow keep the diction of the piece flowing. You couldn't just randomly stick bigger words in, you had to integrate them as though your character was used to saying them.
Quirrel is a brilliant choice!
I feel bad for saying it, but the work as a whole is well-written with a great idea behind it, I just think the narrative is a bit dull. The story is exciting, but it seems like the focus of the story was on those challenge words, and not on the story.
Gosh, I really like it though!
The flashback was really integrated in a smooth way, and I even enjoy Quirrel's POV. He's not the scared, nervous wreck that we read in the Philosopher's Stone. He's got that confidence that all the students admired in him before Voldy attached himself to his head.
Seriously, wonderful characterisation!
The dialogue for your OC, the bartender's daughter, is a bit awkward. It's not very passionate. You did a marvelous job of depicting her facial expressions and body movements, but her words didn't seem to match them.
Other than those small things, I think that it's an awesome one-shot. Perhaps you can go in an unbold those words? It was a bit distracting after a while. Not that big a deal though.
Oh Quirrel, I hope I can find other stories about him as awesome as this one was :DAuthor's Response: Hi, Soapman!! Sorry it's taken so long for me to respond to your review! One thing or another has gotten in the way in these past few weeks. :p
Thank you for liking your first Quirrel story! I really wanted to explore an area that hadn't really been explored, and it seemed pretty viable.
As for the words: Yes, the person who issued the challenge gave me twenty words to incorporate into a story, and one of the requirements was for the words to be in bold. (Just to make sure that we didn't leave any out!) Putting them in bold does seem to detract from the flow, as does the horrid spacing of the chapter! (I meant to apologize about that beforehand... I really stink at formatting!)
It's okay for you to say what you really thought, because constructive criticism is a good thing! Personally, I saw the whole story as kind of bleak and barren, but I can definitely see how it's also somewhat lacking in interesting-ness sometimes. One day I shall edit, and then maybe I can add more color!
Thank you for all of your compliments!! They're super nice, and the criticism is super helpful!
I'll take a look at the incongruencies between my OC's dialogue and body language... I felt awkward writing her, because she was technically speaking "broken" English, but I didn't really know how to put that across without being it totally out-of-place in the story.
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your lovely review! :)
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
Hello! Here for review swap (from my status earlier on).
Wow this seems like an amazing story! I loved the way you have portrayed Quirrel. He seems so brave and confident as opposed to how he was shown in the books (it is only to be expected though as Voldemort took over him).
I like how you have maintained such a mysterious air around the story, and narrated the events in this dark fairy-tale-ish manner. I enjoyed it a lot. I also loved your descriptions and imagery, as they really painted the scenes in front of my eyes. Your use of the vocabulary words is amazing, I would never have been able to do them justice as you did. You are truly a gifted writer =)
I liked the entire scenario of how Quirrel is a traveller who comes to Albania and wants to defeat this dark force to expand his power, and the interaction he had with the woman. It all established the setting for the story quite well and it shows how excitingly the plot is going to unfold in the further chapters.
I also like the idea of "master of his own destiny", and the irony of how that would change when Voldemort would become his master. That is quite clever.
All in all, this seems like a brilliant story. Your grammar and sentence phrasing is impeccable, and your descriptions and imagery is amazing. The entire narrative flowed smoothly, and over all this seems like a great first chapter to what I am sure is a superb story.
Keep writing! Great going!
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Ah!! Thank you so much for all of your kind words!! :D
A gifted writer? Me? You're too kind! :)
This was actually meant to be a one-shot for a challenge, but after reading your review, maybe I SHOULD continue it! I think it would be interesting to see what happens to Quirrel after he meets Voldemort, but as of right now, even I don't know! :)
Thank you so much for your amazing review!
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
Hey there! I'm finally here to review your challenge entry!
Oh my, I loved this. I'll just come right out and say that you incorporated the words perfectly. And, considering it's the vocabulary challenge, that was quite important, haha. I think the way you threaded the words into the story added to the excellent imagery that you provided. It was truly superb. I actually felt as if I was in the setting with Quirrel and the barmade, in this lonely country town in Albania and that's very difficult to do.
Speaking of it being Quirrel- I was not expecting that! Once you mentioned Albania and then the Dark Arts I knew it had to be something with Voldemort, but I can honestly say it took me completely by suprise when you revealed it to be Quirrel in the end. It was amazing though! I actually gaped at my computer for quite a few moments and applauded you silently in my head for your excellent mystery.
Overall, nicely done. Thanks for entering and keep an eye out for a blog entry and a post in the Hall of Fame announcing the winners!
classicblackAuthor's Response: I am so glad that you enjoyed what I did with the words you gave me... I really enjoyed writing this story, although it didn't feel quite right to post it... I'm kind of a perfectionist and I wanted to keep editing!
It's great that you were surprised by the revelation of the character. I thought I was being obvious and not mysterious at all, but mysterious-ness is awesome, and I love to be mysterious. :)
I guess this story had that kind of vibe, but I can't believe that it was good enough to trap you inside it!!
We are our own worst critics, I suppose...
But anyways, thanks are in order for YOU, who issued this challenge and who gave me the highest honor of winning it. I was truly surprised and pleased by your message on the forums, and I still can't believe it!!!
Thank you so very much for everything!
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
Hi, there! I saw your status update and thought I'd take a look.
I have to say, this must have been a really difficult challenge. Some of these words are so obscure and specific that fitting them into any sort of narrative flow seems well nigh impossible. Overall, you did a good job with it, though. And you managed to actually write a story that was interesting and relevant. In my experience, challenge entries are hit-or-miss that way. Sometimes people tailor their work so closely to the specifics of the challenge that they forget to actually tell a story. You picked an interesting and very important moment in canon and really did it justice.
I really liked the sense of mystery that you built up in this. In the beginning, I had an idea of what the "evil spirit" that possessed the Albanian town was all about, but I was a pretty long way into the story before I realized that the traveler was Quirrel. You built him up very gradually, dribbling out bits and pieces of information instead of just dumping it on me near the beginning. That make the story a lot more engaging.
Your descriptions of the town, the inn and the barmaid were all vivid and easy to visualize. You definitely managed to take a couple of the challenge words and turn them to your advantage.
The dialog between the traveler and the barmaid was nicely done. You did a good job of gradually revealing how her sarcasm and testiness were mostly a front to hide her pain and despair. Telling a good story is all about pacing, and in every respect you paced this story brilliantly.
I have a couple of constructive criticisms to offer. One can be fixed easily. The spacing of your paragraphs was inconsistent, and it left me wondering in some places whether there was an implied break in the narrative that I was missing. There was also these two paragraphs that had no spacing at all:
She poured the golden liquid into a glass and set it down in front of him with a dull thud. “What brings you to this godforsaken place?”
“I’ve heard rumors.”
The effect was that it was hard to figure out which character spoke the second line.
The other thing that may or may not be fixable is that a couple of the challenge words sounded really awkward in context. "Caveat" and "beleaguered" are the two that immediately come to mind.
Overall, I think you did a good job with this. It was neat to see Quirrel arrogantly bumbling toward his fate. Good luck in the challenge!Author's Response: Thank you for answering my cry for help! :)
I really wasn't too sure that this story was very good or not... It really felt like I was bumbling around on the page a bit, to be honest...
But I'm so glad that you saw things in it that interested you and that you enjoyed! I seem to have a penchant for not revealing all of a character until the end of a chapter, but I felt like it worked for this story. Quirrel's meeting with Voldemort seems to be very underexplored, and though I didn't get to the fateful event, I wanted the build-up to be suspenseful and ominous.
Agggh, the formatting! I always mess it up, without fail. I'm still a bit of a rookie, and no matter what I try the first time, I never do it right. When I find the time (IF!!) I shall go right in and fix it up. :)
As for the awkward words... I do see a need to go in there and edit, edit, edit!! I think some of those words can be reworked so that they won't sound so odd.
Thank you so much for reviewing!
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
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