Reading Reviews for Writing a Fairytale
  
29 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Leonore Letters, Bezoars and Sparks

12th September 2013:
I really like what you're doing here - I'd never really considered what Hogwarts must have been like in the Victorian era. Like some of the muggle lessons as well as magic, to suit muggle-borns (especially the girls) and teach them all the skills to fit in in muggle society. Also the fact that they follow all muggle social rules, like suitable topics for conversation and dress, and etiquette. When you think about it, it makes sense. Keep it coming! I will be back to read more.

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I'm sorry for the delay in responding - real life took an interesting turn.

I really enjoy trying to imagine what it might have been like in the Victorian age and there is so much available to be written!

I'm currently working on the next installment. :)

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #2, by Aphoride Letters, Bezoars and Sparks

19th August 2013:
Hey there, it's me again - I'm so so sorry for the late response to this. There's not much of an excuse for it, other than that a hundred and one things came up in RL and made it almost impossible for me to find time to do anything much, including this site.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter! I like how you're steadily building up the mystery with the stolen wand, her not necessarily knowing who did it, the other characters involved. The way the other characters, particularly the Headmaster, react to things is really lifelike and pretty sensible - it makes them seem realistic, which I always love. Also, I love how you've added in more background characters. After being at school for even two weeks, she'll have started learning the names of other people in her year, even if it's just surnames. It gives the story a little more depth, I think.

Merissa is still a brilliant character, and I love how you've made her bad at the piano. It's such a great change from other OC characters, who are often good at music, if it's mentioned they play at all, and I like the addition of a music class at Hogwarts, as well. It kinda explains all the unused classrooms, I guess! I also like how she's a bit hesitant about accusing Margaret of anything, and how she giggles at the idea of 'state secrets' being written in her letter from home, and things. You're dealing with the cultural differences really well. I'm actually pretty curious to see how Merissa is when she goes home - how she copes with not being able to do magic, not necessarily being believed by her siblings or parents, being forced back into her old life. It's an interesting thing ;)

The one big thing I would say you could improve on is flow. You have a lot of short sentences which could be linked together, and you start a lot of sentences in the same paragraph with the same word, as well as starting sentences with words like 'but' and 'and', which you shouldn't do. With the sentences starting 'but' or 'and', you can easily link them to the sentence before. For example, you wrote: 'Though she was expecting her mother would soon decide it was past time for her to learn how to embroider. But she could put that worry off until the summer when she was home.', which would be better as: 'though she was expecting her mother would soon decide it was past time for her to learn how to embroider, but she could put that worry off until the summer when she was home', and then it flows better - it's less broken. A lot of sentence structure and phrasing, like with things starting with the same word/'and'/'but' can be sorted fairly easily. If you read over your work paragraph-by-paragraph before publishing, you'll notice it and start to pick up on it, I'm sure. Equally, if you pm me, I'm happy to go through an already published chapter and highlight things where the flow is choppy and help you with it over pms or something, just to explain it a bit more if you want.

The spells are pretty awesome and I like how you've had her start with some fairly simple ones. The letters to and from home are lovely, and I love how her mother is getting interesting in what she's doing at school, does she want her room redecorated - she seems much warmer than Merissa's father, who only cares about results and grades.

One more thing, and this is mostly something for the future: try not to jump around scene so often. You switch from lesson to lesson really quickly. I would describe one in detail - for example, History of Magic - and then switch to lunch and perhaps have her talking to her friends about the other lessons? That way, there's a bit more dialogue, since this is fairly narration-heavy, and it's not so much like a list of what she's done.

That being said, your characterisation is great, your story is going nicely, the plot is ticking along well, I like the background characters and her friends, and your invented spells are awesome! I do really like this - the idea is so original, it's something I've never seen before. I hope that helped - even just a bit! - and please continue! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

The missing wand is a small piece of a bigger plot. :)

I'm actually having fun writing about Merissa being so bad at music. :) I know it takes so much practice in order to be good.

I will go over the chapters and work on the sentence structure more. Thank you for being patient with me while I learn to improve this.

I like your suggestion concerning the lessons. It was starting to feel like I was going through a list in each chapter. Thank you! I'll change it up more than a little bit!

I think it will be interesting once she goes home for the summer break and deals with being in Muggle surroundings as well as how her family members deal with her.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #3, by AlexFan Monday Icks

2nd July 2013:
I smell trouble with Margaret! Maybe it's because I haven't read this story in a while but I don't remember her. Anyhow, she clearly has it out for Merissa and I suspect that things will only get worse.

I have a theory that Margaret stole Merissa's wand as well as put her satchel at the end of Merissa's bed just to be mean. Sometimes gestures of friendship come out wrong but this is not one of those times.

There was a pretty even balance of description and dialogue although there was a tad more dialogue than description which isn't a bad thing. You misspelled Episkey several times but other than that there wasn't much else in the grammar department. And most importantly, the plot is finally moving along! It was a little bit slow in the beginning but now it's starting to pick up!

Anyway, overall good job!

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Margaret made a fairly sudden appearance in this chapter and has since been written into the earlier chapters. :I

Margaret made her appearance as I changed the perspective of the story and hadn't given enough consideration to her characterization.

Margaret actually isn't as mean as she appears - there is a reason. I'll revise the earlier chapters to clarify what's happening to Margaret. Though I'll give a hint - there is a particular family with a particularly infamous ring...

I've fixed the spelling for Episkey. And I'll look through the earlier chapters to see if I can pick up the plot a little more.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #4, by BookDinosaur Letters, Bezoars and Sparks

24th June 2013:
Finally! Yay, I've finished all the chapters! It's -BookDinosaur- here, in case you couldn't tell. :)

I liked this chapter, Merissa seems to be growing more outright. I liked how she's so pressured by her father to gain the perfect marks, but she actually is trying to be perfect, rather than ignoring his strictures. It's very realistic, and that made me like it even more. I love how she cares so much for her family, even with all the pressure they put on her.

I love the classes you've written, they're really interesting. I loved seeing the different ways all the teachers taught the students, Merissa's lessons were really interesting.

Anyway, all in all, I really love this story so far. :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Merissa really wants to do her best. Though her father knows that perfect marks all the time are difficult to achieve. He might quiz her on marks that are less than perfect, but only to mark certain it was not for the reason that she didn't try. :)

I couldn't help thinking how one could figure out which rock was a bezoar... There has got to be some way to tell, right?

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #5, by BookDinosaur Monday Icks

24th June 2013:
-BookDinosaur- here and all that jazz. :P

I quite enjoyed reading this chapter, but I have to admit I got a bit confused with the trick Margaret played on Merissa. I mean, you've mentioned Margaret once before, but that was only at the Sorting, and while Merissa did say how she looked immature, I don't see how she's suddenly the Big Bad Wolf, if you know what I mean. I would reccomend you to put in an encounter with Margaret first, before she plays the prank, because I felt that this nastiness is completely unexpected and coming out of nowhere. But if you mean this to be some sort of mystery that needs solving, then by all means ignore this. :) But I still do want a bit of buildup to this nastiness.

I love the mystery of the wand-it seems like you're going to add an antagonist and their plans in the lot, am I right? Haha, I can't wait.

I love how you have the wizarding and Muggle societies clash, especially with the little ankle episode-I can completely see why she's so uncomfortable showing her ankle, but I can also see how ridiculous the wizards and witches would have viewed this rule as. :) I think that was a really nice touch, along with the female Charms teacher, it just served to show how different their societies and habits were.

I think your characterisation of Merissa is going really well. I love how she asks a lot of questions, because it's very realistic thsat she won't know anything about the Wizarding world, and I love that she wants to find out. But I'm worried for her, she has to balance her two lives out, and eventually she'll have to pick one, won't she? Gah, I'm worried for her.

Great job on the story so far, I'm really enjoying it. :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I wrote out a response this morning and apparently forgot to select the proper button. :(

I've added notes to previous chapters to include more interactions between Margaret and Merissa. Margaret isn't necessarily bad, it's more like she wants to be friends so much that everything happens wrong, though there is also a particular person with a particular ring...

Ultimately, yes, Merissa is going to have to reconcile which world she will live in. But that is several years down the road... And yet, this story holds the roots of her choice.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #6, by BookDinosaur Sophronia's Tale

24th June 2013:
Sorry for being so late! Gah! -BookDinosaur- here with your requested review.

I loved Merissa in this chapter. I feel that your charcterisation of her is coming along really well. We really got to see her curiosity with the whole question about accidental magic and her loyalty and sense of duty to her family, and her sense of caution with the not metioning magic thing. I really enjoyed reading about her here. I liked the part where she just ended the recital on the pianoforte-I felt so sorry for her with all the pressure ffrom her family on her, and it showed she wasn't afraid to bluff things out when she needed to. :)

By the way, that's a really interesting point-no more magical accidents when they're at Hogwarts. I never picked up on that, but it's interesting.

I liked how you changed the spell and told us via the teacher-I guess you're right, Latin is used in spells a lot and at that point it was normal for them to learn Latin (I think) so they would have had a lot more spells, and those spells would be more precise. I'd never have thought of that myself, so well done on those two points!

I loved your portrayal of Merissa's lessons, and the female teacher in Charms. I guess she's there to tell us the Wizarding World was actually a better placee for women? Either way, I'm glad you skipped to Charms, it reminds me of Harry's education.

I liked the fairytale, it showed that she really did care for her sister, but I'm just wondering why she's doing this. I mean, I understand it must be pretty important to the story if it's part of the title, but is Merissa just desperate to tell someone about the magic in Hogwarts, or is there another reason?

Anyway, apart from that little issue I have there, this was a great chapter I really enjoyed reading. :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Some of her problems with the pianoforte is she doesn't like how it sounds and she really wants to learn a different instrument so she's not really putting the effort into learning the pianoforte. But, I agree with her about how some of the music is written to where it's difficult to read and you have to decipher what you ought to be playing.

Yes, Latin was one of the languages that was learned (though girls were not expected to learn it as they were to learn only French). Thank you!

I would think that it'd be a little easier for women in the wizarding world to achieve their goals, though it would still be difficult given the society's viewpoint during that time.

Merissa knows that she can't write home about magic to her parents. One, her father is very reserved about magic and two, if her letters were read by someone other than her parents - there's a lot of servants in the household also - then her parents could lose everything.

So while she writes her mother letters that include nothing magical, she writes to her two younger sisters in a fairytale style. This will allow her sisters to know what to expect at Hogwarts for one and she is fairly certain that her mother will read the fairytales also and will keep up with what she's doing.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #7, by BookDinosaur First Day of School

22nd June 2013:
Yep, me again. ;) -BookDinosaur- here, blah blah. :)

I really liked this chapter. I think my favourite bit was at the beginning. I love how Merissa mentioned her Nanny-it really showed how rich and luxurious her lifestyle was before she went to Hogwarts, and how she's still a little bit spoilt. And I adored the part where she dressed in her school uniform. It's obvious you know what you're writing about here, with the completely different clothes she wore that were very believable in that era. They sound so smothering, I would hate to have to wear clothes like that every day!

I like how clueless she was about wizarding things like the house-elves and portraits, it was really in character. And the ghost professor, I'm assuming he was Professor Binns? And I like how you made her reaction so horrified when she learnt about the house-elves harming themselves, it showed how caring and kind she was underneath.

I also enjoyed the little detail about Ollivander coming to the school rather than the students going to him, I guess it makes sense in a funny way.

I think my CC for you would be to put in more description, I hardly know anything about the classrooms or corridors, although when you want to, your description can be excellent, as shown by the little episode with the clothes. :D

All in all, this was a great chapter I really enjoyed reading.

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I agree, it would be difficult to dress up like that all the time. Though I suppose if it's something you're used to... :)

Yes, the ghost professor is Professor Binns. Apparently he's been there for a lot longer than I had first thought!

I know it would take longer to drive to London from wherever they lived to go to Diagon Alley given they were using carriages instead of cars. I opted they spend their time traveling to Hogwarts to reach school in time and Mr. Ollivander could come to the school and give them their wands.

I've added the note to add more descriptions for the classrooms and corridors. Thank you! :)

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #8, by BookDinosaur Start to an Adventure

22nd June 2013:
-BookDinosaur- here again!

Oh, before I forget, I just read through Chapter One again and spotted a couple of grammar mistakes, you might want to go and get those fixed. ;)

I love what she named her owl, it's such a nice name, and I like how she gets it out of a textbook. That's reminiscent of Harry and Hedwig, isn't it? I just liked that little detail. :)

I like Widow Bellum; she seems strict but soft underneath, if you get what I mean. Also, I love how you've stuck so closely to the era you're writing in-your formal, older language doesn't falter and all the little corrections Widow Bellum gave to Merissa really helped to get me into the timeframe you're writing in.

I didn't spot any spelling/punctuation/grammar mistakes in this chapter, so well done on that. I think my one CC for you would be that Merissa needs to be more surprised at all the magic, because at the moment she seems pretty calm about it all, except for in the carriage where she was asking all those questions.

Anyway, overall I really liked reading this chapter. So now I'm going on to the next one. :P

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I'll look through chapter one again and see if I can't find those errors. Thank you!

I didn't think about it at the time, but it is very much like Harry naming Hedwig. :)

I definitely wanted Widow Bellum to be strict but in a kind way.

I'll revise the chapter to include more emotion from Merissa concerning magic.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #9, by BookDinosaur She is Special

22nd June 2013:
Hey, -BookDinosaur- *finally* here for your requested review! Sorry for the length of time it took!

So I really enjoyed reading this chapter. I really like that it's set in an 'older' time period; I've only read one other story like that on the archives, and I really love what you've made it here. The use of the really formal language was a really nice touch and really accentuated the older time feel.

I love your characterisation of Merissa, she already seems like a really spunky girl. I like how she was eavesdropping on her parents, I think it shows some real spirit. ;D While we're talking about characterisation, I like how you've portrayed Merissa's parents, they're very well written. :)

I also want to see where you're going to go with the whole witch idea. She's in the 18-19th century by the sounds of it, and people then still believed in witchcraft and were likely to burn people at the stake, weren't they? Or maybe I'm thinking of an earlier timeframe.

Anyway, all in all this was a really good chapter that I enjoyed reading.

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I really enjoy reading stories that take place in this time frame. So I decided to try to write my own story in the late Victorian era and attempt to make it as realistic as possible. :)

Thank you! I've been trying real hard to keep Merissa from turning into a Mary Sue!

The story takes place in the late 1800s where I think being deemed a wizard or witch would cause you to be an outcast and lose everything. (The burning at the stake is in the Middle Ages).

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #10, by AlexFan Sophronia's Tale

22nd June 2013:
I'm so sorry for getting to your story so late but I've been really busy and my review thread actually escaped my mind! The good thing is that my review is finally here.

I think the thing that you've got going for your story at the moment is that it will really interest readers. There is t much of an explanation on what school was like back then and so reading about what might have been is actually very interesting.

I thought it was quite clever of Merissa to write her sisters a fairytale except it was real. That was actually a really great way of telling her family what happened but in an innocent and creative way.

This story definitely had better flow than all of the other ones that I've read so far and I like how you took your time with everything in the chapter. There was plenty of description and dialogue but you had a good balance going so there wasn't more of one than the other.

The only thing I'm wondering is, isn't the Levitation Charm "Wingardium Leviosa," or is it part of the story and kind of showing how some spells may have changed or evolved over time? Other than that I think you did a great job.

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Not a problem. I understand completely.

I like writing about the parts that were skipped over and left out. And to do so in a way that the story fits into the canon. :)

I had to think long and hard about how Merissa would keep her promise to tell her mother what was happening at school, especially when she couldn't write about the magical parts. And I learned how difficult it is to actually write a fairytale! I think I stared at my computer blankly for far too long. :I

The difference in the spells is part of the story. The amount they learned is amazing.

What I'm seeing for this story is that they learn how to describe what they want the spell to do. Which in turn can make the spell more powerful. And can also show the differences in education.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #11, by bester_jester Letters, Bezoars and Sparks

15th June 2013:
Hey :)

Your writing is really lovely, and I'm enjoying the story a lot (I almost wrote 'immensely', clearly the era you chose is rubbing off on me!).

I was a bit confused by whose wand Marissa is using in this chapter. Surely she didn't take the healer's wand away from her?

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

No, Merissa hasn't taken the healer's wand. Thank you for pointing out a piece I overlooked. I'll be revising the chapter to include Merissa borrowing a wand until Mr Ollivander is able to return to find her a new wand. Thank you!

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #12, by bester_jester She is Special

15th June 2013:
This is a different, much better, introduction than it was when I first stopped by (I think the story only had two chapters then). Congratulations on the improvement. the details are lovely and the descriptions are really great. This new/edited chapter has really drawn me in and made me want to read on.

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I've been more than a little apprehensive in posting this story. I really enjoyed reading your review!

I have also been working on revising the posted chapters to include more details and descriptions. It's a facet of writing that I must pay more attention when writing the first time. :)

Thank you for giving my story a second chance! And thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #13, by Lululuna She is Special

13th June 2013:
Hello! :) I'm finally here, and sorry about the delay!

I really like this as a first chapter to a story! First off, the choice of era is really interesting. I'm not completely sure when exactly it's set, but I'm guessing sometime in the 1800s? I haven't seen many stories set in that era, so it's refreshing to see how the wizarding world may have been different. Also, I think the formal, elegant tone of your writing also emulated the era and fit the restraint and dignity of the times.

It's very interesting to think about how wizards would have treated Muggles, especially members of the upper classes. When Merissa goes to school, will the other students address her as a lady? Probably not, especially if they're pureblood. Also, I think you integrated the details of Merissa's life as an aristocrat very well: the governess, the butler, having rooms with certain names, the carriage... it was very convincing! Something else I wondered about after reading this is how Muggleborns from the lower classes would have been integrated at Hogwarts, especially if many came from often illiterate, rough backgrounds, even the workhouse. I'm interested to see how you'll confront the class differences in terms of the wizarding world here! :)

As for characterization, I quite enjoy Merissa so far. She seems feisty and independent, but also quite pleasant. Her parents were quite interesting as well, I enjoyed reading about her father's controlling outbursts and her mother's care. I feel like I've already got a strong understanding of their family dynamics, so well done! :)

Something I also appreciated was the spin on the classic 'Muggleborn being told that they're a wizard' plot. I like how while Merissa was eavesdropping and didn't know just what was going on, us readers knew that the professor must have turned a teapot into a squirrel or something. You wrote Merissa's confusion and excitement very well, without making it boring or cliche. I really like her as a character, and she already seems relatable.

My favourite line is probably the part about the picture on the book moving. It just sums up perfectly how much Merissa's life is going to change, and the wonders the wizarding world has in store for her.

Anyway, good job with this, I'm interested to see where you take it! :) Feel free to re-request any time!

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Yes, the story is set in the late Victorian era. I've read so much of this era that I wanted to try writing a story of my own in the era. :)

The adults do call her Lady Merissa, though she doesn't like being different because of who her father is.

I hadn't considered a character from the workhouses, however after thinking about it, it would make sense as magic could appear whatever the person's station of life.

I see Merissa as wanting to take her own path instead of following the path being laid out for her. And she will have to reconcile the two at some point in the future.

She was supposed to find out about Hogwarts from her parents after they had spoken with the professor, but she was curious. :)

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #14, by AlexFan First Day of School

7th June 2013:
I really liked this chapter. It's my favourite one so far. I loved how unique it was and I loved learning what things might have been like before they invented technology and such.

It certainly makes a lot of sense and it was really fun to read.

I really like Merissa, she seems really friendly and my favourite part was where she said that she disliked playing the painoforte. I can't explain why but that just made her seem more real to me, doing something just because your parents wanted you to.

As for the flow of the chapter, it was in general really good but there were a couple of sentences that had misspelled words or missing words or were slightly confusing.

You have a good balance between dialogue and description (something that I'm always having trouble with). It's not always easy to achieve that balance but you do a good job of it. There's enough description so you know what's going on but not so much that there's nothing left to your imagination. And there's enough dialogue that it gets across everything that it needs to but not so much that it's all just dialogue.

I think this is your best chapter yet and I really enjoyed reading it!

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I really like this era in history - there are so many huge strides in discoveries. I also like their focus on art and music.

I've added a note to look for the sentences that were confusing and for misspelled words.

Merissa really wants to play the violin but her mother is insisting that she learn the pianoforte first. :)

As I'm writing, I tend more to dialogue and really have to work to get the descriptions to be there. To get just the right amount of description is a challenge for me. :I

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #15, by Aphoride Monday Icks

6th June 2013:
Hey there - stopping by with your requested review! Sorry about the delay - my internet has been weird recently, it keeps flickering on and off at times and the pages die occasionally. But, anyway, here it is now!

I didn't like this chapter as much as the others, tbh. It's good how you're pushing the plot on - with the bag by her bed, her tripping over, her first visit to the Hospital Wing, the clashes of culture (particularly with the ankle situation!), the Headmaster, the wand, etc. It's picking the pace up and really giving the reader a load of questions to ask, which is really great. I'm pretty curious, lol.

But, the problem is that I have no idea who Margaret is. You haven't really mentioned her before, and, honestly, before she does something like this, it would be nice to have some idea of who she is - think like Draco Malfoy. We meet him in Flourish and Blotts, before we know who he is, he introduces himself on the train, and then in the first term they have the midnight duel - it's a built-up thing, you know? You kinda need to do that with Margaret, because it seems completely random for her to do something like that. Plus, putting her bag by someone's bed is hardly a particularly nasty thing to do, and it seems an odd thing to do to try and get someone else into trouble. There's no way she could have been sure that Merissa would trip over. You just need more detail and to explain the situation more, I think.

The wand detail was great, as with the historical detail and the clashes of culture, like I mentioned. I loved how she doesn't understand why house-elves can't hold wands, nor why it's acceptable in the wizarding world for ladies to show their ankles, and how she can use other people's wands. I also like how she's using the time in the Hospital Wing to read through her textbooks - though be careful not to make her too good at everything! ;) Particularly with the last sentence. Yeah, she's been working on it for a while, but it took Hermione at while to grasp the spell, so I doubt Merissa would pick it up that quickly and be able to do it just by flicking, particularly with a borrowed wand, when we know from canon that borrowed wands are never as good as your own. Just something to think about!

I liked the inclusion of her friends, as well, with them coming to check up on her and their conversation about Margaret and what's going on. Also, the thing with the wand is very curious. I like how you're gradually expanding your cast as Merissa meets them all, which is a great way to do it - especially since it's through her eyes.

A little factual nugget before I forget: Skele-gro is to grow back bones, not to heal them. 'Episkey' is the spell to heal bones, though you might want to check the spelling on the hp lexicon ;) Since a fracture is a small break, it would be 'episkey' that would be used, not skele-gro.

The flow, as usual, is great, and the pace is definitely picking up! I'm glad to see your paragraphs and things getting longer, and your sentences growing! That being said, don't be afraid of description! Feel free to describe the wall colour, her surroundings, whether it's light/dark in the room, her clothes, etc. You still don't include that much, so there's nothing to worry about! You're not in danger of going overboard ;)

I think you're developing Merissa's character really well, also, tbh. She wants to be good at things, she doesn't want to let her family down, she's blindly accepting things about the wizarding world because she knows she doesn't really understand... I imagine in the future she'll find it difficult to reconcile the two worlds together, and choose which one to belong to, you know? I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this and how you deal with the problems you've brought up! :)

I'm still really enjoying this! Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I agree about Margaret. Another reviewer also pointed out that Margaret just appeared. I went back through the previous chapters to add Margaret in as well as Morfan. While I was writing this chapter, I realized that I didn't have an antagonist for the story.

I read back through that part of the story and agree that Margaret shouldn't really get in trouble for the satchel. I've already started revising the chapter so that Merissa gives her the benefit of the doubt.

Yes, I agree. I've changed how her practice with the borrowed wand happens. Now she gets the pages to dance about for a bit because the charm isn't enough to lift the books.

Again, I agree. I tend to write late at night. I've revised the chapter to take out the Skele-gro and that she was healed using "Episkey" and another spell she didn't hear to heal the sprains.

I've added notes to add more descriptions of her surroundings.

Merissa is going to have a very difficult decision to make given that she is both a witch and the daughter of a duke.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #16, by AlexFan Start to an Adventure

2nd June 2013:
Sorry I'm getting to this so incredibly late! I really should learn to manage my time better.

Anyway, moving on.

In general, the flow of the story was really well, as far as I saw there weren't any mistakes and the dialogue flowed pretty well. I found that there were places where it was a bit choppy but other than that I quite liked the chapter.

You had a good balance between dialogue and description and my favourite part of the story was when Merissa went to Diagon Alley. I love how you described everything and I could picture it in my head all of that magic happening and all of those bright colours. I especially enjoyed reading that part.

Your characters are also very believable and I really like Merissa because she seems just so normal and nice. I definitely think that she's an interesting character. Widow Bellum was certainly interesting. For some reason I found the scenes with her very entertaining. She's also really strict, I felt a little bad for Merissa having to sit like there was a board strapped to her back.

Anyway, good job on the chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I will read back through to see if I can't fix the choppy areas.

I agree, it's not fun having to sit up tall all the time. But from what I've read of that time period, it was expected. :(

I'm still trying to find just the right balance of obedience and curiosity for Merissa. Widow Bellum has been fun to write.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #17, by Aphoride Sophronia's Tale

31st May 2013:
Hey there - stopping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry for the delay - my wrist's been playing up recently and it's been fairly bad the last couple of days, which made it pretty painful to type. I'm here now, though ;)

I liked this chapter - I think it was good to skip theory lessons, if that was all the first few lessons were, and go straight to the first practical magic lesson, with the spell and show that. I noticed you changed the Levitation Charm from Wingardium Leviosa - any particular reason? Given that we know what it is in canon, it's a little odd to change it...

Still, it was good. I liked how Merissa went up to the teacher at the end of the class and asked about the purpose of spells and noted the lack of magical accidents. I'd never really considered it before, but you're right... it is kinda odd... huh, but yeah, it was a really nice detail. Merissa's character is being explored a bit more in this, I think, with the lesson and her trying to perform the spell and her curiosity coming up again, and then her loyalty and sense of duty to her family with the letters... it was nice. What you've shown of her so far is good, she's coming along really well as a character :)

Two things I would say, though. First, you have a lot of single-phrase, short sentences. A lot of these can be joined together. For example: 'Merissa put her satchel next to her desk. Helen sat next to her.'; instead, you could say: 'Merissa put her satchel next to her desk, Helen sitting down next to her', or something similar. Lots of short sentences are better for fast-paced action stories and thriller-style stories, rather than this ;) It breaks up the flow a bit. Also, grammar-wise, when you have a character speaking it should be a comma before the speech marks close, not a full stop, e.g. "Snape's a git," said Harry. "He's always picking on me". It's easy enough to fix :)

I loved how she was so worried about writing the letters and what she could/couldn't say in them and how she wanted to explain to her sisters and tell them everything about what was going on and such at Hogwarts, but couldn't state it plainly. The fairytale-style story was a clever idea and a nice touch. I don't really understand, though, why she couldn't tell her parents about things like music classes, Herbology (which is gardening, and something they would probably deem as just about acceptable for a young lady to be learning), and other less-magical lessons, like History of Magic. I get that she can't talk about getting her wand and other more magic related things, like performing spells, but there's obviously a lot more than that at school...

Her friends are great characters, too, though I'd like to see more of their separate personalities. At the moment, they seem too much like a pair, I think. They seem to do everything together, and while friends would have similar interests, they wouldn't be that similar.

Oh, one more thing quickly! I'd have liked to see more of Merissa's reaction to having a female professor. Obviously, in the muggle world at the time this is set, women weren't professionals, and couldn't teach to that kind of level. I just would have thought that Merissa would have considered that odd or reacted somehow to it. Even though it's not the first lesson, it would be nice to see what her opinion was.

As usual, the detail was great. I liked the lesson you picked out as it reminds me of Harry's first lesson, I'd love to see what you do with other first practical lessons, tests and suchlike and how you manage her family and friends, and her kinda two different lives at the same time. The historical detail is particularly fabulous, and I'm kinda curious as to whether or not anything odd/important is going to happen while she's at school, and how things are going to develop :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Not a problem at all! Glad you're feeling better.

I changed the spell primarily to reflect a difference in the education. With the focus on learning languages in that time, they would be able to specify exactly what they wanted the spell to do. Especially as it seems that the spell wasn't necessarily what is said but the intent of the caster. I'll have one of the teacher's explain why they are learning different spells.

I've added a note to combine the shorter sentences. And will fix the speech parts. Thank you for catching the ones I missed when I reviewed before posting!

I honestly didn't think about the music classes or dance classes or Herbology when writing the letter to her parents. I was so focused on trying to write a letter that explained what was happening as viewed with no magic. But that makes more sense, especially as her parents would be extremely interested in how her skills are progressing for her future Season. I will add a little more into the letter.

I will add more differences between Alice and Helen.

I will add a little more reaction to a female professor. I switched governesses and tutors in my head. :I

I've added a notorious family line into the story, one that has a particular ring...


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Review #18, by 800 words of heaven She is Special

30th May 2013:
REVIEW TAG!

I really liked this chapter! It's very different to what I've ever read in fanfic. There aren't really any names with which we're familiar, but the wizarding world will be the wizarding world, I suppose.

I'm interested to see where you take the story in this particular era. It's so unexplored in the books, so there's heaps of room for creativity, and going by the first chapter, I think you have a fair idea of where you want to take your story.

I like the main character so far. One chapter is hardly enough time to get to know her, but she appears to be a young girl on the brink of growing up, and I'd be interested to see where she goes as a character, and how Hogwarts will treat her.

Awesome chapter one, once again!

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I chose this era precisely because there hadn't been much written about it. There is a world of difference between the chosen time and when Harry attends Hogwarts.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #19, by Aphoride First Day of School

28th May 2013:
Hey there - stopping by with your requested review! :)

I love the setting and the details and the whole idea of this more and more. You've obviously done a lot of research to find all of the historical information - the clothes, lessons, general details... it's all so wonderful. I liked in particular how you mentioned her uniform - obviously it would be different then from how it is in Harry's time, but it fits so well with the time period and everything, with the lace and long skirt and her wearing boots rather than shoes... yeah, it's fabulous. It really helps bring it all to life and that's great.

Merissa's character is still a little hard to pin down, though I suspect we'll see more of her as a character in later chapters, since this was mostly a sort of event-driven chapter with not much character extension. She seems good, though - I liked how she was curious about the house-elf, and didn't understand things about the wizarding world, and how she's still sort of obedient and kinda spoilt, in the sense that she had things no one else did before she came, with the references to Nanny and things.

I'm honestly not sure about her being given a house-elf for her own. I've always considered the wizarding world to be pretty gender-equal - I remember JKR saying in an interview that magic take physical strength out of the equation - and in all the books it's never implied that anyone is given preferential treatment in general for any reason. Sure, one or two teachers might have a bias towards a house, but I'm a little hesitant to believe that a student would be given a house-elf just because in the muggle world her father is rich. But that's not a very big thing - I'd just make sure there aren't any other things where she gets something special because of her parents ;)

I liked the inclusion of the wandmaker coming to the school to give out wands. It does make sense now I've seen it written, although I'd perhaps have liked an explanation of this in the actual story, you know? Merissa won't understand things, and she seems quite curious, so shouldn't she want to know what's going on? At least, she should wonder, if not ask someone...

A little bit more description, I still think, wouldn't be bad for this. The clothes were great - but what do the corridors look like? Are there less/more paintings than in Harry's time? Are there lots of people around? Is it noisy/quiet? Use the senses when you're talking about things, to describe them, and it'll help back up your plot and characters and will make sure none of that beautiful detail goes to waste :)

Thank you for re-requesting - I'm really enjoying this story, so feel free to re-request again at any time! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I did spend awhile looking up the information because I do want the story to be as realistic as possible.

For Merissa, I am still trying to find the right balance of doing exactly what is expected and doing what she finds interesting. Music is one example where she wants to learn violin but her mom wants her to learn pianoforte.

My thoughts for the house-elf was not because her father is rich, but more of that she is a daughter of a duke and has a companion to protect her? Or would that be more for when she's older and puts her hair up? I wasn't planning on the house-elf staying with her at all times - like when she's in class or in the common room.

I'm trying to add in where she tries to become a little more independent of her parents - trying to be like everyone else and being called Merissa instead of Lady Merissa.

I've added notes into the chapter to add more detail (and I've put your wonderful suggestion of uses my senses to describe at the very top of the file so I see it as I am writing new chapters) and as to why the wandmaker goes to Hogwarts to give the wands.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #20, by marauderfan Monday Icks

26th May 2013:
Ok I'm caught up now. I liked the way Merissa told her sisters - in a very honest way, much more honest than she was to her parents - the fairy tale was a nice way to do that in a way that they will understand, being of the age that she would appreciate fairy tales.

(side note: in that letter, she mentions learning the history of the magical world, which got me to thinking - is Professor Binns alive in this story? I think that'd be a really interesting touch. I mean, we don't know exactly when he died, so maybe he was alive then. Anyway, /offtopic )

I thought the situation between Merissa and Margaret was a bit confusing, to be honest. I'm not sure if you intended it that way - as a mystery to be solved later - and if so then ignore my comments, but it seemed like something was missing.

I'm curious to know what's going on with Merissa's wand! Great job so far :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

Merissa couldn't write about the magical happenings in her parents' letter because of what could happen if the letter was misplaced and found by the wrong person.

It was fun writing the fairytale. I discovered that it's fairly difficult to write a fairytale that actually sounds decent. :)

I looked up information on Professor Binns and realized that he ought to have been teaching the History of Magic class as he apparently died in the 1700s. :I

I will be changing the History of Magic teacher and Professor Plotwerth, who still deserves to be a teacher, will now become the Etiquette teacher. :)

I agree, Margaret came out of nowhere. I have added a few notes to introduce Margaret into the story a little sooner and hopefully clear up confusion.

Thank you very much!


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Review #21, by marauderfan Start to an Adventure

26th May 2013:
Hello! I just found this story today and have read through the first two chapters. I REALLY like the premise of a story set before the familiar eras. I also like that you didn't outwardly state the time period, and it's just little hints - the importance of manners, people's titles, the governess, etc. I'm enjoying guessing when it's supposed to take place - I'd say early 1900's, 1910s? I'm visualising her living in an estate like Downton Abbey, lol. But I'm hoping you'll eventually clarify the time period by maybe an offhand mention of "current" events in the muggle world (as Merissa is a muggle-born, these things would be important to her).

I was surprised with how easily her parents took to the idea of her being magical. Yes, her father was uneasy with it, but they didn't put up a fight about it. They were oddly supportive after finding out that their daughers were witches.

I also think another thing that would have helped would be a little more element of wonder. Merissa's reaction to Diagon Alley was good, but to everything else she seems pretty unaffected. If I were an eleven year old who'd just found out I could do magic, and then was faced with a SUPER magic-y place like Hogwarts, I'd be in awe of everything. Kind of like the way Harry is in Philosopher's Stone.

I hope I didn't sound too critical - I really do like it! Going to continue reading it now :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

I have given the date a little further into the story.

I am interested in writing about an era of history that I've read so much about.

I am in the process of changing the parents' reactions a little bit to be more realistic.

I've added a note into the chapter to add more of a reaction for Merissa with magic. I'll be working on finding just the right balance between expected behavior and her expression of wonder.

Thank you very much for the feedback!


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Review #22, by Aphoride Start to an Adventure

23rd May 2013:
Hey there - stopping by again with your requested review! I was so glad when I saw you'd re-requested, because I really do like this story.

I love your characterisation of Merissa, and how she's leaving home and getting an owl and going to Hogwarts and making her first new friends. I liked how she and her friends are all from different backgrounds, with different experiences - I'll be interested to see how you develop that further later on :)

The plot is ticking along really nicely - I like how, though you didn't include her going to Diagon Alley to buy her things, you had her pop by to get an owl on the journey, which let us see her reaction to the alley. I would have preferred mention of her wand as well, perhaps, since the wand chooses the wizard, after all, so it would be a little difficult for her wand to be bought without her there, but it's not that big a deal!

Also I really like Widow Bellum as a character. I like that she's a witch as well, and Merissa doesn't find that all that strange, and how she's sort of taking Merissa under her wing, so to speak and helping her.

A couple of things quickly: I do feel you need more description. Just... what clothes is she wearing? Is she wearing her school robes when she leaves, does she change at some point? What is Widow Bellum wearing? What colours/sights/smells/sounds does she experience in the alley? What do the people there look like/what are they wearing? What does she in the courtyard? What are the people there dressed like? What does she think of it? I think if you included more description, it would fill it out a bit more and help put the reader in Merissa's place, you know?

Also, I'd have liked an explanation for where the name of her owl came from. Ignatia is a good name for an owl, sounds a bit wizardy too, but I'd like to know where it came from. Is it from a relative? Someone she read about in a textbook or other book? It seems a little random to have the name suddenly come up with no explanation.

I like how the plot is progressing, though, and the detail you have in this is fantastic. The second years (maybe prefects would be better? Like an additional prefect duty? It would make more sense than second years, who perhaps aren't so trustworthy) helping the new students out of the carriages and showing them where to go, the carriages themselves, the Sorting Ceremony itself, the feast, the little mention of Ollivander... it was all so lovely :)

I'm really enjoying this so far and I really don't want you to feel disheartened by my comments, I just want to help you improve because you can write, and this is great, just you need a little tweak here or there ;) But yeah, I'm really enjoying reading this - feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

She hasn't gotten her wand yet. My thought is that the roads can make it more difficult to travel the long distances so instead of getting the wand before school starts, the wand maker comes to the school the very first day of classes to get the first years their wand.

Thank you for pointing out the need for more description. I have added in the notes so I can add the details.

I will make the change from the second years helping to the prefects helping. That does make more sense. I think I might increase the number of prefects for each year also.

I like this feedback. Having feedback like this helps me become a better writer.

Thank you very much!


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Review #23, by MissMdsty She is Special

21st May 2013:
Hello, I'm here with your review for the exchange!

I liked that you placed this story in a non-identified Era. You captured the rigidity and interest to proper education very well.

One comment I would make is that the parents were a little quick in accepting the fact that their daughters are magical. This is a time where people were reluctant to accept electricity in their houses because it was something new and unknown and thus they did not need it. And once they accepted the fact that the girls were witches, they would just go ahead and send them off? I would've liked to see a little more reluctance on their part.

The grammar and vocabulary were very good and this was a very enjoyable first chapter! Good job!

Ral

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

This story was inspired by this year's April Fool's Day Theme. I started writing the story to be compliant with the new no romance rule. After finding out what day it was, I decided to continue the story.

I have added a note about adding a little more reluctance to accepting the children are witches as well as sending them off to school into my timeline.

Thank you very much!


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Review #24, by Aphoride She is Special

19th May 2013:
Hey there - it's me from the forums with your requested review! :)

First off, I love that this seems to be set in the Victorian/Regency/Edwardian age - I hope we get a few more details on when exactly it's set later on, since it's a bit difficult at the moment to know exactly! But still, 'other' era is a really lovely thing to see, since people don't usually write it. I think it puts people off because it's a bit vague... you've done a lovely job with it, though.

Characterisation is lovely, just lovely. I love how Merissa isn't exactly a goody-two-shoes, but at the same time she's obedient, she doesn't really like learning/music all that much - and you haven't really talked much at all about what she looks like! Wow. Thank you for that! :) I just love it when people have female OCs about whom their appearance isn't the most important thing. She is a great character, though, and I'm curious as to how she'll fit in at Hogwarts, how she'll find it all.

I liked the inclusion of the Professor coming to visit her to tell her parents she's a witch and about Hogwarts, and the widow coming to take her to school - that's a nice touch. I'm curious as to how exactly she's going to get to school, if she'll get the train or what... depends on the exact time period, I guess... :P But, seriously, the guessing is good.

The one big Brit-pick I have to make is over the titles. There is actually no title of 'Lord'. It's something people with certain titles are called, yes, but it's not in itself a title, so someone addressing her father/mother would address them by title. There are quite a few websites online which give details on how the peerage system works. I wouldn't worry about it too much, though - it's easy enough to change, and it's really pretty complicated, so don't panic ;) Other than that, everything seemed fine! I'd also just add quickly that you might want to include a little bit of description as to what needlepoint is - I had to look it up to really understand what it is, I thought you'd meant needlework originally. Maybe just mention that the material is canvas somewhere? It would help :)

The flow is fabulous. Honestly - it's great. It's a bit slow paced but it doesn't drag, which is the important thing. You changed time very smoothly, as well, with the page-break-symbols, and I literally just kept reading through it without stopping, which for me is a sign that the flow is good ;)

The one last thing I want to say is that the ending is perhaps a little flat - it's not much of a hook. Maybe if you heightened the anticipation and her nerves of going away (consider her situation - she's leaving home, possibly for the first time and probably the first time on her own, to go to a strange school she doesn't know all that much about with people she's never met and she's in a carriage with a woman she doesn't seem to know very well) to heighten the atmosphere, make it a bit more tense/excited, you know? That way, people will be more inclined to read on to find out what happens ;)

I really enjoyed this, tbh. It wasn't the kind of thing I necessarily thought I would, if I'm honest, but I did. I think your characterisation so far is great, your flow is lovely and your plot is interesting. Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you very much for this review!

I've chosen the later part of the Victorian era. I find the time period fascinating. With all the discoveries happening and how inventions seemed to happen in leaps and bounds. It seems like those who lived in that time found it easier to try new things or odd things that would then find its way into common usage.

I discovered after I wrote this chapter that there were trains, but they weren't all that comfortable, and as the wizarding world tends to lag behind the Muggle world, I suspect travel by carriage will still happen for a bit. :)

Thank you for the advice, I looked up a few websites pertaining to the peerage and found one that was very helpful. I have made the updates and will be reposting it a little later today.

I also changed the needlepoint to embroidery, which is more likely what was worked?

I've also updated the ending to show a little more emotion from Merissa on her imminent departure.

Thank you again for your review!


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Review #25, by ginnys twin She is Special

30th April 2013:
Hello!
Here for your review request!

First off, I just liked the beginning a lot. We learned a little about Merissa's personality, the setting, a sort of problem. So, the start was great.

Second, there is a part in the middle about hiring a coach and her father agreeing that doesn't need to be there. I feel it takes away from the rest of the story. So, my suggestion would be to edit out that part. Here's the paragraph I'm talking about:

"Her father reluctantly arranged for her carriage with one coachman to drive. Her mother managed to engage the services of Widow Bellum on the advice of the mysterious lady."

I also really loved the ending and felt it was a perfect way to wrap everything up. It was just a beautiful ending.

As for everything else, the plot flow was pretty good and I don't know what to say! I will also review the other chapters once I get a chance!

-Krissy

Author's Response: Thank you very much!

The latest revised chapter 1 is up where I have taken out that particular paragraph and inserted quite a bit more storyline where it shows how much she's looking forward to being considered more adult and hopefully shows how much is expected of her.


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