Reading Reviews for Foreign Affairs
  
42 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Penelope Inkwell Prologue

23rd July 2014:
Hi! I know it’s been a while, but you had asked me to come look at this story, so here I am.

First, I can tell that you definitely have some great writing abilities. You use a wonderful and diverse vocabulary, and you’ve got some real skill with description. One of my favorites:

"Molly would reach out to Hermione, grasp her hand weakly and look deep into her eyes, and thank her for choosing Ron through the thick rattle of smothering fluid.”

I mean, ew. But also, that sentence is just very well stitched together. It really sets the scene for what a miserable, impossible situation she’s in, and how hard and heartbreaking it can be to deal with sickness.

Also, I like your concept. It’s solid, you’ve thought out all the details, and you have a firm grasp on exactly what has happened to get your character to the state she is in at the beginning of the chapter, when we get that peek into how Hermione is doing, present-time.

One detail I thought worked quite well is how you’ve conceived of Hermione’s relationship with the Weasley’s, post-breakup. It’s so sad, but very believable. After all, Weasleys are loyal to the core (super-Gryffindors), and family is very important to them, so I could see them reacting that way. Especially Molly, when you consider her response to Rita Skeeter’s article in 4th year. The points she makes about having thought she would have earned a place among them, and about how betrayed she feels when they don’t value her unless she’s with Ron, really...just OUCH! I felt it. So that was great.

Lastly, I really liked how methodical you made Hermione’s search for her parents. It fit her perfectly. She has a plan, she does Step A, Step B, and Step C. It’s all perfectly in character--in some ways, almost aggressively so. Like she’s been being this other person, holding everything in for so long, and now she is grabbing on to all her former organizing-overload tendencies to try to keep some control of herself, and of all these feelings which explode so beautifully when she finds out the truth about her parents at the end (I mean, it’s really sad. I just mean beautifully constructed, in terms of a timeline of building tension).


Okay, now for suggestions:

I love what you’ve come up with, in terms of plot for this year or so since the war. What I think would be really great is if, rather than telling us what happened, you showed us. Maybe it could be flashbacks? You could work them into the rest of the story instead of telling us the whole shebang at the beginning.

That would be interesting, but it would be a pretty big overhaul. What I’d suggest is opening with Hermione, say, coming into her office. Maybe she shoves aside the stack of papers on her desk--a draft of her speech for the Ancient Runes Society, a missive from Minister Shacklebolt to which she really needed to respond (anything that could give a good idea of how important she has become). OR, even better, she could look at her shelves and the awards/trophies. Kick off a pair of expensive heels. That tells you the lifestyle she’s living. But then maybe you bring up that there isn’t a single picture frame, no photographs of friends or family. That would be a good lead in to flashing back to her past, when all her relationships fell apart.

That way, you’re showing us what happened, and implying where she is. Then, I’d suggest using that tactic in the rest of the chapter. Show us the details. Instead of just having it all be condensed exposition, let us experience it.

Also, I think it would be helpful if, instead of saying she delayed “her travels”, you spelled out for us what that means. I initially thought it just referred to, you know, doing something with her life, when in reality she was delaying her search for her parents. It would also be great, and maybe a little bit foreshadowing, to explain that, in her mind, her parents were safely tucked away in Australia, where they knew nothing of magic and violence, and how Molly was in danger *now*, so it seemed right to help her first, and to wait.

One thing I noticed is that her depiction of Ron is a little inconsistent. She spends almost the whole time implying that he is sort of useless, unintelligent, and content in mediocrity, but then she calls him "the closest and sweetest friend she would ever have”. Maybe talk about why she can describe him that way, in spite of his faults. Mention his good points--his loyalty, for instance. Maybe he could *try* to care about the things she cared about, and she could appreciate his efforts, but ultimately they just couldn’t cultivate the same interests, and she grew tired of pretending?

Lastly: right now, this sort of monologue that Hermione has is pretty acerbic throughout. It might be better if Hermione’s levels of bitterness fluctuate a little bit more. Obviously she’d be extra bitter in the beginning, since we’re already at present day and she has been through all this. But maybe, when you flash back a year, it could start with a gentler feel. A yearning for something else, then mild irritation, the determination that something must change, forced patience (pressure is building), Molly gets better--trapped feeling, about to explode, the barely-controlled emotion as she deals with everything she’s lost and focuses on the task of finding her family, and then the EXPLOSION of finding out her parents are dead, and she could have prevented it if she hadn’t been trapped in this situation, trying to take care of people who ultimately didn’t care enough about her. There’s that beautiful structure to this timeline that I mentioned before, and if you give it an emotional structure that reflects that, it will help highlight it.

So those are my thoughts. I think this has so much potential! The backstory details are really clever. I definitely want to keep reading. There’s a flow to your writing style that I really like.

--Penny

Author's Response: Wow, Penny. Thanks so much for your insightful and detailed review! I completely agree with your suggestions. I have known for a while that I'll need to re-work the first chapter if I want to really be proud of this story. I'm more of an editor (who happens to describe emotion well), so the complex building of plot can be really hard for me. I tend to focus on the ring of one sentence at a time and I end up getting tunnel vision. I'm thrilled that you picked up on all the important undertones that I wanted in there, even though they weren't presented in the most reader-friendly way.

Anyway, I am glad that you enjoyed it and I do hope you keep reading, since I think it gets a lot better. I've been on a bit of a hiatus for a couple months due to some upheaval in my personal life that's just made it hard to take on anything extra, but I do know how this story ends (sort of) and I plan to finish it eventually. Meanwhile I'm listening to all the audiobooks (British versions) and building my encyclopedic knowledge of the wizarding world. Like a dork.

Best,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #2, by icingonmycake Two Masters

18th April 2014:
I am speechless. Simply cannot wait until next update! See you then. And hopefully you will end the suspense surrounding this chapter, no, the entire STORY.
IoMC

Author's Response: Working on it! Glad you enjoyed the story so much up to this point, I'll try to resolve some tension soon!

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Review #3, by icingonmycake Mind Games

18th April 2014:
Wow. You did it again. This chapter... I loved the way it was a lot like a sim from Divergent, I don't know if you've read the series... But the point is that this gave me goosebumps, and that's something only great writing can do. Which, as I've mentioned in previous reviews, is just what this story is.
IoMC

Author's Response: I actually just finished reading the first book in the Divergent series-- swear I wrote that chapter before reading the book! It was pretty similar, but I think the reason that it happened will be a lot different in my story. SO flattered that you liked it enough to compare with a super popular book!

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Review #4, by icingonmycake Into the Dark (Part 2)

18th April 2014:
*blinks many times*. You just managed to transport me to a different world! Now that is great writing. I really loved this one, though that is what I seem to be saying every chapter.
IoMC

Author's Response: So glad you liked it! I love the feeling of getting lost in a story. That's probably what brings all of us to this site in the first place!

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Review #5, by icingonmycake Into the Dark (Part 1)

18th April 2014:
(O_O) you see this? This is my I want more face. My how the hell face. My wow how do you write so well face. This seems like it's not going to lead to anything good face.
(♡_♡) my I love it face.
IoMC

Author's Response: Adorable faces! Thanks again for your comments, I appreciate them a TON!

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Review #6, by icingonmycake Washed Clean

18th April 2014:
THEY KISSED THEY KISSED THEY KISSED! Yes! Awesome! And I really loved the buildup too! This was an extremely well written chapter that compelled you to read it all the way through. I also think that the way you reveal so little about Casimir and Yaakov is both annoying but also pulls a reader to the story. All in all thumbs up! b(^_^)d

Author's Response: I love my OC's and I loved writing that kiss scene! I'm surprised that according to the number of reads I get on each chapter, so many people stopped reading after this chapter. Was it a bad kiss? NO. Haters gonna hate. Glad you liked it so much!

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Review #7, by icingonmycake Fight and Flight

18th April 2014:
I HAVE NO WORDS LEFT TO SAY I LOVE THIS STORY. I can keep reading all day! Ah, Hermione on a broom. Love it! The hunter was also a surprise. I can't wait to find out what he really wants! So I'm going to read on...
IoMC

Author's Response: This chapter was seriously hard to write. I could not get a clear picture in my head of what I wanted to have happen, I just wanted them to get out of the city and off on their adventure without dragging the story out more than I already had. I guess it turned out okay, but we're all our own worst critics!

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Review #8, by icingonmycake Marked

17th April 2014:
Aaaw! Epic dramione moments, the perfect amount of drunk abandon, and I really loved the part when Draco wants to come into her room and she's changing! This was so awesome I cannot put it into words, suffice to say that I'm addicted to this story.
IoMC

Author's Response: Well there had to be some humor in this otherwise dark story! I also wanted to show how much Hermione's image means to her, so that we can see her drop the act later as they get closer. The end of this chapter is still a mystery to readers...but I know why it happened! Mua ha ha.

-FawkesFelicis


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Review #9, by icingonmycake The first step

17th April 2014:
What can I say, I'm in love with this story. I've decided to abandon homework completely until I read all the chapters that are currently up. DRACO! I liked the way their first meeting seemed natural and realistic.
IoMC

Author's Response: Love that you love it! Homework will wait, I know that feeling and I'm so glad that is how you feel about my story! I have mixed feelings about Draco, as a character in general and also in this story. Most people want to see him as this strong hero that sweeps Hermione off her feet, but that doesn't seem realistic to me. I think he's kind of weak, and definitely going through a tough time. That being said, something has to draw them together, so I find moments of strength in him that make the relationship complicated and real (I hope).

Love always,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #10, by icingonmycake Reflection

17th April 2014:
As you said, not much action, but still a great and well written chapter. I can't stop reading... I wonder if ma'am will accept 'Too Interesting Fanfic' as a reason of not completing homework...
IoMC

Author's Response: I liked writing that chapter a lot, because it's the first time in this story that I actually got into Hermione's mind and showed a bit of what's making her tick. Not exactly a plot heavy chapter, but I felt it was necessary to get the reader more involved in the character.

Hugs,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #11, by icingonmycake Up too late, and out of luck

17th April 2014:
WHO WAS HE? WHAT WAS HE TRYING TO DO? I need to know! You're really good at getting people hooked on to a story! I'm supposed to be completing a massive pile of homework right now :/. Epic chapter. Can't wait until the first dramione moment!
IoMC

Author's Response: Ah, you will see! The most recent chapters reveal a lot more, and the ones to come will tie it all together. Glad you're loving it!

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Review #12, by icingonmycake A Meeting With The Minister

16th April 2014:
LOVE LOVE LOVE. all I can say! The ending! Gosebumps! I can't wait! This is going to be epic, I can just feel it!
IoMC

Author's Response: Yay! Glad you're loving it. It makes me SO happy to hear that a reader can't put my story down (so to speak). In my humble opinion, this story gets pretty epic. Hang on to your socks, I'm gonna try to knock them off! Please keep the reviews coming...even if you run out of nice things to say. Every opinion is valuable.

Hugs,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #13, by icingonmycake Prologue

16th April 2014:
Wow, this was a great start to the story I'm already in love with it! Though this chapter could have been made more interesting by actually starting with the article about their death, but only the first few lines and sort of worked it all into Hermione's thoughts. This was great though. I felt a little sorry for Ron but slightly more for Hermione, it must have been a shock that she had no other place but that of 'Ron's Future Wife'. I like how detailed this chapter was and it didn't leave me with any questions but "What next" which is exactly what a powerful piece should do. So hats off to you! I'm glad that you didn't say that Hermione was alienated by Harry as well, because that is the path most go and the path that is least natural. Going to read the next chapter!
P.S- I'd live it if you checked out my fic, Explosion.☆
IoMC

Author's Response: Thank you so much and welcome to Foreign Affairs! I hope that you continue to enjoy and review! This first chapter pains me a little, because it was my first try at a fic and it needs some revision that I haven't gotten around to. Maybe I'll give your suggestion a try and see if I can't spice it up a little :)

I totally agree that Harry wouldn't turn his back on Hermione, he would try to make peace with both his friends, even if it didn't make him happy. We've all read the books, can't we give Harry a little credit??

I'll totally check out Explosion, the title alone has piqued my interest.

Thanks for reading!

-FawkesFelicis


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Review #14, by SiriusAura92 Two Masters

16th April 2014:
Ah, the plot thickens.
I really found the first part of the chapter in particular really interesting. Though I can't decide whether he's talking to an Acromantular or if he's the spider equivalent to a Parsalmouth. Either way I really like how you built up Casimir in such a short span of time so well done!

Can't wait for your next installment!

SiriusAura92
:)

Author's Response: Thanks for another insightful review, you always ask me the question that I find I most need to answer for myself. I think Casimir is my favorite character to write in this story, because he's dark and twisted. In answer to your question about his conversation, I think it's kind of both, but I left it a bit ambiguous because I haven't completely decided yet if he shares this affinity with all spiders or just the acromantula. I'm excited for my next installment too, because I honestly only have a hazy idea of what is going to happen in the next couple chapters. I'm just going to let it come to me.

Love always,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #15, by brttknee Two Masters

11th April 2014:
Great job! A little short, but just enough to keep me wanting more :)

Author's Response: Thanks for reading! And for reviewing, too. It's awesome to hear from readers. I'll try to make the next chapter a little longer, I often mean to write a really long chapter and then find myself at a natural stopping point. There's a lot of important stuff coming up so please keep reading!

Much Love!

-FawkesFelicis


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Review #16, by Stunned Prologue

10th April 2014:
Hey FawkesFelicis it's me again (Stunned)
I've tried to message you on the Forums page about your offer to be a beta for my chapters in your last review of Lucky. Annoyingly (although I'm probably doing something wrong) the message thing didn't recognise your Author name thing. Is there any way to contact you, you said in the review to PM you but I have no idea how to do that haha, do you know? If you're not interested anymore don't worry about it but if you are, I'll try to send you the chapter.
Thank you!
Stunned x

Author's Response: I'm totally still interested, sorry it's been troublesome! Now that I think about it, it makes sense that this site doesn't allow direct, private contact for our own safety. I made an email address for my author-ing, it's fawkesfelicis at gmail and it's not linked to any actual information about me. I'm sure you're not a creep, but safety first! If you do send me messages, it might be a good idea for you to create your own alternate email, just on principle.
Feel free to send me the chapter there, as your beta I promise I won't share your work with anyone, just give you the benefit of my opinions :)


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Review #17, by Stunned Two Masters

10th April 2014:
I love the direction of this story!
And I loved Draco in this chapter as well, he was so quiet but you could see how protective over Hermione he was which was wonderful.
I know Dramione will pull through although Draco and Hermione are really going to have to fight for each other I think!
So looking forward to the next chapter!
Stunned x

Author's Response: Thanks, Stunned! This is the beginning of the second half of the story and the action is really going to pick up. I'm thinking about re-working the earlier chapters, because they seem really bland to me now and I think a lot of people don't continue reading to the good parts because they get bored :( So it's up to me to make it more interesting. Of course, that's pretty low on my to-do list.
There will be all kinds of fighting for everything as we get to the real meat of the mystery!
Glad you enjoyed!


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Review #18, by SiriusAura92 Mind Games

8th April 2014:
Another really good chapter.
In fact I think I prefer this cave scene to the last one as it feels a lot more personal to Draco than the last one did Hermione. (I'll have to go back and have a re-read of it though to make sure but that's what I get from first impressions.)

I really cannot wait to find out more about this cave and it's enchantments.
Well done again and looking forward to your next update!

SiriusAura92
:)

Author's Response: Well spotted! Yes, Draco's experience in the cave is much more dramatic and personal, care to guess why? My new chapter should be validated sometime today, and our heroes will have a moment to discuss this, but the mystery won't be solved just yet. Other things are stirring in this story right now. Thanks for sticking with me, your insight is always so valuable.

-FawkesFelicis


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Review #19, by Stunned Mind Games

26th March 2014:
This was really creepy but I'm glad you did a chapter from Draco's perspective it's interesting to know what the nightmare was like from his point of view. I am loving this story! DRACO LOVES HERMIONE YAYYY!!
I can't wait to find out where you're going to take us next!
Stunned x

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I don't want to give anything away so I won't say too much, but I think it was really important to get inside Draco's head. My lovely reviewers reminded me that he's *kind of* part of this story too. I know this chapter was weird and abstract, but it will become clear why this happened soon! I'm about to have spring break so I hope to get a lot of writing done!

Love always,

Fawkes


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Review #20, by Thistle Into the Dark (Part 2)

25th February 2014:
Well, things are going pretty quickly between the two of them (maybe a longer intermediate state between the post Hogwarts feelings and love would have been a smoother transition ?). Still I can't wait to read the next chapter ;)
Casimir is really a cool character, I really enjoyed the passage when he is the narrator !! I'm trilling to read more about him ! :D

In hope to read you soon.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading!
I know I rushed their relationship a bit, I agree with you that I could have done that more smoothly. Thanks for the feedback :)

Casimir will certainly continue to be an important character.

Thanks for reading!


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Review #21, by Thistle Fight and Flight

25th February 2014:
Love what you did with Hermione and Draco so far ;)!!
But I'm really sad about the Wealsley's behaviour. A bit over-reacting aren't they ? ^^
I hope she'll find a way to forgive them though I can't imagine how ^^ (I know I wouldn't lol)

Author's Response: My big regret in my early chapters is that I just rushed through everything because I wanted to get to the fun parts of the story. The plot line with the Weasley family totally deserved more attention. Maybe I'll go back and edit that someday?

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Review #22, by SiriusAura92 Into the Dark (Part 2)

23rd February 2014:
HEY!
Sorry for being so quiet lately!

I am loving how dark you're making this! It contrasts really well with the earlier romantic chapters and I'm hoping there's more like it.
I also like that you're giving Hermione more action scenes but I would like to see Draco share a bit more glory (All due course I'm sure but just something to keep in mind).

Characters- Amazing
Detail- Amazing
Creepiness- Perfect!

Cannot wait to find out more about this cave.
Hope you had a great Christmas!

SiriusAura92

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I plan more creepiness from here until the end, it's so much more fun to write than the fluffy romantic stuff.
I struggle a lot with writing Draco, I feel like he is really a weak person, but I know that he only works for Hermione if he finds his inner strength. I think I need to write about his inner discovery of his strengths in order for it to be believable. I don't really buy it when people write him as this big hero that saves Hermione, I think she's actually tougher than him. Thanks for sticking with me even though I've been slow lately!


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Review #23, by Goldie Into the Dark (Part 2)

18th February 2014:
This story is so well written! I love the plot. But try not wimp out Draco too much. He needs to be the one fighting the dark magic. That was his sole purpose of accompanying Hermonine on this mission. Please post soon!!!

Author's Response: Thank you for reading, and for your honest advice. You are right, I think I do make him weak sometimes. I used weakness to show the side of him that Hermione is able to forgive, and you'll see what REALLY happened to him in the cave next chapter.I know everyone wants to see a man who will fight for our heroine, and I hope that will happen in later chapters...

Please keep reading and reviewing!

Love,

FawkesFelicis


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Review #24, by Stunned Into the Dark (Part 2)

16th February 2014:
Super freaky chapter, really well written, the descriptions were very vivid which was great!
I am intrigued as to what is going to happen next, not only between Draco and Hermione (their interaction in this chapter was amazing by the way!) but also in the cave when Hermione and Draco wake up.
Please update soon, I know as a fanfic writer myself that sometimes it's hard when you're really busy but I love this story a lot so I will be very excited when the next instalment arrives!
Stunned x

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I know this chapter is not what people usually like to read in fan fic, but I knew from the beginning of my story that I wanted to write it and I wanted it to be really creepy :)

I'll try not to keep you waiting!


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Review #25, by brttknee Into the Dark (Part 1)

14th February 2014:
A great little chapter! Keep 'em coming!

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm working on it!

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