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Reading Reviews for A Marauder's Tale
  
22 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Toni 1st Year- The Snake

8th July 2016:
Loving your story so far. I hope there is some chapters on their way!

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Review #2, by NPE 1st Year- The Snake

12th February 2016:
Hi Becca,

So it appears I have come to the end of the Marauder's Tale thus far.

Yeah, I think that what you have written so far is some achievement. I definitely think you should take it as encouragement for further writing either on this story or anything else in HPFF or your own original stories.

This was a great chapter, I liked the addition of the snake and how it creates a perception of Severus' character, Lupin is properly distinct, and your dialogue. I think you have improved along the way in all honesty.

Nick

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Review #3, by NPE 1st Year- Secret Passages

9th February 2016:
Hi Becca,

For me this was a pretty lively chapter.

I liked it.

Bits of CC - I think you miss opportunitie for atmosphere.

The technique of reciting stories has limits such as this:

"Students out of bed!" They heard the caretaker, Filch, call out. "I'll find you," he muttered.

James cursed under his breath and hastily pulled the invisibility cloak over their bodies. Deciding not wanting to chance having the cloak confiscated on the first day if they were caught, they began moving away from where they heard Filch coming from, backing up slowly. When they reached the stairs, Sirius and James hurriedly ran up them, stopping for breath on the fourth floor.

^ Would work better with more lingering suspense and atmosphere over the situation. Tell us their feelings etc.

I found this all largely very readable and entertaining. Though I am not sure they would call themselves the marauders yet.

Best,

Nick

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Review #4, by NPE 1st Year- I Wish You a Prankster Christmas

5th February 2016:
I really liked the introduction of Andromeda. The addition of his positive disposition towards her was a cool addition.

Furthermore, the use of Christmas as a plot vehicle for the introduction of the cloak and the sneakoscope was a nice touch.

I always enjoyed the way you made James seem pampered with the gifts he gives and his mum sending him an owl.

It ended on a cool impulsive note as well.

For me, I think quibble I can bring to attention is that it just sometimes lacks some examination and vigour in descriptive terms.

" His last hair cut had been before he started school. He figured if he could get it long enough by the end of the school year, his mum would give him all kinds of hell about it. He just loved making her angry. It would also slightly divert attention away from the fact that he was in Gryffindor. Sirius sighed heavily, turning to James. "We have all break, mate. We'll find something," he said hopefully."

Here you are going into a lot of thoughts and inflections of various characters and you just mention them as references across one sentence.

Another example is this below:

So Sirius and James wandered through the castle, tapping their wands on every stone and checking behind every tapestry. They didn't find much except maybe a few good short cuts to class, but those were common corridors that older students knew about and used frequently.

Which is a cool observation, but it isn't really dwelt on. It's just referred to across a segment of sentences. If the aside was colourful and quirky and like a memory or a reflection of school days, it would work, instead it just reads a bit colourless.

But I like a lot here, for sure, keep writing :)

Nick

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Review #5, by NPE 1st Year- Just Don't Get Caught

1st February 2016:
Hi Becca,

Yeah so the dialogue here is quite funny. You've been pretty consistent on that for a while now so it is great to see.

I think you depicted Sirius' party really well, and the whole night time scene felt true to the books.

I also admire your word economy a lot still. Yeah not the most glamorous of appraisals, but you pack a lot in for 2,000 words. I write that much describing someone washing their hands. So I admire your ability there.

An example is this is an excellent characterisation relative to the sparing words used:

Professor McGonagall standing there, her lips pressed in a firm line as she stared down at the four boys.

"Lost, I see?" She arched an eyebrow at them.

I also loved their rambling excuses after.

My main CCs are the following:

1) I am still unsure of the role of Gabby other than the sort of represent the narrator pointing out all the "Marauder" characters' shortcomings.

2) British boys in the 70s would not be that gushing and huggy with each other.

3) I wish you had explored Sirius' pysche more, or Lupin's feelings and apprehensions in the group. Sirius' issues about the party, and Lupin's disposition towards the group were swept together too conveniently.

I couldn't think of any structural or typo-related mishaps.

Happy writing,

Best,

Nick

Author's Response: Hey Nick!

It's been a crazy semester, but I think I'm finally back for good! So sorry it took me this long to respond.

I want to go back and rewrite some of these chapters, because I feel as if I rushed them a bit. I was trying to get as many in before school got too crazy, but I have more time so I'll keep in mind all of your comments, making sure to keep what you liked in the first place :)

I'm going to maybe narrow my POV down a little. I think I should choose one of the marauders and really hone in on them. I've been trying to get so much back story out, but that should come naturally with story and dialogue. So I think the issues you've been having with Gabby will resolve there.

A good point :) I'll do a little research so it feels more natural. My thinking here was that in a short while they start becoming animagi for Remus, and they must be really close to do this.

When I rewrite, I will definitely take that into account :)

Thanks!

Becca


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Review #6, by NPE 1st Year- Talking to Remus

31st January 2016:
Hello, here with another review. :)

Ok, so the first-two thirds of this is the best writing you've ever done. Ok, the best writing of yours I have read. I shouldn't be too hasty with hyperbole :)

Your characterisations of Remus and his blend of apprehension, defiance and pre-teen angst really work on the page. His personality collides wonderfully like a thundercloud with Sirius' here.

Plus how the whole orchestration of asking him about his disappearances and then watching their plan crumble, especially when Sirius gets too strident and forthright is well depicted indeed.

I loved the unorthodox diversion with Peter and Peeves. You see, Hogwarts is a pretty idiosyncratic place and JKR fills her stories with nutty side remarks and bits of humour. I think they definitely need to continue. They make the school life more interesting, add great characterisation, and develop this wonderful feeling that this isn't a structured story but almost a recollection.

The phrase "exposed her to Quidditch" was funny for reasons that aren't obvious to me. But I laughed.

Ok, for some reason, during the middle of the Quidditch match you just list everything that happens and I am not really sure why.

This paragraph reads like stage directions - even the tense changes:

Sirius, James and Peter all anxiously debate in whispers whether or not they should disturb him, but Peter finally convinces them it would only make Remus even more angry and they settle down for a game of Wizard's Chess on Sirius' bed. James watches them play absent mindedly while he dozes off in his own bed, Peter protesting when Sirius' queen smashes his rook. James falls asleep thinking of being on a broom, flying around with his team and scoring goals, then being paraded off the field like Stratton was tonight.

I also think it'd have been cool to have more details of the party and as much as I admire your conviction to put Quidditch in, your commentary abruptly stops. You didn't have to describe the whole match, so I don't criticise the fact this chapter doesn't, but the commentary has to draw to a close more naturally. It feels like I missed a step on the staircase when I read that bit.

Though as I said, I really liked this.

It added lots of intrigue too, and I thought the descriptions of Lupin and his passing thoughts on homelife felt very natural.

Hope my CC isn't to harsh as I said- this is mostly excellent.

Best,

Nick

Author's Response: Eek thank you so much! That means a lot! Remus is my favorite character, and I love writing conflict, so I guess that part of this chapter felt natural to me. Now if only I can extend that across the whole story, that would be awesome! I'm going back through all of the chapters and giving them a make over, by the way :) Using your advice as a guide, of course. I need to set a goal in order to force myself to do it.

Ah, Quidditch. I love reading it, hate writing it. But I see what you mean, it's super choppy. I need to watch all of the Quidditch matches from the movie for inspiration. If there were only more!

It wasn't harsh at all :) I really appreciate your honesty. And I will take mostly excellent any day of the week! :) Thank you for your time, Nick, I'm extremely grateful.

Ooh and by the way, I will be visiting Chapter 8 of Rise of the Phoenix in the next few days. Fingers crossed, Wednesday night. At the latest, Thursday night.

-Becca


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Review #7, by NPE 1st Year- The Halloween Feast

30th January 2016:
Hi there,

Right, I thought the prank was cool, and perfectly believable and felt easily authentic. I also think your characterisation of Remus and Pettigrew were great.

Furthermore, the whole depiction of Lily, and her look of almost disappointment at their arrogant idiocy was brilliantly executed. It does seem like these would be the sort of things that would make her disassociate herself from them.

Furthermore, your description of the food and the set up of the hall was well done, particularly relative to how few words you used to conceive the idea.

A few bits of CC - Dumbledore's idea of cancelling lessons is plausible, but I found his dialogue a bit anodyne and lacking in his usual batty flair.

Conversations that aren't obvious to the plot but make things more believable in the world are great additions. I wished you had gone further with the vampire discussion and made it some sort of off-the-wall dialogue set piece at the table. Getting 11 year old perspectives on vampires would be really funny.

I think Sirius' line about we are eleven so we do pranks was about a bit too "fourth wall" for me I am not sure an eleven year old would say that it sounded like he was speaking to the reader not Lily.

I think James being hungry is funny, but the slapping belly of Sirius and tearing into food by James read a little cliched to me. I also found the food emerging followed by a sentence on him finishing it to be rather abrupt.

So there was a lot of cool things here, just a few quibbles really. :)

Nick

Author's Response: Hello,

I do have trouble with Dumbledore :/ He's a nightmare to write for me, so I will definitely have to work on him!

Haha, I didn't even think about that. That would make for an interesting conversation between them. I'll go pay around with that idea ...

I see what you mean about their interactions and I will rewrite that section, making it more believable and such.

Thank you for the critique, I appreciate it! I'm getting to the next chapter of Rise of the Phoenix soon, I promise! I've had work, and homework, and everything in between so I'll be reading it tonight :)

-Becca


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Review #8, by NPE 1st year- Tryouts and the Prank Gone Awry

26th January 2016:
You know, when this works best, it sort of reminds me of Charlie Brown. In that its nostaliga and sort of a literary warm hug. As a big fan of Peanuts in general, that's a compliment :)

I loved the aside about termites, I thought the whole Quidditch sequence was excellent and really well visualised and maintained. I loved the whole jealousy and inferiority thing of James watching and not being a Quidditch king yet. I really respected the interactions with the betting etc.

The prank thing and the flustered Mr Turnbull also worked.

So I really like the premise of the story, and there were loads of good things about the chapter.

CC - I still don't particularly care, as a reader about say, Areia, Grey or Cornelia, they are just blank mannequins to me. Lily also appears completely lost in the narrative right now, which is a shame. But I will give it times as I get these are more like standalone memory chapters. There hasn't been anything on the page given to most your side characters to express themselves as particularly worth paying attention too. Gabby I have some interest in and feel prepared to wait to see her character fully fleshed out - but I can't say that for everyone else.

At times the chapter lacks descriptive quirks needed to take me from bits of each part of the narrative. Sometimes the prose is directive, saying he did "x", and then "y" because of "z". Really I want it hidden from me or characterised by their own movements so the story and the actions have their legitimate stamp.

For me there is a slight variation in the authentic levels of the conversation - this is really good - and reads well for example. It is also pretty funny:

"Gabby, come on. I can't take this anymore. Please will you talk to me?" James pleaded, sitting next to her. Gabby still ignored him, staring straight ahead.

Sirius sat down next to James and ignored the two, intensely watching the hopeful Gryffindors who were still warming up. "Hey, wanna make a bet on who will get in?"

"Sirius, kind of trying to apologize here," James said, annoyed that betting was all Sirius cared about at the moment.

"10 galleons that little girl with the red hair makes it," Gabby spoke up, still staring directly at the pitch."

This is less successful -

"Gabby still ignored him, staring straight ahead"

This is a relatively worn way of describing someone ignoring someone, it reads too much like stuff everyone had read in this line so a reader just glosses over it.

Another example is "bored out of her mind". I can find 100 books with that phrase.

"as the Marauders had paired off into two's"

? They're marauders already ? Is this the emergence of a different narrator addressing the reader?

Truthfully I am not 100% on what the style of narrator is.

Also...

NO BRITISH PERSON SAYS DORK!
OR THIS STINKS!

Sorry, felt the need for caps :)

But these are natural problems with any writing and by all means, keep it up because there is a lot in here I like - I tend to get more frustrated when I see loads I enjoy in a story and a few things just need tampering.

Best, and look forward to continuing our review swap :)

Nick

Author's Response: Aw thanks :) I love Charlie Brown as well, so I will take that as a compliment!

I totally understand what you're saying about all the other secondary characters. For me, I wanted to introduce everyone in the beginning, but then focus on the Marauders with all of the other characters playing a secondary role. I had read somewhere that JK Rowling had a list of 40 miscellaneous names from Hogwarts students in Harry's year that she could pull from and use as filler characters when it was needed. I wanted to do sort of the same thing with them. They will be part of the plot, but so far it's mostly focused on the boys and how they become close.

I also appreciate you pointing that out to me, about the "descriptive quirks" :) I need to go back and flush out the chapters with more character.

Also, didn't realize I had put the marauders in there :) Honestly, I've had to stop myself a million and one times from writing that, so a small slip up :/

Haha! I know, I'm having so much trouble with keeping my American-isms from coming out. When I'm tired is when they especially like to make their appearances. I suppose I was a bit tired when I wrote this chapter! If you notice anything else please let me know :) Also, since I've started writing on here, I've realized I've started to say British slang in real life too. My family thinks I'm crazy (though that may not having anything to do with that...)

Anyway...

Thank you so much for both your kind words and CC once again :) I'm always looking to improve!

See you next time :)

Becca


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Review #9, by NPE 1st Year- Flying and Transforming

24th January 2016:
Hi there, NPE here.

Ok, so I liked lots of segments of this chapter. The dialogue didn't grate, and it flowed really well. Your depiction of Sirius and James recognising Remus may be hiding something was really well done too, I must say. Furthermore, I respected how you did the Remus being the least objectionable character thing...sorry not sure how else to phrase.in that Lily stucks up for him and everyone likes him.

Furthermore, your listing of the characters and their respective flying abilities was really eloquent and well put together.

For me, the CC is very subjective, in that I can't fault the mechanics of your writing as such.

For me it needed more diversion. It was almost too well structured. This has the feel of a really interesting almost nostalgia piece, like sifting through memories with the aid of an omniscient narrator. I'd like more whimsy, or details that were there just to flesh out the characters. One thing I really like about you as a write is your stories aren't forced. They don't have things on the page just to benefit the reader, they benefit the story instead. Therefore, I'd recommend putting in more incidences or thoughts of each character that gives them more specific identity and makes the story feel almost memeory-like.

I still think Lily, although she shouldn't be cold, is too engaged in their social circle. But I am open minded, I will see where it leads, she may well have interacted with them a lot in First year before puberty and their adolescent arrogance.

I think that phrases like "He felt himself dozing off" lack the eloquence of other bits of your work. In my view, it'd be better to (rather than direct the prose - saying he did x), to explain the sensation.

But on the whole I really like this. I look forward to chapter four and all of our swaps to continue. Sorry I am a bit behind, but I will go to the end no worries. I want to :)

Best,

NPE

Author's Response: Hey there :)

Yay, you make me so happy! Thank you, your reviews always help me so much. They boost my confidence and help me grow as a writer at the same time (both things I'm in dire need of!), so thank you :)

I went back and read over this chapter and I see what you mean now. It's becoming so difficult for me because while I love writing them as young kids, I'm getting too excited about aspects of the plot in later years. So it does feel like I'm writing more biographical.

I'm still trying to figure Lily out myself :/ Originally I felt like it should be a gradual hate, where they start off as being friendly with each other. Now, I think she should be annoyed from the beginning, the same way she annoys them. I'm still trying to flesh out to what degree she should be annoyed with them though, and how much she tries to be friends despite their differences.

Thanks for pointing that out, I'll go back and adjust :)

Thank you for all of your input! It's truly appreciated and helping me so much.

-Maraudergeek


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Review #10, by May 1st Year- Just Don't Get Caught

23rd January 2016:
Loved this chapter you can see the marauders starting to appear

Author's Response: Of course :) Thanks for the review!

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Review #11, by May 1st Year- The Hogwarts Express

23rd January 2016:
Really enjoyed your first chapter it's great reading James and Sirius first year

Author's Response: Thank you, glad you enjoyed it :)

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Review #12, by May 1st Year- First Day of Classes

23rd January 2016:
The children are only eleven but in one part you said Lily put her makeup on unless I read it wrong still really enjoying your storyline

Author's Response: Thank you! It's so hard writing intermittently between two age groups, I sometimes miss the little details. Thanks for telling me :)

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Review #13, by May 1st year- Tryouts and the Prank Gone Awry

23rd January 2016:
Severus is not in it very much hope we here how he is getting on sometime

Author's Response: Of course! I actually just submitted chapter 10 yesterday, which has a little more Sev action ;) But over the course of the story, I'm going to write him in a lot more, especially considering he's so connected to everyone.

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Review #14, by May 1st Year- Flying and Transforming

23rd January 2016:
If it was my friend I would worry to and think the worsed like they are

Author's Response: I would too! I just want them to find out already though, I can't wait to write them trying to help Remus :)

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Review #15, by May 1st Year- First Day of Classes

23rd January 2016:
The children are only eleven but in one part you said Lily put her makeup on unless I read it wrong still really enjoying your storyline

Author's Response: Thank you! It's so hard writing intermittently between two age groups, I sometimes miss the little details. Thanks for telling me :)

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Review #16, by May 1st Year- The Hogwarts Express

23rd January 2016:
Really enjoyed your first chapter it's great reading James and Sirius first year

Author's Response: Thank you, glad you enjoyed it :)

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Review #17, by NPE 1st Year- First Day of Classes

22nd January 2016:
Hi there, NPE here.

Your more accurate with the canon here. When I saw you mention potion, I worried you'd forgotten he came a full wolf in the Shrieking Shack as a kid most months, rather than enjoying the Wolfsbane Potion.

So the dialogue reads really well. You confidently go from segment to segment, and I really value some of your characterisations.

All I will add as CC's are 1) If going for book accuracy, which you stressed, your depiction of Lily is very good other than the idea of her being friendly to the Marauders.

2)"Remus lay there for 15 minutes, waiting for the werewolf to take control of his body."

This is a classic case of tell me rather than show me. It is always better to try and show or explain this sort of thing to the reader, or convey it rather than just point it out.

But on the whole, I liked it a fair bit. Enjoyed myself for sure.

See you in chapter 3,

Best NPE

Author's Response: Hey!

I'm very glad that you're enjoying the story :) I'll make Lily a bit more cold towards them, as well as adding more description with Remus' transformation. Thank you :)

-Maraudergeek


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Review #18, by NPE 1st Year- The Hogwarts Express

20th January 2016:
Hi there, I have split my review into two parts as it was too long to submit in one.

Ok, so sorry for the delay. I should be able to review chapters of this story with greater regularity from now on.

As it is always best to start off with the good things, and there was a lot to like here, the first thing Iíd mention is the premise. It is a genuinely interesting concept, with something of a biographical feel to it. I am not sure if it is going to go into the charming or dramatic direction as of yet, but I am intrigued how this turns out nine chapters in.

Youíre very accomplished at quirky inputs. Something I have a lot of time for indeed. So the addition of the squid, exploding snap, and the irate mother of Sirius were excellent and rung true.

There are also a few wry laughs in the mixture which are always a narrative boon.

It also captures the essence, the intended authorial aim here, of school and new opportunity, with the whole emotional leaving aspect thrown in for effect.

You have a naturally good idea of structuring stories. You donít overwrite, and it is clear where the beginning is and the end is. I could break this up into a three act chapter structure pretty easily, and that is quite a skill from a fan-fiction writer. Or, any writer for that matter. Youíve been so nice about my work so far, but I think when youíve read 6,000 words of people chatting around an office (which youíll experience later on) you may have to just find a way to stay polite haha.

I really respect how youíve kept the narrative together.

Furthermore, I definitely buy into the OCs you create, and also the whole nepotism and family connections thing with the Malfoys and Blacks.

There is definitely more to like than dislike. I always think youíre pretty good at dialogue as well, and the story reads nicely.

So well, done.

Author's Response: Thank you so much :)

It's always good to hear what you're doing well in addition to CC, so thank you for taking the time out to do both! I've been on a long hiatus from writing and have just come back in the last few months, so it's nice to know I'm not completely out of practice.

No worries about the delay for the review, you've been very helpful. I've read through the CC you sent me on the forums briefly (in the middle of class) so I'm going to take a closer look now and respond to that :) Thank you very much for the kind words here, though. I'm glad you liked it! And I appreciate it immensely!

Maraudergeek


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Review #19, by May Potter 1st Year- The Halloween Feast

17th January 2016:
There was a problem with the review I left for Chapter 7 so I'm putting it here :P

Remus is adorable firstly and I love how you're making Peter a part of the group which must have been how it actually went down. Most fics kind of shove him to the side. The four of them actually were friends and Peter must have had some redeeming traits. I'm intrigued to see how you're going to portray the way they treated him during their Hogwarts years.

Author's Response: Yeah, Peter is definitely a tough one to write. I want to be realistic about him and how we was at Hogwarts, and show why he got into Gryffindor when later in life he was neither brave nor loyal. Thank you for the kind review :)

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Review #20, by Jona Kuria 1st Year- Talking to Remus

16th January 2016:
I love your story! I'm not sure if you meant to or not, but you wrote in past tense a bit? Please keep writing!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review :) it means so much! And I'll go back and make sure it's all in the same tense. Thank you!!! I'm working on the next chapter, just having a bit of trouble with it. Chapter 7 will be out soon though :)

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Review #21, by May Potter 1st Year- Talking to Remus

15th January 2016:
Can I just say how impressed I am with this story and with the way you write? You're absolutely brilliant. I adore the way you've shown them so far as still young and innocent rather than jump into miniature versions of how they are as adults unlike how so many fics do. I love character development like the one you seem to be doing. However I must say not the biggest fan of Gabby for some reason (sorry!). But keep up the great work! Can't wait for your next chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review! I love writing this story so much and it's nice to get feedback :) I see what you mean about jumping into their grown up version, and that's something I'm trying really hard to avoid! Thank you for saying that you think I'm doing a good job of that so far, I'm blushing :) and yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of Gabby right now either, but when I first thought of her, she was 16. So I took that character and imagined what she would be like younger. You'll see :) Thanks for the review, it makes me excited to keep writing

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Review #22, by Smoverholt 1st Year- Flying and Transforming

12th January 2016:
I'm really enjoyed your story!!! I think that it's great to see this different perspective and the different group dynamics!!!

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm really enjoying writing it, they're all so fun to write! I appreciate it :)

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