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Thread: June Activities 2010

  1. #1
    Hermoine Jean Granger

    June Activities 2010

    More information on The Category Patrolling Project can be found here..

    This month's featured category is "Post-Hogwarts." Link to category.

    A request: When you post the summary, could you please post it in italics instead of in quotes? The reason for the request is that when I try to copy/paste your posts to this thread (I basically click on the 'quote' button and take all the content), the summary doesn't show up as it is in quotes. The thing is, I then have to copy/paste individual summaries and match them up with the links and other information, which leaves a lot of space for error/mismatch of summaries. I'd be grateful if you post the summaries in italics instead, which will work easier for me. (And, if necessary, I'll add the quote tags when I repost the stories to the other thread.)

    Post with these details, please:

    PHP Code:
    [B]Name of the Story(with link):[/B
    B]Word Count:[/B]
    B]Warnings(if any):[/B]
    B]Number of chapters(if chaptered. If it is a one-shotthis can be skipped):[/B
    B]Last updated on(applicable only to WIPs):[/B]

  2. #2
    Name of the Story(with link): BH
    Author: trinsy
    Rating: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 2,817
    Warnings(if any): DH Spoilers

    "before Harry, before Hermione, before Hogwarts..."

    Ron reflects of families lost and families formed.

    Name of the Story(with link): Florean Fortescue, an Unsung Hero
    Author: hestiajones
    Rating: 1st-2nd years
    Word Count: 2,779
    Warnings(if any): Character Death, Violence

    Remembering the forgotten ice-cream man of Diagon Alley.

    Name of the Story(with link): Fragmentary Blue
    Author: Hatusu
    Rating: 3rd-5th years
    Word Count: 1,570
    Warnings(if any): Sexual Situations

    The whole world has gone crazy, tipped on its side, changes happening so quickly that Harry can’t keep track of them all. He isn’t at the centre of it anymore – he’s drifting peacefully somewhere on the very outer rim, and he likes it this way, and he never wants to go back.

    He has a dream one night. Soft hands lift him out of his bed. He opens his eyes and their faces are like maps of a country he’s never been to but has always wanted to go. They say they’ll take him to a place where all he has to is breathe.

    He says okay.

    After Voldemort's defeat, Harry struggles to come to terms with love, death, and the end of innocence. One-shot. Rated for very, very mild sexual implications.

    Name of the Story(with link): Serve and Protect
    Author: Fresh C
    Rating: 3rd-5th years
    Word Count: 2,865
    Warnings(if any): Character Death

    The glamorous life of an Auror between the capturing of dark wizards and duels to the death.

    Name of the Story(with link): Tarot
    Author: DeadManSeven
    Rating: 3rd-5th years
    Word Count: 15,136
    Warnings(if any): DH Spoilers, sexual situations, strong profanity
    Number of chapters: 7, completed

    A reading that consists of only cards from the Major Arcana indicates the destiny of the querant lies outside their own control - possibly within the hands of Fate itself.

    Nineteen years pass between the final chapter and the epilogue. Here are two days inside those nineteen years.


  3. #3
    jenny b

    June Featured Author

    Our featured author for June is Russia/Russia Snow!

    Her author’s page can be found here.

    • You must review the featured author for it to count as your monthly activity requirement.
    • Post the link to your review here - you may also post it in the June review thread for credit as a review.
    • Questions in this thread are not part of the monthly requirement, but they are greatly encouraged. Also, they must have something to do with the subject of writing.

  4. #4
    jenny b

    June Drabble Challenge: Mini 007

    For those of you that don't have the time to do the actual thing (or for those who need a change of character ), then here's a miniature version of the 007. You need to choose one character and one prompt and drabble about it.

    Albus Dumbledore
    Peter Pettigrew
    Narcissa Malfoy
    Susan Bones
    Hugo Weasley
    Fleur Delacour


    (The last four are courtesy of Hannah, so don't blame me for the sheep. >.>)


    • Drabble can be between 250-800 words.
    • Content should not be any higher than a 3rd-5th Years rating.
    • All content that would require a warning on the MNFF Archive should be labelled appropriately.
    • This thread is for responses only. If you have a question, PM me.
    • Responses must be posted by June 30th, 2010.
    • Please post using this format:
      Word Count:
    • As with all activities within the SPEW forum, this challenge is open only to SPEW members.

  5. #5
    jenny b

    June Discussion: Review the Review

    This was an activity that SPEW did way back before I was even a member, and it's an interesting concept so I thought I would bring it back up again as our discussion this month. Like I said, I've never done it, but it's pretty self-explanatory. You need to review the content of one of your reviews.

    So you will need to discuss what was said well, what could have been said better/elaborated on, if the review has a good tone, could it have contained more criticism, etc. You all know what should be in a good review, now it's time to put that to the test.

    I want SPEW quality reviews for this. Like the title says, it's a proper review, just for one of your previous reviews rather than a piece of fanfiction. You need to post or link to the original review in your reply.

    If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

  6. #6
    I chose two of the reviews I have left for Natalie (hestiajones), for whom I practically review all of her stories. She is not only a very dear friend, but someone whom I admire very very much as a writer. Her stories are very easy to review in my opinion, quite simply because they are fabulous, but as a result, there are some consequences from this, both good and bad: my reviews are often gushy and have rarely any critique in them, but at the same time, I am quite free to be very honest with her as friends.

    1: Sunday Lunch at the Malfoy's:

    Hey Natalie! I have come to review as promised, and I'm glad you promoted your story, because somehow I missed it in the updates. Is this the first story you've ever written? Because it was a joy and a delight to read - can I have more please? I am mega-impressed!

    I think there can be many characterizations of Astoria, as we know so little about her, but any take that is well written is believable. Your take on the Malfoys' Post-Hogwarts life is refreshing. It doesn't feel overdone, and it is explained. The motivations behind their somewhat secluded life brings us a version of Scorpius that is accepted and well-balanced and prejudiced free - again, tastefully and refreshingly done so as not to be overwhelming.

    Your characterization - spot on. Well, in my humble opinion. There have been 12309827 different versions of Scorpius and Astoria, and I really like yours. Astoria seems like she is a good fit for the Draco you've molded as well…willing to play into his ego a little bit, but all aboard the "Let's Forget the Past" train.

    My favorite…impression?...of your work is how you intermingled the history and the aforementioned motivations and beliefs of the Malfoy's into the dialogue and into the story as it unfolded, rather than giving us several paragraphs in the beginning. It felt like I was peeking into their life for a day, shadowing first Draco, and then Teddy, and finally Astoria as something trivial like Sunday lunch is actually a very pivotal moment in their lives. It made the flow of the story smooth and easy to read, breaking up the dialogue and the prose.

    I also liked the time stamp and place - it helped to juxtapose the differences and similarities between the two families…does that make sense? At least, it did for me, lol. Teddy and Draco had a VERY different background, but at the same time were both willing to cross bridges and change tradition. And they both were cute being nervous. I also thought the comparisons between the Weasley children and Scorpius were initially a tad overdone, but now that I think about it, that's probably what I would have been doing the entire time myself - making comparisons in this nervewracking situation to the one think I'm most familiar with.

    I also thought that you sprinkled it ever so nicely with glimpses into how the Wizarding world has changed, and just with little fun tidbits here and there to make the reader really feel immersed in a magical world. I think as writers of this fiction we sometimes forget to do that subtly here and there: playing Auror and Wizard Baddie, Astoria's thought about stunning two birds with one spell, Teddy's household spells worth a "T" grade, Archiwizards…etc.

    So, this review is monstrous, and probably the longest one I've ever written! I think there were a few nitpicks in there somewhere - one of your codings is off, something was supposed to be italicized, I think, and I have to mention that I did have a little, "Hmm" moment when Draco got the owl from Xanadu - but I wasn't joking when I asked for another. Something with lots of Astoria in it.

    This is one of my stronger reviews. I have a tendency to tell authors what they already know about their story- my “impressions”, more of a summary of how I received a story, but in too much detail to get to my point. I think this particular review avoided this, and helped really explain what I thought about various aspects of the story – characterization, writing style, etc.- and really said WHY I liked it or didn’t like it. I also had some critique interspersed. It wasn’t harsh, it was simply honest and justified, and I tried to make it clear that it didn’t by any means overwhelm the rest of the story, but it was still there and there were impressions I had reading it.

    I think it comes across better in reviews to someone like Natalie, who is a close friend, but this review sounds conversational and honest…I wanted this feedback to mean something but I also wanted it to be uplifting and positive, and hopefully all of those things came across. Re-reading it now after all this time, I still think I managed to get that tone across, though I couldn’t really place how.

    2: Killing Meda’s Daughter

    Here I am, as promised. It's much too late again, but I'm going to stop procrastinating. This fic deserves this review.

    I should first mention that you are scarily good at characterizing Bella. You have understood the root cause of what drives her character…at least, as I understand what you have come to understand through reading this story, if that makes sense.

    She is completely insane. She lives for Voldemort. Period. Every decision she makes is for him and what she believes around him. Some of those beliefs are reinforced from her childhood, but the point still stands that she lives for his approval.

    "Her wand hand was trembling a little with excitement; rewards from the Dark Lord lay ahead for her."

    "However, the Dark Lord's mocking was very different."

    "She was going to spill her own family blood, an act she felt honoured to commit."

    "Soon, very soon, she was going to show the Dark Lord she always kept her promises."

    If you assume, as she does, that this is the correct way to base decisions in your life, she is completely rational. She is cold, calculated, powerful, and not a woman to mess with.

    She also lives moment by moment while simultaneously keeping the bigger picture at hand - this is most evident in duels, where she will jump from the most advantageous target to another, but relent or move targets sometimes when she sees advantages or her bigger picture in mind.

    For example, right in the beginning, she moves to Tonks: "Forgetting about Potter, and with murder in her heart, she rushed forward to duel with the girl." But then when Sirius sends a spell her way, she decides he's a much better target because: a) she can get to Tonks another day, and b) it seems to be a part of her personality that she enjoys revenge, torture, the possibilities it presented to kill. So she just switch *snap!* just like that. The duality theme of her personality is present throughout the piece in different forms.

    Another example of duality, and my *second* favorite part (my first will come next ) is the part about the photographs. She spends some time reminiscing. I found it surprising that she would get the photograph out, until I realized it was spurning her angry - she was relishing in it. But at the same time, there is a bittersweet quality to the memory. She remembers Cissy as a sister she can be proud of, even though she saved the photograph, and she let her save it this long. I think these qualities of stopping, thinking about her past…and then suddenly dropping the picture and burning it with those hateful thoughts are two twisted sides to her personality you've managed to portray quite well. It makes unpredictable.

    The scenes you've chose to represent from the book, in particular the last two - fantastic. Her motivation and the way you've written them make them fresh. I didn't feel like I was reading the scene again, I felt like I was reading a new scene, and I was actually worried for Tonks in the 7 Potters scene, even though I know she makes it to safety.

    Her obsession with Tonks is scary. The final scene at the Battle of Hogwarts is frightening in its intensity: " The wandless girl turned around at the sound of the approaching footsteps, but Bellatrix was too quick for her; she grabbed the girl’s hair, pulling her head to expose the neck, and slit her throat in a smooth semi-circle." And like the 7 Potters scene, though we know what happens, it still feels like I’m reading a new scene. (On a side note, I like your Tonks, you should write her more.) I like the fact that you didn't have her kill Remus.

    I am conflicted about how you decided to have Tonks die. *sobs* On the one hand, I would like her to go out fighting, no matter what. On the other hand, I was strangely satisfied that Bella didn't take her down fighting; it was cowardly (even though she still felt a sadistic pleasure from it).

    The last four words: quite chilling, and thus quite a fitting ending for Bella's tale.

    I hope this makes sense…I don't know if there is anything constructive in there, but…I seriously fangirl what you've written about Bella.

    As I mentioned above, I can spend too much time telling authors things they already know about their story, and I don’t think that’s helpful to the author, unless it makes them feel better that someone interpreted their story correctly (or maybe worse if it’s wrong). My interpretation of Bella’s characterization was unnecessary, and there was really no reason to use so many quotes. I almost didn’t review this story, I nearly analyzed it for discussion. I also have some random tangents I digress on (such as “On a side note, I like your Tonks, you should write her more.”)

    Also- I should make sure I’m proofreading better, because the paragraph that starts “Another example of duality…” just doesn’t make any sense in some parts. I do write all of my reviews in Word first, but I think (as I state at the beginning of the review) that I wrote this late at night. Perhaps reviews written after midnight should also be avoided, lol.

    I think a big difference between the two reviews is how I felt writing them…the first one came much more naturally and it flowed from my own impressions from the story. The second one was a hodge-podge of random thoughts ABOUT the story itself rather than my impression and review of it, and it was more of a struggle to write – thus, the non-sequitors and the excessive quoting.

    Kudos to you if you managed to read through all of that.


  7. #7
    Name of the Story(with link): Everything in Between
    Author: SilverLily_13
    Rating: 1st-2nd Years
    Word Count: 1453
    Warnings(if any): DH spoilers
    Number of chapters: 1
    Last updated on: June 14/10
    Luna Lovegood and Harry Potter cannot forget the whisperings just beyond the veil in the Department of Mysteries. So when Luna turns up out of the blue (and dressed in a memorable shade of blue) to ask for a tour—for the Quibbler of course—Harry is able to use his not-insignificant influence to pull a few strings and set in motion a spontaneous adventure that answers the questions they have always been haunted with, about death, life, memories, forgiveness, and everything in between.
    Name of the Story(with link): Moon
    Author: Northumbrian
    Rating: 6th-7th Years
    Word Count: 9570
    Warnings(if any): Sexual Situations
    Meet Mark Moon, a bailiff in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement (Scottish Office). Mark has girl problems with a girl with problems.
    Name of the Story(with link): Lovers Masala
    Author: heron
    Rating: 6th-7th Years
    Word Count: 16058
    Warnings(if any): AU, DH Spoilers, Sexual Situations
    Number of chapters: 6
    Last updated on: March 08/10
    Hermione bumps into an old friend, Parvati Patil, while at Diagon Alley. The Patil family get involved in the Potters' and Weasleys' lives.
    Romance, drama, and a secret that could threaten the new relationship between the three families leads to the Lovers Masala.
    Masala is spice used in Indian cooking. What happens when Love and Masala collide?
    Name of the Story(with link): All Grown Up
    Author: red haired mom
    Rating: 1st-2nd Years
    Word Count: 1487
    Warnings(if any): AU, DH Spoilers
    It's been twenty years since Harry left Privet Drive. He's back to deliver the news that Dudley's son is a wizard.
    Meet Christopher and Lydia, Dudley's son and wife, and find out how Harry breaks the news to them.
    Name of the Story(with link): The Amulet of Imhotep
    Author: OHara
    Rating: 3rd-5th Years
    Word Count: 13777
    Warnings(if any): Character Death, DH Spoilers, Mild Profanity, Violence
    Number of chapters: 3
    When a griffin escapes from a magical museum with a powerful Amulet in its stomach, Hermione Granger sets off on a journey around the globe to recover it.

    Traveling through Europe, Asia, America and Africa, Hermione pursues the elusive beast, racing against a bloodthirsty gang of international terrorists bent on recovering the Amulet.

  8. #8
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Earning Points for Sheer Dumb Luck

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I probably need to do this more often, if you want to know. Especially when I started out, though I still might be, I was rather dreadful, not that we have to build an analysis or anything.

    The first one that I’d like to discuss at length is one that I did for Selina, who was the Month Author at the time, which, I cannot remember if this was last minute or not, but that might explain something here and there. I’m picky in that I will not read and certainly will not give a response to something if it isn’t written well because I will not pull things out of the air to sugar coat an author. I admit that this was a rather difficult pick.

    Selina/ The Muggle Muggle Studies Teacher

    It’s interesting you take this angle that this woman would be the first Muggle to teach this course; in the back of my mind, I can’t help thinking this would be quite obvious, but perhaps I am wrong; we have no evidence, for instance, that Charity Burbage was not herself a Muggle. It seems reasonable, you know, to get the full effect and reach an understanding with the students, all Muggle Studies teachers should reach that qualification and have such a perspective. How else would that actually learn this lifestyle from a perspective of someone who had lived among the wizards and gotten the full experience? That’s just something you should think about.

    You mention that you don’t think you are humorous. Well, from what I’ve learned in writing classes, it is a skill that should never be forced because readers will see you try too hard to make a connection; taking small jabs are all right, and you’ve done that with the crack at ‘Wisebuttocks’. You have a few errors and odd word choice here and there, but you can clean that up later, if you wish along the way. Perhaps you ought to read the piece aloud and hear whatever you’ve written. We all make mistakes. The clean up process doesn’t have to end with a submission.

    “Non-Magical Studies’ is too long? Like Defense Againist the Dark Arts? It’s a few extra syllables. All right. Take this sentence:

    I remember Megan. Acted normal in class, and insane everywhere else.

    You might be striking at a voice for a character, and that’s a good think to practice as a writer, but I must admit this is a little odd. Not only to do have a comma splice, but this really doesn’t come off as natural dialogue to my ear. It may just be me, so you might want to ignore this, but this doesn’t come off to me as sounding like Neville. The period here breaks the sentence … the comma isn’t needed as that’s a fragment, dear. As I say, I understand you are trying to make a character heard, but it’s just not carrying over that way. Especially since this comes from a Professor, even if you are discussing matters among colleagues, t sounds a little off. You might want to consider that.

    The number ‘fifteen’ should be spelled out. You’ve created a characterization with this woman; she really does not sound as though she’s pleased with the post, is she? I really feel as though you should have set the scene for the class session, seeing as this was the pivotal point of the story. It seems a little rushed, honestly, and you might want to delve into this a bit more because there is not much else than a surface reaction from the Professor; the last line is impressive. You really have something here. You might just want to clean this up and add a bit more.

    I hope this helps. The story’s an interesting spin.

    As I said, it was difficult to get into, which explains why I leaned a little toward the nitpicking; the problem with doing this sort of thing is that, often, you can’t recall why you said some **** things. One thing that I wish I would have done is take off those serious glasses and seen some of the humour in the names. Saying that the class was a little overdrawn was perhaps a little out of line, although I think that I might have thought it was rather cliché and weak for a title, especially for Neville to say. I should have expounded upon this OC, for part of the explanation is missing there. If her brother was a wizard, unless they lived completely left and right, would have known. Petunia pretended no interest in it, but she knew of the Wizarding World. I admit that I turned a bit beta with the piece, bo the fragment comment was out of line. I still say it needs revision, but I’m not insulting Selina: I do that religiously like beating an egg with my own stuff. This review needs revision. In order to do that, I need to find the time and reread the piece without thinking this is a ‘requirement’ and think it’s time to sit back. Be objective, yes, but this needs to be a good read experience.

  9. #9
    Name of the Story: Dean Thomas and the Reiver Curse
    Author: Equinox Chick
    Rating: 6th-7th Years
    Word Count: 10,433
    Warnings(if any): Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations
    Number of chapters: 3
    Last updated on: 6/22/10

    “Muggle-born, eh?” said the first man.

    “Not sure,” said Dean. “My dad left my mum when I was a kid. I’ve got no proof he was a wizard, though.” **

    Dean Thomas’ life is a mess. While the Trio were Horcrux-hunting and the Gryffindors were reforming Dumbledore’s Army, he was on the run. Living on his wits, he paired up with Ted Tonks, only to see him killed by Death Eaters.

    He spent a year away from Hogwarts dreaming of a day he could return, but as September 1st 1998 approaches, he realises he cannot go back.

    There are things he needs to do and a past he needs to discover before he can move on.

    ** indicates a line taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - The Goblin's Revenge.

    Name of the Story: Of Bludgers and Boils
    Author: the opaleye; bellatrix-black-lestrange; jubjub15; Rainy Day Parade
    Rating: 1st - 2nd Years
    Word Count: 4,282
    Warnings(if any): None

    The first Quidditch World Cup final since the demise of Lord Voldemort has arrived. But who in their right mind would appoint Zacharias Smith as the commentator? And how is it possible for someone to be so rude? Poor Cho Chang would love to know.

    This fic was written by the Slytherin team for the Jan/Feb QWC round over on the Beta Forums.

    Name of the Story: Seamus' Break with a Banshee
    Author: hesitajones
    Rating: 3rd - 5th Years
    Word Count: 2,116
    Warnings(if any): Character Death, Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Violence

    He had always been scared of the green-skinned fiend, but now that she was threatening someone precious to him, he had to stand up and fight.

    This is hestiajones of Hufflepuff writing for Madam Pomfrey One-Shot Triathlon - Round Two: Minor Canon Characters

    Many, many thanks to Kara (Karaley Dargen) for beta-ting this for me at such short notice.

    DISCLAIMER: Definitely not J.K.Rowling.

    Name of the Story: Bare
    Author: Northumbrian
    Rating: 6th - 7th Years
    Word Count: 4,648
    Warnings(if any): DH Spoilers, Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations, Substance Abuse

    All I ever wanted to do was fit in and be normal. I wanted friends, a nice boy, marriage and kids, the usual stuff. It wasn’t much to hope for.
    Fighting a war can leave scars, and you can't always hide them.
    This is Northumbrian of Ravenclaw writing for the Madam Pomfrey One-Shot Triathlon - Round Two: Minor Canon Characters, Prompt 1 (encounter with a mythical creature).

    Name of the Story: Hedwig's Tale
    Author: red haired mom
    Rating: 1st - 2nd Years
    Word Count: 1,913
    Warnings(if any): Character Death, DH Spoilers

    My name is Hedwig, and this is my story of what dying is like, and what happens next. Follow me on my journey to the other side. Meet the others who love Harry, and died to save him.

    Name of the Story: About Last Night
    Author: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
    Rating: 3rd - 5th Years
    Word Count: 4,464
    Warnings(if any): Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations

    James Sirius Potter was two years out of school, taking his first steps toward a brilliant Quidditch career, but on a night of drunken celebration, he meets his match in the form of a Hufflepuff bombshell who sets him straight.


  10. #10
    jenny b
    My review for Russia's To Tell The Truth is here.

    Looking over your author's page, I noticed you tend to write OCs or more obscure characters rather than the ones we know and love. What do you like about the lesser-known characters, or what do you dislike about the well-known ones?

    Which fic of yours has been the easiest to write? The hardest?

    And similarly, your favourite and least favourite?

    (I tend to find that my favourites are the ones that were hardest to write, but I don't know if that's everyone or just me being odd. >.>)

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