Reviewer: Fiffer Haliwell
Date: 05/02/10 21:26
Chapter: Chapter 1

That was a sad chapter but at the same time it offered jsut a little bit of hope. At least james gets some privilages

Author's Response:

Well, to be honest, I have received a lot of criticism for my choice to put James in a non-hostile environment at Azkaban, but really, it only makes sense. Considering his dad put most of those inmates in there...would they really put James around any of them?

Plus, there are other mitigating factors, which you are soon to see. Hold on, because this story is about to be cranked up several notches.

Have fun!

Jess

Reviewer: Sainyn Swiftfoot
Date: 04/11/10 1:38
Chapter: Chapter 1

Nice, I liked the introduction of Fletcher. He is bound to hate the Potters, isn't he?

 

I had completely forgotten that the Dementors were expelled from Azkaban. Here I was expecting them, and suddenly-- they weren't there! xD

 

I do wonder, however, if Harry would really let James have that much of a preferential treatment. I'm sure the other convicts get much worse hoardings... Harry's always been very fair, and James refusing to talk about what he'd done... It doesn't paint a convincing picture, and I don't really think that Harry and Kingsley would bend rules to get James such a good place to stay. 

 

Ah well, we can always assume that Harry really loved James, or that he did it for Ginny =D 

 

Can't wait to find out what happens now...



Author's Response:

Haha, this is hard to explain without being a spoiler. There is a good reason why Harry doesn't want James in a hideous cell. First off, how many of those prisoners were put in there by Harry and wouldn't mind getting a vicarious piece of him through James? He would need to be kept away from all of that.

There is also a later plot point around it, but I'm not going to tell you, because you're still not there yet. :D

See ya!

Jess

Reviewer: coolh5000
Date: 03/01/10 13:44
Chapter: Chapter 1

You know, I thought I was going crazy. Because I remember reading the memory of Augusta and I couldn't understand why it wasn't there when I re-read so I just assumed either I had imagined things or else it was later in the story. For some reason it didn't occur to me that you might have cut it. I do think, however, that it works better without it. The James/Augusta relationship isn't really hugely important in this story, not in the same way that the Anne/Albus, Harry/Ginny or even Katie/Draco are and therefore the back-story, while nice wasn't really necessary and I think added padding that wasn't really needed. There's plenty going on with the story without it and I guess we don't really need to see anything about James/Augusta, other than perhaps to add a bit more to James' character, but I think you flesh him out perfectly well without it!

Sorry this is just a short one - I wanted to respond to your response and this was the only way to do it! I hope my reviews last night made sense - it was rather late when I was writing them. Oh and for the record, I have no objections to your style or word choice!

Hannah

Author's Response:

Ah, no, you're not crazy...it was there. :)

I agree about its relevance, which is why I'm glad I took it out. The story flows from chapter to chapter much better this way. 

Until we meet again!



Author's Response:

Ah, no, you're not crazy...it was there. :)

I agree about its relevance, which is why I'm glad I took it out. The story flows from chapter to chapter much better this way. 

Until we meet again!

Reviewer: coolh5000
Date: 02/28/10 19:36
Chapter: Chapter 1

This chapter is an interesting one. Little happens in the way of actual story development and its length, especially when compared to the others, reflects this. However, it provides an important transition to James’ life in Azkaban, and gives a brief glimpse into his character. I think you right to have it as a standalone chapter rather than attaching it to the one before, which is clearly about the trial and would be overloaded with any more information, or the one after, where the PoV completely changes. You introduce the prison well, and this chapter really goes a long way to building the tension and atmosphere of the whole story.

I liked the way that more than half the chapter was about the time before James even reached his cell. You set the scene really well and really painted a vivid picture of the terrible place in which James found himself, which made me feel like I was actually there walking alongside the group. I knew how the chapter was going to end – with James’ imprisonment, but still the way you led up to it, almost stalling the inevitable, was really good. One particular part which stood out to me the most was the description of the large, wooden doors, all of which were weathered and scarred from decades, possibly centuries, of use. which I feel is a really good example of the way you managed to really show the reader Azkaban and make them appreciate just what an old and dark place it is to be. And even though the reality of James’ cell turns out to not be as bad as the reader might have expected, there is still a sense of pessimism in this chapter and that nothing is going to change his fate, no matter how comfortable his cell.

The inclusion of Dung was a nice touch, as it brought in a familiar character from canon, which helps root the story back in the original series. The role reversal, with Dung suddenly the one in charge while a Potter is beneath him is nicely handled and you show how little Dung has changed in the amount of pleasure he takes at being able to use his rare chance at having authority. However, his fear at the mention of Kingsley and quick submission to the word of Hugo show he is still the same weak person he always was and that is power of James is in fact not quite to the extent he would perhaps like it to be.

There is a definite moment of Harry coming through in James when he does not want to accept the special treatment of the better cell, and I like the way that even though James is most definitely his own person, there are still recognisable hints of his parents in him. My heart really broke for James in this chapter and I began to feel real sympathy for his plight, in spite of what he is supposed to have done. In the latter half of the chapter, when he finally gets the chance to speak alone with Hugo, we get to see quite how scared and worried he his, not only for himself but for his family, particularly his wife and child. I definitely think it is here, through the genuine emotion that he shows, that it becomes even more obvious that the murder is not as simple as first appears. The conversation between the cousins is very powerful and you portray both of them well, including Hugo’s pain at having to leave him, and his determination that he will not be forgotten about. When the end came and James knew he was about to be alone I really felt for him and wanted so badly for something to happen that might change his fate. James’ character is really becoming to come out and with this part: even though he was a mischievous child, James never truly had enemies, you make the reader question how he could possibly have transitioned from there to here.

I felt that there was a slight moment of mary-sue-ism with slightly too perfect description of Hugo’s girlfriend but there is not enough about her to truly judge her character and equally I don’t remember reading much more about her later in the story, so I do not know a huge deal about her. However, there was one American slip at the end of the chapter which was rather noticeable, and my Britishness forced my to point out, as describing James sleeping in a cot would in fact mean sleeping in something suitable for a baby, or a crib!

All in all, a different but interesting chapter, and I look forward to the beginning of the ‘proper’ action, which I know is coming very soon.

Hannah

Author's Response:

Le squeak! Review!!!!!

Thank you for stopping by. Getting a SPEW review is like getting a kickass Christmas present. :)

This chapter was originally about 6000 words, but I got a review from Inverarity, which basically told me my writing is bad, my word choice blows, and that the entire sequence where James remembers his first real encounter with his wife were extraneous. I summarily ignored the first two (I had already written 17 chapters by then...no bowing out now, lol), but the third made me think. I removed that whole part and posted it as a one-shot, which in itself was pretty good. I am also toying with the idea of chopping the first chapter in half for a prologue and using the second half as part of this chapter, the new Chapter 1. I probably will, down the line do so, also with taking this whole thing, editing the bejeezus out of it and sending it to a beta. I want this to be archived in its best form, and the first 7 chapters sort of make me cringe when I read them, lol.

I really wanted the reader to like James, in spite of what he had done (or thought he'd done). Though he was a certifiable pain in the ass while he was a kid/teenager, he really did grow into a decent human being, much like what I'd expect James Potter classic would have, if he'd have lived to 32.

I know Sarah is ridiculously Mary-Sue, but I really didn't need her for much more than a name, a shoulder to cry on, and eventual Hugo arm candy. I might develop her character more in further offshoots of this fic that I am planning (and there are a crapload of those), but she was basically a rent-a-character.

Thanks so much for reviewing, and now I'm off to looky at the other one. :)

Jess

Reviewer: moonstargazer
Date: 11/05/09 23:42
Chapter: Chapter 1

Okay, so I suppose when Augusta and James had an argument during their marriage, she just dumped a bowl of something on his head to knock him out, lol
Very amusing how they got together. She has a wicked hook, that's for sure!
Nice that James' prison cell is'nt as bad as he thought it would be...Lucky for him.
A great story, I'm sure we'll have flashbacks in James' case, as he remembers his life with Augusta, and his parents and friends and family.

Author's Response:

Actually, the flashbacks will be more geared toward the events that landed him in prison in the first place, since I've decided, in this tale, to make the story itself the main character. I am actually going to remove the flashback scene and post it as a one-shot supplement to the story in favor of actually leaving it in the chapter (some good advice from a SPEW reviewer), which I plan to do once Chapter 3 is posted.

Again, thanks for reading and reviewing. It always helps when you know what is disliked, liked, and loved about your story.

~Jess

Reviewer: Inverarity
Date: 11/03/09 12:36
Chapter: Chapter 1

This is an interesting story premise. I have to offer some critique, though.

 1. As another reviewer pointed out, your writing style is very verbose, and the dialog is stilted. Nothing that comes out of the characters' mouths sounds like the way real people talk -- it reads more like they are delivering lines in a theatrical production. (And no, I do not believe that you actually talk that way. Having a large vocabulary isn't the same thing.)

2. For the most part, your writing is pretty good, but I caught a number of grammatical errors, particularly with verb tense.

3. Along with the wordiness, way too much overuse of adjectives and adverbs and similes. A little bit makes writing sparkle; a lot makes it sound like someone trying to show off their vocabulary.

4. There is a lot of unnecessary information that gets inserted in places that interrupt the flow of the story. You've put James in Azkaban, which is a very tense and dramatic situation, and the readers want to know what's going to happen next. So you go off on a tangent about Hugo's girlfriend's platinum-blond hair, followed by reminiscing about how James met Augusta. Now we've totally become disconnected from the tension you built up by putting James in prison. Frankly, finding out that he met Augusta in a fairly typical Hollywood-style jerk-meets-girl, girl-decks-jerk, jerk-eventually-wins-girl-with-his-roguish-charm manner could be condensed to a paragraph or two.

 (Stephen King does this a lot --in the middle of a story, he'll suddenly spend 50 pages on a flashback one of the characters has to a childhood memory. That's one reason why most people say that Stephen King needs a stronger editor. It's a bad habit to get into, especially if you're not Stephen King.)

Don't take my criticisms as saying "Your story sucks." I actually find it pretty interesting and will probably keep writing. But I do think you could use some stylistic, narrative, and SPaG help from a beta.



Author's Response: Thank you for the SPEW :)

I can tell you that my writing style is much changed in later chapters as I slowly recall the writer I was when I was younger and more practiced. For James, there really isn't much that changes in his situation in terms of 'what happens next', because 1) he's already in prison, and he's not likely to go anywhere and 2) the real story is taking place on the outside. While I do agree that I probably could have skipped most of the flashback, I felt it was very important to make sure that the reader knows, by bits and pieces, that James Potter is not a murderer. That's what I try to do with his thoughts, mannerisms, and memories, and if I've failed at that...well, that just kinda sucks, lol.

I guess the way it's written and the style is a matter of perspective. I feel it's important to define the characters before embarking on the story ship, but if I'm not doing that right/at all, a red flag would be awesome.

Thanks, Jess

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