I loved your, or should I say Starrpynski’s, sonnet! Isabelle is a very interesting character. I can never tell what she’ll do next, which makes your story that much more entertaining to read. And pour old Lupin, once the DADA teacher, now can’t even get a job working in a stationary shop. Discrimination is such an awful thing, and you’ve really captured that here. It can make whoever the subject of it is feel so low, like they’re less than dirt. As always, the emotions in your writing are SO crisp I have little trouble picking them up. Nicely done, on that! I think I have said it at the end of every single one of your chapters, but, I’ll say it one more time. I would love to see some more imagery. The part about the shop smelling like potpourri was good. I know that smell and immediately identified when I read it. I think there could be more. What did Lupin see when he walked in the front door? You don’t have to add to ton. Just a short paragraph would help me see what Lupin sees. Overall, I have really enjoyed reading your story. I hope my comments were of some value. This is a very good story, and I will be looking forward to more!
Author's Response: Your comment on the how my feelings are so crisp and much of everything in this review—I was elated that my writing portrayed that. I'm always paranoid about characterizations and how things come off to my readers that I end up belittling myself to pieces. Anyway, my writing gets stronger, usually, with each chapter. And I was proud of this chapter in particular, especially the sonnet. (Took me at least five or six drafts to get the darn thing right!)
Anyway, so happy you enjoyed! The next chapter should be up soon.
I was going great guns on this chapter until we got to the very end. My first impression was, “Does the whole song need to be in there, or most of it?” In my personal opinion, which is just that and nothing more, when you use this much of a song, the song almost becomes the center of attention, detracting from your story. What about maybe picking your favorite couple of lines, or maybe even the best verse and only use that? That way, the reader gets more of your depictions, and not depictions from others. I also got lost when you started out saying Isabelle was having a cigarette listening to the song on her Stereo, then you had the song, then you had, “Remus finished listening to the song in which Isabelle was singing beneath her breath earlier.” I had to read that a couple times before I caught up with what happened. I don’t know, maybe you could somehow make that transition a little smoother some how? I like how you’re writing Remus. He’s a touch off how I envision him myself. But, that’s not a bad thing. I still can make a firm connection with his personally in your story to the way JK wrote him. Good work!
Author's Response: No, I guess the whole song didn't need to be in the chapter, but I'm not changing it. Thank you for the constructive criticism on the transition. I was a bit worried about that. My transitions could use a little work.
I'm glad you enjoy my writing of Remus, even if he is a tad bit off to you. We all have our different visions of the characters. :D It makes me happy that you can still make that "firm connection."
The description here you have “exponentially three times stronger…” hung me up for a minute. I understand you’re trying to say its way stronger than fire whiskey, but I think it will just sound better and cleaner if you pick one word or the other. It's either exponentially stronger or three times stronger. Then you won't have any fools like me trying to do math in the middle of your story trying to figure out just how much stronger you mean. You did a good job with the POV shift from Remus to Isabelle. It lets us see inside the thoughts and feelings of both of these interesting main characters. I particularly like that part where Isabelle was arguing with herself. You did a great job of capturing that feeling of, “I have something stuck in my head right now that I can’t figure out!” My biggest suggestion here, just like the first chapter, is more visuals. Emotionally, your story is so rich. I feel like I can feel everything your characters are. However, I don’t think I can see all of their surroundings all the time. I think if you set the stage for the reader just a little more, it would really add some impact to your story.
Author's Response: Thanks for the suggestion. I changed it. I guess my mathematical mind came through for a second... (I can thank the Calculus course I took last year for that. Grr.)
I'm happy you enjoyed the POV shift. I try to change it up a bit each chapter but keep it the same, too. Sorry if that sounded confusing... And feelings and thoughts are a big thing in this story. It's just something I have to capture.
Imagery will be more relevant in upcoming chapters. Sorry about the lack of it. I'm focusing most on characterizations these first couple chapters.
Overall, this is a pretty interesting story line. I find it hard to write stories about things that were going on (behind the scenes) in the first five books, but you have a good start here. 10 points awarded for use of the word Hyperbole in a fan fic! You have a very broad vocabulary. It keeps your story vibrant, and sets it apart from others. Though I may have seen Remus Lupin a little bit differently than you did, based on the way you characterize him, I think you did a fine job bringing the reader parallel to his dejected state. I also would have loved to see some more imagery and detailed descriptions. With such a wide range of words to choose from, I think you could do a fantastic job with imagery (not that you don't have some in there already...I'm just thinking even more). Some would argue that doing so might slow down a story, but I think it just adds too it. Well done on the first chapter in your story!
Author's Response: Thank you for the awesome compliments and I will keep in mind to place more background imagery. And I agree about imagery adding to a story. As long as it's not overly descriptive, it can be a wonderful backdrop for the reader to visualize.
This is really interesting, and I'm being honest because Remus Lupin isn't exactly my favorite character. Although I have little time to read, I'm looking forward to continuing this story. The only suggestion I have is that in the first few paragraphs when Remus is thinking about Sirius and the article in the Daily Prophet, it gets confusing (to me, anyway), who you're talking about when you use the word "he". If you stuck a name or two in somewhere, maybe it would be clearer? Anyway, just a suggestion, but other than that, really good so far!
Author's Response: Thank you for the kind review and I'm glad that you're finding this interesting. Hmm... I didn't find it confusing, but I'll keep in mind to read it more thoroughly so to make sure my readers/reviewers will find it understandable. Thanks for the suggestion!
Well, you obviously avoided the creation of a Mary Sue. I've been noticing that you have a knack for writing original songs and poems. It adds a lot of flavor and character to your story. I've never before thought about the specific situations Remus had to endure while looking for a position. I love how you portrayed his frustration. I really have only wonderful things to say about this chapter, so I'll avoid blubbering too much. Your story is moving along really nicely, and I look forward to chapter five.
Author's Response: Well, I've been writing original characters since the beginning of my "writing career," so I should hope I know how to avoid a Mary-Sue, at all costs. Of course, I've also read tons of stuff on avoiding them, too. So that probably helped, and I planned Isabelle's character before I even wrote the first chapter of my story.
I'm very pleased that you liked the poem. I was paranoid that it would sound awful. I think the one I actually published with this chapter was my fifth or sixth draft!
Thank you for the wonderful reviews! They have really made my day. :D
I must say that I really liked this chapter. The way you switched between the different points of view was a clever writing device to keep the reader entralled. Their moods and attitudes were also easier to compehend in this chapter, and I think the song helped out with that a lot. Isabelle has a very short temper, and seems unnecessarily meloncholy. I hope we'll learn more about her situation later. It seems you want the reader to sympathize with her, but she's too defensive to even pull in the audience. Perhaps showing a little vulnerability on her part would help. An explantion of her PoV would help as well, of course.
Author's Response: I, in particular, love that song and thought it was so fitting for both their personalities (and the fact it existed during their era). I am so happy that you thought it helpful. I'm also very glad that you mentioned that Isabelle is defensive, and that's exactly how I wanted her to come off as. It will be explained later in the story. We will be seeing a bit of her vulnerability eventually, not quite yet though. As the chapter numbers grow and her character is exposed more, you'll be seeing why her POVs earlier were the way they were.
I think you may have meant to put a period in the first paragraph (or rather, the one after the one with only "Home") between humanity and normally. I think you've captured their seperate mental musings well. With The Great Gatsby and the long, blond hair, it's beginning to sound slightly American. Perhaps another book choice would help. Something by Yeats, for example. It's Irish, but a good choice among many. Alright. There was my two cents.
Author's Response: Yes, thank you for pointing that out. I changed it to a period. I actually noticed that last night, but was too tired to correct it. The Great Gatsby was by my computer at the time I was typing, so...
That is so ironic that you mention Yeats because we just read a poem by him in my AP English IV class today! Weird. Thank you for the tip, though. I'll take that into consideration the next time I intergrate an outside piece of literature into my story.
I shall now delve into the mass that is your story. To some, it may be considered dense. It all depends on which is your target audience. Either you have a thesaurus very handy, or you know an astounding amount of words. Kudos on the use of the word "hyperbole." I thought I was the only one in the U.S. who used it on a regular basis. Your style is very mature, and that certainly ads to the story's appeal. Now, onto the plot. I feel like you've chosen a great place to begin with Remus. Having just left Hogwarts, he is in an uncertain, and possibly precarious position. It certainly is a good breeding ground for several story directions. Overall, it is a very well-written chapter. I didn't get bored, and am looking forward to hearing more about the mysterious Little Red Riding Hood.
Author's Response: Hyperbole is such a funny word, I love it. I first learned it my freshman year doing a math riddle. Very cheesy, but worthwhile. Anyway, yes. I do have a very large vocabulary, but not without the help of a thesaurus once in a while. I love to learn new words.
Thank you for the wonderful compliments. They are greatly appreciated. (
I really like the style of your writing, its different from most people's style of writing, in places it actually seems similar to Douglas Adams (and from me that's high praise indeed). Some people might say that Remus is OOC since he appears to be more forward/confident than in the books but since we've never seen him in this sort of situation. A couple of small points, I think you've misused "ascertain(ed)" it means "to find out" not "to decide" as I think you meant it to mean. And as a Greetting in the UK "Hullo" is spelt "Hello". "Hullo has a slightly different meaning. But overall I really enjoyed it.
Author's Response: Thank for this wonderful review, CCCC, and for pointing out misused words, and such. I'll go fix those. Hmm... Douglas Adams... I've been meaning to read one of his books. Thanks for the compliment. It's greatly appreciated.
I'm thinking that many people are busily trying to finish x-mas shopping, or are suffering from x-mas goodies coma so are unable to review. For those that fit into either category, fear not, for I will implore the author of this intriguing tale to update soon! I don't read many fanfics with "new" characters, but yours has obviously piqued my interest. Keep it up!
Author's Response: Thank you for the wonderful review. I'm glad that my character could "pique" your interesting, and believe me, she will be getting more interesting as the story runs its course. Sorry for the long wait for an update, too; I should have it up by the end of this month (January).
Aha! Thought I wouldn't review, did you? Well, I am. I've just read through the entire story, and then got lost in other mess, so now here I am, reviewing. You've done a marvelous job, dear, and I can't wait for the rest.
Author's Response: No, I actually didn't think you would. LOL Thank you for the compliment and the next chapter should be up soon. Once I submit it...
really Mysterious lady. it's a good start, and i hope u write another chapter soon:P
Author's Response: Thanks for the review. It's greatly appreciated!