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Name: Jenn_Weasley (Signed) · Date: 09/28/05 13:30 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
Great chapter. I was just holding my breath while Aunt Edris was looking at Ninette's present. Her reaction made me sick to my stomach (that's not a bad thing - you really put me in the moment). I hope you have some happiness in store for Ninette - the poor thing deserves it. I'll be watching for the next chapter. Thanks!!!

Author's Response: That "sick to the stomach" response was exactly what I was going for - I'm so glad you felt that way. (Well, not sick...you know what I mean!) That last section was not originally in my plan, but it kind of snuck in and turned itself into somewhat of a turning point - so I'm very, very glad you think it came across well. Thanks so much!

Name: TheVanishingAct (Signed) · Date: 09/10/05 14:45 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar

Well, after all of the hype, I had to check this out- I was very curios to see what you have created. I did not waste any time reading your fic- I spent that moment engaged into Ninette's reality and dreams- exploring what you have written and taking that in.

I will start out with the things I love about your story- there is so many things! Where to start? Oh yes, Ninette. The OC that stands out in my mind- she seemingly has no hope, and she gets me to thinking- and I love that in a character. I also felt what she felt, and when she was sad, so was I- and she felt like an old friend, sort of how the trio feels to me- I am connected with her. Awesome job.

Examples of your wonderful character making its connection: "Ninette was frozen...." to "....only marzipan and sugar." This made me teary eyed- yes, a male, teary-eyed. That is a fantastic feat. A moment that made me cheer (literally, my dad though I went crazy) was "'What did she do?'...." to "'What did she do?'" I found I was so proud of her for braving up enough to face Aunt Edris.

Yes, Aunt Edris- what makes her character? What shaped her to think that way? I am really looking foward to seeing more of Aunt Edris and what she shall do in the future. I want to know more... and more. You will tell us, won't you? *big smile accompanied with Bambi eyes*

Now, since I must nitpick (I really enjoyed this though, so never mind this stuff), I have a few things that kind of bothered me.... First of all, I think that "marzipan shepardesses" should be "marzipan shepards". Unless they are all females- and even then- it should be "shepards". I also think you were "-" happy toward the beginning of the second sequence.

Anyway, don't worry about those few thinks that come from pickiness- your story of Ninette and Tonks (although from this review, just Ninette) has gotten me on a ride that I'm not willing to get off, which is deserving of a perfect ten.

Author's Response: Thanks, Patrick! I'm very glad to hear that you feel connected with Ninette; she's so reserved and withdrawn that sometimes I'm afraid that connection gets lost. As for the moment (only a moment, unfortunately) when she faces Aunt Edris, I'm delighted that it gave you that reaction. It was to mark an ever-so-slight change in Ninette's mentality, which you should see more of in coming chapters. As for Aunt Edris, yes, you will find out more - though I haven't yet decided exactly how much. ;) And yes, I do tend to overuse dashes - they're so much fun! I'll continue to watch out for that, though. Thanks again!

Name: truth or dare diva (Signed) · Date: 09/06/05 21:18 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
This story is so wonderful, I really like it. Ninette is definitely her own character, I feel so sorry for her... I dance ballet, but I am no where near as serious as she is. Do you dance? You write Tonks beautifully, totally in character. Please always continue writing, its your gift.

Author's Response: No, I don't dance; it was one of my dreams when I was little, though, so I suppose that's partly where Ninette came from. I'm glad you think Ninette's character is interesting, even though she is reserved and subdued...she will be developing more in future chapters, so I hope you'll continue to like her. Thanks so much!

Name: Dutchy (Signed) · Date: 09/02/05 18:56 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
There's so much I'd like to say, but I can't find the words for it. All I can say is that somehow I can relate to Ninette, and it surprises me. Not that I do ballet, but something in how her Aunt controlls her life strikes me. I recognise it and that's why I can relate to Ninette and why I keep reading. I hope that part of your story is not from your own personal experience, because I can honestly say that it's a misserable way of life. I'd love to see how Ninette breaks out of this way of life and how Tonks plays her role in this. Congratulations Ennalee.

Author's Response: Ninette has been a hard character to write, but I've found her very eye opening, and she's taught me a lot. I'm glad you can relate to her even though she's part of a completely different world. Thanks for taking the time to review.

Name: kaltaru (Signed) · Date: 09/01/05 19:11 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
The mastery you show at characterization is clear in this tale. I feel so deeply for Ninette as she watches Clara with a childlike wonder. I'm so glad you continue to build your story with subtle imagery. It's quite emotional and easy to enjoy.

Aunt Edris is simply dreadful. I don't know how much I can say that she is despicable. The whole time she gave her "commentary," I wanted to utter some non PG words at her.

This was a short chapter. I want longer. Please? And soon? *fluttery eyes*

Author's Response: Aww, Emily! *blushes* I always come away from your reviews feeling so good about myself! Childlike wonder was the exact impression I was going for in the beginning of the chapter; I'm so glad you saw it. It really was a key point for me - I see Ninette as still very innocent, despite her reserve and difficult childhood. And as for Aunt Edris...I love your description. *pictures Emily uttering non PG words at Aunt Edris while hiding behind an umbrella* I'm delighted to have created a character to whom you react so vividly! I'm working on chapter seven, though at this point it looks like it might be short as well. So, hopefully I'll update soon. (Soon = before I leave for college!) Thank you so much for the many compliments!

Name: fawkes_x (Signed) · Date: 09/01/05 19:09 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
writen like a true author. this is...wow...i truly love your story.

Author's Response: What can I say but "thanks!"?

Name: dumbledore girl (Signed) · Date: 08/29/05 22:07 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
i thought this was a superb chapter. i know in the last chapter i said that ninette was too one-dimensional, but i found that in this chapter you had her branch out a bit and that was immensely satisfiying. i loved the openeing sequence wiht the ballet, how you contrasted the lovely scenes on the stage with ninette's aunt's comments. excellent work.

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you think she's branching out a bit, because that was definitely my goal. :) About the ballet sequence, that was very crucial for me, both in the development of the chapter and in the story. It's really the point in the story in which I realized the huge difference between the way ballet works in Ninette's life and the way it work's in Edris' life. Glad you liked it!

Name: ellidiot (Signed) · Date: 08/29/05 9:38 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
nice chapter, gd characterisation and a lot of pathos. However i feel this story is moving too slowly, little has changed since chapter 1, just my opinion, i'm still enjoying the story.

Author's Response: You're right, I'm afraid. While I knew my basic plot by the time I started posting the story, I hadn't thought out all the details, and so I made the mistake of not really setting up the story properly. In a few chapters, the plot is really going to stop snowballing - I think. You've definitely found one of my biggest weaknesses, though - I'm bad at moving plot and characterization along evenly. I'm glad you like it anyway, though; thanks for reviewing.

Name: HermioneDancr (Signed) · Date: 08/28/05 21:33 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
As I was telling you before our conversation went off and became interesting (all on its own, with us just running behind trying to keep up!), I can't believe I can't find the hard copy I marked up on the last draft of it. So I'm starting over on this from scratch. You've heard what I thought needed fixing. So while I'm going to quibble over a couple of things, mostly I'm going to be going through and telling you what caught my eye as being especially good.

I still don't like your word choice on “quiet but cacophonous.” Cacophonous still implies loud in my mind. I would prefer, dissonant, but I know the musician in you could not sacrifice the musical meaning of the word. And when Edris is complaining about Clara's solo, the step should be chassé turns and not chassés. As a step chassés are fairly easy; it's the turns that make the step difficult. I think this is really my fault since I had so many problems trying to figure out the technical name of the step. But I thought I should tell you all the same.

One line really stood out to me from the first time I read it. Ninette had practiced this dance in her room at home - with a pillow, for she had no dolls of her own. Not only does it sound beautiful and make sense, but it speaks volumes about Ninette. The poor child has never had a doll, never had a playmate. This line really brings it home on both a literal and a metaphorical level.

I'm not sure how I feel about your short little paragraph about the second act of the ballet. I know that you wrote it to bring the chapter together into a cohesive whole with the marzipan shepherdesses and the fairies of spun sugar, but I don't think you need it. I think it is already psychologically tied together, especially since you also have the metaphor of the Nutcracker doll.

In general I like what you've done with Ninette watching the Morris' party. However, there is one place where I would ask you to choose a different word. You have She watched as Keith, the oldest Morris, held Lottie up to the window, their forms dark against the light background. Background is such a blah, nondescriptive word. You can do better than that. Maybe substitute 'the light of the room' or 'the light of the party' instead. Even 'the light behind them.' But background isn't very descriptive and it sounds like they're posing for a photo shoot, which suggests a lot of shallowness that I know you don't mean to be connected with the Morris family. Am I reading a lot into one word? Absolutely. But it stuck out like a weed among gorgeous flowers.

The scene with Ninette and Aunt Edris is incredibly powerful. It's incredibly real. Unfortunately I have seen some relationships like that between parents/guardians and children in the ballet world. You wrote it vividly enough that you had faces swimming in my mind. The raw emotion behind it-on both sides-is incredibly powerful. Edris is hard and certainly a piece of work, but she's also very real. I hope that we will be seeing more of her, because as a character she fascinates me. And Ninette… she's so vulnerable, so wounded, so unaware of how much she hurts. She has a lot of growing to do. I would hate to be Ninette, but as a character I feel for her and I love reading about her (even if you do think she can be a pain to write…).

The ending is just … perfect. Especially having read the previous draft of the chapter ending, I have to say you did a great job with it. This isn't the way I cut it down (at least I think it isn't), but it works better than what I suggested. I'm glad you managed to keep the bit about her mother. It's really powerful, especially without the intervening images of Ninette walking up the stairs to her room and stretching. You kept it short enough; we don't lose the tension and suspense built up during the scene with Edris. But we also have some sense of conclusion, some idea of what's going on inside Ninette's head.

To quote you, I really love this “in case you haven't gotten that message yet.” I know that you were quite nervous about this chapter at one point. It's beautifully written. It's heart wrenching. Lovely work.

Author's Response:

*Huggles Lian* Thanks for the absolutely wonderful review. *sends cookies* *sends more cookies* *sends pillow*

Um, anyway...I'm going to use my author's prerogative and stick to cacophonous. For now, at least. As for the chasse turns, I'll definitely turn them into turns. And I see what you mean about the background...I'll have to consider that one.

I'm really, really glad that you think Edris is real. Though she's undoubtedly an ogre, an evil aunt, and all the other things people have described her as, I see her as a struggling person looking for a way to win herself happiness and self worth. (And yes, we are back to our interesting conversation, but I won't go into it now.) I have yet to work out her exact role in the future of the story, but I promise not to let her drop out of sight!

My ego loves all the compliments, so I don't think I'm going to reply to them, but instead I'll sit here and soak them up and feel good about myself. Thanks once again for the beautiful review!

Name: Starmaiden (Signed) · Date: 08/28/05 21:09 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
Ooh, wow. Very good. Makes sense. More please! 10!

Author's Response: Thanks. Chapter seven is still in the works, but hopefully it won't be too much longer.

Name: anna2 (Signed) · Date: 08/27/05 19:42 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
As always, another excellent chapter. I feel so sorry for Ninette, what does her aunt mean that she wishes she can have Ninettes talent? No one can go on just natural talent couldn't Ninettes aunt dance if she wanted to? I hope that Ninette can become friends with that girl next door. Please update soon, this is by far my favorite story and I can't wait to see Tonks' version of Christmas!

Author's Response:

Thanks. You're right- no one can survive on natural talent alone. Ninette puts in a lot of hard work to do well at ballet. However, to succeed in a ballet company, a person has to have more than just the ability to work hard - some natural talent is necessary. Edris had enough to do fairly well, but not enough to reach the level she wanted, which is why she stakes so much of her hope on Ninette.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you; we're not going to see Tonks' version of Christmas, at least not this year. The next update is in the not too distance future (I hope), if that's any consolation.

Name: pandafan81 (Signed) · Date: 08/26/05 17:43 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
Another superb chapter! Oh aunt Edris! I can't believe her! ARRRGGG! Anyway, an excellent chapter and I can't wait to see more!

Author's Response: I'm glad to see I've evoked some emotion! ;) I actually feel rather sorry for Aunt Edris myself! Thanks for reading and reviewing.

Name: Crookshanks_Kneazle (Signed) · Date: 08/25/05 18:40 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
uh, yay second review(but really-who cares?) I loved the chapter title- if that's important- and how Ninette tried to fit in by writing them cards. And I SO want to now what her mother did now! Did she just quit or....something else? Good, like usual :)

Author's Response: Chapter titles are very important - in my opinion, at least. I consider them to be very reflective of the story itself...so I'm glad you liked mine! :) You'll find out more about Ninette's history in chapter eight; I hope it lives up to your expectations. Thanks for reviewing!

Name: Fawkes309 (Signed) · Date: 08/25/05 11:40 · For: Dreams of Spun Sugar
So glad this fic updated... I really like it! Please keep writing!

Author's Response: Thanks! I love to be appreciated. I definitely will continue to work on it.

Name: lavenderbrown_47 (Signed) · Date: 08/22/05 9:21 · For: Mice Will Play
Oh, I forgot I had been reading this. I have been slowly reading it since the first chapter, but sorry the dumb login problems kept me from getting a review in.
All I have to say is I like it, Congrats on being a featured story, I knew you had the ability. I am learning loads from this already, about dance. I know that it is really hard to dance. I cant wait for the next chapter.

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm happy you've come back to review now that the login problems have been resolved. I'm delighted that you like my story...I'll definitely keep updating.

Name: Harrietta potter (Signed) · Date: 08/17/05 23:59 · For: Mice Will Play
I read this chappie a long time ago, but couldn't update. Excellent job! The interaction between Charlie, Kevin and Tonks is great, it seems very true to character. The tunnels were really awesome too. They reminded me of the tunnel leading to the Chamber of Secrets, only not so dark and wet, but certainly as creepy. This is currently my favourite story, once again, you are an exceptional writer and I can't wait for the next chapter!

Author's Response: I've always been fascinated by tunnels, and I have a great love of dark underground passages. I suppose I was vicariously living through my characters, by sending them into the tunnels! I love writing them, so expect more in later chapters. I'm honoured to be among your favorites; thanks for the compliments!

Name: bellgirl101 (Signed) · Date: 08/16/05 15:45 · For: The Mirror
I really like it! plez update

Author's Response: Thanks! I will.

Name: Jenn_Weasley (Signed) · Date: 08/15/05 11:23 · For: Mice Will Play
I like this new trio. I'm glad Tonks let herself make new friends. The three of them fit well together. It's neat to see Bill's treasure hunting tendencies even at Hogwarts. No wonder he works for Gringotts. Good chapter - I'll be looking forward to the next. Thanks!

Author's Response: Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing the tunnels, and especially Bill. I've always thought Bill had a lot of potential as a character, and it's been an interesting experience to go back and try and figure out what he was like when he was young. At this point, chapter seven looks like it's going to contain more treasure hunting tendencies, so I hope you like it!

Name: Rob Matthews (Signed) · Date: 08/13/05 19:19 · For: Mice Will Play
This story truly is superb, and deserves being feautured as much as any story. I read this about a week ago, but as usually happens, I get side-tracked and don't review. Well, I'm glad to be able to review for such a story. Anywho, I really don't find your characters to be TOO one-dimensional, I will admit that Ninette does seem to mope a little too much even someone in her predicament would... but I digress. The strength of this fic is the characters, and they are very well-written. I like how you make Charlie the type that reaches out to people, just don't go to overboard with that. Charlie is a good guy, yes, but I don't think he'd be over-friendly. I don't know if I'm really getting my point across, but I guess what I'm trying to say is show a couple of weaknesses. He borders slightly on being too good. Plot-wise, you're developing well. Throwing in this little bit with the passages really varies it up well. Glad to know we're past the exposition stages. I'd like to get a little more on Ninette, though. She doesn't seem to "in" on the plot yet. She's there all right, she's got a great background, yet a nice juicy conflict isn't quite there. I hope you can throw one in. All-in-all, you're doing a superb job, I'm just in a nit-picking mood. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about dance, you've kept me well informed. Keep it up!

Author's Response: Thanks for the well thought out review! I agree with what you said about both characters. Ninette does tend to hang out on the fringe of the plot and mope, and Charlie is rather 'too good.' I think the first is more of a problem than the second; I have been thinking about Charlie, and his goodness has more to do with the fact that he is being seen through the perspectives of Tonks and Ninette, both of whom have a tendency to idealize people, than that he is actually all that good. I'm still working on adding flesh to Charlie's character, so I'm hoping it will come through better in later chapters. As for Ninette, the reason she mopes a lot is that she is shy and she therefore has nothing else to do. I started posting the story too early, before I had quite figured out how Ninette was going to fit in. She does have a place in the main plot, but unfortunately it doesn't appear for a while. Bad author!! Let this be a lesson: always think ahead. So yes, she has been hanging out on the fringes; I'm looking forward to the chapters in which she gets more pulled in. Thanks for taking the time to leave a thought out review!

Name: dumbledore girl (Signed) · Date: 08/11/05 13:50 · For: Mice Will Play
hey, i think this is a great story, congratulations on being featured. constructive comment: i think sometimes your characters get a bit too one-dimensional. but hey, i thought the same thing about harry in the beginning of order of the phoenix, so you're in distinguished company. i love tonks, she is one of my favorite characters of all time, and i think you nailed her. this chapter was so exciting, i can't wait for more! thanks for the great story.

Author's Response: I've found as I've been writing that it is all too easy to stereotype the characters and turn them into cartoons of themselves, always acting in the same way...so I'm afraid I am slipping into one dimension. (Erm, that sounded weird...oh, well.) You're right to point it out. I'm trying to make them branch out a bit, so I hope this will improve in later chapters. I'm glad you like Tonks, though - she's been very fun to write. Thanks for reviewing!

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