Reviews For The Violin Teacher
Reviewer: HermioneDancr
Date: 10/22/06 1:25
Chapter: Heartsong

There are stories which one loves for story, and they are not uncommon. But there are other, rarer stories, which one loves simply for the beauty of the writing. This is one of the later variety. The mechanics are excellent –– a necessary foundation for beautiful writing. The sentences are constructed not only logically but so that they flow easily from one to the next, pleasantly rhythmic. The vocabulary is rich, but not forced. Taken simply as words regimented into sentences and paragraphs and laced with imagery, without even considering plot or characterization, this story is pleasurable to read.

At one point Hermione muses: Removed from his sphere after only a brief stay, she had doubtlessly had a less forceful influence on him than he had with her. To make the comparison balanced, it would be better if you had “than he had on her” rather than “with her.” It’s more logical, though what you have does work. Whether or not to change it is up to you, of course, but it seemed worth bringing to your attention.

My one general criticism, relating to the story as a whole rather than this final chapter, is your characterization of Hermione. I love the woman you’ve painted, and by the end especially I see the Hermione we know from the books shining through. But early on especially I had some difficulty reconciling the two characters. Music can be equated to magic, I suppose, and given that transposition it would make sense that the most magically gifted would be the most musically talented, and you definitely showed her as an incredibly talented musician. What seems missing, particularly in the beginning, is the extreme logic with which Hermione approaches life. We see her passion, her perceptiveness, her determination, her vulnerability, and her talent, but it would be even better if we could see more of her rationality shining through.

The one major thing that didn’t ever seem clear to me (and pardon me on this one if I’m being exceptionally dense) was why Remus lives on the fringes of society in this alternate universe. He doesn’t seem to be a werewolf, since this world is no more magical than our own reality. Is he gay? Or does he have some disease? Maybe my eyes skipped over it or something, but it never came clear for me, and I kept waiting for it to be fully and clearly explained.

Beyond that one little caveat, however, I love how you’ve personified Remus. For some reason, I really can imagine him playing violin. You’ve captured his gentleness and his suffering so completely, and most of it through Hermione’s perceptions, moreover! You’ve done a great job of exploring the depths of his character, and I especially appreciated how you conceived his relationship with the moonlight.

The moonlight. The ideas of light, shadow, and night were very powerful motifs throughout this story. I really love them as motifs, especially when they’re well used. And you did an excellent job with them. The imagery in this story is just superb. You use color and light very effectively, which makes everything feel much more real, to the point where I can almost here the music.

I really enjoyed this story, as a reader of Harry Potter fan fiction, as a musician, and simply as a person. I understand why you chose violin as an instrument, though personally and sentimentally I would have liked to see Hermione playing my instrument, which is the French horn. But that’s neither here nor there, really. Anyway, thank you for writing such a lovely story for me to find and enjoy.


Author's Response: First off, thank you for reading and leaving such brilliantly composed review! It was such a nice surprise to find one so lengthy and filled with truly constructive comments. I hope to edit the story sometime, now that I'm finally finished with it, and this is just the sort of feedback that's most helpful.

Thanks for catching the incongruity "with/on"; I think I'll use your suggestion. I vacillated about that word when I wrote it the while back, but reading it now it does seem to upset the general flow of the passage. =)

Hermione! The funny thing about writing this story was trying to render Hermione's - bookish Hermione's! - magic into something as artistic as music. I tried to show her rational streak in the way she has trouble loosing herself and her emotions, when the technical aspect so appeals to her. I definitely see where you're coming from, still, and this helps because it's the sort of thing that needs a readers' perspective, as Hermione always seems Hermione in my head. =)

And as to Remus' "condition" (I don't know if it's a weakness in an author to admit this sort of thing, but as you noted it I want to answer and trust you won't think the worse of me =)): he's meant to be afflicted with a misunderstood disease, but painting anything more specific than that was something I had to leave to the reader, or else never finish the story. Lycanthropy is so utterly reprehensible in the wizards' world and werewolves themselves are generally a wicked crowd. Beside hinting at a stigmatized disease, I didn't feel within my discretion to compare a real condition with lycanthropy. Until I find an analogical match, I can't well hint that he's, say, gay or consumptive, in which case the ostracism would be unrealistic, or I'd be hinting by extension that others like him are bad company. I'm not the best person to tackle big themes, so think it better to leave it out until I know I can draw parallels *rightly*. Unfortunately it leaves a big hole in the story, but it's one I hope to fill as I learn more about these issues. =) (It did just occur to me that perhaps a prejudice against culture or religion would be more plausible than a disease, and when I rework the story I'm definitely going to try to delineate this more clearly).

And as for the rest, I'm all in a dither that you liked the words and the motifs. For me, ever since the time in PoA where Jo uses the moon to symbolize Lupin's fears, the moon and sky have been wonderfully evocative as symbols that relate to Lupin. I'm so pleased that you pointed those out. It's all just made my week, and I am sincere about that. =) (And I think French Horn would be fabulously fitting - wish I could've worked in an orchestra's variety of instruments!)

Reviewer: silver_tears
Date: 10/16/06 5:42
Chapter: Heartsong

Hello stardust [sorry I don't know your real name!]

I started reading the first chapter of this story just after you posted your last one. It's simply because I didn't know about it until someone recommended it to me.

What struck me most while reading this fic is the choice of words and how they flow beautifully to create the air of lyrical writing, which goes great with the theme of the story.

You have gone into so much interesting detail about music and how Hermione, as a passionate violinist, thinks and reacts. Also, I do imagine Remus to be the kind of person who likes music. :)

The plot is excellent and the characters are very in-character so congratulations for writing this!

Good luck for future writing. :)

-Debbie

Author's Response: Hi Debbie! (Ana here; it's nice to meet you! :) ) I'm glad to know at least one person has read this, now, without having to put up with my dillydallied updates. :) And let me say it's just an unexpected delight to get such nice feedback... thank goodness Hermione's music came across in the right way, because my interpretation for both character and craft has been quite limited and the whole prose-y aspect of the story was experimental. :)

Thanks for your review and for the well-wishes. It's very kind of you indeed and I wish you all the same. :)

Reviewer: MoonysMistress
Date: 10/12/06 17:28
Chapter: Heartsong

Ooh, what a tricky ending. I must say, I did rather want the two to meet again. But overall, very deep, and beautiful word choice, as always. One little nitpick, though...




"The musical world mourned the two smote stars..."




Should the smote be a smitten? The two smitten stars? I hate how smitten is always associated with love, but I think smitten is technically the right tense of smote in this case. Otherwise, lovely! (And also, *fuzzies* at the name mention. Whee.)

Author's Response: Thanks again, MM! I figure the musical/magical community is small enough that they'll meet somewhere down the road; you know, I'm surprised you call the ending tricky, as that's the word that best describes the laboring and wavering that went on behind the scenes. Glad you thought it worked out in its way; thanks for reviewing and all that, I really do appreciate it. =)

Oooh, and thanks for catching that. I thought "smote" was an adjective, but I checked just now and it seems to be an inflected verb. I'll go edit; hopefully people will work out that they were struck down, and not in love. ;-)

Reviewer: sunshine
Date: 10/10/06 16:49
Chapter: Heartsong

Thank you! This was magnificent.
Yeah, Ron sort of corresponds to an oboe. Once again,I'm blown away by your talent : )

Author's Response: And I by your generosity. :) Thanks so much again - hope I'll see you around! Heh, I'm glad you cottoned on to the Ron bit. I couldn't help myself there. =D

Reviewer: invisiblenudnik
Date: 10/10/06 12:11
Chapter: Heartsong

That was a very bittersweet ending, and I mean that in a good way. The emotion in this chapter is evident, and unfourtually, most endings are bittersweet. I also loved the way you incorprotated certain aspects of Potterverse in your story...it is truly one of a kind. You are a talented writer, and I very much enjoyed reading this story.

I also hope to see you around MuggleNet!

Author's Response: Thanks, nudnik. I hope it wasn't too disjointed or heavy-handed at the last - I just felt I had to write it all out, however I could. It was fun finally giving Remus his past and Hermione her future! ... And thanks again for reading and reviewing each chapter. I'm kind of sad to have it at an end, really, but I do hope to bump into you here and there!
Take care now. =)

Reviewer: Sileny
Date: 10/09/06 22:36
Chapter: Remus

Wonderful beginning, you can paint a detailed picture with your words. You could easily be an author.

Author's Response: Thanks, Sileny. That means a great deal to me. =)

Reviewer: Sileny
Date: 10/09/06 22:36
Chapter: Remus

Wonderful beginning, you can paint a detailed picture with your words. You could easily be an author.

Reviewer: sunshine
Date: 09/26/06 17:01
Chapter: Remus

It's very sweet...I play some piano by ear, and just started playing violin, and I like how this story portrays the beauty of music. Your story is very well-written.
Somehow, I always imagined Hermione on clarinet or flute, or some other wind instrument, but you really made the violin work for her : )

Author's Response: Thank you very much. :) You know, flute actually seems perfect for Hermione. There are so many instruments and it'd be fun to draw up a corresponding list for characters. Violins came to mind for Remus (for me) and for the purpose of the story it extended to Hermione... but in a more diverse group, I think your intuition is spot on. :)

Reviewer: Blossomlily
Date: 08/09/06 0:01
Chapter: Remus

This story had such a musical narrative - I enjoyed every single line. Remus being a musician appeals to me, and that he should be a music teacher makes perfect sense. I completely understand that. :)

I have to admire your narrative skill - not a single line seemed blunt or similar to another - all unique. I loved it. I loved even the lack of dialogue in the first three chapters, because it gives a calm atmosphere to the whole story which blends perfectly with Remus's calm and quiet nature. Splendid.

You're obviously a very talented writer, and I completely loved this story, enough to add this and you to my favourites. Well done! :)

- Manju

Author's Response: Manju, I don't know how to adequately respond to such a lovely review! You wrote so prettily yourself that it seems fanciful that it's meant for me. I always feel myself shrinking when confronted with anything particularly kind, especially about narratives. =) When I'm writing, I'm so often afraid that I've lost the strain. I am completely flattered that you'd rate this story as one of your favourites, and even more so that you've listed me as one of your favourite authors. Your wonderful complimentary words come to me on my birthday - part of my creative resolution this year will be to better merit them! =) Thank you so very much!

Reviewer: MoonysMistress
Date: 07/20/06 17:40
Chapter: Moonlight

This is such an odd look at the Potterverse...but so indescribably eloquent and heartbreakingly beautiful. Are you a violin player, or did you just choose the violin for the story? Either way, it fits well. Wonderful expressive metaphors in this story, gorgeous imagery -- I'll watch for the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you, MM!! I'm not a violin player myself-- but they're possibly my favorite instrument, so there you have it. =) I'm glad you like the "ambience" ... JK does make it so much fun to play with her world. And thanks for watching - hang tight, I'm hoping to wrap up before my vacation ends! ^^;

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 07/19/06 16:54
Chapter: Remus

Sorry, wrong chapter.

Author's Response: Not a problem. =)

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 07/19/06 16:54
Chapter: Remus

Just lovely. The language you use almost has a musical tone to it, the way it flows and the words used. The narration feels more detached than I regularly read, but not in a bad way. I'm interested in seeing how you wrap this up.

Author's Response: Thank you again! This is my little experimental fic so it's been fun to mix up words and sentences. I want to thank you, actually, for something else - I kept your last review in mind when I was coming up with Hermione's time away. It's not as prose-y as the other chapters but I tried to be more heartfelt - not sure if it worked but it was fun to write something new. So thank you. =)

Reviewer: invisiblenudnik
Date: 07/19/06 15:30
Chapter: Moonlight

Once again, very beautiful. You can really picture Hermione's surroundings and feel her frustration. I assume that the Harry mentioned here isn't the one we know; though I was rather confused at that little blurb at first. Also, I was confused in weither Hermione saw the man in the moonlight or was imaging it. It doesn't make a big difference and I might be getting ahead of myself (and you'll reveal it in the last chapter), but just something I would like to note.

"All stories must be told somehow. All people must find a means of communicating their lives. And every man deserves to be listened to."

Agree completly. You couldn't have written a truer line. Beautfully written as always. :-)

Author's Response: Thanks so much once again - you've been very kind to this story and I'm grateful to you for it. =) I promise I won't tarry so long for the last one. As for the confusing bits - the man was really there. And the Harry thing - it was a roundabout way of giving someone history. But I guess the name is too confusing. I'll try to clarify it a bit - it's valuable feedback. =)

Reviewer: Tess Potter
Date: 05/22/06 21:32
Chapter: Remus

I play the violin, and this is so cool! A link between my two favorite worlds! Remus does seem like a violin teacher, though I'd never thought of it before! The violin truly is like an extension of myself, and I often loose track of time when I'm practicing. Brilliant!

Author's Response: Thanks, Tess! I love the idea of Remus as a musician... I wouldn't have thought of either, but when my brother suggested it it just seemed to fit! I'm glad I got some parts of violin playing right. I admire violinists but am not one myself!

Reviewer: WonderfulWeasley
Date: 05/16/06 23:07
Chapter: Remus

I really like this story..it's got a sort of mystical way of drawing you in, and making you feel as tho you can see whats going on. It has a lovely 18th century-ish air to it (I have no idea if thats the era you were going for, but thats the impression I get from it). I hope you update soon!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! LOL, I think I was unconsciously aiming for an amalgamation era... I'm a history nerd so it tickles me if that worked its way in without trying.

I'm working on the last chapter now... I'm in the midst of finals but I'm trying to plug away so it can be up before too long! Thank you again!

Reviewer: WonderfulWeasley
Date: 05/16/06 23:07
Chapter: Remus

I really like this story..it's got a sort of mystical way of drawing you in, and making you feel as tho you can see whats going on. It has a lovely 18th century-ish air to it (I have no idea if thats the era you were going for, but thats the impression I get from it). I hope you update soon!

Reviewer: fantasygirl7
Date: 04/30/06 6:40
Chapter: Conversation

I like this fanfic. It has got feeling in it and I can actually relate to it through my own life. I'm looking forward to the last chapter. Thankyou

Author's Response: Wow... thank you. It's always humbling to hear that my words resonate with someone else's life. Thank you. :)

Reviewer: lilyevans91
Date: 04/29/06 4:06
Chapter: Conversation

wow! this is so well written! it's sort of poetic, you know? and it makes me feel so badly for remus! but you've done a really great job. i can't wait to read the final part!

Author's Response: Aww, thanks! Remus is fun to write because he's such a pitiful character. :) It's really nice of you to review both my stories, by the way!

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 04/28/06 23:11
Chapter: Conversation

A very lovely chapter. The interaction between the two was very sweet in a student-teacher way and I thought that you handled it well. They're both amazingly in character for an AU. It relieved me that you got their speech patterns right. Your description remains gorgeous; you appeal to all the sense with just a few sentences at a time. There is only one bad thing that I can say at all, really. This fic is like a picture of a country landscape; pretty to look at, but doesn't evoke strong emotion. I just feel like there isn't a strong driving force. But we'll see what the last chap holds. ;)

Author's Response: Thanks again for your kind words. :) Particularly about Hermione; writing her worried me because it takes nothing to shift her out of character.

Now-- how to give a story heart that doesn't already have one? You've posed a tough question, but a useful one! I'll try to use it to bring some improvement to the closing! :)

Reviewer: LadyMI
Date: 04/26/06 22:57
Chapter: Remus

A bit confusing but still really good.

Author's Response: lol, once I get the hang of prose I need to work on making it lucid! :D

Thanks a lot! ;)

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