Reviewer: Lurid
Date: 04/02/07 3:16
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

OMG. Harald. I only just realised who Heather was! Whee! And now I want to know Katherine's story! Oh, I feel so much more for Victoria now! (and that's my startling revelation review!) :) WRITE MOOOOOORE. (my SPEW standard drops everytime I spy a fic I REALLY love, of course!)

Author's Response: Yay!!! I'm always so happy whenever I see I've received a a review from you. It doesn't matter if it's just two lines, I love them :) Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: Lurid
Date: 01/07/07 8:27
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

Where did my youth go?

Don’t we all ask ourselves this question? Where did that little bit of innocence and ignorance we once held in the palms of our hands without a doubt vanish to?

I think first, I’ll commend you for baffling me. At first, I couldn’t quite see the conflict, but then as the story progressed, I realised that the conflict was inside of her herself. People can only see conflict as between two people – and it is, later on – but the most challenging relationship we have is with ourselves, and who we are. Katherine suddenly wondering where SHE herself has gone over those years really illustrates this with your description of her thin, gaunt face. It’s almost as if as she drops the pounds on her face, more and more of her it wittled away.

Katherine looked around her and saw that she had many things, yet she had lost so much. I like the blunt honesty about this. So many people look at what they have lost, rather than what they have gained. I like the way Katherine experiences a range of emotions through the story.

The only thing I can think to say of Katherine is that I really don’t like her as a person, but admire you for making her so complex as a character. What I love about your writing is that some things that are seen as skin deep by society are given reason through your writing. I remember my awe at Amanda and the way you handled that emotion, and now I’m in love with this one.

And so, I’ve finished the story now. I’m guilty of reviewing in the middle of reading. I notice you included the issue of suicide again. I think reading fictions, and writing fictions with themes in them that people are less inclined to air in front of other people makes for a very powerful read. That’s the thing about your fictions that I really like. The powerful emotions and the way you portray them through your writing. You don’t make them something to be ashamed of, rather you let readers who have maybe dealt with it themselves know that it happens to everyone – even ‘perfect’ people like Katherine.

Katherine would give us every reason to hate her and look at her like an OC Narcissa, except we get to know what’s inside. You, as a writer, are trying to show us why people hurt. There are different reasons. In this case, Katherine’s lost her best friend, but it’s just a terrible chain of events leading on, and proceeding that. I can honestly say that with this line - “It’s the black and white ball, Victor. Not the black and blue ball,” spat Katherine, while putting on an earring. “You’re going to look quite ridiculous in that outfit.” - that really gets me. If I had looked at Katherine externally, I would have said she was a … meanie, to put it delicately. Her husband is just trying to help. It would appear superficially that she’s absorbed within herself and her appearance, especially with the description of the mirror scene featured in the summary. What I’m really trying to say is that I like the depth you give the characters. You examine them superficially, and then give them justification. It’s one of the things I look forward to with your fiction, Harald. I look forward to your out take on life and the different emotions that we all express as humans. And you make your characters human in the process, and I really admire you for being able to make them people, not just characters in a two dimensional world of pages.


Author's Response: I'm really happy you decided to read this fic. I say this because you said that your fic for the Nanowrimo was Virginia Woolfish and I got the idea for this fic while watching "The Hours". As you might've realized by the quote at the beginning of the story. Yes! The conflict is inside of her! That's what I wanted to achieve with this fic. All the problems she has is because she has created them herself. She digged her own grave. I don't know why I'm attracted to the theme of suicide. It's something quite morbid I must admit. There is something that draws me to it. I'm gllad you think I handleded it well. Katherine is not a nice person. She's defenetly not a role model and she has a lot of issues. I felt the need to write a character that was "politically incorrect" because to be honest there are a lot of people like Katherine in the world. Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Steph. Those last lines you wrote mean the world to me. They made my whole day.

Reviewer: xxcupidpetxx
Date: 12/30/06 22:41
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

Ooo, I really like the story, and how you depict all the emotions running through her at the time. :^) If I were her, I would have just left it all behind too... I can only think of one mistake and that's just a misuse of words:

Caspian had been severely injured that night. He and another couple of Healers were on a mission to spy on some Death Eaters when the mission had gone terribly wrong.

I'm thinking that you meant aurors instead of healers, at least I hope so, or else I'll look incredibly stupid... But anyway, other than that, good job!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: xxcupidpetxx
Date: 12/30/06 22:36
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

Ooo, I really like the story, and how you depict all the emotions running through her at the time. :^) If I were her, I would have just left it all behind too... I can only think of one mistake and that's just a misuse of words:

Caspian had been severely injured that night. He and another couple of Healers were on a mission to spy on some Death Eaters when the mission had gone terribly wrong.

I'm thinking that you meant aurors instead of healers, at least I hope so, or else I'll look incredibly stupid... But anyway, other than that, good job!

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the story. The most important thing is the emotions she goes through, so I'm glad it showed. Thanks for pointing out the mistake, I'll take care of that. Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: electronicquillster
Date: 11/27/06 2:40
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

PS after that one technical thing I pointed out...my intention was to write a review while I was reading and give a detailed commentary on everything, but I just couldn't. I got too glued to the story to want to flip over to another window to write the review.

Author's Response: *huggles* don't you worry. The fact that you got so into the story made my whole day.

Reviewer: electronicquillster
Date: 11/27/06 2:38
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

The opening of this....it just speaks so highly of her discontent from the get go. That’s sometimes a refreshing thing to read in fanfiction, instead of sunny days and daisies or OMGVOLDEMORTSCARY! or angst. It’s not....angst here in the opening, just...discontent.

Viktor was a Healer and Katherine worked in administration.
Here you spell his name with a K instead of C.

Oh man. I feel terrible. I’ve now read the whole fic and am at just such a loss as to what I can even say. You took me, as the reader, through such an emotional journey. I’d have to say that I’m actually somewhat emotionally drained from that. I could feel Katherine’s feelings completely all through the story. I don’t know what to say, and that’s so not the point of a review. Harald, this may sound just really lame for me to say, but I think that you should seriously consider writing. You’ve shown your fun-creativity in Ariel’s story, and you show your ability to delve into serious emotional/life battles with this story.

(This is a rather crap SPEW buddy review...I shall have to make up for it, so don’t you worry...I will be popping around with little notes around other spots on your author page...)

Author's Response: Hey Mar. I think discontent is the perfect word to describe Katherine's situation. She's a very unhappy person. I started writing Victor with a K and then I realized that that would be Krum so I changed it to a C , but then I didn't change it in all of the places. *shudders* Thank you for the review, Mar. Even if it wasn't a typical "Spew" review it was very sweet and you said some things that I needed to hear.

Reviewer: HermioneDancr
Date: 09/18/06 22:02
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

Harald! Just as you just got around to reviewing me, I’m just getting around to reviewing you. My general setting as a writer is dark and slightly philosophical, so this seemed like a good choice for me to read and review, though it was difficult to pick!

The portrait you’ve created is interesting, and unusual in fan fic, particularly in fan fic not centering around the Malfoy family. It’s really not so much a portrait of a woman, or even of a family, so much as it’s a portrait of a society. A society sick with wealth, clothed in false appearances, and crowned with hidden misery. It sort of reminded me of a wizarding version of The Great Gatsby, compressed into a oneshot. Not sure if you’ve read it, but if you have… Katherine would be something like Daisy, I suppose.

Okay… now for nitpicking. In terms of mechanics, it’s all very good except for some issues with past tenses. I’m only going to give one example, because explaining it properly will mean a rather long quote. But I noticed it in several places, including:

Katherine didn’t reply; she kept staring at the wall and breathing deeply. Victor got out of the bed and headed to the bathroom to prepare himself for another day of work at St. Mungo’s. Viktor was a Healer and Katherine worked in administration. They met when they were just trainees.

This is one of the more difficult aspects of storytelling, in that it’s easy to get tripped up when shifting backwards in time. In the last sentence of this paragraph you’re shifting further into past time, into past relative to the previous sentence. The first two sentences are in the present tense, and then for the third sentence you shift into the simple past for description, which is correct. But the last sentence describes reality as it was so it should be in another tense –– I’m not quite sure of the English name for it, but in Latin it would be called the past perfect, and I think that may be it. In any event, the last sentence should read: They had met when they were just trainees. There were similar issues in a few other places, but I’m not going to bore you by going through all of them. It’s just something to keep in mind.

My only other real criticism is that you seem to spend too much of the story explaining things. You’re trying to make Katherine’s actions and reactions make sense, which is definitely very important, and you certainly achieve your goal of making her comprehensible. However, at some point explaining everything makes the story less alive. It’s the basic principle of “show not tell.” You give the readers what we need to understand the character, but you explain it rather than let us draw our own conclusions. What you’re trying to do is very ambitious and quite difficult, making it much harder to show, but you can write it so that the readers understand Katherine’s past and draw their own conclusions about her behavior. Have you experimented much with flashbacks? I think that used properly (i.e. not overdone, with moments carefully picked to reveal as much as possible), flashbacks might be an excellent way to show rather than tell without sacrificing the rich background and character depth and you’ve created.

My absolute favorite part of the story was Katherine’s confrontation with Eglantine. The dialogue was so vibrant, and the emotions were so palpable. I could really picture the scene in my mind, complete with dark red tinted theatrical lighting on their faces contrasting with soft candlelight reflecting on an ivy plant on the table (none of which were even there, but the emotions were so powerful that the rest of the scene simply filled itself in). Well done!


Author's Response: Hey Lian, I'm glad you chose this fic to review because it's the one with least reviews. I've never read the wizarding version of the Great Gatsby, but I read the original book so I know what you're talking about. The past tenses and such are what are most dificult to me. I have to keep it in mind the next time I write. Thanks for pointing that out. The more I think about it the more I realize it's true about the explaining instead of showing thing. I could've done more flashbacks. I love what you wrote about Katherine's fight with Eglantine. I like to know how the reader imagined things. Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: scarlet_sky
Date: 09/13/06 11:42
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

A very depressing story, with a sad ending. You managed to capture the characters' feelings well, and good job with inventing names. =) All in all, I rate it a 8/10.

Author's Response: Oh, well. Thank you! It's not a 10, but it's still good I guess.

Reviewer: A House Elf
Date: 09/06/06 17:31
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

This is story is dead. I do not mean to call it dry. I mean it describes death. Like you said: "Heather was already dead inside." Your Katherine is so lifeless, it makes me sad. I want to get in your story, and run away with her, show her a life. You've mad me feel for a fictional character, and I've been thinking about her all day. What did she do when she left?

Author's Response: You took me a bit of guard when I read "Your story is dead" I thought it was going to be a flame, but at the end it wasn't. I'm relieved. I'm happy that I made you feel for her, that means I've done my job properly. After Katherine left she moved to France and had a quiet life. Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: Rita Writer
Date: 08/27/06 19:54
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

You know, I really was planning to review this right when you got into SPEW, but I literally ran out of time. I honestly have to say that you are a wonderful author! The characters you have created in this are lovely, and I especially love them because they are yours. Original characters are hard because they aren’t already made. Katherine and Victor are brilliant together as lovers, and the characterization is as fitting as you could make it. While reading, I got the feeling that I was reading a novel rather than a fanfiction.

I love how you’ve touched on issues more commonly found in the real world than the Harry Potter universe — such as Nina being beat by her husband. And then Katherine leaves at the end, and her daughter with her innocence makes it even worse. You’ve made Katherine a very believable person in a very believable situation.

The conversation between Nina and Katherine was what got me the most for some reason. You’re given two different perspectives of Nina: She is snobby, yet you feel a little sympathy when you learn her husband beats her.

“I’m hurt, too; I can’t believe Heather would do this to me,” rambled Eglantine. “I know she would want to apologize to me.” At this point in the story, the reader knows Katherine fairly well, and this comment is very enraging.

You’ve even given the minor characters like Nina and Eglantine distinct characteristics, and it really adds to the story. And Heather has a spectacular part in the story.

You have done a really good job of letting the reader get to know Katherine. We’ve seen her at home, at work, around her family, around her friends, and at a public place, and seen her different reactions to each one. And while at all these different places, you’ve added different anecdotes of her life.

Overall, this story has given me a very optimistic view of anything else you’ve written, and a very good first impression.

Author's Response: Yay!!!! I was hoping for this story to get more reviews! I'm so hapy right now. Thank you for the lovely compliments! Seriously, they made me blush. Veronica is the one that gets beat by her husband not Nina. Nina is single. I'm glad you like Katherine, I worked a lot on her. One of the parts I like the most in the story is when Katherine and Veronica talk. The idea for this fic was the reader to know all sides of Katherine in the same day. How she's at work, how she deals with her family and friends. I'm happy you have a good impression. Thanks so much for the delightful review!

Reviewer: BeautyInTheBreakdown
Date: 08/22/06 11:49
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

Just kidding. here's the real review. I loved this story. Boy, was 'Critical Rupert' wrong when 'he' made the assumption that the main character had a really short and uneventful life! Once again, I am amazied by your writing talent.

'“You passed out,” informed Victor in an I-told-you-so tone.' I love that line. It's such a simple line, yet it fits perfectly.

'“You look beautiful, by the way.”

“I always do,” said Katherine, standing up.' Oh! Someone was feeling a bit full of herself, huh? I feel bad for Viktor (who is not Viktor Krum) because it's obvious he cares for Katherine, but she just can't be bothered with him because of what she's been through.

'Katherine locked the door of the bathroom behind her and after looking at herself in the mirror, she crumbled down in tears. She had learned how to cry silently. It didn’t matter how sad she was or how much she cried; she did it silently. She placed one hand on the counter and the other on her chest while she gasped for air.

She couldn’t bear the sorrow anymore. Katherine wasn’t the strong woman she once was. The tears slid down her cheeks, her legs trembled, and her stomach tightened from the efforts of crying silently.

“Oh, God,” she sobbed.

Her legs finally gave in and she fell to the floor.' That is such good description. I could see it clearly in my mind. And that takes skill.Which you have... skill.

Author's Response: I loved Critical Rupert's critiques! Seriously when I read it I alomst chocked laughing. Katherine is a bit full of herself, all that she's been through hasn't tought her some modesty. And her husband is not Viktor Krum because it's spelled Victor not Viktor (duh!) I'm happy you liked the scene were she cries, that was a really hard scene to write. Thank you for the wonderful review!

Reviewer: BeautyInTheBreakdown
Date: 08/22/06 11:33
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

Don't you just hate three word reviews? So this one has fourteen: This was amazing.

Author's Response: You silly!

Reviewer: Starmaiden
Date: 07/28/06 11:49
Chapter: Her Life reflected in a Mirror

First review! Yippee!


Interesting portrait you’ve created. It’s terribly sad, but very realistic. Katherine is a little early in hitting a midlife crisis, but it seems she never took charge enough to have what she wanted in the first place.


“You,” said Victor, sounding a bit frightful. “You said you would go talk to him after Heather’s death, but it’s been two months and-””br”
“Frightful”means, according to dictionary.com, “Causing disgust or shock; horrifying”. Do you mean that Victor is being scary here, or were you trying to say that Victor is frightened by the prospect of telling Katherine this? I’m a bit confused.


Lost her lover and her best friend, eh? Katherine just can’t catch a break.


How sad. You’ve done a good job of transplanting an unhappy woman into Wizarding life and culture without missing any of the emotions that make her life what it is. It’s very well done.

Author's Response: First review!!! *jumps up and down* Well, I wouldn't call Katherine's conflict a "midlife crisis" it's more of an internal crisis. In that scene Victor is frightened to tell that to Katherine, I guess I should've picked a better word. Thank you so much for the review!

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