Great job on this chapter, Sara! I absolutely looooved the dialogue among the characters... you seem to have a real gift at that :). They're all so funny! I have to say, though, Brandon's probably my favorite out of the four. He's just so lovable, I can't help it!
The only thing I want to pick on is that I think you might've given too much background information for the first chapter. It would probably be better if we readers discovered a few new things about each of the four every chapter, just so their histories weren't all lumped into one. Am I making sense? But maybe that's just my personal preference...
Again, great job, and now I'm going to go read the rest of the chapters :).
Author's Response: Thankiesss so much!! And for the critique too~ *randomly loves critique* Someday, many many years from now, when I have finished this story, I will rewrite it using all of the advice I've ever gotten. XDD I'm so glad you liked it! =)
I’m sorry this took me forever to read and review! I can’t wait to move onto the next chapters. What I already love about this fic is how coolly you have a grasp on all of your characters. Each has their own personality, and past. When I read this chapter, sometimes I wondered if Anthony was a tad too mature for his age, but you have his feelings explained so well, and I also remind myself that one of my best friends is eleven and she is quite smart. This was such a great chapter!
‘It was terribly rainy outside; the perfect kind of day’
What a great way to start the chapter! I whole-heartedly agree with that statement.
‘Of course, the village was full of Muggles, and there was no way he could ever relate to them.’
I love how blunt that line is. You start off with a nice reverie about a town, and then you brutally brought back into his reality.
‘“Well, I dunno,” Anthony said quietly. He was only just starting school, was he supposed to already have his life mapped out?’
I think it’s fabulous the way you have dialogue, and then you have sort of an afterthought added. It shows indecision, and the start of growing into oneself.
Those were some of the things I especially loved about this chapter, but I also have some suggestions …
‘“I don't think I'd like to work for the Ministry of Magic, they seem a little close-minded to me,” he said. “I dislike the way they're handling the troll problem in Spain right now. Killing them seems a little harsh; can't they just transport them to more rural areas in the east?”’
Starting at this part, you only refer to Anthony as ‘he’ for the following two paragraphs. For a moment when I first read that I was confused and I didn’t know Anthony was speaking. I suggest that you add in his name someplace, just so reading is smoother.
‘“Just saying I think it's inhumane,” he muttered, taking a sip of orange juice. His mom, clearly not understanding the conversation had plowed her way through a whole bite of waffle now and was swallowing dramatically.’
I suggest adding a comma after ‘conversation’, because you put a comma after ‘his mom’.
‘The laughter calming down, she spoke again.’
In my opinion, the phrasing here is a bit off. I suggest writing something like, ‘The laughter calmed down, and she spoke again.’
‘She didn't sound too enthralled though.
Her husband, though still quite mad about his son's opinion,’
Here you use the word though in two consecutive sentences. If I were you I would replace one though for another word, or by taking out the first one.
‘She's looking to get a leaflet out on Portkey safety, targeted at the older schoolchildren; that could interest you Anthony.’
I’d suggest replacing that semi colon with a comma, because the bit about older schoolchildren is unnecessary information, meaning that if you took it out, the sentence would still flow properly.
‘Though, it all went through his head so fast and only one thing seemed to stand out to him; the fear of his family disliking him. He only got one family- did he want to lose them? So they might already think of him as ungrateful, but did he want them to think of him as a disappointment? Was he ready to take a risk and speak his mind, turning around a whole day that was already planned?’
That’s very deep for an eleven-year-old boy. Normally, I would argue that it seems a bit odd that someone his age would really be thoughtful enough to contemplate this, and passionate enough about his own likes to actually formulate an opinion, but I’ve recently become friends with an eleven-year-old, and she just amazes me; kudos for capturing the insightful child in such an honest light. I have a few technical suggestions; I would also suggest adding more commas to your writing. For example, ‘Though, it all went thoughts his head so fast, and only one thing seemed to stand out to him, the fear of his family disliking him. He only got one family- did he want to lose them? So, they might already think of him as ungrateful, but did he want to be thought of as a disappointment? Was he ready to take a risk and speak his mind, turning around a whole day already planned?’ I also rephrased part o f the last sentence just because I thought the flow was a tad awkward.
‘Now was not the time to take a risk. As much as his family annoyed him, he still wanted to gain their approval.’
I really liked this, because it backed up your last paragraph that was filled with heavy thoughts, while keeping this simplistic but powerful. It seems much more in character for an eleven-year-old yearning for approval.
I realise that practically all of my suggestions are stylistic, so I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. By the way, the ending paragraphs were very powerful. It was nice that you started the chapter with a reflection involving rain, and you ended with the same way. It gave a complete and polished feel. Great job!
Author's Response: Wow... thank you so much. *squees at critique* Yesh, now that I look it over I guess I forgot that he WAS only an eleven year old boy. I was purposely trying to show him as extremely bright, perhaps I went too far...? But I'm glad that you personally had someone to relate to him. I saw younger Ant as a lonely boy who spent possibly all of his time thinking and expanding his mind. And he consequently shows himself as a smart person. Thank you again for pointing out everything. Reviews really inspire me to continue writing. Before I start chapter six though, I'm working on imrpoving my writing through many drabbles (drilling drabbles, hehe) and more reading. Thank you for sticking with me and I hope you enjoy the next few chapers! ^__^
At lunch that day, Angie, Brandon, Ant and Sarah discussed ham sandwiches. Maybe it was because it took Sarah's mind away from Charms that morning, or maybe it was because that happened to be what they were eating.
I forgot to say--I really liked this paragraph. For some reason, I like the possibilities of why someone was doing something, so naturally this caught my attention!~
Author's Response: Yet do you really need a reason to talk about ham sandwiches? ^____^
Poor Brandon and Angie! At least he got a date, though. If Clara dumps him, can I have him? ;) *jk*
I didn't see any spelling or grammar mistakes, and it was, as usual, excelletnly written. 10/10! Please update soon!~
Author's Response: Wahaha, well he is based off a real person I know... Which makes me feel a little guilty and intrusive. But thank you!!
Oh wow! This is great! I can't wait to read more! ~MJ
Author's Response: ^^ Thank you. Chapter five is almost done now.
This was an interesting chapter. I liked seeing that bit of Sarah's past. And I'm not sure if they have a Sea World in England...sorry.
10/10! Please update soon!~
Author's Response: I just started writing chapter five today, so it might not be up for a while. Thank yuu though!
First of all, I love the premise for this story…I’ve always been interested in the Ravenclaws, but we don’t get much of a glimpse of them in the books other than Luna, do we? Plus, I think the idea of the four friends sharing a little window-side nook is so creative.
Part of what I enjoy about reading this is simply your style of writing…everything you write seems to have this natural flow, and I mean every detail from the order in which you organize the characters’ thoughts right down to plain and simple word choice and arrangement. You’re very talented!
You also have handled the characterization extraordinarily well! Each friend is so well-defined, and not just because you’ve given their pasts an explanation each. Just from the way they act together, the things they think to themselves, and the things they say to one another, the reader can easily deduce what sort of person each character is. That’s definitely something to be proud of! For instance, I especially loved this little tidbit:
He always seemed to be the one who had to answer these tough questions. It was constant pressure — from everybody. He made his mind to say yes, eager not to start any trouble, when he thought of what it entailed. Did he really want to ruin his first kiss for mere money and pride? But then again, it might push him into looking for a girlfriend — beginning an endless search he knew he would start eventually. Was his life always going to involve him answering questions the way others wanted hear? Could he be brave and disagree now, starting a possible trend for the future?
I ADORED that paragraph…it shows the reader so much about Anthony’s personality right from the start. I think you’ve created a very effective mixture of direct and indirect characterization in just this opening chapter.
And the other Ravenclaws were clever enough to know of the consequences for trespassing.
I really like that line…but I’d like to know what the consequences are! Is one of them particularly good at hexes, hm??
“It's uncomfortably sunny,” she mumbled as she stretched her arms over her curly, blonde-streaked head and shifted her knees up to her chest.
I love this quote! I just adore the way it’s worded. Again, you have a real knack for dialogue. I also liked this one:
“Eventually we'll get hungry and find ourselves downstairs, dressed, and too close to the doors to turn around,” Sarah said casually, even though Angie herself knew this routine all too well. Sarah’s quotes are so fun to read…
They were slightly split however. It never caused any quarrelling, and never made anyone uncomfortable, but they all four knew that Sarah and Ant were closer to each other a little more than they were to the other two. Angie and Brandon were also better friends with each other than the others.
This part was really interesting…it makes for a very good plot. I love the idea; it’s very creative! But why are they like that? I assume you’ll explain it further as the story progresses…??
I spotted two minor things—Squib is supposed to be capitalized, I think, and at one point you forgot an ‘f’ in Gryffindor, but I’m sure that was just an accidental typo.
Anyway, you’re off to a great start here. This story is so enjoyable right from the get-go; I definitely can’t wait to read more!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much! This review made me feel all warm and squichy inside. ^^ Yes, the characterization is something I'm really focsuing on. That's one of the reasons I used OC's rather than the regular who we already know. Well jeez, now I can't stop writing this story (as if I was going to)... Thank you again!
She SO likes him...hehe, I thought it was kind-of-funny-kind-of-not how Brandon got slapped. Did he say anything, or was he just really not her type? =) Well, 10/10, please update soon!~
Author's Response: He's a bit of a perv... whatcha gonna do? ;)
*feels sorry for Anthony, even if she still likes Brandon* I found this extraordinarily interesting, how Anthony wants to please his parents. I feel sorry for the trolls. Stupid Ministry...Sorry! Well, uberfantasticallywonderful chapter! *eagerly awaits more* 10/10! Please update soon! Please?!
Author's Response: Yeah well, trolls, what can you do. Chapter three is all beta'd... now I just have to go edit it all >< Twill be up very soon
*instantly likes Brandon* Hallow! (sorry, couldn't help it...if anyone got the joke...) But, I really like this story so far! Interesting contest...Who will win? (you probably can't tell me, though...) 10/10! *runs off to read second chapter*
Author's Response: Hooray! Thank you! Muchos gracias! ^^
What interested me in your story was in your summary you talked about characters facing their faults to help each other. After reading your first chapter I will say this story sounds really interesting and has a lot of promise.
I like how even in the first chapter how you are already starting to let your character's personalities and faults drive the plot. I like how the faults are nicely woven into your characters personalities so you’re not hitting you reader over the head with them. I have seen others do it, not pretty.
So good and keep writing this looks to be interesting.
Author's Response: ^_^ Thank you!
more! more! more!
Author's Response: Ahhh! I gave chapter 2 to my beta, it should be up soon.
Wow this was great!
"And it was just then that she thought of a most brilliant idea.
“Sarah,” she said, staring out towards the Gryffindor tower, “I have a most brilliant idea.”
That was my favorite part of the entire story.. Well sort of. This entire thing was awesome! Yes, Ravenclaw pride. Haha. They seem like such good friends I love the dynamic. I just hope this "competition" doesn't mess anything up. But it will otherwise there wouldn't be a story, would there? Are they going to stay friends? I can't wait!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I was no nervous about getting my story on here but it got validated so quickly and I already have reviews! *squee*
i like it so far
Author's Response: Hooray! I feel loved!