Reviews For Empty Words
Reviewer: lucca4
Date: 01/30/11 13:55
Chapter: Empty Words

Hey Mere,

Perhaps what stood out the most for me in your story was the way you were able to pack so many emotions and feelings into each sentence. The emotions of Gwen and even Sirius were palpable, and felt so real. This was a wonderful story, but I felt like this was the driving force that really made this fic wonderful. My favorite line from the story was “Those lips had given her her first kiss. They were soft and warm and full of passion. They held desire and lust. They had promised her his love for her. They had told her he was hers. They had betrayed her” -- these simple lines describe so much in so few words. Brilliant and artfully done!

When starting to read this story, I was a little hesitant to read about Sirius/OC, simply because his OC girlfriends always seem to be Mary-Sues or have cliché qualities about them that seep into the entire relationship. What struck me most about Gwen is that we really don’t know too much about her. The more I read, the more I realized how much I liked this; by creating her generically, your story wasn’t absorbed in her descriptions and back-story. It became more about the feelings and aftermath of a ruined relationship, and I really thought it helped the story progress more instead of drifting its focus towards the character.

While I like Sirius’s excuse for cheating, in terms of how it doesn’t fall into the Love God cliché, it somehow didn’t make sense to me. He was going to tutor the girl, and then humor her by flirting back…but how was his fling with her actually going to hurt her? In the books, I’ve always seen Sirius as one of the most loyal characters, and it seems as though if he ever had a girlfriend he would put her above all else (except his friends). Maybe I’m just too protective of Sirius, because then again, I can see him being rash enough and idiotic enough to not realize that this would hurt Gwen as well.

I really liked this story, Mere! Great job!

xx Ariana

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this lovely review, Ariana! That's one of my favourite lines as well. :) As for Sirius's cheating, well, yeah, I know it doesn't much sense. I was trying so hard to figure out a reason for him to cheat and that's the best I came up with. I kind of liked it the end, though, because I think it conveys a sense of confusion of what happened on Sirius's part and Gwen's and the point really isn't why he cheated, it's that he did cheat. Thanks again! <3Mere

Reviewer: indifferent
Date: 11/02/08 1:29
Chapter: Empty Words

whoa, that was so cool. nice one, dude.

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. =) xo Mere

Reviewer: fg_weasley
Date: 10/01/08 0:00
Chapter: Empty Words

Mere, my dear! :D

So I know this story already has three SPEW reviews... but it also only has four reviews. And EHR has 15, and I've already read BTD, so this story won the review. lol.

First, I've said it before but I shall say it again: you, my dear, are excellent at conveying emotions. Your word choices, and the way you use said word choices, is just wonderful. Its sentences like this that I love:

And he cheated.

Cheated. Cheated, cheated, cheated.


Something as simple as this, one little word, and you've made it much much more with the use of repetition. Its something the reader will remember, and in that it is something that the reader can connect with Gwen herself and her emotions.

The word was like a poison-tipped dagger. The first blow was hell. Then the poison slowly spread, its sting coursing through, each time with renewed pain.

This is another bit I loved for the reason I've already said. Such amazing word choices really allow the reader to feel, to feel just what Gwen does. I love that.

I also liked the parallel between Sirius' hands or lips on Cosette and Gwen remembering when she was with him. It was a great way to see the past as well as Gwen's present emotions.

Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM!

This I both liked and disliked. I liked it a lot for what you were trying to do, for what it meant and how it displayed so bluntly Gwen's pain. However, I felt like it was just a bit over the top, there there were too many, if you know what I mean. It distracts from the purpose when instead of seeing how powerful it is I'm too lost in how continuous it is. For me, the meaning got lost somewhere around the third BAM! and I think it would be a lot better and a lot more powerful if it were shorter. Like I said, I love the meaning of it and how you used it, I just think it would be all the better in less of a dose.

One thing that sort of bothered me, grammatically, is that you used double punctuation more than once, a question mark and an explanation. You should really pick one or the other, which ever you think fits best, and the other is usually implied by the word choice and the tone of the dialogue.

I do like that you have level-headed Remus try and explain it to her. The 'use your imagination' line was probably my favorite of his; it made me laugh. I like the way you characterized him, and Sirius too. Both seemed plausible and real.

Gwen is a great character, but I feel like we don't really know her well enough. Of course, this is only a one-shot, and for that I think you've done well. If this were a chaptered fic I'd say you need to delve a bit deeper. And while I still feel that we could get to know her a little better, for a one-shot, I think she's great.

She seems so strong at the beginning; I mean she slaps Sirius Black twice and punches him. But then we see her break down a bit, and then at the end she's almost back to how she was at the beginning. And funnily enough, we just went over the five stages of loss in Psych today and, though you may not have realized it, you displayed those stages in Gwen really well. She started with denial, then anger, depression, and acceptance (sort of, in that she doesn't care at the end). The only one I didn't catch was bargaining, but that's all right. haha. Anyway, in that regard I think you handled here character well.

It did make me sort of sad at the end that they didn't get back together. But of course its understandable, and in a way I'm also glad you didn't put them back together. As much as I love Sirius in a relationship, its much more real this way and, in my opinion, better. So good job on that, love.

All in all, definitely a good read, kid. I do so like your writing style, I must say.

[hugs buddy]

xox
nikki :D

Author's Response: -strokes ego- Wow... FOUR SPEW reviews... I've died and gone to heaven. Thank you for this fabulous review! Everyone likes the repetition of cheated, ha. :D I know what you mean about the 'Cheated. BAM!' part...I wasn't sure if I'd put too many in or not, but know of my beta's said anything, so I just let it be. I had no idea about the five stages of denial, lol. I just wrote what seemed natural. Not only does them not getting back together seem more natural, but I really dislike when women end up running back to a man who's wronged them. >.> I'm a feminist and displays like that really irk me. Anyways, thank you (again) for a fantastic review! This is officialy my favourite story I've written, ha. -hugs back- xo Mere

Reviewer: lucilla_pauie
Date: 09/30/08 15:46
Chapter: Empty Words

Mere, Empty Words blew me away.

I don't read much Sirius fics. I don't read angsty romances. But your story clutched me and didn't let go.

Now, I don't know about the class, but I think your summary doesn't do your story justice. I'm glad I opened it without judging by the cover (summary). You might consider to revise the summary to match your Gwen's passionate heartbreak.

The slaps. Perhaps I've been reading too many timid damsels with gentleman lovers. Those two slaps made me cringe and stare (read) in egregious amazement as if I was in the same broom closet when they rang out. Merlin, you wrote that scene so well.

The confrontation. Just because I don't read much Sirius doesn't mean I don't know him. I think it's better that I only stumble across gems like this anyway, so my interpretation of him isn't garbled by fanon. We HP fans have this innate perception of good or bad characterization. My radar only beeped "good, good" as I read Empty Words. Gwen is such a rocker chick. And her being so is a tribute to Sirius as well. I can't see him belonging to someone less fiery. I love Gwen, yes I do.

I'll even go ahead and fangirl for a second here and request you to write a Gwen/Sirius Before Cosette piece, pretty please with a sweet juicy kumquat on top.

The sulking. No, wrong word. The seething. Yes, that's it. I loved Gwen's seething as she sat there in the grass. "Cheated. Cheated, cheated, cheated." And then the one with the BAM's. And then her possessive and proprietary reflections that can only come from a seething girlfriend, who has been so obviously worshipped prior to the fallout. Oh my. Her angst isn't angsty, just... interesting, the kind which a friend who has come to console will love hearing, a peek into private stuff they won't otherwise prod about. Now you understand why I loved the seething.

The conclusion. So real and authentic. Numbness after the pain and passion. Apathy after the tears. Even as my heart aches for Sirius and Gwen, the Potterite in me is rejoicing because of this canon-y back story (While reading Remus's explanation, I was thinking, 'That is SO Sirius.').

Author's Response: Wow, Joanna! Thank you so much for this wonderful review. :) hahaha, actually, I got the summary first--as part of our final we were given a summary to write a one-shot to, so I didn't really write it. -shrugs- Oh, well. Your words just made my day. I can't stop smiling. :D Thanks for all you lovely compliments. -pats stoked ego- I am so glad you liked, especially since you don't read much Sirius. Thanks again! -pickles- xo Mere

Reviewer: XhayleeXblackX
Date: 09/06/08 16:01
Chapter: Empty Words

Mere,

This was an incredible read, in a sad, depressing way. :) You could really feel Gwen’s pain, and I really liked that about one-shot. I also liked Gwen because her emotions are real and true.

The thing I like the best about this piece, though, is your dialogue. I am a sucker for great dialogue, and most of my stuff is dialogue centered, so this just made my day. Especially here:

”Gwen, please, you have to forgive—“

“I don’t have to do anything, and I definitely won’t forgive you.”

“Gwen—I’m sorry. I really am. I was wrong, I know, but it’s not what you think.”

“It’s not what I think,” repeated Gwen slowly.

Sirius nodded eagerly. “It looks bad, but, love, really, it’s not as awful as you believe.”

“Not as awful,” repeated Gwen again, her right eyebrow arching.

“Yes, you see, it’s just that Cossette asked me—”

… “Well, you should have said no, damn it!” she shouted at him.


That is truly what I would have done, and I liked the realness of these lines, both Gwen’s and Sirius’. The words flow and don’t sound forced; they also don’t sound as though you filled them with words for the sake of sounding more poetic or descriptive, which I like to see. When I can really picture a character saying something, I know the dialogue is great.

They’d been THAT couple; the one that everyone admires. The one that everyone dreams about being. The one that’s voted ‘Most Likely to get Married’ in Muggle high schools. The one that makes old people smile and laugh as they remember what they were like when they were young. The one that is perfect. The one that everyone knows. THAT couple.

This was my favorite paragraph because I love the diction in it. However, this was also where the one nitpick I have is. I think that the emphasis on ‘that’ would be better depicted through italics. The capitalization threw me off here at first. The alliteration, I think that’s the word I’m looking for, in this paragraph is great though.

The way you had Gwen picturing the scene in her head was also good depiction of how people act and think in these situations. They replay the image over and over again, and you showed that wonderfully.

The only other thing I really can note on is that Sirius is a total prat in his reasoning, but I know guys that would act in this way, so I liked the reality of it as well. Plus, Remus was so adorable there.

Good job,
Haylee

Author's Response: Wow, Haylee. Thank you so much for such an incredible review. I love writing emotions and I'm really happy that they turned out well and accurate in this fic. I worked really hard on writing the dialogue, so I'm incredibly happy that you liked it. :) Hmm.... italics... I don't know why I didn't think of that before. I'll look at it and see if I like it better. Thanks for pointing it out. I know guys that would do that too. >.> Thanks for a wonderful review! -hugs- xo Mere

Reviewer: Indigoenigma
Date: 08/23/08 10:40
Chapter: Empty Words

Mere –

What an interesting premise for a story! “Sirius-the-player” is a fairly common theme in fanfiction, I’ve noticed, but it is rare to see that from one of the girls’ perspectives.

One of the problems, though, that I have with deeming the Sirius that you have written “Sirius-the-player” is that he really doesn’t seem to be doing it on purpose. He’s simply giving another girl “the taste of her own medicine.” I think that this is a much more accurate portrayal of what a younger Sirius would have been like. He has such a great capacity to love other people, but he’s always been reckless and lacking common sense. You captured his lack of common sense, while still preserving his kinder character. This is really what makes Sirius seem real throughout the story. He seems just like an honest, teenaged boy who really didn’t think about his actions before he did them. Kudos to you for his characterization.

I winced a little bit at his failed explanation to Gwen in the opening of the story. First off, it was emotionally painful for me to realize what Gwen had walked into. Of all the awkward things in the world…Secondly, I’m usually a believer in second chances. So, I was feeling more sympathy for Sirius than Gwen when the story began. I realize that such a thing wasn’t your intention, but, goodness gracious, I felt rather sorry for him in the first part of the story.

While I’m talking about characters, I can’t leave out Gwen. She was a solid OC – clever, not perfect, and with strong feelings. I thought that you wrote her a textbook-perfect response to Sirius’ “cheating.” First, there was anger; then sadness; then the acceptance. The transitions between the emotions made for a nice flow within the story.

One thing that I would like to comment on is your word choice. While the words that were used here were all perfectly fine and appropriate, there were some that I thought could be tweaked a little bit so that the viewer could get a better image of the scene. Because this is quite nit-picky of me (and fairly OCD, if I might add), I’m really just going to do one example (also, there weren’t many more of them).

Gwen looked him in the eyes for the first time since he’d come out. “Thanks, but I’d rather be alone right now,” she said gently.

While “gently” is an absolutely fine word for the situation, I would have expected it to come from Remus, rather than Gwen. In writing, “gentleness” usually has the connotation of “comforting.” Thus, it usually is the person who is doing the comforting or the sympathizing who is described as “gentle.” In order to keep the same emotion for Gwen, though, I would suggest using “quietly” or “softly.” I know that there really isn’t much of a difference between all three of those words, but it makes the emotional tone of the story a little bit more even.

The word became a mantra, pounding in her head in between her heavy footfalls.

Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM! Cheated. BAM!


Now, those were my favorite lines of the entire story. The physical pounding of the footfalls really reinforced the way that Gwen was thinking. This is really how a person thinks: in disjointed thoughts and repeated words. Although it is common in writing, it is rare that an actual person thinks in complete sentences. Instead, they repeat things, they think in an illogical order, and they tend to focus on one particular idea (if angry, confused, or upset). You really nailed Gwen’s thought patterns with this two lines and I loved the image that I got of her running and thinking about the situation with every step.

I quite liked how the story ended, as well. I consider myself to be a feminist, and I was worried (albeit, for only a few moments) that Gwen was going to start forgiving Sirius for his actions and maybe even (no, no, no!) want to return to him. This worry kind of presented itself when Remus appeared to explain to Gwen what had happened. But, you expelled that worry very quickly.

The thing that I liked most about the ending was how Gwen accepted that her illusion had been shattered. Throughout the story, she’d described and thought about how she’d figured that she and Sirius had had a perfect relationship. At the end, though, she realizes and accepts that her illusion has been shattered. Gwen was such a strong character (mentally and physically – she broke his nose!), that it was very fitting for you to include her acceptance of the fact that she no longer really cared about Sirius.

Overall, Mere, this was an excellent story. The characterization, writing, and flow were all solid and I truly enjoyed reading it!

~Kelly

Author's Response: -stares- Oh. My. God. Kelly, I dub you Queen of Reviewers. This was seriously the most amazing review I've ever gotten. Thanks so much! About that line, I actually had 'softly' there, but one my betas thought it 'gently' was better.... Whatever, I'll change it back. :) Yeah there was no way I was having Gwen forgive Sirius or something. I actually wrote this with specifically planning on not having her forgive him. I really really hate that. >.< Anyway, thanks a lot! -hugs- xo Mere

Reviewer: ringobeatlesfan4
Date: 08/15/08 13:33
Chapter: Empty Words

Errr... wow? That's probably the best word for this. Basically, I love Gwen! She's original, at least what we get to see of her. So... any chance of expanding it? Maybe a Remus/Gwen one-shot? They seem to be the better pairing (to me at least) then Sirius and her. I love the ending sentence too. Powerful. Really. Anyway, I think it was really good, but roo short. It's one of those fics that's really great as a one-shot, but could possibly be better if it was chaptered. But I really did like it. I could see Sirius doing that (the whole cheating on his girlfriend thing), except maybe not as bad as he did. I think the emotions were captured perfectly as well. Great job, Mere! {BeccA} P.S. Just a quick question: are you going to update Everything Happens for a Reason soon? Because it's really good and I can't wait for another chapter of it.

Author's Response: -grins hugely- Thanks Becca! Your review just made my day. :D As for an expansion... I don't know. One of my beta's wanted more too, lol. I'm considering it. ;) I'm glad you like Gwen, she's one of my favourite OCs. I love the last sentence too! I was so proud of myself when I thought it up, lol. Thanks a lot for your review, kid. xo Mere P.S. Chapter two of EHR is in the queue! ;)

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