-squishes Bine- -waves to Helen-
I'm stuck on my Gauntlet prompt and I need to do my SPEW reviews anyway....so I came to read you guys's fic.
Wow, guys, just wow. That's very powerful. I had the chills like the entire time I was reading it.
A few nitpicks:
It was heartbreaking.
One of you slipped into passive voice here. This is really the only time I noticed it, but you want to make sure that you're using an active voice to keep pumping out that action in the story. Really, all you need to do here to make active voice is change it to something like: 'It broke her heart.'
‘Who is this man?’ she silently asked.
Er...how does she silently ask it and him answer her? Do you mean, perhaps, quietly? Or almost inaubily? Or barely audible?
So she was busy, she didn’t miss him?
Ehh.... I had to read this line a few times to figure out what it meant. To me, it would have made more sense to put the 'so' after the first clause so the sentence would be 'She was busy, so she didn't miss him?'
‘Oh Emil,’ she murmured.
There should be a comma after 'oh.'
...she could already see the ivory painting of the house’s walls.
'Painting' is in the wrong form of the verb. It should be 'paint.'
Mhmm. That's it.
And I had been damned from then on to wander alone...
Ohmy. It's so sad. This line makes me want to hug you two. -hugs Bine and Helen-
She saw a woman sink to her knees, clutching at a body while bending over the dead and crying. The woman’s body rocked with sobs and swayed in grief.
This is where I first got chills.
It was her neighbour’s children. They were still holding hands.
ohmygod. ohmygod. Are you trying to make me cry? I am so close. My eyes are burning.
‘It’s a picture of some people I once knew,’ I sighed, wondering how I could find the words. Viktor looked up at me expectantly. ‘They were very much in love.’
I love that she pretends that it's not her. It makes her pain that much more real, and it becomes that much harder to read.
Pleading eyes met Anna’s when she turned around once more. And while she was shoved into the shelter, the youth stood there, all hope lost, his eyes blank.
I'm speechless. There's so much emotion and it's so strong and powerful. I keep getting more and more chills.
I wished the tale had ended there, that the final chapter had never been written.
I love how poetic this line sounds.
You two are absolutely amazing. I'm not incredibly familiar with with either of your writing styles, but I can't tell where one of stopped writing and the other took over. It feels like one author wrote the entire thing. I'm guessing that one of you wrote the flashback sections and the other one wrote the present sections, just 'cause it makes sense. They fit perfectly together, to be cliche, like pieces of a puzzle. You guys obviously work extremely well together and you've created a masterpiece.
It's so sad. -dabs at eyes- I love how you guys showed her emotions. It was beautiful, in a grief-stricken way.
Little Vikor is so cute. :) He's the perfect little grandson, and Anna's the perfect grandmother. I wish my grandparents would tell me stories like that...
I really liked the Emil, the son, came and that was who Anna finished her story to. I really like that Vikor fell asleep and never heard the end. It shows the innocence of children and how this kind of blanket falls over them, protecting them from the horrors of the real world.
This makes Vikor's comment in DH about his grandfather dying at the hand of Grindlewald, much more meaningful and much more powerful. I'm never going to be able to read that the same way again.
-hugs- This is so extraordinary. You guys should be so proud of yourselves.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the excellent review!
Mainly Bine wrote the flashbacks and I wrote the other sections. However, we frequently wrote and added sections to the other person's part - blurring the lines a little bit.
Working with Bine was such a great experience! We melded together so well, and I know my writing improved tenfold from the experience!
I'm glad you picked up and liked the subtle things we slotted in there - especially the childhood innocence. You got exactly what I was after.
Thanks picking up the mistakes too. As soon as I get time, I'll be sure to pick them up :)
Thanks again for the review.
*Bine tightly squishes Mere*
Bine and Helen (that is your name, right? If it isn't, I'm terribly sorry!):
First off, I LOVED the beginning. It's the kind that pulls the reader right in. Then the italisised part brings everything back into a harsh reality but describing a battle field of sorts.
Over the city, the sky gradually coloured into violet-red, announcing the nearing night. The first stars were already out, twinkling bright and icily down at the lost souls that wandered the shattered shells of what they once called their lives.
War was never kind to anyone.
The description in this section and the whole fic was haunting and horrifying. It was excellent on so many levels. You two (I have no idea who wrote what, after all) obviously have a perfect grasp on where to draw the line on the disturbing images, but left the right amount in to give the reader a clear image of the terror of WWII. Excellent job in that respect.
I love that you included Viktor. It really made what could have been a vague story into a truly awesome one.
I mostly liked your character of Anna. Overall I thought she seemed very real, and she was incredibly likeable. I wasn't too fond of this part:
‘And I am not?’ she asked, her voice becoming throaty. When he turned and came towards her, she backed away. ‘No.’ … Her heart broke seeing him like this, but she couldn’t allow him to come near to her now. She knew she would give him everything if he touched her in this moment. ‘You lied to me. You said you loved me,’ she whispered but with a strong tone that signalled that she wouldn’t give up easily.
I know she loves him to pieces, and I think their relationship is adorable, but I think, from what we see of the rest of her, she would have understood that he needed to leave, and let him more easily. After all, he was coming back every once in a while. Sure, he was risking his life, but everyone was… Do I sound like I hate her? Gah, I REALLY don't. I think she's an excellent OC, and how she deals (after this particular part) with her husband's disappearance is admirable.
One thing I didn't get was that sometimes her memories were in italics, and something they weren't. Maybe I was missing the pattern? It threw me off a little, though, and I think it would have flowed better if there was a set way to do it.
So, one more comment. I'm not a fan of writing co-author fics because I feel like my own writing style rarely meshes very well with anyone else's, but that obviously wasn't a problem for the two of you. It was very consistent in the writing, and I wouldn't be able to tell if I tried who wrote which part. Honestly, that's an amazing feat. Nice job!
I haven't read the other entries to this challenge, but I must say that it'll be hard to find one that is better than this excellent piece of writing.
Author's Response: Yes, her name is Helen, so no need for apologising. And thanks for reviewing and your comment about the story being a wonderful piece. *hugs*
About Anna acting like she did: I won't comment on that, because it's hard to explain why I wrote her that way, but it makes (kind of) sense, at least to me. Sorry that this didn't get through better in the story itself.
Also thanks for the compliment with the descriptions of the horrors of WWII. I had goosebumps running down my arms and s pine the entire time when writing it; it was such an intense feeling. And it was me who wrote the parts of Anna after the bombing. The attic scenes with Anna telling Victor her story were written by Helen. And yes, it really is great that our writing style matched this fantastically and that the story turned out so smooth without anyone being able to tell who wrote what. And about drawing the perfect line with the images: hee, actually, the story got rejected the first time because it was too graphic sometimes. We had to cut those parts out. But we're happy now with how the story turned out in the end now. Glad you liked those.
I won't write a huge response, as Bine has already commented. Thanks for the compliments! Before this, I had personally never written a Co-Authored fic, but I am so glad I did. You learn so much from the other person. Check out Bine's review on how it all worked in the Great Hall.