Reviewer: Kerichi
Date: 09/25/09 17:01
Chapter: In The Dark

Dialogue-only stories are a challenge I'd be leery of taking on, so I admire you for experimenting with fiction, and I think you did well answering the multi-layered story question: Do you regret it? I also think you wove setting into the dialogue with marvelous effectiveness. With specific, telling details, you gave the reader a mental image of Azkaban, the wall, bars, water dripping, humidity, and even the layout of the prison.

What I found lacking in the story was believable characterization and distinguishable voice. These are grown men, but they sound like schoolboys.

"You're mean, Rodolphus. I hate you."

"You're stupid, little brother."

Rodolphus’ words about Bellatrix seem petulant. "She would even lick his shoes if he asked for it  . . . I'm finished with her. She's betrayed me . . . She's dead to me."

“Sound” was the ultimate problem for me. When a story is limited to dialogue, it's like being in a dark room listening to a conversation. Each speaker's voice should be distinct. Here, they're brothers, but they read too much alike. Take out the names and a lot of times it would be hard to know who is speaking.

Here's a quote from a short story/scene from Tell You What I’m Gonna Do by a writer named Michael A. Kechula who won a 'Talk it out' writers' contest. In these opening lines, setting, plot, and two distinct characters are established entirely through dialogue.

“Hey, Kid, give it a try. Ten chances for a dollar. Toss a ping-pong ball in the basket. If it stays in, you win the best prizes on the Midway.”

“But your shelves are empty. Where are the prizes?”

“In your head.”

“Whadda ya mean?”

“If you win, you get whatever you want. Name it, and you got it. But you gotta tell me within one second after the ball settles in the basket.  If you take longer, you lose.”

“I bet if I win and say Mustang convertible, you’ll give me a little toy car.”

“No way. See all those trailers parked over there? They’re loaded with prizes. New cars. Designer clothes. Gold jewelry. Anything a teenager like you could ever want. You name it, I got it.”

 In Mr. Kechula’s story, the “kid” ends up trading his immortal soul for a Mustang, cheated by the ultimate barker. In yours, Rodolphus regrets marrying Bellatrix but doesn’t regret serving the Dark Lord. As I said before, I do think that was done well. “Rolph” isn’t just a yes-man. He’s more complex—and sympathetic—than his wife.


Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Paige. I agree that I could have done more to distinguish Rodolphus and Rabastan more, but I also believe that when you are in prison, surrounded by Dementors, that you're afraid of what will happen, more so because none of the two knew what happened to the Dark Lord and if he would come back to get them out there. We need to remember that they were still quite young, Rabastan more than Rodolphus. And I believe that when a young man is faced with such unknown darkness and future, he will break at some point and become a whiny child. Rodolphus is more composed, but he gets down to Rabastan's level of speech because he knows that there is no other way to talk to him than in the way he did.

Anyway, thanks again for the review.

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 08/11/09 3:55
Chapter: In The Dark

This is a very interesting take on not only life in Azkaban but on the relationship between the two Lestrange brothers - so well done for that. It's hard in this particular category to sustain the tension, purely through dialogue, but you've managed this very well.

There were one or two places where, to my rather annoying Brit-picky ears, the dialogue sounded a little too American and casual. For instance:
You’re going nuts, Rolph.
Personally, I think this pair would say 'crazy' or 'mad'. And a later reply of Rodolphus' 'As if.' strikes me as too modern for someone who is in the rest of his dialogue rather formal.

The moments where they slipped from adult speech to the language of children "You're mean." were well placed and helped to add interest to the setting. I particularly liked how you gave Rabastan a bit of a conscience regarding the Longbottoms. Mind you, killing them would probably have been a blessing for them.

Well done ~Carole~

Author's Response: Thanks, hon. I probably should have given the story to you for Brit-picking before submitting it. lol. But I'm glad you liked it. :)

You must login (register) to review.
Find out everything you need to know about the site right here.

We have stories and authors in this archive.


Choose Theme:
Other Lives and Dimensions and Finally a Love Story by MoRoCcAnAnDpRoUd Professors
The year is 1977, and the Wizarding World is in turmoil, but it doesn't really...
Research and Development by Northumbrian 3rd-5th Years
The Mirrorphone, the latest advance in Wizarding communications. Now, of course...
The Weird Sisters - B-Sides and Rarities, Vol. 2 by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor 1st-2nd Years
The Weird Sisters are back for an encore. Ten more tracks from your MNFF authors.
Oread, Walking by Seren
Cedric was just as odd as Hermione, because he liked to walk. Cedric/Hermione
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Two Terrifically Trapped Gryffindors. by Fenixaze 3rd-5th Years
From the "Stuck where for the weekend?" Challenge on ... Our two...
Drunk on Him by armagod679 Professors
For me, he was an obsession, a burning obsession, one that I could never let...
A Broken Hallelujah by epiphany212 Professors
You have always loved the chase. The pursuit of Quaffles and dragons have carried...
In the Hufflepuff Way by 1000timesingoldenink 3rd-5th Years
Did anybody really appreciate Hannah's mum?Because Mrs. Abbott was a heroine...
And Now... by Oregonian 3rd-5th Years
Moments after the death of Voldemort, Harry gazes at the corpse of the Dark...
The Weird Sisters - B-Sides and Rarities, Vol. 1 by minnabird 1st-2nd Years
Welcome back to another rousing round of rambunctious rock!However, a new act...