Reviewer: Inverarity
Date: 11/03/09 12:36
Chapter: Chapter 1

This is an interesting story premise. I have to offer some critique, though.

 1. As another reviewer pointed out, your writing style is very verbose, and the dialog is stilted. Nothing that comes out of the characters' mouths sounds like the way real people talk -- it reads more like they are delivering lines in a theatrical production. (And no, I do not believe that you actually talk that way. Having a large vocabulary isn't the same thing.)

2. For the most part, your writing is pretty good, but I caught a number of grammatical errors, particularly with verb tense.

3. Along with the wordiness, way too much overuse of adjectives and adverbs and similes. A little bit makes writing sparkle; a lot makes it sound like someone trying to show off their vocabulary.

4. There is a lot of unnecessary information that gets inserted in places that interrupt the flow of the story. You've put James in Azkaban, which is a very tense and dramatic situation, and the readers want to know what's going to happen next. So you go off on a tangent about Hugo's girlfriend's platinum-blond hair, followed by reminiscing about how James met Augusta. Now we've totally become disconnected from the tension you built up by putting James in prison. Frankly, finding out that he met Augusta in a fairly typical Hollywood-style jerk-meets-girl, girl-decks-jerk, jerk-eventually-wins-girl-with-his-roguish-charm manner could be condensed to a paragraph or two.

 (Stephen King does this a lot --in the middle of a story, he'll suddenly spend 50 pages on a flashback one of the characters has to a childhood memory. That's one reason why most people say that Stephen King needs a stronger editor. It's a bad habit to get into, especially if you're not Stephen King.)

Don't take my criticisms as saying "Your story sucks." I actually find it pretty interesting and will probably keep writing. But I do think you could use some stylistic, narrative, and SPaG help from a beta.



Author's Response: Thank you for the SPEW :)

I can tell you that my writing style is much changed in later chapters as I slowly recall the writer I was when I was younger and more practiced. For James, there really isn't much that changes in his situation in terms of 'what happens next', because 1) he's already in prison, and he's not likely to go anywhere and 2) the real story is taking place on the outside. While I do agree that I probably could have skipped most of the flashback, I felt it was very important to make sure that the reader knows, by bits and pieces, that James Potter is not a murderer. That's what I try to do with his thoughts, mannerisms, and memories, and if I've failed at that...well, that just kinda sucks, lol.

I guess the way it's written and the style is a matter of perspective. I feel it's important to define the characters before embarking on the story ship, but if I'm not doing that right/at all, a red flag would be awesome.

Thanks, Jess

Reviewer: 1254676
Date: 10/28/09 18:46
Chapter: Prologue

i loved the writing! i thought it was brilliant and you brought your own writing style to the story!!!
i can't fault it or the language you used, it was brilliant!

Author's Response:

Thank you so much! I actually think that my writing style in the successive chapters really develops into my own singular style, and the story really intensifies after the second chapter, which should be swinging out of the queue in the next couple days.

Reviewer: Amdillae_Culmet
Date: 10/22/09 21:46
Chapter: Prologue

Very Nice and High Quality considering it is your first piece (never would have guessed that if you hadn't mentioned it)

I have some theories on how Lily is involved in creating the motivation for James' actions and look forward to reading more of this story to see I my hunch is right.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! :D My goal with this story is to use perspective to piece together the timeline and torture both the reader and the characters - the reader because they can't stand waiting for the protagonist to prevail and figure out what they already know, and the characters because they have to fit together various pieces of the puzzle, and the more they delve into its complicated depths, the worse it is for them. I'm mean, lol. Thanks again for reading, and since I already have 15 chapters written, they'll be coming out as soon as the queue is moving.

Reviewer: paperrose
Date: 10/20/09 17:56
Chapter: Prologue

I love this concept, it's so interesting, so different. I can't wait to find out why James feels Goyle deserved his fate and what Lily has to do with this. Two things I think could be improved though: first, the characters' dialogues are often too formal so it doesn't make them seem 'real', so to speak. Try to make them speak as you would. For example, use Dad instead of Father, etc. Second, if you are using point of views, try to keep it to one POV per chapter or section but don't change POV's every few paragraphs.

Good work, and update soon!

Author's Response: Ah, the old POV problem. I wrote it the way I did because this story is largely POV oriented, and it has everything to do with the development of the plot. In JKR's story, a majority of the story was oriented around Harry, but in this tale of mine, there really is no main character. The story itself is almost the main character, and the supporting cast is used as a tool to keep the story going. And the dialogue...would it surprise you if I said I really do talk like that? I'm a total vocabulary dork. Thanks for the review, and the update will be up as soon as they pass it through the queue.

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