Reviewer: Padfoot Patronus
Chapter 1: Unexpected Superiority
I thought your summary was promising, Maddy. I was interested to know how you'd incorporate the war.
But as I'm reading the story itself I find that there's something about the voice of your characters thats resisting them to perform to their full potential. Your effort is shining through believe me, when you show James struggling with his feelings, Sirius struggling about his decision to leave home etc, but you need to work to make the dialogue believable, less of the idle banter-quality. Right now it just seems several people talk about things on the surface. For instance this small part:
“Hey, Prongs. Have a good summer?” Remus Lupin said quietly, taking the seat opposite James.
“Hi, Moony! Yeah, I did. Sirius ran away – of course, I already owled you about that over the summer. He stayed at my place and we kind of just lazed around. Oh, but there was something I wanted to talk to you about.”
I cringed repeatedly, because there doesn't seem to be any substance here and there are some structural problems as well.
What Remus says should be 'Had a good summer?' rather than 'have a good summer?' Also, even if Remus is reserved and cautious by nature, doesn't mean he'd be greeting someone with the dialogue tag 'quietly'. It doesn't seem fitting unless you provide something to support it. Is he ill? for instance.
On James' response - it feels all over the place. He had a nice summer. And yet Sirius did run away from home you know. I bet James wouldn't be breathing about it so casually, do you think? Then James isn't the kind of the person to "laze" around. What I think I might have missed here, is him trying to run over the essentials quickly so he can talk about Lily with Remus. Was that it, Maddy? Then the disinterest with which he describes the other bits of his summer would make sense.
I like the nonchalant attitude of James towards Tate though. Because it gives him a sort of mysterious air which proves you don't always have to say something to express your feelings about it.
Something else you might work on though, is the passage in the end where you show Voldemort's side of the story. When I read it in the second chapter, I was thinking: really? Because as far as I am concerned Voldemort tracking the realtionship between Lily and James is just pushing it right over the edge. I'm not certain that at this point of time the prophecy has actually been made. Even if it is the same prophecy you refer to that is in book 5, I'd like to understand how can Voldemort possibly decide that James and Lily will get together and get married and have a baby?! Unless there is an explanation of him trying to get hold of the pair in the barren corridors, Voldemort is actually coming off to be comical in each of his appearences.
I said before, reading the story, your effort on it comes off many times, but there are some unexplained dialogue as well thats making enough questions than they answer.
Hope my review helps,
Author's Response: Hello, Akay!
Before I respond to anything you've just said, I have to thank you profusely, because this is the best concrete criticism I've ever received.
Okay, now... I agree the dialogue could use a lot of work. What I was having immense difficulty with was the fact that, when starting the story, I wasn't quite sure which way I wanted it to go. I think my confusion shows clearly. If that is the case, then I apologize - it might seem like a waste of time to read it. I wasn't quite sure how to let James effectively convey his thoughts to Remus without going too in-depth about it, and I don't think I did the scene justice. However, when I have time (school has started, and I'm up to my ears in work), I plan to go back and edit everything I've written so far.
I'm actually not referring to the prophecy made in book 5 that has Voldemort so intrigued. If you consider it worthwhile of your time, then perhaps when I update this, you will understand what I am actually referring to. I don't want to give too much away of what's going on in my mind right now, but Snape and Lily have already had their infamous argument and end-of-friendship moment. And what a lot of people don't realize is that he's still on the rise to power. He is not fully influential, and he is not fully practiced in the commandeering of Dark forces. In other words, he is not perfect. I'm not really understanding what you mean when you say he is comical in his appearances, however. If you could please explain that a little more, then perhaps I will be able to incorporate your comments into the story. It might just be unclear now, because the plot hasn't been fully developed yet.
When I do go back and edit, I will make sure to take all of your concrit into account, because it was useful insight and I will have you know that it is sincerely appreciated. Thank you for you time and your patience!
Chapter 3: Desperation and Indignity
wow. i feel sorry for lily evans now :(
and for remus.
i hate james for hurting remus like that.
umm...who was lurking in the shadows....i have two guesses.
it's either james or tate, right?
please update soon.
Author's Response: Well, don't hate James.
His friends told him to move on and he did! And well... Remus bottles everything up and James couldn't have possibly guessed such a thing. Don't worry.. we all know how things turn out in the end! ;)
As for the shadow-lurking fiend-or-friend... you'll simply have to wait for my next update (:.
Chapter 2: Changes and Differences
lily is such a ***
Author's Response: Heh, in my notes at the beginning of the chapter, I pleaded forgiveness if you thought as such. Don't worry, she won't be like this forever. We all see Lily Evans as this confident, kind person, but she had her own insecurities, just like anybody else. She's hated James for six years. It takes a long time to get over that.
Chapter 2: Changes and Differences
I just read Chapter 2 and it is even better than Chapter 1. Your writing is great, and I love it. I have a question though: are you going to go into the Snape/Lily friendship at all? I was just wondering. But I love the story so far, and I can't wait until you add more!
Author's Response: Ahh, I see you've noticed my little Snape/Lily issues. Well, seeing as it has been over a year since the incident by the lake, Snape has grudgingly accepted that Lily hates him, and he is forced to hide his true feelings fir her. However, because this is a James/Lily story and James was a big part of the reason why Lily now hates Severus, I will definitely delve into the remorse and conflict she feels, at least a little bit. Sorry for giving you such a longwinded explanation, but thank you once again for the completely wonderful review:). I am almost done writing the next chapter.
Chapter 1: Unexpected Superiority
I loved it! It really felt like I was there, watching this all play out. And that cliffhanger at the end was very intense and dramatic! I can't wait to read more.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I've already posted the next chapter and am currently waiting for it to be validated. Thank you for such a nice review :)