Reviewer: kobbiblue
Date: 03/12/12 13:31
Chapter: Part Three: Go!

a wonderful story!!!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! So glad you enjoyed it! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: proud_to_be_a_muggle
Date: 01/20/11 8:49
Chapter: Part Three: Go!

:}

Author's Response: I'm not sure what kind of face that is, but thanks for reading! Hope you liked it! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Writ Encore
Date: 10/21/10 12:20
Chapter: Part One: On Your Mark...

Gina,

I have never written a James/Lily myself, although I have debated trying to attempt a Marauder Era fic that isn’t cliché, but, as far as this couple or paring, you come highly recommended because this seems to fall into your niche. I have to say that this reminds me of a previous problem that I stumbled upon with somebody else. You have slight grammatical errors here and there, but those can be fixed by a quick read over. What I am looking at here is the plot; it is, after all, what draws readers into a story. That is particularly important in a chaptered piece, for it keeps people reading along the way. As this is the pilot, I cannot really say if you have that, but you have a really interesting connection here.

Personally, I usually don’t read first-person Harry Potter narratives, but that’s simply a bias towards the original because it’s not written that way. While you seem to have an interesting spin on James and Lily, nearly everything you say here, Gina, is in dialogue. Dialogue is just as important as narration in pieces like this. Sure, we know who all of these characters are from the Marauder Era because we have an d in our head, but you can’t, or you should not, define a character simply by speech. Really, outside of a few chapters and reminiscences, we have littler idea who these characters are, so there is free reign. But, you need to show us that outside of a he said/ she said deal. Of course, you have action words and mannerisms sprinkled here and there.
If you think that having a few paragraphs reiterating the physical descriptions or mannerisms is a bad idea because we already know it, it’s not. Sure, we know that James has hazel eyes or what have you, and I’m not suggesting that you fill this with useless fluff, but having a little something would help move the scene along. You have the ability to create these scenarios like Lily agreeing to fly a broomstick and James acting a little snug, but where is this show and tell thing? I was once told never to say something unless it was important. A few words can cover incredible ground if you hit home. The bickering voice back and forth defined a teenage voice; you have that, but in my head, I’m thinking perhaps that’s a bit too much because not every line in realistic dialogue is going to be as quirky. Think about regular conversation. Often, as is with many cases, stuff goes over somebody’s head because they missed it or didn’t take something as funny along the way. It’s not a tennis match, and, I think, teenagers miss the mark often in their spills.

The plot seems plausible. These renditions of James in Lily seem as though perhaps they would act this way; it might be a realistic scenario, and, in order for them to get to know each other, walls have to be broken and they have to be willing to learn of each other outside the bickering.

You’re right there. I like the idea, and I think you can strike hot iron with this couple once again if you add a bit more weaving and make them more than two-dimensional figures of a script. It’s difficult, yes, but you really want to get in and create these people from bare bones, especially since they are, as you say, your main characters.

It’s an enjoyable read. Keep writing.

Kuri

Author's Response: @font-face { font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }span.msoIns { color: maroon; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

Hi Kuri,

I suppose I should thank you for taking the time to read and review my story. However, I do find it a rather off-putting review. It is rather patronizing, to be honest, and written in such a way that I find it difficult not to be offended at times. First of all, you said:

 

"I have to say that this reminds me of a previous problem that I stumbled upon with somebody else. You have slight grammatical errors here and there, but those can be fixed by a quick read over."

 

Why are you referring to someone else's problem in a review for this story? I have no idea what you are talking about. And while I may have "slight grammatical errors here and there," I assure you I read this over many, many times, so telling me a quick read over will fix them is somewhat condescending.

 

"What I am looking at here is the plot; it is, after all, what draws readers into a story. That is particularly important in a chaptered piece, for it keeps people reading along the way. As this is the pilot, I cannot really say if you have that, but you have a really interesting connection here."

 

I know what plot is and again find this very patronizing. In fact, I would say that plot is one of my strengths in the majority of my writing. Since you are only reviewing the first chapter, I also find this statement to be somewhat premature. I can assure you there is indeed a plot, should you continue.

"Personally, I usually don’t read first-person Harry Potter narratives, but that’s simply a bias towards the original because it’s not written that way. While you seem to have an interesting spin on James and Lily, nearly everything you say here, Gina, is in dialogue."

 

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps an author might deliberately craft a story in a certain way? I happen to like dialogue. I literally hear these characters speaking in my mind. So I wrote this story to be dialogue-heavy on purpose. That's something to consider when offering advice to authors: it may be rejected because your idea of what the story should be was not their intent whatsoever.

 

"Dialogue is just as important as narration in pieces like this. Sure, we know who all of these characters are from the Marauder Era because we have an d in our head, but you can’t, or you should not, define a character simply by speech."

 

As a reviewer, please do not tell an author what they can or cannot do. This is incredibly insulting. I have written entire drabbles in dialogue form only. I find it a refreshing and fun way to convey character. If you do not enjoy dialogue-heavy pieces, that is fine. You can express that opinion, but you cannot tell an author to write something differently simply because you do not approve of or enjoy the way they decided to tell their story.

 

"Really, outside of a few chapters and reminiscences, we have littler idea who these characters are, so there is free reign. But, you need to show us that outside of a he said/ she said deal."

 

I chose not to do so. I do not need to do anything. Telling me to do something to my story, as opposed to respectfully suggesting it, is again insulting.

 

"Of course, you have action words and mannerisms sprinkled here and there. If you think that having a few paragraphs reiterating the physical descriptions or mannerisms is a bad idea because we already know it, it’s not. Sure, we know that James has hazel eyes or what have you, and I’m not suggesting that you fill this with useless fluff, but having a little something would help move the scene along."

 

I do use narrative to enhance the dialogue and used the very things you suggest. I personally find a lot of that filler to be repetitive and bland. I am not the kind of author who will find six different ways to tell a reader that Lily's eyes were green. And I must point out that in a first person narrative that sort of thing often sounds unnatural. So I chose to go easy on it.

 

"You have the ability to create these scenarios like Lily agreeing to fly a broomstick and James acting a little snug, but where is this show and tell thing? I was once told never to say something unless it was important. A few words can cover incredible ground if you hit home."

 

This makes almost no sense to me. What particular "show and tell thing" are you talking about, and what exactly was missing? I feel that between the dialogue and active/descriptive narrative, I managed a balance of show and tell. In fact, I would argue that I showed far more through the dialogue than told through the narrative additions.

 

"The bickering voice back and forth defined a teenage voice; you have that, but in my head, I’m thinking perhaps that’s a bit too much because not every line in realistic dialogue is going to be as quirky. Think about regular conversation. Often, as is with many cases, stuff goes over somebody’s head because they missed it or didn’t take something as funny along the way. It’s not a tennis match, and, I think, teenagers miss the mark often in their spills."

 

Ah, but that's exactly how I view it: as a bit of a tennis match. I happen to love snarky dialogue and could write banter for hours. I suppose it's too bad that you disagree, since it's such fun, but again, you fail to take into my intent as an author in criticizing this aspect of my writing, as opposed to merely expressing your personal opinion about it.

"The plot seems plausible. These renditions of James in Lily seem as though perhaps they would act this way; it might be a realistic scenario, and, in order for them to get to know each other, walls have to be broken and they have to be willing to learn of each other outside the bickering."

 

Again, this comes across as very condescending overall. The second half does not make sense to me, either, as it does not seem to relate to the story much.

"You’re right there."

 

Right where? Please don't patronize me.

 

"I like the idea, and I think you can strike hot iron with this couple once again if you add a bit more weaving and make them more than two-dimensional figures of a script. It’s difficult, yes, but you really want to get in and create these people from bare bones, especially since they are, as you say, your main characters."

 

Actually, this story is finished and I have no plans to continue or revise it. I wrote it exactly as I wanted to write it and am rather happy with the results. I personally don't find the characters two-dimensional. Or, if they are, I have no plans to "create people from bare bones." That was not my intent. My intent was simply to tell a good, original story. I think I succeeded. I am sorry you do not seem to agree. That is your opinion and you have every right to not only think it, but express it as well. However, I would strongly suggest that you temper your reviews in the future.

 

You need to realize that not all writers think and feel the same as you, and that when you read and review a story, you must acknowledge the writer's intent. Don't give lessons on plot and character, particularly to someone who has been on the site as both a member and moderator for four years; do express your personal opinion regarding those aspects of the story that you both liked and did not like. Don't tell an author how to write their story the way you think they should; do offer respectful suggestions on how to improve certain aspects while acknowledging the author's intent. Don't patronize; do offer honest praise and encouragement once in a while.

 

I hope my response helps you understand both my intent with this story, as well as my rather strong reaction to your review.

Reviewer: Hopes Mom
Date: 10/15/10 17:31
Chapter: Part Three: Go!

Wow - this finished so differently from what I imagined - but so much better! I wonder who would have won a race between James and Lily (James, likely but Lily seems mighty competitive in this story). It seems she was already softening toward James and didn't mind which one of them won the bet. Thanks for adding the Postscript - it finishes the story. We get to see the consequences of the misdeeds that happened in the race. Thank you for a fun, satisfying story.

Author's Response: Hi there! Thanks for the review, I'm glad it not only surprised you a bit, but that you still liked it. I think James would win, but if I were to write something like that, I could see him either throwing the race to let her win, or her actually cheating a bit to beat him, lol. Thanks again for reading and reviewing this story. I have enjoyed reading your reviews and really appreciate your kind words! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Abigail Weasley
Date: 10/15/10 11:23
Chapter: Part Three: Go!

I really like how this ended. This is how I would assume they would've gotten together, if anything. Usually in fan fiction Lily objects, in some way, to liking James and they argue but not here. It's more a mutual agreement that just happens and that's refreshing. Great job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I'm really glad you enjoyed the ending. I wasn't expecting it to be so...subtle, lol. Thanks again, I really appreciate it! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Hopes Mom
Date: 10/10/10 19:54
Chapter: Part Two: Get Set...

Part 2 up already-yeah! It was all fun. Lily's tutor wants to be more than a tutor. James has a revenge student who also wants more from him than flying lessons. Nasty Slytherins round out the chapter. I like James and Lily's comeraderie towards the end. His request to see her hex another guy was funny. I was surprised by his confusion with how to handle Carin at the end of the chapter-something else for his friends to tease him about perhaps? Thanks for a fun chapter!

Author's Response: Hi there! Thanks for another lovely review! I actually wrote this back in July, so it won't be long until I put up the last part. I'm glad you enjoyed part two. I'd like to think that even James Potter might be a little confused with someone like Carin O'Connell and her game. He's not perfect, after all (even if we want to think he was, lol) Plus he's distracted, isn't he? ;) I hope you like how it ends, thanks again for reading and leaving such a nice review! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: WeasleyMom
Date: 10/09/10 16:35
Chapter: Part One: On Your Mark...

Ah, Gina, how I enjoy your J/L fics! This is fun already, and I particularly like your interaction between the boys. James' arrogance is just so adorable... how do you do that? Maybe its the way you balance it out with his insecurities... or is he overcompensating for his insecurities by being arrogant? However you did it, it worked beautifully. I love that Remus is more tuned in to Lily than any of them.

Great as always. Looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: You know, the comment about Remus got me thinking that the same thing is going on in my WIP as well. There is just something so appealing about the idea of Lily and Remus being close friends. And yes, I do think some of Jame's arrogance could be born of his insecurity, and I too find that adorable. :) Thanks for reading this, Lori. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you like the rest of it, it was fun to write. Thanks again! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 10/09/10 5:13
Chapter: Part One: On Your Mark...

What can I say? A James/Lily written impeccably by Gina. I'm in canon ship heaven.

What I particularly like about this story is that you have an actual plot goingon and it's not just about James and Lily in a will they/won't they scenario (although I'm pleased to see that happening as well - hee hee.)

Great first chapter and I can't wait for the rest.

~Carole~

Author's Response: Carole, you KNOW what happens next, lol. I might not have sent this off for the ficfest if you hadn't assured me it wasn't as uneven as I thought it was. I'm actually starting to like it quite a bit now. :) And I'm glad you liked it. Yes - a plot, imagine that. Er. what does that say about my other J/L story where the plot IS just about them getting together? Eep! ;) Well, I'll put up the rest of this one (and hopefully that other one) soon. Thanks again for your help and thank you so much for the lovely review! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Hopes Mom
Date: 10/08/10 20:58
Chapter: Part One: On Your Mark...

Yeah - more James/Lily! James is so put out by Lily joining his race - I hope she does well! I love how the other Marauders give James grief over Lily. I look forward to reading what happens next. Thank you!

Author's Response: No, thank YOU! :) I really appreciate you stopping to read my stories and always leaving such a nice review. I'm glad you enjoyed this one and really hope you enjoy the rest of it! Thanks again! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Cinderella Angelina
Date: 10/08/10 15:18
Chapter: Part One: On Your Mark...

I am so intrigued by this story! Great job with the Marauder interactions; I thought the characterization of each was quite well-executed. The only thing odd about the scene was when James shoots back "Wendy Foster" at Sirius in response to "still a sore spot". It just felt like it needed a little more of a transition. Like, maybe if James had said "Sore spot, huh? Wendy Foster!" or something.

I liked reading Lily and James' banter, but it mostly made me more curious. Why is Lily flying? It seems to me to be more important than James realizes.

I look forward to reading the rest of the story!

Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you so much for stopping to read this story. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I see your point about that one reference being slightly confusing. It's probably stuck in my head and I'll see if I can't edit it a bit sometime. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story. Thank you so much for leaving such a nice review, I really appreciate it. ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Abigail Weasley
Date: 10/08/10 13:48
Chapter: Part One: On Your Mark...

I love this idea. You've expressed a different side of Lily that I had yet to see and I'm glad I read this.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I sort of wanted to present a slightly different twist on Lily, given that most of the time it is assumed she wasn't much of a flyer. I'm glad you enjoyed this and hope you like the rest! Thank you so much for leaving a nice review, I really appreciate it! ~Gina :)

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