Chapter 2: Fools and Negotiations
I think this is a very original and intriguing start to a story, and I'm definitely curious as to what happens next.
Your characterisation so far is very interesting, though I'm not so sure I like your characterisation of Molly... to me, hse only ended up becoming a housewife and mother so young because of the war... although I guess it could appear differently to her brother, who obviously has a completely different view of the world. The Prewett family dynamics were certainly interesting, particularly considering family is so important to Molly in canon.
There are a few times when the plot wasn't so clear to me... I wasn't sure, did Emmeline lose the baby when she fell? Or is she still pregnant? Maybe that's just me not quite following though... It also seems that things happen very quickly here, and right at the beginning we're introduced to a whole lot of characters and at times I found it a little confusing.
There's a few times when you've made small typos, like missing full stops (first sentence) or capital letters, too, but that's not a big deal.
Emmeline is very interesting, and I like the way you've set up her and Gideon's relationship, as well as the way she interacts with her father and Auguste.
Anyway, I hope I don't sound too negative here... I do really enjoy this story, and I"m looking forward to the next chapter.
Chapter 1: Taking the Scenic Route
First off, I don't think I've ever seen a story like this before. Not like I've been on MNFF for too long, but I have read a lot of stories and this one is definitely original, at least so far. Not saying there's nothing else on Gideon and Fabian, but this is a brand new plot at least in the first chapter. I congratulate you for being original and writing such a juicy and enjoyable chapter for me to review on.
However, there are many things about this chapter that could have been better. You tend to focus on narrative instead of dialogue, and it makes it a little hard to follow. For example, when Gideon is talking to Aunt Muriel, she says,
"She’s your whore, boy,” said the old lady, not deterred in the least by being singled out, “and you don’t even see it. No, you love her, don’t you?”
This could have been very well brought into a bantering segment between Muriel and Gideon. However instead of inciting dialogue you went into great detail about Muriel being the matriarch of the family. You also interrupt dialogue with phrases. For example:
“She slid on something, tripped, I think, and hit the concrete hard when we got back to the shed,” said Arthur, nodding. He handed her a glass of water. “She just fell.”
You make the dialogue sound choppy and indirect by interrupting. You could easily have waited to say that Arthur handed Emmeline a glass of water.
Don't get me wrong, I think that this story has great potential. I also, however, believe that there is a lot to be done to improve it. I look forward to seeing the next chapter!
Author's Response: Lily,
The two points that you point out here have me taking different views. Not to be defensive, no, but to explain my process. Okay, if I had pointed out that Aunt Muriel was indeed the matriarch and was entitled to a raving opinion, whatís the point of standing there bickering with her when itís simply going to fall to deaf ears? Why bicker back and forth like teenagers to egg her on when their grown? As a negotiator, Gideon would know how to read people, yes? So why have pointless dialogue just to have it? That is why I paired that as narration. And the reaction from Arthur would have been choppy and disconnected, I think, because he was surprised that she had fallen and lost the child. Especially for a man who bred child after child with success, seeing a woman just loose one would knock him off balance. Donít you think? People, and characters, can do actions whilst they speak. The last part was indeed supposed to come off as incoherent; I hope that makes sense now.
Iím floored that you think this is an original piece and I hope you stay with it. Thanks for the review. Sorry for the slow response.
Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Chapter 1: Taking the Scenic Route
This is an interesting story. So few people write the Prewetts, yet they have an interesting story that should be told, so thank you for that.
I'm not sure about your portrayal of Molly here. I know she is quite judgemental (all the Weasleys bar Arthur are) and her behaviour towards Fleur wasn’t good ... but she did welcome her (and Fleur wasn't the nicest of people, either). I just think your Molly is far too rude to Emmeline. I suppose she could be exhausted with all the children, but I still think Molly would be the type of person who would sit Emmeline down with a large cup of tea partly to impress on her the importance of her 'home-making' skills and fire off forty off questions. Molly is a very curious and nosey character, but displays none of that curiosity about her brother's new woman ... odd. Also, far from being annoyed that Emmeline had money, there is a part of Molly that is impressed by money and stature (her reaction to Scrimgeor). I liked the implication that she reacted when there was a threat to her family. Perhaps that is true at that time, but I do think she changed rapidly - possibly when her brothers were killed and she realised the threat was encompassing everyone. Plus, having young kids and twins is enough to narrow anyone's mind (then they get to the age of five and you bundle them off to nursery and start to have a life again). So, actually I think you're a bit harsh on Molly.
There were a few Brit-picks - generally in the dialogue that I wanted to point out.
“After five kids, I’d say he needs something,” added Fabian. “I’m just saying. Are you done yet?” “You know this isn’t going to work, right? Dying these things.” Molly waved her hand at the stuffed toys. "Does your friend know anything about raising children?” “Shut up, Molly,” said Gideon warned her with an air of forced calm.” Let’s enjoy ourselves for one weekend, yeah? For me? For the boys? It’s my birthday. Fake it.”
Take this exchange. It sounds, to my ears, both a bit modern for 1978 and also rather American. Molly ending her sentence with 'right', is something that I can't see her ever doing. She doesn;t speak like that in the books. Fabian saying 'I'm just saying.' is very modern. I baulked at that, because it was so similar to the oft-used phrase on the boards 'just sayin' '. It would be better if you used 'Just thought I'd mention it.' The other one was 'Fake it.' which comes across as a bit modern - to me, but I'm struggling to think what else he'd say 'Just pretend' perhaps. The last thing was that we'd be far more likely to say 'torch' than 'flashlight' but as it's Emmeline giving the gift and she's French, then there's a reasonable assumption that she speaks American English. - Sorry, that's my Brit picks over. I'm afraid I am very annoying when I read stories but it's the type of thing I notice.
Brit picks aside, (and my defence of Molly) I did enjoy the story, although you have left this very open-ended. Is Emmeline pregnant? What will happen now she’s fallen? Are her and Gideon actually involved in a relationship? ( I wasn't sure because it seemed they got together for convenience.) Anyway, I enjoyed this and good luck in the challenge ~Carole~
Author's Response: Carole.
I was going to answer you because this was so thoughtful, and as that was what it was, I needed to think. You bring up interesting points; the thing about Molly is something that I needed to explain; I did not mean to represent her as a cow. Yes, she sounds like one, yes, but I think that even if we follow and Ďmarryí characterization, we let out for an initial reaction. Perhaps I am wrong, as I often I am. I do not know. I think that we donít give way for initial reactions. Sometimes, we, as people react differently, and as Molly was seeing her brother for the first time in forever (who could very well be a whore), I see this as a just response. Their lives as brother and sister are so different, yet they come to terms.
Can I share what I was thinking here? I was thinking, ĎHow awful would that be if that were the last time she had a heart to heart with her brother?í Her brother. I mean, in movies, you get those clichť, good-bye scenes. But, in reality, what do they show? Nothing. We donít often get that second chance. It is here, I believe, that all three of these people, Gideon, Emmeline and Molly are in the wrong. Yes, I believe that Molly would eventually sit Emmeline down to tea or whatever, but here, itís the initial reaction. I see Molly as neither a good or bad person. She may not be a woman married to chickens and popping out child after child, but why canít an outsider not view them that way in their own tunnel vision? Gideon sees the world thus; she sees it this way.
The point of this passage is indeed that Gideon is harsh. Iím glad that you understand that, I think. We donít have to write what we think as writers; we portray, or, at least, try to show that through our characters. Not everyone loved Professor Dumbledore, yes? And in life, we view those who we love or sometimes like in different ways depending on life. It doesnít mean we hate them or shut them out.
Oh, yes, as always, I slipped on the British English. Forgive me.
Oh, they are married, but you are right, itís for convenience and other favors because he didnít want to leave her. They do love each other as good friends, so itís not lovey Ė dovey, no.
I hope that you stay with me. Thank you for your points and insights. Youíve given me a view. Hope this was worth the wait of a response, if you care.