Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 01/03/14 16:45
Chapter: Chapter 1: Letters and Shopping

Hi, Nidhi. I see that this story is your first chaptered fiction in the archives. I hope it will be the first of many.

Despite its mysterious title, it is a cheerful story, moving along at a good pace with an optimistic, upbeat tone and a cast of kind and friendly characters. It is also well edited for errors of spelling, grammar, punctuation, or dodgy word choices.

The plot of the story is not clear yet, in this first chapter. The story promises to be a mystery, with troubles that need to be dealt with, and it would be good to give us readers a hint of what those troubles might be, to pique our curiosity.. Your opening is good, the family being worried about James’s tardy Hogwarts letter, but that problem seems permanently solved when the owl finally arrives; it is not the promised mystery after all. The rest of this chapter is a pretty routine visit to Diagon Alley to buy school supplies, with a bit of tension supplied in two places, where Ginny regrets telling Lily to ask her father about the Pygmy Puff because Harry will give Lily anything she wants, and where someone (Ginny?) says, “George!” after George insists on giving the children their little purchases for free. These two little points are good because they show some unique moments in an otherwise unremarkable visit.

Here are two suggestions for style, both easy to put into effect and both providing a good return for efforts made.

You have covered a lot of ground in only 1622 words, so you have some wiggle room to make your story even more vivid than it already is by adding more description. Your readers are already familiar with Harry Potter, and Diagon Alley, and owls, and so on, but it is good to add description anyway, because no two experiences are ever exactly alike. Owls can be different colors and sizes, for example, so “an owl landed on the windowsill” can be expanded into “a large gray owl landed on the windowsill, clutching a thick parchment envelope in its talons,”, making the image easier to envision, without making your chapter too long.

The second suggestion echoes what one of your previous reviewers mentioned: the short sentences that tend to give a choppy sound. This is also easy to fix. Try combing two or three adjacent sentences into one longer, more complex sentence. Example: “His first incident, when he was three, was the worst. James had managed to get hold of a wand and stun himself. Worst of all, he had hit his head when he fell and got very badly hurt.” These three sentences could be combined thus: “In the first and worst incident, three-year-old James had managed to get hold of a wand and stun himself, hurting himself badly when he fell and hit his head.” This way you can improve your story by making it more fluid. I do this with my own stories, looking over the first draft to find areas of shorter, choppier sentences that need to be combined to flow more gracefully.

But even as written, your story has a certain sparkle; there is an expectation that something intriguing is just around the corner. Do you plan to write another chapter and let us know what that something will be? I hope so.

Vicki

Reviewer: crbluvsravenclaw
Date: 09/22/12 0:06
Chapter: Chapter 1: Letters and Shopping

I think you have a good thought process on this story. It will go far and I can't wait to read what happens next!

The only thing that I really have to say for advice is that this seemed simply worded and choppy. Don't get me wrong, some parts were written really well and don't need to be fixed at all, but other parts need some stronger vocabulary, you know what I mean?

Overall, props to you, Julie, and Sophie! I really like reading about the next generation's story and I wish that Jo would write more about them!!!!!!! :D

~crbluvsravenclaw

Author's Response: Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!! Julie and Sophie have been amazing :) I feel the same way... Wish Jo would write more about them. Thanks! ~Nidhi

Reviewer: Dad
Date: 09/18/12 9:27
Chapter: Chapter 1: Letters and Shopping

No mysteries yet but a lot of dialogue. I look forward to more.

Author's Response: THANK YOU SO MUCH! This is my first chaptered fic! Next chapter is the sorting! ~Nidhi

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