Reviewer: Ginny Weasley Potter
Date: 02/15/13 8:26
Chapter: one-shot

Hello!

I’ve been meaning to read your Ronmione for a while now, and am glad I chose this as my first, because this is wonderfully written. I really loved the entire presentation of it, and how easy it was to read, plus the realistic and beautiful representation of all the emotions. The story is short and precise: there’s a tone of hope and finality to it and it fits very well with the mood you’re going for.

Grief is one of the most difficult things to write, in my opinion and experience. It’s the same for everyone who experiences it, and yet it varies so much from person-to-person, based on how they take it and react to it. It is very important to capture these emotions properly, with the right mix of every state of mind that comes with this powerful, complex emotion. Some of the things that Ron feels have been captured so expertly, I can’t even put into words, as to how perfect and how genuine they are. The first sentence, for example, shows a very common train of thought in grief. You shouldn't feel like this. It shouldn't be as easy to just forget like it seems to be, and the tears are meant to continue falling. It’s true that everybody gets over the initial pain, and at some point, the tears stop, but the residual pain is still there, and then there’s the question of why the tears have stopped. Is it that the person is missed less? There is a constant fear of letting the person go, to fade away. But then, Ron has managed to answer his own question in the next line. But they don't, and maybe that's the point. Forward momentum and constant motion -- don't stop except for the memories. Nothing stops. Nothing waits. I love the philosophy behind these lines, because it’s not just about the grief and what Ron feels -- it’s very universal in such a situation.

There is also an entire paragraph which describes how difficult Ron finds it even to walk, to perform natural activities that don’t in a general sense, require energy or thought, and I love those lines. I wish I could quote the whole paragraph, but I will quote my favourite line here: You didn't even know something so natural could ever be so difficult -- even trudging back from the tents and pitch of the training grounds was child's play compared to the weight of every thought that came with each step. I extremely, one hundred per cent adore that sentence because of the surprise that Ron feels, that all these natural activities seem so difficult, and how he comes to understand the magnitude and extent of sadness that he experiences. Also, the rawness of his emotions, like the burrowing pain is very well reflected in this paragraph. The choice of words, and the way you put forward these emotions is interesting and beautiful.

The reaction from everyone else in Ron’s family is in-character too. Mrs Weasley’s reaction on the day of the funeral was very sad ” the plight of a mother on losing her child is perhaps the worst of all, but it wasn’t just that which made it sad. It was also how helpless everyone else was -- how they knew that this time, there were no consolatory words that could be given, and that nothing could be done to save her from her intense pain. Ron himself was very much in-character; I would expect him to be just as isolated as he is. Also, his mental agony is palpable from his actions, and his thoughts.

The overall use of second person narration impresses me as well. This is another thing which is difficult to pull off, and which you’ve managed to write with ease. The story is more poignant, more real and raw this way. I also love how you’ve taken the time to describe every thought that Ron has, and have still managed to make this a captivating read, without sounding repetitive. The tone of the story is rather passive, but it goes perfectly with the grief you’re trying to show.

The ending paragraphs are a burst of relief, both plot-wise and narrative-wise. And I love how I felt the same happiness and relief that Ron did at the sight of Hermione. It was like I was Ron -- I could feel his pain, and then the intense happiness on seeing Hermione. I’m glad you ended it this way, because nothing could have been more perfect for this fic.

This was a wonderful read, and you are really talented. I do hope to read your other stories soon. Excellent job! :)

Pooja

Author's Response: Err, uh... hmm. I am actually speechless. If you couldn't tell, that's a difficult task!

Anyways, now that I have to actually provide a response other than "ho hum, I dunno what to say!" I should probably say thanks. So, thanks. For the review, that is. Is there something else I should be thanking you for? I really don't know, but I guess yes, thanks for this wonderful piece of positivity! All right, let's put some sort of structure here okay?

Yeah, grief is part of the wonderful world of things that are incredibly hard to describe without sounding like a total... err, [insert foul language]: emotions. I never know if I'm walking the fine line between cheesy and emotive, or just tumbling over straight into that world of dark and stormy nights. I'm so glad you thought what I wrote wasn't that, though! I quite like that idea too, so much so that I may have injected it into a character that - I think - may have actually benefited from a much more visceral feeling. Eh, hindsight right?

Moving on, I actually -enjoyed- writing that bit about the stairs and all the lines about Ron's difficulties moving. I rarely try and shoot for metaphorical gibberish that is often lost on many eyes, but I went for it here (and a few times elsewhere, like in The Hawthorne Root... *shudder*) and I couldn't more pleased that you liked it. If I could get such high praise from things I like doing... well shucks, that's a pretty good feeling. I strive for interesting, or I'd like to think I do, and lucky for me the good stuck out more than the bad on this one. I guess. I think.

Where was I? Oh, right, response. Review response, that's the ticket. I have issues working under the completely sane and totally reasonable "show don't tell" banner, but I think I manage to merge them decently here and that you enjoyed what I had to show and tell (...) is a pat on the back I'll take, thank you very much. Second person is so... fun to write in, but I never know how to feel about it afterwards. It can seem really ham-fisted and melodramatic - almost noir-ish at times - but I love writing it because it lets you speak more freely about characters. There's less total character inspection, like you'd get from first person, and more of a gut feeling, stream-of-consciousness type dealy that I like playing around with. I'll take it as a testament to knowing the character that I can get away with it, xD

But then again... that might mean I should stay away from Ron for a little bit. Or, by extension, Hermione... and furthermore, Romione! Say it ain't so... SAY IT AIN'T SO!

(btw, thanks if that isn't clear enough from my... thing of a response! <3 )

Reviewer: Padfoot11333
Date: 02/12/13 10:20
Chapter: one-shot

This is beautifully written and very very sad (until the end!) Fred's death has always been horribly sad for me because it was one of the few that I never really saw coming (although i should have - ONE of the Weasleys had to die! I was just hoping it wouldn't be one of the twins.) and because it must have been so awful on the family. And i think that's what you've captured very well here - the effect on what happened to the rest of the family. I'm impressed by this mostly because it's second person and very Ron-centric, yet I DID feel like I knew what happened to the rest of the Weasleys as well.

Back to that it's beautifully written - which it WAS - I am a sucker for poetic prose (mostly because it's all I'm capable of writing) and this was lovely. Lines like "You want to escape from the grip of your own thoughts, but even the wood of the stairs is fighting. Everything is fighting, trying to worm inside and burrow deep into every step you take. " EEE. I want to steal them for myself!!!

I was thinking that the ending was going to be awfully awfully sad - which i wouldn't have minded tbh (but then I live for d/a!!!!) But when I did read the ending I enjoyed it a lot. You managed to, in very few words, capture the way that the family DID move on from Fred's death, more specifically Ron. That's very hard to do without making the story almost TOO happy - which you definitely didn't do. The ending is not a...thing. I think I enjoyed it more than I would have a downer ending (which you will not get from me often, so be proud of this!!!)

I think Hermione was especially wonderful. It's so VERY her to refuse Ron's company on a trip to Australia and then come back with just a "Hi" and expect him to welcome her with open arms - and it's so very Ron for him to do so!

Very well done. I need to read more of your stuff.

Lily

Author's Response: Well, it would have been too easy if she hadn't killed Fred right? :P

You can have lines like those if that means I could have some nice dialogue or anything clear and concise. I keep running back to adjectives for comfort! I'm glad you enjoyed the ending, even though I still think I do have to eventually write something that is a 100% downer just to branch out a bit. Maybe it just wasn't this one? I'm even happier that you liked my characterizations, since that's the one thing I try my damnedest to get right. It doesn't always turn out that way, so I'm glad it did this time. Thanks for the review!

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 02/11/13 20:58
Chapter: one-shot

I'm glad you didn't write the downer of an ending! The summary really hints at that and I almost didn't read this, because I thought the character death warning was for Ron. The idea that just months after losing Fred they would lose another family member is desperately sad. I think you did a good job with how each character would respond. Ron's lonliness with Hermione in Australia was tangible, which made the ending that much more powerful.
So two questions for you: what is the title from or referring to? And why did you choose to write in past tense with the second person point of view? I like second person, but for some reason I almost always hear it in present tense, and I wonder if this would be more intense in present tense. So I'm just curious about your choice, since I'd guess from the strength of your writing that you have your reasons. :)
Good job!
~Gina :)

Author's Response: Well, if this isn't flattering... "strength of your writing..." Jeez, thanks for the review!

I'll be honest with you - the title came from me being terrible at creating them and then proceeding to scroll through iTunes looking for some inspiration. It's an Explosions in the Sky song, and probably one of my favorites, but it fit the whole dragging and feeling sunken theme so well that I nicked it D: As for the past tense, I wrote it that for the very reason you said: it's too intense in the active. MTJY is written in the present tense because it was supposed to be much more visceral, whereas this is supposed to be less active angst and more brooding, I guess. That was pretty much representative of the idea that Hermione had an epiphany and acted upon instinct in the other story.

Ron is, in this story, pretty much drained. So, I went a more passive route to keep that feeling of intensity but changing the tense so that it's less that he's acting and more that something is happening -to- him. Also, and this is probably the only thing I'm proud of here, there was a break in that gloom with Ron's reactions - he goes from wistful and observant to quickly reacting and, eventually, hopeful. I tried to mirror that by having the vivid description of the landscape shift into the quick reflexes, and then finally into somewhat pedestrian sentences describing quick actions. I couldn't up and change the tense, so I just played around with the structure a little bit to add a bit of acceleration to the whole thing.

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