*Was here on 23 / 04. 2011. Melancholia is a lovely thing.
A fifteen year old, part-time reader and full-time writer dappling into the potterverse in equal parts fun as practise to what might once be, and might once come.
I give you a brilliant 10!!!! Your story is the best! Really funny how HArry and Snape must stick together, and they are both in-charcter. Just, what do you think of when you describes the scenes? And the twists, do they just pop up, or do you plan it to the finest details?
And, what did you mean when i had to much details, you have as much as I. Do I use to much adjectives? A 10 to you. I take my hat off. PLEASE ANSWER
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Half Blood Prince. I have a general plot and ideas that need to be woven into the story but often ideas just pop up with the writing. When I'm describing the scenes i'm seeing them in my head, a bit like a director plotting scenes in a movie. If the author can't see them then the reader doesn't have a hope. I answered your query about your excerpt in the forums. I really can't add anything to what I said to you there. :-)
I forgot to say: 'you are the best author on this site'
CUSTODY BATTLE FOR BOY-WHO-LIVED
DEATH EATERS UNMASKED
PETTIGREW TO BE GIVEN DEMENTOR’S KISS
IS HARRY POTTER SAFE WITH SIRIUS BLACK?
A couple of questions:
Were these newspaper titles from his childhood, or as a sixteen year old? Where was Voldemort in the battle - who defeated him? Why is Remus called Uncle? Can you briefly summarise what changed?
In another note, loved this story: in one sitting I've been reading from chapter 1 to 42, and with no looking-back. Been recommended to the QSQA (Quick Silver Quils Award); this story deserves to be so, as well. Regards, James
Wonderful, wonderful ending. Normally I'd left constructive reviews, but to you it seems I haven't managed. You leave me in tears of joy / of sadness / of bittersweetness. I am craying, at this very moment, writing this - I cried when I knew what was going to happen with James and Lily, cried when I thought their travel back in time wouldn't help, cried when I read of their deaths, cried of the goodbyes the timetravelers gave their other self, cried, also, now: it ended happily afterall. I felt like a parent for these characters (truly, I did, you wrote such great characters!), these person. Now I am happy they are fine, all of them!
(Thank you for an amazing read, and an amazing story. Definitely on my faves.)
Nothing to say but beautifully written. a NICE 10!
This was... quite good! You had some mistakes here and there, but all-in-all, very good. Although, when you said readers should get to imagine more( in the excerpt section) , I don't write like that, because when I read a story, I think it is best with a buch of descriptions, not just nouns. And why I put that excerpt in is, because it is said that full moon affect the behavior of humans and animals, as well as 10% more injuries happens then, something you will find out if you read the story. Hope that clears up your questions,.
YAY! YOu have FINALLY updated. Took you a while, eh? Anyway, A brilliant piece of chapter; I loved every minute of it. Very moving, very nice descriptions- not superfluous describtions, if you know what I mean. And the ending, when Dumbledore paused and then talked- all of his talking for that matter-, but escpesially then, was sooooooooo in-character. A strong 10! Every chapter you write is a joyous, mysterious and thrilling read. Very well done...
THIS IS THE BEST STORY ON THIS SITE, ALONG WITH HPDL, AND THAT SAYS SOMETHING. ALL OF THE STORIES HERE ARE OF HIGH QUALITY, and to come on top of them, is brilliant. Pleaseeeeeee, update!!!! I have WAITED for a MONTH.oH, A 10!
Indeed, Queenhal. It saddens me that you answer someone giving throughout constructive criticism (which was very nice) with profanity. When you say it’s your work, you’re right: It indeed is your work, and you decide if you want it to improve or be as it is.
However, when you publish it at this site, you have given the readers the reason to give a comment. People are of different opinions, and someone actually tries to find the faults in a story so it can be closer to perfection. Those who put time and effort to find what can be changed are those who truly put their time to try and help an author, an author they don’t even know. When their effort then is thrown away and screamed at -- which I may add, has no reasons to, --, it saddens me. Who do you think put the most effort into helping you develop as a writer? Those lines: great, keep it up? Or: This is a very nice read. However, I found some things that could be improved …?
I am surprised that the one offering you a very nice, long reply has taken so lightly on this. I would also suggest to be aware of who you speak to, especially when one is a moderator of Mugglenet. She actually takes the time to give a throughout review of your story and I must say, she was very nice with her points. Constructive criticism is nothing to be angered by, rather the contrary: it shows that the author in question cares for your work, not to mention help you approve.
As a general suggestion, if you're angered by your review, wait until that anger has ebbed away. This way, your replies won't be filled by feelings, but by politeness and sincerity.
Author's Response: yes i notice i did make a mistake being rude to that mod, but i was having a really bad day when they were just giving me tips. but that other guy hinaark started leaving comments he was really getting on my nerves. fyi i didn't know that person was a mod till two days later. i'm sorry i didn't mean to be rude but my life is but plain depressing and when the only thing i've got left is harry potter and my chemical romance and then says something against me on a bad day i'm just probably gonna say something rude
I believe I know why YOUR STORY KEEPS GETTING REJECTED. It may be the SUMMARY! Another thing that may be the reason is if you forget those, "...",things you use when talking , and another thing is comma; grammar mistakes. You ALWAYS use comma before and after names if the name is in the middle of the sentence.Eks: Harry knew very well that his enimy, Voldemort, had something up his sleeve. And, you ALWAYS use either comma(,), question mark(?), or (!) before he/ she/ it said, growled, roared etch. Eks: "Hey! See, I found some leaves crumpled by age," he said/growled/ laughed, or Harry (or another character) said, etc. You NEVER use period in those occasions(when you talk). But, you use period if the sentence afterwards has nothing to do with what he said: eks: " Harry, it's me, come over here." Dumbledore turned around and gestured to Harry. You see? The gesture Dumbledore did had nothing to do with the talking. However, he said/spoke etc, has something to do with the talking. You see? I like this story EXTREMELY much, but, unfortunately,you have quite many grammar mistakes/errors. I give YOU A 10! Oh, I feel terribly sorry for you; not getting the chaper in the que is annoying. I reckomend you to get a BETA who knows much about grammar abilities. (I have learned it the hard way; to study about it many hours a day.)
Siobhan, how I love her. It’s one of the best OCs out here; vivid and a revitalizing breath to read. The fact that you’re showing us other sides than her Slytherin qualities is brilliant; she appears much better-rounded then, and a real character. It’s surprised me that I haven’t seen her walk off the screen yet. It’s apparent that you’ve put a lot of work on her – the fact that she actually talks to you is proving this. Her sides are intermingled greatly, and her traits are weaving themselves fittingly together. I like the fact that her good traits can indeed at times be bad, and the opposite around with her bad traits. As we all know, traits are double bladed – a great example here is Harry’s stubbornness and -excuse me-, hero-like act. A line that really showed off her Slytherin qualities was:
She would get what she wanted, no matter who she had to involve herself with.
It’s an incredibly piquant depiction of her qualities, perfectly Slytherin-ish, and that she’s unwavering and firm in her beliefs. If she wants something, she gets it. Brilliant!
Also: though she undoubtedly found the man’s disinterest in his wife entertaining, Siobhan Murphy caught herself sympathizing with his plight.
Anna, I love it. This shows of another side of her; may I suggest amusingly dark humour? Her thoughts are similar to Slytherin, and yet an odd contrast to it. She’s got incredibly many layers, and I thank you for making her a so good OC she’s become.
I’ve grown to enamour Siobhan (lovely name, by the way), and I feel ashamed that it has taken me half a year to finally review one of your stories. Her confidence and steadfastness is coming along well, and I love the fact that she’s vulnerable to certain things, too. Her characterization is more personal here, more captivating, and it shows in the writing. The writing is altered from HPBD, and I must say it’s to the positive. Your writing, I think, is a nice reflection of her character; the first line, I think, showed her prurient lust towards Lucius, and I gasped positively when reading it. So perfect, oh so perfect; that line manifested your great writing ability. The words, as I said, look like a reflection of her, of her being; the words seems chosen with carefulness, and I must say – they fit spot on. Her confident is growing as the chapter progress, and the fact that you use words like ‘delicate’, etc, express a bit of her character. She’s not afraid to say what she wants, and she has –what can I say – despicable way of depicting Lucius. But I like it! Despite this, she’s a little mystery.
I love your unequivocally explicit writing-style; it’s straight at point and a dream to read. No, I’m not a fan easily impressed. The first line - which you without wanted to be captivating - has clung to my mind for weeks. It’s so powerful and you show her licentiousness for Lucius. I know, I told you before. But what really made this line give its accurateness and depth, was the adjectives you picked; that’s what showed her lust.
There was something about him that made him irresistible to her. The cold delicacy he laid upon each carefully chosen word when he spoke,
There you have it; the sentence that captivated me. Irresistible, cold delicacy and carefully is what made this sentence special. It reflected her personality, her view of him; how she knows how he is, cold, but still can’t resist it. Perfect. A powerful sentence that I have scribbled down as one of my favourite sentences. Great!
The writing itself in this instalment sums up her character, gives us a picture of her without you telling us. You’ve got a knack on characterization, dialogue and (needs right words) precise writing-style; it flows well and is easy to keep track on. The characterization is spot on each time, and it’s little to complain about. I loved the portrayal of Ginny; very believable and touching. You’ve managed to set the scenery very well; I imagined how the characters interacted and expressed their contempt or acceptance. I can tell from the way you write that you had a great time writing it; it’s effortless and flowing well. It’s not much nit-picky things to inform you about.
However, here and there could get some more scenes. At times you got a bit repetitive, but it’s really nit-picky. In the first paragraph, I think, if it’s possible, that you should loose or change one of the ‘he’. It got a redundant. Feel free to disregard, though, seeing it’s not anything of grave importance, and only my evaluation/estimation.
That summer he had filled her waking thoughts, and at night he visited her in her dreams. She longed to put her hands in his sleek blonde hair as it fell around his face and into her own, wanting to listen as he icily whispered her name into her ear.
A Great job on showing us her lust - her unquenchable desire for love from a heartless being. The fact that he visited her in her dreams expressed it eloquently.
A subtle look of intrigue overtook his softly age-lined features, a tiny hint of a confident smile curling the corner of his lip before he turned back to the witch he had been conversing with dully.
Ah, the start of this sentence; I love it. It is marvellously written, containing everything – a hint of poetic, enigmatic, and miscehviousness was what I saw in this writing. However, I’ve different opinions here. The second part got too procrastinative (is that even a word? Well, it’s intended to be an adjective. Lol!) Perhaps you could ditch dully? It isn’t of grave importance, and it would be easier to follow. I think it was a bit too wordy. Or you could try to alter the whole sentence. Personally, when I read this aloud, I think you should merely ditch some of the adjectives that hinder the flow and cohesiveness. Here’s my version: A subtle look of intrigue overtook his softly age-lined features, a hint of a confident smile curling the corner of his lip before he turned to the witch he’d conversing with.
I know, not well, but my opinion here is that you should cut some adjectives. It got too much, so I had to re-read the line twice. Perhaps you could leave away age-lined? And instead replace ‘dully’? Whatever you do, an adjective or two ditched would be greatly appreciated. Why I think you could ditch ‘dully’ is because in the next line you’re hinted, again, that the conversation is, well, a bit boring for Lucius. When saying he’s humouring her, I immediately think he think the dialogue apathetic. And the again, in the next paragraph, you tell us that he gets bored. Thus, dully isn’t exactly needed there, don’t you think?
She dragged her trunk through the corridor as her orange tabby cat, Mian, pranced alongside her.
A lovely little input. It was fun to read a tiny change in the mood.
It did not bother her that he was twenty-five years her elder, instead it only heightened her interest. Siobhan felt that men, like wine, were better well-aged.
Her character came along well here, too. The fact that she likes old men, and thus scandalous liaisons, is amusingly intriguing to read. She’s got a very snake-ish thought on this matter, and she comes across as a Slytherin perfectly well.
It was a scheme that many might deem unlikely to succeed, but Siobhan wasn’t the kind of girl to give up on her objectives until she was successful, or at least no longer entertained with them. She would get what she wanted, no matter who she had to involve herself with.
As I’ve said before, this shows her Slytherin side. She’s got so many layers, and you manage to express it explicitly well. You show us her ambitions, her cunning personality, and her stubbornness to get what she wants. But you also give us other traits to her. She stands up for people, and isn’t like a normal Slytherin. Well done!
I think I’ve stated enough about her character, so no need to be any more repetitive, is there?
The Dialogue is spot on; the arrogance from Malfoy, her cunningness comes out perfectly. We get to see her contempt towards it, and it’s fun to see Malfoy being so blinded not seeing through her that it’s, excuse me, witty to read.
“Why do you care, Malfoy?” she replied coolly, but with a flicker of a smile, catching him off guard. He eyed her appraisingly for a moment, before smirking and leaning further into the compartment.
“I was just wondering why a lovely lady such as yourself is without company…” he said in a whisper that Siobhan was sure he had at least intended to be attractive.
It’s great hat you show us how she’s cool towards him, but that he’s fooled by a mere smile of here. Great description and I pity her for having a parasite like him creeping about her. You manage to have her dialogue perfectly IC for her, and it’s flowing well.
Ha, he’s so easy to trick. I bet she’s having a great time fooling him. How pathetic he must be in her eyes; a obsequious sycophant he is. The oily talk of him shines through, and you manage to both make me hate him more and laugh out loud by his stupidity. You’ve managed to write Draco through her eyes, show her loathing towards him, and yet have him OC. He appears as a drooling boy, and a weakling, and it’s a nice change to see him been toying around by a girl. I pity her; to have him salivating around her; it must be terribly annoying for her, and you’ve made me sympathize with her. Well done!
The conversations in this chapter are absolutely marvellous; you’ve got a way with making it believable, and I hope you continue to develop your gift. I have a feeling that the characters are speaking to you – if not, I can’t imagine how you manage to write them so well in character. It isn’t struggled, and I think that each of the different persons have a different way to talk, not only act. And this, this is a sign of a great storyteller/writer.
Finally, the train started moving and Siobhan watched as the faces of the witches and wizards on the platform sped by her in a blur.
Good imagery. I could see the blurred scenery as the train gained speed. You showed us that the train had good speed. Perhaps you could add a bit more, too, even? Like: Finally, the train started moving and Siobhan watched as the faces of the witches and wizards on the platform sped by in a blur. As the trained hurried by, two colours bled into the environment; the virgin green of the greenery and dark blue of the sky.
It’s just some suggestion. I didn’t exactly try to write well here. What try to suggest is some inspiration to a way of writing it? Hopefully, it wasn’t merely rubbish. And of course, it must have unnaturally high speed if it should bleed together. If that wouldn’t fit, perhaps you could use ‘two colours, a sharp contrast to the environment, dominated the landscape; the greens and blues/ the green scenery and deep blue sky.
What a bloody imbecile, she thought scathingly.
Oh my god! So funny; if it would be a time I’d guffawed reading fan fiction, this would be it. And I nearly did. At least, I snorted outright (and I got some weird looks by mum. Well…) That really put the dot over the I on this instalment. She thought exactly what I thought she saw him as – a git, pardon my language.
She saw him eye her green and silver tie with doubtful apprehension.
Her something must be awry. What do you mean? I think you wanted the sentence to be like this:
She saw him in the eye, her green and silver tie with doubtful apprehension.
I didn’t find much constructive criticism in this chapter that the others haven’t pointed out, and I didn’t see any reason for me to telly you the same for the sake to be redundant.
Everywhere else is full, she thought with annoyance. What a lovely way of implying that he’d much rather not join me…
You really have a way with this character. It’s so lovely to see a woman having such confidence and oh so straight at point. I think the way she thinks everyone hate her because she’s Slytherin a very nice touch. I mean, we’ve been proved that they think of the house, assuming those are as bad as the worst, and not thinking that some persons are different. Ron is a prefect example here; Sirius, when I think of it, also have a grudge for that house. Of course, that’s because of his childhood. A nice touch; very observant!
They were usually very talkative, managing to make Siobhan feel like even more of an outsider –
But this group was solemnly quiet, and for a few hours she actually felt as though she belonged to something.
This was one of the better sentences reflecting her character. It tells us so much; that she’s not fond of being in the high-light or the centre of attention, that she’s withdrawn and unsocial, and that she’s lonely. In this extract I figured that she’s quite a loner, and that she is most comfortable with silence, and that she’s very contemplative (at least in my opinion). An highly effective sentence that I wouldn’t replace for any chocolate in the world. (I know, lame example, but I intended to write money, but I thought that wouldn’t fit. Lol…)
Her jade green eyes reflected back at her, and she closed them wearily.
I think you should ditch ‘jade’. Simply having green is just as good; it would give the same information that jade green would. If you want to show that she’s emerald eyes, like Harry, you could just say that they had a sharp look? Or comparing them to Harry’s?
And Lucius, what a nice way to depict him! He seems perfectly In Character, and his arrogance is well shown. I could see him in the places, and he was his usual side, but yet you got a new side of him. Of course, this is because we see him through Siobhan’s eyes. On the term of eyes, he’s got pale blue, not grey. I hope you’ll delve deeper into his character, give us new aspects of his arrogant, hibernal personality. I loved him, and I hope seeing him in the next chapter. His attitude was nicely shown, too.
Ginny, ah; she was fierce. As Siobhan contemplated, I think it’s something that has occurred that the Trio and the others have suffered. I’m curious as what it is, and I hope it’s unravelled in the next chapter.
I have one thing to say about all the characters: SPOT ON! It’s without doubt what your best writing-skill and you use it well. The interaction between the characters seemed alive and believable; what made it better was the inputs of Siobhan’s thoughts.
You’ve successfully made me, not a small fan like I was before, but a big fan. The description is colourful. Even though it’s got a tenebrific and dark feel, it’s got colours. Not warm, but cold. It’s an awesome start. I’d like to give more constructive criticism, but it’s hard when it’s written as well as this. I’m jocundly awaiting chapter three with a new, esprit mind.
Congrats on making one of the best chapters on this site! This was a great, great introduction, and I hope the follow up (off to read now, by the way), is as good as this.
Author's Response: I'm incredibly gratified that you put so much enterprise into furnishing me with such marvelous commentary. Your review certainly epitomises the speculative element of feedback, and I'm very much appreciative.
Oh, I'm really sorry for it all being a long mess; I had paragraphs, but when I copied it from MW, it all got into one, stpedous mass of a review.
Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes you find a book (in this case at the screen) and then it’s done! It doesn’t help to leave the screen—I’ve tried before, because of the sheer immensity of your chapters--, because the story, it clings to your mind and then bring you back again. Jan, your plot, your characters, your prose, it leaves me stunned each and every time and I can’t express myself eloquently enough on this matter.
There is sophistication, like a nightmare twisted into a fairy tail of dreams, in the telling of Maeve and Snape’s relationship. And it absorbs me. Somehow I love how the cantankerous Snape is touched by love and that a slow healing in his life has become a reality when Maeve steps into his life again. It is as with your poem—she melts his heart of ice with fire. What I think makes this relationship so touching can be summed up in three things: believability, caring for the characters, approached tenderly.
The interesting here is how those three thinks links together. It is made believable by how you approach it, and your care for the characters intensifies your desire to get them together. I also love how you use the characters’ past secrets as obstacles to get them together. They get together and separated and then together again, like a roller-coaster. And I can’t stop reading, just as I can’t jump out of a rollercoaster. It’s deeply written, deeply told, and the deepness of their relationship keeps getting deeper. You’ve managed to make me care for their relationship just as much as I care for their well-being. I would cry if something happened to disturb their love. Oh, and it seems as if you’ve managed to hit the nail with how love changes a person, that it’s not love received but love given that changes a person. Many tend to forget that and the difference in how you write a character- arc may then also change.
As for Maeve, who can’t love her? Her personality is so captivating and even though she has a few traits some would call ‘Mary Sue traits’, I only think they intensify her as the unique character she is. I feel sorry for Maeve for going through everything she does. Sorry for her and Snape, for their relationship. I am afraid these troublesome times may separate them, and I don’t want that—not at all! She was awfully in character in this chapter, but I am still wondering what her overall goal is. She’s got so many wants that I can’t figure which is her main driving force. I guess I just have to inspect this deep character some more, won’t I?
I also think you’ve captured Narcissa’s nature well. The interaction between the two women in your fiction is full of life, full of conflict, but it was touching to see a change when they embraced like old friends. It made me realise it is more to Narcissa than what we’ve seen thus far and that she’s able to love and respect other people even though she want to hide it. The embrace also seemed a very feminine and realistic thing to do between women after such a happening; they put their qualms besides, if only for a moment, to be comforted by the other. The Boggart also made me figure out how Narcissa’s real interpretation of Lucius was. Instead of loving him, she feared him, and I think Maeve got further empathy/sympathy for Narcissa’s life when she realised this. At least, it seemed so in the scene. Continue the nice work on those characters Jan—they’re creating drama and conflict, which in turn creates plot.
The plot points are many and well thought-out—they may be the favourite thing with the stories. Just when you believe the story will evolve this way, an unsuspected twist comes. It’s highly entertaining when the change happens so fast you don’t even have time to give doubts to it. Instead, you accept it as you’re continuing to read on, either happily or anxiously. The fact that only the heir could replace the stone on the sword is an example of this—you create further obstacles and make us get new sub-plots. If the stone had been placed on the sword, we would loose many plot-points—that there even is a Gryffindor heir and who he is. We also get questions out of it, which is a good tool to keep the reader’s interest.
Your prose is vivid, as usual. Beautiful sentence, complex sentences, moving sentences, you have it all. If I could learn to write this way I would die a happy man. I happen to love the way your nouns and verbs drives the sentences rather than adjectives. You also use linking words to make the structure of the sentences seem alive and different, which is always good. I especially like this for how beautifully you managed to string all those words into one sentence:
“Narcissa feigned a wounded attitude and placed her dainty tea cup on a saucer before sitting down at the table and delicately buttering some hot toast.” In this sentence I didn’t care if you used an adverb to show how Narcissa moved her hands—it added fluency to the sentence and this was one of those well-chosen adverbs. I also think that ‘feigned a wounded attitude’ seems a very realistic movement Narcissa would do, coming from the upper-class and all.
“The babble in the room rose and fell depending on the point that was being debated. Black-robed figures crowded round a table as they tried to give one voice to what it was they were trying to say.” The thing that struck me with this sentence was the contrast. ‘Rose and fell’ contrasted so well with each other that I could feel the ever-changing noise in the room. Although, shouldn’t it be ‘around the table’? I assume the table is round, though (somehow that’s how I envisage a table in a meeting—perhaps the Arthurian legend is influencing me). If that is the case, I believe they would gather ‘around’ the table, since they would be standing, or sitting, so they could face each other.
“As she tidied her bedroom, which really didn’t need tidying, she began to wonder about the rest of the house.” This sentence made me realise just how clearly you see a room or object. I loved the sentence for the mere fact that it told us she was bored and needed to waste her time with something, anything. This sentence also make us understand more clearly why she wants to inspect the house. And with understanding comes accepting. And accepting a scene or a decision a character makes will, at least for me, make me more attached to the character in question.
As for a general area where I think you could improve is your usage of adverbs. The frequent usage of adverbs in movements and dialogue are clear signs of telling something that should be conveyed. It is much better to imply the adverb without writing it. For instance, if someone has to spell out that something is being said 'angrily', that person probably didn’t try conveying that character's anger in the first place. (I.e., he should rewrite it.) When a writer uses a weak verb with an adverb to do the work of a strong verb, the writing becomes weaker. Instead, find a new verb, a strong verb. Instead of saying 'walked slowly'—the author could say 'ambled'. Use of precise words creates interest, while weak verbs and adverb create lesser interest. It seems as if things are told or re-stated as if the author isn’t sure he or she managed to convey the character’s feeling in the first place.
Many authors use adverbs to state the emotion in which way a character speak or acts, but it should be avoided. It is redundancy because it should be stated in the way a character behave and talk. A random example: Quote: ‘Don't call her a Mudblood!' said Hagrid, very angrily.
Here we don't need to be 'told' that Hagrid is angry. We know it out of the context. Of course he’s angry—he can even feel touched himself by that statement. As a general rule what's obvious doesn't need to be stated. The exclamation point itself is quite enough to point out that it's emphatic. Many authors insert adverbs after the action because they're afraid that the feeling of the character won't be conveyed in the context. But I believe you are more than able to convey it through dialogue and action, knowing your characters as well as you do and with your writing-abilities. Subtext is a key word. You will be surprised how much better the scene will be without the adverbs in most cases. It is as if the scene looses some of its redundancy.
Of course, there are times to break the rules--sometimes adverbs just fit; we cannot say absolutely that there is a 'right' or 'wrong' way to use adverbs--they definitely have their place, but as writers we need to understand the benefits and pitfalls of them. They should be used in moderation, or when they enhance the sentences and make the sentences flow or the rhythm fit with the beat of the action. But in most cases, they should be omitted, as Mark Twain states bluntly:
'If you see an adverb, shoot it!'
Yes, we all know that rules are to be broken. Rules indeed are made to be broken, but I believe that they are made to be known first.
In this chapter, here are two different examples that you may want to be aware of (the first good and the last supreme):
“Oh, you know,” Maeve said idly, “a little shopping, maybe lunch at a nice restaurant, meet up with a few friends for afternoon drinks… perhaps see the latest show at the Wizarding Playhouse…”
Here I just happen to know it out of context. We know it is sarcasm in her voice here because she can’t appear out into the street, in broad daylight, when her husband is a murderer. It’s obvious enough that we don’t need it—it is both telling and redundant.
However, here is a sequence where you’ve conveyed the person’s feeling so well, using strong verbs instead of weak verbs and adjectives. And the scene became so much better with it—powerful, moving, and entertaining, and it created an atmosphere. Out of their sharp remarks, I would’ve got the feeling something had gone miserably wrong even though I hadn’t been told:
You will have to try again today,” Severus hissed from between the forest of his beard and moustache. It had been most unfortunate that the man whose hair was providing his disguise had had a beard. Severus couldn’t understand how men coped with such unnecessary face furniture. “I need to return as quickly as possible.”
“Missing your bit of fluff, are you?” Filch leered at him. “Bit of all right between the sheets I should imagine.”
This conversation must be some of the best thing I’ve read in a long time. You’ve certainly managed conveying the character’s feelings. I also happened to like this conversation better than Maeve’s and Narcissa’s first. WELL DONE!
You leave me with questions through each chapter, Jan; instead of leaving the reader with an ending like ‘And then he drove home with the doleful expression of those who have long since lost faith with the world they live in’, your endings make me read on. I believe it’s partially because I’ve grown so enamoured in your story, how it develops and gyrates, but also because you either leave me with a feeling of ‘Oh no’, with new information that will become relevant in the next chapter, or because of questions. Sometimes a secret becomes revealed or we see when a character makes a major decision (Remus, for example, deciding to marry Felicia). In this chapter you left me with questions, questions, and more questions. How will Maeve react if she finds out? Who is the heir? When will he be introduced? Can the sword feel who is putting the stone back? Will Dumbledore leave us with more information? What is Rampton up to? Who is this Jenny? Why does she want Darcacre? As you see, you’ve given me enough questions to keep me in your story until it ends. Play your plot-cards right, and I’ll stick with the story until it end.
A delectable chapter!
Questions, questions; tension, tension. That’s the chapter, in my opinion. Why is Roderick acting like this, what’s his intentions, his motives? Are we finally beginning to know who this “Heir of Gryffindor” is? And Albert’s secrets, will Harry find out? There are enough questions to leave me turning page after page with voracious greed for more. And then it is the tension, that lovely tension.
As for scenes, I especially loved the scene you ended the chapter with. I really do believe Snape’s intentions are good at the moment, but with the passing of time and with the persuasion of others, I wouldn’t be very surprised if his plan would backfire. ... And who would believe his cousin was a Death Eater?
“Watery dusk had given way to a lacklustre darkness, and Albert Gryps peered out from behind his curtain, sensing the unease. He’d felt the growing malcontent that was spreading throughout the country and watched as it had begun to touch the village. Mrs Dobbs had accused young Mrs Cage’s son Robert of throwing bricks at her cat, and Mrs Cage had replied with a stream of invective that was most unlike the usually mild-mannered mother of two. …”
This paragraph must be one of the best opening lines I’ve read in a long time. You introduce us with a character, in a setting, sensing the settled wrong. The way you jump from action, thought, and reaction is unbelievably well done, and it makes the entire paragraph fly on a breeze. I just loved how you start with action, then goes on to tell his thoughts, and then, hitting the arrow in the apple (no idea where that came from), by telling us his reaction with his thoughts. Another thing I noticed with this opening was that it hooked me with the precision in the telling. It’s not a woman accusing a woman, it’s Mrs Doobs accusing Mrs Cage’s son, whose name is Robert and, who, had thrown bricks at Mrs Dobbs cat. It really worked to hook me, draw me, into your world.
As usually I love the interactions between Maeve and Snape—there’s such dynamism, such a passion between their dialogues that zings. It’s incredibly how you know each character’s objective so well; I believe that’s one of the reasons you handle dialogue so well.
My comment about adverbs still stand, but I think you’ve handled the usage of them much better in this chapter than in many else. When they were put in the context, they seemed to move the lines rather than hinder them. Well done!
All in all, this was a lovely chapter, with great tension and lots of questions. It wouldn't surprise me if we're getting to the climax soon ...
Author's Response: I shamelessley use adverbs sparingly. I think an author does themselves a disservice if they eliminate them completely from their writing. But I\'m glad you like the rest. :-)
This is quite lovely, Jan.
I was re-reading your chapters because I needed to get back into the storyline again. Then we got a Scavenger Hunt and I remembered this chapter, how Snape confesses the real story to Harry - what really happened between Severus and Albus.
As usual, your storytelling is delectable. The prose flows, but what I enjoy the most is your characterization, how pitch-perfect the conversations (especially between Maeve and Snape) are. And of course - Rodrick is a charming as ever in your chapters.
Enjoying rereading this.
A delightful and tense and moving chapter! It tasted like candy floss, very differently and yet so similar, and that taste still lingers in my head.
Lugh's ire was extremely well written. The scene with him and Snape played right in front of my head and the tension was to touch. It was foolish of Snape to dare to confront Lugh when he already was infuriated, but still, it was something I would believe Snape would do in such a situation. He loves Maeve--it's she who gives meaning and colour in his otherwise monochrome world--and when someone tells him he doesn't care well enough for her, he feels offended and reacts in his sneering way. In this chapter It’s interesting to see how this Horcrux thing develops into a little dilemma for Snape in later chapters. That’s why it’s a bit ironic to re-read this chapter—you wouldn’t believe there should be so much trouble to get that ruby in the right place. As for Harry and Ginny, I’m not a huge fan of them—instead, I’m a “Delusional Shipper”. However, if you have them as a couple, I’m beginning to worry if I’ll still be a Hr/H shipper.
I'm beginning to repeat myself in my reviews now, but I try to refrain from doing so. I still love your intricate, tender prose (which was especially lyrical in this instalment), and the characterisation of Maeve is as always highly well-done. It's an OC which, in my eyes, is more well-rounded than more than half of the characters I read in fictions. The moment when Maeve overcame Voldemort's evil by drawing strength on love, showed the dimension of their feelings and of their bonds. I get transported into your imagination and connect with the characters. They struggle and they overcome their obstacles; they grieve and are mended by lovers or friends; and then, after all the hardship, they have their moment of bliss and we, the readers, can’t help but want them to live on like that in eternity. It’s heart-wrenching, really.
Great job, Jan!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, James. You always put so much into your reviews that they are a treat to read.
First and foremost, I’m apologetic that I haven’t reviewed one of your chapters before. It’s weird to think about that I’ve followed HPDL for about a year, and not even left a review. I hope that this review will tell you that I’m a fast reader of your work; that I always will be. Without further intrusion, let’s move on to the story reply, shall we?
The way you started this chapter was highly interesting. To be more specific, the POV you used made an interesting start. At first, the feel you wanted to convey was shown through Tom’s knowledge of how the War had changed what the regular visits Diagon Alley and to his bar. Then you slowly steer us closer and closer until we reach the confines of the bar and then, in the end, arrives at three figures: Harry, Ron, and Remus. What I think really made that opener a fun to read was that it was seen through an observer, a person that watched the main characters and then how you switch POV after he had mentioned their name. This example confirms how important proper POV can be.
Your prose is fresh, lyrical and deep. They are enlivened by your nice usage of active verbs, verbs that are great tools to give the sentences energy and move those forward and concrete nouns. Your writing-style is very similar to Niall Williams (who’s writing I adore). What’s great is that you cut out much adverbs and adjectives – they often hinders the flow and does the sentence weaker in power than if one had not included them in the sentences. The lines are woven intricate and are filled with enjoyable metaphors and similes (I especially liked when you told that Snape’s robes were ‘as black as darkness’ and when his cloaks was covering him and Maeve like a tent in an inky night. Another thing is that you omit needless words and use effective words. I can definitely say that, seriously, that I love your prose more than any others on this site. Promised!
I love how you make Harry’s blatant statement (which is all the more hurtful since his points hit some spots in Remus) changing Remus’s motivation to fit the conflicts and confrontations that will lead to plots in your story. Highly clever done. When Harry told that Remus didn’t know what to do with his life, changing his opinions, it tells us that people change Remus’s action objective. For example, Snape changed Remus’s action objective when he told him that he should keep Maeve safe at Hogwarts, and because she would help drawing Harry to Hogwarts. This was Remus’s new private motivation, his goal, his action objective. But when Harry made the statement that Remus’s didn’t seem to have any personal goals, no steady intentions, Lupin’s action objective altered and he realized that his own needs mattered and he arrived in Ireland, for Felicia. You’ve turned Remus’s action objective through conflict, and for letting Remus intertwine some loose ropes or commence some that would fit your plot-development. It’s incredibly well done, and it was of sheer pleasure to read how effectively you managed to spin Remus’s beliefs. Throughout the whole chapter, Remus was completely in-character. He seems a strong reflection of Jo’s version of him, and has got this desire to comfort him and shake of all his qualms and worries and helplessness. I’ve got emotionally attached with him, and the interaction between him and Felicia made my heart squeal in euphoria as I realised Remus had pushed back his doubts for the time being and doing something enjoyable with his life. Marriage is a risky thing, but I think that’s just what Remus needs to keep his motivation up. I think Felicia is a wonderful OC and I hope we’ll see a lot of her. This particular bag of sentences reflected incredibly much how nervous he was to meet her again after he had walked away from her. He regrets his actions. I can perfectly relate to that feeling he has of meeting Felicia again: To like someone and ask them to be with you is nervous enough, it gives you those butterflies of anxiousness. To love someone the way he does, and knowing he walked away from her, is an even more uneasy feeling that comes from the thought of rejection.
What would he do if she was the one to walk way this time? And he couldn’t blame her, not after all that he had done and the mistakes he had made over summer. With a sense of nervous anticipation he knocked on the freshly painted door and waited, his heart beating rapidly, for someone to open it.
This reinstates his uncomfortable state. Many doesn’t see it, but such small repetitions and adding’s make the writing more emotional, more controlled, more alive:
Were curlews a sign of bad news, he thought, nerves making him slightly superstitious when he would normally have ridiculed such claptrap.
This start of the little scene between him and Felicia made this scene even more touching. You can feel the change of his emotions that goes from anxiousness to relief to a feeling of rhapsody. It makes it all much more special, with deep feelings.
My favourite line in this cosy scene of joy and bliss was: “And I would forgive you for closing the door in my face after all the silliness we’ve been through. And I know it was all my fault that it happened but I just wanted you to know, well, that I enjoyed our time together. Life is too short to spend it denying feelings and being noble. I wanted to ask you to come back to England with me. Times are difficult and I can’t promise you that it will be easy…but…well… will you marry me?”
I think I liked that bit of dialogue so much because it reinstated my point. He’s finally moved on, or trying to take one step at a time, and that he realises his mistakes. It is all completely in-character, I would imagine him to tell everything in a bit shy, very truthful way, and it makes the scene beautiful.
And then it’s Maeve. It seems as if she just gets carried away from her desire and where it is obtained, and then neared again, and then pulled back again. In the first chapter of this story, I think we can nearly assume that she had gone to the devastation of desire. That means that person having reached this point, is nearly doomed. This person has gone beyond denying its own desire, and instead pulled to a place nearly impossible to arise from. As my teacher says, it can serve as a final ‘that you didn’t except,’ like when you just didn’t believe think things couldn’t have gone worse for Maeve, and then it gets worse, by her receiving the terrible news of what her husband did to her (and how that again made a hole between her and Remus). This is what’s intriguing, when something is so extraordinary that it’s nearly getting over the edge, and still we accept it. And when we do, we feel even closer to the person that had to go through this, in this case Maeve. Something that is as delightful and connecting for the reader (me), is how Maeve have worked extremely hard to climb above this hole she’s fallen into, and how this sprang new traits she contains: bravery, stubbornness, forgiving, determination and that her loyalty for her husband blinded her wits (I conclude because when she confronted her husband, she realised that she hadn’t thought the possible of his darker side through).
How you write her, how you’ve built her personality through each scene and chapter, and how her back-ground has affected her personality, has made her to my favourite OC. Sometimes I wonder: Why hasn’t she jumped off the page sooner? She’s determined, strong-willed, beautiful – traits that many would call ‘Mary Suish’ – but you’ve written her in such a believable way that proves that history of a character, how that character is written, and how that character changes and develops, is what make a character three-dimensional and pure. People tend to forget that characters are people too, and that in our world there are some with more likeable traits or nice features. She’s rather the contrary of a Mary-Sue. In my opinion, she’s has three-dimensional emotions, well-rounded background that is special and yet I accept it. You’ve portrayed her passions and longings and what ties her back with all the vivid shades and hues of real life. Emotions origins from inner values; and usually those two parts blend together when reading about her. It has nearly never occurred to me that this was ‘one-dimensional’ of her, or that she was, and it’s something I envy.
You made the scene with Maeve, Snape and Narcissa so alive and breathing, cracking. The emotion was built up to a great power by the beautiful artistry that was your writing here. The scene contained conflict and desire (Narcissa and Maeve two completely different desires in mind). This created a very intimate moment where I felt like not watching it anymore, but being a part of it, touching the emotions that waved in that moment. Indeed, the dialogue between Maeve and Snape was smooth, rich and passionate: it was as if the words they spoke – also very poetically, with each word having its own importance – heralded their feeling of lust. The scene between Maeve and Snape, and then Narcissa was created in different colours of passion, and some lines struck me with their vividness and life:
He watched as his wife stepped between him and the distraught woman, watched her gently take Narcissa’s arms and force them to her side, watched her lead her away towards the head of the stairs, soothing words tumbling from her lips.
This told so many things: how strong Maeve’s and Snape’s relationship is, how determined they are not to be separated: “You don’t need to prove anything.” Maeve was at his back now and he could smell her belief in him. “Certainly not to her.”
This was the most powerful paragraph in this chapter, I think. It contained such a breath-taking simile; the lines flowed with the ‘beat’ of the action in your scene. Lust and desire was evident in this paragraph (the next ones too, but this was my favourite). Your effective words and elimination of superfluous words made it move unhindered:
They fell onto the bed, Maeve on her back and Severus arched above her, his cloak falling over them both in a tent of black ink that ran across them like a river. “I think you have always bewitched me,” he said, as his fingers roved across her neck towards the top of her dress. “Why I have I never been able to retain my self-control with you around?”
There was one thing I noticed though: I think you should omit the first ‘I,’ bearing in mind that it’s superfluous and unneeded – the only one in the paragraph.
“Plans can wait,” she said, pulling him towards their bed. “I, however, cannot.” “You are a torment,” he said, not resisting her tugs at his arms. “But I can’t deny that it would be enjoyable to re-discover the pleasures of our honeymoon.”
This evoked many feelings inside me. The daring speak between them are very nicely done, it tells that they know each other oh so well. Snape is perfectly in-character (he is one of your most believable characters, even though his personality), I see his coloured passions and that he’s a grey character, a human. I saw everything before my mind: from when Snape gave in for Maeve’s needs and how his walls falter and is thrown into the hole of desire. His usual (can’t come up with the adjective) personality, is prominent eve in this scene. You’ve built his character-development and changes through a large period of time, and I think that is why I never doubt he would do this in canon. Not a second of doubt, even! And his oiliness is kept in the dialogue.
You manage to let the use of action objective guide every scene in your story forward in a vital, yes, way. It seems as if no scene is superfluous, you add back-story without stopping the action, and the action objective of your characters let them be steered through each scene, appearing believable and real and three-dimensional. It’s the work of action objective that causes this, the fact that you know every character’s Desire or super objective (with a big ‘D’), action objective and inner values. It makes all the difference in the world from a constant entertaining, propelled forward fiction, and a normal one. Without knowing the action objective, the story doesn’t contain the same amount of interesting scenes, believable scenes, and more scenes seems superfluous, boring, unneeded.
It’s incredibly exciting to see the character’s action objective change to let the plot further and that sometimes they spring forth after a long time of contemplation, and other times even trigger one of the character’s thoughts through small conflicts or confrontations that let the character realise that he shouldn’t be doing this, but that! The plot is developing in a nice pace, and the questions you leave keep me waiting for answers. And when some things are answered, those answers often lead to more questions. It’s as if they never stop, and that, including action objective, setting and characters, lead me through your huge chapters.
I try to find things, anything, to criticise with a reason, I really do, but nearly none are valid enough. I could write things that I half heartedly didn’t think was right, but when re-reading it, I figure it indeed doesn’t need any revision. One of my only criticisms to your writing is that sometimes the lines get stretched. This is not aimed for this chapter, but in the previous chapters you had a tendency to elongate sentences that could be shorter to make more concise sentences, or varying sentence structure.
He pushed his glass away a little, his heart not in the Firewhiskey that sat before him. He knew he needed to make a concerted effort to get Harry to agree but he was beginning to falter in his own belief that he could do so.
Those two sentences seems quite dull and of lesser quality than your usual writing. In both sentences the lines start with a pronoun, and it is this, even though small, that makes it uninteresting. It often helps to have an adverbial at the start of the sentence, or change the sentence structure. If I’d revised it, it would’ve been something like this: He pushes his glasses away a little, his hear not in the Firewhiskey that sat before him. Indeed, he needed to make a concerted effort to get Harry to agree, but he was beginning to falter in his own belief that he could do so.
The occupants of the cottage were so pre-occupied with their own nightmares that they did not hear the door slowly open. The beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were black as the darkness they had just left. The latch clicked as the door closed, making the chill air eddy in the entranceway before it mingled with the warmth of the interior. This paragraph comprise of some marvellous similes and metaphors. The warmth mingling with the interior’s warmth and robes as black as darkness gave a great picture in my head. A vivid picture, with all the different colours needed as for an exquisite painting. The emotion of someone sneaking, someone slinking into another’s house with personal intentions was evident – was it what you wanted to convey? Then, well done. My complaint about this was again sentence structure. Or even more precisely, the beginning of the sentences. Every sentence starts with the pronoun ‘the.’ This dulls the writing. Again, I’ll see if adverbials or changing of sentence structure could work. However, if none of that works properly, the length of a few sentences may change, or the sentences themselves. Also, there’s a close repetition of occupants and pre-occupied in the first sentence. I’ve got a version that can perhaps make the sentences more varying: The occupants of the cottage were lost with their own nightmares that they did not hear the door slowly open. While the beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were as black as darkness they had just left, the latch clicked as the door closed. This made the cold (removed chill because it was used above, too) air eddy in the entranceway before it mingled with the warmth of the interior.
Except that, I’ve got not more criticisms. As for the chapter, I am worried that Roderick will enjoy his time with Narcissa … I am also very interesting in where ‘Eastwrithe is –‘ and what does Malfoy want there (yes, I know that it was in the last chapter the name was introduced)? The interaction and dialogue between Narcissa and Malfoy is intellectual and they seem to sting each others feelings with remarks that touch lenient buttons in both of their hearts. I am waiting eagerly for the next chapter. I hope it answers more questions than it rises.
As a last note, I very much hope that you believe every praise I’ve given and that it comes from deep within my heart. Why? Because every word I spoke is meant. They are meant as much as the love Maeve has towards Snape. I would like to offer more constructive criticism, but it’s hard to find amidst a pearl like this chapter. Usually, I can find a great deal of things the author could improve, but it seems as if I’m too caught up in the conflict, the characters and the prose, that I get lost in your writing and forgets to find everything. And I don't think I need to tell you it, but I say it anyway. 10!
Tension. And what a cliffhanger: what on earth is this "disaster"?
And of course, Roderick is as mysterious and intriguing as ever. His knowledge on the Deathly Hallows adds to his incomprehensible character.
That said, I love your interpretation on what--or who--the Deathly Hallows are; it goes a little away from the general opinions on what / who they are, and yet it seems just as possible.
Lovely work in the two latest chapters. Jan. Keep it up. :)
I liked it; you’ve got a pretty good writing-style that has promise. It’s got potential to become very, very good, but as everything, it needs development. This site is a wonderful site to make your writing flourish and burgeon into all its splendour.
You’ve got the grasp of imagery, which I like; it’s clear that you’ve got talent. The lines are written well, and in most times, it flows well.
There was something eerie about the night, but Harry just couldn’t tell.
Ah, it’s a nice sentence. But to give it a more powerful, I’d suggest you to remove ‘just’; it’s a word that gives it a more talkative feel and hides some of the power in the sentence. Also, perhaps adding a bit more as of why it was eerie? For example: There was something eerie about the night – perhaps it was how it draped itself over the sleeping street, or how it wrapped itself about him; either way, Harry didn’t like it.
The line afterwards I think should be replaced with a comma instead of a semicolon. The line you combined the independent line with isn’t an independent clause, and should thus have a comma. The only time you use a semicolon as a general rule is when you combine two independent clauses that fit well together, or if you’re listing up surnames and first names (for example: Potter, Harry; Malfoy, Draco; Granger, Hermione … etc)
Just my two Knuts, of course.
You managed to have Stan Shupnike IC for the most parts; I liked how you made him talk – it all came fluently. I like the way he behave on: He’s depicted in this chapter as a very on-going and a bit, what can I say, lank personality; I think he had an essence of JK’s Stan in him. Good job! However,
“Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. I am Stan Shupnike, your conductor for this evening. Please leave you luggage and enter the vehicle as I shall bring it in for you.”
If I’m not wrong, he was jailed for an act he didn’t do. I think it clever of you if you add something in this chapter telling us that he’s been released.
For the most parts, you managed to capture Harry’s characterization in the books. He’s got the brave, curious aspects of him in this chapter,but in the below statement you got him over-contemplative:
So he lay in bed, and saw two hooded figures sitting on opposite sides of the bus. I wonder who they are? Harry thought. They could be spies of Voldemort, I’d better be careful.
This is the place where I saw Harry go slightly OC. One thing is that the question mark should be replaced with a comma, and another thing is that it should be a semicolon after Voldemort. I think why he got OC here is because he would never think such thoughts, or JK would never tell us; yes, he would think them, but he would think them in a different way. People think in different ways, and thus gets forth to a conclusion and wonder differently. I think it would do this chapter good if you just dropped his thoughts. Just to have him send a look of dismay towards them would create the wanted tension and suspicion we would need to accept that some of his things would get stolen. Here is my revised version: So Harry lay in the bed, and saw two dark robed figures sitting on opposite sides of the bus. He cast them a judgemental look of dismay …
Wasn’t that better? It gives the same information, and still avoids it from being a bit redundant and OC. It gives the same information because we got to know that he thought dismayfully of them and that he most definitely suspected them above the else. You also get a weird feeling without going too deep into it.
Lord Voldemort could be following him everywhere he went…
I liked that sentence; it was very powerful and created a good tension even though it was obvious. Good job! Only one suggestion, I think you should change ‘everywhere’ to ‘anywhere’ – I know, very nit-picky, but I think it a more sufficient word to show Voldemort’s capabilities. Do you agree?
Harry breathed in the fresh aroma of warm butterbeer and instantly felt the heat of the old pub. Tom the bartender immediately recognized Harry and scuttled over to him.
Again I see one description sentence showing off your talent; it’s got potential, so it just needs some suggestions. Do you have a BETA? Go MNFF Beta forum and get you one – they help A LOT, all from imagery, OCness, ICness, characterization, grammatical errors, etc.
I have something that may do this sentence even better. Willing to listen?
Harry inhaled the fresh aroma of warm/tepid butterbeer and instantly felt the heat of the groaning pub. Half-hidden beneath several mugs leering at the cobweb of bustling visitors was Tom the bartender; once he noticed the new visitor, he scuttled him over.
Again, just my opinion. Feel free to disregard or not.
Yeah, butterbeer would be great, thanks.” Harry replied.
I liked this line. Not because of its simplicity, but the way Harry said what he wanted was perfectly IC. What follows up is also a nice line. Well done!
“Ah, looks like Potty, Mud blood and Weasel have come to do some shopping!” a familiar, yet evil voice said.
This line most definitely needs improvement. The first thing that made me react was the fact that it was in a evil yet familiar voice. It’s incredibly boring to read and should be avoid most of the time. I’d suggest to ditch yet and evil. It’s making the whole line a cliché! Also, I would have replaced ‘familiar’ with ‘sniggered’ or ‘oily’. Not to mention Draco isn't evil, he's viscious, yes, but not evil. It's a difference of wanting to be evil and be. For now, Draco hasn't passed that treshold.
Draco Malfoy asked them, smirking. “This…is my sister, Bridgetelle Malfoy. She couldn’t come to Hogwarts before because of – circumstances - but she’s coming for her fourth year now, aren’t you, Bree?”
I’m both in eager and dreaded anticipation of how this will turn out. First of all, I hope that you’ve got a good reason for this; if so, I’m welcoming it with open arms. But it should be good. Also, remember to not shower her as a stereotyped Slytherin, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Hufflpuff. Each person has a bit of both in all houses; a Gryffindor may have as much intelligence as a Ravenclaw, or as much cunningness, but it’s not what they value. And it’s what people value, Dumbledore says, that is what is most important. Perhaps she’s got Slytherin traits in her blood, but it is her choices that decide her character. I hope she becomes a well-rounded character. Oh, remember when creating her that every person has traits from all the houses. Look at Harry – he’s cunning, intelligent if he want, can hurt people, is loyal to every degree. But what he values the most is bravery and the other Gryffindor traits, and that’s what makes him make his decisions, not his abilities; they are merely helping him.
Going to be in Slytherin just like all the rest of us Malfoys, aren’t you?”
The girl nodded again. “I still have to be sorted, Draco,” she said softly. Her brother rolled his eyes.
Am I seeing the start of an interesting character? I think I am.
Now, many people have problems with how to put periods, commas and such into the quotation mark. A rule to make it easy is to remove the periods, and if I don’t fit with a period, question mark or exclamation mark, it shall be a comma, which it usually is. Another way to explain it is that if the quote is a complete thought, there should be a period signifying the end and it should be placed right before the end quotation mark. However, within intricate dialogue, this simple principle can become increasingly complicated. But in most parts, when it’s just one line instead of two consistent dialogue lines, that rule is simple.
“Dumbledore told us you should stay in Grimauld Place,” he/Ron said.
That is the correct way to punctuate the sentence. The quote was not complete within the quotation marks, and a comma was necessary right before the end quotation mark in order finish the sentence. Conversely, one could write:
He/Ron said, “Dumbledore told us you should stay in Grimauld place.”
It’s the same principle. The thought was not finished after ‘He said,’ and so the comma was added to hold pause while the thought was finished within the quotation marks. Think of what’s inside the quotation marks without the quotations mark. It’s the same grammatical rules. If you remove the question marks, you’ll see that it shall not be a period after or before he said in either of the sentences, because what he said is a dependent sentence.
All in all, this is a very, very good start and I hope to see your next chapter up. You’ve got potential in your writing; the imagery is painting things in not just contrasts, but in nuances too, and that I like. For the most time it is IC, but once or twice Harry slipped. Especially with his thoughts of the strangers. Good work and continue it (but get a Beta if you don’t have, that is a wonderful help to have – nearly everyone at this site has.)
Author's Response: Thank you soooooooooooo much for reviewing! Thanks for the tips - and yes, I do have a good reason for Bree coming to Hogwarts. Please keep reading and I hope you enjoy future chapters.
We're doing a Scavenger Hunt on the Forums, where the challenge was to find a story with the proper R.A.B. I immediately thought of you and your ever-glowing, ever-growing love for Regulus Black.
In this piece, there is the usual lyricalness of your writing, where sesquipedalian sentences are mixed with short, acute observations on the human soul (in this case: Regulus, his movements and his thoughts),
Thanks a lot for the read.