So... About me. I'm a... college student (defined in Fantastic Humans and Where to Find Them as a strange breed of nocturnal creature drawing life force from the computer... sounds about right).
I am a strong believer in constructive criticism. I'd like to know what you think of my stories, whether you love them or hate them. I want to know what I can improve on in my writing. That's what being in SPEW is about.
First two banners by the amazing Queen Hal, Until The Dawn banner by the wonderfully talented Noldo.
While that wasn't easy to read, it was well written and I don't hate you for it. Harry needs to accept that death is a part of life (though it doesn't need to be that brutal *shudders*). We readers need to accept it too. So I'm still waiting for your next update.
This has potential. Keep it up!
Author's Response: Thanks so much, I'm struggling with the mods right now for chapter two. I want to get Harry out of Privet Drive so I can get into the real romance, but they think its too soon. Unfortunately, its not too fun to write about one boy alone in his bedroom. Last time they rejected me without a reason, so we'll have to see.
This was great! I'd actually like to see more about how Gran feels about raising Neville. Interesting idea!
Author's Response: Thanks, Hermione! i may write more about her because I think she has such potential to be a great character!
Oh that was lovely! I'm not much of one for fluff, but that made my heart go pitter-patter. I really liked the way you used the scenes with Bellatrix to balance out all the love. The last line was so perfect... not that I didn't love "my sexy bookworm" ;) I can't wait for the sequal, but until then I have your other story to keep me busy!
Author's Response: Yeah, I switched POV alot in this last chapter, but I just did that to prolong Ginny's awakening........more dramatic that way, you know! Chapter one of the sequel is in queue and is called Harry Potter and the Year of the Dragon. Chapter 2 of my other story is also in queue.
I can't believe I didn't notice that this was up yesterday! I suppose I was so overjoyed at having actually found a reliable beta (I'm pretty sure at least) that I wasn't concentrating too well. Put I would like an update, please!
P.S. Will DD or McGonagall notice the "new" wands? What will they think? I can't wait to find out!
Author's Response: They may notice the wands after all of the excitement has died down, they are in the caves in the next chapter. I think maybe Dumbledore is going to be one of the few people who already knew about the wands and amulet, after all, he seems to know just about everything!! I'm going to try to get chapter 12 posted tomorrow. The chapter title will be....To Kill, or Not to Kill. Hope you'll read it!!
Yay! Another riveting chapter! I'm still waiting for McGonagall to find out about the wands... maybe because I love McGonagall...
You may have just updated, but I'm still waiting for the next one!
P.S. Chapter 3 of my story is up
Author's Response: Since the idea appeals to you so much, and I try to use any really good suggestions that my reviewers leave, I will try to fit a part in the next chapter with McGonagall and the wands. If you read it, and it's in there, you'll know you were the inspiration :)
This is excellent! I'm sorry to say that I didn't start reading this until today. Obviously I've made it all the way through... your work is really imaginative. I'll be watching for the next update!
Author's Response: Thanks so much!! I'm glad you took the time to read my story!! I hope you will keep reading, chapter 11 is in queue. If you have any stories, I will be happy to read and review them :)
Author's Response: Never mind, I already read and reviewed your story!!! :)
Another great chapter! I'm glad McGonagall noticed the wands (yay)! I didn't get to it until now because I was working on my summary for the latest chapter of my fic. I'm glad Milius is back. He's quite the comic relief!
Author's Response: Yeah, I managed to fit in your suggestion about McGonagall and the wands. I'm glad you like Milius, since he's an original character. I should finish chapter 14 tomorrow and will try to submit it by the afternoon.
In some cases sequals are not warranted. However, this is not one of them. Don't force yourself, but I think we'd love a sequal! I'm not quite sure how you will be able to wrap all of this up in one chapter, but I'm sure you'll manage. I'm glad you've managed to keep Ron and Hermione bickering! (it can't be realistic without that)
Author's Response: No, I'm not forcing myself. Most of my reviewers have said SEQUEL, so that's what I'll probably work on next. The ideas are already forming in my head :)
Yay! I'm liking this story more and more the further you go with it. Please update!
Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!
This is excellent! One of the best I've read. Please keep updating!
Author's Response: Thank you!!!! And I'll definately keep writing, even if it takes me forever. I have the entire story in my head- I can't just let it sit there!!
This new version of the site certainly makes it easier to leave reviews at the end, doesn't it? I'm afraid this is not going to be one of my longer reviews (unfortunately homework calls), but I wanted to stop in, say hi, and tell you that I'm still enjoying this story immensely.
The quill is pretty ingenious, I have to say. One of the things I like best about this series is how you manage to weave magic and magical items into the plot. I look forward to finding out what happens next!
Author's Response: I LOVE the site\'s new version. I wrote them specifically a few months ago and asked them it there was a way to make replying to reviews easier, and this is what they have now! I love it! Thank James- my e.i.c.- for the quill idea. I wanted to express Harry as Gryffindor\'s only remaining heir, but I couldn\'t think of how. James is a genious!
The mentor program is amusing, but don't let it take over the story (unless of course it's important to the plot). You're doing a good job keeping the balance so far, but it's something to be aware of. I've seen some other stories with the mentor program plot bunny get really off track, and don't want to see that happen to your wonderful story.I like what you've done with Ron's character. You took the incident in the brain room in OotP (or at least I think you did... it's been a while since I read your two prequals) and turned it to character development. It works because of Harry's reaction to it. Harry is constantly surprised by his best friend's sensitivity, which is very much in keeping with Harry's character. I also like that you give Neville a larger role; he's a wonderful character with lots of room for development. I really appreciate how throughout the story he often shows more common sense than the others who are "smarter than him." It really adds some depth to his character.
I also love your Snape. Not quite in keeping with the current canon, but this is after all pre-HBP. He's such a complex character, and he can be written in so many different ways! I love reading different interpretations of Severus, because they really are different from each other without getting OOC.I don't have anything to criticize when it comes to grammar, structure, and plot. You do a great job keeping the tension up, especially at the end. Every chapter leaves me gasping for the next. The light moments are also great, and I love your sense of humor. Thank you for posting this, and know I'll be insanely happy when you post chapter five, whenever that may be.
Oh my, that was hysterical! I especially liked the end bit with Albus's first teddie bear... I think I definitely scared my roommate laughing about that one... Anyway, I can't believe I didn't see that you'd updated... but I'm still waiting impatiently for another update!
Author's Response: I'm working on it, and I"ll try to have it up soon. hehehe- I laughed at that part too when I re-read it. Thanks for reviewing- it's keeping me motivated.
I laughed so hard at the skiving snackbox password... I think I might have distracted my summer roommate from her book. Thank you for such a great chapter. I can't wait for more!
Author's Response: I heart Dumbledore SOOO much. I love how JK made him a character you can so easily turn into 'comic relief'. Hehehehe. Where are you studying for the summer? I'm still at MSU.
This is great. One of the few Snape childhood stories that manages to be realistic and yet understated. Please keep it up!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Hermione! Glad you thought I kept it real.
I said when I reviewed the first chapter of this story that I'd keep reading, and here I am. I really enjoy how you've developed Nott's character. This story is a terrific illustration of complexity of character. I think my favorite thing about how you write it is that the narrator does not judge the Theodore, although each of the participants in the story does. The narrator simply conveys what is said, done, and thought. Nott's actions are not automatically horrible or wonderful. They simply are. It is Theodore himself who judges them for the reader. I really like how this affects the reader's perspective.
In the way of nitpicks: If he forgets for awhile that I hold power within my memories, perhaps he will relax the protections he has erected around himself. I believe (though I'm not totally certain) that "awhile" ought to be separated into two words, e.g. "If he forgets for a while..."I wouldn’t want to fail his expectations. This strikes me as slightly off grammatically, though it's debatable. I wouldn’t want to fail to meet his expectations would be more clearly correct, but I don't know if that would be more formal than Theodore's thoughts are supposed to be. It's just something that stuck out at me as something you might want to look at.
I think the most interesting aspect of this chapter is the conflict. Visibly, the conflict is external. Nott vs. Healer, Healer vs. Death Eaters, Nott for himself. Similarly, Nott's uncontrolled magic seems at some level to fight the world around him. However, the conflict is most intense at an internal level -- within Theodore Nott. Just like his uncontrolled magic is really affecting him as much if not more than his physical surroundings.I really like the last line. It is deceptively simple. I don't deserve it. Yet like the rest of the story, it manages to mean so many things at once. It's both powerful and fitting. This is a really intriguing and well-written story, and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
Yet another chapter of excellent characterizations! The one thing that strikes me most about your writing is how well you show characterizations. You don't do it the easy way, either, with dialogue or internal monologue. You show your characterizations and relationships between characters in a very physical way, with gestures and body language. It's very well done, and I don't think I can offer any advice on how to improve it. The way you portray characters is very physical, which both makes the scene very vivid (almost like watching a movie) and makes the web of tension between the various characters almost palpable.
Your story is already incredibly real –– more real than almost any other fan fics I've read –– but it could feel even more real if you added more sensory detail. Most of your physical description focuses on movement, color, and sound. As a reader, I would feel even more present in the scene if you made it more tactile. Does the grass Theodore is sitting on start to poke at him after a while? Is the earth muddy in the shade? Or is it dry and itchy? Or is he so lost in turmoil that he doesn't notice anything he's feeling? In his state, I would guess that such details would either overwhelm him or escape him completely. Either way, knowing would make me feel more there as a reader.
I first read this chapter a few weeks ago, but I it's taken until now for me to find the time to review it. I think the premise is really interesting, and I'm fascinated to see what you do with it. You have transformed Theodore from a silent shadow to a person. A very angry person, I might add.
Okay… now time for the insane nit-picker to take the reins for a while. At the start of the second paragraph in the section after the opening you have I've been isolated from the other children. It's July 1996, and by fuzzy late-at-night math that should make Nott about seventeen. I doubt he'd think of himself as a child. It's hard to find another word (orphans might do), and it's very much debatable, but it struck me as slightly strange that he would think of himself this way.This story is extremely well polished, but I did come upon one punctuation issue. It's amazing how slow someone can be, and still get top marks on their N.E.W.T.s. There shouldn't really be a comma in the middle of that sentence. There's no need for a comma there; the 'and' takes care of everything just fine. I also think it flows better without the comma.
I love the first line. They say the truth is beautiful. It's not. It's ugly. A strong opening is really important, especially in the first chapter of a longer story. Those three sentences really grab the reader's full attention. Great opening!I really like what you've done with Nott as a character. His physical infirmity draws out the reader's sympathy; if we only saw the cold and calculating anger it would be easier for us to totally revile him. But beside the angry young man plotting vengeance, we also see someone who is very much in pain and close to helpless. He is not in control. He is human. Theodore is also a compelling character. I as a reader want to find out what happens to him--both if he manages to heal and if he manages to succeed in his plot--even though he is not a “nice” character.
This is a really well written and exciting beginning. I look forward to seeing what happens next!
Author's Response: *jumps around like small puppy, pathetically grateful for the review* To me, people aren'y 'good' and 'bad.' They're just people. That's what I've tried to make Nott: a character who the reader will identify with, who's loyalties throughout the story don't run the same as Canon. I'm glad to know my readers are picking up on that. :)
I'm very picky about Draco stories, but I'm enjoying this quite a bit. I was confused because you named the Auror relative Peter, though. I wasn't sure for a while if he was supposed to be Peter Pettigrew or someone else. I really enjoyed reading this though, and I'll be looking for an update!
Author's Response: I thought I had answered this before - I think I must have got logged out. I am glad you like this story so far, I hope you continue to do so. No, I never even thought about Peter Pettigrew when I named my Auror Peter - it is a common name. I should be able to update quite frequently, as the story is finished. Thank you for leaving a review!