Well, hello there :)
I'm Emma *salutes*
I'm a Ravenclaw.
I'm an avid reader.
I'm a haphazard writer.
I'm an occasional poet.
I'm a P.I. (QSQ 2009 Winner) Beta.
I'm me :)
Please, feel free to poke around at my fics and leave some reviews - reviews make the writing world go around! :D
Until recently I'd never thought of Peter as anything more than a traitor but this certainly made me rethink my opinion of him; I sympathised with Peter and more importantly I guess, I actually quite liked him. Well done :D
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I do struggle with Peter which was one of the reasons I wrote this. There does have to be something more about him that robe-wetting rat, or Sirius and James would not have trusted him so implicitly. I'm pleased you're re-thinking your opinion of him - mind you he's still a traitor ;(. Carole xxx
I love this...
“Padfoot, old chum,” said James. “I hate to break it to you, but we’re dead, mate."
And mmmm; Sirius Black...
*goes into day-dream*
After all, once you go Black you never go back ;D
Author's Response: *giggles*
I do love Sirius - he's such a player. I doubt a little obstacle like death would stop him. I'm now wondering whether I should be writing the rest...
Hey Hol-lee :)
Great story my dear!
I haven't seen enough Cedric fics, and it's something I've always wanted to read.
I like Lisa! She's a very honest character, and she's easy to identify with. You've put in the right amount of humour and the feelings you describe are ones most of us have felt and make you go 'Ahhh...' Overall, I think she's great. I'd like to see more of her - not just the clumsy, day-dreaming Lisa, but another side of her :)
While I like your characterisation of Cedric, I hope you show more layers of him in the upcoming characters. Cedric is a Gary-Stu in himself; good at Quidditch, a Prefect, good-looking, kind. I love giving those kind of characters more depth, and I hope you will too! I think you've got the right aura for him now as it is only chapter one, so I'm looking forward to seeing some flaws and some depth to make him seem more human :D
Anyway, you've put up a good setting and I can't wait to see what you're going to do now! I hope you won't eliminate Cho too soon; a struggle is always nice :]
Told from the POV of Felicity, Draco Malfoy’s daughter. Disregards the Epilogue. Contains slash, though nothing graphic.
What first attracted me to this was your banner; I love Draco :)
Anyway, I really enjoyed the chapter! I think the set-up is great - realistic, plausible and I can see it happening. Your characters are IC - especially Narcissa. I loved the addition of the peacock scence - something so simple really provided an insight into the mind of Felicity and Narcissa.
Felicity is a great character and I like the way she adores Draco. She's very perceptive about her relationship with her grandmother - but maybe a bit too much? Hate might be a harsh word for her to use. Perhaps Felicity might just think her grandmother doesn't like her very much, as opposed to hate. I know they're practically the same thing, but still :P
I love the cliff-hanger also - I can't wait to find out who the mother is! And what's going on with Harry Potter? I'm intrigued - well done :D
Author's Response: Woah -- sorry I never replied to this! I didn't realize I hadn't. :P Anyway -- thanks so much! I'm gland you thought everyone was IC; that's one of my main worries. :)
A look into Ron and Hermione's fifth-year minds to experience the spazzness and crazyism in first person.
Disclaimer: Sadly, I am not J. K. Rowling. I'm not even famous. Heck, I only have one story up on Mugglenet. But I'm still glad I can walk into J. K.'s world. And tap-dance back out again.
Additional warnings: May contain fluff, excessive randomness (AU), and minor plot twists!
I would also appreciate if NikkiSue/Nicole could mod this for me :]
Hello there :)
I had to leave a review, seeing as I posted in your OC thread and ginnygirl16 so kindly left me a link :D
Anyway, I love it so far!
I loved the bug episode - for some reason that really made me smile. I also like your characterisation of Ron; I think it's done really well, and he's a hard character to get right. I don't really have much left to say, but I can't wait for the other chapters and then I'll leave some more reviews! I love reviews tool and people really don't leave enough...
Author's Response: Aww thanks for the awesome review :D. Chapter was just rejected today, which is a pain, but I only have two or three things to clean up. Don't forget me yet! And thanks for your OC post, I'll get on that :D.
Hey SPEW Buddy! I'm here to review your lovely fic :)
The first thing I noticed was your use of the song lyrics; I thought they were very effective, and were a great bonus to the fic. They're woven exceptionally well into the passages, and rather than being seperate entities, they really tie in with the story and inter-twine with the feelings and emotions of the piece. Now, I haven't read many song fics, but I thought you handled that particular aspect very well.
'Draco Malfoy was free.' Isn't it funny how such a short, simple line can make such a powerful impact? It's such a solid, matter-of-fact sentence, yet it creates a surge of interest for the reader. It's a great line, Russia. Deceptively simple, really. It's dramatic - you can almost hear the 'dun-dun-DUN' soundtrack in the background.
I have to hand it to you, Russia, you're very talented at creating these simple, powerful sentences that really make an impact on the reader. I don't know how you do it. It seems so effortless, but wow.
However, I do have quick qualm - you're over-describing the eyes, and placing too much emphasis on them. Eyes are something of a tricky feature, and I know I'm guilty of placing a lot of emphasis on them in an intense scene. If you're describing Draco's eyes, for example, whether the colour or the expression in them, don't then proceed to describe Ginny's, yes? Or don't keep referring to the colour, or whether or not they're 'flashing'.
'He had just locked out the only person who might ever understand him.' Um, WOW. I love love love it. LOVE IT. How do you do it? You just create these lines that stick in your mind, you know? Like, I'm trying so hard not to just copy and paste the entire story into this review, because there are a lot of lines that I like.
Regarding the whole 'Ginny/Draco' aspect of the piece, I admit that I would have liked it to be a bit more explored - more explanation, perhaps, as to how they came to be, rather than just re-iterating the point that Draco had secretly admired her for years. In one way, it wasn't necessary, as it was 'only a kiss', as you say, and it makes it even more poignant because there is no explanation for why Draco feels this away, and he's been gone so long that he's deluded himself almost, and worked this kiss up to something amazing, when she doesn't even remember it... so perhaps it works that way, as it's so tragic then. But I would have liked to know why Ginny kissed him back.
Speaking of Ginny, the Obliviating was so dramatic! I was practically open-mouthed when that happened. Guh. I don't know why, I just so wasn't expecting it, and then when it happened, it made sense to me. It seemed like such a Draco move. I think you really got into Draco's psyche.
'If she was with me, she wouldn’t be living in such a pathetic little place, Draco thought.' That line is just so DRACO! However, I'm not sure if he would refer to Harry as 'pretty boy'. Cedric seems to have been a pretty boy, whereas although Harry is supposed to have become more 'fanciable' over time, I don't imagine him being a 'pretty boy.' I'm not sure how I would describe Harry, exactly. Perhaps something else to do with his appearance? Scarred? Spectacled? But more offensive, obviously. Although maybe having it as 'pretty-boy' is good, because really, it's just Draco trying to insult Harry in any way possible, and make himself feel better.
'Draco followed the couple, careful not to step on the leaves that crunched under their feet.' How do you do it? It's so simple, but GAH, so wonderful at the same time. I can't quite concisely describe my love for that line. It's just realistic, and I can picture the scene so vividly in my mind - Draco creeping after Harry and Ginny, avoiding these crisp, red autumn leaves, while being totally obsessed with observing their every move.
Mmm, I do wonder how realistic is it to have them smoking? I know it's to tie in with the lyrics, but I don't really buy it. Especially when you think that Harry's been out of temptation's way for so long - the teenage years being the age where most people begin to start smoking. I also think that because Harry's lost so many loved ones from death, he'd hardly be okay with Ginny inhaling poison...
'Supposedly he was free, but really he was a prisoner all along.' That's a truly great insight, and really sums up what I imagine to be the feelings of most ex-prisoners. Sometimes, the walls, bars and guards of jail aren't the prison at all - it's themselves, and their lives, and sometimes even when you've left the situation of imprisonment, you're never really gone at all. I thought that line was very thought-provoking; well, it made me think anyway, ha ha.
I also love how you left the ending open - did he, didn't he? It's open to interpretation, which I like. You left it suitably tragic.
Fab story, Russia! I really did enjoy reading it, and I thought your plot, characterisation, imagery and description were really wonderful. I especially adored your sentence structure, and the almost simplicity of the piece. The song lyrics really added to the over-all atmosphere of the fic. You really are very talented :)
Aww, Carole, love, this was beautiful. I almost cried - it was so touching and well-written. I haven't personally known any-one suffering from Alzheimers, but I am so sorry about your father. It's a horrible disease, but hopefully you'll always have the nice memories :)
Author's Response: Aww, thanks for reviewing, Emma. I'm touched you left me a review. I do have lots of lovely memories and I know Ginny will too - all those plugs for a start. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Aww, thanks for reviewing, Emma. I'm touched you left me a review. I do have lots of lovely memories and I know Ginny will too - all those plugs for a start. ~Carole~
Carole, love, I'm so happy this got validated! There's not much more I can say about it, other than it's absolutely amazing - be a dear and write a sequel!
Author's Response: If you look at some of the comments - they mention Katie - her characterisation came from the very swift kick you gave me - so *applause and bows*. Thank you so much. ...... Sequel .... hmmmmm, watch your inbox but not yet ha ha and thanks again - Carole xxx
I found the song at the beginning and the end of the piece to be quite distracting. It's a nice song, but it's almost so vague, that I feel it doesn't add to the piece at all. It's a tad... irrelevant. Sure, it doesn't detract from the story either, I just found it a bit unnecessary and out of place. It doesn't set the scene for me. I think that if you wanted to use a song to set the scene, you could have picked something else, something more fitting, or just scrapped the whole thing altogether. But that's something really minor, anyway. I just noticed it.
I LOVED the dialogue in this fic. Seriously. You honestly have this wonderful gift when it comes to writing dialogue. I, actually, find dialogue quite difficult at the best of times, especially when you're dealing with the more major characters. It's very easy to read a conversation and go: "That really doesn't sound like Such-And-Such." It was just so natural, so realistic, and very very unforced. It really just flowed. Harry's dialogue, especially, was very well done. You didn't over-do the hesitancy or the stuttering, but kept it very genuine, and very Harry-like. Well done :)
I'm still unsure about the opening scene - I'm not quite sure whether or not it added or detracted from the story. I think it was interesting to have a back-story, and to have the narrative from the OC's point of view, as it immediately distinguished it from other H/G stories, but I, personally, could have done with less characters and less of an introduction. I was a bit confused for a while, and was left wondering what was the connection between Janie, Annie, Melody and HP was. I appreciated the introduction more the further I read, but I'm still a bit hesitant. It was interesting, and I enjoyed it, but perhaps just a bit less of it would have been better. Of course, that's just my opinion.
The way Harry speaks about Ginny threw me off a bit. I thought it was rather... unconvincing. I think you had the right idea about Ginny, but just narrowly missed it. Ginny is extremely opinionated - as are many people, myself included - but she's not 'picky'. Of course, reflecting on it, this could just be Harry seeing her as choosy, as he's quite a perfectionist, and is so eager to please and not mess up in this situation.
Okay, I'm not British, so I'm probably not the best person to Brit-pick, but I noticed a few Americanisms littered here and there, most prominently "'neat/dorky." Now, I know what both of them mean, but am I right in saying that they wouldn't be used in Britain? Neat means cool, and dorky is like nerdy. Actually, with the influence of American television shows, you'd probably hear the younger generations saying things like that, but not Harry's generation.
Your use of imagery is absolutely wonderful. I found a lot of them to be quite amusing, and there were quite a few that made me almost a bit choked up. (Then again, I do have a tendency to cry at everything, so that truly doesn't take a lot...) I think your imagery was also particularly strong when it came to describing Harry, like this line:
Quote: "less gaunt, less sad and less lonely."
It just sounds so accurate for a young, bullied, unloved, awkward Harry and the newly transformed, but not quite post-Hogwarts Harry.
Quote: He had no piercings or tattoos or spiky jewellery or any of the things my mother would say pointed to a delinquent teen.
I found that line to be exceptionally funny, actually. It's so true. Those aspects seem to immediately scream "Rebelling delinquent adolescent!" rather than, say, Dudley's tyrannical behaviour. People can be so judgemental.
Quote: He seemed to have narrowed his search to three rings, and he was staring at all of them with a great deal of concentration, as if at any moment one would speak to him.
Like, seriously. JK herself could have easily written that line. Gah. It's actually Harry.
Harry wearing Converses also sort of threw me a bit. They don't really strike me as something Harry would wear. Converses are quite cool, really, and I could be wrong here, but you rarely see men wearing Converse outside of adolescence, unless they are, actually, quite cool.
The whole laces part was really sad. I very nearly got teary eyed. It was honestly a great idea, and a brilliant Harry-ish quirk.
Now, I could be reading far too deeply into this, but is it IC for Harry to spill so much to someone he hasn't seen since he was ten? Or, is it just the pressure of the situation? Or is he actually just making small-talk, conversation? I thought he'd be more cagey, more awkward about the whole magic thing, but besides the little police slip, I thought he was almost too... open. I'm not sure.
I also thought it was a bit odd for Harry to be in a Muggle jewellers. I would understand it from the point that Ginny wouldn't accidentally see him in Diagon Alley or something. However, he'd gone shopping with Ginny and Hermione! This is something of a pet peeve of mine but why do wizards have engagement rings? Of course, it could well be mentioned in the series that they do, but I always think that mimicking Muggles so closely regarding things like this is a bit weird.
Quote: Besides, she says that a man should be able to pick out a woman's jewellery himself if he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
Um, really? That seems a bit… petty, to me, and not very Ginny. I understand the sentiment, of course - Ginny would strike me as the type to have high expectations, and have strong opinions on most subjects - but don't most men not have a clue about jewellery? Perhaps it's just the men that I know, but none of them would ever be able to pick out jewellery as a present for their wives/girlfriends, even if they've been together for ten years! Personally, I'd think Ginny would care more about other things. Perhaps if he didn't know her, oh, I don't know, favourite colour, or something else exceptionally obvious. Jewellery is actually quite a personal thing, I think.
Quote: "It's this one," he declared. "I know it." There was a glimmer of triumph — and clear relief — in his eyes.
That's actually just Harry through and through.
Quote: "but with her hand on her hip and her eyes wide awaiting an explanation, I had to admit she looked a little intimidating."
I found this line very funny - shadowing Molly, much? We all knew it was going to happen :)
I liked the fluff aspect of it, possibly because it wasn't overly sugar coated, even though I am not not not a H/G fan.
Quote: I wished suddenly I could go back in time and assure that timid, friendless little boy that everything would work out for him, that it would all be okay and he would get a family and he would get the girl/
Um, SOB! That sentence was so sad/tear.
I hope I don't sound overly critical, as I really do think that this is a very good good one-shot, and you are a particularly talented writer :)
Author's Response: Oh my goodness! I rarely get such a detailed review! Thank you so much. You aren't over critical, as all of your criticisms are constructive. I understand what you mean about the song. I suppose that I play the stories I write out in my head, often imagining them/planning them when I go running, and that was the song that went along with this, so I went ahead and included it, but it isn't very relevant, you're right. I'm so glad you liked all the dialogue! That's one thing that can really irk me about fanfiction (and fiction in general) when characters all sound the same, all sound like the author. People talk differently and don't always speak clearly or in full sentences, and I really try to capture that. As for the Americanisms -- *sigh* -- those will be the death of my in the HP fandom. My "betas" are all friends of mine, and we are all, unsurprisingly, Americans. I'll try to fix what you've pointed out, however! And as for Ginny's characterization -- I see what you mean. I was attempting more to portray how opinionated Ginny was, but I suppose this could be construed as making her sound high-maintenance, which wasn't at all my intention. Oh, and about the converses -- my extremely dorky/nerdy/whatever word you like -- boyfriend wheres them, and he's one of the few people I know who do, so I had never really considered them an "in" thing. Thanks again for such the wonderful review!
Firstly, I love the quote at the beginning of the fic. I think it really sets the scene quite wonderfully - very apt, very striking, very accurate. It reminds me of Dumbledore's quote… what is it again?
Quote: It's the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.
For me, the use of the quote was a great start to the story.
One of the initial things I noticed when reading was the use of first person narrative. I found it rather off-putting. I've never exactly thought of a Dementor thinking clear, concise thoughts, more… basic feelings. In my head, they're beings, rather than actual humans, if you get what I mean. The first person, for me, just wasn't quite right. I understand the purpose of it being first person - to really suck you in, to really comprehend the "brain" of a Dementor - but it just didn't quite work for me. The way things were phrased were too human-like: can a Dementor, in fact, make the distinction of 'deciding' to do something? I think it would have made more sense to just have it 'do' something, rather than making a conscious decision to do it. To be honest, if I were to write from a Dementor's POV, I would be hesitant as to what narrative to choose. I suppose it would be a toss between third or second. Third could be too uninvolved, too nonchalant, and would more than likely detract from the whole striking, Dementor's point of view element. I would have liked to see it told from the second person, actually. I know it's difficult to pull off, but I have quite a penchant for second person narrative, when it's done well. That way, you would still things from the Dementor's eyes, but I think it would have been less… human-like. I've never thought about a Dementor thinking at all, if I'm honest. It never entered my head that they could think or feel like a human does. In my head, they're more… beings, than actual humans. In my mind, they rely on instinct, much like an animal does. It doesn't seem fitting that they can think so concisely and so thoroughly, but then have that complete lack of moral distinction. It doesn't match. How can a creature make so many observances, then not understand, or at least, explain why they are so? I think to have them closer to creature than human is more apt.
I also think that the story would have been more effective if it was told in the present tense. In my head, it seems odd that a Dementor would 'remember' a previous event, if you get me. I think it would have been more realistic, and more powerful for things to be happening as you read it. More hard-hitting, really. The Dementors, as magical creatures rather than actual human beings, seem like they would just exist, rather than live, and it would seem more appropriate to have them 'in the moment', rather than reflecting.
The style of writing in the piece… I'm not sure about it. I found the majority of the sentences to be overly long - not poorly written, for some of the images were truly intense, and the descriptions were certainly evoking - but just over-done. I felt it was too much. It jarred with my understanding of how a Dementor 'thinks' - short, sharp sentences and gut feelings, rather than detailed observations. The writing was though-provoking, but not quite as effective as what it could have been. This paragraph, though, is amazingly powerful in its imagery and description:
His soul, a white, hazy, shapeless form slowly emerged from within this human’s disgusting mouth, which was now hanging open like an open gateway. It ascended like thick smoke and was starting to take on various shapes and sizes before I promptly drew it into my mouth, trapping it in me eternally—never to be free and always surrounded by darkness, just like its human body, which would remain an empty shell forever more.
Not only does the event sound exactly like how I had pictured it to be, but the last few lines are just wow; so morbid, so disturbing, but so powerful.
To me, there seemed to be several potential endings, marked by the switch in narrative (which I found distracting, and a tad unnecessary…) This line, which was so dramatic, so touching, and so powerful, could have been an ideal finish:
“For my sins,” he managed to croak out, feeling his life drain out of him. And without another moment’s hesitation he pulled the trigger…
While I didn't like the switch between the Dementor and Adrien, I think it could have been left there, and ended with a bang.
As a general observance, I found the whole concept of the story to be terrifically original and intriguing. I hope my review doesn't sound too critical, as I really did enjoy reading this one-shot, and I think you are a truly gifted writer. You have amazing potential :)
For my beautiful, youthful Julia, who held my hand through hell. Words will never be enough.
I am Kuri (Okiblossom) of Ravenclaw, and this is my entry for the February Love Challenge - in the Surprise Love category - in the Great Hall. This is in the MNFF Beta Boards Forum. NOTE: I have no talent that compares to JKR or any other author for that matter.
Liked it? Hated it? Please read and review.
Heyyy SPEW Buddy! I'm here to leave you a review for your lovely fic.
The first thing that struck me about this fic is that I really enjoyed the opening scene. I think you really utilised the tone of the story in a way that it became this really effective instrument in creating the setting and overall mood. It succeeded in drawing me in, and I instantly looked forward to continuing. However, I'm in two minds about some of the details you mentioned. In one way, this incredibly vivid image entered my head, and I could see the scene perfectly, without any difficulty. And I did like the scene - it seemed befitting for a wedding. Yet, the image jarred with what is perhaps my own conceptions of Lily. I wonder is the prestige and wealth of the occasion and house overdone? Not to say that Lily can't come from a marginally rich family, of course, and it perhaps ties in with Petunia's snobbery and the fact that she scorned of Severus because he came from 'Spinner's End', but somehow, I'm not sure. The area they live in is described as being quite industrial, so they wouldn't be exactly wealthy, more… comfortable. It's not even the details mentioned in the opening, really, but the stuff that follows… Gah. I'm not sure.
Oh, quick typo, so I thought I'd point it out; 'dres' shirt should be dress shirt!
Perhaps I'm being particularly nit-picky here, and possibly unnecessarily so, but for me, the wedding ceremony seem overly done. Although there's no really canon evidence to support my ideas of Lily, she doesn't seem the type of person to go so… pernickety about things. It's not even that, I just feel like the way you've described the wedding, with details like white doves seem slightly… corny, for Lily. I'm not explaining myself very well. Do you sort of understand what I'm getting at? They're beautiful ideas, of course, I'm just not entirely convinced that they're ideas that Lily and James would desire to have in their wedding.
Continuing on my earlier tangent, I thought I'd mention that it would be rather unlikely for the Evans to have a walk-in wardrobe, as well, especially as that sort of feature wasn't especially common in those times, unless they were very very rich, which there is no canon evidence to support that idea.
The phrase 'damn textbook' is actually rather American. While it's normal enough to have Brits saying 'damn', they would more than likely use 'bloody textbook' in that context, if you get what I mean.
Oh, when you say Remus is 'pouring' over the book, I assume you mean that he should be 'poring', rather than literally spilling on top of it ;)
While I do enjoy your characterisation of Remus - he's a true Marauder, with his wit and speedy replies and general amusing behaviour - I have to wonder about you characterising him as this sort of 'bookworm'. It's a bit of a cliche, to be honest. Not that I actually mind cliches, as if they're handled well then they can be perfectly enjoyable and not this big fic-destroying element, but this particular one is a bit unfounded, for me, at least in this situation. I just… don't really see why he's be with Lily with his head stuck in a textbook. Perhaps if he's on his own and in one of those curious moods, and he's trying to pass the time, but when he's in someone else's company like this, I think it's a bit off.
I really like your sentence structures. For the description pieces, they're quite short and to the point, but they really work in setting up the scene and making it as clear and realistic as possible. I also loved the dialogue - it was very quick, very realistic and the banter had a very believable ring to it. They seemed quite close and very comfortable with each other, but not in such an over-the-top way that irritated me. I'm sure that over time, they would have stirred up a bit of a rapport with each other. And the fact that the love between them is one-sided and unrequited made me enjoy it even more, because it's realistic. I actually held my breath when Remus told Lily he loved her, because I was afraid of what would happen… but the reaction was so believable and bittersweet.
I have to say, that some of Lily's dialogue with Remus sort of threw me off. I suppose it was to show how easy their friendship was, and how comfortable Lily was in his presence, and she was after all distracted, but when she was going on about how cute the pair of shoes were, I thought it was a bit odd.
I thought the ending was very sweet, and a great way to end the fic. It wasn't too corny or cheesy, but instead it combined a mixture of poignancy, sweetness and melancholiness that only the reader truly understood, on behalf of Remus. I think you handled Remus' internal conflict exceptionally well, actually. There was the right level of angst, but this very Remus-like air of acceptance.
Overall, Jenn, well done! I really did enjoy this fic, besides the few nitpicks I mentioned. Great work! I look forward to reading more of your writing. Overall, Jenn, well done! I really did enjoy this fic, besides the few nitpicks I mentioned. Great work! I look forward to reading more of your writing. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You do in fact have great potential, I just think you should honestly try and not push yourself so hard that you over-complicate things, you know? Perhaps try and return to basics. Because it's all there :)
Carole, this was a lovely fluffy piece; I really enjoyed reading it. I love your portrayal of Lavender, anyway, but I especially adored this pairing. Seamus is just so darn cute. However, I am here once again to Irish!pick, because I'm irritating like that. Irish people don't 'snog.' We 'meet' or we 'score.' So Seamus was either 'meeting' Lavender or 'scoring' her - not snogging :)
Author's Response: And there was me thinking you'd shout at me for having Seamus say 'Yer Man' at the end there (ha ha, I swear I wrote that and thought of you scowling). Hmm, now, you see in England - certainly - scoring means going a lot furthur than a bit of a kiss (not to mention the drug reference), so I might leave it. But if I ever get around to finding Seamus a woman of his own then I'll send it to you to Irish!Pick. Thank you for the review. ~Carole~
Okay, my review got chopped in half, so I deleted it, and I'm now posting the (hopefully) full review with crossed fingers ;)
Hi Sarah! You're the Featured Author this month, so I'm here to leave you a review for your fab fic!
All right, not to start the review critically or anything, but in the opening paragraph, there is an immediate Americanism; the use of the word 'sidewalk'. I'm normally not a fierce Brit-picker, as I'm not even British, but as this is such an obvious Americanism, I confess it threw me off a bit. Nothing terribly distressing, of course, but something that is so simple to fix, I thought I'd mention it.
Now, I really love the use of second person narrative in this fic. I have a penchant for second person as it is, as I think it's a really interesting way of writing and is a different way of exploring a character's point of view, but I think you really did handle it well. It was particularly effective for the tone of this fic; it allowed you enough room to truly feel Tonk's emotions without going as far as first person narrative. However, I don't think you quite avoided the repetition of you/your at the beginning of sentences, which can often happen when you're writing in second person, as you're a bit limited in your word choice. I'd recommend giving the fic a quick look-over, and seeing are there occasions where you could insert a bit of variety, and perhaps start sentences in a different way.
I admit, I did find it sort of off to imagine that Tonks would think Remus is perfect. Although Tonks' love for Remus was deep, I'm not sure if she would have considered him to be perfect, especially in the particular mood she was in, and considering the fact that they weren't technically 'an item' at that moment in time - you'd already explained that Remus had expressed feelings of reluctance. Not that there's anything wrong with Tonks thinking he's perfect, but few people see their significant others as 'perfect'; they just love them, flaws and all.
Oh, another quick Brit-pick: 'walkway' is also an American term. This should be replaced with 'pavement' or 'path'.
You also have a typo, so I thought I'd briefly point it out - Muggle's - should be Muggles.
I'm not entirely convinced about the way you wrote Tonks' depression -is it exaggerated, almost? Not exactly OTT, per se, but off… she's more melancholy than how I picture her. Is that it? She seems more Romeo-and-Juliet tragic, rather than a deep-rooted misery. I'm not sure. She appeared to be a bit more... self-pitying, as opposed to flat-out depressed, which is how she appears in the books around this time.
I'm not quite sure of the phrasing in this sentence; 'you pick your feet back up.' Can you in fact pick up your feet? Should this perhaps be lift your feet off the ground?
I absolutely love this line, it's really very beautiful and simple - 'giving the night what the sun gives during the day.'
Another element of the fic that I thought you handled well was Tonks' confusion - the choppy, constantly switching train of thought really added to the overall befuddled tone of the fic, really emphasising Tonks' conflict and dilemma. Well done.
On the whole, your sentence structure was great, but on occasions it was bit too short, and sort of messed up the rhythm and tone. Rather than having them during transitions between thoughts, which would have added to the theme, you interposed them suddenly in paragraphs where there were long sentences of description and emotions. Normally, this variety of sentence length would work, but for me anyway, it sort of threw off the feeling of the fic. They were unnecessarily abrupt and uneven, if you get me, and there were plenty of incidents where you could combine one or two of the shorter sentences to improve the flow. But that's probably just my personal preference.
The idea of the whole 'he loves me, he loves me not' is a great concept, and I think it really tied in with the theme of the piece - the uncertainty, the confusion, and the desperate attempt to return to a much simpler way of making decisions. The way you interjected that mantra between the description and dialogue was a fab tool in really setting the mood. I think it was an interesting touch.
I really loved the ending - very sweet, very poignant, and altogether a very good ending. This isn't a nit-pick so much as a personal preference again, but perhaps it could possibly be even more effective as 'He loves you.' in italics? Just to tie in more with the second person narrative. But it's very well-written just the way it's written.
Overall, Sarah, this was a really good one-shot, and I enjoyed reading it immensely. Keep up the good work! I hope you don't mind my criticisms too much :)
Author's Response: Wow, Emma thank you so much for this great review! And sorry for taking so long to get back to you! You're critique was very helpful, especially as this was my first second person fic. I wasn't fully convinced I had pulled it off right, and I see now what was wrong; the constant "you" at the beginning of sentances. Thanks also for pointing out the character flaws, I think I really just wanted the fic to come off as tragic, and didn't take into consideration and that that's not really how Tonks felt. However, I do like the thoughts and emotions I have put in Tonks, I do agree that she's not the canon "flat-out depressed" as you mention. I didn't even know that sidewalk was such an Americanism! That's getting changed right now, thank you for pointing it out! Thank you so much for all of your critique, I love seeing when someone puts so much thought into my work, it's really touching! :) I'm glad you liked it, and no I definitely I did not mind your criticism as all!
The marriage between Dorian Nott and Isla Black was the talk of the town, but to reporter Fredrick Whitlatch, it was yet another mundane societal write up. However, when the wedding started without the bride, his wish of a bigger, better story came true all too fast. What happened next went futher than his wildest imaginings.
Where was Isla?
This fic was nominated for a 2010 Quicksilver Quill Award - Best History Story.
Hi Jess :)
The first thing that I noticed about the fic was the genuine and apt tone of the article; I thought it was incredibly realistic, and I could easily imagine seeing that small clipping in a newspaper. The style of the piece was very formal and very accurate, and I absolutely loved the small touches you interjected - the detail of the 'ancestral home' just seemed so fitting and exactly like a triviality in a journalism aspect - like the descriptive part of the interview before the dialogue, where the person and setting is described to set the scene.
At one stage, you used the term 'pure-bloodedness'. Perhaps it's just me, but it sounds a little odd. Would the term 'his pure blood status' sound more authentic?
I found the element of the alcohol loosing the tongue to be very funny. Because it's true, isn't it? And a very sly way of finding information, too, shall I add.
The idea of Isla as problem child is very interesting. It's fascinating to see another Black as a 'rebel', rather than just Sirius leading the revolt. It's also more probable, as with such a long line of intense, delusional fanatics, it's reasonable to imagine that there were some who didn't agree with the chauvinist regime. I also like how you've delved so far into such a minor character, and really explored her personality, characteristics and family relationships. I've never read a fic about Isla, but I really did enjoy your characterisation of her.
I really love Cygnus Black's indisputable, unfounded, blinded trust of a fellow pure-blood, because it's so exceptionally pragmatic. Cygnus has no true reason to trust Fredrick at all, simply the fact that his heritage is similar to his. I was delighted at the end of the fic to see his trust unrewarded ;)
I think you truly nailed the journalistic slant in the piece, Jess, which really aided Fredrick's characterisation. You had some really solid reporter phrases, such as 'sordid affair'. I mean, that phrase is always used in articles, isn't it? And not in an over-used, cliché fashion, but in a life-like way. Reports and articles always have those buzz words to really suck you in, and over-dramatise events to catch your eye. It's so simple, but I thought you handled that aspect of the story remarkably well.
I'll admit that I bore an instant dislike to Fredrick. To me, he seemed almost as fanatical as the Blacks, in the way that he seemed to whole-heartedly agree to everything Cygnus said. It's like their pure-blood radicalness is so infallible - the followers are indoctrinated and brainwashed. It's almost scary, really, that people can accept and abide by something so awful.
I thought your description of the level of repression in Isla's life was incredibly strong, and really tugged at my heart-strings. The fact that she was forbidden to learn Apparition is a really great example of her being controlled and suppressed to such an almost unthinkable level. I really felt an enormous amount of pity for Isla; you really conveyed the despair, the restrictions and the control in her life in a way that it really affected me.
Another particularly strong aspect of your story, Jess, was your description. It really blew me away, because of the sheer simplicity of it. None of it was over-the-top or intricately chronicled, yet at the same time, it was amazingly effective. Particularly this line:
The walls were draped in green silk, which shimmered when touched by the sunlight streaming into the windows.
This is absolutely beautiful; it's deceptively simple, yet rich in description, and it really creates a vivid scene in my head. I can imagine this room so clearly!
The fact that Fredrick dislikes Cygnus honestly came as a surprise to me. It's entirely possible that I misinterpreted it, but the way you'd described their previous interactions, I thought there was at least a deep-rooted civility/respect. However, that revelation made me like Fredrick more as a character :)
A quick nit-pick: some of your sentences were a little wordy, and I had trouble reading them smoothly. Nothing overly-traumatising, but it did mar the fluency of the piece for me. Even when I tried re-reading them aloud, I found myself tripping over them. I imagine that for some of them, there is a simpler way of saying them. The beginning of this sentence felt a little off to me, for example: Several ‘accidents’ had stemmed from conflicts involving him became legend, not the least of which was trying (and failing miserably) to curse some half-blood Gryffindor boy, who ended up casting an Itching Jinx in a very sensitive area.
'Typically, this is the point where Fredrick would start asking questions, but at the moment, he really preferred to be as far away from Dorian as he could get.' Is it just me, or should it be 'Typically, this was the point...'?
A slight qualm I had about the word minister for the matrimonial ceremony. Would there not be a more magical sounding position? The Binding Ceremony sounds distinctly magical, but minister is almost too... vague. I'm not entirely sure. The names JK uses for positions are very simple - Healers as the magical equivalent of doctors. Perhaps you could think of something to match minister, just to really enhance the magical aspect of the ceremony and differentiate it from the Muggle tradition?
My interest was definitely aroused towards the end of the piece - I thought the excitement of the fic really peaked to a great climax. Your plot was truly fantastic and original, and you maintained my interest throughout the entire piece, while making me second guess quite a lot, so well done :)
I'm not sure how valid this is, but when I researched Bob Hitchen's blood status, it said he was a Muggle, not a Muggleborn. I'm not sure how canon this piece of information is, and I'm sure you can argue the possibility of him being Muggleborn, but it did slightly bemuse me.
Isla refers to the kindness of the teachers - is the term professors more accurate, perhaps? I know that's really nit-picking, but I thought I'd mention it anyway >.>
Overall Jess, really well done! I immensely enjoyed reading this piece, and I loved how different it was to your other fics, and yet you really carried it off well. You should be proud of yourself :)
P.S. I told you I'd be nice ;)
Oh, Emma Emma Emma. Somehow, I thought I'd see you in this piece. Though I think you probably would have enjoyed Brazen more, I like that you picked this one. I needed your beta-cular eyes for this story, as I was a naugh-tay girl and submitted it unbetaed. Tsk tsk.
For the news article formatting, I actually read a couple tabloids while on my break at work, just so I could get the feel of a good line of gossip. I'm glad that it paid dividends. My periodical type writing has, IMO, improved quite a bit, so yay for that.
As for Isla being a problem child, she really wasn't so much of a problem as an embarrassment to the family. Instead of a quiet, obedient girl that they could marry off to some random member of wizard aristocracy, they get stuck with a twitchy girl who doesn't take kindly to the ribbing and ridicule that comes along with that affliction. She's really no more or less behaved than anyone else, but, to Cygnus, she's barely better than gum on the bottom of one's shoe because of it.
And then to Cygnus. I know that it seems odd that Fredrick doesn't like him, but seriously, kissing arse doesn't extend to actually having to like the man. He's a job, pure and simple. For the most part, he's harmless. Schmoozing with douchebags is a fact of life in journalism, corporations, and politics.
Fredrick is different from most characters that I've made. He has his lamentable qualities, such as mild prejudice, but mostly, that isn't his fault. He was born into a family who was proud of their line, since they didn't have much else by the way of money. I do hold, however, that he is a decent human being, which is why he was moved by Isla's plight and compelled to dislike Cygnus.
Dorian, however, is just a bastard. He doesn't have much by the way of redeeming qualities, and I didn't want him to, either. Some men are just born wicked, and while he's no Voldemort (mainly because he's not smart enough), he's juuuuuuuust scary enough to keep people from poking around in his business. Marrying Isla is merely a means to an end, and the first wife kicked off because he had what he wanted from her and wanted more from someone else.
And now on to Bob. While it's true that Robert Hitchens was listed as a 'Muggle' on the Black family tree, at the time, the pure-blooded stock did not consider Muggle-borns any better than their non-magical counterparts. It's up in the air as to whether he was a real Muggle, or a Muggle-born, since the Black family saw them both the same anyway.
I'm glad you liked the plot and all. At first, I was iffy about it. I wrote this in about 2 hours for the Weddings Challenge, mostly for the sake of having something to submit, but it actually turned out better than I thought it would.
And on to the nitpicks. Yes, its unbetaed form is rather rocky in spots, but it was the best I could do in a crunch. I agree with the 'pure-bloodedness' vs. 'pure-blooded status' part, because it does sound more...official (if that makes sense at all). Also, you're completely right about the sentence you pointed out being odd. I thought that I'd fixed that, but apparently, I didn't. lol Oops. I will also change the teachers/professors gaffe, since I have not entirely stamped out the Americanisms in my writing.
The issue of Minister is a little different. The reason why I used this title is because it's a common title for those in power. Here is how I see a 'minister' in the Potterverse: He's not a holy man; he's an official of the Ministry of Magic, whose sole job is performing, documenting, and severing marriages. Since the magical population is relatively small, he can do all three. He also keeps track of births and deaths. I should probably clarify that a bit, but it's just something else which I can chalk up to knowing in my head but failing to get it down on the page.
And, overall, I grade your SPEW review to be lovely. I'm thrilled that you chose to review me, though I am the featured author (gasp). Very well done, and your crit is well-put and constructive. I shall see you around soon, and go SPEW and go Ravenclaw!
Gina! Oh my word, this was absolutely great! I've been laughing away like a lunatic to myself. This was really, really funny, and a fabulously original idea. Well done :)
Your choices for The Seven Potters were brilliant. I think my favourites were Angry!Harry and Angsty!Harry, though Dirty!Harry and Super!Harry made me laugh. You picked some truly spot-on elements of Harry's character, and amplified them in a way that was so tongue-in-cheek and deliciously humorous that I couldn't help but giggle my way throughout the piece. What I particularly loved about your characterisation of Harry in this piece was - in fact - your normal Harry! You've really got a good grasp on his characterisation; his reactions to the different sides of his personality, the way he thinks and comes to a conclusion about everything was just so… Harry!
The balance of humour and the more serious side of the fic was handled exceptionally well, like Carole said, in a true JK fashion. The ending was a really great way of finishing up the piece - it didn't drag down the humour or light tone of the piece, but just wrapped it up nicely. I'm really pernickety about endings, but I felt very satisfied when this finish :)
Great work again, Gina! This is going straight into my favourites :)
Author's Response: Oh my goodness, what a fantastic review! Thank you so much, Emma! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really was sort of worried it might get more of a "Huh?" kind of reaction so I'm glad it made sense and made you laugh so much. I had fun trying to decide what Harrys to use and am glad you enjoyed them. And can't you just see normal Harry reacting to all this? Just sort of standing there, taking it in, and rejecting it? Hee hee. The ending was tricky so I'm glad the last paragraph wrapped it up well. Thank you so much for coming to read this. I really appreciate the wonderful review, it totally made me smile! ~Gina :)
Awww, Nat! You're such a sweetheart! I LOVE IT. I love the sense of camaraderie, the easiness of the friendship, the teasing, the banter, and the transition into something more. It's light, but it's not pure fluff... just a treat to read, honestly, and such a wonderful birthday present! Thank you so much! LOVE YOU x
Author's Response: Hello!
It was just another Friday night on the town with mates for Terry Boot.
That was, of course, until he ended up guilt-ridden and saddled with a drunken and unconscious Theodore Nott. When his unwanted patient awakens, Terry finds himself questioning what he thinks he knows and finding the strangest of answers.
Poo. I hadn't realised MNFF had chopped my review. Anyway, the basics were: JESS. I
I think it chopped your review again, but I think it had something to do with the little heart thing. Anything in brackets is picked up as coding, hence why it's chopping it off. I am just glad, or hoping rather, that you like it. :D