Hi. I'm James and I write fan fiction. Sorry, was just practicing for the upcoming MNFF-aholics Anonymous meeting. Please feel free to check out some of my stories.
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Summary: When Tonks finally builds up the courage to tell Remus how she feels, his reaction was the last thing she expected.
Sexual situations warning is for a kiss.
Somewhere along the way, it became Remus Lupin month. I don’t know how it happened or why it happened. He isn’t one of my favorite characters from the HP series, truthfully, and I’m not a big fan of the Remus / Tonks ship either. Believe it or not, I do bounce around MNFF, picking stories completely at random to read. Something like the last four or five in a row have involved everyone’s favorite werewolf.
As I read this story, I did find things that I really liked. So, I don’t want you to think I felt your story was poor. It isn’t. The fact that you got it validated on MNFF means that it was at least above average. The trouble I have with it is that it is too much like several other first kiss stories I’ve read. It’s predictable and doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself.
One of the things that I did like is you do have plenty of tangible emotion. I felt you did a good job connecting the reader with how Tonks is feeling. In the opening paragraph, you have here rifling a pillow across the room and smashing a vase, the snatching up another pillow into a bear hug. I think anyone who has ever been in a tough spot in a relationship will be able to deal with the frustration, despair, and uneasiness Tonks displays.
I also think you fared well capturing the emotions inside a person well he or she takes on that most difficult task of telling someone how they true feel. I think that unless you are certain you know the other person feels the same, telling someone you love him or her is about the hardest thing in the world to do. I liked how Tonks was convicted that she was going to tell him no matter what, how she was blankly playing with her glass as she waited for the right moment in the conversation under the tremendous weight of what she was feeling on the inside. If anything, you could have probably written more her to show it even more. Still, I thought it was very believable and well portrayed.
So, how do we make this story stand apart? Well, to me, first kisses are cliché. They’ve been written a thousand times from every different angle and it is extremely difficult to come up with a new way to describe it. Since we know what the payoff is, what makes the payoff pay off is how we get there – the buildup.
In the third paragraph, you say that Tonks had started to feel like her feelings for Remus were beyond that of friendship. This is one idea upon which I think upon which you could have expanded. You go on to say that she loves his laugh, his smiles, and his eyes, and these are all important details. But, you’re really just telling the readers Tonks feels that way and not showing us.
Give us some specific examples here, something concrete to go on, perhaps a few memories where things happened and we see how these feelings have formed. For example, tell us about the time she and Remus were working on something for the Order when suddenly he fell down the stairs. Tell us how they just stared at each over with surprised looks for a moment, then started laughing together. Then, when Tonks goes to help him up, she feels all tingly inside when her skin touches his.
These are the sort of details that set a story apart. These are the experiences that readers can connect with, making your story memorable to them.
I also feel like Tonks’ anger escalates too quickly when Remus is hesitant – like her frustration has boiled over. If she is telling him she loves him for the first time, I think it a bit unlikely a thing to happen. So, that part of it seemed off to me.
I would expect there to be some dejection on the part of Tonks. I’m sure she’d be disappointed and hurt when Remus doesn’t immediately return the same sediments. If she feels so strongly about him, however, I don’t think she jump right into yelling at him about it. I think she might try to reason with him or get him to explain to her how he feels first. We know in the books she becomes frustrated with him eventually, so I think it can be implied that they have had conversations discussing their feelings.
Again, I hope that you’re not thinking I hated this story. I didn’t. I do think it’s off the mark of being a great story, but not by much. You’ve got a great start here. Whether you add some additional details to this story, or keep these thoughts in mind for your next work, I think you show plenty of promise here. Stick with it.
I seem to be on something of a Remus Lupin roll lately. Doing so completely unintentionally, this is like the third story on MNFF about the character I have read in a row. I mostly bounce around the various categories and just pick fics at random.
The thing that really gripped me when reading this was not so much Remus’ situation, but the absolute horror it must have been for his parents. The thought of locking a child in a cellar for his own good while he looks at his parents pleading, “Why?” It tears at my insides. I cannot imagine it. Even from the point of view of Remus, you manage to capture that harrowing predicament marvelously.
I also liked the unclear nature of Remus’ recollection of the attack. Many times, you hear accounts of victims who have the misfortune of having something like that happen to them that are foggy at best. It either happens so fast that they hardly realized what happened, which I can completely envision in the case of a werewolf attack, or the experience is so horrible that the victim’s mind blacks out many of the details. Great job on this part of your story as well.
When I came across this sentence, I wondered if it needed to be reworded a little bit: before, you weren’t a little bit hungry, but now the pain has stopped, all you want is food. I have read it several times over now and I still find the wondering a bit unclear. You weren’t a little bit hungry before, but now you’re starving – do we need the word even in there after weren’t. Or, perhaps you could say you weren’t the slightest bit hungry before.... Take a look at that one when you have a moment and see what you think.
A previous reviewer mentioned a canon issue with Fenrir Greyback. I would suggest correcting this by simply taking his name out altogether. In my opinion, the paragraph is every bit as effective only mentioning a werewolf. Truthfully, I don’t think the reader knowing it was Fenrir adds anything. Besides, nine out of ten of your readers will know who it is anyway. Omitting it just seems to be an easy fix for anyone wanting to beat the canon drum.
Good job on this first installment of SPEW 007. I’ll be looking forward to see more from you.
Summary: There is a crisis in the Wizarding Community. In order to stop it, the Ministry must take drastic action. Minister Scrimgouer passes a legislation to preserve the Magical World, but what will the effects be on the witches and wizards of Britain. And what will happen to Ginny Weasley, forced to marry a man she's sworn to hate?
I know that this is only the prologue, and there is certainly a lot of development to take place in the instalments ahead, but I have to say I am really fascinated by the premise of your story so far. Generations of what boils down to inbreeding on the part of purebloods, who are in many cases swollen with pride about their spotless ancestry, has resulted in the delusion / damage of the genetics that makes them magic. That is, the hormone directly linked to the presence of magical ability is weakest, or present in the least quantity, in purebloods. In just one word: fantastic! The purebloods are breeding themselves into inferiority. I cannot tell you how much I like that whole idea alone.
The other thing I found captivating is the legislation that the Ministry passed to correct the phenomenon. Can you imagine the outrage? I tried imaging some real life genetic defect that would cause the government to pass a law roughly equivalent. It’s a horrifying notion, having to prove that you are so many generations removed from relation to someone to marry him or her, or that you have a given number of other blood types in your ancestry.
One thing I did wonder, as I was thinking about this, however, is why the law did not only apply to pureblood wizards and witches? It seems like they are the source of the problem, though I suppose the problem does not only occurs with pureblood parentage. It just seems like half-bloods and Muggle-borns, whose breeding is mixed by their very nature and who had the highest Pisces hormone counts, would be immune to the problem, or so drastically less likely to be impacted that the legislation might omit them.
This is a great backdrop against which to set a story and I’m interested to see what develops with Percy. He isn’t the sort of character, from the books anyway, that one would expect to have a ‘secret’. Then again, that’s what could make it so interesting.
About the only thing I can think of, as far as constructive criticism – and this may be more a matter of opinion / style, is long paragraphs. Personally, I take the notion of new idea, new paragraph to the extreme. The result in my writing is very short paragraphs. While reading your first chapter, I did come across an instance or two where I might have been inclined to start a new one. The first paragraph, for example, I would have started a new one with the Left. Right. Left. Right. sequence.
I guess it’s just because I’m such a nitwit that I get lost in long paragraphs as I’m reading. It’s about the only suggestion I could come up with here, being that I liked this one so much. I did notice that you appear to be missing a blank line between your last two paragraphs. That’s just a simple formatting item.
Great work and I’ll be watching for the next chapter. I’m adding it to my favourites (which I don’t do much of) so I can kept an eye out.
Summary: James Sirius Potter is working amongst dragons to keep the other dragons at bay. Namely, the innumerable reporters who want his interviews and photographs. All because of his surname.
He succeeds too, to quite a great degree. But things start going wrong when an old acquaintance turns up and James has a reporter with whom he has to share his flat. And his life. And also, maybe... love?
The thing I liked most about this story was its believable, first-person perspective. As I read, I did get a genuine sense that it was James telling the story, recalling the series of events that have led up to the meeting with this mystery woman. The trouble I always have when reading a story in first person, or writing one myself, is that it ends up sounding too much like third-person, an omniscient one at that. That is to say, the person telling the story seems too aware of the whole word, to broad a view on things to be speaking from his or her own point of view. I do not get that sense here. You definitely have done well with the first person here.
I also liked the main idea of your story, even though it was prompted to be as such for the challenge, and I thought you did a nice job characterizing James as he recounted the tale so far. I believe one or more of Harry’s children could very easily turn out feeling the way James does about all the fame – loving it at first, but growing to hate it. Such a thing can be a powerful influence on a young person’s decisions regarding his or her career and living arrangements. James wants out of the spotlight badly – that much is clear. I thought you did a good job of laying out his reasons.
There are a couple of areas in which I would like to offer constructive comments. First of all, I thought you over-used short sentences / sentence fragments. There are just too many, and instead of placing emphasis on certain ideas, or making a certain thing poignant, it felt like it broke up the flow. In places, it was like the pavement on the road suddenly ended, if you catch my meaning.
To combat this, I think you could combine several smaller sentences and ideas. I think it would have the effect of smoothing out the road for your reader. For example, take a look at this passage:
I had become used to the place well. The weather was bearable, sometimes good even. I had also found friends in other tamers. I had passed the probation period. My wages had been upped. Mum and Dad visited me one month. I would visit them the next. I still sometimes came across screaming girls or reporters or photographers when I went to London, but it was better than before and I was content. Until now that is.
You have a number of very short sentences here and a number of short, quick ideas. To me, this reads a little bumpy and disjointed. In truth, I think you might have enough ideas in here for two to three paragraphs, and when you expand the ideas, the ride might not be as rough. For example:
Though it did not happen overnight, I was beginning to get used to the place – even like it, call it home. After what seemed like a month straight of cloudy, rainy days, the sun began to make regular appearances and it warmed up considerably. I had gotten to know a few of the other tamers and they had taken my under their wings. They had been friendly, helpful, and never once asked me anything about my famous father. By the time my probation was complete, my salary got an increase and I was resolute that I had made the right choice coming here. So far, it had been everything I had hoped.
I don’t know that you would like what I had written any better, but the actual content is not the point, expanding the ideas is. I think you can improve the flow if you expanded some of the many ideas you have and used the extra detail to help vary the length of your sentences and paragraphs.
Speaking of details, that leads me to my final constructive comment. You have several great ideas in the story to which you can add some detail. As you go through this first chapter, you have James telling us about all these things that have happened and all these reasons why he is where he is as we begin your story. Now, I am not suggesting you go into detail about all of them – that would make this chapter very long indeed. I think you could pick one or two things in there though and really give us a detailed scene. For example, what about a detailed scene where James and his father, Harry, leave the house together and are suddenly mobbed by reporters – so much so that they can hardly even walk down the street. Have James not just say he didn’t like it, have him tell us what it felt like to be mobbed. Tell us how he could hardly move without stepping on someone, how the camera lenses where jammed right up into his face, and how all those people where so close he could hardly breathe.
Good luck in the rest of the Third Task, Afifa!