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for My Sister's Keeper

7/13/2011 c1 szepilona10
That was a good story, creepy, but good. Harry's dream at the end shows that it's not just black and white: there are positives and negatives to every situation.

~Szepilona10~
1/31/2011 c1 17Ragnelle
I found your story through the Review Game at Writers Anonymous, and wanted to review it.

First I will say that thought I know the books fairly well, this is not a fandom I often read fanfiction in. I can therefore not say whether the premise for the story is original, or whether the character confirms any fandom clichés. But I can compare to the books, and I will partly comment on that, and – for the larger part – on how your story works as a story.

That said, I will say that I find the premise intriguing. I was a little put out by the red hair and hazel eyes since that is a very unusual combination, though I do see the point in reversing what traits she had inherited from their parents. I think the point could have been as clear without being as obvious, but that is something you will have to decide. It is not a very big thing, but it did, nevertheless, break the illusion for me and took me out of the story for a moment.

You change POV from Ron to Harry after the first two episodes. Is this intentionally? When I began reading, my impression was that this story would be told from Ron’s POV, a rather interesting POV to keep throughout a story such as this, but after those paragraphs you leave Ron and hardly return to his POV later. I don’t really want to tell you to change the POV in those first two episodes because I did like them, but I also think that the story would be better if you only kept Harry and Marie or Rachell/Charlene as POV characters. It would make it cleaner and give a clearer focus. It would feel more like one story, and make it less fragmented than it feels now with all the different episodes.

Alternatively you can rewrite it in Ron’s POV, though that would make a different story, or bring Ron’s POV back at the end. The last solution could give the story a sense of coming full circle, and will give it a better composition. The structure would then help pull it all together in the end, instead of, as now, make it feel more fragmented.

These, I think, are the things that will improve the story the most: that you consider which POVs you wish to tell the different parts from, and why you want to use that particular POV. And to look at how you structure the different episodes and POVs . Introducing Ron and his POV at the beginning, and then hardly return to him, does not work very well in my opinion. There are, however, many ways to deal with the problem, and you must choose which of them suits your story best.

Language, and related topics:

Your characters’ voices are good, when it comes to their actual speech. But when narrating, there is something that seems a little off to me, and I am not sure if I can identify what it is.

It is most noticeable in the second episode, where Hermione drags Ron into the passageway. Here their actions, or the narration of their actions, does not seem to fit with their speech. I think it is the narrative voice rather than what they do, that makes the scene slightly off. The narrator does not sound like Ron, and it is his POV.

Part of it might be technical. The structure of your sentences are sometimes unnecessary complicated, and sometimes just a bit boring. These two paragraphs are a good example:

“"He seems...somewhat...preoccupied, lately," Hermione said, first pulling away slightly, but then accepting his embrace and tucking her head under his chin. She sighed contently. "You have any clue?"

"Nope," Ron said, looking downward into his girlfriend's beautiful chocolate eyes. He closed his own eyes and leaned further forward, lips first.”

The first paragraph first:

The sentence following Hermione’s speech is unnecessary longwinded and a bit confusing since what she says and what she does not seem related, but rather contradictionary. If you split it up a bit more, it might make more sense. Full stops give the readers more time, suggesting a pause that is not only a pause for breath, but also a pause in the action, and an opportunity to change direction.

The same goes for Ron. While I do like the discrepancy between actions and the dialogue, and ambiguity you create with this, some editing will make it flow better.

There is another problem, though, and that is with the narrative voice, as I have commented on. Would Ron really think of Hermione’s eyes as “beautiful chocolate eyes”? It does not sound like something he would have said or thought. If you manage to let your narrative voice fit the POV character a bit more, then that will make the story better. You do this to some degree, but it is a point that can become even better, and I think the problem is most noticeable when Ron is POV character.

There was one more sentence I had some problem with, and that was in the last episode:

“Ten or eleven, perhaps, with sun-kissed red hair and mischievous hazel eyes, a mixture of Mum and Dad so evident that it made Harry's heart ache.”

It is a beautiful sentence, but the expression “sun-kissed red hair” and “mischievous hazel eyes” was a bit much for me. Again I could not quite believe that Harry would say/think something like that. I think it is the double description of hair/eyes that does is. We know the colour of her hair and eyes, you have told us often enough throughout the story. I think the sentence would read better if you dropped the reference to the colours, and ring more true.

In all, this is a very good story, and I think what you need to work with is not grammar and spelling – you are well beyond that boring stage – but to think through the structure of your story and the narrative voice when you tell form such different, but close POVs. When you are so close to the POV character, the narrative voice must fit the character in a much greater degree than when it is more distant.
1/30/2011 c1 1D.D. Century
This is a rather long story, so I will write a rather long review. I'll start by saying what I really liked about it, go on to say what I would have changed and finish it off by pointing out all the nitty gritty nuts and bolts type of stuff.

First of all I liked this story very much although it is longer than most fanfic I've read I never felt like it was a waste of my time. Your imagery had several moments that stood out as very good. For some reason describing Dumbledore's reaction as a slight widening of the eyes and narrowing of nostrils brings a very clear image to mind. Although "catching a subtle look of surprise" would have been fine you took it to a different level by really thinking about how people perceive one another physically. Your use of language often brought forth not only and image but a feeling as well. For example when "Marie pulled her wits back around her" the mental effort of recovering from a shock is brought to mind not, just looking at someone recovering form a shock. Your description of the concept of 'wing space' actually brought me back to my youth, recalling the feeling as I enjoyed jumping from a cliff top to a nearby tree or some other such fool things I did to shake my fist at limitations gravity put on me. It also stirred up feelings of longing for my rural and suburban upbringings in my now all to urban life. Marie and Rachel are both compelling creations.

Although I did enjoy the story very much there is a lot I would change about it. Your use of sections was a bit odd. Many of the shorter ones I felt could have been tagged on to another section, and some I felt didn't belong in this story at all. The only places they really worked well was when you changed to Rachel's perspective. As a matter of fact you could have used more of those to flesh out her character and her relationship with Marie who has great potential to be important to this story. Also, one scene with the expecting Mrs. Potter making her decision about Rachel would be fun to read. The section that stood out to me as one that just didn't belong in this story at all is the second one with Ron and Hermione. Remember that although Ron and Hermione are main characters in the books and movies, they are not in this story. I've only watched the movies, so a few things did stand out that I'm sure wouldn't have had I read the book. For example I can only assume that the NEWTS are like the OWLS from your story, and I really have no Idea who Shacklebolt is. You might wan to include a word or two giving them at least a bit of meaning for those of us who haven't read the books.

Now on to a few of the nitty gritty stuff I have to mention. 'Vault' really only means jumping. A ten year old girl can't vault over a 20ft wall. She could vault over the top of it, but she clearly climbed up to that point and after it. Also damn is a swear word, not a swear world. Other than that you're grammar and spelling is far better than mine.

One more obscure note. Relatively few snakes can see in the infrared spectrum, only three families if I remember correctly. Of course a 10 year old probably wouldn't have known this unless they wanted to be a herpetologist when they grew up like I did at that age. I'm also pretty sure Voldmort's snake was a python which is one of those families, so I don't really think you need to change your story at all I just thought you might like to know.
1/22/2011 c1 Cateagle
Poignant and sad, but very well written. Sometimes there's not a good choice, "just" a 'least-worst' choice. 'Tis a shame they could not be the family they should have been, but fate rolled the dice elsewise and Tom took his actions. I do suspect this increased Harry's animosity toward Tom.
11/3/2010 c1 8Mardigny
Heya Star.

You already know I read this and liked it, but I decided to reread it for fun. Luckily you're gonna be leaning towards shorter chappies now .

I still like it, although I'm not entirely sure I would have written Charlene as a horcrux. I think the story works without it. Meh well, what's written is written.Your choice worked out well with it, it's nothing that hurts it or anything. Again, the difference between us is stylistic.

"We're not as different as you think." :D

~Mardigny
10/23/2010 c1 21bigger infinities
Wow. I found this one-shot - if it really could be called that, it's quite long - after I found your other story, Mercenary, and this one is just as good. Again, this is a situation no one would have considered - or at least, no one would have considered making Harry's sister a Death Eater. You have very good grammar and everything, which I have noticed the greater fanfiction is lacking, and the whole thing was just amazing. Both of your stories I've read have that dark feel about them, and really like it for some reason. Again, this was beatfully done, and I really like it.
5/10/2010 c1 sa
nice stor..but an unhappy 1

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