Reviewer: zequist Signed
2011.08.17 - 01:49AM
Thank you for posting this, and congrats on getting your first one out there! It was a nice, tender moment-in-time between our favorite couple. Not much happens, but sometimes life gives you a night like that and you capture the mood of one of those nights very well.
Positives: You did a nice job here of setting the tone, mood, and location. It was easy from your descriptions to place myself in the kitchen, watching them dance around each other while the weather plays its song outside.
You also have a pretty good ear for dialogue, the way that people talk to each other and especially the way that Harry and Ginny would talk to each other. None of their lines felt forced or out of character, nothing that made me stop and go, "wait a sec, Harry wouldn't say that." That's often a challenge for a first time writer, and you handled it very well.
Suggestions: One of the most important skills in short story writing, and one of the hardest to master, is being concise. With a short story you only have so many words to get from point A to point B, and every last little detail you include should add something to the story. There were some extraneous details here you could have left out (like Ron's auror training) that don't really add anything to Harry and Ginny's moment, and in a few places actually end up breaking the flow a bit. There are also a few things that could have been expanded or explored further if you were worried that it was getting too short - like adding more detail to the lakeside flashback scene, or maybe Ginny flicks on the wireless in the kitchen at a low volume and turns their mock-dance into a real dance. It's true that economy is less important in an online site like this where you don't generally have word limits, but when you're submitting your short stories to New Yorker and Harper's someday you will have a limit, so it's best to develop good habits early.
Flow is another thing, and that will come to you with time and practice. Your flow here is mostly fine, but like I said there are a few places where it breaks down a bit. Something I've always suggested to new short story writers is to read their work out loud to themselves, and listen carefully to how the words actually sound. Sometimes words that make sense inside your head turn into a confusing jumble on the page. That breaks the reader's flow, because they then have to stop and decipher what you're trying to say. Reading your words back verbally is a good way to catch some of those.
My last suggestion is to find yourself an experienced beta reader for your next fic, someone who is able to read your first drafts with the eye of an editor and make suggestions for things that you could add or re-work to improve the story, as well as being able to help you catch any grammar/spelling/punctuation mistakes and some of those canon/continuity errors that other reviewers are pointing out. A good beta reader is worth their weight in gold - I always feel much more comfortable posting something when I know that it's been beta'ed first; even most experienced writers will still tell you how much they love getting feedback from their beta (or editor, if they are professionally published). SIYE has a whole list of experienced beta readers who are also site members and would be more than willing to help you out. Just click on "extras" under the top banner up there, and you'll see a link to the beta directory.
Here's hoping to see more H/G from you down the road!
Reviewer: potterfan2008 Signed
2011.08.15 - 06:52PM
I can appreciate that this is your first story and it takes a lot of courage to publish your first story. However, there didn't really seem to be much of a plot to the story or if there was I got distracted by the very long run on sentences and facts that don't make sense. The spelling and grammar need a lot of work. The facts of your story don't make sense - Ginny couldn't have NEWTs after not going back to school (which is what you are implying) and six months after the battle Harry would be 18 not 19. It just makes it seem kind of lazy if you can't get the facts correct.