Reviews For A Proper Epilogue
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.04.22 - 07:15AM Title: Chapter 14 - The Aftermath
Feel the need for a quick apology for having halted the flow of reviews so abruptly a while back. Things got unremittingly busy for quite a stretch, though now I've found a bit of a respite and have been back to reading and even a bit of writing.
Interesting chapter, with much of it spanning mere seconds, and the whole thing covering at most maybe 10 minutes? A hallmark of a writer who sees the drama in the instant-to-instant shifts of a character's perception, and whose epics span weeks rather than decades :)
You captured the drama very well. My one constructive criticism would be that while there has been foreboding throughout the prior chapters that point to this, the foreboding could have been more surgically aligned to the key themes that emerge in crisis. The key question a writer needs to attend to in writing crises is how much perspective emerges as a sudden flash of insight at the last minute, versus how much has been gradually building through the prior story.
For example, Draco has come across as a bit aimless prior to this, but I think that you may have waited too long to have him realise outright how he is the non-master of his destiny. I think the catastrophe on the rooftop would have come across more powerfully if earlier chapters had revealed not just his obliviousness, but perhaps a bit more guilt and self-doubt. If he had been led a bit earlier to begin pondering the value of developing a backbone, the crisis here would have all the more of an "Oh Sh*t" impact.
A bit more wrenching yet is the question of whether to have had Ginny developing a bit more of a relationship with her nascent being within. Some writers could have built up this scene even more by having had Ginny experience more of the introspective communication with her unborn that some mothers have. Or you could leave it as is. Depends on how rough you want to be with your audience.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm always pleased to receive your reviews, and I appreciate your willingness to take the time and energy to provide meaningful critiques. I think you are precisely on target about my failure to develop the relationship between Ginny and her unborn child. There are several reasons for that, not that these were conscious actions (or inactions) on my part. Looking back, I would make the change you are suggesting. Now, as for Draco ... I had problems writing this character because I never saw him much of a backbone in canon. Even on Platform 9-3/4 in the Epilogue of DH, what little we see of him is still the flashy faux-aristocrat! Either that, or I can't help reading him that way! LOL! Anyway, back on point, I wanted to leave his actions conflicted. Did he Apparate to his father's side to stop Lucius from killing Harry or to stop Pansy from intervening with the plan? I don't think even Draco knew what he intended to do once he reached the rooftop. To mean, his nature is to keep his options open without fail so he can continue to try to identify whatever will eventually be best for him. Does that make sense? Your observation of him being non-master of his destiny is exactly right, but he doesn't realize it in my world, at least. He continues to think he can control things even when they are spinning wildly out of control. So I'm not sure he would ever wonder about his failure to develop some backbone. Even at Malfoy Manor, when he simultaneously does and does not identify Harry, he appears to be lost -- "What is better for me?" -- Not, "What is morally right?" So, I'm going to reflect on your comments about Draco! Maybe it is my own ambivalence about the character. Perhaps I can put this into some context. While I was in seminary, one of my classmates was a generally nice guy when things were running smoothly, but in the face of tension, he would shift into a viciously defensive posture. Then, once the conflict was resolved,instead of apologizing for his behavior, he would rationalize it. "I am the adult shild of an alcoholic," he would say. The implication being that this fact explained why he behaved the way he did while justifying it in the same breath. That is Draco in so many ways. He truly is master of nothing, in my humble (or not so humble) opinion. Anyway, that's why I wrote him the way I did, for good or bad! Yes to his sense of self-doubt! I'm not sure about him ever having a sense of guilt. Finally, and I apologize for babbling on, it's entirely possible that I failed in my attempt to characterize Draco's conflicted response. Some people seem to think I was indicting him while others thought I was trying to redeem him. I was not trying to redeem him and my indictment was limited to his failure to discern that there is a moral choice available, not just an expeditious one! Thank you so much for continuing to read and review my work!
Reviewer: hawkeye2008 Signed Date: 2017.04.21 - 09:12AM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Great connecting story, will there be another story to connect from here to the 19 years later? Cheers
Reviewer: hawkeye2008 Signed Date: 2017.04.17 - 04:06AM Title: Chapter 11 - Exploration and Discovery
Reviewer: hawkeye2008 Signed Date: 2017.04.16 - 10:17PM Title: Chapter 10 - Contrasts and Surprises
Reviewer: hawkeye2008 Signed Date: 2017.04.16 - 09:32PM Title: Chapter 9 - Divergent Reunions
Reviewer: hawkeye2008 Signed Date: 2017.04.16 - 04:00PM Title: Chapter 8 - Putting Things to Rest
Reviewer: hawkeye2008 Signed Date: 2017.04.13 - 10:52PM Title: Chapter 1 - Unforseen Options
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.03.12 - 01:20AM Title: Chapter 13 - The Wedding
A fine chapter -- the crux that we've been anticipating, n'est ce pas? You've done an exceptional job of Pansy's character; she remains far from admirable, however you have completed her ascent into 'humanity', in a manner that is very different, but comparably plausible, to the way Rowling engineered Snape.
In response to your comments from last chapter, where you asked for thoughts on how to improve the non-verbal prose, and I do have an example to share here. It involves the section beginning with "Draco was beside himself..." where you commit a classic violation of the show, don't tell admonition that has gained rightful favour in creative writing circles now. It's a sin we have all committed in our haste to get through a section. Sometimes it's permissible, but some instances are more problematic than others -- especially when a passage either describes intense emotions, or is intended to evoke such feeling. This is definitely such a passage.
Consider each of these phrases: "Draco was beside himself", "his mind was in overdrive", "Draco was in unfamiliar territory", "the thought... wasn't sitting well". In each of these, you sound like a psychiatrist devolving a psychoanalysis, but what the sharpest writers do is let the readers be the psychoanalysts. In doing so -- by explicitly voicing Draco's disturbed, distraught scatter of thoughts, and by showing his agitated, distracted actions -- you likely could left the readers to shake their heads and mutter, "Oi mate. That boy is some piece of work!"
Anyway, I'm sure attentive readers could pinpoint dozens of comparable opportunities that I too have missed in my own stories, although as time goes on I believe I'm getting better at sensing those chances to pluck the reader's emotions. Live (and write) and learn, I guess.
Author's Response: Thanks so much, especially fir the specifics! You're right, of course, and I appreciate you for pointing these things out!
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.03.06 - 07:24PM Title: Chapter 12 - Plotting and Planning
An observation through twelve chapters, and well exemplified in this one -- your writing is at its best in dialogue. By dialogue, I will also include silent monologue, which you have a penchant for.
Anyway, your spoken prose is more natural than most that I've seen in FF, and the words themselves, even devoid of attributive clauses, carry a lot of emotional weight.
Generally, I'd say that your third-person-omniscient descriptive passages and your nonverbal exchanges lag a bit behind your strength, but we all have our own hills to climb. My Mont Blanc (or bete noire) are the 'openings' -- how to set the tone and pull a reader in...
Ah well, another chapter enjoyed!
Author's Response: Thanks for your thoughts and insights. Would you please add a little more detail as to what you thin is missing in my non-dialogue centered prose? That may be too much to ask, as it is hard to do briefly, but I'd love the critique! Is it too stiff? For example, I don't mind using some colloquialisms in dialogue, but can't bring myself to do so in the prose sections!
Reviewer: carolyn jinn Signed Date: 2017.03.06 - 06:02AM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.03.04 - 06:55PM Title: Chapter 11 - Exploration and Discovery
Wonderful job with the first letter -- an exquisitely sensible, yet sensitive, communication from across the decades. I also was moved by Harry's short retrospective immediately after reading the letter -- a fine touch which shows an excellent reading of canon.
No complaints at all about the rest of the chapter either -- the healing progresses in earnest, in a measure of the very 'British' cultural sensibility you're drawing on. In this, I refer to a land that had seen, over its centuries, much tragedy, and an equal amount of resilient recovery. To say that 'life goes on' is not to require that it be drear and brooding...
Reviewer: GHL Signed Date: 2017.03.02 - 02:15AM Title: Chapter 10 - Contrasts and Surprises
Ah. It's a sign of adept writing to be able to take a sexual episode and make it uniformly unpleasant, unattractive and unsalacious. You did say you had a reason for it, and apart from setting the obvious contrast, I assume you're setting the stage for what we all know canonically -- that Draco and Pansy have no future.
While the writing itself is skilled, and I can sense how each scene is a stone within this pyramidal narrative you're building, it was a little unfortunate to juxtapose this particular Harry/Ginny scene immediately after the Draco/Pansy encounter. It's a bit difficult to shift gears between the morbid and the vital, and it robbed a bit of the zest from the final announcement.
In fact, I wonder how much you might gain by simply swapping those two scenes? That way, you don't taint the stirring moment, and you may get even more contrast in showing just how sordid and unloving the Draco/Pansy tryst is. You would lose the cliff-hanger moment, perhaps, although SIYE readers have roasted me for cliff-hangers before, so that might not be a net loss.
Anyway, I continue to enjoy the story and am grateful you brought it here! Hoping that these comments are just taken as constructive thoughts.
Author's Response: Thank you for the interesting analysis! I do take it constructively and will look at it later today.
Reviewer: ellen Signed Date: 2017.02.28 - 01:47PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Firstly, I apologise for not leaving about 20 five star reviews along the way. I kept opening the site with good intentions, only to find a new chapter to read, and it was too tempting. This has been a really lovely story and I especially liked the balance you achieved in Harry and Ginny's relationship. You have a real talent for writing dialogue which truly brings your characters to life, and in all the many HP stories I have read there hasn't previously been one that realistically portrayed Pansy as capable of coming good. Thanks for a great story which I will definitely be rereading in its entirety, and I do hope there will be a sequel in the future.
Reviewer: indywriter Signed Date: 2017.02.26 - 02:23AM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
It's over???? Nooooooooo!
Reviewer: Aurorofthelight Signed Date: 2017.02.25 - 11:40PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Wonderful ending to a wonderful story! A new little bun in the oven for the Potters! You must have ESP - I had thought 3 chapters ago that Charlie would be a good match for Pansy! Good to know they got the Parkinsons- or did they?! Really loved this story top to bottom!
Reviewer: Aurorofthelight Signed Date: 2017.02.25 - 11:27PM Title: Chapter 21 - And Two Shall Become One
Sparkling little chapter with the wedding, wedding night and Harry and Ginny going off the wagon! Interesting that Pansy is working for the Potters! She deserves a break! Thanks for another quick update! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Reviewer: hpforever85 Signed Date: 2017.02.25 - 09:54PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Reviewer: ngayonatkailanman Signed Date: 2017.02.25 - 02:57PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Harry and I are going to be parents. This is the best one line ..... EVER. This line is genius at work. Well done, you for completing a rather LONG.... very LONG epilogue. What a brilliant idea. Now, a sequel would be really great as you have proven to be a competent writer.
Reviewer: skiutahnum1 Signed Date: 2017.02.25 - 02:55PM Title: Chapter 22 - Epilogue
Oh dear and she was playing in the last game....not cool.....as for them finnaly starting the family they wanted is a good thing....kutgw
Reviewer: skiutahnum1 Signed Date: 2017.02.25 - 02:38PM Title: Chapter 21 - And Two Shall Become One
Please ginny hex ron one more time for good measure....kutgw