hey it's Whiskey, back for another review!
I found that this chapter read well, had a great build-up and never failed to entertain. But what bothered me was how it just didn't seem to fit into the Harry Potter world.
In fact, it reminded me of a Hollywood movie. Particularly something along the lines of The Devil Wears Prada or Post Grad or something in that direction. I don't watch many such movies, so I can't name a better example, but you know the ones I mean: Fast-talking characters, many jump-cuts of busy New York streets, clean white offices, lots of coffee in take away cups, everyone is hot and ambitious with nothing but a short list of obvious character traits to define them, the main character is awkward but relatable and is in the process of finding herself, etc.
Although I am not a tyranical canon-enforcer (my own stories deviate to the point of leaving out entire characters), I still love the world that J.K.R. has created and I come to this site to find out more about it. It doesn't take away from the quality of a fic if you don't stick to the original feeling, but I would still like to point out that, in this story, I really missed the magic and the cozy, time-less village feeling that the HP books offered. Although we never find out what the "big world" after Hogwarts looks like, we know a little bit about what it might entail. Both the Ministry and Diagon Alley, among other locations, retained the same mixture of harmless makabre, medieval oddness and mystery that Hogwarts did. I didn't see any of that in your presentation of the Witch Weekly offices. Is it a magical, chaotic place like some Ministry departments? Or maybe a sparkling wonderland of femininity, full of odd gadgets, racks with the craziest of clothing and shocking posters? Or, if it is intended to seem abysmal and boring, is it dark and littered with lifeless stacks of papers, covered in coffee stains and housing strange creatures? Basically, what is the palce like and how does it represent the life of the people who inhabit it? And where are the typical loveable lunatics that J.K. filled her world with so very generously?
This is really my only critique. It seems serious because I spent so much space in this review talking about it, but honestly it's not a problem at all, but more a matter of taste. I am no specialist the romantic-comedy genre that this chapter seems to make use of, so I really can't say any more about it. I felt like it flowed well and set up the scene for some interesting development. My only advice would be to add more magic ;)
I will review the next chapter, but it might take me some time to get to it. I hope you didn't find that this review was discouraging and feel free to P.M. me if anything was unclear.
Author's Response: Whaaat, a review I didn't have to *request?!* This is so exciting! :)
I agree that my story totally deviates from HP canon, and I'm sad to say that I totally love that world you described XD I'm actually aiming to become a part of it professionally. I just wanted to go for something different, which I also did in my story The Wild by turning pureblooded society into a Victorian-esque society. I like to take canon and play with it. I really do like your suggestions for better describing the Witch Weekly office, though. Description of location is something I often forget to focus on, and my description of Mr. Ward's office was a conscious effort to offer more of that (and I hope also reminiscent of canon with the moving photographs, owls darting in and out, and papers that file themselves).
I really appreciate your critique, though, and honestly I have to agree with you. The scene in the "break room" especially was too Muggle-ish for me, but I was more concerned with other aspects of the story to focus on that. So thanks for poking me and getting me motivated! I am in the process of editing chapter four for the zillionth time right now, and as soon as I'm done I will go back and take a look at Witch Weekly. :D
I actually my PM you indeed, you have scared me with the "hot and ambition with nothing but a short list of obvious character traits to define them" bit, as I'm terrified of creating a two-dimensional OC. ;)
Thanks for the CC!