|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Egads! I have made it intact, indeed. Oh, my sides. They need sewing up from all this laughter! First, can I say that I absolutely adored the verbiage and verbosity of your opening author's note?
Ah, the wit and the lightness of tone of this piece. I love it, and I love how the eccentricity of the language really reflected on Newt's oddball personality. To be honest, I wasn't too keen on reading too many entries for the Vocab Challenge, simply because some of the words assigned were just...impossible to incorporate smoothly into a narrative (least that's what I thought until I read your entry). Some of the words sounded like they were obsolete words, and others wouldn't have fitted too well with the natural rhythms of dialogue, or contemporary language. I skimmed through a couple of the other entries, and while they were really well-written, the assigned words really stuck out like broken bones. But for your story, I really admire how you've bent and molded the entire narrative and the language of your story and fitted them around those words. Also, your use of humour and the fact that the narrative does not take itself too seriously really really contributed to the success of this story - and it is a huge success.
The use of dialogue here is particularly effective, and the fact that you crafted the entire story as one long conversation was a really good decision, as it really enabled you to explore and exploit the language and fit those words in. I mean, it would have been rather strange and disruptive to the flow of the story if you were writing a fast-paced action scene using words like "apricity" or "tintinnabulation" :D
And now, the characters. You've done an outstanding job with this. Oh, you've really really brought the idiosyncratic and outlandish Newt Scamander alive in my mind. You've fleshed him out so well, with his beliefs, and his attitudes toward his family (wife, sons and grandson), and the quirks of his old age and most importantly, the attention to detail. The whole bit of him fiddling around with his pressure points (and hitting the wrong spots) is just brilliantly funny. The opening paragraph with his observation of his wife "...at ninety-eight, she looked amazing, especially when she wasn't in focus"...THIS. HILARIOUS I TELL YOU. You're too witty for your own good :p And of course, Newt using a telescope as a substitute for his missing spectacles :DD OK, but the eccentricity is not all. You've done a fabulous job depicting the relationship between him and Beau and Richard, as well as Beau's relationship with his own son, Rolf, even though the latter never featured in this story. I really appreciated the whole "rebel son about to be one-upped by a rebel grandson" thing, making things very convenient for Newt indeed :) Beneath all the humour and the wit there is a very realistic depiction of parenting experiences and the gap between generations. You've handled all that so well. I also enjoyed the contrasting characters of Beau and Richard: Beau as the Galleon-minded one with business acumen and not a lot of patience for his father's oddities, and Richard as the more sympathetic son.
One other thing I really enjoyed about your story was how you fitted it in with canon. The whole expedition thing with the candidates...of course it will probably be a setup to Luna and Rolf's eventual involvement with each other! I love how you've foreshadowed this!
And you've also really really gone into so much detail when it came to describing the affairs of the wizarding world. There's the mundane and bureaucratic side of it, and then there's the whole bit about Magizoology. And Magizoology is not just a term you picked up from canon and threw it in...you really showed me that you knew what you were talking about and you wrote Newt as a naturalist with a preoccupation with Environmental Preservation so convincingly. Guess what, you picked the perfect person to request a review from because I work/used to work in the field of conservation ecology. I can SO relate to this, and how projects and research is entirely dependent on external funding and grants (I am currently unemployed because there is no funding at the moment for my research group :((( ). And then there were bits like this: "...her treatise on the connection between the dwindling Plimy population and a sudden rise in the use of Vanishing spells along the banks of the North and South Tyne is very convincing.". And also: ...Rolf had been doing field research on a little-known medicinal plant that only grew in Giant droppings and had isolated the source of a mysterious ailment that had been adversely affecting the Welsh Pixies for over half a century. When Richard read to him the entry regarding Rolf's involvement in the campaign against the habitat destruction of the Scandinavian River Troll...
My goodness. BRILLIANT. You've taken all that boring Muggle stuff and given them a wizarding twist and they WORK. I AM FAVOURITING THIS STORY RIGHT NOW.
OK, well, running out of characters so I'll address your concern in your request - that is whether the words used were too over-the-top and detracted from the piece. Honestly, there are certainly going to be places where bits don't really fit together. There are some parts where the words are a little too clustered, and the narrative does begin to get a bit cumbersone e.g. consortium from the Ministry would be arriving in the coming crepuscular hours, and Mrs. Scamander was determined to be a xenial hostess for the evening. Newt sat back, pulled out of his reverie by the idoneous reminder. Words like "consortium" "crepuscular", "xenial" and "idoneous" - all of them awkward sounding should be spaced out a little more, IMO. You might have to go through sections of your story to make sure not too many of these words are clustered together, but are peppered evenly throughout the narrative.
OK, that's all -teh
Author's Response: Oh my! I didn't expect so much praise and adulation, but I'll take it! :)
If I had known about your background, I would have haunted you for beta work on this... ;)
I was half-tempted to do a little 500 word thing and cram as many underused words in to each sentence as I could, but in the end I didn't want to seem too... whatever I would have seemed like if I had done that.
Would it interest you if I mentioned that I have this Luna story in my head and I'm slowly building up background for it? I still have a lot of questions that I have to answer before I get started with it. Writing this piece allowed me to explore a few options I had been toying with. I'm so glad you found the characters, particularly Newt, to be fleshed out enough that you got a feel for him and his attitudes. And I'm doubly pleased, particularly with your background, that you found the research and Magizoology bits believable and engaging.
I was slightly concerned about clustering those words, as you pointed out. But there at the end, I was trying to fit in as many of them as I could, just for fun. I'll have to go back in a little while and see if I can smooth those sections out a bit more, now that I'm not on a deadline for the challenge. When I finished this, I really liked the plot points and the characters too.
I hope that funding comes through for your research team soon. I can imagine how frustrating it is to have to wait around for the stars to align so you can get back to your important work. In the meantime, do you have any thoughts on Magizoology?
Thanks so much for your fantastic review and favoriting of my quirky story!!