Here I am, with your final review of this set! :)
I love how Hermione's portrayed in this. She's just so... well, Hermione. She's stuck-up, a bit of a know-it-all, and refuses to break the rules (or in this case, the instructions). It's a really accurate portrayal of her Sorcerer's Stone character. Which makes canon-loving me very happy. :)
Snape's also an interesting character here. He's very true to Rowling's description of him, and I can clearly see him doing everything you have written. His behaviour really makes me wonder if he'd be any different if Morgan were a Slytherin. Nonetheless, I wonder if he knew what he was doing in giving Morgan a book that dangerous.
Speaking of which, I like the slight parallel between Morgan and Snape, in that both of them learned the Dark Arts at a young age, and now Morgan's his student and comes to him for information.
Also, speaking of parallels (I'm drawing all sorts of connections...), is Morgna by chance supposed to be similar to Morgan le Fay? I started thinking about that as when one of the twins called her Fay, but I can already see some similarities, in that both stir up some trouble.
Ah, Fred and George. I think they're fantastic, because they add a bit of comic relief to an otherwise serious story. They also bring out a different side of Morgan, one that's a little weaker. First, with the prank on the train, and now, she's worried she can't come up with an answer.
I also think it's hilarious that she keeps pranking them. I think it'll be hilarious to know what comes out of the twins attempting to scrape a painting.
Also, this line - "She impaled another tomato and idly hoped that the twins wouldn't die." - is brilliant. It's subtly comical, and wraps up the scene really nicely.
The descriptions throughout this chapter were great, and it was pretty easy to envision everything. One little thing I noticed is that Snape requested an essay by word count, and I think they typically do it by inches or rolls of parchment. That might just add a little more canonical accuracy, if you're aiming for that. :)
Another excellent chapter, and feel free to re-request for more when there's a slot available! :)
-ShadowRose (Taylor) Report Review
Hi there, I'm here with the second review of the three!
I think it's really interesting how you put Morgan into Gryffindor, considering what's going to happen in her future and all. I also think it's interesting that Morgan's parents were no longer considered candidates to join the Death Eaters after Morgan was sorted into Gryffindor, because it just shows how strongly the House system affects everyone. You actually have a lot of potential to make some strong social commentary on the Houses and the like, and I really hope you take advantage of it! :)
Now that I think about it, you've already started that at the end of this chapter. The ending, where you talk about how, if her Sorting had gone differently, this could have all been avoided, is extremely powerful. It'll be really interesting to see how you plan on developing the influence Gryffindor will have on her, because it seems as though it will most likely be negative.
One thing I realized as I was reading this is that your narration style is really interesting, given that the narrator already knows the future, and can add in these really poignant comments occasionally, reminding the reader that yes, this young 11-year-old will someday become an extremely evil witch.
I like the scene between Theo and Morgan a lot. Theo is very typical of a boy with his parentage, and it shows in his actions and the way he behaves. It's also fun to see Morgan take on that more child-like attitude again, because it creates this lovely contrast between her youth and the evil brewing inside of her.
That last phrase was extremely fun to use.
One thing that I noticed is that right at the end, the narrator says, "But we digress." That may have been an error, or it may have been intentional, but I really like how it sounds like multiple voices are telling the story. It's almost reminiscent of the Fates. Wow, random mythology reference there...
My one little tidbit of constructive criticism is this: I really wish Theo could have been described a little more. We don't really know what he looks like, which makes it harder for the reader to envision the scene. Of course, it's not impossible, but it just makes everything just a little bit sharper. :)
Overall, this is another great developing chapter, and it'll be interesting to see how you build on it!
-ShadowRose (Taylor) Report Review
I'm here with your requested review! (Yes finally, two weeks later...)
I specifically didn't review the first chapter, like you asked, but I do think it was a great introduction to the story and gives the reader a sense of what the story's going to be about.
The descriptive section at the beginning kind of continues that whole feeling, and Morgan's still characterized as this darker character. I also like how the scene with Fred and George mixes this up a little.
Speaking of that scene, it really brings out another side of Morgan, one that is childish and playful, as seen in her enthusiastic reaction to her ideas. It really shows her as being more human than she was portrayed in the beginning, because no little girl is truly completely cold - there's always some of that childlike wonder. I also think that's continued when Fred and George play that prank on her, and she runs and cries in the bathroom. Even though she's a independent person, she's still, to an extent, dependent on other people's approval, much like a normal little girl would be.
One thing that I feel needed explaining was the fact that Morgan did put on some sort of makeup, because I was a little confused as to why they were freaking out that she was blue at first, because I had no idea where it cam from. Even if you just added something like, "She had just the right supplies for it too, right inside her makeup bag." after the words "... she was struck with an idea." That's just my suggestion, though.
I also love that she pranked them back, because it ends up proving some of the character traits described in the first paragraph. She doesn't like being seen as weak, and certainly doesn't like losing.
FAVOURITE LINE: "The female species has more secrets than we ever knew, eh Fred?" It's just so typical of something the twins would say.
I'm actually really interested to see how this story develops, and get to know all of the characters. It has a lot of potential already, so it'll be great to see how it builds. :)
-ShadowRose (Taylor) Report Review
Hi, here from review tag, not that I needed an excuse to come back and read more of your story!! :)
I actually quite like the relationship Hermione and Morgan have. It reminds me so much of the Hermione from PS, who pretty much gets forgotten about when she gets more bearable in later books. I'm really curious to see how you'll develop Hermione in this story: if Morgan's presence means that she won't become friends with Harry and Ron, and how this will alter her character as we know her from HP. Oh, and Hogwarts, a History was a great touch.
I love this part: "There is a protection act against the use of reptiles with particularly high grease levels!" Morgan announced, holding back a laugh. "I think I'll write about that... Snape is bound to relate to it..." Witty Snape bashing always makes me laugh (not that I don't love Snape, of course!).
I still really like your narrator's voice and warnings about Morgan, and the fact that George is suspicious of her. It's interesting if the twins have different opinions of her, and I wonder if something will happen between Fred and Morgan in the future. I've never read a story where someone manages to come between the Weasley twins, but think it's a unique idea to explore and to give each twin more of an individual personality.
Aw, poor Morgan just wants to be normal! Also, while I still love your glimpses of the future of Morgan, I wonder if you're going to disclose any of her future actions and what makes her so dark? Even if it were just a few sentences hinting at some dark thing she does that correlates somehow with the events of the chapter: I think it would round out the statements about Morgan's future darkness a little more, and give the reader an image of her to grasp onto, even if the most important parts of the story are in the present. Again, just an idea that occurred to me! :)
Keep up the great work, and I can't wait to read more!! :)Author's Response: Hai! Welcome back :D
When I came up with this idea, I actually had no plan for Morgan and Hermione (there was more of a Morgan versus Harry thing which is yet to come ;)). But as soon as I pictured the 11-year-old Morgan in Hogwarts, Hermione just popped up at her side. Weird kids band together, after all - but not always smoothly.
I'm glad you mentioned inserting some flash-forwards. I like how you pick up on these things, because that's exactly the structure this novel is intended to fall into, but only a bit later. There will be a tiiiny flash-forward in the following chapter, but the rest will have to wait. I'm actually quite impatient to write those parts, but they won't make much sense unless I first set up some crucial events. So for a while longer, the ominous voice will do waht it does best, namely reveal nothing, haha :D
Thanks for stopping by again. As soon as chapter 8 is up, I'll head over to your request thread! Report Review
Hi!! Review Tag!
The first few paragraphs are really spellbinding and chilling. It suggests so much for this Morgan's life, and suggests that she will have a life that impacts the Wizarding World on a Voldemortian scale (see what I did there?) and not in a good way.
You write with a really good sense of coldness and distance, which really gives it the tone and atmosphere it needs while not being shallow or bland. You have a poetic quality also which makes it really nice to read :)
Good cliffhanger, and lots of intrigue about what's to come- the qualities you definetely need for an opening chapter/prologue :)
Great job! Report Review
I'm back!! :)
Okay, so I love how Hermione is portrayed. She is exactly Hermione from Philosopher's Stone: a pompous little perfectionist who nags everyone. I could practically hear that little bushy-haired girl chiming in my head.
Snape is great too, he's so passive-aggressive and constantly irritated and it made me laugh. I wonder if he would have treated Morgan differently if she was in Gryffindor?
I'm going through a minor crisis of whether I like Morgan or not. While she's supposed to turn into some dark force, I find her feisty personality relatively likeable. I think this is what you're trying to do, however: write a balanced story that encourages readers to think about what it means to be good or evil and the little details that go into mediating these binaries. It's really cool, and you've done a great job with creating a rounded character who develops even more with each chapter.
Also, I was wondering if your story will allude to the story of Morgan le Fay, judging by the choice of Morgan's name and perhaps how George said "Thank Fay!" Also, since your title is "Underwater Morgana," all kinds of ideas and symbols revolving around the mischievous Morgan from the Arthur tales began floating around in my head!
One tiny little CC, and I'm really searching here, is that usually at Hogwarts they'd get assigned essays by inches of parchment or rolls of parchment, not by words, so you could consider changing that when Snape assigns Morgan the essay. Really though, I wish I could give more helpful advice but your story is so very well-written and doesn't really need any! :)
Anyway, this was another great chapter, and I'm still very excited to see where this story is going. Keep up the lovely writing and feel free to re-request!!!Author's Response: Haiii!
YES! yes there will be Morgan le Fay! So happy you picked up on these little hints :D
...Well, ok, it's going to be my own, slightly whacked interpretation, but the Arthurian Morgan le Fay has been bent out of shape countless times before, so why not again, right?
I'm glad you found Snape and Hermione believable! And as to Snape's treatment of Morgan - knowing him, I'm sure Morgan would not have gotten away with being such a brat no matter what house she was in, haha
Minor crisis? hurrah, goal achieved :D It may sound like I want to torture my readers, but I was going for exactly this. You put it very well when you mentioned escaping binaries and exploring the details that connect them. That's basically what this story is about: Morgan being pushed back and forth by the different forces she enounters in her life, taking in the good and the bad, and giving out her own, twisted but legitimate interpretaion. It's basically one big ode to relativity :P The most unsettling thing, after all, is the kind that doesn't conform to a neat and familiar pattern.
As to your CC - *facepalm* ugh,of course! These details are important and I always get sad when other writers forget to make Hogwarts sound magical - how could I forget in my own story?
Thank you, again, for all of your wonderful reviews! They are really appreciated and made me super happy :D You'll be seeing more of my requests for sure! Report Review
Hi, so I'm back to review the next chapter of your fascinating story!!!
I think its so interesting that Morgan is in Gryffindor, especially with what you've revealed about her future. Your story just enhances the point that not all Slytherins are bad and not all bad guys are Slytherins, and I'm excited to read how you develop Morgan as a Gryffindor who went wrong.
Again, I love your use of the narrative voice of... third person omniscient? Haha, my technical English terms are not up to par, but the narrator who already knows all about Morgan and gives the reader little hints. This really gives your story a unique voice. For example, I loved the line:
"In the years to come, Morgan would often lock eyes with this boy as the two passed each other in a corridor or settled down on opposite sides of a classroom. Something unspoken would always remain between them." It was the perfect way to transition from Morgan's Sorting to her memories, and gently reminded the reader that the future is already set.
The idea of the former Death Eaters scoping out Morgan's family was very well described, and I thought it was interesting how they chose not to recruit the family because their daughter was a Gryffindor. I guess that shows how important house division was to them, and it will be interesting to see how Morgan breaks those down or conforms to them when she becomes a dark witch.
The anecdote with Theo was actually pretty cute, in a haughty eleven year old kind of way! I like how you've set up his role in her life and hinted at how this affected the way she's turned out. I'm also intrigued to learn more about Theo and what he actually thinks about Morgan!
In your request you asked about pace and flow. Although the last few chapters have been about setting up the characters and context, I think you've still done an excellent job with building the plot at a natural rate and holding the reader's interest. You're very talented with intercutting background and character action/dialogue, so I wouldn't worry about the flow at all! :) For example, this chapter was perfect in the way that it set up the Sorting, which is an important part of every young wizard's life, but also especially relevant to her future and to her rapport with Theo, so even though not a lot of actual time passed within the chapter it was important for the story.
On to review the next chapter now!! :)Author's Response: hey again! :D
Yes, it's very important for Morgan to be in Gryffindor! I've set my sights high, but I want to try and transcend/criticize the entire house system with this story. Let's see how messy that gets, but it's worth a try :P
As to the Death Eater scouting - I've actually often wondered if the pure blood families might have some sort of custom for quickly integrating new families into the existing social environment - sort of like Hogwarts does with the house system. Imagine how difficult it would be to keep up the polarazied political environment of wizarding Britain if one could chose to be not care about these conflicts?
Ah, Theo...That scene was such a pain to write. I cannot possibly remember what it was like to be 11 and to have a crush! But I do recall it being very confusing :P
Theo is an interesting and mysterious character in the books...which gives a writer lots of freedom to experiment. It's nice to finally get the chance to involve him in a story. As to what he thinks of Morgan, well...I suppose you'd have to read on to find out ;)
Thank you for your comments about the flow and the effect of tha narration. My greatest fear is that the story may be much too slow and heavy to keep the reader entertained while I set up all the necessary plot-lines. If you think that so far the style seems to work, then I'll rest assured :)
Hello, back for your next review!
You certainly did not disappoint after the exciting first chapter! I loved the scene with the twins, and I think they'll add a balance of humour to your story which otherwise seems rather dark and pensive so far. I thought the twins were personified perfectly: how they play off each other, but also have their own personalities ad interactions. Poor Morgan, I can understand why she was so upset, even though it was pretty typical Weasley twin behaviour. I loved the line:
"The female species has more secrets than we ever knew, eh Fred?"
I'm interested to know if Morgan will help them with other products for WWW, since she seems to have an aptitude for creating things.
Another great line was:
"Soon Morgan was giggling like a normal little girl, happy to get attention from older boys and letting the excitement go to her head."
This really shows the depth of her character, and how she is easily manipulated and emotional just like any little girl. This is a good example of showing, not telling, the reader what a character is like, and letting the reader come to conclusions in their own head. However, I'm not sure if the word "normal" quite works, as it hasn't yet been completely established (at least for me), that she is exactly abnormal, and normal is a relative term. Maybe "carefree" or "careless" or even "any other little girl" ?
You have some amazing descriptions here as well, like when the blood is coming off her face. It's clear that you put a lot of thought into your word choice and descriptions, and it really pays off. :)
There was something I was confused about, the first being how old Morgan is in relation to Harry and the gang. For some reason from the first chapter I got the impression that Malfoy and Theo were already at least second-years, but then I figured it out when F&G were revealed as third years. Maybe that was just me, though! :)
Also, I really liked the characterization at the beginning when the narrator was talking about Morgan's past, especially the line about how she would go home and feel alone. I know that she's a diverse person with complicated feelings, but I did find that section a little confusing in getting a clear reading on her. So she listens and tells stories and plays along with people... but she's also unattainable. She's self-sufficient... but she's spoiled. I think a good way to strengthen that section would be to add in specific examples of her demonstrating those traits: not necessarily going into detail, but like "when Tommy from London showed her his Daddy's pet Hungarian Horntail, she pretended to marvel at the wicked beast, then scoffed silently behind his back." Or whatever. :P That's just an idea though! :)
I also have a suggestion for the line where she asks the twins "what am I, just some rat?" You might consider changing it to "lab rat," as it took a moment for me to make the connection. Not sure if wizards would have labs or lab rats though... maybe they experiment on Flobberworms? Hmm...
Feel free to ignore any of these suggestions, whenever I read a piece I really adore I get inspired and come with all kinds of ideas... but really, your chapter is wonderful with or without any changes. Hopefully you liked this review, I'll get to your next two chapters when there's time, hopefully sooner than later. :)Author's Response: Hey!
Ah, yes, this chapter. I'm not too happy with it myself, actually. There was a very clear image of Morgan's balance of coldness and vulnerability in my head, but I see now that something went wrong when I tried to transfer it into words :P I'll do my best to fix it! What I meant was that Morgan couldn't connect with new people as soon as they viewed her as someome "from somehwere else", because it's a rather limiting role, and it alienated her. That is also where both the independence and the spoiled-ness come from - she has become too arrogant to befriend people but is sheltered enough to live out this little rebellion if she wants without many social consequences... Eh, yeah, this needs examples :P I'll get on that, then.
You make a good point about the use of the word "normal". Not only is it slightly odd here, it's also just not a good word to be using in a story that is supposed to deal with moral grey-areas, is it...
As to your questions, Morgan is in Harry and Co.'s year. It's not very clear at all, true. I'll think of some way to sneak in the info.
Thank you for the CC! I really appreciatie it :D
Oh, and yes twins!!! F&G are so much fun to write! Too fun, actually. Poor narrator can't keep up the bleakness when those two enter the room.
I really enjoyed putting Morgan on the other side of their prank/invention-testing. No one seems to think about how terrifying it must be to have unknown magic mess-up your body, no matter how harmless...It's got to be scary as hell! Report Review
Hello, here for your requested review!! :)
I know you said to skip reviewing this one, but I liked it so much that I felt it deserved a review!! But don't worry, I'll still review all three of the upcoming chapters. :)
This is such an intriguing start to a story! First of all, I really like the narrative voice here, how it shifts from addressing the reader with wider statements about Morgan, and then to her childhood experiences. I think it's such a clever structure, and it definitely increased suspense for me, as you can continue to build the picture of what Morgan has become in the reader's head while simultaneously revealing the chronology of her life. So, amazing job with that!
You have a really beautiful voice as a writer, and your words are very powerful. I loved these lines: "This is not a story of her dark glory. That part is always the same, so why tell it? Instead, allow us to introduce you to who she was when she was still one of us. Back then, she was just a moody teenaged girl named Morgan who liked to provoke and to play. Maybe she was just trying desperately to connect, or maybe she just liked to break things. Maybe she was just dazed and confused, like so many others." These words are so simple, but create strong images and yearnings in the reader to read more and understand why Morgan is this way.
Also, it made me wonder who exactly the "us" is that you're addressing, and if the narrator itself has any significance to the storyline. It would be very cool if the narrator was revealed as someone who knew Morgan!
Anyway, I'm very excited to read more of this story and find out more about Morgan: both about her childhood and how it interacts with canon, and about her mysterious dark future. :)Author's Response: Ah!
*squeal* so many reviews! You're amazing!
I'll try to answer them all before my head explodes from the excitement :D
First, thank you for the wonderful compliments! Nothing makes me happier than knowing that my story has reached an appreciative audience - means I must have done something right :D
The narrative voice (and the narrator behind it) is actually one of those stylistic things that I didn't give too much thought to before I started writing. In the later chapters, it becomes less prominent and sometimes even steps back completely and lays off the ominous warning for a while. But I plan to bring back the narrator(s) later on in the story, towards the end ;)
Thank you for your input on the introduction. I had altered it quite a lot, actually, never sure how to find the right balance between dramatic and accessible. I also quite like it now, actually, with the simple language but weighty subject-matter. Glad you aggree! Report Review
Hi Elphaba here again!
Okay, I enjoy reading anything with Snape acting like Snape in it, so I was very happy to see his appearance in this chapter. :) I do question a couple of things in the potions class section, though. First, I have a hard time picturing Hermione allowing herself to be upstaged in the classroom. I think she might actually be a bit more aggressive about making her lab partner follow the instructions in the book, and might possibly even tattle. I also wonder whether Snape might act more overtly nasty to Morgan, like he is to Hermione -- she is a Gryffindor, after all. I also question whether he would loan her a book from his collection for homework; instead I think he might just tell her the topic and expect her to find all the information on her own in the library. She could very well dig something up in the restricted section that would lead her to the discovery that you describe, and it would still be partially his doing.
As for the lunch scene with Fred and George, I didn't find anything to complain about. :) I think you get the twins just right in this scene. I love their three-way dialog, and also the way you tie in Hermione's earlier accusation that Morgan is just like them.
Hmm, I wonder how their little experiment will turn out, (other than them possibly getting high off of paint fumes)?Author's Response: Hey again!
Hm, you make some very good points! I just reread the first part and Hermone doesn't really sound like herself at all, does she?...I guess I was trying to demonstrate just how good Morgan is in potions, and contrasting her against the overachieving Hermione seemed like a reliable way to get this accross. I suppose her characterization had to suffer here, poor thing, but I will get right on to fixng it, so thanks for pointing it out!
As to Snape, well...*sigh* I also wondered about the likelihood of him going through any extra effort when punishing a student, but he is very strongly involved in this particular subplot, so I decided to throw him right in from the start. Besides, in my imagination, that book was this boring and outdated law manual, so *having* to work with it instead of finding something else in the library seemed like a real snoozefest to me! I'll see to it that I make this clearer. Again, thanks so much for pointing it out!
So happy you enjoyed the twins! I'm always pretty nervous writing them as they do have a very dedicated fanbase (myself included).
Thankyou for your wonderful reviews! I'll be rerequesting for sure. Report Review
Hi, Elphaba here! It's been a long time since I read the first couple of chapters, but I remember being intrigued by Morgan. Thanks for asking me to stop back and read more of the story!
You do a great job of building suspense with narration in this chapter. From the clues you've supplied, I'm guessing that rather than pureblood vs. muggleborns, the nature of her future crimes will focus on the practice of magic itself?
Everyone tends to view being sorted into Slytherin as a sign of trouble to come, so I find it refreshing that Morgan's sorting into Gryffindor is a key turning point here.
I think the scene at the Nott's house is very well-written, and was fascinated by the contrast between the gathering that she experiences (a boring afternoon tea that she escapes; a confusing, failed romantic attempt) and its purpose as a Death Eater recruitment party.
I'm also anxious to know what she will do to disturb that nature of magical existance. What is all of this foreshadowing leading up to? I understand that this is the purpose of suspense; to grab you and pull you breathlessly toward the inevitable, tragic conclusion, but I can't help wanting to cheat and peek ahead. ;)Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for coming by, I'm glad I could get you hooked even a little bit :D
Yes, I had Morgan sorted into Gryffindor for many reasons, one of them being to question the house system as a whole. I'm glad you like it and don't think it seems forced.
Ah, well I can't go giving things away, now can I ;) But you are correct in asuming that future conflicts will go much beyond the pureblood insecurities we have come to know and love in the books, hehe. Report Review
Hi, there! It's been ages since the last time I read a chapter of this story, so I'm glad that the Gryffindor-Slytherin review battle gave me a chance to come back to it.
I liked the way you wrote Morgan's sorting. The hat isn't fooled by her facades and it isn't afraid to call her out a bit on her less noble qualities. At the same time, the hat isn't omniscient. It doesn't know what lies in her future and it doesn't pretend to. It only knows what lies in her heart and her present.
You did a really good job of writing the stuffy, unpleasant pure blood social gathering and Morgan's reaction to it. The lens that she and Theo see their parents through was really neat to see when you put it in this context. It's nice to occasionally strip away the filter that the Slytherin kids are written through in the books and see that they are just children, at some level. The same sorts of things excite them and they have the same reactions to being bored and cooped up for too long among adults whose conversations don't interest them.
Wow! So Morgan acted on pure impulse and even lowered herself to seeking Theo's approval. For some reason, I see this becoming a recurring theme in this story. She's so strong-willed and independent and unwilling to show weakness, but on the inside she desires the approval and acceptance of others. It's easy to relate to.
Let's see, what else? So she is clearly a very talented young witch. Learning almost 60 spells before even arriving at school... I'm not even sure whether Hermione was at that point.
As far as what constructive criticism I can offer, I think that sometimes you give a little too much away in your omniscient narrator's voice. I think the idea of somebody reducing the world to chaos by giving magic to the muggles is a brilliant idea, and I feel like you probably should have held onto that and revealed it much later on. It would have made an awesome moment when she settles on that as her ultimate plan for taking revenge on the world.
Overall, your writing is really lovely. You really excel at the sort of dark imagery that surrounds Morgan. The story was really engaging and the chapter didn't feel nearly as long as it was. I didn't see a single typo or grammatical problem in this.
I have to remember to get back to this story more often!Author's Response: Hey! I'm so glad you came back! And I feel aweful for taking this long to reply, but, you know, life :P
I love the way you really think about Morgan and try to imagine her character, because you really are spot on, once again :D One of her most defining features is the constant conflict between the fear of others and the longing for their approval. I actually chose to make her travel so much as a child in the hopes of accentuating this conflict even more.
You are right about the portrayal of Slytherin children as some sort of mini adults (and the worst kind at that). I also believe that they are just children in the end and cannot be villified in the same way as their parents.
I actually got quite some critique concerning Morgan's highly developed magical abilities - which surprised me since I did make Theo know about just as much as her. As purebloods, these kids are likely to have been taught magic much earlier than Muggle borns such as Hermione. Besides, I imagine the laws in other countries are different and, for some reason, a Magical Kindergarten somewhere in Moscow just keeps pooping in my mind :P
I took your advice into account about revealing too much and that section. I actually plan to reveal the future in flashforwards, so I wasn't bothered by the fact of having told what happens... but reading back, I didn't like the way it sounded, so thank you for pointing it out!
Thank you for the thoughtful review and I hope you come back for more :) Report Review
Hey, I'm here from Review Tag.
So I'm a little unsure what to make of the concept so far - first chapters tend to do that to me - because, on one hand, I love stories about Dark Lords and Ladies and the like, and about the general messed-up-ness of Wizarding society, which is what your summary seems to be promising. On the other hand, however, AU Russian girl with an implied chaotic and abrasive streak has an immediate dislike for Draco Malfoy, ends up getting Sorted into Gryffindor, becomes Dark at some point maybe... well, I've seen that before, and it tends to end up awful.
I should probably have more confidence in your writing ability than that, but still.
Okay. Now onto the actual chapter.
Your use of your mysterious, dramatic, assumedly unreliable narrator is interesting. Ze's drama leads me to assume ze is or has been fairly close to Morgan, at least enough so to be able to piece together her story or make it up entirely, so I'm guessing they're one of the students in Hogwarts era... am I close?
Your opening is nothing short of beautiful. It gave me a real sense of how committed the narrator is to this whole thing (in fact, I'd say this chapter seems to be far more about the narrator than it is about Morgan herself), but at the same time, it feels like zir hands are tied, because ze 'must' welcome it rather than wants to. I don't know, am I reading too much into this? It's pretty damn good, anyway, and your use of imagery and the analysis of the Wizarding world's reactions to people like Voldemort and Grindelwald is particularly effective.
You've got some really cool descriptive sentences throughout, especially this one:
The only way Morgan knew that they werenít a poster was that her mother was a little bit taller than her father, and it was her firm grip that led the distracted man at her side, not the other way around.
You know the whole "a picture is worth a thousand words" thing? Totally applies here. With that one image, you've shown us the level of Morgan's alienation from her family, as well as the power dynamic between her parents.
...as well as the whole "how does an assumedly external narrator know what Morgan's thinking" thing. That too.
The initial meeting - more specifically, the not-meeting - between Theodore and Morgan is a refreshing change from the usual canon character/OC fics wherein they come across each other and instantly despise each other, or instantly become friends. Basically, your eleven-year-old characters are actually eleven years old. I couldn't do that, so well done there, too.
...and you end it all with the promise of mayhem and/or war when she comes across Gred and Forge! Sounds fun, though I'm not sure why Lee Jordan ain't there too.
Anyway, well done for a fairly interesting first chapter, and you may see me around in the future to catch up with the rest of this.Author's Response: Hey!
What a wonderful review! :) Thank you for your compliments on the narration! I am going to try and pull that streak throughout the story just because I really like the narrative voice...as to who the narrator is, that will remain a secret for a while still ;)
I do hope you come back to read some more, because I would be very curious to see your opinions on how I develop the story further. You will probably hate it that I left out Lee Jordan all together, but otherwize, since you aren't a big fan of dark boy-broken girl shipping it seems, you might have a thing or two to say about the way this particular ship will develop!
You sort of freaked me out with this, though :P "AU Russian girl with an implied chaotic and abrasive streak has an immediate dislike for Draco Malfoy, ends up getting Sorted into Gryffindor, becomes Dark at some point maybe... well, I've seen that before, and it tends to end up awful." Could you tell me which story has that same constellation? I was under the impression that my story was not too typical and would like to inform myself as to what else has ben done in this direction :)
Well,thank you for a great review, you pointed out a few useful things Report Review
I'm here with your review to finish up our swap and I'm really sorry that I didn't get here much sooner. I was being fat and ate too much yesterday and well, let's just say that my stomach is bigger than it should be. :p
I'd wanted to check out this story immediately after you spoke about it in your lovely review for my story "Need" (I still blush reading it by the way).
Thre have only been a few stories that I've read with Theo/OC characters but I never read one quite like this.
The first few opening chapters make me a little uneasy because I'm getting the sense that this story might not be as light and fluffy as some of the other stories I've read. The feeling that things wwere being told from someone else's POV was really interesting, adding a bit of mystery to the story that I thought was really unique. Usuallly, the main character starts off the story but I could obviously see that this wasn't going to fall in line with that technique.
I really did enjoy the first few glimpses of Morgana that you gave us. Her encounter with Draco (Fangirls) was a breath of fresh air and I loved that you gave us just a hint of her heritage. I was relieved that she wasn't fawning and swooning all over him just because he was a wealthy pureblood and I think Morgan might be my best friend right now. Hahaha.
What I also enjoyed was the sly little future references to how Morgan would be. I'm really curious to know how her character develops and oh, goodness, she ran into my favorite twins!
Just so you know, I'm a HUGE fan of George so I sort of blacked out with envy at her luck! Hahaha.
Curious to know how their interaction is going to be because she doesn't seem to be a very open person and the twins are, you know, the twins. Hahaha.
Will they annoy her to death? Haha.
Anyway, this was a good read and I didn't spot anything that needed to be changed or looked over and I'm glad that I stopped by!
I'll see you on the forums!
Gabbie Report Review
Really interesting start to what looks like an interesting story. Morgan seems like a character you have to be unsure of, wondering what they're going to do. I don't know whether to like her or not yet, but she's sitting with Fred and George, so points there. No one can not like Theodore Nott, he's awesome.
This first chapter has more wanting to know more already and I'll be checking this out for more.
Sam.Author's Response: Hey! Glad you like it and thank you for taking the time to let me know! Do come back for more :D Report Review
Hello there! Here's your requested review! I didn't realize I actually had it all read, but for whatever reason, didn't write a review when I finished. Anyways, here it is:
I think the characterization of Morgan would make sense in the rest of the chapter, but it seems a complete 180 from the little prologue at the top. You stated that she had no weakness, moved around a lot, and was unattainable. To me personally, that doesn't seem like someone who knows how to socialize well, especially since she's moved around a lot. Being this way isn't bad, but I don't think it is necessarily realistic in her friendliness and openness with Fred and George right off the bat, and I sort of questioned their eagerness to test on someone they met five seconds ago, even though I totally acknowledge that they tested on first years. I just feel like the risk would be too high on a train full of hundreds and hundreds of students.
Apart from the prologue relating to the rest of the chapter, I did like Morgan. She's fun, playful, and I enjoyed her payback with the makeup trick, it sounds like they're all going to be good friends if she came up with that herself.
Other that that conflict, I didn't see anything else wrong with the chapter. I didn't notice any spelling errors, grammar or anything super technical like that, just the inconsistency from the first part to the rest of the chapter.
And regardless of what the other reviewers are saying, I don't really see the issue with the beginning being italicized. In all honesty, I think its appropriate, as it signifies a that what it is is a prelude, so I think it sets up the reader in the state of mind that they're reading a little back story before the present story works.
Its ultimately your story, so you do with it what you wish! :)
-ashleydelacourAuthor's Response: Hey, I'm so sorry for the late response!
You make a good point about Fred and George not wanting to test their products on the train...hmmm. Well, I guess I can wing it and say that Morgan seemed clueless enough for them to get away with it ;)
As to her opening up so quickly, another good point! I have in the meantime adjusted the text to explain that it was the way Fred and George acted that relaxed her. She was used to people grilling her with questions (Like Malfoy in the first chapter), but they were open and just accepted her. Hope that explains it.
Thank you for your review :) Report Review
I absolutely LOVE this. What a wonderful idea! The next Morgan Le Fay, folks! :D Please update soon!Author's Response: Hello Meg!
Yay, thank you so very much for this! I cannot say how much it means for me to know that people are reading and enjoying my work :D:D
You are completely right to say that Morgana Le Fay will be an important inspiration in this story...More will become clear soon, so stay turned :D
Arrrggh. Wrote a rather long review for you then pressed backspace to erase a word and the whole page went back instead and arrrgh. Lost everything. :(
Anyway, hello there Whiskey :) Returning your wonderful review for the holiday swap. And I'm really glad to find this story's been updated!
And wow, things are definitely picking up in this chapter! The pacing seems to have sped up and there's plenty of action. Also, I'm happy to see that there's more than just surface action; you really are developing Morgan's character, particularly her angrier and more vindictive side. There's definitely a dark undercurrent to the events of this chapter, and there's plenty of tension and conflict. And I'm glad you managed to surprise me with Morgan's impulsive actions - particularly her umm...vandalising of Theodore's face :) I really like the idea that this side of her is starting to express itself (and possibly hint on spiralling out of control in the future) - She couldn't remember doing any of it. She knew could recall the sight of her hand holding the lipstick, but she could no longer connect that hand to herself. This was very well done (although there's some sort of error in the last sentence). You made her actions very convincing through the detail of your narrative e.g. the part where Morgan pulls Theodore's lips and releases them. That was grotesque and a very striking scene, but entirely believable! I can really imagine her doing that. I think the details are one of your strongest points of your narrative; your ability to evoke a scene where people move and act and talk realistically is great. I also appreciate the careful (but not overdone) description of the painting of Morague. It's very very well-written. (is this a real picture or did you make this up? I wouldn't know.)
I also enjoyed the way you fit your story around canon, in particular, the events of Philosopher's Stone. I feel terribly sorry for Hermione, knowing that she had to endure not just Ron making fun of her but Morgan as well. And Malfoy ragging on Morgan's cultural differences was very convincing as well. You've certainly expanded on Malfoy's prejudices very well.
I was wondering if this chapter had a little too much in it. This is somewhat similar to the critique you left for my story :) But anyway, there are so many significant moments here - and by that I mean scenes which you've gone into some level of detail to depict. There's the faerie bit, the part with Malfoy, the part where Morgan lashes out at Hermione, the part with Theodore, and finally the twins and troll bit. It does flow very smoothly, but by the end of the chapter, some of the earlier moments are forgotten, or pale in comparison with more recent events. E.g. the faerie part. And this is a shame because you obviously went to certain lengths to write the scene. I'm wondering if it will fit better in a different chapter, especially one with a slower pace.
I would also suggest you pay close attention to your sentences; some of them are rather clunky and awkward sounding. e.g. Morgan was blankly glaring at the back of the blond head in front of her. It belonged to a bony body in black robes and was bent over one of the many tables that lined the amply windowed wall of the library. Not sure how someone could "blankly glare", as blank sort of implies lack of focus, while glare suggests intensity of focus. It's a rather ambiguous and oxymoronic description. And also, the second sentence was very heavy with the adjectives. Sentences like these can make the narrative a little hard to get through; perhaps breaking them up further or losing a few unnecessary adjectives might do the trick.
What happened to the narrator? Either he or she became a lot more subtle or just wasn't present in this chapter...:) I can't remember if there were chapters where the narrator was completely absent...
And there are some errors here and there: the late-night Herbology lesson was scheduled after dinner, and yet by the end of the lesson, it was only just beginning to become dark. Additionally, you described this as the "cool blue light of dawn". Also, would a greenhouse have "opaque windows" and "soft curtains"? Unless this was mentioned in the books and I can't remember :) Also, the Molass or Monass (you provided two different spellings, each mentioned only once) feels more like an animal rather than a plant - and they're described as "creatures" and all. Isn't this a Herbology lesson? I guess things like Mandrakes are pretty alive and sentient, but they do have plant characteristics like leaves and all.
Finally, there are typos and grammatical errors here and there. Your prose is generally very fluid and well-written, so these errors do stand out.
Anyway, I actually had other stuff written in...but it got erased. A bit miffed at that :( But this was a fantastic chapter! It really is getting exciting and I'm beginning to see Morgan grow into that dark person she'll become. Great characterisation. Well, hoping to see more of this story soon! Hope I've been of some help and not too critical or anything. And thanks so much for choosing to do the swap with me :)
-tehAuthor's Response: Ui, oh no! I hate it when that happens! It is at times like that, that I wonder whether we have already reached singularity ages ago and if the fully sentient computers are secretly laughing at us pathetic humans...
Well,now I know to appreciate your review even more, since you actually went back and typed something for me anyways :3
I'm overjoyed that you think i've managed to characterize Morgan well here.I was actually regretting putting up this chapter without tweaking it as much as I thought I should have. It was basically a rough draft, but I just really, reeeaally wanted to update this stroy, it had been months since it had seen any activity and I was so proud of myself for having written something!
It's a relief to know that the "face-vandalizing" (XD) was not too comical. I was afraid that scene would just make people laugh... it's such an odd thing to do and I described it very *seriously*. It was intended to seem slightly absurd, yes, but nevertheless disturbing too. So, yay, the scene worked!
Thank you so much for all of the positive things you wrote! Reading comments telling me I've managed something well make me all fuzzy inside ^^
I have recently learned to pay more attention to detail, and it seems that the effort is paying off. Although I still get impatient sometimes...Like with the things you pointed out later...*sigh*
Spelling and time inconsistencies,yeah... I changed my mind several times about when the herbology lesson would be and decided to place it right before dinner because that would explain why everyone left the greenhouses so quickly...hungry people are very organized! As to the spelling of the Monass...I changed my mind about that several times too and the text bears witness to my thought process apparently. I'll go back and fix the mistakes asap!
Your point about the level of plant-ness of the Monass is quite valid, actually...I imagined them as a mixture between a worm and a big alien seed. So ultimately very slimy and gross...and I always signed off slimey and gross things as part of the realm of Herbology. I'll see what I can do about adjusting the description to be more convincing.
You have a point about the painting scene. So far, it belongs more to a subplot than anything else, so I've been trying to sneak in these details without pausing the action of the main story-line. Maybe that isn't the best way. I suppose I'll just take my own advice and split the chapter. Then I could also put in the narrator-bit I had left it out due to length. Really hate long chapters...
This was helpful as always, thank you very much! It was a pleasure swapping with you, keep fighting those mean-spirited computers, we humans will triumph yet (we do in all the movies)! Report Review
Hey, I'm here to return our swap. :) Sorry it's taken me so long - the end of semester crunch consumed my life. Sigh.
Anyway, I liked this a lot. It's an intriguing start to the story - you're telling us from the start that Morgan isn't going to turn out to be a hero, but at the same time, I did feel like you were successful in humanising her from the start. Having her meet Draco Malfoy was a great choice in that regard - we're all so used to thinking of Draco as a villain, I think, that a lot of people will be drawn to her just because she blew him off.
Bringing Theodore Nott into it is also an interesting choice. I personally find Nott to be really interesting, because we know so little about him and his past. I guess that's true for most of the characters who aren't Gryffindors in Harry's year, but there was something about Nott's characterisation in the books that drew me in, and I think that there are a lot of interesting things you could do with him, especially in the context of a to-be villain who was sorting into Gryffindor.
I also like the fact that you made her a Gryffindor, and I'd be interested to see how you pull off the Gryffindor/villain angle. I don't think that enough people really try to portray villains from Houses that aren't Slytherin, and there are a lot of possibilities there, especially if Morgan is acquainted with Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys (which I'm assuming she will be, to some extent).
My only real issue with this chapter was something you acknowledged in your A/N, so it could just be a matter of taste. I did feel like the narrator was laying it on a bit thick throughout the chapter, and in a way that felt a little too dramatic and confusing.
For example: I like intrigue, and the italics at the beginning worked really well for me in general. I think that you did a great job of setting the story up with them and drawing me in.
However, the last paragraph of the italics - starting Just know that I have no regret - didn't really made sense to me, and not in a good way. It shifted the focus back onto the narrator when you hadn't even introduced Morgan yet, which split the focus of the chapter a bit and stopped the chapter from feeling quite as linear and cohesive as it would have, otherwise.
Other than a few issues with that, though, this was a great chapter, and I really enjoyed it. :)Author's Response: Hey :D
Thank you for the wonderful comments. I am glad you like some of my decisions, such as placing Morgan in Gryffindor and involving TheodoreNott.
I also found Theodore intriguing in the books and have been thinking of exploring his character for a while now :). To me, he always seemed to be like Malfoy, equal to him in predjudice and self-entitlement, but lacking the frustration and insecurity that I always found made Malfoy, although relatable, more annoying and pathetic. This made me imagine Nott as intelligent and introverted. He is not one to care about the well-being of others and he is not a hero, but I suspect he has a very rich inner world that is fun to explore. I hope I will be able to do his character some justice later on in this novel ^^
I agree with you that the narrator overdoes the *OoOooOOoo so dramatic* tone at times. I've been thinking about what to do there.Thank you for the specific example you brought, I think that will help me find the right tone by drawing attention away from the narrator. When I wrote that first bit, I hadn't really thought out much of the story (terrible tactic, but I'm the "ah it'll come to me as I write" type, super lazy *sigh*). At first, I actually thought the narrator would have more of a role than she does now, maybe would even turn out to be one of the characters. Opinions have chnaged since then but I never did go back and fix the text accordingly. I will do it and thank you for pointing it out :D
This swap thing is fun :3 Well,thank you again for the helpful review! Cheers! Report Review
Ho, ho, ho! This is the second installment of your Holiday Review Swap review!
After two chapters, I'm starting to like the narrator's exposition that presages each chapter. Some of it could be worked into the body of the chapter, I suppose, but in this case it's such abstract, high-level material that making it sound like a natural part of a conversation with Fred and George Weasley would have consumed the entire chapter. Her past is now all out there for the reader to contemplate as they watch her interact with the twins.
She gets off to such a good start with Fred and George. Laughing, joking, seeming altogether like a normal eleven-year-old girl. She seems enthralled with Fred and George. In a way, I found it a little surprising that she took up with them so quickly and was so open to doing what they suggested. The way that she naively accepted the sweet that Fred gave her seemed sort of contrary to the way the narrator described her in the preface of the chapter. If her brand of showmanship involved unattainability, I have to say that she seems very attainable in the first section of this. Perhaps what we're seeing is all of her secret wishes coming out. At any rate, I thought it felt like everything happened very fast. The narrator had built her up as somebody who maintained a certain distance from those around her because of the transient nature of her life, so the way that she befriends Fred and George so quickly seemed quite sudden.
Well, at least she's learned her lesson with trusting Fred and George. Her emotional reaction to being pranked felt perfectly consistent with the girl described in the preface. She had let her guard down for a time and things didn't work out the way she expected, so she recoils in anger and embarrassment. I like how you started to explore her thoughts on how this is how it feels to be "normal". I wish you had taken it farther, given the time she had to herself in the toilet. At least so far, this story seems to hinge around Morgan's feelings and her emotional state. This section would have been a good place to incorporate some of the thoughts contained in the narrator's preface.
I loved the way that she scared the pants off of Fred and George. Their reaction was pretty priceless. It's unusual to see other characters really get the best of them, with the exception of Dumbledore in their sixth year. And it seems that it made a strong impression on the two of them.
So those are my thoughts, in a nutshell. I think that working more of her thoughts and feelings into the body of the chapter would have added something. Overall, your writing is very good, though. I didn't see any sort of typos or grammatical problems.Author's Response: Hey!!! Wow another review!! How awesome :D:D
You are correct to feel uneasy about the the narration, I've been fighting with it ever since the first chapter was writen. The amount of copy and pasting and itallicizing, then non-itallicizing I've been doing is... alot :P Still little results on the matter, my mind has yet to come up with a brialliant idea that will save the structure of this story...
Hm, I like your point about Morgan getting friendly with the twins too fast. When I pictured it, it seemed to make sense, but now, in the light of the arguments you bring, some explanation is needed! Very glad you ponted this out! I will try to either add some explanatory moment about how she was feeling lonely and opened up despite herself, or i will adjust the dialogue. I just liked the strength of the betrayal she must have felt if she had actually trusted them. Being unattainable doesn't mean one isn't trusting, it just means one usually doesn't get the chance to trust. But if people are forthcoming, persistent and if there is flirting involved.Hm, I have to think about this!
Exploring her thoughts on normality,hm,another interesting point! I guess I could do that :) Since Morgan has caused for many different reactions, it would mkese sense to try to show more of what goes on in her mind as early as the second chapter!
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on the chapter, you have given me some good food for thought! Report Review
Ho, ho, ho! This is your Holiday Review Swap Extravaganza Thingee review! Well, the first of two, actually. I think this chapter is a bit short and introductory to be the subject of a proper review, so I'll do the second as well.
I think the meditation on the nature of villains and the evil they do was a good start. It definitely set a mood that made Morgan come off in a very different light than she would have if you dived directly into her first trip to Hogwarts. I liked the thought process that recast the epic rise and fall of evil wizards as a necessary catalyst for change; an evolutionary, almost biological process of death and rebirth. It's a theme that really interests me, because each wizarding war obviously drove changes in the magical world, just like major conflicts in the non-magical world cause people to change the way that they act and think. If Next Gen fics spent as much time exploring that as they do expounding on the horrible difficulties of being a magical teenager with a crush on [insert Weasley grandchild here], the genre would be vastly more interesting.
Right away, you gave Morgan some rather mysterious attributes. She come from an old family, apparently, but not one with a history of attending Hogwarts. Her parents seem affluent, but not traditional. And she's obviously not one bit impressed by young Draco Malfoy, something that I'll certainly give her credit for. And she has at least some past connection to Theodore Nott. I like fics that involve Nott. We know so little about him from the books that he gives an author a great deal of freedom to grow and develop a canon character. I'm eager to see what you do with him.
It seems that Morgan will also become housemates with Hermione, Ron and Harry. Considering the way that you've set her up in the beginning, I already feel anxious for her. I get the feeling that the war costs her a great deal. She loses something very dear to her, and it pushes her into a very horrible place. Or I may be completely wrong, but at this stage of the story it's a lot of fun to speculate.
"As her blush slowly waned away, Morgan began hating every single one of them. For being loud, obnoxious, and for taking away the only person she knew.
"Luckily for her, a few hours later, Morgan would be sorted into Gryffindor, where she could live out and nourish this feeling for years to come."
I just had to highlight those two paragraphs. They were brilliant together.
I really like the way you write. There's a smooth elegance to it, very polished. You balanced dialog and narrative well in the second part of the chapter.
I think you've done a great job of setting the stage. Let's see where you're taking this...Author's Response: Oh my goodness, thank you so very much for the praise! I never know how a story will be received and it is wonderful to see it was received exactly how I meant it :D
I aggree with you completely about the certain lack of social commentary in the New Gen "genre" (hpff is so vast, I guess it can have it's own genres?). When i came to this site about a year ago, I was really looking forward to seeing the future of the wizarding world explored in great depth by fans. What I got was a timeless, Weasley infested hormone fest :P Which is fun on its own , of course,by leaves me unfulfilled. This is one of the reasons I imagined Morgan. As we know from our own Muggle history, social conflicts are very much like a Phoenix: the next one rises from the ashes of the former. The kind of bitterness and disappointment in which the Wizarding War must have left our heros is not to be underestimated. In that regard, your thoughts on what will help Morgan tip over are not too far off, actually!
I am glad you like Morgan, and that you feel for her! She is not the most pleasant person, but I hope to make her apear well-rounded at all times :)
Happy Holidays and many thnks, again, for such a wonderful review :D:D Report Review
So, I like Morgan, a lot.
Even though she doesn't act like other girls she still seems pretty cool.
For flow, you have nothing to worry about, the writing isn't choppy or anything like that. I had no trouble reading your story.
Something that I'm wondering about is when Morgan turned blue. Now, is she a Metamorphmagus or does she have some kind of special ability that let's her do things like that? That part confused me a little bit but other than that, nice job.Author's Response: Hey there, thank you for the positive feedback!
Ehm, I'm not quite sure what you mean with "blue"? If you mean the way Morgan made herself look ill, then it's because she used make-up. She takes out her make-up in the toilette and then, later, tells the Weasley twins that it was permanent make-up that she designed herself...I'm sorry that wasn't clear!
Hello there! Sorry for the splinched review...ran out of characters :/
Anyway, continuing from my previous review, which ended mid-paragraph:
Descriptions like "that dark growling creature" in Morgan's mind (Chapter 3) are a bit of a cliche, and rather melodramatic. Adjectives like "outrageous" and "despicable" (Chapter 1 again) used to refer to Morgan are non-descriptive, but very strong opinionated words Ė and these indicate the narrator's clear judgement toward Morgan. I think it would be better if your narrator were a little more subtle, and more restrained. This is my opinion, but I feel it would be perfect if you could develop that rather detached, clinical voice of his/hers, analysing Morgan's descent into the Dark Side :D There are moments when this side of him/her surfaces, but they aren't too consistent.
I was also wondering if you needed to italicise the narration at all, seeing as the commentary is not confined to those italicised sections at all. Throughout the story, the narrator makes his/her presence known, offering insight at certain points in Morgan's life. Those last three paragraphs of Chapter 5 starting with "It would take Morgan a long time etc." sounded like they were purely commentary, but were not italicised at all. I think itís important to maintain consistency with the form of the writing.
And OK, minor nitpick: watch out for sudden, abrupt POV shifts. Aside from the narrator's observations, you've pretty much written the story in third person limited, following Morgan's thoughts. So in Chapter 3 in the scene with Theodore Nott (excellent scene by the way), there was a rather disconcerting POV shift from Morgan to Theodore here:
After a surprised pause, Theodore began laughing as well.
His mind promptly produced images of making people disappear entirely. Just pop, and his father was gone, nothing but a smoking blotch on the armchair. Another pop, and Aunt Beatrice melted away, dragging those itchy dress robes into the abyss with her.
It was rather sudden and inconsistent as it was done only once, so do be careful. Finally, do go through some minor scenes...a couple of them feel a little forced, especially the way the feud between Morgan and Hermione began.
Err...wow, umm, I didn't realise I would write such a novel when I began reviewing! But I did read all 5 chapters of it in one go and got very engaged with the story...well, anyway, I think you've got a really great story here, and the concept is very original, as is the characterisation. So I hope that my comments will help improve your story further. I really hope this hasn't been too critical and it has been a very enjoyable read, and I will be reading future chapters. Good luck with writing them; feel free to PM me if you have any questions with anything I said.
-teh Report Review
Hello there! I saw the link to your story on the forums, and decided to come over and check out your story. Also, you left me such wonderful and helpful reviews for my story in the past :) So I read all five chapters and I'll comment on all of them in this one review...hopefully it will be OK with you.
I think you've got a really interesting story! It's very unique, in terms of style and structure, and the idea of plotting the progress of a normal girl growing into the big bad villain of the world sounds very promising. Your OC is certainly very memorable - she has a curious background, which you very skillfully reveal bit by bit instead of info-dumping huge chunks on the reader as some writers tend to do. It may not seem much, but I think the restraint displayed in your slow disclosure of Morgan's past, along with references to future events, has given your story quite a confident and controlled pacing, and it does allow for a good buildup in tension and conflict.
As a character, Morgan is willful, aloof, arrogant, sheltered, independent and supposedly with a streak of vindictiveness. This is an interesting combination of characteristics, and so far you've written her well. I like the fact that she's pretty much a normal girl Ė nothing too tragic about her past like certain fanfic OCs, nothing too melodramatic, except for that sense of isolation from her childhood, and her inability to empathise too much with others. I also like the fact that despite her independence, she also feels a need for acceptance, for others to like her; this lends her a sense of vulnerability, which shows a different facet to her, and makes the characterisation realistic rather than two-dimensional.
I enjoyed your characterisation of the Weasley twins as well; they're my favourite characters :D I think you've pinned them down quite well, their actions and body language and speech patterns. I especially loved that final scene in the hospital wing in the fifth chapter. It was wonderfully detailed - the Wizard's Chess game, Morganís sulkiness, Madam Pomfrey's appearance, and finally that awesome moment with George Weasley outside. Especially when George says, "You're afraid of spiders, though, good to know" and a few tense lines later, "Nah, just kidding". It was a lovely moment of conflict, and it was beautifully nuanced; I really felt that tension and that vague note of hostility from George, which didn't really dissipate despite the "just kidding". And bahaha, I was smiling at the Snape part :D He was so...Snape-like.
I think you're a good writer, and that this story has plenty of potential to be a great one, so if it's alright with you, I'd like to offer some concrit. First, I couldn't help noticing that this story is categorized under the Horror / Dark genre. To be honest, I didn't quite feel that it fit there. This story to me, so far, feels like a combination of angst, drama, humour, and perhaps a bit of mystery - nothing too dark. If you do intend it to be in the Horror / Dark genre, I would advise you to focus on tone and mood. Most successful horror/dark fics go to certain lengths to develop and establish a sort of foreboding atmosphere, through things like setting, voice and narrative detail. Think about the details of your character's inner world and her external environs, and how the latter might influence the former. As for setting, think of which details you would like to draw attention to, and their connotations and effects on the narrative. The way your character sees and interacts with her setting will help establish a particular mood. For example, I think you had a very good sense of setting with your hospital wing scene and it did contribute to the tension between Morgan and the twins, and I would like to see this done with the rest of the story. Also, as there is plenty of humour in your fic, I would recommend that you think about the different kinds of humour that you might want to depict (e.g. fluffy humour, slapstick, irony, black humour etc.), which might further reinforce and ensure the consistency of tone and overall mood of the story.
Also, your narrative style: the presence of the narrator who addresses the reader adds structural complexity to your story, and this is something I like very much. Also, it lets you get away with a lot of telling about Morgan's character and life, rather than showing, which is pretty neat :D I like the narrator's commentary, and the way he/she drops in little details of Morgan's future e.g. her untimely death (?!?!). This breaks up the linearity of the narrative and again, makes it more structurally exciting. I do think you should pay close attention to detail with regard to the narrator"s voice; the opening paragraphs of the first chapter were a little flat despite the fact that he/she was introducing a seriously evil villain. There were captivating phrases like "A new generation is blossoming that does not carry our scars. They are still just children, but we have high hopes for them", and "We all saw it coming and we let it-I call it change and I must welcome it." These are wonderful lines, a touch chilling. But there are also less appealing phrases like: "Power is worth it" and "rainbows and butterflies and hormones are not enough". These phrases sit rather awkwardly in the middle of the narration, and they do stick out and disrupt the gravity of the narratorís voice and tone. I suggest close attention to word choice / diction. Also, "moody teenage girl" is rather less formal than the surrounding text, and again highlights that inconsistency in your narrator's voice. Descriptions like "that dark growling creature" in Morganís mind (Chapter 3) are a bit of a cliche, and rather melodramatic.
Note: I'm going to run out of characters so I'll continue this paragraph in a different review. Sorry!Author's Response: My goodness! This was wonderful, I don't even know how to reply!! Just...thank you so much for taking this effort, it means so much! My head might explode from all the excitement, so I'll just start typing, maybe it will make sense XD
What made me smile the most was the realization that you understood what I was trying to do with this story.
First of all, your description of Morgan's characteristics, both the bad and the good, were spot on. I've had people find her strong, annoying, spoiled, confusing...but you seem to see her exactly how I hoped to bring her to life: turbulent and lonely. So now I can rest assured that I did something right, at least a little bit!
I, too, am a diehard Weasley twin fan! And I am taking quite a risk here, by putting them into a story were the most loyal and incorruptible characters in the books will inescapably become morally tainted...
I am glad you were not bothered by the absence of Lee Jordan: others were. My Fred and George, although cannon in character (to my best ability) are also an AU Fred and George, to the extent that they will be involved with Morgan. The problem with inserting an OC into an already very intricately woven world is that the OC will have to shake up the existing balance. It was a relief to see a Fred and George fan not be offended by my depiction of them, and I just hope I won't disappoint in the future!
The Hospital Wing scene was incredibly fun to write! It was where I first properly digressed into a completely different style than I intended and wasn't even sure if I should leave the scene or change it to something else. I decided to leave it and figure out the style as I go along.:3 Not my brightest idea! As you pointed out, I need to find the genre I'm going for. This is something I've been worrying about and goodness am I glad to finally get some pointers! The typical Horror/Dark feeling of foreboding and predestination was what I initially intended to do. A cold narrator, retrospective events, characters helplessly exposed to the darkness of their own nature, etc. I will look into relying more on description to get back on track, thank you for the advice. I'm so lazy with description.*sigh*
As for the humour, I can see that it might seem sloppy, since I just didn't think about it that much...I guess I was aiming at irony as a general undertone, so I will do my best to polish the humor so it fits. Thank you for pointing this out! It helps to give things a name, which is something I didn't even think of doing. Genre and tone consistency, here I come! XD
Something else that really made me happy (although it probably shouldn't?) was that you didn't like the intro paragraph! So far, everyone has liked it and I was so very confused because I thought it was, all in all, quite average. I will try to filter out any overly emotionally charged or banal sentences. Thanks to your comment, I now know what I'm looking for!
POV skips and formatting decisions are, it seems, two further issues that fall right under the "Writer, you are inconsistent!" critique. I need to keep in mind that throwing all the things I like into one pot will not a good dish make ;) I've been told about this by others, for the most various reasons, and I never understood what they meant with "inconsistent" so I just ignored them and went on my merry way. But you explained it really well, so I know what to pay attention to now.
Hmm...I think I covered most of it. So, again, thank you very much for this, not only was the review helpful and constructive, but it made me super happy! And it spanned over 2 reviews, too! I am humbled *bows in appreciation*
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