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Reading Reviews for Searching for Mutch
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by adluvshp Three

15th January 2013:
Here for your requested review, again!

I don't think why you should be concerned about this story at all actually, over all it is a very well-written story, I hardly have any CC to give you!

Well, I really loved loved loved this chapter. It was brilliant! There was so much action and emotion at the same time, I really enjoyed it.

Since your main concerns are your character(s) and expressing the HP universe, I'll be talking about these first in regards to this chapter.

You have developed your MC very well, I must say. In a span of just 3 chapters, I saw him grow from this weird insecure unsure magical anomaly to this strong determined ready-to-learn striving "wizard". Good job there.

I would have liked to see more into Marly's character too though, especially since you started out the chapter with the portrayal of Marly and Will as being friends and sharing things, and such. It would have been nice if Marly's characterisation had been developed a little more too - maybe not as strongly as you developed Will's, but still a little more than any other minor character.

Another thing regarding the characters would be the portrayal of the relationships. I know its a short story, but I'd have liked to know the relationships between the characters in a little more detail. For instance, we suddenly come to know that owner of the orphanage is Mrs. Welfield's cousin, and suddenly about Mrs. Welfield's death/disappearance. I know it is sudden, but a stronger built-up to the relationship between Will and Mrs. Welfield and/or Mrs. Welfield and her cousin would have been better (for instance, through a longer and slightly more emotional 'goodbye' between Will and Mrs. Welfield and/or a small interaction/dialogue between Mrs. Welfield and her cousin to show that they were attached in some way).

I would have also liked to see Will mourn/long for his Uncle a little longer than he did, and maybe with a little more intensity. We know that his uncle raised him, so I expected a stronger reaction at his disappearance from Will, though what you showed was also sufficient I guess.

As for the final important character in the story (in my opinion), Mutch was well-crafted but again, to me, it seemed he lacked some detail. I would have liked if you had shed more light on how he looked, how he acted, how Will felt on reuniting with him etc. I am not saying that you didn't give attention these details, because you did, but it just wasn't enough for me, you could say. I wanted a little more. But apart from that, Mutch seems a fun character and its cute how he's not an actual person. His manner is similar to that of a house-elf but something more. He is crafted in an interesting way.

About the piece expressing the HP universe appropriately, I think you have done a fine job. I didn't see anything that looked out of order to me, and appreciated the small details that you added in to tie in with the canon universe we know. So, thumbs up!

Before wrapping up, I just want to say a few more things. Firstly, the suspense and anxiety that you have managed to maintain in this chapter is commendable. I loved the fast pace and how everything the scenario played out. The ending was on a hopeful and positive note which was really sweet. It also ends with a lot of questions hanging in the air, and a lot of mystery is still built around Will's identity - in terms of his magic - along with the whereabouts and actions of his Uncle - and also what happens to Mutch. So, I really wish that you'd continue this by turning this into a novel, or perhaps writing a sequel.

Oh and another thing I didn't mention in my previous reviews was that I like your narrative a lot because it is very realistic. It truly seems from a 12-year-old's perspective, which is spot-on.

So, all in all, great job with this story!! Don't worry about it - its some really good writing. I love the character, the theme, the plot, the mystery, the pace, flow, grammar - everything. It's all quite good.

I do hope I was able to answer all your concerns, and whatever little suggestions/advice I gave you is of use to you.

Thanks for requesting me to read this really cool story.

Feel free to request for another one any time!


Author's Response: I really enjoyed developing Will's character here. It was a challenge to get him from point A to point B in three chapters, and by your reactions, I guess I succeeded. I've had some other comments regarding Marly. I had more plans for her than I had put into this story. Perhaps I can think more about her and see what happens. It might be nice for Will to have a "normal" friend, as well as his crazy Mutch. I left it open-ended on purpose, so I could come back to it if the muse ever decided to continue. I like to think of it as a serial of sorts.

You bring up a good point about the relationships between the minor characters. It would have been more appropriate to make those things more clear as the story went along, and perhaps introduce those bits a little earlier so they aren't so much of a revelation when Will is in shock about what has happened.

Also, the details that you felt were missing were because I had put myself on a wordcount limit. I was simultaneously working on my novel-length Snape story and I didn't want to get too sidetracked with another project. I should definitely go back and see what I can do about fleshing out those bits a little more. Thanks for the reminder!

Writing the tone of this piece from a 12-year olds perspective was a bit of a challenge. I'm happy you thought it sounded right. Thanks so much for your detailed and thoughtful comments regarding my story. This was exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

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Review #2, by adluvshp Two

15th January 2013:
Hi, Here for your requested review!

I really liked this chapter. It was good to see some progress into the story as well as in Will's character development.

The scene of Will searching for Mutch and coming across the warehouse was written well. You maintained a good air of mystery around the whole scenario and it was all quite intriguing. The descriptions were good with sufficient detail and imagery.

The new "twist" of him being able to somehow do magic was well-placed. Usually, magic first shows its traces (in HP canon) through anger, so I liked how you maintained that from the HP universe and showed magic 'exploding' out of Will when he was angry at Anthony. That entire scene was written well.

Also, the scene with the Uncle was quite good. It gave me a little more insight into the state of things and his Uncle too. The ending of the chapter is a little sad though as we don't know if Will can find Mutch or not, and if he's going to get back his stone.

So, all in all, this was a good chapter that further developed the plot in an interesting way. You maintained small yet essential links with the HP universe such as the "anger-magic" thing, the Ministry of Magic rules, and the Death Eaters, etc., yet managed to maintain a balance with your originality also, by making Will being able to perform magic via an ordinary stick and such.

The characterisation, as I said previously, is quite fleshed out and is developed and explored further in this chapter nicely too.

Good pace, grammar, flow, and descriptions over all, as well, and so I don't have any critique to give you here :)


Author's Response: I had kind of forgotten the bit about "first magic" being brought on by anger... is that really canon? Anyway, if that's the case, it was an unintentional fit with canon.

I'm glad that you found the magic rules to line up with the HP universe. I really tried to fit it all in, but you know how sometimes and original idea takes on a life of its own...

Thanks so much again for your great review!

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Review #3, by adluvshp One

13th January 2013:
Hey! Here for your requested review!

I quite liked this! I think you've got a nice story here. The idea of your main character being a... magical anomaly is unique, and I say magical anomaly because that is what I can think of calling him since he's not exactly a squib, because as far as I know magic doesn't shy away from squibs, or squibs don't "spoil" magical stuff by touching them and such.

So, as I was saying, your plot concept is quite good. I like the way it is developing, and the direction in which the story seems to be headed. The sort of 'suspense' you have maintained about this Mutch is intriguing too, and I like it. Will's life story is really sad to read, but I liked the way you explained about him and his backstory as part of the narrative without it being boring.

Coming to your concern, I think you definitely have expressed the HP universe appropriately. I am not a nit-picky canon person, so I cant look into all the details about the Alley and stuff, but from what I remember and know, you seemed to portray everything quite fine from a wide perspective. I would really like to see what Will is actually though, since he doesn't seem to be a squib, so I'd love to know if its something of your own creation, or something that exists in the HP universe and if you've borrowed it. Whatever it is, the idea is good itself, and it has been executed well.

As for your next concern, you've most certainly developed your characters quite well in this first chapter itself, so I am sure you've made progress with them in further chapters.

You've crafted Will nicely, showed his thought-processes, his feelings, his traits, his nature, his life in general very well in this opening chapter itself which is very good. I learnt a lot of things about him and got to know him and feel for him here, so I must congratulate you on getting your main character flesh out in such a smooth manner in the first chapter of the story.

I would have liked a little more detail on his Uncle though, we don't even know his name here - I am not sure if that's done on purpose or not - and seeing as he is a vital part of Will's life, I suggest shedding more light on him - which you've probably done in the further chapters. However, I'd have liked it a little more if you had focused some more on the Uncle too in this first chapter.

The other minor characters of the story seemed pretty okay to me. Their characterisation and focus was enough for an opening chapter, I think. I would have liked some more explanation/information on Marly though, probably some description on how she looked, her actions etc. from Will's POV.

I also liked the frequent mentions of Mutch in the chapter - without having introduced this character, you managed to establish that he is important to Will which is commendable. It's also instilled curiosity as to knowing this Mutch and finding more about him in the upcoming chapters.

Over all though, the pace, flow, structure, plot, and of course characterisation was nicely done by you. The narrative was smooth and your writing style was good. I didnt see any major grammar problems either.

This made for a good read. And to stress upon your concern issues once again, I dont have much CC to give you (except for the small points I mentioned before) as I feel that you did express the HP verse well, and your characterisation was nicely done.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this neat piece of writing :)


P.S. Since you didn't mention in your request to review the first 2 chapters of the story, currently I am only reviewing this first chapter. However, if you want, feel free to re-request for chapters 2 and 3.

Author's Response: Hey! Nice to see you here!

Magical anomaly is a good description of my MC. I guess I'd call him that too. It wasn't something I'd gotten from HP, but it was something I developed that could possibly happen in the HP universe, using all the "rules" that JKR set up for us.

I'm glad you found Will's story to be well-incorporated into the narrative, and I didn't want to be boring, so I'm happy you felt that way about him.

You bring up an interesting point about Will's uncle. I don't shed much light on him as a character and perhaps I should have given the reader a little more about him. But I didn't want to go overboard, you know? I never know how much to do with those supporting characters. I'll think about that. Thanks!

There's not much on Mutch (haha!) in this first chapter, but Will surely likes to think about him a lot. And I wasn't trying to put too much focus on Marly here either, which might have made her a little too flat. Maybe if I continue with more, she might be a little more important. I just haven't decided yet.

I will definitely re-request for chapter 2 and 3. I'd love to get your opinion of the whole thing.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful review that covered all of my concerns!

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Review #4, by CambAngst Three

4th December 2012:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

I must begin by saying, GAH! Pix, how can you DO this to me? Just when this story is becoming completely brilliant, you end it? Oh, the humanity!!!

Alright, deep breath, calm down...

So, we start off with another piece of evidence that the mysterious, enigmatic Mutch exists. It seems that Will made him a hat out of scraps of fabric and Mutch promised to always wear it. Interesting. Sounds a bit like how a House Elf might behave. And Will is also getting stronger, yay! It seems that finding his magic has given him something more than just the ability to chase away bullies. I really like the way you've taken Will's character and slowly built him up into somebody that I'm actively rooting for. I want him to get better, and to learn magic and to be free of his burdens and find his friend. There's a real connection there.

The pace really begins to pick up once he gets back to his uncle's shop. The scene with the dark wizard who tries to capture or kill him was intense, from start to finish. I love the way that you continue to show us new dimensions of Will's abilities without going into any long-winded exposition about it. Now we know that even curses seem unable to harm him. But his control over the magic he's able to wield is improving. And he definitely has a very good sense for finding magic, dark magic in particular. His escape into the muggle world felt very harrowing and suspenseful. And I have to wonder what happened to his uncle.

And you keep the sense of panic and suspense going right through his brief visit with Mrs. Welfield. Something very bad has obviously happened. When she takes him to the orphanage... it was the strangest thing. I know that the certainly have nothing to do with one another, but I couldn't get the idea of Tom Riddle out of my head and the years he spent in one. Neither here nor there, I suppose. I kind of liked the way that Will feels at ease in this place where destroying magic is no concern. It wasn't really the perspective you'd expect him to have, but it makes sense.

The plot continues to thicken. So the lady who runs the orphanage was Mrs. Welfield's cousin. The family relationships are getting a bit hard to follow, but this one doesn't seem overly important in context. Whoever attacked Will's Uncle managed to track him as far as Mrs. Welfield and either she's been killed or captured or forced into hiding, it seems. Poor Will. His world has definitely become a lot more dangerous.

Finally, we meet Mutch! He's... hmmnnn... Based on the description, I'm not sure he's a House Elf. He seems to have some magic that the Dark Wizards want to use. And there was definitely something hidden in the box of "loot" that he wanted before leaving. All around a very mysterious character. But, at least Will now has an ally in this world.

OK, so first off, let me answer the questions you left in your last review response:

How did the mechanics of Will's magic work within the framework of the story? Was it explained enough or too much?

I think you explained about as much as you could within the framework of the story. Anything more and it would have started to feel a bit forced. That said, I'm obviously left with a ton of questions about it.

What were your reactions to the tone of the story?

The tone of the story was very mysterious and it became very tense and frenetic near the end. I'd say that's just about right for this story.

Did you think that I covered canon well enough that everything was recognizable and worked as it should, and did the new elements fit, or were they questionable and/or distracting?

This one is sort of hard to answer because I'm not quite sure what you were going for here. Let's go ahead and address the elephant in the back of the room: was this story meant to be longer? If so, I have to imagine that the less congruent elements (Will's unusual abilities, the mystery of his parents' and then his uncle's disappearance, the truth about Mutch and the overall time frame within which the story is set, first war or second war) would have been fleshed out. It not, then I do think there are some pretty significant gaps that make it hard to reconcile everything with canon.

how many dropped plot threads did you find?

I think I listed most of them in the answer to the previous question. I guess there's also Marly, if she was meant to be more than a foil for Will's insecurities.

Let's cut to the chase, here. I would LOVE to see you extend this story farther. I really want to know what becomes of Will and Mutch and see all of those dangling plot threads addressed. If more of this story isn't in the cards, you at least owe me a PM with your thoughts on what would have happened. ;)

Author's Response:
I guess I just found out who my target audience is for this type of story. ;)

Seriously, thanks for taking a chance on this story. I ALWAYS love feedback, especially about experimental pieces like this one.

I'll start off with the explanation that you asked for. This was supposed to be a short story, but as I mentioned before, I was in the middle of also writing the novel-length Snape piece when this came along so I found it extremely difficult to think "smaller scope" when putting this together. When I finally whittled away enough concepts to get a clear plot out of "not too many words", I still had a lot of ideas leftover that I couldn't bring myself to trash. So I went with a type of "serial" format, where I allowed myself to introduce various things and then keep the ending open enough that I could chose to come back later and add to it without having to start over. I have no idea if that worked or not, but that was the consolation I gave myself to finish it and get on with Snape.

The other incentive I had for doing this, besides being insanely attracted to challenges that I don't think I can pull off, was that my daughter kept bugging me to let her read the "book" I was writing. I told her I'd let her read it when I was done, but I had no intention of giving her an M-rated Snape romance, no matter how mature she was at age ten. This was the story she got to read when I finished my "book". She was happy and I felt like a responsible, accommodating parent. Also, with the open format, if I ever started another project that she would bug me about, I could always add to this one and give her another installment without too much work. It's good to have a plan, in any case.

I guess it went by too fast, but I did mention in the story that Mutch is an imp (which is in Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, but only got a slight mention, if at all, in the HP books). Imps are irresistibly drawn to sparkly, shiny things and will do just about anything to obtain a small piece of glass and other bits and trinkets. This little guy was in way over his head with the silver mask obsession. If it weren't for Will, he would definitely have been a gonner. You are lucky that I put my stories through a vigorous panel of betas before posting. In the first draft, Mutch was Marly's cat that went missing. (My daughter loves anything furry, so I thought she'd like it. Mr. Pix said it was by far my worst idea ever and made me change it. :P I'm glad he did. It's Mutch better this way... haha!)

I wish I had a clue as to what happens to Will and Mutch and how they get along in the Muggle world and whether or not Will gets reunited with his family, and what exactly happened to his parents. Of course, I have a bunch of backstory in my head about Will's uncle, and I have a pretty good idea of what happens after he disappeared from the Potions Shop after Until We Close Our Eyes. But since Will doesn't appear at all in that story, the idea of the two of them being reunited is still up in the air.

Now that I've thought about it, I suppose that while Better Days is an exercise in plotting, this was an exercise in story mechanics. I had fun piecing together some original ideas that would work within HP and stretch our understanding of the magical world.

I'd be happy to continue this discussion if you have any cool ideas. I might be compelled to add another installment...

What if...

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Review #5, by CambAngst Two

3rd December 2012:
OK, so I think it almost went without saying that I wasn't going to be able to stay away for very long. But, I did need to get through the rest of my day at work and then get home and have dinner and play with the kids and baths and stories and tomorrow's trash day... you get the idea. But I have overcome all manner of adversity and here I am again! I am intensely searching for Mutch!

So many neat things were revealed in this chapter that I honestly can't quite put them all in the correct order in my head, so I'm going to go off of memory here and hope that I get pretty close. First off, if I'm understanding this correctly, Will seems to be poisoned by contact with Dark Magic. So it seems almost as though he doesn't destroy magic that he comes in contact with, but rather he consumes it after some fashion. That's a really interesting twist on things, and it definitely casts him in a different light. No wonder the Death Eaters would be so interested in him! The ability to simply consume any enchantments or spells that he comes into contact with could seemingly negate any magical protection.

It seems that Mutch has gotten himself into some pretty serious trouble. I'm going to slip back into Until We Close Our Eyes For Good mindset for a moment. This building by the river doesn't sound like a nice place at all. Horrible things seem to be going on there. If Mutch lives in some muddy spot by the river, I'm guessing that he might not be human, or at least not a sane human. I guess I'll find out.

You totally surprised me with the scene where Anthony is bullying Will and Marly tries to stop him. I was totally ready for Marly to attack Anthony and force him to back down. Instead, Will suddenly discovers that he can do magic after all! And with an old stick, no less! I loved the way you wrote that scene. Will seems tone as surprised as anybody else and he doesn't quite have the words to describe what happened, even inside his own head. The sense of mystery was captured brilliantly.

Oh, no! His uncle doesn't believe him. Well that just sucks. You'd think after so many years that his uncle would be excited by the prospect. Or perhaps his uncle knows something that Will doesn't...

OK, something else that just came back to me. I can't remember exactly when you started using Will's sense of smell as a sort of "magic detector", but it's a really clever idea. To somebody who seems to be able to easily perceive magic without actually being able to do it, there would have to be some physical reaction.

Wow! Whatever has happened, it made Will stronger, not weaker. It really feels as though he's turned a corner in this chapter. Suddenly he seems to be less sickly and more confident in himself. I feel this tremendous awakening taking place and it's very exciting. He's even able to show his uncle, but unfortunately not in a very controlled or graceful way. That was worrying. If he can do magic but not control it, bad things are going to happen...

I liked the way that Will was able to chase Anthony away, this time on purpose. But underage magic drew the Ministry down on him this time. That's going to be a problem, I think.

What a great chapter! You answered a few questions and introduced a few more. I'm still very curious as to what happened to Will's parents. And then there's the enigmatic Mutch. In a dangerous world, Will seems to be in a very odd and difficult position, straddling the line between the magical and muggle worlds and able to drag one into the other in a sense.

Oh, and I did see one small typo:

"He followed them through the door, in a large circle around the empty room and then right back to the door. Will though that this was very odd for the man to do." - Will thought.

Ugh. My eyes are hurting and I'm now hearing rumors of a major HPFF server upgrade coming up later in the month, which means that my long-overdue backup of all of my stories needs to get underway in earnest. But I will be back soon. I really can't believe I never read this before!

Author's Response:

Yay! You found a typo! *gushes*

I will hop on that as soon as I can... within reason... after I do all those other things that I meant to do but haven't... seriously, thanks. I try to get them all, but inevitably, something always squeaks through.

It seems that you have a good grasp of the story mechanics, so maybe I can give you some questions and if I am lucky enough for you to read them before you decide to review the last chapter, you might be able to answer them for me? We'll pretend that will work. *nods head*

How did the mechanics of Will's magic work within the framework of the story? Was it explained enough or too much?

What were your reactions to the tone of the story?

Did you think that I covered canon well enough that everything was recognizable and worked as it should, and did the new elements fit, or were they questionable and/or distracting?

Anyway, enough with the third degree. Mutch is certainly a trouble-maker. I think my favorite gimmick had to be the stick that Will found on the playground. He really feels like he has no place in either world, Muggle or Magical, and so he has to make his own place (and find his own wand :) ).

Oh, and I have one more question: how many dropped plot threads did you find? Haha! I had some trouble with that.

Thanks so Mutch for your incredible review of this story! *pats story on the back* It likes the attention.

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Review #6, by CambAngst One

3rd December 2012:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

Wow. You consistently come up with some of the most original ideas I've seen on HPFF. A Squib boy who not only can't do magic, but he seems to be able to destroy magic with a mere touch? Fascinating. My mind is spinning with all of the wild places you could take an idea like this.

Let's start with the basic stuff. I really loved the way that you paced this chapter. You didn't dump the entire back story onto the reader in the first few paragraphs with a load of first-person exposition. You introduced Will and his life gradually, weaving the details seamlessly into the plot of the story. That is such an under-rated thing around here, being able to convey the important things about a character without just blurting them all out. And you didn't even have to create any circumstances that felt extraordinary to do it.

I found myself feeling very curious as to what the illness is that Will needs treatment for. based on the descriptions, it sounded like kidney dialysis. You introduced three distinct pieces of Will's story that made me stop and try to divine the relationship between them. The first is Will's medical condition, the second is his odd ability to destroy magic and the third being the disappearance of his parents. Again, you have a subtle but very good way of getting across what's important in this story. Either we don't have all of the pieces yet or I missed an important one, but my guess is that we'll be finding out much more as the story unfolds.

And who is Mutch? You didn't provide a whole lot of detail on this one, but again that goes to the wonderful pacing of the story. You laid out a very compelling mystery and left the picture very incomplete. I'm drawn to the next chapter like a hobo to a ham sandwich. I hate it when I start to work a puzzle and find that there are missing pieces. It sends me into a flurry of digging through the couch cushions and looking underneath the furniture. And right now, my dear, you are holding onto a lot of important pieces!

Let's see, what else... The potions shop owned by Will's uncle sounded an awful lot like the shop where Severus spends his apprenticeship in Until We Close Our Eyes for Good. Especially the hidden doorway in the alley. So I'm eager to find out whether the worlds of these two stories overlap at all. And the little girl named Marly also caused a flash in my brain. McKinnon, perhaps? Will's uncle seems like he has the boy's best interests at heart, although it's too early to be sure. He certainly missed the boat on realizing that he wouldn't be able to magically repair Will's glove for very long.

Once again, I find myself feeling disappointed that I missed out on one of your stories for too long. I will definitely be rectifying that mistake! Nicely done!

Author's Response:

Ham sandwich... *dangles sandwich from secretly booby-trapped line*

First off, nobody reads this story. *looks around* Correction: a very few number of people have read this story, and some of them happened to leave a review or two.

To everyone's defense, you don't go to a fanfiction website about your favorite characters and then seek out stories that don't include ANY canon characters at all. That would be silly, right? But that's what one of the challenges was, and I, of course, signed up for it, so here it is.

You're right. It's the potions shop. I couldn't go through all that semi-world-building and create that neato mosquito place and then not play around with it, could I? Netterheim was my favorite OC from Until We Close Our Eyes. I just had to play with him a little more. Reuse, recycle...

Also, if you want a cool writing exercise, you should check out Michael Moorcock's "How To Write a Novel in Three Days" essay. (you can Google it) I used it for this story. The time frame is bogus, naturally, but the setup exercises were fun. Coupled with the Five Elements Challenge, it gave me all sorts of unique ideas to throw together. I had fun playing around. You'll have to let me know if it worked out.

I am so thrilled that you felt the pacing was right. That was one of the difficulties I had with the first five, six... maybe more than that drafts for this. I wrote this thing in the middle of also writing the novel-length story, and I learned the hard way that short story writing is a completely different way of thinking. I think I killed an army's worth of subplots in revision. I still don't think it's focused enough, but I'm leaving it alone as a benchmark sort of thing.

And because I'm not gonna write any faster, I guess you'll just have to read SLOWER... haha!

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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Review #7, by soufflegirl99 One

3rd November 2012:
This is a brilliant story - extremely well planned with lots of emotion and character development.
It's new and different from any other story I've read, with such an original idea about living in Diagon Alley.
It really adds a new perspective on being a squib, and the whole sickness thing is genius.
I love the way you made the chess pieces not like Will - that was a touch of genius!! It's a very light piece that stays with you, with very believable character traits. Awesome :D

Author's Response: Hi there!

What a nice surprise to get a review for this story! I don't know many fanfiction readers that are interested in an OC only story, much less willing to read one.

I wanted to use the Harry Potter universe in a fresh way, and I'm glad you picked up on that. Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts and comments!


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Review #8, by Arithmancy_Wiz Three

6th March 2011:
Hi, Pixileanin. Thanks for the review request. This was a really great read and I'm glad you requested I take a look at it.

You mentioned in your post that you were generally concerned about this piece. Honestly, I don't think you should be. It's quite a good story. The characters are very well crafted. OC-centric fiction often reads very forced to me but this didn't at all. It worked with the magical world very well. Will is a perfect, if unexpected, fit. You wrote the voice of a 12 year old very naturally. The supporting cast was also nice and well rounded. The bully, the gruff uncle, the kindly neighbor...they all had their part and played it well. The plot was also very intriguing. I don't see a lot of true action/adventure pieces around the site but this fits the bill nicely. Your short scenes moved the plot quickly, building the feeling of suspense. You really feel that at any moment Will's secret will be discovered. I also liked that you had Will straddling the muggle and wizarding world. It was reminiscent of Harry himself and adds another layer of tension for Will.

I only have a few critiques that come to mind because this is a really good story. First, you mentioned transitions in your request and I thought some of them were a little abrupt. Some of the scenes were almost too short and perhaps would have been better strung together. Some of the scenes that were "skipped" also felt like they disrupted the flow a little. One sticks out in particular. It's in chapter one. One moment Will is in his room thinking about treatment, then a new scene starts and the treatment is over. While I don't think you needed to depict the treatment itself, a smoother transition here might have worked better. Perhaps he shouldn't have been in his room again. He does't really do anything in there the second time around anyway. Maybe the scene opens with him thinking about the pain of treatment and then moving into the distraction his uncle was trying to provide with the chess game...? Just an idea.

The only other thing I'd "complain" about is that it should have been longer! I would have loved to see you lengthen some of the scenes into chapters of their own, continue on with who is after him and what happened to the uncle. I'm glad he found Mutch (and I LOVED that he wasn't an actual person), but that story line didn't feel complete. Why capture the creature? Why did he befriend Will? What you wrote was great but it didn't feel like a complete story, which is a shame because you write well enough to make this a proper novel.

Thanks again for sharing the story. Best of luck with whatever you write next!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review!

I struggled with what to include and what not to include, since my ideas kept coming and I was adamant to keep this a short story - so the hardest part was what not to write and still make it feel like it was enough. So thanks for the specific example. I can see how that scene would work better instead of breaking it up. I'll definitely keep that in mind for other parts too. I'm still trying to identify "real" scenes from "filler" and maybe if I get that worked out, the transitions will be easier to handle. I can feel the bumps, but I'm still not sure what to do with all of them. That really helped! :)

I suppose this could be continued as a serial of sorts if my muse hits me up again. I appreciate your feedback and your encouragement!


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Review #9, by VioletBlade Three

6th February 2011:
Okay first of all, this most definitely calls for a sequel!! It was wrapped up very well, but there was so much more to be discovered through it! (That's just my own opinion ;)) I would most definitely be interested in reading a sequel if you wrote one and would love the link if or when you start it!

Now onto business. I suppose since the purpose of this challenge was the five elements bit, I'll do my eval of that first.

#1) I definitely liked how you used this one. Will's 'opening of the door' was completely new and different to me and most definitely satisfied the requirement for this element! Well done!

#2) This was pretty straight-forward, and so it wasn't too difficult to put in there. But it's another check!

#3) I think the rat you mentioned was the caged rat? Anyway, that's perfectly fine, it didn't say it needed to play a major role or anything!

#4) This was also pretty straightforward. I don't usually read 'Pre-Hogwarts' stories, but I'm so glad this was done for my challenge, because it was extremely well written, and if I had by chance stumbled upon it and read it without it being a part of my challenge, I would have most definitely favorited it!

#5) The unexpected visitor was really well done. I'd still like to know more about who/what Will is, because he certainly is a very interesting character, and his magical abilities are very... different. (Again, I beg for a sequel!) I'd also like to know who his Uncle was involved with (was it the Death Eaters) and why, but that's okay!

Overall, wonderfully written story from start to finish! I will post my decision by blog or PM by Wednesday! Thank you for participating in my challenge!


Author's Response: Wow! You want more? I'll let you know if we (the muse and I) decide to continue this. Right now, we've moved on to other things. That is incredibly flattering!

I thoroughly enjoyed writing a piece for your Five Elements Challenge.

1) "A character opens a door, but the act turns into something else." - this one element begot Will's abilities. You asked for originality, so I tried my best.

2) "During the story, a character inherits some money." - there wasn't anything tricky to this, but it helped increase the element of "danger" for my MC.

3) "The story must have a rat at the beginning." - that was fun! And just because I had such a good time with it, it got used later too.

4) "The story takes place in the past." - thank you for putting an easy one in the mix!

5) "There is a visit by an unexpected visitor." - I'm glad you liked that. It was... unexpected.

Without your challenge, I would never have imagined a story like this, so I (and Will) must give a very big thanks to YOU for creating it! And also, thank you for such an uplifting review!

Even the rats are smiling!

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Review #10, by VioletBlade Two

6th February 2011:
Have I told you that I really, really, really like your story? Well I do. It's a completely new plot line to me, and one that I can't stop reading! (I'm only doing it now to give you some feedback!) Will is a really interesting character, and I think you've developed him very well!

Another great point: You've managed to capture a twelve-year-old boy's point of view, I believe. He acts like a scared little boy would, and the way he thinks (with the exclamations) really makes the writing authentic.

I also really like the bully scenes. They are like what I would expect to encounter on an elementary school playground, complete with how I would envision the bully to act. I hope there's more with Marly though!

OH, and how could I forget Mutch?? I love Will's loyalty to his friend, but also that you didn't make him rush in to try and save him (because really, what twelve-year-old boy would?) But I do hope he's alright!

I've honestly grown really attached to Will, and I--this is embarrassing-- have grown to be protective of him, as if he was my younger brother. I really like how you have him struggle to figure out what/who exactly he is, and I myself am very, very curious!

Bravo, very well done!


Author's Response: Hello VioletBlade!

Sorry it took me so long to respond to this. I'm extremely pleased that you are enjoying the story and find the plot line interesting.

Will needs a lot of protecting, since he's a bit sheltered and naive, so it's good that you've decided to step up as a big sister. He would appreciate that! :)

Thank you for a wonderful review!

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Review #11, by VioletBlade One

20th December 2010:
Wow, I really like this story so far! It's incredibly interesting... something I've never read before. I'm curious as to what exactly Will is, as it's obvious he's not exactly a Squib... hmm *thinks hard* And I'm curious as to who Mutch is. :) Great first chapter and I can't wait to read more! :D


Author's Response: Thanks! I really wanted to try something different. Glad you are interested!

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