What? You aren't continuing this? This is so interesting, and I can see all the character development on the horizon... This is a great start, though. A bit of telling instead of showing, but Helene's character is crystal clear, and it was interesting all the way through. I really think you should continue!
Author's Response: Hi! I started this fic ages ago, when I had free time, and as I got busier I decided to invest all my energy into Keep Calm and Carry On because I really really REALLY wanted to finish it. Afterwards I plan to work on some OF, so Lungs is definitely on the back-burner. But I appreciate the kind words and the read! Thank you ♥
btw, the rather recent comment was by me. forgot to log in xP.
Author's Response: Hehe, hello there!
Although it's been over a year since this has been updated, I do hope you'll continue this. I'm intrigued by Helene and her watch (my guess: she's sick, will die at 20 unless healed, so she intends to heal herself. don't tell me whether I'm right; I'd like to read it as it comes in the story. xD) My one concern is her characterization- it's a little heavy on the hate, I find her self-analysis not biased enough-- try to make her seem more rational, in the unreliable-narrator way.
Please do continue! xD
Author's Response: Hello! I appreciate the feedback on Helene's character. If I've interpreted it correctly, I want to say that I *did* want her to be a hateful, unlikeable person. Mostly I've never tried to write a maiun character from this perspective and wanted to give it a whirl.
Thanks for the concrit! ♥
Sarah! I've been meaning to read this for a while now, but today I'm here as part of the 12 days of reviewing challenge.
I liked this opening chapter, especially the first line: Helene could not separate the cigarette smoke from her own breath that hung before her. Every breath expelled a curling ghostly mass. The writing was beautiful, and those first few passages about Helene smoking in the early morning outdoors were very atmospheric. If I have one criticism, it's that this chapter felt sliiightly too info-heavy - some of the characterisation we got of Helene could be left for later chapters, or just shown through her actions. When I think up a story, the first thing I want to do is launch into all the complex character and plot info I've just thought up, but I think it's more important for readers to be thrown straight into the action. So I came up with the compromise of writing the info dump first, then shelving that chapter and writing an alternate 'action' opening that presumes readers just know who my characters are already. I mean, I don't think that reflects in my plodding writing, but, well, I try. I love Helene's character (she seems like a bit of a BBC Sherlock) and I'm intrigued to see how she comes into contact with the Marauders. Will she treat Remus? Will he melt her heart of ice? Ah, only time will tell.
Great opening, though, Sarah! Looking forward to reading the next chapter when you post it (and I promise to catch up with KC&CO soon!) ♥
Author's Response: JUUULIIIAAA (this requires more than the allotted four-character-count.)
Why thank you! I admit this kind of writing comes a bit more naturally to me... any excuse to throw in way too much imagery, really.
That's a very helpful suggestion about the first chapter info-dump. I'm guilty of doing that (especially in KC&CO, ack!), mostly because I get so excited to update that I turbo-write one chapter and immediately throw it in the queue. I really like your suggestion though, about writing the alternate action chapter... That's definitely something I'll keep in mind for my next OF project.
Hehe, I've never seen Sherlock (BBC or otherwise) but that's a cool--and pretty flattering--comparison!
Thanks so much for taking the time to review! I hope your Holiday went well ♥
I feel like I'm almost stalking your author page lately. Either way, this story caught my attention so here I am.
I absolutely love your OC. You've given a very good impression of her character and backstory, without overdoing it. She reminds me a bit of House MD, she's brilliant! It's one of my favourite shows.
So what I particularly like about her character is that you haven't made her easy to like. I mean, I like her a lot, but I can imagine that some might not. I think that's a good thing, it makes it more realistic.
You said you would some day continue this story, and when you do I'll be sure to read it :)
Author's Response: Stalk away! This story is another of the plunnies I've had in my head for years, but I only just began writing this past winter.
Pahaha, I never would have thought to compare Helene to House... but maybe I can kind of see it? :3
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this story, even though I haven't been keeping up with it! ♥
I love the start of this.
It's more angsty than things I normally read but I can't wait to see where it goes.
Author's Response: Hey, thanks! Oh, just you wait--much angst is coming your way ;D
i love helene. she's truly an original character and i love your description of her attitude and illegal activities. i like her because she's so unlikeable if that makes any sense haha :D
is that mélanie laurent in the chapter image? well anyways, helene reminds me of shosanna from inglorious basterds. cold and calculating but she's got a purpose!
Author's Response: It is indeed Miss Laurent! That's an intersting comparison between she and Shosanna (Inglorious Basterds is one of my favorite movies!) But I think even Shosanna is kinder than Helene. She had a significant other, whereas Helene probably is incapable of caring about anyone else xD
Thanks so much for the review! I really want to finish this story. But I can't do more than one WIP or I'll never finish KC&CO. I probably shouldn't have published the first chapter yet, but I needed a break from writing humor.
Hello there! :) I was going to read Keep Calm and Carry On but the shiny banner and title of this story caught my eye, so I went with it instead. :P
This is amazing. I love it. It's definitely going in my favourites!
Helene's character is so interesting. She knows that she is cold and rude but she doesn't do much to change it. She accepts who she is and just goes along with it, I just love her. Ugh. Can I give you a hug for creating such a perfect, mean character?
I'm so excited how Remus and her will match up. It almost sounds impossible, but then again...they do have two or so things in common (I think).
Amazing story! I absolutely enjoyed reading it! ♥
Author's Response: Oh my gosh, I know what you mean. I could not stop staring at this banner when the amazing nala made it for me... in fact I still catch myself staring sometimes xD
It's so nice to read that people are intrigued by Helene; I was nervous posting this story because I didn't know if people were just going to write her off as cruel and not want anything to do with the story, hehe.
Thanks so much! I appreciate the review, no matter which story you choose :3
I am here taking part in the review swap-mabob! I felt extremely bad not reviewing something, and this caught my eye so here I am :)
Before I begin, I must inform you that I have a deep love of all things Remus Lupin, so this review may include some shameless fan-girling :)
This story is extremely different to 'Keep Calm And Carry On' and to be honest. . . . . . I am completely in love with it! Helene is such an unlovable person, that I almost feel a connection with her! She is just such a cold person, that you almost feel like desperatly trying to be her friend to remove the cold exterior, to see whats beneath! But then again, maybe it isn't just a cold front, maybe that's who she is! And then I love her even more! Because sometimes as fan fiction writers, we can get so wrapped up in trying to make lovable characters that readers just want to steal (ahem, Seamus!) that when you read stories like this, its like slamming your head into a bucket of ice-water, it refreshes you and opens you eyes!
Wow, I'm sorry that paragraph got very intense there! :P The watch bit is very interesting! Whats up with the third face? What does it do? Questions, questions that I need answered! Please update soon? :)
Yaay! Story No.2 for me to fangirl over :D
Author's Response: Shameless fangirling is actually my favorite type of review to read xD I get plenty of CC from other reviews, it's so fun to watch other people squee and flail over what I've written. So humbling!
I'm glad you feel that way about Helene. I wanted to have readers really dislike her--she is so incredibly intelligent and beautiful that there is NO way she could be friendly and still be realistic too! It's nice to see that people are responding to her this way.
I really like writing this story and it was begun primarily in response to the change in weather towards something colder and more depressing. I've had this plunny in my head for quite some time. But I probably should have waited until KC&CO is finished, because I am DETERMINED to have my first "Complete" on HPFF and don't need distractions (unfortunately that includes this story.) In fact I'm kind of forcing myself not to think about all of the Helene/Remus-y things floating about my head. But I am really, really itching to write more!
Thanks so much!
PS: I will not mind if you steal Seamus, although I will need him back in time for a pub crawl. ;D
First of all, I have to say that the imagery was so powerful in this and ugh I just loved it to bits and it was so great and aahjdgshfgafsjf.
There's not much coherency here because I really really like this and I really want to just slap Helene into the next galaxy, BUT ITS JUST SO GOOD.
I love your writing style, its so easy to read and usually I don't like reading whole blocks of text thats about the character in their outwardly appearance - I'm more of a keep everything ambiguous and extremely confusing kind of girl. ;) But you did this really well and I really enjoyed it!
I really like Helene's characterization - you make me hate her with a vengeance that I cannot explain and its kind of like finally! A first person character in a story that is meant to not be liked. I love this - it makes me want to read more and just complain about how annoyingly arrogant and ignorant Helene is and also bond with how she can just cut everyone off and just... I'm rambling now. I'm going to shut up.
Just know, despite the rubbishness of this review, that this was entirely enjoyable, makes me want to pester you to write the next chapter and that it has reduced me to goo.
Thank you! ♥
Author's Response: hehehehe. Yeah, Helene sucks. :P It's really fun writing her because I've never had an OC like this before, unless they were meant to be a villain or something.
Thank you for the read, I'm so glad that you liked it! :)
Hi! This is raisha from the forums for review swap!
First of all, what pulled me into this story was the title. Simple and perfect and made me want to click on it right away!
Your description is wonderful. It all sounds very real and helps me imagine myself in the story. It's almost like I'm standing there behind the character living their life with them. Very cool feeling! :)
Helene is a very interesting character. She is far from perfect, but that's what makes me admire her. She's human.
If you want my advice, stick to this. I mean, the way you set up this chapter with the mood and the description, just keep it going. It's one of the best stories I've read in a long time!
Very good start you have here. I am so eager to read more!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm so pumped for this review swap, it's such a good idea. :)
I find that it's much easier for me to describe things if it's cold/rainy/autumn/depressing in general, haha. I started writing this story to get my fix of angst!HP whilst writing a humor story, and I'm definitely going to stick with it.
I have to admit, I had considered reading this before, but opted out because I'm not a very 'serious' reader, as such. Sorry!
But now, after reading this chapter, I really wish I had read it that time I first saw it. This is a really interesting first chapter, different to everything else I have read and I am interested to see where this story is going to go.
I thought the character of Helene was really unusual, in the best way possible. Again, I've never read another character like her. I like the fact that though she is super intelligent, nobody likes her and she is a bit rebellious by smoking and all that. It is a very interesting dynamic.
I can't wait to see what happens next-I'll be reading the next chapter for sure!
Author's Response: Hahaha, no need to apologize! There is certainly an overflow of "serious"-themed fanfiction on this site ;)
Thanks so much! I was really nervous about peoples' reactions to Helene because I've always tried to avoid writing the beautiful, rebellious, intelligent character--but I thought that if I made her entirely disliked by other students, it might seem more realistic? I just love the kind of dynamic in 'ships that she's going to have with Remus. :)
When I started reading I thought this was a one-shot for some reason and as the story was progressing, I was actually sad by that fact because Helen intrigued me a lot. And yay, it will have the next chapter. I am favoriting it, simply because of Helen. You've poured out some very good characterisation here. Her arrogance just breathes off the page. And for some reason, I still find her sympathetic. Maybe it's because she's aware of her being a not such a nice person, therefore is honest with herself. I have gone through times in my life when I acted and felt similar to Helen. Not to such an extent, but I think I can guess where she's coming from...? What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't happen often a character negative and angsty as this grabs my attention so much. 10 points for the. The writing kept me on my toes the entire time (I was waiting for Remus to appear), and overall I really liked this and WILL be reading more. Let me know when you update on the forums if you'd like. :)
Author's Response: Hi there! Thanks so much for your review. I'm considering rewriting this chapter and including one of the Marauders, possibly Remus, just to get some dialogue in there. And I will most certainly tell you when I update!
Yes, I like this very much so far. She's quiet like how imagine Remus would be (and he'd probably be a loner if ge didn't have the Marauders), and she's sort of arrogant like Sirius and James!
Please continue! It's very hard to find good Remus/OC fanfics and I think you're on to something great!
Also very nice character development ;3
Author's Response: Hmm, that's very true, I hadn't thought about that--at least not about her similarities with James and Sirius. But yes, like Remus she is a loner and very focused on schoolwork! :)
Thank you so much, I will definitely be continuing this, especially with all the inspiration given me by my ~*~shiny new banner~*~!!!
Hello! After you wrote me such a lovely review I thought I'd drop by and read some of your writing :)
First of all, the title of your story is so simple yet fascinating! Lungs! So many things can be implied from the title...air, breathing space, anatomy. It also ties in nicely with Helene's smoking habit, introduced in the very first sentence. There's some neat irony in that Helene smokes heavily yet wants to be a Healer more than anything.
In terms of characterisation, Helene is quite complex, which is great. She isn't the average ambitious student; there's a touch of malice and mystery to her. But it is this paragraph about her that intrigues me most:
Helene’s small childish face had clouded with obvious disappointment. She had been hoping for a second pony or her own House Elf to boss around who could take the place of Clauthilde’s strictness. All the same her greedy child’s fingers, which had never seen a dirty dish or a weed to be pulled, tore through the expensive blue and gold wrappings. Inside the box was the watch that, to this day, Helene had never taken off once.
You've referred to a sense of 'childishness' and "child's greed" in Helene, which is rather different from her usual rebellious intelligence. It makes me wonder if there's also that shade of privileged spoilt teenager to her character. Anyway, your characterisation is layered and intricate, and your character carefully constructed through the detailed descriptions, and I'm interested to see how this develops over the course of the story :)
I do agree with the other reviewers that there's too much background info rather than story. There is rather too much "telling" instead of "showing".
For example, this line:
Helene never initiated anything so outward as James Potter and Sirius Black's public humiliations of Severus Snape, but she was markedly cruel.
Instead of telling the reader directly that she's "markedly cruel", perhaps you could show us via example? You could write a small scene detailing one of Helene's acts of cruelty (e.g. maybe she trips some first year up or something...sorry bad example but you know!!) and embed it into your narration. This will inform your readers about character background and traits through an interesting way. Also, it will make your character more believable and natural.
Your prose has little exquisite descriptions here and there, e.g. "bluish crescent moons stained the tissue-thin flesh". So lovely! I hope you could include more of these details in the future chapters.
OK, I think that's it for this review. Hope I've been helpful and not too harsh or discouraging or anything.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so very much for such a thoughtful review! So nice of you to do so.
I really do plan on going back and adding some dialogue to this chapter; I have a hard time remembering that the general public is probably not as enthralled by my OC's back-story as I am ;)
And Helene is definitely going to be a complex--maybe almost too much! XD I really wish I could explain everything in the first chapter, but I don't want to give it away. In the most basic of descriptions, she is cold and cruel because that is how her mother treated her, and also she is spoiled because her mother made up for her absence by giving her material objects. But her mother still expected a lot from her, which is why she had a governess. Helene's obsession with academic perfection in order to obtain a healing career is entirely her own, though, which will come in to play later :)
Thank you so much for your helpful words. When you said that I have been "telling, not showing" you struck a chord with me because your words reminded me of my favorite Creative Writing professor in college and the suggestions he would give us. So thanks for putting it into perspective!
And I really do have a habit of describing visual images to a ridiculous extent, so expect more of the "bluish crescent moons" and "tissue-thin flesh." ;D
Thank you again so much for such a thoughtful review, it's greatly appreciated!
Ooh, this was interesting, especially because I RP a generally disliked character who was also very smart and is now a healer. :P I like the overall tone of the story--it feels very different from Keep Calm--and think your descriptions are well done ("blackened caverns of lungs" was my favorite.)
I think my criticism is mostly for Helene. I feel almost as if there is too much background info and not enough story bits. For example, you mention that Helene is cruel, but we don't actually see any examples of it. Flitwick asks Helene why she wants to be a healer, and we're not actually given a reason (which I can understand if you're keeping it secret for a later point). Another issue is why she is like that. I don't think you have to reveal everything in this first chapter, but by showing us examples of Helene's traits, it serves a dual purpose of grounding those traits (ie, we can see to what extent she is cruel) and it is easier to digest as opposed to just being given information.
As another note, I think the transition from Helene standing on the tower (There were only minutes before Helene needed to be in the hospital wing for her apprenticeship.) to the flashback of how she got to Dumbledore's office (Any other student would have been nervous as they climbed the spiraling stairs to his office.) was just a little confusing because the paragraph in between those two lines (at least for me) wasn't enough. I actually assumed that Helene was making her way to DD's office after being on the tower smoking, and it may be because of your ending/opening lines on those two paragraphs.
Otherwise though, your writing is really fluid and its easy to start reading your work and not even realize you're at the end! I'm also impressed with how flexible you are at writing two stories with drastically different tones of voice. Good work!
Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for popping by to read another of my stories :)
I'll admit that this chapter was written in one sitting, with a giant pot of coffee, and I wanted to go ahead and upload it before I lost steam. So I will certainly take your advice to heart when I go back to edit; also she is standing on the ground, behind one of the west towers. Originally I had her standing in the Owlery but liked the idea of her being grounded in a corner. So obviously I need to clarify that bit too! ;)
This story is going to be tricky, because I want to explain why she's the way she is bu that's a big part of the plot that I want to keep secret. It will be easier to show that it's partially because of her mother, but I think it's going to be tricky. We'll see!
And yes, this is the tone in which I normally prefer to write. KC&CO is so much fun to write and I love writing with my OC and her friends, but I just needed a fix! :)
I overall enjoyed it but for a first chapter it was quite filled with background which is intriguing however I know some people don't particularly enjoy it. I say this from when I once received a review saying the same thing that I shouldn't have included so much background in the first chapter. Maybe a bit more action and perhaps dialogue would capture the interest of readers. However I know it's your first chapter so I understand the reason for it.
I find the character of Helene very interesting and I think you are doing a very good job so far. I look forward to seeing how she interacts with other characters and how you develop her showing her flaws and weaknesses.
It makes slightly hard reading to have so many larger paragraphs, I know you're just setting up the story but just for future writing.
This may sound strange but try not to overuse the word 'as'. I find myself doing it a lot in my own writing so it's just something to watch out for.
At the moment I don't have any suggestions for titles as I feel I haven't read enough of the story and I don't know where it is going to give an appropriate title. Some advice - perhaps put in a request for a banner at TDA because it may attract more readers to your story.
I hope this review is helpful, just ask me on the forums if you want me to review any more chapters. :-)
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I know, I really struggled with trying to keep this chapter interesting without having much more than reflections going on... it's going to be a challenge, I think, since she doesn't have any friends. But I'm up for it :)
I'll also look in to breaking up the paragraphs, and using too much of the word "as." Thanks for the suggestions!
And I really really want to request a banner--I even have all my images and such picked out, but I didn't want to do it before I knew for sure what the title was going to be.
Thanks so much!