CTF Jailbreak Review
Hi again! I've heard there's a flag lurking somewhere on your page...
I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of pairings that are explicitly non-canon, like Draco/Ginny, but with the set-up that you've got going on here it seems like Ginny has left Harry already (sorry, I jumped in on chapter 2) and so I already feel a bit more open-minded to it than I probably normally would.
The invitation seemed a bit of a surprise even to Ginny herself, so I wonder what's going to happen when she's there at Malfoy Manor. I'm intrigued because the invitation has been sent by Astoria as well, signing as Astoria Malfoy, so it seems like Draco is still with his wife...
The shorter sections worked really well to build up a sort of tension about the event that Ginny's going to and let us feel as uncomfortable as she probably does about it. I know I didn't read the first chapter, but the invite seems to have come a bit out of the blue and Ginny's not the only one who thinks that or thinks that maybe it would be better not to go. I liked her having reasons for having to go, though - it made it more plausible. And I liked Ron's characterisation, too - he was funny but not as angry as I often see, and that made me smile.
Hi Kapa! It's LivingFairytale again, from the forums. Ready for another review?
First Impression & Characterization:
I really liked the way you started off with Ginny dressing up for the party at Malfoy Manor and Nerys picking her up. Nerys seems to be a bit of an arrogant, unpleasant person (especially the part where she talks about her 'pureblood family'), but I guess that's your intention.
Astoria Malfoy not drinking any alcohol and going early to bed... Is that a hint? Could she be pregnant? Interesting! I still think the characterization of both characters are spot on! They are absolutely pleasant to read.
You shouldn't be worrying about the plot, because I think it's running nice and smoothly. Personally, I would expand the chapters a little bit more, maybe by adding some more dialogue. Your writing style is very pleasant, but you tend to use a lot of description. So, to maintain the balance, you could consider adding some more dialogue.
Uh-oh.. A drunken Ginny and a mischievous Draco.. I'm very curious how that'll work out. Overall, I think you did a great job, well done! Keep it up!
Author's Response: I'm always ready for another review from you! : )
Ginny definitely 'show her colours' with how she dresses herself to the party, doesn't she? : P I'm happy that you think it worked well to start the chapter with this kind of preparation. I think I wanted Nerys to be an example of how Ginny isn't friends with all of her team mates just because they play Quidditch together. I don't think Nerys is a bad person per se, but she's definitely not 'friend material' for Ginny, heh.
Aaah, yes, something is definitely up with Astoria, good catch! And it's great that you think my characterisations are still pleasant to read! : )
I definitely agree that the chapters need to be expanded upon more! In the re-write I'm aiming for all chapters to be at least over 2000 words long. And I also agree that this chapter could use more dialogue, though you'll find that the next chapter is actually quite dialogue heavy! But as a general rule, I should definitely let my characters talk to each other more! I find dialogue difficult to write, and in the second chapter I actually deleted a long chunk of dialogue between Ginny and Hannah Abbott that I want to add back in the re-write... I'll have to challenge myself a little!
Yes, this is definitely a set up for some 'unexpected developments' to happen, haha! Thank you for this review, and I hope you like the next chapter as well!
Hi Kapa! It's LivingFairytale from the forums again! I'm excited to read and review chapter two, so let's get started right away!
Starting off with the letter was a great idea. The letter gave me a bit of a nauseous feeling in my stomach. It seems to me, the Malfoy's aren't doing it for charity reasons; they just want to be liked by the public!
Let's move on to characterization, as it was one of your main concerns. I liked the fact that Ginny chose a dress in the colours red and gold, that's really something that suits her and her character. I still think you are doing a great job on Ginny's character and personality traits. I really couldn't find any flaws.
The plot is flowing smoothly thus far. It seems to me, you have a clear image of where you want the story to go, which is really good. The little 'jumps' in your story are pleasant to read and easy to follow as well. This chapter was a delight to read and kept me reading until the very last sentence.
Overall, I think you did a great job on this chapter (again!). I'm really looking forward to read & review more of your story, so don't hesitate to re-request! I'm also wondering what the reason behind Ginny & Harry's divorce is. Will we ever get to know?
Keep it up! x LivingFairytale
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this second review!
If you read on you might find that Astoria might actually be into this for at least partly charity reasons. Draco... maybe not so much, heh. And the letter is definitely phrased in a way that doesn't put the focus on the charity aspect exactly, so I'm glad you caught that. The reader is definitely supposed to question the Malfoys' motives at this point.
As for characterisation, I actually agree that Ginny is pretty well characterised in this chapter too. I think I remembered her as more flat than she actually is in the story. The problem here is less that she's a flat character and more that she doesn't have much to work with plot-wise, in my opinion (but I'm happy that you disagree!).
So yeah, I'm really not a fan of the plot in this chapter... This is actually one of the chapters that I'm the least happy with. I think it's a fair bit too short, and reading it over now to prepare to answer your review I feel it's way too rushed - nothing much seems to happen even though a lot of things actually happens - and I found a lot of language errors on my read through... but I'm still really happy that you like it. Hopefully I'll be able to add more content to it without it seeming like boring padding to the reader!
I /do/ have a clear image of where I want the story to go... which is probably why I rushed the story along a bit too much, haha! And I'm glad the 'jumps' work, because most, if not all, of them are staying.
You will get to know why Ginny and Harry broke up - I think it's in the last posted chapter but maybe I haven't written it yet. Anyway, it's definitely in the plans for the story and a bit of a plot point.
Now I'm off to request more reviews from you, yay!
First impression & Characterization:
First of all, I like your summary. It gives me a clear view on what to expect, in a positive way. The beginning of the chapter feels a bit rushed. I think you can easily prevent that by adding a little bit more detail and description. It didn't really bothered me though, because the rest of the chapter progressed nicely. Draco sounds a little cocky, which is exactly how I'd imagined him to be, nice!
You told me that you are a little bit concerned about Ginny's characterization, so I decided to focus on that. I couldn't find any flaws though. I think you portrayed her very nicely; she is still as fury as always, but also very polite and a little bit stubborn. You should definitely not worry about her being random!
As I already said, I think the begin part felt a little bit rushed, but the rest of the chapter progressed very well. My favourite part must be the last part, when Draco comes up to meet Ginny. I had to get used to him calling her 'Ginevra' instead of 'Weasley' or something, but I think it suits his arrogant behavior. The last line made me giggle; I can definitely imagine Ginny saying that!
Overall, I think you did a very well job on this first chapter. Please feel free to re-request if you like, I'm curious to read more! Keep up the great work!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking your time to review this!
I am aware that the beginning is rushed, it is sadly the first thing most people notice. I'm afraid it doesn't really give people a good first impression, and it's one of the most pressing things to fix in this chapter. I'll move a few things about, too, and make Ginny's initial reaction to learning that Draco is sponsoring her team more dramatic. I'm happy that you think Ginny's characterisation works in this chapter - I'll make sure to not change it up too much in the re-write.
Hm, a thing I worry about is that the pace will be messed up if I expand upon the opening... The whole chapter is pretty much build up to the Draco encounter, so I don't want to have it overbalanced in the beginning... I'll try to keep the balance I have intact in the re-write, even if it means adding some bulk to the later parts too... The chapter will probably end up a looot longer, hm.
It's so great that you think Draco calling Ginny 'Ginevra' reads as a part of his arrogance, that's exactly what I was going for. And I'm really happy about that last line, it'll definitely stay in the re-write, haha! I'm very pleased that you think I did a job on this chapter, and I hope it'll be even better after the re-write.
Heya Kapa! Here for your requested review, which also counts for BvB!
So this story is really different from what I normally read. I haven't read Ginny/Draco since...the Draco Trilogy, which makes me feel old. Wow. Throwback Sunday, I guess. ANYWAY I don't read this pairing like ever so I don't have a huge background in this, but I really don't see many huge huge problems from my read through. There are definitely things that could be tightened up/clarified/expanded on, but overall, I didn't see anything that really made me question the story or want to stop reading it.
I'll start by addressing some of your AoCs. I actually thought you did a really good job getting across Ginny's character. She seemed quite in-character from canon, and I could totally understand the strength of her character and her isolation. She's very focused on her career/Quidditch, but there are hints of how the War/possession by Riddle have affected her. She's clearly rash and unsure of what she actually wants out of life, and this relationship/fling with Draco is an extension of it.
That said, and keeping in mind that you want to focus on the darker elements of the story, I think her characterization could be strengthened if you spent more time expanding on her inner thoughts and reflections. There have been mentions of the War and the diary, but if you really fleshed out her confusion/anger/unresolved feelings over those times in her life, I think her general lack of direction and rashness would be better contextualized.
Another way you could work on working on your vision of Ginny that you mention in the AoCs is by having her reflect on her decisions more. She's obviously agonizing over her night with Draco, but if you included her regret over, for example, owling him, or her conversation with him, that could help clarify her own anger at herself rather than just confusing decision making. (I could see her rationale between the lines, but if you worked it in more explicitly, I think that could strengthen the characterization.)
One thing I really enjoyed was how she's responded to Harry after their break up. There was a period of awkwardness, yes, but then they both moved on, and Harry is a part of the Weasley family regardless. That was a really nice part of the story to me, and showed that Ginny's actions are really more about her and her inner turmoil than some bad breakup.
So another character that I think could be fleshed out more is Draco. I like how you've introduced him, Ginny's suspicions of him and his attempts at redemption, but I think it could be a bit tighter if you included more details around him. I get vague, general ideas of him and his behaviors, but if you, for example, had Ginny reflect a bit longer on some of the things that he's done to redeem himself and the reasons for her distrust, that could help both my understanding of Draco and Ginny.
As to their relationship...I like the pacing of everything, and how long it took Ginny to owl him after their first indiscretion. I would've liked a little more of Ginny's inner struggle over his father/the diary, because that seems like it's something that would really be bothering her. Their conversations feel a little bit rushed to me, mostly because Draco is being so honest. Ginny notes her own surprise over that, but it feels a little out of character and out of place given the situation they're in. It's all just a little too easy imo.
Then there's the consent issue you've brought up. I don't know what direction you're trying to take this story when you say you want it to be darker in the revision, but I thought it was just on the edge of being him taking advantage of her. If you want to make it clear that it's a mutual decision and that they both consent, I have a few suggestions. 1. Before they kiss/after Ginny drinks the water, she could make some mention of how she's probably good to Apparate and Draco agreeing-- that could establish that she's back in control of her actions. 2. She kisses him first, yes, but then he takes them into a bedroom. If they had a moment where one goes "Are you sure you want this?" and the other says "yes" that could be another way to clarify the situation.
I think the plot has been developing at a good pace, but the flow of the chapters has been a tiny bit awkward to me at times. For example, chapter five was awkward to me because there was so much time passing at the end of the chapter without any big scene to anchor it. So if you expanded on Ginny reading the letter or something like that it could make it flow better-- for now it just seems like a lot of time has passed, and then she gets this one letter and bam the chapter's over. Maybe slowing down that transition between the party and Easter so that you include a few details (which could also reinforce Ginny's isolation) could also help.
I think the last AoC you mention is your writing, but I really didn't see any big things that stuck out. There were little things that I'm sure you'll catch in a revision, but nothing major.
Okay, I think that's about all I have to say...feel free to PM me if you're confused about any of my comments or have any further questions! I think you have a lot of potential with this story and I really like your characterization of Ginny. :)
Author's Response: Wow, this review was exactly what I needed! Thanks a huge, huge bunch, J!
I'm happy you don't think the story sucks utterly - I get caught up on all the problems that come from me rushing this story out and maybe then I'm top hard on the story as a whole...
For example, I actually put a lot of work into getting Ginny to be as 'Canon' in her characterisation as possible, and I definitely do think that this is one of the ways she could get after the war, but I agree that I should probably focus more on her inner life and how she gets angry at herself for doing the rash things she does. I also agree that I should write morea bout how the war and her possession by Riddle affected her and how she hasn't really worked through it. I think I'll elaborate on how being in the same room as Lucius Malfoy affects her a lot more in the re-write too. I agree that she should react more to that, and that Draco sort of has to carry his father's sins as well as his own in Ginny's eyes...
I'll try to work in your advice about the characterisation of Draco too... It's a bit difficult, because I know why he does the things he does, but I don't want to give too much away to the reader. (You say that his and Ginny's conversations seem rushed because he's being so honest, but a lot of his 'honesty' is actually more him manipulating GinnyÃ¢Â€Â¦) But I don't want the story to be confusing either... hm. But yeah, as you say I could write more about what he's done to redeem himself and how Ginny sees him. If I have her speculate more about why he does the things he does that might clarify both his and her characterisation, perhaps...
You say that the relationship seems realistic in how slowly it develops but still a bit too 'easy'. I think I'll slow it down even more, and maybe that will help with the 'too easy' problem as well. I'll definitely see what I can do about that, at least. But I also want it to seem a little more easye than it 'should', because Draco has some hidden motivations that haven't been revealed yet and they affect this...
As for the consent issue, I think I'll scratch the sex completely, and just have them kiss and Ginny stay the night and then obsess about what might have happened and then write to Draco when she realises that she can't stop fantasising about him. But your ideas are great too, and I'll keep them in mind if I decide to keep the sex after all.
I'll see what I can do with the flow of the chapters, and I love your idea of using the time passing at the end of chapter five to really bring home how isolated Ginny is.
I'm happy that you think this story has potential (I think so a lot more too after reading this review, so thanks for that!) and that you like my characterisation of Ginny. This review was so helpful, and I'm sure I'll come back to it time and time again as I start my re-writing project! Thank you so, so much for taking the time to do this! I'll be sure to PM you if I need any clarifications or have any follow up questions.
I am intrigued by your story because of the Harry/Ginny aspect! At first it was a little choppy and word flow was a bit awkward but as the chapter progressed, I noticed the words flowed much easier and more smoothly.
I think you've set up an interesting scenario, with lots of questions to be answered. Why did Harry and Ginny call off their wedding? What all else has Malfoy done to start over as a reformed man?
I like the general annoyance Ginny displays as a former rival of Malfoy, and clearly that hasn't gone away. I'm very interested in seeing how this particular part of the story progresses.
Clearly Malfoy knew Ginny's nickname was Ginny but he called her Ginerva. I am a bit interested in figuring out why he calls her this. Are things going to be this formal when they decide to get together? I'm very excited about reading the next few chapters :) Meeting Astoria and seeing how much they love the Holyhead Harpies, seeing why Malfoy is so interested in this.
Keep it up Kapa.
Author's Response: Aw, thanks so much for this little surprise of a review!
I am well aware that this story has a lot of issues - in fact I'm planning a complete re-write of the whole thing! I hardly edited this chapter at all and just wanted to get the ball rolling so the beginning is indeed very choppy. Sorry about that, haha. : P
I'm happy that you think this is an interesting scenario, because I'm still very invested in it and want to make it work. All your questions will be answered... sooner or later, anyway.
Getting this review actually motivated me to get the ball rolling with the re-do of this story, so thanks a lot for it! : )
I'm here from REVIEW TAG on the forums!
I've seen you around a bit and I jumped at the chance to be your first reviewer! :)
This is a great start for your first fanfic. It is really well put together and I did not notice any typos. It included everything a first chapter should - you've introduced the characters, set the scene for the background information that the reader needs, and gave us a little taste of some conflict that might be to come. Also, I love that you didn't make this first chapter too long. That is a common mistake with new authors, they think they have to tell us absolutely everything in the first chapter, when it is kind of nice to reveal little tidbits about your character little by little.
I also think you've done a nice job with characterization. Ginny still has her fiery spirit and she is definitely not ready to just fall all over Draco because he's done one thing nice. She is right to be leery of him - he may still have ulterior motives for his generosity. I also like the character Angelica - it was nice to see someone that might end up being a little sister type to Ginny.
Your descriptions were done quite well, especially where Ginny's emotions were concerned. She is conflicted at the end of the chapter - and that makes the reader want to learn more.
Author's Response: Wooow, thank you so much!
I should tell you that while it's my first fanfic, it's not my first story ever. I've definitely fallen into the 'cramming everything into the first part of a story'-trap before, haha. But here I was actually a bit worried I'd given too little information - I actually have more of a problem with RUSHING my story beginings nowadays...
I love writig Ginny, does it show? She comes very aturally to me, probably because I'm a bit like her. I tried writing Hannan Abbott once in my first attempt at my first fanfic and it, er... didn't work as well, shall we say? I'm surprised that you like Angelica - and I'm sorry to say that she kinda disappears (but not completely!) after this chapter... Maybe I should try to bring her back...
Thank you sooo much for this review, it was really nice and it's very precious to me as my first review ever! Very encouraging that you say it makes the reader want to learn more, haha. Thanks!