Ahhh.. James and Lily arguing... ARGH! Why can't they admit to all that sexual tension already!
James fawns all over Lily... that's a cliche alright! But I like what you've done with it! I'm glad that you don't have Lily just screeching her head off at him, but instead taking the time to have a decent conversation with him. I guess it helped that he wasn't his cocky self either. But the Lily I always picture is more level headed and this fic fit perfectly into my headcanon, so I absolutely love it :D
The description at the beginning was wonderful... it was just so Lily Evans! I honestly love your descriptions Kaitlin, you bring the whole scene alive in just a few sentences. You use words, sounds, touch... every sense to bring out the scene, that's just amazing! And Lily, I do picture her as someone who gets bogged down by certain issues and just wants some alone time.
That bit in the end about James not wanting Remus to gloat, typical James! That brought a smile to my face. Sirius admitting that Remus knew about girls after all was so funny! I could totally picture him sounding extremely surprised at that. It was a nice turn that James actually paid heed to Lily, probably because she wasn't yelling at him, and maybe because he actually heard her this time.
Whatever be the reason, this event seems to mark a turning point in the James and Lily dynamics, and I'm loving it.
You're big fan,
A Challenge Cheerleader
Author's Response: Hello my dearest Challenge Cheerleader!
I know. The two of them are so impossible. Personally, I can understand why Lily doesn't want to be bothered.
It is indeed a cliche and not one that I was all that excited to write about. I honestly dislike James quite a bit, so it's always hard for me to write him in a positive light.
I'm glad you liked the bits with the Marauders together. And of course Remus would know the most about the ladies. It's always the quiet guys that know what's up.
This is definitely the start of James learning to give Lily some space and possibly maturing a bit.
Thanks for all of your love and support!
Well done on your challenge! It's so cliche that James does fawn over Lily but you took an out of the box approach to it and it broke my heart. I love James and Lily, a lot of James, and to feel the stinging burn of rejection was hard! So great job! At first I wasn't sure if it was James or Snape because James gets on her nerves but Snape did call her a Mudblood - therefore this scenario could have been him too.
I loved the characterization of Lily at the beginning. The wizarding world has brought on issues and just for a moment she wants to be free of those. The picture I got in my head while she went for a small ankle deep dip in the lake was fantastic and had me smiling. Sometimes you need to let go for a bit to feel the freeing sensation. Yeah :) and (as per usual) it wAs a fantastic job written down.
I love how they credit Remus in the end too. Sometimes he is forgotten about in my opinion but I think that him and Lily would have been grand friends, making him a bit keener on her thoughts and whatnot.
I mean my heart seriously broke, so applause for you and all your magnificent story telling abilities.
*hug* as promised!
Hi Kaitlin! My reason for coming is twofold. First, I've also entered the Take-A-Cliche challenge and have been meaning to read the other entries, and second is the Red vs. Gold Review Battle. Go Gold!
Okay, I love the effort you put into setting the scene. That you include the merpeople soaking in the sun and the mud between her toes--it brings me into the story, makes it feel real. However, sometimes I feel that you get a little wordy and I get tripped up. (enter my writing teacher voice--I apologize in advance)
Concision isn't about cutting your writing down to its bare bones; it's about making sure that every word is working. That every word has a purpose. You do that here: The words roll off of my tongue like a thunderstorm. They burst and crack with frustration. Beautiful. It's succinct and powerful. Read it out loud: They burst and crack with frustration. There's a beautiful rhythm there. Whereas something like this: Just a few moments without being chased by one person or another is something I’m in desperate need of. feels weighed down by extra words. If you read it out loud, you find yourself almost running out of breath. If I were to cut this down, I'd eliminate "a few" because "moments" implies it's fleeting/limited. and "one person or another" is unnecessary, because being chased implies a person doing the chasing. Also, "in desperate need of" feels clunky. So, "I'm in desperate need of just moments without being chased." I don't meant to impose that wording on you, I'm merely showing you what happens when you a) cut down the repetition and stick to the heart of the sentence, and b) start with the actor (Lily) to create a more active feeling. The flow is there and the meaning is clearer.
/writing instructor voice
I struggle with concision, too, though I think I've gone from not being concise to being too concise. It's such a hard balance!
Anyway, more compliments: I was pleasantly surprised to see James back off for once. That he listened to Lily and was repentant was a nice turn, and that works well for this challenge. I can see this being the turning point in Lily and James's relationship. Oh, and that Lily sought alone-time by the Black Lake was so… nice. Picturesque. It totally felt like Lily, who to me is this intelligent yet ethereal woman who loves books and nature and is kind and genuine.
But now I'm just rambling.
Best of luck to you in the challenge! I enjoyed reading this piece and I'm sure I'll be back to read more of your stuff soon!
Hey Kaitlin! :) Dropping by for our review swap! Okay, so I'm a bit of a sucker for canon missing moments, and I do love the Marauders - especially things which give different takes on events - so I just had to drop by on this; I hope it's okay! :)
I really like the spin you've put on this. It's really different to anything you've seen before. I like how Lily's so angry with James, and so fed up of him always in her space and following her and trying to make sure she's alright - almost like she can't stand that he cares, and it's an interesting way to take things, you know? I don't know if you intended this as such, but I love the way it's almost like Lily herself isn't a very reliable character - you describe her as refusing to believe James could be sincere, which is so fascinating for a character to have.
I really like as well, how it was only at the end that Lily got the peace she wanted, and James sort of finally understood the truth of things, and who to listen to when it came to girls :P It was a great moment of humour compared to the rest of it - which was quite a bit darker and a lot more solemn in a way than I expected, I have to admit! :)
Your writing in this was great, too - I liked the way you used the dialogue to show so much and the differences between their characters, and how much or little they understood of each other. There were so many lovely little details in this, too - I loved the moment with the flowers, and how Lily doesn't vanish them or something but hits them to the ground. It's a lovely image! :)
This is a really lovely little one-shot, and so fascinating, too! :) Thank you so much for the swap; I loved it, as usual! :)
This was awesome!!
Really, I loved how cannon it all felt, and at first, before you introduced James with his name I felt like it could have been Severous too, which really fits. Really, he and James have the same obsession, but show it in different ways.
Also, I loved the use of Present Tense, it felt like a poem more than a story at times, and I think it's because you use a lot of sensory details too, like you suggested with my Sirius story. Also, I liked that James didn't agree to her terms right away, that was very like him, but he did relent in the end. It was left like, it'll probably still take some time for him to get used to it, but he'll get better at it. I think the only cc I can give is that I would have liked more Sirius, maybe feeling James's forehead to see if he was feeling ok, something like that.
Team Red :)
Author's Response: Hi there!
I definitely tried to keep it all cannon.
Ah. I'm glad that you noticed that it could be either Severus or James. I purposefully left it ambiguous.
Wow. Like a poem? That's such a lovely compliment to receive.
James can definitely be stubborn, but he's learning.
I can understand the desire for more Sirius, but he's really only in the very side of this story, so I thought it was fitting that he just had a few lines.
Thanks for the lovely review.
Hey Kaitlin! Here for the swap.
So Jily is my OTP and I'm always worried to read Jily angst. I just want them to be happy, y'know? That said, I really really enjoyed this story! It seems like it's a pivotal moment in their relationship, and hopefully James will start maturing so that he becomes the responsible Head Boy that wins over Lily's affections in the end.
I love how mature and thoughtful Lily is in this fic. It seems like she really knows how she should be treated and how to stand up for herself, which is admirable. She's strong and I can totally see her going on to fight in the Order and being awesome.
Then this James...it doesn't seem like he's trying to be disrespectful or mean, but he hasn't been very thoughtful. This seems like a great portrayal of a teenage boy who doesn't really understand the consequences of his actions and is on the edge of being a mature, understanding adult.
I can totally see this pair being awesome together when James really grows up and starts understanding the impact of his actions.
Great one-shot! You're such a challenge-completing machine and your work is always wonderful. #justkaitlinthings, amirite?? :)
Author's Response: Hi J!
Uh oh! Jily is your OTP. I hope I did them justice.
Whew! I'm glad you liked it!
They do say that girls always mature a bit faster than boys, so I figured that it would be natural for Lily to be more mature. James would need a kick in the butt to get on the same page.
I agree. They'll be good together once James settles down.
Hahaha. You're too sweet. Thanks for the lovely review.
I love me some Jily and this story didn't disappoint. You've characterized both James and Lily perfectly! I was even rolling my eyes at his pathetic attempts to woo her. The wild flowers - really?! Very typical James to think that his constant affections would eventually win her over.
I thought you did a great job with the cliche - and turning it on its head. There was no way Lily was going to ever fall for James's traditional tricks - their love was about the fact that they saw each other as equals, not him chasing her and her falling for him.
I'm so glad she stood her ground with James and didn't let her red-headed temper get the best of her. He would never have seen her point of view if she'd lost it with him.
And haha - Remus has been giving them sound advice all along - of course he has. But James and his arrogance always thought he knew best. He was going to "win" Lily on his own terms - until that clearly wasn't working.
I like where you ended this. It's a turning point for James, but they've still got a long way to go in their relationship. James needs to prove to Lily he can respect her - and she also needs to see him in a different light. All of that is going to take time. I can appreciate that this is just one step in their relationship and it shows a mark of a mature author that you didn't feel the need to wrap everything up in a nice, neat little package for the reader.
In addition, the beginning gives us a very nice image - and the way you've written it draws the reader in because it's not clear off the bat if the narrator is James or Lily (based on the story summary I could gather it was one or the other). My default was James, and I don't exactly know why, but I was pleasantly surprised that Lily was the one that needed the break from reality for a few moments.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable one-shot!
Author's Response: Hi Beth,
Oh! I'm so happy to hear that you think I've characterized James and Lily well.
Eye rolls are good. :D
I'm relieved that you thought I turned the cliche on it's head. I wanted to fill the challenge, but not in the most cliche way.
Lily definitely did stand her ground and I feel like for the first time, James really tried to understand what she was saying.
Remus always knows best!
There is a long way to go, but you're right, James is on his way.
I'm happy to hear that the description worked. I always love writing it.
Thanks for the review!