Reviews For Bare
Reviewer: Quidditch through the ages
Date: 03/18/14 19:01
Chapter: Bare

What fun this was to read! Poor LavLav! What's Seamus up to anyways, is he a farmer?

Author's Response: Glad you thought so. I suppose I'll have to write a Seamus story, eventually. -N-

Reviewer: harryronhermionie
Date: 04/25/13 14:37
Chapter: Bare

Hi I was searching for the story where Lavender tests Mark by wearing a backless dress to see if he reacts to her scars. Couldnt find it. Can you help

Author's Response: You may be thinking about Angelina, in the eponymous tale. -N-

Reviewer: Shreeja
Date: 12/10/11 16:33
Chapter: Bare

It's wonderful how you show Lavender is not just another giggly girl who vanishes into the a mundane life because she is shallow. You have shown that Lavender is a woman with character, she is not a weakling. She isn't perfect, but she is okay with that. She has her flaws, she knows them and tries her best to work with/around them.

I think this as a story is great. I like Lavender more with each of your stories about her.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
I hope that "my" Lavender is recogniseable as JKR's Lavender, but after she's been scarred by the battle. I hope she remains slightly shallow, boy-obsessed, and even annoying.
I started writing about Lavender because, as a bloke, I was amazed at how often and two essentially harmless girls (Lavender and Cho) get a hard time in fanfics (compare and contrast with the treatment of Draco - and even Snape!)
Lavender tries to have fun, and do the right thing. There's nothing wrong with that.
-N-

Reviewer: EmmyT
Date: 02/06/11 2:07
Chapter: Bare

Wow. That was amazing! I love how you've got a new take on Lavender Brown, rather than the giggly sixth-year lots of people write about. This was very interesting!

E x

Author's Response: Thank you. I gave Lavender a hard time both during and after the battle. It will be some time before you know the whole story. There is a sequel to this – Moon. -N-

Reviewer: mugglenetaddict813
Date: 12/30/10 12:11
Chapter: Bare

Wow. This is a very powerful story. It has incredible insight into Lavender's tortured past, and once again, you do a wonderful job of conveying the main character's emotional turmoil. I really enjoyed reading this, and I loved the ending as well. Great job!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Lavender’s back story is scattered through many of my stories, but she does get the odd tale to herself. In addition to this one she stars in chapter 12 (Epiphany and Fall) of Tales of the Battle and appears in several other chapters. She also appears in Moon. -N-

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 11/07/10 0:35
Chapter: Bare

I thought you had a really new and different take on Lavender here and it was really interesting. I also liked that you didn't announce who she was at the beginning - it worked better to build your version of her character and then say who it was. I think what made her most endearing to me reading this was that she had done bad things, but she hated herself for it and wanted to change.It really added something to her character. I also loved the present tense (in general I like writing in present tense too) - it made me feel like I was in Lavender's head and going through everything with her.

All the characters were written well and I liked your attention to detail when it came to them (for example how Harry only looks at Ginny lustfully - I thought that was very IC).

I could go on praising this fic... I thought everything about it was believable and well-written, and I liked that it ended kind of sadly but with a bit of hope.

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review.

This story was my first real attempt to push myself. As I’ve (probably) said, writing a story from the perspective of a woman (who is naked for most of the story) on the morning after a one night stand, is a dangerous thing for a bloke to do. Especially as most readers here appear to be female. I was fairly confident that I would not descend into fanboy fantasy, but even so, this was a risk (I’m especially grateful to HestiaJones for her beta input).

As for the ending, well, perhaps you should read my story, Moon, too.

Thanks

N

Reviewer: the opaleye
Date: 07/28/10 4:20
Chapter: Bare

Neil, this is excellent! I'm really enjoying this Lavender trip. You have characterised her so well - there is something so tragic about her life but I feel like if anyone can get through it, Lavender will. Eventually. And after a few bumps along the way, I imagine. Despite her negativity, there is something relentlessly endearing about her. Well done!

I also love how you use her to show us what has happened in the wizarding world since the final battle. The details are interwoven so well and effortlessly. It's also great to see how you set her up for Moon - could this Vampire be the same which you mention in that fic?

You have such a particular style, Neil, and I really enjoy that. Your use of the first-person present-tense is certainly refreshing. I tend to stay away from writing first-person as it never seems to work for me, but you really master it. Keep on writing! I look forward to reading more of Moon (and anything else you write XD).

~Julia

Author's Response: Julia, thanks for the review. Bare was written for the challenge and, having decided that she’d been crippled in during the battle (as little more than a throwaway in Grave Days) I decided to explore her further. The fact that you describe her as endearing means a lot, as she’s far from perfect. Because I’m only writing one (sprawling) future I have a rough timeline to work too and filling in the “what happened” details is easy. The vampire is the same one, I even started a draft, of the story (Bones, Brown ans Beadle) but a novella length story written in this (first person present tense) style didn’t work so I’ll rewrite it sometime. Thus style only works for one-shots, I think, and it came about by accident because it was the only way that I could get “The Mind of Arthur Weasley” to work. I’ve been really pleased with the reviews this story has got. I’ll be honest, - male writer writing a female-first-person story set in the aftermath of a one night stand where the protagonist spends most of her time naked. That sounds like it could have been a complete disaster, a feeble male fantasy of the worst sort. Neil

Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Date: 06/30/10 1:45
Chapter: Bare

Hello, and good day to you, Neil!

I should be ashamed of myself, but this is actually the first story of yours that I’ve read on the archives. It’s really a shame, I must say, because you really are very good. When I’m on my next fic hunt, I shall most definitely look you up.

This is a very fascinating character portrait. You’ve taken Lavender, who we only know as a silly girl who fangirls Trelawney and likes Ron far too much for her own good, and given her a life and a body and an existence. Sure, it’s a tragic and unenviable existence, but I can’t help but admire her attitude. She knows that her moral fibre is not quite intact, and I think that’s what I like about her the most. She gives a damn, yet she doesn’t. I know it sounds contradictory, but it’s really the only way I can think to say it.

I, too, ship a tragic Seamus/Lavender, so I greatly appreciate how you built her reactions to the weddings of not only her friends, but her former boyfriend, as well. It was a bit of a twist to find out that she dumped him, not the other way around. I would be very interested to know why she did that. That is, of course, unless you’ve already got a story about that or a plot bunny waiting in the wings. If that’s the case, then I can’t wait to find out.

Your portrayal of Harry is interesting. One of the things that we noticed about Harry is that, when he’s focussed on something (or someone), he rarely thinks of anything else. As you said, he is observant, and one would have to be to qualify as Head Auror, but his focus on Ginny is very in-character. I consider myself very in tune with Harry as a character, so when I read your story, I get a very good feel for the person that I know to be him from it.

I find it interesting that you called the random Muggle bloke either ‘Dave’ or ‘name might be Dave’. It really shows Lavender’s worldliness. She understands that most words are only that, and more often than not, not much truth can be found within them. It makes her soul seem very old, though she is actually young in body. I think this is also a damned good characterisation bit on your part.

Another brilliant aspect is the almost robotic way that Lavender references her potions. She mentions carrying contraceptive potion and hangover potion like it was old hat, which adds to her sad, party girl exterior. Just the casual way she thinks of these things makes me feel bad for her and what she’s allowed herself to become.

In terms of style, I think the use of present tense, while okay, probably wasn’t necessary. I do think that first person is a must in this case, due to the intimate nature of the portrait of Lavender, but there were times that I just could not wrap my head around the present tense. By no means does it detract from the wow factor of the story (it won the CC Triathlon for a very good reason), but I’m not in love with it, either.

I found one small error in spelling. It’s a common mistake, but since you’re a ‘Claw and all, I figured you’d probably rather know than not.

It is a wonderfully strange bathroom, slate grey tiled walls, floor and ceiling. It is lit by over a dozen discrete spotlights in the ceiling.

You’ll be wanting to use ‘discreet’ here. ‘Discreet’ means ‘judicious in one's conduct or speech, esp. with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature’. ‘Discrete’ means ‘apart or detached from others; separate; distinct’.

Well, anyway, back to the fun part. I really enjoyed this story and this look into a character’s inner self, and I’ve always been curious about her. I’m really glad I picked this story for my review, and I hope that I get a chance to review for you again. You are a wonderful writer, and your prose flows very well, making it great for a late night read (which this is, at least for those of us this side of the pond).

Take care and happy writing!

Jess


Author's Response: Jess Thanks for the review Lavender is a Gryffindor. She may be a bit silly and boy-obsessed (though I think that her ignoring Ron and her comments about washing facilities in DH show a more mature and mischievous side to her character) but she’s brave and determined, too. My take on Seamus/Lavender is (or will be when I finally get around to writing it) Ron/Lavender in reverse. He’s keen, she wants to end it. I’m working on a Battle of Hogwarts one-shot which will expand on this. Harry – in my storyline (all of my stories are interrelated) the events of this chapter take place on the same day as the events of First Sight, a Harry/Ginny story. Lavender is 24 years old at this point, is that young, or old? My Dad would say very young, a fourteen-year-old would disagree. I was trying to make Lavender a little unlikeable, but also sympathetic. This story spurred me to write a sequel of sorts (Moon) for the OC part of the challenge. It was written in haste, and I think that it shows so I’m currently rewriting it. I’ve now written several first person present tense stories. I find them easier to write than first person past tense, though I know that not everyone likes to read them. I should really try my hand at a first person past tense tale. Discrete/discreet – oops, I’ll change that. Thanks for the helpful and constructive review. I hope to hear what you think about some of my other stories Neil

Reviewer: JustLikeHermione77
Date: 05/08/10 14:18
Chapter: Bare

great story! its always nice to see minor characters getting developed more! :)

Author's Response: I agree, thanks. N

Reviewer: minervassister
Date: 05/07/10 7:38
Chapter: Bare

It was me who deleted the spoiler.
You were quite right to point it out.
I'll try to be more careful in future.
Cheers.

Author's Response: Hi Thanks (-: This type of first person pov story always causes me probelms as even something as sinple as the category can give away part of the puzzle (who is the narrator?) to readers. The problem is that a lot of people (me included) like to know what and who they are reading about. I often read reviews first. If the reviewer says (for example): it was a shock when Ginny died at the end that's a fairly major spoiler. But, as a writer, I love to read reviews, even critical ones. I can appreciete how difficult it can be to give feedback without giving plot points away, So thanks, and I hope that my original reply did not offend. (-: N)

Reviewer: minervassister
Date: 05/07/10 1:03
Chapter: Bare

Great Story!!
Very well written, as usual from Northumbrian.
Will we get to find out what happens in Whitby?

Author's Response: I have started chapter 2 of this one-shot. Moving the action to Whitby, but I’ve stopped. I’m halfway through one novel length fic (Aurors and Schoolgirls and I have two more part-written. Starting another would be madness. N

Reviewer: dancingwithneville
Date: 05/06/10 21:47
Chapter: Bare

I really liked this story. It was interesting to read a story about a character that didn’t have a real happy ending at the end of the series. I enjoyed learning more about Lavender and her struggle to hold herself together after the accident. I especially liked the part about the werewolf attack I was not expecting it.

Author's Response: Thanks, as I pointed out, this story is a guess the narrator (and guess what’s wrong with her) fic. I accept that reviews will often be spoilers. And I’d like to apologise to the reviewer who’s deleted a review. There was no need. I’ll just have to accept the spoilers. N

Reviewer: GinnyPotterFan26
Date: 05/06/10 2:10
Chapter: Bare

Wow, that was really good. I think that Lavender, after having time to get older and less flippant, is a really interesting person, and I like the way that you explored her personality.

Author's Response: In my other stories I’ve been slowly (in the background) piling the misery on Lavender. I needed to explore where she would go. This is what I ended up with.

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