Reviews For Vituperation
Reviewer: stanzie
Date: 08/15/12 16:32
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

I’m not turned off by foul language, though I did cringe in the Muggle scene. It was unpleasant to read, but that was the point. I think you did a good job.

Millicent and Marcus aren’t one hundred percent horrible people. They are crude, inconsiderate and incredibly prejudiced, but they do love each other, so I suppose that’s something.

Their ignorance on Muggle society reminds me of Arthur’s in a way. Yet where Arthur chooses to believe that Muggles are great and fascinating, Millicent and Marcus use the little they know as excuses to hate them more. Muggles don’t even work for their money, they just put a plastic card in a machine and it comes out!

Perhaps following DH, the Muggle studies course could be taught by an actual Muggle born. Oh, and it should be a mandatory subject. Also, I think that once Hermione’s laws for sentient entities are formed, there should also be mandatory teaching about the other creatures: house elves, goblins, centaurs, etc.

I noticed that in your stories, Harry, Ron and Hermione are all instrumental in revolutionizing the ministry. But in order to truly change the way people think, you have to get to them when they are young. Prejudice is learned at an early age and so is tolerance. I believe that McGonagall would be open to the idea of changing the curriculum at Hogwarts and I imagine that after Neville becomes a professor, he too would be instrumental in change.

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review.

The Muggle scene was difficult for me to write, but essential, in my opinion.

I’m not sure that their love for each other is enough to redeem them.

There are always two ways to look at ignorance. Arthur chooses to think “I neither know nor understand these people, aren’t they fascinating. What can I learn?” Marcus and Millicent choose “I neither know nor understand these people, they are therefore beneath my contempt.” The second is, unfortunately, the default setting for many politicians and some religious groups.

Muggle Studies was made compulsory during Snapes time as Headmaster. Would McGonagall remove the requirement?

JKR said in an interview that Harry, Ron and Hermione were instrumental in revolutionising the ministry, so that’s what happens.

-N-

Reviewer: Invisibility Cloak
Date: 07/16/12 6:27
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

PS: The summary was delightful in and of itself!
PPS: I'm not sure I'd tone the rating down..

Author's Response: Thanks. I often wonder whether I’m cautious with my ratings, but better to be cautious than incautious, I think.

Reviewer: Invisibility Cloak
Date: 07/16/12 6:20
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

Hey, N. I think a big commendation is in order for your admirable tackling of a new type of character matter... yes, they may not be wholly sympathetic, and yes, unsavory is perhaps an understatement, but were we to never venture into their realm we would run the risk of being as … er... unfair towards and ignorant of these characters as Millicent is towards/of muggles.

Now, Millicent's actions not remotely what I'd pursue for myself or condone, nor recommend anyone to seek, but I think that's why you did an such a fantastic job of blurring the line that would define these two characters as unpleasant, mostly through your excellent, and realistic, way of presenting Millicent's thoughts, so that they almost become the reader's own. Her battles, her beliefs, the things that speak to her (and for that matter, to Marcus as well) speak to the reader because she herself believes in them so much. At the end of the story, I was left with the idea that the dynamic duo is creative, resilient, determined, strong, and passionate, and with some share of slytherin cunning-to-achieve-an-end as well. They care about something other than themselves. Of course, there's a list just as long, if not longer, of their detrimental traits, but just the fact that I was able to notice the quantifiably good traits shows how palpable, well-fleshed-out and three-dimensional your characters are.

I read a review you received that takes some issue with the language used by the characters, as well as with the detail that the reviewer proclaims make for a stereotypical view of the matter, like the tenement building. I think I can disagree with these assertions, if only on the grounds that the characters seem wholly feasible to me, not because of any preconceptions I may have, but because everything about them was so solidly presented. There was not one action they took which seemed unrealistic (which, frankly, alarms me a bit with what it says about my judgment, but once again, I think your great writing is to blame!). For example, while the “rutting beast” description instilled a definite sense of nausea in me, too, it really did seem like a compliment coming from Millicent.

Oh, and it almost goes unsaid: great flow, description, and imagination, like always- And the details were great. Colorful language aside, I liked “‘Fuck off, Boris,’ Millicent and Marcus told him together. They grinned at their chorused agreement and turned to face him. He did as he was told.”

Anyway, thanks for the story, I'm a big fan! -Val

Author's Response:
Val

Thank you. This was a real departure for me. The attitudes (and to some extent the accents) were culled from a number of sources. The Muggle-hate is (relatively) easy to find examples of, unfortunately. Simply looking at a few right wing racist sites and watching people explaining how person x, y, or z is sub-human because of their skin colour or religion will show you how common this attitude is.

The villainy and the matter of fact way in which they go about their unpleasant business owes a lot (as I said) to an interview with an actor named Jason Watkins, which was at one time on the Being Human site. He’s an ordinary looking, rather short and balding man with fair hair, and he played the evil vampire leader, Herrick, in the first series of Being Human. His comments were basically that only pantomime villains go “haha – look at me, aren’t I evil”. His Herrick was a reasonable man doing things which he obviously considered to be reasonable, except they were monstrous, and he was a monster.

Language is, to some extend a shortcut. I could have made Marcus and Millicent rich, well spoken and urbane racists, but that role is already filled by Draco and Pansy. Marcus said little in the books, and I don’t think that Millicent ever spoke, so I made them tenement dwellers at the edges of society. That wasn’t meant as a slight on such people. All people are people, and there is good and bad at all levels of society.

-N-

Reviewer: ckwright51
Date: 05/06/12 19:40
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

Wow that was scary, interesting the way you characterize two people we know almost nothing about. Great job

Author's Response: Thanks, as you'll have seen, this was written for a challenge, and it's a lot different to my usual stuff. It does, however, explain a bit more about a chapter of Tales of the Battle. -N-

Reviewer: welshdevondragon
Date: 03/06/12 10:55
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

Hello Neil--This was an interesting idea, and very different from your other writing in that the focus is on, as you say, two deeply unpleasant people. I like stories about unpleasant people, so was interested as to how you’d flesh out these two characters that we know so little about.

I know these are unpleasant people, but I think your characterisation was strong enough for you to show that not through accent, but through the language they used. Their accents really threw me off, because they were so stereotypically ‘lower class’ that the implication seemed to be that, because of the way they spoke, they were automatically worse than the people who spoke properly (such as the Muggles they rob later, and the ‘well dressed witch’) which I found rather uncomfortable. It seemed a cheap trick, which played on your reader’s prejudices in a rather crude way. This was further emphasised when you refer to Marcus living in a tenement, which just seemed over-kill. You show their character’s well through the actions, and their vocabulary--you do not need to emphasise it through incorrect grammar (“I’ve brung the kid--” stuck out for me particularly, since I’ve never heard anyone for whom English is a first language/ over the age of ten say that). Also the use of the word ‘rozzers’ seemed very out of place with such pureblood characters.

The strongest part of this story, I think, was Millicent and Marcus’ relationship when they robbed and attacked the Muggles. It was interesting to see how well they worked together, and how eager Millicent was to impress the older guy. However, what I found more interesting, were these single lines that felt like throw-away comments, and things which could develop their personalities in a far more interesting way than you do here. When you write: “but Marcus had sorted that out. She had found herself a man who could, and would, stand up to her dad for her. She would never have to take her mother’s place again.” seemed to imply a much darker, more unpleasant backstory for Millicent. There’s a reason she enjoys power, and the kudos being with Marcus gives her, and I think that was a darker, more unpleasant, but also more intriguing dynamic than the one you write about between her and Marcus. I understand that this was for the Cotillion, and so Marcus/ Millicent was your focus, but I think this would have developed her character and made her more sympathetic. I don’t personally see sympathetic characters as important to a story, but I do think it would have been interesting to have more of an idea of why Millicent was the way she is. Likewise, you write this interesting titbit about Marcus regarding the leather strap: “Marcus liked her to use it on him.” Now, you present Marcus as a greedy, grubby, criminal, but he also likes, occasionally, having pain inflicted on him, and playing the submissive. I find this very intriguing and would love to hear more about this side to him, as (possibly because the story is told from Millicent’s POV admittedly), he does come across as somewhat one-dimensional, aside from these hints at fleshing him out.

When they rob the Muggles, it was very interesting to see how they thought and treated them, and you gave a good insight into their misunderstandings of Muggles, as well as the inhumanity with which they treat the people there. It was crude, violent, and powerful in emphasising how much Marcus and Millicent can only get validation/ a thrill from other people’s suffering. Their Bonnie and Clyde style dynamic, and the way they worked together as a team, and trusted each other to do their jobs, was well shown, and given that, it’s realistic they’d want sex afterwards. However this line, “Marcus groaned like the unstoppable rutting beast he was.” made me feel rather ill, in a different way to the scene before. The ‘he was’ seemed to be pigeon holing him/ and dehumanising him, just in the way he and Millicent had dehumanised the Muggles, and therefore put the writer and the reader, for thinking that, on par with them, which is an uncomfortable position for the reader to be in. Readers should, sometimes, be made to feel uncomfortable, but here it seemed unnecessary, and a forcing of the authorial point of view on characters of (effectively, since we know so little about them) his creation, where the reader should be left to come to their own judgement.

However, after this, there are some inconsistencies in your characterisation. Once their relationship is about sex, it’s unclear how much deeper it is. There are several inconsistencies. You write that they both acknowledge the brevity of their relationship in, in the line, “Tomorrow morning, they would be parted,” with the implication obviously being that it’s emotionally as well as physically. There’s also the giving of the eternity ring, which reads like a gesture according to both, and then Millicent says, “I’m gonna keep it hidden, Marcus, on a chain, around my neck. It’ll be between my tits,’ she said. ‘I want everybody to know that you’re mine.’” So it’s unclear whether she wants their relationship to be acknowledged, or not, and I think it would add depth (or lack of) to their relationship if you were clearer about which one it is.

The branding scene, however, seemed definitive that this was something rather strong for the both of them, even if it was unclear up until that point. I like the equality that they both brand each other, but the fact their branding at all seemed very over the top, particularly given how loaded the significance of branding is in a context where the Dark Mark gets burned on your skin. I think if you explore this parallel, and how Millicent and Marcus (who certainly wants to be a Death Eater and therefore you’d think would be aware of this) see this as relating to them, it would have been a very interesting scene, but as it is, it seems rather unnecessary.

Also, this is just opinion, but I don’t think the violence or the sex was explicit enough for you to give it a professor rating, and you’d probably get more readers if you lowered it to 6th-7th years. if I hope my comments make sense. I would be interested in your response/ feel free to contact me if you want to discuss it further/ anything is unclear. Alex

Author's Response: Alex Thanks for the frankly epic review. Sorry for the delay in my reply. As you know, I write only one story and I strive to keep it completely canon compliant. I also try to write most of my stuff within “the Harry Potter genre” which (to me) means stories suitable for younger readers and no swearing or sex scenes. This was (very hastily) written for the Cotillion and it was very much a last-minute dash to get the thing finished. I submitted it a mere three days before the deadline, well aware that it could really have done with at least another week’s work. This will probably sound like an excuse (and in a way it is). I have no idea how you, or other writers work, but I have dozens of unfinished story drafts on my hard drive. Of my Cotillion stories, only this and April Fool were entirely unwritten, but even then I’ve “known” the bones of my George/Angelina story (April Fool) for years. This was the only story where I started completely from scratch. When I write, I hear my characters. I hear speech patterns and accents. I wrote Marcus and Millicent the way I did, not in order to stereotype them, but because that’s what I heard. I tried to write them as “Stan Shunpike” types. I actually considered toning town the accents a little, perhaps I should have. I have heard, and do hear, brung used instead of brought, put perhaps that’s just the people I hang around with. As for “rozzers”, I thought about trying to come up with a slang term for the law, but failed. I stuck with rozzers when I discovered that its etymology is unknown. Perhaps it crossed over to us from the magical world? I have a fair idea of the backstory for both of these characters, and I’m not certain that I want them to be more sympathetic. They’re a couple of racist thugs, after all. They will appear in other stories (in fact this story includes elements from the chapter “Broken Flint” in Tales of the Battle. You certainly picked up on Millicent’s throwaway sentence, which deliberately hinted at something a lot darker. As for her comment about Marcus being the unstoppable rutting beasty, she would regard that as a compliment, and so would he. This story could do with a rewrite, but that won’t happen until after the judging. Any characterisation flaws are probably down to poor writing, too. I’ll admit to being a little confused at times by the mnff ratings, my only other Professors rated story is Spontaneity (which was edited down to a Profs by my beta) despite the fact that I think of it merely as smutty fluff. I stuck the Professor’s rating on this story because of the branding scene, but I’ve downgraded it now. My understanding was that this level of violence required the Profs rating. -N-

Reviewer: Brennus
Date: 03/01/12 19:45
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

Oh! Bit nastier then some of your recent stuff. I like it. I do like the way you paint a complete picture of your version of Potterworld by using minor characters to flesh it out even if I am craving some more Ginny/Harry stuff. Do you see yourself going back and finishing some of the old stuff like Aurors and Schoolgirls? And Hunter/Prey as well please (you didn't actually want a life did you?)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
This little one-shot ties in thith the "Broken Flint" chapter of "Tales of the Battle" and, so far as you know, this lovely couple are still free to wreak havoc.
Chapter 13 of Strangers has just been submitted. Chapter 8 of H&P is with betas, and c.9 will be ready soon. I must get cack to the next chapter of A&S, and there is Moons to look at, too.
If I didn't have a life, you'd have seen this stuff sooner.
-N-

Reviewer: MalchomMcGonagall
Date: 02/29/12 7:58
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

Not your usual fare, but these aren't the people you usually write about either. The Malfoys are unpleasant people too, but they've got a bit of class about them which makes them easier to read about.

That said, the writing is your up to your usual high standard. Can't wait (but I'll have to, *sigh*) to see what you'll have for us next.

-MM-

Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
The Malfoys are as full of vituperation as Marcus and Millicent, but they are at the “extremely harsh criticism” rather than the “violently abusive language” end of the spectrum.
Next depends on my betas: Strangers 13 is with one, H&P 8 with another. It will be one of those two, but which one?
-N-

Reviewer: minervassister
Date: 02/29/12 7:04
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

Interesting, fill out the chapter in Tales of the Battle when Marcus is injured and she tries to get him to safety.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. It certainly does that. –N-

Reviewer: golden_trio
Date: 02/29/12 4:06
Chapter: When Marcus met Millicent

This is extremely different from anything I've ever read from you! The warning was well heeded, and I have mixed feelings on this however. I did like this, but then some parts I didn't like.
Looking forward to more things from you! :)
-K

Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
This is different, and I’m glad that the warning helped. It wasn’t supposed to be a pleasant read.
There was no way that the Rolf/Luna story I was planning would be ready by today, so now my Cotillion stories are over the next chapters of both “Strangers” and “Hunters and Prey” are with my betas. Even H&P is fluffy compared to this story.
-N-

You must login (register) to review.
Information
Find out everything you need to know about the site right here.


We have stories and authors in this archive.

:

RSS
Choose Theme:
SOCIAL MEDIA
     
MOST RECENT
The Skeletons' Tale by Oregonian 1st-2nd Years
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," wrote Shakespeare. This story...
Autumn At The Castle by Oregonian 1st-2nd Years
The 'treat' of autumn's glorious beauty is inevitably follow by the 'trick'...
The Youngest Death Eaters: Year III by DestinyMoonStar 6th-7th Years
Year 3 A year of hard choices and tough talks: Destiny learns about...
FEATURED
Five Christmases by hestiajones 1st-2nd Years
It took four Christmases for Andromeda Black and Ted Tonks to get together...
Coming Alive by The owl 6th-7th Years
Leanne Gamp hadn't wanted to be at that party, even though it was Christmas...
Graves by Oregonian 1st-2nd Years
In December of 1997, Harry visits his parents' graves in Godric's Hollow and...
CATEGORIES