Reviews For Catching Fire
Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 10/17/12 7:47
Chapter: Embers

A staggeringly handsome man enters.

‘Hmm, so what have we here? A story about me ... and old Prongsy, and Moony ... and that bloody rat - GRRRRRRR (excuse me, I temporarily became Padfoot in my rage, there). Well, I always like reading stories about myself - whoever I’m paired with (except Snivellus - DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THAT GREASY, LONG-NOSED PRAT).

Putting my critical wizard’s hat on (it’s stylish, naturally), I would like to congratulate you on the subtlety of the story. I didn’t even wince at the ‘Sirius/serious’ joke because ... well ... it seemed to work. The tension between myself and Prongs was great, although I have to tell you that James really wouldn’t have been able to get enough of me because I am so gorgeous and sexy that he’d never have been able to tear himself away - and certainly not for that Evans witch.’

‘OI! I am here, you know.’

‘Oh, hi, Prongs ... uh ... yeah, joke joke, you know I love you ... and Lily ... naturally.’

‘You don’t love me ‘naturally’, Sirius.’

‘Ah, Lily, didn’t see you there. I love you as any best friend of your husband should, with just the right amount of propriety.... Now, can we get back to this story?’

‘Mmm, just what I was going to say. I did like that line about the embers between you both - very subtle. Although ... well, face it, Padfoot, you may have had ‘embers’ but between me and James - there are flames!’

‘She has a point, Padfoot, and really, you should have cleaned your teeth.’

‘I just have. Want another go?’

‘Uh ... not now. I mean ... uh ... No, course not. Look, why not try Remus... or um ... Snape?’

‘SNAPE! WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS MERLIN WOULD I WANT TO SNOG SNAPE?!!!!’

(and with that the staggeringly handsome man Disapparates.)

Happy Birthday, Soraya. I hope you didn’t mind this rather silly review. Loved the story! ~Carole~

Author's Response: CROLLLLLLL!

I am so, so, so sorry for responding so late D: School has been awful, and I keep forgetting about this fabulous, amazing review from youuuuuuuu!

Nooooo, that greasy haired prat is forbidden in the lovely world of Jirius. Absolutely prohibited, I tell you.

Yayayay, I am so glad you liked the serious/Sirius joke, lol, and wow, you found it subtle? :D Of course Sirius is gorgeous and sexy. I mean, duh. That's why James snogged him!

The prompt of "embers" was probably my favourite, just because, well, I felt it was the scenario most clearly visualised in my head. I'm glad you liked it :) And yeah, I agree that there are many flames between James and Lily, but that doesn't stop Sirius XD

Thank you again for such a fabulous review on a story I still don't like, lol, but that I like a little better because, well, Croll reviewed it. :D I heart you lots, and again, I am so sorry for replying so late D:

Reviewer: The owl
Date: 08/06/12 20:20
Chapter: Embers

Hello Soraya,

I promised you this review ages ago, so I’m sorry it’s taken so long to arrive. The Marauders, their banter and slash pairings are some of my absolute favourite things so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this story.

From the very beginning, I was drawn in by that luscious description of the dying fire. You worked the prompt into this story really well. I noticed several mentions of fires and flames, none of which felt contrived. In particular, the metaphor of, “the embers that flared between them singed the air,” was very effective for me. Also, I found the cyclic nature of the piece, returning to a description of the fire at the end, made the piece feel complete.

The terrible Sirius/serious joke really shouldn’t be funny now, but you still managed to make me smile. I can just see the boys trying to joke their way through the pain and worry of the situation. Their banter flowed really naturally without ever seeming too facetious or flippant for the situation. I particularly liked little details in their speech like “Merlin’s y-fronts” and “Healer Padfoot”; it helped to bring them alive.

While I really loved your characterisation and humour, there were a few details in your prose that could be tweaked. You generally struck a good balance between short, compound and complex sentences, but there were a couple of places where you could really have used an extra full stop. It wasn’t that the sentences didn’t make sense; they just became harder to follow because of their length. I suppose a beta would have helped, if you had had the time.

I think my favourite bit of the entire piece was when you wrote: ‘“James, what--” Sirius began, but then he looked down and understood. Oh.’ You conveyed so much shock with that one “Oh” and simultaneously made your implication crystal clear. It was so much more effective than actually trying to describe what he saw. I also loved Sirius’ snigger when James tried to speak. It felt very teenage boy, and showed his immaturity. It made me think that, yes, this is awkward, but they’re still best friends. They can still laugh at each other whatever happens. Moving from that moment of levity into the sudden tension of the kiss worked really well for me. There’s no getting away from it; James’ hiss was hot!

I loved the build up to the kiss. I noticed that you kept mentioning body parts “ “hip” and “knee” for example. It seemed to subtly hint at Sirius’ thoughts and the growing attraction between him and James, without being obviously sexual. I think that’s why I liked this so much. It was subtly and sensitively done, no smut present. Smut is all well and good, but it can take a lot more skill to make a relationship convincing to the reader without it. Needless to say, I was convinced. The awkwardness of it all fitted the characters very well; they may be best friends, but they’re still teenage boys and really not sure of themselves in this sort of situation.

During the kiss itself, I thought that the long, rambling sentence worked really well. The slight incoherency of it all mirrored Sirius’ thoughts and seemed appropriately breathless. I found myself caught up in the moment with him. I particularly like your use of parenthesis. That little question showed that, for Sirius, there was doubt and confusion mixed in with the pleasure.

However, I was a little less convinced by James and Sirius’ reactions to the kiss. Their initial awkwardness worked well, but I struggled to picture the sarcastic clapping. I always find reactions to this sort of moment hard to write, so it’s no surprise that this was the one place where you characterisation seemed slightly off. I think it might have been better if you had just gone straight to the line about going to bed. Sirius could have said that, and James could have been the one to make the joke and lighten the tension.

Overall, I really enjoyed this, and I just wish that you had had enough time to tidy it up a bit. It’s an enjoyable read as it stands, with a good balance between tension and lighter humour. The characterisation was convincing, and the way you developed James and Sirius’ relationship felt really natural. Nicely done!

~Sophie

Author's Response: Sophieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Thank you SO MUCH for the review! Seriously (lol), it means a lot. I loved Gina's review, but I was a little saddened by the fact that it only got one review. Then again, it was rather terrible, lol, so I kind of deserved it D:

I also love Marauder banter and slash pairings, as you know, so I’m glad you seemed to like it despite the story’s many flaws. With SPEW 007, I found it hard, at times, to stick to the prompts, but this was the only one that was easy, because... I don’t know, ha. “Embers” just sounds like something I’d write in anything, like a bit of a throwaway phrase that was therefore easier to shoehorn into a story, if that makes sense. Usually, though, writing description/prose in general is something I find hard, so it’s great to know that you thought I did a good job in that respect. With that prompt, it’s mostly in narrative, rather than dialogue, that I could convey the “embers”, really.

Hehehehe, I am rather fond of my Sirius/serious jokes :P And yes, my boys do tend to make jokes -- or, at least, James does -- when the going gets tough, so it’s nice to know you thought so too. And I like writing dialogue generally, particularly Marauder banter. (You saw that, I hope, in Butterbeer Bottles.) It’s fun and isn’t particularly serious (sorry, I really don’t intend to make the joke, but it makes me giggle anyway, lol) and is therefore a bit easier to write.

I gave this story probably one once-over before submitting -- I really had become sick of it at that point. I can remember that I kept yelling at them, virtually, on AIM to just kiss already, so I definitely know what you mean about sentence structure. I might just send it to you to fix up, in that case :) I know this isn’t particularly polished, both because it was unbetaed but also because I had written it in a rush and had just wanted to submit it more than anything, not that it should be an excuse or anything.

I think my favourite bit of the entire piece was when you wrote: ‘“James, what--” Sirius began, but then he looked down and understood. Oh.’ You conveyed so much shock with that one “Oh” and simultaneously made your implication crystal clear. It was so much more effective than actually trying to describe what he saw.I LOLed so hard when I read this. I was hoping someone would catch on to what it actually meant -- that, you know, James had had a very physical reaction to Sirius all of a sudden, but I really didn’t want to say it explicitly. Every time I see the word “bulge” in fanfiction, it just makes me want to laugh and laugh. Not in a bad way or anything, just that it’s such an obvious way to write it, and I wanted to go for something more subtle than that, without making it explicit. So yeah. I’m glad you liked that. And YAY to James being hot, lolol -- I divorced him several months ago, much to the delights of Gina and Natalie, so I’m chuffed you liked him that much :D

I tend to use a lot of body parts generally in my writing. I think, yeah, less is more most of the time. I didn’t want it to be smutty because I couldn’t see either James or Sirius going *that* far, and I also wanted to maintain that awkwardness between them.

Yayay, you caught my attempt at trying to be clever with sentences! I usually am not very good with details like that -- thank you for noticing, hehe, and for saying it worked. I use brackets quite a bit, but Alex sometimes tells me that I overuse them -- I do think they were necessary here, for the reason you said.

Yes, ha, I think the main issue I had with the story was the aftermath of their kiss. I will definitely revise that at some point; I completely agree that things were clunky and kind of unconvincing, but like you said, that kind of thing is difficult to write.

I’m really glad you liked it, despite your quibbles! I may send it to you at some point to beta, actually, because I really am not entirely happy with the story as-is. I was going to send it to Jamie for betaing, but then I threw in the towel, and then I started writing it again, but by that point, it was too late to get it betaed/I was going on my hiatus so I wouldn’t be able to write, hence why it is in need of some tidying up. Thank you for the lovely review; it means so much to me that I’m your first SPEW recipient :D and it was an excellent first review, too, so as a SPEWer -- and, more importantly, as one of the people who nagged you to join SPEW in the first place -- well done!

Soraya x

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 07/19/12 13:29
Chapter: Embers

I love being a diehard James/Lily shipper and still just LOVING a good James/Sirius or James/Remus story (we won't go there with that last Marauder, lol) I thought you did a good job with your prompt, using lots of words that were similar and really described the moment between them. It was a good set up for such an abrupt kiss, I could totally picture it. I'm not sure about Sirius mock-clapping afterwards--I see them either staying awkward or going right to the laughing part, but that's just me. And you resolved it very nicely. And the line about separate beds was great. :)
My only other suggestion would be to expand it a bit, although I think these SPEW things are supposed to be short, aren't they? I don't know, I could just see there being more here (not action, just more description, insight, etc.) and of course - what happens next?? ;)
Ah, Jamirius. Jirius. Sirames. Sirjamius. Whatever you want to call it. So lovely. Nice job!
~Gina :)

Author's Response: SQUEEE! I wasn't expecting much of a response for this, Gina, because I did kind of cook it up on the spot and I therefore thought it was crap. (I still do, lol.) I'm so glad you liked it! Even though I'm also a diehard James/Lily shipper, I love shipping both of them with other people too :D James/Remus is just a huge pile of gorgeousness (I'm still flailing over that one on LJ) and I will definitely have to write it at some point. And I love James/Sirius too -- I think they have a wonderful bond together and I love the dynamics of them, even if it's not shippy, just their banter in general.

Haha, this prompt is the only one, I think, that I didn't have to shoehorn in, so I'm glad you liked what I did with it :) And I was angsting on the LS about why they couldn't just kiss already, but I was angsting even more when I couldn't decide how either of them would react -- hence, um, Sirius's rather awkward behaviour, lol. And then I had to have a line about the separate beds hahahaha.

I do hope to write a sequel to this -- I know it was a bit unfinished -- so watch this space! It might be dedicated to a certain birthday girl, actually... we'll have to see ;) I LOVE THIS SHIP TOO. I call it Jirius, but Jamirius is pretty cool too.

Thank you SO MUCH for the review -- after my hiatus, I will be bombing you with them, jsyk. :D

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