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Entry #2

Discussion in 'Q2 - April Flash Competition' started by Xiph0, Apr 20, 2020.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    The man in Hogsmeade seemed to never age. Everyone's father said that they remember the black-haired wizard singing in the Three Broomsticks. That man seemed...ancient, despite the fact he looked no older than twenty-six. The rumor was that he gave You-Know-Who spellwork advice.

    He in fact had. The man had been around Hogsmeade since its founding. Wandering the shores of Arda, singing of his loss was not actually repentance. He decided to commit to work of one kind or another, and when he could no longer pass as a regular person, he picked up a wand and began to study the mortal's strange form of magic.

    Maglor could remember, plain as day, when Tom Riddle swaggered into the Three Broomsticks. The 13-year-old and a couple of "friends" had walked up to the counter like they owned the place. The bar had seemed cleaner back in 1940, as the humans counted their years. The hearths had a little less ash, the glasses passed around a little shinier, the patrons a little less despair weighing their shoulders. As they impatiently waited on their butterbeers, they jokingly practiced the odd spell. Levitation. Invisibility. Music. The elf couldn't help but demonstrate a more efficient way to produce a song from the wooden stick. The dark-haired teen had thanked him with no emotion showing in his eyes, claimed his drink, and moved to another table.

    Now, the year's 2010. The patrons still listened to the elf's music, the students still asked for help from anyone during exam weeks, and the butterbeer was still served warm. Maglor was playing a light song from the third age when a dark-haired teen walked up to his stool. The elf raised an eyebrow, and the boy began to nervously sputter. "Sir, I...I heard that, that you helped Tom--uh, you helped You-Know-Who with a music spell." "Indeed I did, what of it?" The youngster seemed to find a modicum of confidence. "Could you teach me it, please, Sir?"

    fin.
     
  2. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    I'm not that really into LOTR. Isn't Maglor like Sauron or whatever? Without knowing that the story's kind of empty. Oh, look, there's this Tom Bombadil dude hanging around in a bar. He does a thing once and some time later he does another thing - neither seeming to have a clear what or how. Despite the year I've got no earthly clue who the second young man is supposed to be. Harry? Not in 2010: he isn't young anymore. A new Dark Lord? Who? Some Cursed Child shit?

    Nothing really happens. I guess that's my real criticism here.

    Technically there's work to be done. There's the usual verb/tense times confusion; "the elf, the dark-haired teen" being kind of bad descriptors in general; the shortness and irrelevancy of events.

    Meh. 1/5.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2020
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Erm, 330 words? Disqualified due to not meeting the minimum word count of 500.

    Our last competition didn't have a minimum (0-17500 words) but this one did.

    I'll review anyway before long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Everyone's father said that they remember the black-haired wizard singing in the Three Broomsticks.
    ^I liked this line a lot. Something about it just made it hit home for me.

    What’s the POV here? First paragraph seemed like we were in a POV that was looking at the black-haired wizard but second paragraph makes it seem like we’re in the black-haired wizard’s head.

    I guess Malgor is the black-haired wizard then? I have no idea who that is. Given that this is HP fanfic I figured it was Harry at first. Is it both? No, looks like we have Harry coming in at the very end.

    I think the story would be better helped by fleshing out a little. You only used 330 words for a story targeting 500-1000 so you have room. Got the 70 years later bit in between Riddle and Potter visiting, looks like.

    If I read this right then it’s more or less this:
    Malgor was around in LOTR? Or I’m guessing so because I recognize the word “Arda” and the phrase “Third Age.” Anyway LOTR was real and eons later Malgor is hanging about in Hogsmeade, singing. An elf shows up at some point and something (or is Malgor an elf – re-reading now I think that’s accurate). Anyway Malgor taught both Tom Riddle and Harry Potter with music?

    There’s a story hidden in here but you need to flesh it out a bit to get us to it. Though if this is an LOTR xover then maybe someone more familiar with LOTR will “get it” in ways that the rest of us won’t.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  5. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Order Member

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    So, I can see this one being pretty confusing for someone not familiar with The Silmarillion. I got it, but if I'm honest, I feel like it's a kinda 'done' idea in the LotR/HP space.

    For those who don't know, The Silmarillion is so named as the largest part of it addresses the story of the Silmarils. The Silmarils are gems of unmatched beauty which were created by the Elf Feanor in Valinor. Morgoth stole them, and killed Feanor's father when he did so, before fleeing to Middle-earth. Feanor then swore an oath, along with his sons, to fight anyone who tried to keep the Silmarils from him. It was that oath which caused Feanor and his followers to commit numerous terrible acts in the following years. Feanor died fairly soon after reaching Middle-earth, but his sons continued his quest until they at last managed to regain the Silmarils, after reducing their people to utter ruin.

    The last two sons of Feanor reclaimed two of the Silmarils after Morgoth was defeated. The evil acts commit for the stones, however, caused them to be burned when they tried to hold them. Maedhros, the second-to-last of Feanor's surviving sons threw his Silmaril, along with himself, into a fiery chasm. Maglor, threw his into the sea.

    Maglor, alone among the children of Feanor grew to regret the actions he had taken in pursuit of his father's Oath and, according to the Silmarillion, still walks the shores of the world, playing his harp, and singing of his loss and regret.

    In that context, this story doesn't really do that much interesting with the idea. I couldn't tell you the number of times I've had almost this exact idea pitched to me in PMs on FFN. I realise I'm probably far more involved in HP/LotR crossovers than, like, 99% of people, but for me the concept feels tired. You can't just go 'HP/LotR, Maglor's still alive, go!'. There has to be something else, some purpose or deeper meaning behind his presence.

    I'm also at a bit of a loss as to what's happening. Maglor became a wizard, fine. But why did he teach Voldemort music? Why did Voldemort want to learn his music? What's so special about it? Voldemort doesn't strike me as the kind of person to care much for beauty for its own sake. It certainly didn't teach him the folly of pride or anything like that, as he's still referred to as 'You-Know-Who' and so was presumably still evil.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2020
  6. soczab

    soczab Groundskeeper

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    I mostly have to echo Steelbadger. Im a huge LOTR/Silmarillion/Tolkien buff. So pre-disposed to like this. It doesnt bother me that the concept has been done before, I still like said concept. But I think if anything what hurt you here was length. You didnt really have a chance to delve into the theme much. I might take the first 3 paragraphs and use that as an opeing/tone setting thing or maybe expend it a bit and make it a stand alone story that just explores what Maglor's life has become. I think the last paragraph sort of introduces a bunch of concepts you dont have a chance to explore.
     
  7. bking4

    bking4 Second Year ⭐⭐

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    Due to its length being too short, it can’t win, so I’ll be brief. I don’t know the details of the LOTR well enough to be able to comment on Maglor or if he’s in character. I’ve seen a lot of crossovers where HP characters go to LOTR universe, but I can’t recall one like this where it’s the reverse. Cool concept. It’s a silly little story, and I like the idea. But I feel it leaves a lot to be desired. May be my ignorance, but I can’t for the life of me figure out who the new young boy is. Can’t really imagine even a young Tom Riddle handling being shown up with a better spell and just thanking the stranger in the bar. Or that there are no rumors about a man in the pub who doesn’t age. This could have been the prelude to a story about how Tom goes to Maglor to find out about immortality in a few years when he begins pursuing it, or Harry and co. reaching out to him to find out how to overcome Tom’s Horcruxes. That would have been quite interesting, I think. Unfortunately, as it is I think it falls a bit flat.

    2/5 – technically sound, interesting premise, confusing ending and no follow through.
     
  8. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Right oh. Pleasant from moment to moment, but I'm not sure I can truly describe it as a story. Nothing happens. It's not an anti-plot, it's a non-plot. There's no event.

    Need a space on the side of your dot dot dots.
    comma on either side of that in fact would help it read better.
    Ello, ello, what's all this.
    I'm not enough of a LOTR buff to know if this is one of those cursed family of elves who wanders if you're doing a Harry time travel or something.
    I like these sentences, it's a nice image. It goes well with Tolkien, an elf, and the nature of the world, even with magic. Still, I feel the content is not in keeping with the rest of the paragraph which concerns his observing Tom's behaviour. Paragraphs should be unified in their topic.
    Woah there youngling. Easy on those adverbs. Sometimes a verb, presented with a sentence on either side is stronger without the adverb. The reading of the verb's tone is inferred. And by sometimes I mean almost always.
    2010, ey? This has lost me more than the LOTR. 1997 at 17, then what 13 years later, Harry would be 30. How old were his kids. Possibly one. Not sure if either of them had a stammer, is that a clue?

    I like the prose, but I'm afraid that the story doesn't live up to your talent.

    What's a story, to me?

    A story should be something that changes, and I've subscribed in some degree to John Truby's description for a while now.

    Essentially, you need a character, with a particular position/emotion/value at the start. You need what ever of those slashes you choose to define, to be different at the end. Then you need seven elements.

    1. You need a character with a problem. The problem can be inside or outside, and they can not know it or they can resent it or whatever. It's their weakness. 2. You need them to want something. Maybe it's something that addresses their weakness, something it's that unknowingly would make it so much worse. 3. You need them to plan how to get it (and I'm not saying anything on the active vs passive argument here, but in a flash fic active has got to be so much easier to pull off, right?). 4. You need someone/something to prevent them from obtaining what they want (either pre-plan or during, preferably both). 5. They clash. 6. Their is a change in the someone's understanding. There is a change. 7. The ending. There is a new equilibrium.

    This probably sounds absurdly reductionist. And, well, yeah it is. But who can contain all the depth and context of good story telling at all once while they're trying to write? This is simple. This is good. This means you know your essential purpose of a story: It's not an explanation, it's a proof. Something changes to something else. Let me show you how.

    I think there's not evidence of those seven elements in your effort here. Although, again, I like your writing prose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  9. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    I get that you’re going for moments in time in Maglor’s long life but I found the style and plot of this piece to be rather choppy. The length probably added to the effect too. calling him “the man” at first and then giving us his name and calling him an elf is rather jarring. Similarly the jump from Arda and the founding of Hogsmeade to 1940 and 2010 seem random to me. This is echoed by the casual transition “now” in the last time jump.
     
  10. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    • I'll reveal my identity here. This was a 3AM write with no planning, I just wanted to submit something for once in my life.
    Post re-added by Ched
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2020
  11. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff Sixth Year

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    I mean it's not good?
    The length doesn't help.
    I also didn't know the protagonist of the story and even after googling it I didn't really care to find out more?
    Why would Tom be interested in what I'm understanding is bard magic anyway?
    I guess It shows another side of his personality but it's not fleshed out enough to be interesting.
    1/5 .
     
  12. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Didn't really understand this one. There were... LOTR references of some sort? It's short, and didn't really leave me with enough to have a lasting impression. Plus very poor execution on the dialogue formatting:

    "Sir, I...I heard that, that you helped Tom--uh, you helped You-Know-Who with a music spell." "Indeed I did, what of it?" The youngster seemed to find a modicum of confidence. "Could you teach me it, please, Sir?"

    This should have been spaced out way more so that each time a speaker changes, there's a new paragraph.
     
  13. Selethe

    Selethe normalphobe

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    I actually liked it a lot. Though, disclaimer, I don't know much about LoTR. The descriptions are great, and fic is short and sweet. Nothing really happens, but I'm okay with that. A picture was painted and that's enough imo. According to Ched the story is a few words short-- I think you could beef up the count by talking a bit more about the music spell, and why the boy at the end might even want it/ if Voldemort had ever used the music spell in a nefarious way.
     
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