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Complete Flutter by bking4 - M

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by bking4, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. bking4

    bking4 Second Year

    Mar 19, 2017
    High Score:
    Title: Flutter
    Author: bking4
    Rating: M
    Genre: Fantasy/Angst
    Status: Completed
    Library Category: General Fics
    Pairings: None
    Summary: The traces of Dark magic aren't swept away with a summer and a trip abroad. It leaves marks on its victims, deep gouges in their soul, and just being in its presence can irrevocably change a person. You can never really overcome Dark magic, only survive it and hope for the best. This is Ginny Weasley, doing her best.
    Link: AO3 or FFN

    Hello! So let’s get this out of the way: yes this is my story. Yes, I am a shameless, self-aggrandizing sell-out shill. Not really, but I literally posted the last chapter today (last night, technically) and I’m still on a feel-good high about it.

    Slightly better description of the story than my summary up above: This is a light AU that takes the trauma Ginny experiences from the diary a little more seriously. Ginny is the main character, and it takes place mostly during the summer after Chamber of Secrets and during the year of Prisoner of Azkaban.

    This is my first ever completed fic that isn’t a one shot. I posted the first chapter about a year and a week ago. What I thought would be maybe 10 or so chapters ended up being 16. What I thought would be about 60,000 words, maximum, ended up being just a bit over 100,000. I didn’t know if I would ever actually finish this, but it feels great to be able to say “it’s done.” In short, I'm very proud of this accomplishment.

    It's not the best fic ever written but it's mine and I wanted to share it with you all. I lurk here often, searching for recommendations for fics to read. I’ve also been involved in a few competitions. The feedback I’ve received from this community for other things I’ve written has been incredibly valuable. I don’t know if I would have finished if I hadn’t received the encouragement I received in the competitions I entered here at DLP. I started writing this before I got involved (as minimally as I am involved) in DLP for competitions and stuff, so I didn't post it in WbA. And then once I was involved in DLP I felt like I was too far in to the fic to start posting it in WbA. I'm glad to be able to submit it for your review/perusal.

    So, uh, yeah. That's all I had to say, and it was probably too much. I hope you enjoy!
  2. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

    Feb 27, 2015
    So I'll copy-paste my ff review to everyone's benefit:

    First chapter is annoyingly AU, but well-written. Actually the story as a whole is great, but the little AU parts seem to have as only goal to dumbing down other characters. Typically, Harry&Ron’s reaction to the Firebolt thing, which is the same despite Hermione spending the morning arguing her case and Ginny reminding them of the Diary.

    But apart from this annoying part, very solid story, and I really hope you’ll continue it. There aren’t enough great (or even just good) Ginnys in the fandom. The worldbuilding with the rituals, the elves or Divination is also excellent.

    I'll give it a solid 4/5, but I can easily see it going up by being careful with the consequences of the AU parts, light as they are. Also, if Harry is a bit more present, but that's personal preference.
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    Alright - making a note here that I wanna read this soon. I'm surprised I missed it. I'd probably have caught it in WbA but you explained why you didn't post it there. I know you're a solid writer so I'm excited to see what you did with this.

    Ginny is not a character I normally give two shakes about. But I'm excited to see if you pulled it off.

    Checked out the first chapter - yeah, already better description than the last few things I've read.

    Somehow I really like that Ginny met Colin, taught him how to play Snap, then promptly lost to him twice. Adds a dimension to Colin that isn't "omg pictures herp derp."
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    I'm going to go with a 4/5 for this.

    Your writing is top notch. There's not a lot of fights or action scenes in this, so I can't speak to how you'd write those, but you nailed a lot of the emotional/characterization aspects.

    You write a good Luna, which is rare. Especially as this Luna is a main character. You write one of the better Ginny's that I've read. Your Hermione and your OC were solid. The bullies were believable as typical bullies.

    Every so often you'd have a paragraph that completely blew things out of the water with the writing. You paint pictures with words on occasion.

    It's not a canon rehash. Canon barely makes an appearance, which is a plus.

    You excel at writing rituals. I really enjoyed those, especially your descriptions of how they felt. But I also liked reading about the ritual aspects of it that kids could get up to easily enough at Hogwarts.

    But there's no driving plot/point at the same time. It's more of an in-depth 'slice of life' for Ginny in her second year. Ginny writes in the Diary is chapter 1. Ginny struggles with it over the summer is chapter 2. Chapters 3-16 (iirc) are her second year.

    Ginny copes with and starts to move past the diary. She doesn't quite get there, and never will, and knows that. So that's not the end-goal of the story - she does well with it, but she's not trying to 'fix' it completely. She gets into ritual magic and that peaks with the final ritual they do, but that also wasn't written as a goal/ambition to work towards, just something they decided to do. She deals with the bullies, but again it wasn't a goal so much as something they did.

    I guess... what I'm getting at in the previous paragraph is that while you had several plot threads that got tied up before the story ended, and technically it's a standalone story, it feels more like part 1 than a standalone. There wasn't a major story arc to tie up here to make it feel 'complete' even though it doesn't NOT feel complete either, if that makes sense?

    And yes @bking4 this is as much a review/critique as a, well, review. But eh, that's what you get for posting it as the author!

    It's solid, so I stand by my 4/5. But it's missing a real story arc, imo, and honestly I think you could have added some without too much issue just by tweaking things Ginny wanted or giving her goals with difficulties to overcome in pursuit of them.
  5. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

    Apr 28, 2007
    Anyone else wanna take the time to give this a review. 5 votes 3 posts.
  6. Gaius

    Gaius Third Year

    Apr 25, 2018
    I just finished reading Flutter and really enjoyed it. The style of the prose, the themes of the fic, the darker/wilder tinge to magic all remind me of Annerb's work.

    Where the fic really shines I think is bking's choice to primarily (at least early in the fic) narrate a blend of Ginny's feelings/thoughts with action and to limit the scenes where she interacts with her parents/family with dialogue. I think they succeed in creating a very introspective mood by doing this. The dialogue also is strong, especially between the Ginny and her girlfriends. One thing I noticed in later chs., and this may just be because of a lack of another pair of eyes to edit the fic, was a repetition of adverbs or slightly bloated phrasing that could have been condensed.

    One part where I think the writing took me out of an immersive experience was the extended passage where Ginny writes in her new diary gifted by the "Gryffindor girls" (not sure which ch. this is). I know the diary has to be written in her voice, but it seemed a little off to me. The lengthy entry takes away from the tone of the narrative and flags where the dialogue in the story is usually more dynamic. The detail that she writes "Dear Diary, Are you there Tom?" in every entry is an excellent one, though.

    As for the magic, I really liked the rituals in this fic. We see three rituals (and in two of them Ginny is an active participant) that are tied heavily to nature and themes of life, death, family, etc. I think these scenes are really magical. I'm not sure if the enchantment has to be repeated three times in every case (instead it could read "they said/sang the words again" or something like that), but the internal feeling of the participants and the details of how the magic is at work (the Imbolc fire being extremely hot and not needing to be tended to) are great.

    I would say this is a solid 4/5. Good job, bking4!
  7. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff DA Member

    May 24, 2018
    You nailed Ginny's and Luna's characters in a way very few fics manage to do, an accomplishment in itself.
    Hermione is less interesting but it still holds up
    The first 4 chapters are so amazing/incredible and made me tear up.
    The toxic relationship between Tom and Ginny is believable.

    The religion thing was a bit out of left field and I'd have appreciated a bit more lead up.
    The rituals were good, I like that you focused more on the witches and not the ritual itself.
    Your writing style would be better suited for shorter stories imo, it meanders too much for a 100k fic and I found myself skimming some parts.

    All in all a 3.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  8. JoJo23

    JoJo23 Auror

    Mar 22, 2008
    A very enjoyable well written and enjoyable story, with some issues that rubbed me the wrong way. In particular it was the plotting.
    Hermione's introduction to the group was a little bit odd, and indeed the whole introduction of the "group" kind of killed off the earlier strong characterisation. When Hermione meets Luna we get pages and pages of them quoting A Winters Tale at each other. Its pretty unbelievable.
    Later, we are intorduced to "Ronni". She's a fine character, but the name is a disaster. Every key character in canon has a distinct name for a reason. This girl having essentially the same name as her sibling threw me off.

    This story has close to the same wordcount as JKR's Prisoner of Azkaban, which it "replaces", but it feels pretty directionless at points. The plot outline is that Ginny is strongly affected by the Diary, so she rebuilds her connection with Luna, which leads her into confict with bullies. This is all fine. But then it leads into "Ginny starts performing weird rituals" and adopts Luna as her sister, and befreinds Hermione in a way I found pretty inorganic. It lost the thread of the plot which was established earlier (bullies) and only really comes up again in the final chapter. Obviously you have made the concious descision to exclude Harry Potter from this story, but not enough has come in to replace him.

    I would call this a 3/5. Very strong writing, with pretty great characterisation (Luna goes a bit off later on, but thats not unusual with Luna), but directionless.
  9. Zampanó

    Zampanó Third Year

    Sep 9, 2011
    I liked this a lot. I'm the target audience for the elements that you did best: the rituals, the hesitant friendship between Ginny & Luna, depictions of ongoing fallout for previous plot points. I'm a slut for writing that grapples with the aftermath of an adventure while inertia carries the rest of the world forward.

    I do agree that some of the bigger architectural elements of the story could be tightened up. Hermione, for instance, was a potential foil for Luna that didn't really produce any conflict. The initial scene where the two recite quotes to make peace was exciting because it showed that Luna was able to at least keep up with Hermione in a debate. But then they do not really clash again*. I think that Hermione presents a missed opportunity to contrast different ways of doing magic (researching rituals vs. intuiting them). The narrative doesn't really do anything to endorse or denounce either viewpoint, though.

    Rating: 4.5 rounding up