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Complete War Paint by provocative envy - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Karinta, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Karinta

    Karinta Sent Back to India

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    Title: War Paint
    Author: provocative envy
    Rating: M
    Genre: Romance/Suspense
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: Romance
    Pairings: Hermione/Tom Riddle
    Summary: "COMPLETE: It was small, slim, about the length of her hand; the leather cover was soft, the sewn-in binding was crisp, and the thick vellum pages were empty. 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' was printed in ancient, flaking gold leaf across the front. He had been a Slytherin, a prefect, and head boy in 1944. She had checked. HG/TR."
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10402749/1/War-Paint

    It's been a while since I've read this, and I gave it a try only because somebody on /r/HPfanfiction (Reddit) gave it a rec. It is Hermione/young!Tom, and it's a bit bizarre, the way the plot and romance unfolds, but it's well-constructed, and definitely worth reading. It doesn't just jump into the pairing headfirst.

    The premise, essentially, is that Hermione gets the diary rather than Ginny, and stuff happens between her and horcrux!Tom. Please don't rate without reading first.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  2. newageofpower

    newageofpower Professor DLP Supporter

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    I believe rating a fanfiction without actually taking a look is a violation of the rules. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  3. Karinta

    Karinta Sent Back to India

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    I know it is - yet some people still do.
     
  4. Albus

    Albus Squib

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    I don't buy Hermione's character in the first chapter.

    She told McGonagall immediately about the broom Sirius sent Harry in third year, yet she doesn't do the same here with an infinitely more dangerous object? It was hard to believe she kept writing.

    Overall, a decent read 3/5
     
  5. enembee

    enembee The Nicromancer DLP Supporter

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    I actually quite enjoyed this, despite expecting not to. Although I feel as though DLP probably isn't the target audience for this piece.

    I loved the development of Hermione in the first few chapters. Although I agree with Albus, that first chapter is hard to swallow, but it immediately gets much stronger, with the development of the relationship between the two of them read as extremely plausible in the early stages. I think it's entirely reasonable for Hermione to become fascinated with Riddle.

    However, I also think that while the snippets work to the author's advantage in the early chapters they subsequently work against them. The constant hopping back and forth, combined with a lot of telling rather than showing makes the ultimate person that Hermione develops into as a little too unrecognisable from canon, without really ever showing us quite how she reached that very dark place. The same is true of Riddle.

    Additionally, although I like the authors balancing of how the story might have played out if the Chamber of Secrets hadn't ever happened, I'm not quite so smitten with Hermione's growth into a quasi-Dumbledore figure, or their interpretation of the lore (particularly the bond between Harry and Voldemort, the Resurrection Stone's function or wandlore).

    All in all, a very well written read with some colourful use of language and some strong early chapters. But ultimately there's not enough weight behind the structure of this for me to fully buy the plot or character development as presented.

    3/5
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  6. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Before even reading a word of the actual story, I am greeted by "Tomione" in the author's note. Ugh. But let's not get discouraged by silly pairing names, even if they are extremely silly.

    Another thing that grates me becomes apparent very quickly in the first chapter. It's maybe, what, 2k total, estimating by sight?

    You've got dates. You've the (interim) thing, wrapped in italics. Emphasis is done with bold for some bizarre reason and when Riddle responds in the diary, it's underlined.

    People have told me repeatedly I have a problem with the liberal use of italics and ellipses and I always have to actively try to tone that down, but even I can see when it's too much. Holy duck, formatting is over the top. It's like the author just found out about it in the course of writing this story and went "Format All The Things!"

    Early on, the non-italicized fragments change from past tense to present tense. Wat. Why.

    I have a problem with Hermione casually finding out stuff about horcruxes that doesn't seem to come from Riddle, but I guess I can deal with that for the sake of the premise.

    This sentence:

    And there are more like it.

    And it suffers from the same problem as DH - the epilogue was entirely unnecessary.

    Despite all that, I really rather liked what I read. It was interesting. This is among the three explorations of teenage Riddle that I liked. It can't compare to the others, for all the reasons I laid out above, but I liked it all the same.

    I don't consider it great or anything, and I doubt I will return to it, but in the moment, I enjoyed it. It's not Hermione that's interesting here. Riddle is this fic's star in every way that matters and it's an interesting take on him. He's still Voldemort, obviously. He lies and manipulates, but he's also still a teenager, and gives into Hermione's own games. There's a Tom Riddle-ish quality that I find compelling about his obsession with Hermione.

    Despite all the flaws, I was ready to give it a 4/5 anyway, but there are little things that drag it down further. Like the bit about Malfoy being nice to Hermione after seeing her half-dressed because power of boners (and it was 5 year, when Malfoy was the dick of dicks), or the author not being able to distinguish between Parseltongue and Parselmouth, which is a peeve I find particularly annoying.

    So, I liked the story, wished the execution was better - 3/5.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  7. enembee

    enembee The Nicromancer DLP Supporter

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    Ignoring the rest of your review, which I agree with, I think this sentence is fine. To my eyes, it's a deliberate, and successful, stylistic choice by the author. The chaos of the sentence reflecting the chaos of combat, and all that. By letting their sentence run, I think they do a reasonably effective job of making it seem more intense and confusing.

    I've seen a couple of other writers do this, admittedly to better effect. And it's something I've emulated myself— I'm a fan of the technique.
     
  8. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    You're not wrong there, but I think it's overused. It shows up when Hermione's thinking about things too. It creates the impression of everything rushing and chaotic when things don't need to be that way. It's like Hermione is hyperventilating all the time. It gets old, especially in such a short story.

    I'm not disliking the technique, only the way the author employs it. But I agree that my chosen example wasn't the best to illustrate it.
     
  9. Kinser

    Kinser Fourth Year

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    I wasn't able to get past the first chapter. I'm sure it would be a good story IF there was well some hook at in the first chapter. I couldn't find anything in it to keep me coming back at all, and that is the least of the problems.

    Formatting...what can I say the formatting is fucking awful. First off, why is the author using bold to add emphasis? That is a little too much emphasis--that should be italicized. When Tom writes back in the diary it should not be underlined, it should be italicized, as should be when Hermione writes in the diary too. Typically italics indicate writing.

    Dates...why are there dates in this story? What do they add? Nothing. And they shouldn't be in parentheses anyway, dates should be bold-ed if the point is to write it as if it were a diary--I've seen other authors write in that manner (though not necessarily HP fanfic). The "interim" thingies. What do they add? Not much.

    Over all the entire first chapter is completely choppy, it is hard to read due to formatting and simply couldn't keep my attention.

    2/5
     
  10. Jazerus

    Jazerus First Year

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    Both the formatting and the "interim" sections are less bad later.

    This was an interesting story, but as some of the author's notes indicate, they are clearly uncomfortable with writing non-oneshots. The interesting plot developments basically end when the romance begins and details are pretty sparse throughout. On the other hand, it is a really interesting concept and the dialogue is enjoyable.

    4/5
     
  11. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I'm torn. On the one hand, I think that the choppy nature of it skips out a lot of important detail, and that if it was fully explored rather than just the highlights it would be a vast improvement. On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion that there isn't quite enough to the concept for it to work in more detail. I think the whole thing would collapse.

    What's here is really good. Not perfect, largely due to the distracting formatting and some...interesting changes (the Resurrection Stone, for instance, and Hermione being even more competent than she is in canon), but it's very well written, and it gets an extra point for actually making Voldemort/Hermione work, which I've never seen before.

    Rounded up to 4/5.
     
  12. Karinta

    Karinta Sent Back to India

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    It is a story that does need a bit of polishing - which it likely won't get, as it's not newly posted - but I agree with you. It's the only story that I've read, and likely will ever read, that involves a Tom/Hermione pairing.
     
  13. Kinser

    Kinser Fourth Year

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    I'm sorry but, if one cannot get past the first chapter, or if there is no hook to keep a reader reading, correcting formatting problems in later chapters is of little relevance.

    The first chapter generally sets up the tone for the rest of the story, granted, many people are more tolerant of choppiness, formatting problems, and the like in first chapters; however, to over look that requires a "hook" (I.E. a reason to continue to read the story) which is usually located in the first chapter. This story lacks that hook, as I've said, and therefore I simply couldn't be bothered to continue reading.

    As such I simply do not view this work as being library worthy, but I wouldn't mind if it was in the Almost Recommended section, and then only because the pairing in question is extremely rare.
     
  14. witch

    witch Squib

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    The formatting was a bit difficult to get through + the logic jump of Hermione not reporting the diary - but some things have to be bent for a fanfiction to work properly, so I'm not complaining much. I liked the growth of the relationship between Hermione and Tom, but I'm still conflicted on whether the relatively happy ending was great. Well, the alternative would be Hermione left tricked and heartbroken and I do like happier endings more. /shrug

    4/5
     
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