I fear I have forgotten how to do this whole dating thing. When do I do the whole "do you like me? check yes or no" part again?
Okay, first of all you need to know that my beta, Franzi, and I have a love/hate relationship with Dashes. I love them, and she hates them. She has christened herself the Dash-Whacker, and all her betas are littered with VILE ABUSE which she HURLS at me at every turn, all in the guise of teaching me when and where I am to use the Dash. Ours is the S&M relationship of most people's dreams. (Where is my Franzi/Aja coffinsex icon when I need it, eh?) So, you get her saying things like, "This is my mallet! (Imagine Bruce Campbell saying that.)" And then WHACKING away with her Dash-O'-Matic weapon at every turn. So keep in mind that half of this is about me being completely unable to tell where the dash is supposed to go unless Franzi is yelling at me. :))
I give you: franzeska:
On the dash: *fingers mallet angrily* Do mine eyes deceive me, or have you used a colon between two dashes? This is a special moment, even for you, Dash-Girl. *evil grin*
On this really bad imagery that I got rid of immediately after reading the following:
You are the ghosts behind my ey-ey-eyes! Err… sorry… Had Ozzy stuck in my head for a moment.
On Lily: Augh! My eyes! I want to smack her. I guess Harry comes by his whining honestly.
On word choice: Jetted? Jetted?!?!!onefucking1 (You see what I suffer?! Honestly.)
On verbosity: Again with the wordiness. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle… only skip the reduce and recycle parts
On *spoiler*: Ooh. Very creepy. I get this child molestation feeling from that last bit.
...as Tracey acquiesced.
She wasn’t disinclined to… uh… right… sorry: wrong fandom.
On wordiness again: That’s quite a mouthful, and not in some naughty, good sense either.
On the lack of the word "said": She didn’t snicker it. She said it. Bah. I too like to avoid ‘said’ at times, but here and now, this is a silly way to do it.
On the description of Draco Malfoy: Bwa ha! No cool crow metaphors for Drakey-poo. Nope.
On word choice again: ‘Proceeding’ makes it sound like a Religious Experience or something.
Hermione, taking in the look that must have come into his eyes,
Skull fucking! Uh… sorry…
Harry looked at her, and laughed abrasively.
Like the Sandpaper of Doom!
On angst: Her pain is getting a little lost in your labyrinthine syntax.
On adverbs: “Why must ye torment me with these scabrous adverbs, Wench,” asked the beta, searchingly. “And avast that ‘so’ while ye’re at it! Arr!”
So Slytherin was back—and Draco.
Slytherin was Draco? Uh huh. Instead of using a DASH, how about writing a stronger sentence?
They entered together, all arguing spiritedly
“You do realize that makes them sound like they’re in a romance novel, don’t you,” said the beta, spiritedly. She tossed her amber mane.
On the dash again: Are you trying to inspire me to violence, Woman? Get rid of that damned dash!
...and again: What’s this I see? A dash usurping the rightful position of a colon?
...and again: I’m a dash not a crutch, Jim… err… Aja.
...and again: Arrrrgh. This is the last place you want that Abomination of a punctuation mark.
...and again: *twitches violently* Kindly remove this vile bit of punctuation.
...and again: Even if I didn’t hate the dash, I’d hate this Gordian Knot of a sentence. See this mallet? I am the crazy gay guy and this is my sword! *wham*
On word choice again: Using ‘over’ over and over isn’t going to go over very well with your reader.
On syntax: Ack! Ack! Wordiness! Put all that feeling cold crap in a separate sentence.
. “It wasn’t a problem, Ginny,” he said briefly, flashing a brief smile at her.
Well, have him flash his briefs at her and you’ll be all set for maximum repetitiveness.
On wordiness: Your sentence is whimpering in pain.
...and again: Disentangle these confounded incestuous clauses and write me a proper, intelligible sentence.
Harry thought, stifling a laugh
I’m going to be stifling your prose in a minute here.
Not that any judgment he’d make about Harry’s relationship with Draco would be exactly short-sighted or stupid.
*giggle* “You’re having a Torrid Homosexual Affair with Malfoy!!!” “No I’m… oh… well…”
Harry gritted his teeth and suppressed a sigh just before it escaped.
Well, yes, that is what ‘suppressed’ generally means.
Harry flicked his gaze
What is it: a skipping stone? Kindly avast the gaze-flicking and write something less silly.
He ran his eyes over
This is almost as bad as the gaze-flicking.
he felt Hermione’s gaze,
Like the cold, portentious hand of doom descending out of a purple prose fic!
Harry walked around with a swirl of fear
It sounds like an ice cream flavor.
On (sigh) the Dash: Mmm, dash as excuse for incomprehensibly long sentence.
... and again: WHY? Why why why? Argh!
..and again: Dash bad. Kill dash.
Ron brightened all over,
His toes were virtually incandescent.
Harry slid off his coat,
Was he sitting on it? Is it slippery?
On *spoiler*: Mmm, Hermione Granger, Voice of Foreshadowing
On, yes, you guessed it:
LOSE THE DASH.
AAAARGH. PAIN FOREVER. NO NO NO. No more dashes.
COLON! COLON, DAMN YOU!
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
Hermione broke into a grin.
And a bank vault and the advertising business.
To him telepathically?
On some rather inexplicable word choice that makes this much funnier out of context: If you’re going to have the somersaults, lose the ice.
On (two) dashes: For the first to live, the second must die.
ON BADLY WRITTEN
On bad phrasing: Are they moving in slow motion?
She stood up and vanquished
‘Twas a valiant effort with which she strove ‘gainst the fire. Yea, verily.
putting a hand out for her housemate.
It sounds like she’s leaving milk out for a cat or something.
Aaaaaaand finally: AAAAAAAAAARGH! FIX THE GOD DAMNED DASHES!
On Why I love My Betas: Part Two -- The lovely Verdant:
On bad metaphors: The Slytherin dormitories lay stretched out beneath the bowels of Hogwarts
They are not themselves the bowels? That would be appropriate to the snake metaphor (and the snake metaphor would alleviate the allusion to the anus).
(orphne: what's wrong with anus allusions?
bookshop: it is the first sentence.
bookshop: it would leave me nowhere to go.)
On why I should read the books more than once every two years, part one: First reaction: Cool! Second thoughts: but… isn't this Muggle maths?
On why I should read the books more than once every two years, part two: Isn't Filch a Squib? (*FACEPALM*)
On bad dialect: They sound like Midwestern highschoolers to me.
On bad jokes: Ha! Though it seems as if you could do better than 'cow'. (And no, you don't get to know to what that is referring. I have no wit to speak of. You will all make fun. *shuns*)
On bad wording: Impeccable doesn't seem a likely attribute of silence.
On Draco Malfoy's appearance: Ha! If this is their read on him, they're missing his mood.
On (really silly) word choice: Hr probably levels her steady gaze at Harry, but if she levels Harry with her gaze, he'll be on the floor looking up at her, wondering when the hell she had time to develop this new superpower. Not that he's been paying much attention to her, but still!
Ron, who was lying on his bead
er, would those be anal beads, Aja? I hadn't figured Ron for that sort of toy. .... Or, then again, perhaps the twins have widened Ron's horizons!
Stuff I am pasting just as teaser material, Part One:
I like that Harry thinks he's interpreted the look in Draco's eyes when he is probably very wrong about it. I like both parts: the dramatic irony in Harry's dare (we guess this is just what Draco will do in a minute) and the effect being close is having on Harry (and the way that creates an expectation that Harry will be a lamb to the slaughter in the treacherous business that must lie ahead in Part Two).
Stuff I am pasting just as teaser material, Part Two:
I can't tell which voice might express Draco's real feelings/thoughts or whether he is never 'here' at all.
Yay. I have the best betas in the world. <333333
And yes, in case you haven't guessed, that was the latest chapter of LUW they were tackling. Good things I can report from this terribly involved beta process that took me forever are:
1) I now know more than a good girl like me should ever be expected to know about British Labour politics in the 70's;
2) Millicent is a sexpot (and no, you can't have her);
3) an overabundance of slang contractions do not a Cockney accent make--even in fanfic;
4) a sestina is something I will never write, ever;
5) so far, no one hates my beleaguered little chapter 16. *schnoogles it*
It's 2 am. Should I go to bed or stay up and code? The questions of life, my friends, the questions of life.