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Looking for a beta reader.
Looking for a beta reader.
#1
Is anyone willing to beta a story I've been working on? I've only got a short chapter so far.


Attached Files
.docx   HP-MoL 1.docx (Size: 8.67 KB / Downloads: 2)
.docx   Hp-MoL notes.docx (Size: 6.25 KB / Downloads: 2)
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#2
It' s an interesting start, to be sure, and reminds me I need to catch up the last few chapters of MoL now that it's finished. I do think that you'd be better off covering at least up until one or both Kazinsky siblings agree to (or resign themselves to being press-ganged into) attending before calling it a chapter, though. As it stands, you're likely to get a whole lot of people who look at it, shrug, and carry on, especially if they've never heard of Mother of Learning and think you're just showing off your Gary Stu SI/OC who's a cool, sarcastic loner and has already mastered wandless magic. Writing a story always feels so much longer than reading it, and beginnings so much more significant when you know where they lead rather than being the part of the trip where you start the car and go to the end of the driveway, then pause to look both ways before pulling out. Right now you've got a worm that some will judge tastier than others, but no hook to reel them in.

As for errors, just one nitpick so far: It may be a regional variation for all I know but my brain, my spellchecker, and google all agree that there should be two Ls in "enroll." It might also be good to drop one instance of "extremely" in the first two sentences; I'd suggest losing the first if you do.

ETA: As Star Ranger and Bluemage among others elseforum can unfortunately confirm, It's best not to rely on me as a long term or sole beta reader, try though I may I tend to get distracted and flake out sooner or later.
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#3
A bit more. Hopefully it should be a bit better and take away from the "super cool character attends Hogwarts" problem.


Attached Files
.docx   HP-MoL 1.docx (Size: 11.62 KB / Downloads: 4)
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#4
The additions do fill out the structure at least so it can be called a complete episode with its own introduction, climax, and denouement, but Zorian is still sitting squarely in "Too cool for school" territory for now. Some exploration of why he's so skilled, and so unimpressed with the castle's enchantments that are supposed to some of the biggest feats of magic in the HP world, would probably be good right quick. Establishing where Zorian is in his original plot (I'm assuming post-canon so far) would also be a good idea.

Pity she didn't know about the Room of Requirement to show it off - even Zorian would lose his cool a little at that, and the Transfiguration aspects of how it reconfigures would likely have captured her own interest herself. She's been introducing new students to Hogwar6ts and magic in general for decades, even if she's not a Ravenclaw she surely knows (and knows how to pique) academic curiosity when she sees it. Of course, Zorian is a tough sell even on that front, but only having seen him from outside and in the eyes of a character who isn't familiar with him it's easily believable he's more tempted than he let on. Honestly, I'd expect the first words out of Kirielle's mouth after they arrive to be something along those lines, that she saw how he looked at the shelves in that huge library or something like that.


Quote:“How you hide the huge castle and grounds from everyone.”
.
.
.
.
“Look, I’m not twelve. I don’t need a simplified explanation. It doesn’t matter what the

I'm not a super fan of how things jump around in this part, but sometimes you have to do that just to get anywhere. This one only seems to skip over a single line from Minnie though, so it's really not accomplishing anything with that jump cut except a jolt to the sense of immersion.

Quote:“The unplottable charm is an extremely difficult charm that’s above even NEWT level
I recommend replacing the second "charm" with "spell" here.

Quote:peculiarities of the castle. Bot she and Zorian

Both

Those real-word typos are always a pain in the tuchus.

Quote:Zorian tuned to McGonagall

turned

Quote:McGonagall watched as the siblings blinked away. She was worried about them, without an adult to look after them. Zorian was far too young to be looking after his sister alone. And without any qualifications, he was not going to be able to get any proper job. Not to mention that he’d run afoul of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery. Attending Hogwarts could solve these problems. And hopefully improve his manners.

alone, and

problems, and

Two very good points - why isn't she saying them out loud to Zorian? And letting him side-along his sister away when he's clearly too young to have an apparition license, no matter what he may think of her own perfectly fine and long practiced thank you skills on that subject? He may not be a student and thus not under her authority to discipline but at least warning him that he's breaking the law is certainly within her character, even if wizarding law is not likely to have provisions making it her duty to report such offenses and ministry policy is certainly that no one but DMLE officers should attempt to enforce it.
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#5
(06-26-2020, 05:16 PM)classicdrogn Wrote: The additions do fill out the structure at least so it can be called a complete episode with its own introduction, climax, and denouement, but Zorian is still sitting squarely in "Too cool for school" territory for now. Some exploration of why he's so skilled, and so unimpressed with the castle's enchantments that are supposed to some of the biggest feats of magic in the HP world, would probably be good right quick. Establishing where Zorian is in his original plot (I'm assuming post-canon so far) would also be a good idea.

It's post canon, which I thought should have been clear from the comments he made and his and Kirielle's age. Which means that he's at nearly the same level as Dumbledore/Volemort. The problem is that it's from an outside perspective and from that perspective Zorian will come across as a too cool for school punk. Which is what McGonagall thinks he is. In this story, his last attempt to pretend to be a normal schoolboy was such a fiasco that he's had to jump through a gate to another world to disappear for a while. Zach has a plan to fix things. That should scare anyone.

Quote:Pity she didn't know about the Room of Requirement to show it off - even Zorian would lose his cool a little at that, and the Transfiguration aspects of how it reconfigures would likely have captured her own interest herself. She's been introducing new students to Hogwar6ts and magic in general for decades, even if she's not a Ravenclaw she surely knows (and knows how to pique) academic curiosity when she sees it. Of course, Zorian is a tough sell even on that front, but only having seen him from outside and in the eyes of a character who isn't familiar with him it's easily believable he's more tempted than he let on. Honestly, I'd expect the first words out of Kirielle's mouth after they arrive to be something along those lines, that she saw how he looked at the shelves in that huge library or something like that.

McGonnagal is capable of true conjuration. To Zorian that is a lost, probably mythical, form of magic that one of his teachers had dedicated her life to try to recover. I just couldn't think of a good way to work it in yet.

Quote:
Quote:“How you hide the huge castle and grounds from everyone.”
.
.
.
.
“Look, I’m not twelve. I don’t need a simplified explanation. It doesn’t matter what the

I'm not a super fan of how things jump around in this part, but sometimes you have to do that just to get anywhere. This one only seems to skip over a single line from Minnie though, so it's really not accomplishing anything with that jump cut except a jolt to the sense of immersion.

I couldn't work out how to get in a good line and didn't want to put in a wall of magibabble.

Quote:
Quote:“The unplottable charm is an extremely difficult charm that’s above even NEWT level
I recommend replacing the second "charm" with "spell" here.

Quote:peculiarities of the castle. Bot she and Zorian

Both

Those real-word typos are always a pain in the tuchus.

Quote:Zorian tuned to McGonagall

turned

Thanks for catching those.

Quote:
Quote:McGonagall watched as the siblings blinked away. She was worried about them, without an adult to look after them. Zorian was far too young to be looking after his sister alone. And without any qualifications, he was not going to be able to get any proper job. Not to mention that he’d run afoul of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery. Attending Hogwarts could solve these problems. And hopefully improve his manners.

alone, and

problems, and

Two very good points - why isn't she saying them out loud to Zorian? And letting him side-along his sister away when he's clearly too young to have an apparition license, no matter what he may think of her own perfectly fine and long practiced thank you skills on that subject? He may not be a student and thus not under her authority to discipline but at least warning him that he's breaking the law is certainly within her character, even if wizarding law is not likely to have provisions making it her duty to report such offenses and ministry policy is certainly that no one but DMLE officers should attempt to enforce it.

From a Doylest POV, the problem is that attempting to stop Zorian from leaving to teleport out would have just resulted in him teleporting away from inside Hogwarts. Which would attract too much attention too early. (The wards do not stop House Elves from teleporting or teleporting food into the great hall from the kitchen, and do not block floos or portkeys. They clearly only block the one apportation spell the wizards use). I'll think about how to edit it.
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#6
(06-26-2020, 06:21 PM)Jinx999 Wrote: It's post canon, which I thought should have been clear from the comments he made and his and Kirielle's age.

It did seem the most likely, but you can never be entirely sure with a crossover until it's officially stated.

Quote:I couldn't work out how to get in a good line and didn't want to put in a wall of magibabble.

From what Zorian says, it seems like she tried to just fob him off with something like, "Hogwarts is hidden through the use of the Unplottable charm, which as its name suggests makes a location impossible to locate on any map."

Quote:From a Doylest POV, the problem is that attempting to stop Zorian from leaving to teleport out would have just resulted in him teleporting away from inside Hogwarts. Which would attract too much attention too early. (The wards do not stop House Elves from teleporting or teleporting food into the great hall from the kitchen, and do not block floos or portkeys. They clearly only block the one apportation spell the wizards use). I'll think about how to edit it.

Well, one point is that Zorian has at least some experience with trying to hide his full abilities, even if he's intentionally not covering all of it up because a) he wants to look competent enough to be on his own, and b) the field where he grows his fucks hasn't recovered much from being so severely overworked and lies nearly barren. He is clearly trying to make at least some effort at not standing out too far in public, and if nothing else knows the value of appearing to obey the local authority even if they're corrupt, stupid, or obstructionist, which of course the Ministry is all three.

Minerva, likewise, is a lifelong educator and can be expected to want to help a clearly talented young person, however poor the impression he's made of his manners, from falling afoul of the law, and bringing up those points would be strong arguments in favor of getting him to join the school at least long enough to gain recognition for the skills if he really is as skilled as he thinks he is. Zorian doesn't necessarily need to agree with her even so, but it seemed odd she doesn't even mention it...

Well, there is how utterly useless she is throughout the HP books I suppose, but if anything that would make a response along the lines of needing to stop his nonsense and buckle down until he's earned the qualifications to be counted as an adult. That's not likely to go very well, but it is very much the attitude she displays in essentially every interaction with Harry & co.
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#7
I've been trying to rewrite the end and the choice is between:

Zorian allowing Minerva to subject him and his sister to a spell he'd consider a dangerous menace.

Minerva allowing a 16 year old boy to apparate.

Zorian casting a spell (gate) Minerva doesn't recognise and which doesn't have a direct equivalent in Harry Potter. I've written this, but do you have any suggestions as to how Minerva should react to the sight?
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RE: Looking for a beta reader.
#8
Hmmm... Since you don't want to escalate things too fast, my suggestion would be for Zorian to decline her offer of a trip back, saying he'll use his own, properly constructed and bounded teleport, only to be told that for him to do so unlicensed and underage is strictly illegal in magical Britain regardless of how good he may be at it. If he's certain he doesn't want her assistance, the two of them can walk to Hogsmeade and take the floo from the Three Broomsticks to (insert some magical shop near their home here.) (Min is a bit put out with him, or she might offer to accompany them with loaner broomsticks and see them off through the pub, or prevail on Hagrid to hook up one of the carriages.) They either then do so, or Zorian quietly does his portal thing after giving her and himself a fig leaf of plausible deniability by getting out of sight.

If you need a business name to use, my favorite that I've never gotten an opportunity to insert is Gubbins and Bob's Sundries and Ironmongery, supplier of various household and business fixtures, fittings, and tools, founded 1895 by Gubbins Smith and Bob Plummer, reopened 1983 (or a similarly recent offset if you're not setting this in Harry's school years) after the last surviving member of the families graduated Hogwarts. ("gubbins and bobs" being slang for the sort of treasures one digs through in an attic or junk drawer, for that properly punny Harry Potter feel.) This would also be a source for Zorian to get such things for his inevitable investigation into the local magic, with the timeless bond of men over tools and hardware to break the ice and get him some references to places like potion suppliers and book shops that specialize in other aspects of the support trades. Of course, there's nothing to say you'd even need to mention the place ever again if it doesn't fit in, but it's there of you want to.

Edit: For even more fun, put it on a little side street called Odd's End along with a butcher shop, chandler, and bakery Wink
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