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Review of chapter "Chapter Two." from (Current Donor)DreamSmith
Hey there.
I'm two chapters in, and it's a very promising start.
Dawn feels Dawnlike (though a more mature Dawn, which makes sense), and the general feel of the people and places and events seem natural.
That said... there's an issue, and a fairly large one.

Any writer who's done more than their first three or four scribblings has most certainly run into one of the more important bits of writerly advice/lore out there, which is: Show, don't tell.
This story, despite having many good points, is MASSIVELY weighted towards 'Telling', instead of 'Showing', and it really hurts the story itself.

It's almost as if this were a radio play; this would work brilliantly in that format. Or if Dawn got her her own series post-Buffy, and this story is season one, but every episode consists of three or four really brief scenes, and the rest is just long spans of a black screen, with Dawn doing a monotone voiceover. There's a reason why flashbacks in movies and television are actual scenes, with people talking to each other and things happening, as opposed to blackness, with someone telling us about what was said and what they did.
And the strange thing is, the scenes you do show us are GOOD. The dialogue seems natural, the characters are believable... I don't understand why you seem to be shying away from doing more of it, when you've proven that you know how.

Sorry if it seems like I'm bashing you; that isn't my intent at all. I see the start of a good story here, and I look forward to reading further, but that one glaring issue is really working against the rest. I'm hoping you moved into a more visual and intimate sort of storytelling as you went on; guess the way to find out is to click the 'next chapter' button.
Comments from author:
How nice to know that people still enjoy this, and that this version of Dawn seems right to you.

You are quite right - there was, indeed, a good deal of 'setting up' done in those early chapters to fill in those ten years.

I think you may well find more happening 'on screen' as the story progresses, hopefully enough to please you and for you to continue reading, but, to be quite honest, I am unlikely to make any major changes to this story now.

Although my beta and I were talking, recently, about going back to this story-line, and a follow-up that we began as co-authors but did not finish, which is why it isn't posted here. One of the things we were considering was how much might need revising bearing in mind that technology has advance even further than I predicted when I wrote this in 2005. So a couple of minor changes may get made sometime in the future. Perhaps when I finish The Valinor Trail.
Review By [(Current Donor)DreamSmith] • Date [11 Feb 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from Steffanie
I just registered with this site so that I could come on here and write you a review. I LOVE this story!! I was searching yesterday in my boredom for some Dawn-Spike stuff, and came across a few fanfic that were corny, cute, but obviously written by someone who didn't have too much experience weaving a story for others to read. I found yours and honestly, I just clicked the link because it was the longest story I could find. (I hate to read short stories) I was blown away at how professional it sounded, the words, the way you put things together and made me feel like I was there...I thought I was holding a book that I had purchased. I loved what you did for the characters (I always thought that Spike and Dawn would have made a great couple). I really hated seeing THE END. All good things must come to an end, but I really hope that you someday decide to pick this story up again. If in a perfect world you could print these, I would buy them in a heartbeat!
I will now be checking out everything else you have written about the Buffy verse.
Comments from author:
Thank you so much - it is the first long piece of fic that I wrote, a while before I put it here, and so it is lovely that people enjoy it.

As for a sequel - there are over 57,000 words of a sequel co-written with my husband (Speaker to Customers), but not posted here because it is unfinished as both of us got caught up in other projects. I promise that if we finish it I will post it, but until we seem to be well underway with it again I won't, as I hate unfinished stories that sit, with no conclusion, for years!

However, I have just spoken to him about it, and he says "Yes - we really should get back to it... perhaps next weekend." (He's working this weekend.) So when you see 'New Story - Access All Areas' you will know that it IS going to be completed!

In the meantime, the project I got caught up in is here at TtH; it is a genuine cross-over (hence posted before this one) in which I decided to take Dawn somewhere else...

Not a Dawn/Spike romance - but you might enjoy it anyway. Return of The Key starts about 3/4 way through 'Chosen' and the action takes place half in Sunnydale - and half in Middle Earth.
Review By [Steffanie] • Date [21 Jan 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from azulkan
Great story. Always thought Dawn and Spike belonged together more than Buffy and Spike.
Comments from author:
Thank you - I thought they really should work well together - once she grew up a bit. I'm really glad that you agree.
Review By [azulkan] • Date [13 Aug 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from Rune
Congrats on getting a 10. I'll admit I don't give out 6's or lower very often. If its that bad I don't read much beyond the first page. Only finished stories get 10s though. And this is a good one. I'll be checking out your other stories now. I'm fairly new to this site.
Comments from author:
Thank you so much for your kind review, I am really happy that you enjoyed the story. I do try to be writing only one, or at most two, stories at a time, and have them planned out to the end before I start posting them, because I really like to see that 'completed; yes' at the end of things that I read myself!

Have a good time finding lots of wonderful things on TtH - and I hope that you do read, and enjoy, my other stories.
Review By [Rune] • Date [12 Aug 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from MistofRainbows
Nice story. A number of twists and turns. Not normally a pairing I like to see but it works. Nice resolution with the key stuff.
Comments from author:
Thank you for taking the time to review; I really appreciate it. It isn't a pairing I like, a lot of the time, either so I am glad that it works for you, too, here!
Review By [MistofRainbows] • Date [11 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from (Current Donor)vladt
excellent read. fine tale, as usual, thank you.
Comments from author:
Thank you - I do appreciate you letting me know that you enjoyed it.
Review By [(Current Donor)vladt] • Date [11 Aug 10] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from RevDorothyL
I do hope you had a fabulous time at WriterCon UK!

Thanks so much for writing this story and providing such a very satisfying ending! (Though, if you're ever inspired to write a sequel, detailing the further adventures of Spike and Dawn, I certainly wouldn't complain!)
Comments from author:
WriterConUK was really good fun. It is a small event - under 30 of us, but it is so nice to be geeky and fannish with like-minded people. Especially as the age range is across over 40 years, and it just doesn't matter!

As for the story - thank you so much for all the feedback - I have really appreciated it.

The possibility of a sequel is a bit - um - difficult to predict. My beta (Speaker to Customers) and I actually began to co-write one, over on Live Journal, but it stalled as we both got involved with other things. I won't post it here unless we are writing it again. So, if you ever do see Access All Areas here, you'll know it is going to be completed!
Review By [RevDorothyL] • Date [10 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from Misty
Thank you for a simply beautiful story
Comments from author:
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am really happy to know that you enjoyed it.
Review By [Misty] • Date [10 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from starshinedown
This has been so very lovely to read. Your take on the future of Dawn and Spike (and Willow, and Buffy, and Giles...) is delightful. I'm so glad you shared this story with us!
Comments from author:
Thank you - I am really glad you like my view of the characters in the future - I wanted them all to be content, more or less; I thought they deserved it!

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know that you liked it.
Review By [starshinedown] • Date [10 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from (Recent Donor)Luna
Even these new trains still had a rhythm to them, and this one was saying ‘Gonna see Dawn, gonna see Dawn, gonna see Dawn…----- this is such a rich observation; one that I can imagine while I read.

He had asked Dawn for them--- haha, I forgot how Spike likes his panties! (thinking of him stealing Buffy’s in S5)

usually four to five pints – by the time that much had been taken most victims’ hearts had stopped, and so had their circulation.---interesting factoid

looked at his watch again, and tried to think about meeting Giles.---haha! This WOULD put a stop to any sexy feelings ;)

and pictures of Buffy had been confined to the living roomIt said a lot for the reformed Watchers Council that there had been no dissent, and no queries at all, about providing body-temperature blood for Spike to dip his onion bhajis in.---- nice; I love reading post-Chosen stories about the nicer, reformed council ;)

Dawn’s portal demonstration—SO COOl and I love how you described it! And what she got! Haha

to use a well know phrase, that the power was strong in me.”--- *grins geekily*

She stumbled over Giles’ name, and Dawn smiled – Mhairi could never quite decide between Mr. Giles, Rupert, or plain Giles.--- heehee, I imagine many *new* Watcher’s Council ppl who hang with the Scoobies would have that problem!

‘Prince Albert of Protection from Sunlight’---- HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

And I LOVE the way the auras were described and that Spike will get a new prezzie!!

“How are you, and by the way thank you for burning to death at Sunnydale, I was certainly wrong to want you dusted before the big battle,”---- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA Ohhhh tooo funny; and true!

‘Yeah – definitely gravely – Watchers can probably listen more gravely than anyone else – must ask Dawn if they give them lessons in it,’--- *snicker* truuuue

If it wasn’t for Dawn he would have loved to find out if a threesome was out of the question...--- hahahahaha, oh Spike!

in front of The Watcher – he hadn’t known whether to kiss her, or strangle the bloody little minx with them!---- hahahaha!

Wow, I really, *really* adored this story – you did an EXCELLENT job. Once again, you have proven yourself to be one of my favorite authors and I thank you for posting this and introducing me to the lovely pairing that is Spike/Dawn. Not to mention, I still thank you for your earlier works that made me change my negative opinion of Dawn and now she is one of my favorite people to read and write about :)

I look forward to the sequel!
Comments from author:
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this story, and those bits of this chapter in particular. Some of those are definitely my own favourite bits, too.

As for more - I have a Returnverse story ready to start posting, probably on Sunday 15th, so it is back to Middle Earth for now!

There will not be a sequel to this one, at least for some time. My beta (Speaker to Customers) and I have one that we were co-writing - it is 17 chapters long and likely to reach 20 to 25 chapters; but it has stalled, as we both began other projects, and we won't post it here until we get on with writing it again, as I hate the idea of leaving it here never completed...
Review By [(Recent Donor)Luna] • Date [10 Aug 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty Two... some time later." from slmncpm
beautiful of course, i loved the entire story. *hugs you and hands you scones*
Comments from author:
Thank you - I am so pleased that you enjoyed it.

*Dashes off to make tea and find the strawberry jam...*
Review By [slmncpm] • Date [10 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty one." from (Recent Donor)Luna
Very nice. I like this Spike/Dawn pairing that you have created -- and the stockings were great, lol ;)
Comments from author:
Thank you - you just *know* that Spike would be a stockings man...
Review By [(Recent Donor)Luna] • Date [5 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty" from Alexis
Dawn's reflection on her role in relation to Buffy was fascinating. I think she's right. Buffy certainly was the sun that everyone revolved around. And now, no matter how much she always said she wanted to be "just a normal girl", it's got to sting a little that Dawn's star is rising while her's is fading. And to lose Spike's adoration as well... happily married or not, it had to be a boost to the ego to think he was always out there pining for her.
Comments from author:
Thank you. That is exactly how I saw it. And the knowledge that, somewhere, there was a vampire who was pining for you, saw you as the love of his life, must have been a real ego boost when life was just a bit too 'ordinary'.
Review By [Alexis] • Date [4 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Eighteen." from Alexis
“Maybe the fact that all three of those relationships that didn’t work had you as the common factor in them should tell you something...”

Best. Line. Ever!!

I've been waiting years for Spike to get to that point.
Comments from author:
Thank you! The ten year gap gives him long enough to look back objectively...
Review By [Alexis] • Date [4 Aug 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twenty one." from RevDorothyL
"what someone had once referred to as ‘cold, dead seed’. "

Loved the homage to one of the cliches of BtVS porn, as well as all the yumminess that surrounded it!
Comments from author:
it was a line I couldn't resist... I'm so glad that you enjoyed the rest of the chapter too.
Review By [RevDorothyL] • Date [4 Aug 10] • Not Rated
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