Spikes and Stones:
This one's already been sent to the author, but I'll post it here for anyone that's interested.Mechanics and Details:
Your dash-demarked asides are getting repetitive just a few paragraphs in.
>It’s only a little larger than me
"I," not "me." Does Spike know that? Your call.
>It raises a sandstone foot
Wait, what? You described it as granite before, or at least its fist. Why would it be made of such different materials? Sandstone in particular isn't very strong. Plus, Spike can eat gems. I don't see how these materials would be a problem.
>With an earth-rending crack
Introductory elements leading into the subject are usually set off with a comma.
>smile in satisfaction
Ranging into telly language here.
>Before the golem could process that
Weak use of a demonstrative.
>I can’t tear my eyes away from the shattered stones the golem leaves in its wake.
Sandstone feet aren't going to put up with this kind of punishment.
>In a few seconds
>the straps on broken the plate armor
Swapped words. And you mentioned mithril before. Is he wearing that inside the plate? It's usually envisioned as a fine chain shirt worn under the armor.
>never mind it being roughly ten times as heavy.
"Its" instead of "it" here, but I'm not going into the long explanation of why. Ten times as heavy as Spike? It's vague whether you mean that. Also note that you describe the golem as weighing several tons (and possibly only its hand or arm as weighing that much, since you specified granite, but later mentioned sandstone feet), so one tenth of that potentially makes Spike unbelievably big.
>With a roar
Another missing comma.
>stampedes towards me
Odd word choice. "Stampede" connotes running away from something, not at a target, and it also connotes a group action.
>an awkward lop
-ly adverbs are generally exempt from hyphenation, except under specific circumstances.
>stripping off a layer from the ruby
"Layer" implies cleavage planes. In fact, corundum has no observed cleavage and uneven fracture. It wouldn't break like that.
>Even with it inside the bag I can feel its steely gaze.
That should be a plural, not a possessive.
>from its single scarred eye
Another missing comma.
>I could see a fury that would outmatch even the most explosive of volcanoes. What little hesitation it had possessed was long gone now.
You're lapsing out of your present tense here.
>A shadow looms and I look up to see my end.
Two separate subject/verb pairs. Separate the clauses with a comma.
>With a wet tearing sound
Another missing comma.
>I feel something sprout from my back and a shadow falls over me.
>back then I felt like I had failed her
>wings, poking and prodding at its
Hyphenate the whole thing.
>With a wave
>Within seconds of me sitting down a stack of gems
Similar to the previous instance I didn't care to explain, "me" should be "my." You also have a syntax problem here. It's possible you meant "setting" instead of "sitting," but I suspect you're just missing an "on."
That'd tend to cook off the alcohol rather quickly, yes?
>down my chin as I put the vessel down
>Again, the other dragons join in on it and dust falls from the roof as the cacophony echoes a thousand times.
>As I bite into it
>the sun’s light peaks into the cave
I believe you meant "peeks."
>Some of the revellers have gone off to their alcove
Do they all share one, or do you mean "alcoves?"
>Some of the revellers have gone off to their alcove to sleep off their excess, most sleep it off on the floor.
>Don’t worry, I’m fine
>the bruising has almost healed and it only hurts when I take a really deep breath.
>It was a dumb decision on my part and he actually saved me in the end.
>One time I asked him how a dragon grows a beard and he told me ‘Very carefully’.
Missing comma, and use double quotes.
>is that the kind of love I had for Rarity?
He doesn't know?
There were also quite a few instances where the sentence structure became repetitive, with a lot of subject-verb openings. While keeping things simple can help with action sequences, particularly in the youthful sections, too much bogs the narrative down and makes it feel more like a list.Characterization:
Spike seems okay, but there's something missing. Now that I've finished, I see how the whole thing fits together, but I'm not going to go back and edit my detailed comments to reflect that. However, Spike takes on too mature a voice, particularly while young. I get that he may be exposed to more sohpisticated linguistics while at the library, but in practice, he never used them, and Twilight dumbed down at least one letter so that he could write it. And there's no indication that there's an atmosphere among the dragons that would continue to foster that ability such that his later narrative was even more flowery. Compare the text of his letter to the other narration of young Spike. They're mismatched.
Once I realized what was going on, though, I felt a strange separation from Spike. I get some emotion from him about his initial journey to be with the dragons, but more excitement than apprehension. Especially since his letter indicates he went out on a lark, in a costume that he thought would never work. Had he actually prepared for an extended absence under those circumstances? He doesn't mention doing so. I'd expect he didn't say a proper good-bye then, but it's never addressed that he had to make do once he decided to stay or went back, either for some time or just for a supply/hug run. Then older Spike is utterly stoic about his separation from Twilight. Still a connection, yes, but nothing on the order of missing her, and there's no sense of anticipation at the end that he's going to see his old friends again. There's a spark missing here that doesn't really make this Spike for me.Plot:
My first impression was that Spike was having some imaginary adventure and kept oscillating between levels of immersion in the fantasy. It wasn't until the letter that I had an inkling of what was going on. It relies on the reader being able to decipher several things, which may be a bit of a stretch. Giving the reader a nice "aha" moment is one thing, but having to decipher multiple things to get the full effect may be asking too much. It depends on how accessible you want your story to be to the average reader.
Now, let me be clear. I'm speaking to acessbility as understanding the story, not enjoying it. That's a different matter. While I can't say I enjoyed the story more than average, it was still well-written, and a good reviewer should be able to recognize good writing in a story he doesn't enjoy and still help make it more effective. So, I'm not going to tell you that the storytelling method is invalid, because that would be a false assertion. Stories like this exist. They work. They just don't work for me. That fact doesn't make a story bad.
While an action-only story can amuse and even be interesting, it's the emotional connection that makes it memorable and gives the reader something to think about. I'd encourage you to up the ante on that front.
This post was edited by its author on .