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The Training Grounds: HNNNNG Edition Anonymous 3448[Last 50 Posts]

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Claim: Captain Kirk: Equestrian Anonymous 3458

I am claiming this. Expect a review soon.

Review, "Time Turner’s Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration" 3461

Here's the first thing you should know. The review up here is going to be very basic.

The reason I haven't gone into great detail on this post is because I am going to save it for hashing out in the comments with you. A lot of the work will need to be done in there, which I will start if you want my help for at least a while longer. This has been put up so that people know I've reviewed your work at its core, with continued work being a pet project taken in my free time; allowing you to seek another reviewer at your own discretion and convenience, should either of us feel we can no longer advance this story together.

That said, let's dive on in.

What I decidedly didn’t like.

-Poor use of punctuation.

You have a very, very bad habit with punctuation that mostly has to do with how you break your sentences and paragraphs. They are often these long, rambling things which are held together with commas where you really should be completely breaking them and then not using commas or other such punctuation where it really could be useful.

You also tend to break paragraphs off from each other when they really would sit better in one piece, generally in the name of joke or a dramatic moment which often doesn’t need to be given so much emphasis.

Here’s an example:

>For all its grandeur Canterlot is all about getting on top by pushing others down, as the saying goes “If you can succeed in Canterlot, you can succeed anywhere”. The ruthless nature of the city means ponies are willing to pay a lot of bits to get any advantage over their competition and as a private detective I’m often hired to find somepony that advantage. Normally the usual political intrigue between the nobility keeps my career cantering along in a nice cadence but back then things had been quiet, far too quiet, and I hadn’t been hired in almost a month.

I’m going to break this up in a different manner. Read them both, and compare how they sound.

>For all its grandeur, Canterlot was still all about getting on top by pushing others down like any other city. Though I can admit it does do nasty better than any of them. “If you can succeed in Canterlot, you can succeed anywhere”, as the saying goes.

>The ruthless nature of this place meant ponies were willing to pay a lot of bits to get an advantage over their competition. As a private detective, I’m often hired to find that advantage. Political intrigue between the nobility normally had kept my career cantering along at a nice cadence. However, things had been quiet recently.

>Far too quiet; I hadn’t been hired in almost a month.


There are far too many moments where it feels like the characters, or at times the narrator, are just rambling on. While most of it has to do with punctuation mentioned earlier, there are more than a few occasions where it is the result of simply chewy word use: trying to say too little with too much.

Remember that “Brevity is the soul of wit.” (William Shakespeare.)

Say as much as you can with as little as you can, or at least say what needs to be said how it needs be said by making every word and sentence mean something to your audience. Even if the joke is long in its set up, its final execution needs to be quick and concise to have the greatest deal of punch.


Oh, this was everywhere. The narration seemed to swing between present and past at complete random. This is a story that belongs firmly in the past tense, except in a few outlying cases.

If this was intentional, I would ask you to reconsider. It makes the narration very tricky to follow.

> This meant that my days primarily consisted of waking up, reading the newspaper, reading the comics in the paper and then doing the crossword, in the paper. My life was, for once, surprisingly relaxing. Combine this with the occasional relaxed bath and a few books from the Central Equestrian Library then you have what amounts to a low cost vacation.

See that last sentence? It’s written in what is called the “present” tense, with the verbs written as though the actions are being currently performed, instead of having happened in the past (the particular verbs in contention being “have” and “amounts”).

Here it is, should the tensing be more consistent, and the sentence written just a bit more smoothly:

>This meant that my days primarily consisted of waking up, reading the newspaper, reading the comics in the paper and then doing the crossword, in the paper. My life was, for once, surprisingly relaxing. Combined with the occasional relaxed bath and a few books from the Central Equestrian Library, you had what amounted to a low cost vacation.

-Luna, Rarity’s and Octavia’s scenes.

I like Time Turner. His character’s funny, snarky, and otherwise a pleasure to watch bungle around and try to work at his job.

Rarity and Octavia, on the other hoof, are not because their characters are much flatter. Their scenes also do virtually nothing but pull me away from the character I’m really having fun with to drag me through plot which could be better explained later through use of dialogue or narration, which would keep this story firmly in Time Turner’s perspective; which is good, because, again, he’s fun to watch.

Luna’s bit with the notes could be interesting, but she needs a much quieter role than she currently has. It’s like sitting in a movie theater with someone who’s already seen it and starts shouting, “Don’t go in the abandoned shack! There’s a lawyer in there!”

Her announcing bits of plot way too early ruins immersion and kills my desire to read further because you tell me things instead of letting me follow Time Turner’s adventures and find out for myself. Part of the joy in a detective story is discovering what happens next; you don’t have some omniscient being come in and say “This did actually happen” when the character makes an offhand comment that proves to be some dramatic irony. It curb-stomps the irony.

About the only times I found Luna’s parts funny are spots where she contradicted what Time Turner had written, like during/after the Octavia and Vinyl scene or where she added to the universe by making offhoof comments on things like vamponies. Which could be an interesting plot-point in some later story, for all I know. So unless she has something worthwhile to say, she needs to refrain from interjecting at all. It’s very obnoxious when she blathers on like that.

Another thing is the placement of these notes, which is very distracting. I suggest an alternate form be used: superscript. Superscript, if you do not know already, is when you use a small number at the upper corner of a word or statement to indicate that it means something significant (Generally used in essays to indicate a source drawn from the bibliography, though it is also used with footnotes/endnotes.)

I personally suggest you gather all of “Luna’s notes” and put them somewhere at the end of their respectable chapters or, preferably, in the form of endnotes at the bottom of the Epilogue. This keeps them minimally distracting by keeping Luna on the sidelines of the plot where she belongs, and allows her to keep her place as co-host within the story. She should at no point, other than the introduction and in the Epilogue, have a speaking part, as that is jarring and just a bit frustrating to sift around in until we can get to the pony we care about.


A few points of plot.

-Some of the points are debatable, mostly a matter of me wishing to have seen more creativity or flair done with the story.

Such as the particular use of weapons by the Marefia, which is admittedly clever, but I would have liked to seen it taken a step further (for example, why merely hit someone with a violin? That seems even less effective than just hiding some heavy metal rod in the case and hitting someone with that instead when the time came. However, imagine what would happen if the weapons were enchanted with certain notes and sounds releasing magic blasts or other such destruction when the instrument is played. It could make for some very exciting action scenes.)

-However, one of my main problems comes from the Time Turner: namely his power.

It isn’t that it’s bad, I actually found the power quite unique and at least reasonably well used, but I have to question its initial set-up. Some of the rules feel unnecessary, and it isn’t really all that well-explained from the get go. There are also a few logical loopholes which could obviously be exploited, given the initial explanation of its limitations. Here are the rules as they are first shown in Chapter one.

1. Time Turner is unable to go back any further than forty-two seconds into the past.

2. When Time Turner uses this power, he forgets everything over that period except his last thought when activating the power.

And that’s all we get. The first is a quite reasonable limitation, keeping him from just pulling a Groundhog Day on ponies from the get-go.

The second, not so much.

First off, it’s a logically unsound limitation which makes the power essentially useless because, when activating the power, his last thought has to be “activate Reset”. Any subsequent thought is in a future that he would not experience due to the activation of the power; therefore, when he returned to the past, he has no idea why he needed to reset only that he used his power sometime in the now changed future.

Second, even if it should work like it is intended it makes the point of the first limitation moot. He could just keep hopping back through time in forty-two second increments until he was back in the womb, should he so desire. This is because he will remember the one thought, and, should he find the current situation still not to his liking, he only needs make another jump with the exact same thought in mind. I think you realized this yourself, because you later add the concept of a recharge. However, it comes too little too late and makes no sense because it’s a rule that comes out of the blue smack dab in the middle of a scene.

Thirdly, it really isn’t much of a limitation from a dramatic standpoint. The memory loss of forty-two seconds, but for the one thought he keeps anyways, doesn’t add much to the drama because it’s such a short period of time. He only needs the one thought, and the other forty two seconds of memory are just sort of “So what if he forgets them?”.

Here’s my suggestion: scrap the memory loss angle. It does little for your story right now, and much less to truly limit Time Turners’ abilities. Instead, focus on the recharge and let that be the big factor in why he can’t abuse this too hard.

How about every second back he goes in time is one minute before he can use the power again? Going back forty-two seconds means he has to wait almost a quarter-hour before he can do another reset, which is a severe limitation and would certainly keep him from hopping infinitely backwards. It also allows wiggle room for the power to expand or shrink as needed. Maybe there are times when he only wants ten seconds, instead of the forty-two, and this creates a reason for him to be sparing on the full extent of his strength unless for emergencies, which would create tension.

The forty-two seconds could also then be a cap of his current strength, instead of his absolute limit, which gives him some room to grow a bit stronger as time progresses by adding more and more seconds to his ability. This was his cap at the time, the limit of his strength when he first started out, and he hadn’t really done much with it since as he had no idea of how to add more seconds to his clock. Maybe it’ll be done through some magic device, or through really hard training, or just figuring it out on dumb luck in some future episode. Leaving a little bit of wiggle room opens doors for you, which you can choose to use or close as you see fit.

-The purpose of the hypnosis.

The end result is very clever (make Octavia kiss him in front of absolutely everybody, thus cementing her reputation as having a stallion-preference.)

However, the initial necessity is never really shown, nor does the ostensible reason that is given make all that much sense. He doesn’t need to hypnotize Octavia so he can ask her about the workings of the Marefia. By this point, she’s already hired him to take it down, so I imagine she’d tell him everything he asked for without any problems.

There are only a couple real reasons he would need to hypnotize her (besides implanting that suggestion for later use).

One would be as a safety measure if they’re caught. Octavia could say she didn’t give them anything, and if they doubt her, can add that what they did have they took from her by force. A sort of “insurance” for Octavia, so she can be held blameless should things go wrong.

Another would be for what hypnotism is generally used for: remembering details that have been long forgotten. While Octavia might have seen the hidden brewery, she probably wouldn’t remember everything about it, as she is more salespony than forepony, so why should somepony who deals with nobility remember paltry facts like where the brewing vats are in conjecture to the windows?

So, hypnotism would enable her to remember everything possible, and give Time Turner the information he would need to formulate a plan through details on how the facility looks and its innermost workings.


The positives.

- I like the general structure of this, I really do.

I’ve developed a particular soft spot for detective stories with dry humor, and magic ever since I first read Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Author name-drop for the win! The bare bones of the story are very well made, and the plot structure follows a rather good path for a fairly new author.

-I enjoy a great deal of the character interactions, especially those with Time-Turner.

From his general humor to his relationship with his ex-marefriend Vinyl Scratch and crazy/sorta creepy new marefriend/stalker, Lucky Catch, Time Turner felt like a very fun character to watch. You have some very nice moments in here which made me want to genuinely laugh, or at least smile a bit.

-Third was the essential plot itself.

Simple and rather funny, it held a nice charm and tone which I greatly enjoyed. I can see, and would hope, to see this become a series of stories, following Time-Turner’s continued adventures. Which I can see you’ve already started on.

So, that's the essential rundown.

I am willing to go through this with you in much greater detail in the comments, and I can help you clean it up a bit with whatever knowledge I possess. Or you can ask for someone else; there are plenty of reviewers here who could likely nitpick this to death, should you so desire, and can go into much greater detail about why a certain piece of grammar has a particular rule.

However you wish to proceed, I wish you luck.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim 3467

Claiming Magitank by Broznik.
Expect the review before Sunday


Thanks for the input. I'm getting similar notes from other editors/proof readers.

I'll be working on and off on the story once a week at best with my current work schedule.

If anyone wants to take a stab at editing/reviewing (e.g. pointing out errors, making suggestions, etc) email me. I won't be answering any emails or making changes to the story at a fast rate so if you do email be patient.

Thanks again for the partial review.

Breath of Plagues 3471

Wow, you've been bouncing all over the place, huh? You remind me a lot of myself in terms of your hunger for improvement. Anyways, I wish you well with your story and in becoming a better writer.


The need to improve myself is worse than heroin addiction. Yeah I'm assuming a lot with that statement, since I've never tried drugs. BUT you get the idea.

With any luck I'll be back on here by march and writing like the dickens again.

Acknowledgement of Review: TTDDA: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration 3473

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My sincerest thanks and an apology for all that you have suffered. I hope that the halfway decent outweighed the terrible.

>-Poor use of punctuation.

I spent a lot of time trying to clean this sort of thing up, its been getting harder to find things that I haven't glossed over. Thanks for pointing these out for me, now I’ll see these errors everywhere.


I’ll be keeping an eye out for these as well. I’ll probably end up rewriting a lot of these paragraphs, on your next look could you flag anything you find particularly offensive?


Primarily unintended but occasionally Turner “speaks” to the audience (which as far as he knows consists solely of Luna). Other cases are probably leave overs from earlier versions of the story that I’ve missed before. I’ll make sure to do my best to set them all back in the past.


This is something I’ve spent time debating with myself over, but I didn’t want to force readers to flip to the end to read these. Though now I’ll probaby number them all and send them to the end of their chapters. I’ll probably also reword a few of them so it’s a bit more obvious what she’s referring to and in some cases remove them entirely. The intent in including her was to provide world building and to watch over Turner’s narration.


Through most of the story I was reluctant to build her up and as a result she’s probably too quiet in many cases. I’ll try to build her up a bit more in her scenes and make them more interesting to read.


Needs the same treatment as Rarity, i’ll see what I can do.

>Plot Points

>The Reset

I’ve gone over this in my mind many times to the point where it kept me up at night worried that I’d made it overpowered. The same worry made me structure the climax so that while it was an option Time Turner never got past preparing to execute it so it would never seem like an ass pull.
The memory wipe was originally intended to be a limit that would force Turner to be careful during activation so he wouldn’t waste the recharge. Eventually it’s become a bit of a pain so i’ll take your advice and get rid of it. Instead Time Turner will just get a mental slap in the face with future memories and thoughts, should make cheating at cards easier.

I’ll consider varying the time period as well as well as increasing the recharge period, it’s a lot more clear cut.

>The Hypnosis

Good points, having thought about it I’ll change Octavia’s role to being firmly the nobility liaison and having only a few details of the racket in the basement. Thus pushing Turner into abusing the hypnosis to get as much information from what little she’s seen.
This also makes the Donna more necessary to remove but also as one of the reduced group of ponies who can threaten Octavia.

>The Musical Weaponry

I did allude that Octavia’s cello was reinforced to be more of disguised weapon that an instrument. I’ll make that more clear for the marefia in general so that we get that they’re just carrying around iron bars disguised as instruments that sound terrible.
Well it’s better than just calling a pie or cake a weapon, which never made sense to me in a world based on a show where Rarity has an unexplained proficiency with hoof to hoof combat.

>The Dresden Files

On a tangentially related note. When I started writing this I was told that it sounded similar in some ways to the Dresden Files which had been sitting on my read later list for a while. So I went down to the library and borrowed the first half of the series which I read while writing this.

In Closing

I would be absolutely mad to turn down your offer of more help, however I don’t want to take up too much of your valuable time when you could be helping others or relaxing on a beach somewhere.

That said if you went through and marked out problem sections in GDocs and left a few specific comments I would be absurdly grateful.

Review: Captain Kirk: Equestrian Anonymous 3481

Well, it’s no wonder your story keeps getting rejected. Your grammar and punctuation skills reflect that of someone who has only had one or two years of English. Which means you are either very young, or English is not your first language. I recommend Grammarbook.com for all of your questions. You also might want to avoid colorful names. I noticed countless times how you slapped on a pointless descriptor for no other purpose than to avoid using a character’s name. Don’t do that. Use their name whenever possible.

I did enjoy how you used commas to indicate Kirk’s famous quirk of pausing at seemingly random intervals, but I doubt Equestria Daily will find it as amusing, and—as you said—that’s your ultimate goal here. Also, lose the copyrights at the end. That isn’t going to save you from copyright laws, and in fact by placing it there you’re admitting to copyright infringement and giving up rights to your own work. Just leave it out—no one will care—and work on improving the story. The following is a list of mistakes you should go back and fix, the most prominent of which is homonym confusion.

> "We are, on route to Star Base K-4. To deliver wanted criminal, and public nuance Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

[noo-ahns, nyoo-, noo-ahns, nyoo-; French nY-ahNs] Show IPA
noun, plural nu•anc•es
[-ahn-siz, -ahn-siz; French -ahNs] Show IPA .
a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.
a very slight difference or variation in color or tone.

> He then pulled a monitor on an adjustable arm closer to him so he can scan the ships leisure tapes to see what he could watch in his off time.

Can should be could.

> The screen continued to show cartoon characters bouncing away to the music in there odd way as his eyes drifted closed.

There should be their.
> The screen continued to show cartoon characters bouncing away to the music in there odd way as his eyes drifted closed.
Same here.

> "Lets see, dead, dead, dead, Spock, dead… Ah here's one that's still among the living, Ensign Ricky."

Implying that Spock isn’t among the living. I personally would value Spock’s opinion above all others, and I’m sure Kirk would as well.

> "Better go get some free chow before I hit the station, foods always expensive at those places."

You forgot the apostrophe for foods. It’s a contraction of ‘food is’ in this case, and therefore requires an apostrophe.

> As he walked out the open doors a fellow red shirt hummed taps on a kazoo.

You should capitalize taps and surround it with quotations.

> "The ships Yeoman will be here in a moment, she just went to grab some last minute equipment you might need."

Ships is a possessive noun in this case, and needs an apostrophe.

> Hope your proud of me."

Your should be you’re.

> Also I have a tricorder in case you might need it for more in depth information on your shuttle."

Also should have a comma after it. Get rid of might.

> That is, all except for one pair that were looking at his scanner.

Get rid of that is. Pair is a singular noun, meaning set of two. It is not plural. Therefore, were should be was.

> The half Vulcan took a breath before he started,

We’re all aware that Spock is half Vulcan, and it isn’t important to the story. Right now he’s just another crew member, and you should call him by his name.

> Kirk reacted as swiftly as ever, "Mister Chekhov enable the tractor beam! Bring that shuttle back!"

That comma should be a period, and there should be a comma after Chechov.

> "Negative, we are beaming aboard the Captain to try to save you and the vessel. Remain calm and try to keep the shuttle craft at least in place."

If they had the information, wouldn’t they just beam him back up? And why aren’t they using the tractor beam you mentioned earlier?

> There wasn't a sick hydra seeking medical attention, nor was Twilight going crazy with worry making the town fall apart,

Nor is used in conjunction with neither. Used as is the sentence just sounds very very strange.

>Ricky grumbled as he turned over, his eyes opened to take in the sight of a tan pony with blue eyes and blondish brown hair, "Captain, you're a pony. I'm going to wake up in reality now so goodbye."

Nope. Way too fast. He shouldn’t be recognizing the captain that quickly. You need to have them be confused if at least for a moment. Kirk should at least realize he’s a pony before the ensign points it out.

Critique of "Twilight's Odyssey, Chapter II" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 3483

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Two weeks, two days, and some odd hours, minutes, and seconds later, I actually finished my read-through and critique of this. School kicked me in the shins again, but not nearly as hard as last term. As usual, everything was covered line-by-line in document, but theses are the heavy hitters I want you to focus on for your edits or next draft.


In the category of grammar and technical merit:

First, let me say that your grammatical prowess have improved significantly since my critique of chapter one. There are still a few issues of pronouns and their antecedents, which I recall from chapter one being a large contributor to “Grammar” comments, but they aren’t nearly as prevalent as before and seem to stem more from snowballing mechanics than anything else. A series of “he”s or “she”s that are correct in their current form, but something I suggested be corrected will cause them all to tumble out of alignment. There are still a few instances of honest ambiguity, though, such as a moment when a pronoun mistakenly refers to HRH Guinemare when she isn’t anywhere near the current scene, Guinemare having been mentioned in a moment of exposition, but the narrative didn’t re-establish the proper antecedent before continuing. The biggest problem this type of issue causes for you is a disjoint between Twilight and her relationship with her parents.

>Her mother glared at her husband,

There’s a couple instances of this. No matter how I read this sort of line, I think “Twilight’s mother” and “Twilight’s husband.” “Twilight” is the antecedent that the first “her” is referring back to, and it makes a degree of sense to think that the second “her” would then refer back to “Twilight’s mother,” as the actor is a female and meets the criteria for a female pronoun. But here’s the problem; “her,” when used in its adjective form – which it is, modifying the noun “mother” – marks the noun it’s modifying as a possession of the pronoun being used. Meaning that “her mother” is actually still a reference to Twilight, with the added detail of associating with her mother. It’s similar to saying “her ring,” or “her book.” The items are being marked as belonging to a previously mentioned female, not brought into the narrative as items in their own right. So when you say “her mother” you’re not actually bringing Twilight’s mother forward as a female actor to be referenced. You’re qualifying the actor as having a relation to your protagonist. Ergo, when you say “her mother and her husband,” both those “her”s refer back to Twilight.

A more persistent problem is in your syntax. Misplaced, improper, unnecessary, or sometimes downright missing words in your syntax is probably your largest hurdle grammatically. It’s about thirty to forty percent of the grammatical errors I found. Whether it be an issue of the correct tense, a choice between the right prepositional, whether to use the prepositional at all, where to stick your conditionals, using the right synonym for the context, using the right word period, proper use of singular and plural forms, or simply when not to use a word. Here are some of your more egregious syntax problems.

>Along the path stood the occasional marble statue, all of them depicted unicorns standing in a very grandiose manner.

In this case, the word “depicted” is perfectly accurate to what you want to convey. The root word, “depict,” is a verb meaning: Show or represent by a drawing, painting, or other art form. Given that this is a statue, the word fits quite nicely. However, the tensing you choose, past-participle, turned what you intended to have as a subordinate clause into an independent one. The present participle, “depicting,” will make the phrase subordinate and unable to stand on its own, thus justifying the comma without the coordinator.

>Twilight turned around to see that both of her parents had left her side and was standing by the wall, nodding.

Again, right root word – In this case, “be” – but the wrong form. “Was” is the past tense of “be,” but only in the singular. Given that you were trying to refer to something in plural, this word incorrectly calls back to the previous instance of a singular object or actor. In this case, Twilight. Paraphrasing, this sentence says that Twilight turned around to see her parents gone, and that Twilight was standing by the wall. The word choice really befuddles not only the meaning, but the structure of the sentence entirely. The plural past tense “were” will correctly refer to Twilight’s parents as a joint unit, instead of Twilight herself.

>She made a deep sigh.

Once again, I’ll be looking at the root word here. The root of “made” is “make,” verb, which has a good twenty or thirty meanings. Most of them all deal with the context of causing something to come into existence, or causing a particular course of events to transpire. You could “make someone sigh,” but you couldn’t “make a sigh.” I’m sure someone will contest me on that, but it’s a reaction to something, an emote. Not an action. In the same vein, you wouldn’t “make a smile,” or “make a helping hand.” Emotes are more generally supported by the root word “give.”

Most of these them could have been resolved with a quick self-edit. Always take a little time off once you complete a work, let it cool, let your mind recover, then read over it with fresh eyes. You’d be surprised the kinds of errors you’ll find yourself. Also, if you have the privacy for it, try reading passages aloud. Verbalizing your story will point out the flaws in syntax better than anything else, in my opinion.

There are some other minor issues, as well. Brush up on your punctuation. Commas, semi colons, hyphens, quotations marks (especially their use in terms of marking words as word, or setting aside words as word inside of quotes). There was an instance of double-indention that I’d whack you with a ruler if you were within range for. But it’s mostly the artifact words and the pronouns you need to work on.

In the category of stylistic performance:

This was your weakest area, the three categories breaking down into ratios of five, seven, three. Grammar was five, just so you know. I won’t have much to talk about in Story. Much of your difficulty here, I believe, stems from what I covered before – artifact words. These artifacts don’t break your syntax as they did before, but they cause issues in maintaining clarity, and developing a healthy pace and sense of tension for your story. Nearly half the comments in this category stem from this issue. Unfortunately, they aren’t as easily spotted as purely artifact or missing words. You have to develope a sense for what you intend, and what’s actually being said, as well as how efficiently its being said. Efficiency is the key here.

>She read about all sorts of amazing things unicorns could do[…]

This phrase is indicative of something I’ve seen quite a bit of. I don’t really have a proper name for it, but I’ve been calling it cases of “he said this, she did that.” It’s very easy to fall into the trap of beginning sentences with actors. Some authors do it almost exclusively, causing deep repetition, and it drives me mad when they do. Every opportunity you get, try to lift the focus off the protagonist and explore their environment some. Don’t make everything about Twilight.

>She heard the sound of a door creaking from behind her back,[…]

Here’s another instance of the same sort of thing, and another opportunity to avoid it. This phrase has the weight of additional baggage though. Sensory input phrases like this remove your reader from their immersion. It’s no longer a story about the protagonist and the events around them. It’s just about the protagonist, what they heard, felt, said, thought, etc. There aren’t many instances of this in your work, but by removing them – and steering away from them in the future – not only do you cut down on word count, but the reader gains a degree of intimacy with whatever character you’re following at the moment. It doesn’t become a matter of the protagonist registering things and reacting to them. Things just happen.

>While struggling to rise back up, she could practically feel the taste in her mouth—the taste of failure.

There are a few instances of your word choice disrupting what you intend, but still conveying it. For example, this phrase just sounds silly, even more-so out of context, but it still does – functionally – what you meant for it to do. It’s very easy to break the tension in a story with wordplay that doesn’t belong or match, and this particular phrase seems overly melodramatic, or downright comical, in a scene that is supposed to be tragic. This is more difficult to suss out on your own, as what sounds dramatic to you may sound silly to someone else. It’s something that takes practice and often a second set of eyes, because what we write often isn’t what we intended to write. In your head, it makes perfect sense, but the reader doesn’t have that privilege.

You’ve got another scene later on that’s nearly verbatim for the show’s representation of Twilight earning her cutie-mark. You gloss over it and quite a bit else, and – to me – it wrecks the established drama of the scene. There’s almost no emotion in your retelling of events. On top of that, it feels very out of place with the writing style you’ve established. Your events are pretty heavily fleshed out, and you just kind of ride right over this like it isn’t important. Just because it’s canon to the show – or at least runs parallel to the show’s canon – doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t give the scene the same level of attention and detail that you’ve been giving so far. Which is quite a bit, I should mention.

>Twilight looked at him as if he'd grown a third head.

Try to avoid informal (or in the other direction, technical) word choices like this. That includes any kind of turn of phrase or cliche. It’s fine if a character is making the reference in dialogue. It becomes part of their character. But most of the time, when used in the narrative, the only reader they make sense to is you. Worse yet, they often have some unintended consequences for those readers who don’t understand.

In a similar vein, jargon and technical speech should be avoided, as well. Not everyone is going to understand what it means, and it can lead to confusion. Just as with informal speech, though, don’t be afraid to have a character use jargon. Even more so if it makes other characters confused. It can help develop a character’s characterization in many ways, and it can help the readers relate to those characters who don’t understand. When used in the narrative, though, it’ll just distance the readers from their immersion, as well as their suspension of disbelief if you use the jargon or technical speech incorrectly.

>"I promise," he responded

You use quite a few said-isms – that is, words that equivalently mean “said.” Most of these words, “respond,” “reply,” “retort,” “answer,” “continued,” “mentioned,” they all have very particular meanings. Overuse of them tends to make your writing feel presumptuous, and is either going to distract your readers from the actual dialogue being presented as they try and sort out exactly what the said-ism is meant to intend, or it’s going to shut them down entirely. Meanwhile, there’s this wonderful pair of words that are nearly invisible to the reader; “said” and “ask.” No one pays them any mind, as they tag dialogue very quickly and efficiently, and then make themselves scarce so as to not distract the reader. If you have an intent of subtext, use a said-ism, but otherwise avoid them unless you have a very good reason.


In addition to that, you’re using said-isms to try and break up your dialogue blocks – with good intent. But like “said” itself, said-isms don’t actually deliver any kind of change to the scene, so they’re useless in that regard. They’re still, more or less, part of the dialogue. Instead of having your characters emote themselves during a conversation, you colorfully tag their dialogue, often times when it isn’t even needed. This is generally referred to as Talking Head Syndrome, and your work has a couple instances of it. Often times, it seems the only character who’s capable of emoting herself is Twilight. The characters around her may as well be portraits. For most casual conversations, most people tend to do something to idle away the time. Fiddle with a cup, or a pencil or something innocuous. Walk toward a destination together. Cook or clean. Even outside of the odd need to manipulate something with our fingers, people say a lot with their body language. They can express sarcasm, shock, adoration, fear, any range of emotions or intents with subtle shifts of their brow alone, let alone the rest of their body. A person can mark themselves as defensive or open depending on the placement of their hands or feet, or how they lean in a chair. Away or toward? Even where their eyes are can say a lot about how a person feels or what they’re thinking. Ponies are no different.

In the category of story and character progression:

Finally, we can get to the juicy bits. Your story, and in particular this second chapter, keeps itself going quite well in spite of its most grievous flaw – it’s basically an expansion of Twilight’s cutie-mark story from the show. I know you have vast and far reaching plans to go well beyond that, but at the moment, that’s what it is. Twilight goes to the Summer Sun Celebration, is inspired by the magic used there, devotes herself to its study, gets enrolled into *murbleburble’s* School for Gifted Unicorns, has to pass a test, stuff blows up in the sky, and Twilight taps her inner archmage. Boiled down to its core components, you’re telling Twilight’s cutie-mark story at the moment. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. You’ve gone into much more detail, explaining this alternate world and its similarities to the canon all of your readers are going to be familiar with. But when compared to chapter one, there isn’t as much variance in events. Chapter two runs strictly parallel to canon, save for one small caveat – Princess Celestia has been replaced by Her Royal Majesty Princess Guinemare Platinum, the serene celestial. I think I got all her titles. But that’s all you did; you replaced an actor in the script. She even has “Celestial” as part of her title.

Comparatively, your chapter one had much more going on for it, in spite of suffering from the same problem of paralleling canon events. Twilight goes to the Summer Sun Celebration, sees the sun raised, and gets interested in magic. But you throw in enough other elements to make the retelling into something unique. Elements such as The Magnificent Madame Mirage, I believe her name was, and including Shining Armor into the story where previously he had been absent. It was also necessary for your story to establish some other differences between itself and canon. It made for a compelling read, despite being a rehash of events. This chapter doesn’t have that. Nothing new has been introduced. The events are new to your story, but not to the story that your readers are going to be familiar with. Your work is a bit of an oddball in that it’ll be running parallel to canon for a little bit, and in that I have something else of yours that I worked on to compare and contrast it to. That said, I feel you could do more with the plot of the story at this point.

I don’t want to put words in your mouth in that regard. However, you’re always free to ask me to divulge any of my ideas I had for your work. I don’t want to intrude into your creative process without your consent.

That said, it goes without saying that the pacing of this chapter is considerably more off-kilter than the previous chapter. A small scene happens, skip forward, another small scene, skip forward. Not a lot happens that I wasn’t aware was going to happen, and it happens at such a sped up pace that I feel both bored and lost at the same time. I’d say that you seem eager to proceed past this part of the story, if not for the solid page of exposition about the castle gardens. While beautifully done, it didn’t contribute much to your story. Nothing actually happened there, and the scene took place between two others that seemed time sensitive. I know that Twilight is a young filly and prone to stop and look at pretty things, and that’s all well and good, but not when she has somewhere to be within a specified time, and not after a solid month and some change studying for that event. I’d think the girl would have blinders on, trying to pass those tests, after all the effort she put into it.

As for characters. Their actions and motivations line up pretty squarely with the established canon of those characters. There hasn’t been much of an opportunity for you to branch characters away from their established backgrounds yet. However, something that bothered me about… nearly all of your characters, is their mannerisms. The way the talk, the way the act, none of them felt truly polished. They felt like… well, like actors playing a part they didn’t fully understand yet. Twilight and Shining are both too well spoken for how underspoken their parents are. Their parents feel very underspoken, though I’m not sure if that’s a byproduct of them always speaking to or around Twilight. From what I understand, they’re all supposed to be reasonably well off, Twilight’s parents being influential moon-movers, but they don’t seem it. And there’s so little explained about them, their life, and their lifestyle. We don’t (or aren’t supposed to) even know their names yet. They’re very flat, two-dimensional characters.

Your portrayal of the Lord Minister and the Duke also strikes an off-key. Again, their motivations and actions and spot on. In particular, I like the little touches like the Duke’s obstinate attitude toward, well, everyone. He strikes me as a real bastard to have to deal with. But there are some inconsistencies in his dialogue that make him read like a Disney villain. As though this is his first day on the job cavorting and conspiring behind ponies’ backs. Because everyone knows he is. That’s a good trait. The Disney villain part, not so much. You need to be more consistent, and more established with the speech and mannerisms of your characters. It’s especially important for stories that have any kind of stratified castes. How the classes speak will mark them and those who speak like them as that class. How the classes speak to each other is also important. You’ve got that in mind already with the Duke and the Lord Minister. The Duke does not like the Lord Minister or any of his ilk, and it’s obvious in the way he speaks. Conversely, the Duke is all bows and apologies to HRH Guinemare, when he’s not complaining about something to her, at any rate. But the exact vernacular of the Duke and Lord Minister feel off.

All in all, a vast improvement over your previous work I covered, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Carve out the slower portions of your chapter, like the garden scene, and mold out more from other scenes, or introduce some new scenes altogether. Get inside your characters’ heads and really make them stand out from one another, and to your readers. Your story needs something to set it apart from the established canon, like it did in chapter one.

Keep reading. Keep writing~

Reviews of reviews Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3484

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Somewhat lazy reviews given far after the fact.

I um… lacked the patience to read through that entire review, but what I saw looked pretty good. You’ve read the story, and you’ve given some detailed advice on how to fix it. I’m sure the author thanked you.

Your review also looked pretty informative. You didn’t lead the author down the wrong trail as far as I could tell, and you picked up on a lot of details that might have gone unnoticed by some.

I’m surprised you didn’t utilize the comments feature for google documents, but other than that I’d have to say this is one of the best line by line reviews I’ve seen yet. Each point is explained clearly, and the story is highlighted in blue text. Nicely done.

Acknowledgement of acknowledgement, and of review review. 3493


Well, I've often got at least a little time to spare. I’ll chip away at it with you.


On a separate note:


>I’m sure the author thanked you.

Yes, we settled the account via PM (and a short post he made in the last TTG). Turns out he'd been claimed a while back, but his reviewer never got back to him. Poor guy was too nervous about being seen as an annoying whiner to bring up the fact that he'd not heard from his reviewer for about a couple weeks on the board, so he went solo and submitted the stories on his own; he just never got the story properly removed from the queue.

I told him that after two weeks without any contact is plenty of time to make a (polite)complaint, so, hopefully, we’ll see him again in the future. Nice fellow by how we discussed things.

>I’m surprised you didn’t utilize the comments feature for google documents…

You mean enabling comments in my review docs? I checked and comments should be enabled by the look of it. Or do you mean for the story itself? Because that was submitted in a Fimfiction formatWhich is a son-of-a-gun to line-by-line..

Review acknowledgement. 3496


We've already talked at length about both the story and the review privately, and I can't really think of much to add at the moment. I just wanted to acknowledge your review here, and say thank you! :)

Lark! An Adventure Time Crossover! Blank! 3502

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#Random #Crossover

So Jake starts narrating the story of how he, Finn, and Princess T-Rex ended up in Equestria, and their most excellent and audacious escapades, not just in the Celestial Kingdoms, but in all of planet Equis.


Feel free to comment to your heart's content. And remember to turn off your mind, relax and flow downstream have fun!

The Frightenmares 3503

Tags: Normal
One-shot, around 4000 words
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NWn58ZWnn0bz8lodz9k9sfquH0MRIt--n1XWoTjQRWY/edit#

Synopsis: Behold, citizens of San Anponyo! The Great and Powerful Trixie is here, to aid you helpless ponies who tremble at night, afraid of the ghosts that haunt this world. But fear no longer, for I, the Great and Powerful Trixie will rid you of such vexatious spirits! For an additional fee, I will even bring you into contact with the spirits of those you love most!

Disclaimer: The Great and Powerful Trixie is not responsible for property damage from evil spirits or any ectoplasmic incidents that may occur. Hire her at your own expense.

Comments: Grammatically, it's okay. My main concern is Showing instead of Telling, Talking Head Syndrome (both of which I /think/ I fixed), and a bit of a rushed ending.

Or as EqD put it: "I actually liked this story, but the talking heads and telliness are really preventing its full emotional impact from coming through, and the ending was pretty rushed. It glossed over an extreme personality change without giving me the play-by-play to justify it. Trixie redemption fics are common enough that you have to do something to make it stand out, and while the medium angle is pretty unique, the storytelling itself needs work. The humor elements were all working, in my opinion, and I found Trixie's character to be well done and quite funny for the parts where she's her normal arrogant canon self. So, you've got good characterization, a good plot that just gets rushed in a couple of key places, and writing style that needs some help with mechanics and connection to the reader. With the proper attention, I can see this meeting our requirements, so revise wisely, and get some help if you're at all in doubt about what to do. I've already given you an unusually extensive review to get you started."

So, uh, I'll leave it to you guys. :v

Follow-up: Review of Under Free Flag twillale!x2C2a1oy82 3512

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First of all: this is not a request for a re-review. After thinking about it, I re-shuffled the first and second chapters (to get more of a shock start to the story) and axed about a third of the ex-first chapter (i.e. the one that your reviewed). I'm still working on the other stuff (real life can be a handful, aye?).

Like I said, this is not a review request, but… if you have the time, do take a quick peek and see if the chapter re-ordering helps the pacing any. A y/n answer would be more than sufficient. The new first chapter is just over a thousand words.

Please, feel free to disregard this post entirely. Thank you for your time.


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There's a bit of carelessness with the first part - a non-capitalized "I" somewhere in the beginning - and I'd tone down half of the swearing, but egads yes this is much better. You've pretty much captured my main gripe, and kudos for that. Well done.

* Review of Magitank: Part 1 3537


Quick note about the asterisk:
I also had a post >>3385 that was asterisked. I wouldn't want to take up too much time, so if you do one, feel free to ignore the other. I'll edit the relevant post if I see one has been reviewed.

Also, if you have suggestions on how to make my reviews shorter and more manageable for the author, that would be greatly appreciated.

Greetings, Broznik. Here is the review of your story. Sorry for the delay. I tried to take some extra time, but I still feel like I'm missing something. Anyway, hopefully you can get something out of this.

Keep in mind that everything here is my opinion so, while I do try to justify it, you should make sure you understand why I suggest what I do before trying to make any changes. I encourage you to get a second opinion, even though I do believe the majority of what I claim would stand up to that second opinion. Also, I have absolutely no knowledge of the Advance Wars series? so you should keep that in mind when reading my suggestions.

Anyway, onto the review.
Mechanically, you are solid. You have a few mistakes, but they are rather infrequent and you are certainly ahead of where I would expect you to be as a beginning writer. I'll mark what I notice when going line-by-line.

From a style perspective, I think you overuse ellipses in dialogue. They should be used only when someone's speech is trailing off, not everytime they pause in dialogue. They seem fine in your initial line of dialogue, since he is obviously quite weak and very well might be trailing off as he speaks. However, many new writers fall into the trap of overusing ellipses, so make sure you are aware of how they function before you use them.

Another style note, you seem to rely on adverbs. Adverbs modify verbs and most often end with the suffix -ly. For example, stoically, angrily, and quietly are all adverbs. In the majority of cases, well-chosen dialogue or replacing with a more specific word will convey the information better than using an adverb.

The story itself is not terrible, but not spectacular either. Unfortunately, the post-apocalyptic, militaristic Equestria story has been attempted far too many times, so you are going to have an uphill battle on making your story stand out. This isn't to say you should abandon the story; it's just something you should be aware of. I would encourage you to take some time to think about how your story will be different from every other post-apocalyptic, militaristic pony fanfic and make sure you emphasise that difference. Hint: If your answer is that it is set in the Advance Wars universe or that the guns, battles, or other technical things are going to carry the story, things are going to go poorly. I does seem like you have a fairly well developed universe around the story, granted, I can't recognise whether this is just from the crossover material so this story definitely has potential.

Here's the topical line by line portion.

I felt like I should mention something about the intro, but find it very difficult to find things to say about it. I've seen this type of intro before, so it is not terribly novel, but, at the same time, your intro doesn't strike me as problematic like many similar intros. Also, I can't say that your intro takes a particularly interesting angle, but it avoids most of the vague statements that plague other intros and does include information unique to your setting, so it's not a bad setup.

This might not be terribly useful information for you, but to sum up, I think your intro isn't bad, but isn't spectacular either. Take that as you will.

>The colt staggered the hill

I believe you meant staggered up the hill.

>Dust and dirt covered everything

Not an error necessarily, but this seems like an odd detail to focus on so early in the story. I understand that it deserves a mention if it is part of the landscape, but you spend more than a paragraph in your introduction describing this particular detail and it never shows up again in the chapter. Your introduction is your only chance to make a good impression on readers and also readers will remember details from your introduction more clearly than other details.

If it needs to be there for the scene, that is fine, but I would recommending limiting it to one sentence unless you are planning on referencing it again soon afterwards.

>Even his eyes, sunken in from the long walk, required most of his effort to keep the countless bits of debris from blinding him.

This sentence seems very odd.
First, the sunken detail doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the sentence.

Next, using the word "even" as you did usually implies a contrast.
For example: Even the chickens where quiet at this hour.
When we use the word even, that suggests that the circumstances are unusual.
However, having to clear dust out of his eyes would be expected with dust everywhere, so having the word "even" in there doesn't make much sense.

Third, saying that clearing his eyes "required most of his effort" seems like a very odd description. I could see constant effort, most every step, or something along a similar vein, but most of his effort seems to suggest that the act of clearing his eyes is more difficult than anything else he is doing, say climbing a hill with a piece of shrapnel in his leg.

Referencing this paragraph in general, you seem to deviate from the third person limited perspective that you use in most of the story, Third person limited means that the narrator still speaks in third person, but has insight limited to one character's viewpoint. and I think the description might benefit from that personalisation.
For example:
>His face was covered with dust and turned raw from the countless times of trying in vain to wipe it all off.
That's a fairly dry description. Staying in the third person limited allows for a more personal description. Something like
>He wiped his eyes, wincing as the dust ground into his raw skin.
communicates the same information while giving the reader a more tangible feel of what your character is going through.
Granted, this particular suggestion doesn't make a lot of sense for a character with shrapnel in his leg, but more on that later.

>Eventually, the summit of the hill was beneath his hooves.

This is a very odd sentence. It's not quite passive voice, but it feels like it is trying to be. Regardless, for most of this section, you've focused on the colt, and since most of the natural ways to convey this sentence involve keeping the colt as the focus, there's no reason to switch to a focus on the hill. Something like:
>Eventually, he reached the top of the hill.
would work fine.

>The town of Outer Canterlot should have been visible from this spot, but instead all he could see was more wasteland

Minor plothole here, but if the dust was thick enough to necessitate wiping his eyes all the time, wouldn't it reduce the visibility enough that he couldn't see distant cities?

>only notable because

Don't ever do this. If you want to make something seem notable, you emphasise it with description, make the characters react to it, or something like that with the story. Saying something is notable in narration just just makes readers question your narrator's credibility.

>even the sky was the same.

I see what you are trying to do here, but you should give a description of how the sky is affected. The other two parts of the sentence are descriptions about how the environment is different from what we normally expect, and you are trying to reference that, but you are breaking the parallel structure that we expect. So it introduces the possibility of ambiguity and slows reader recognition, whereas giving a simple description, like
> even the sky was dark
would flow better with the rest of the sentence.

>The colt, however, was more concerned

You seem to use the passive voice and passive voice like constructs quite a bit. In general, passive voice sentences are less engaging than active sentences that use verbs directly, so if it is easy to switch to an active verb, you are better off avoiding the passive voice. In this situation, you can just say something like
>The colt, however, worried more

>in it's peaks

It's is the contraction for it is, whereas its is the possessive form, which is what you want here.
>in its peaks

>'Not possible…' he thought, trying hard to deny what he saw.

A few things with this. One, you use single quotation marks for thoughts and while you do it consistently, the typical standard is italicising the thoughts and omitting quotation marks. So
>Not possible… he thought, trying hard to deny what he saw.
Since you are doing it consistently, it may not be an issue, but be aware that people may expect the italicised text.

Next, you seem to use a ton of ellipses for the Greenhorn character. But pretty much only for the Greenhorn character While I understand you may be trying to create the image of a character without a lot of self-confidence when speaking, cutting down on the ellipses, especially when he's not speaking aloud, will make the ellipses he does use more effective.

Finally, we have an example of telling them what you just showed, which is both redundant and completely ineffective to the point of damaging your story. By thinking the words Not possible, we know he's in denial. Telling us this just quashes whatever immersion we may have gotten from letting our imagination work.

>the shrapnel in his leg

Another more significant than the dust, in my mind, plothole, but where exactly did this shrapnel come from? It must be recent, because he's able to pull it out. But it can't have come from a battle with a specific enemy, because he's not being chased, as otherwise he wouldn't have sent the radio signal or the beacon for fear of alerting the enemy. It possibly could have come from a mine or other autonomous explosive device, however, if this is the case, then this makes for a far more exciting opening than climbing a hill.

Also, having him pull the shrapnel out doesn't make sense with all the dust around. With all the dust around, removing the shrapnel would just expose the depths of the cut to the dust, which would be even harder to remove later. Removing the object also increases the chances of bleeding out, and since he has no idea when he'll find medical care, it makes no sense for him to remove the shrapnel right away. I understand that he is supposed to be a novice, but he is a cadet, so his naivete would affect mostly split second decisions and his reactions to actual battle and he should know what to do if he has time to think about it and remember all his studies.

Unless the shrapnel is particularly important, (and if it is important, then the event that caused it is important enough to show) if you need an injury, then I would recommend making it some unknown injury that he doesn't have the skills to diagnose. If you really want to play up his inexperience, it could be a minor injury that most soldiers wouldn't even bat an eyelash at.

>the colt tried to stand back up, but found it difficult to muster the strength, opting instead to sit upright.

This is very dry, like you are almost trying to downplay the importance of the situation. Your job as the author is to make the readers care about what is going on, so when something is dramatic or dangerous, make that clear.

In particular, here Greenhorn is basically giving up. Instead of trying to find others, he's stopped and is counting on someone else finding him. That's a significant development. Go ahead and show that. Something like:
>He pushed himself up on his forehooves, but between the pain in his heart and the pain in his flank, he couldn't bring himself to stand all the way up. He just stared into the emptiness and ruin all around him.
conveys the desperation of the situation. This particular passage isn't great, but hopefully it gets the idea across.

In fact, that entire paragraph seems very telly and dry, like you are just dispassionately relaying the events necessary. I would recommend showing the colt's reaction and mental state as best you can: (eg. he's given up or he's in shock over the circumstances, etc), cutting to a scene break, and then jumping back in when he sees the relevant flash. That way you skip over all of the waiting.

>He couldn't move his hind leg, it had gone numb.

>'That's odd,' the colt thought.
As a mechanical thing, you have a comma splice in the first line. When you have two complete sentences, you shouldn't connect them with a comma. Instead, separate them with a full stop, if they aren't particularly closely related, or a semicolon, if, like in this case, they are closely related.

Secondly, the colt's reaction seems like a major under-reaction to the situation. "That's odd" is the kind of thing you might say if your walnuts tasted slightly more like hazelnuts. For your colt, his recently wounded leg has stopped responding and gone numb. I think you mean it to be asleep, but in that situation, I would expect him to worry about something more serious, like nerve damage. Besides, if he's just pulled out shrapnel, he's not going to put weight on it enough that it would restrict blood flow, so having his leg asleep doesn't make a lot of sense. Also, the only other life he's seen is somewhere far away and he can't move. I think that warrants a bit more of a reaction than a "That's odd."

>The few seconds it took for a response felt like an eternity.

Don't tell us what is about to happen before it happens. Just say, something like
>Each second of silence felt like an eternity.

>"Of course!" … his breath.

I realise that I focus mostly on my recommendations in my reviews, but I think this paragraph is well done. You do a good job showing his excitement and urgency, without overdoing it.

>"That's your target,"

That was awful nice of the raiders to give Greenhorn warning that they were coming to kill him and give him a chance to escape. Especially when they could have told him to stay where he was and picked him off much easier.

I assume the raiders are significant bad guys, so I would expect them to be more clever and experienced than to tell their quarry that he needs to run.

As a fix, why not have Pipsqueak's crew call out the raiders and tell Greenhorn to get moving? You've already established that they heard his broadcast, and seem to be familiar with the raiders anyway. This way you wouldn't need your raiders to make a silly mistake in order to keep the plot moving.

This post was edited by its author on .

* Review of Magitank: Part 2 3538

Since my review is too long for one post, They're always too long… here's the rest of your review.

>Greenhorn cried, trying to put distance between himself and the beacon, managing to flop over onto the ground uselessly.
When you use present participles, verbs ending with -ing the actions described should be simultaneous.

However, here the events make more sense happening sequentially, as in first he cries out, then he tries to get away, but after trying he just manages to fall over. With sequential events, you should make separate clauses for each one and just use your normal tense for narration.
Something like:
>Greenhorn cried out and tried to put distance between himself and the beacon, but he only managed to flop over onto the ground uselessly.

>sent a shock of pain through him, and he continued.

Make sure that clauses connected by conjunctions are related. In this case, you say that he felt a shock of pain which would be more likely to hinder his ability to continue. However, using the conjunction and implicitly conveys that the two are related. When you have contrasting clauses, either make two sentences or use a conjunction that highlights this contrast, like but or however.

Something like
>sent a shock of pain through him, but, despite this, he continued.
fits with reader expectations and as a result, flows better.

>The colt shook his head to stop the ringing in his ears

This doesn't make a lot of sense with how hard he hit his head. If he hit his head hard enough that he is about to pass out, some combination of the pain, dizziness, and disorientation would be a lot more relevant than ringing in his ears. Shaking his head to clear out cobwebs makes more sense if it was a minor hit and he's about to get back up, not if he's about to fall unconscious.

>all of a sudden finding the ground extremely comfortable.

This is incongruous with the situation. If he's losing consciousness, he should fade out, instead of feeling comfortable or some type of sensation like that.

>That was strange enough in itself, he was still alive?

One, there's a comma splice.

Two, questions in third person narration are generally frowned upon. It wouldn't be that hard to work his disbelief into a description.

I have to wonder about the names you've given your characters. I know that pony names often telegraph their special talents, but you seem to have picked ones that are a little less subtle than most. I know Greenhorn is a novice, but he's situated to be the main character, and so I assume that will change. You may want to pick a name more suited to his speciality or at least make sure that the name ties in more with what he's actually good at. Similarly, Fleethoof is the name for a racer, not really a medic.

I will say that I enjoyed the interaction between Fleethoof and Greenhorn. Fleethoof plays well as the blunt, but not sadistic, introduction.

>"If it were me," he continued. "I'm not sure I'd even want to wake up."

You do most of your dialogue punctuation well, however, in this situation, you break up a sentence with an attribution, so you should continue with a comma. A good test for this is to remove the attribution and punctuate as though the dialogue were contiguous, then adjust for the attribution.
In this case, we have
>"If it were me<> I'm not sure I'd even wake up."
Since If it were me doesn't form a complete sentence, you would replace the <> with a comma, so the attribution should end with a comma.
>"If it were me," he continued, "I'm not sure I'd even want to wake up."

You have a similar issue here, where you need the comma and to drop the capitalisation of the dialogue.
>"What happened," he said, voice dripping with condescension. "Is you called

>His other eye was covered with a very different patch, this one there on purpose, with a jagged scar crossing through behind it.

The this one there on purpose is an unnecessary and in general, confusing detail. By describing the eyepatch as there on purpose, you seem to suggest that the natural patches were mistakes or wouldn't be there if he had the choice, which even if true, isn't something Greenhorn would know.

>turned back to Grenhorn


>"Less formerly, welcome

Formally. Formerly means previously.

>"That was your stomach?" Pipsqueak asked, shooting a glare at the smaller stallion. "I thought you'd been shot.

First, shooting a glare at the smaller stallion is ambiguous. Both Fleethoof and Greenhorn are smaller, and Pipsqueak is addressing Greenhorn when he speaks, so the reader would initially assume that it is Greenhorn he is looking at. However, from the tone of his words to Greenhorn and from Fleethoof's comment, I assume that you meant the glare toward Fleethoof.
It's much clearer to just use the name of the appropriate pony.

Also, considering that Pipsqueak is a leader of a military band and Greenhorn's near miss with the raiders, his joke about Greenhorn being shot strikes me as odd. Since he seems charismatic, I doubt he would make a joke like that which could be so touchy for both Greenhorn and the others around. Something like
>We'd better take care of that.
seems like it might be more appropriate for a captain to say.

>and added: "It isn't like

When you have an attribution in front of dialogue, you just connect with a comma.
>and added, "It isn't like

Just a reminder to look at the ellipses in this section. Greenhorn seems rather excited to be around Pipsqueak, so I doubt he would be trailing out or mumbling in.

>"I hate digging,"

i really like the characterisation of Fleethoof as the gruff pony, who actually cares, but doesn't let himself show it.

>'I guess these are the rations…?'

I really hate double punctuation marks, and in this case, I don't think either are necessary. He's thinking and it's not really a question, so I would recommend just a comma.

>He would have assumed that the camp was completely abandoned if he didn't know better.

This is an odd description, especially with tents. Tents aren't the kind of thing that just get left out in the wilderness. Maybe if they were using ruins as shelter, but I doubt Pipsqueak would allow that kind of risk.

>as there can't

You change tense here. Past tense is couldn't.

>Suddenly, everything hit him … to wake up

I don't like these types of paragraphs that spell out everything that is going on. When people talk about showing versus telling, this is exactly the telling that they are talking about avoiding, where you spell out exactly what the character is feeling. The thing with emotional scenes is they work by tapping into the reader's emotion and imagination, avoiding the intellect. When you tell someone something, they understand it intellectually, but that means they aren't going to feel it. If you give them enough information to create an outline and their imagination can fill in the details, they will experience the situation in their head and they will actually feel what's going on.

Also, you pick very general details. If you've heard the quote: "When one person dies, it's a tragedy, but when a million people die, it's a statistic," this relates to that situation. People have a lot of difficulty imagining large scale events. When you say something like, "none of his friends survived," it's very general and difficult to empathise with. They will intellectually understand that something bad happened, but you won't reach the real emotional side. However, if you pick specific events, then you tap into the reader's imagination and it will be very easy for them to feel the pain that you want them to feel from this section.

If you do decide to do something like this, then you definitely need more lead up. I would recommend having him experience some small detail that is different from his expectations, and then focus on showing us how he is feeling through specific memories, rather than having a large, generic breakdown scene.

>You were with the Imperials, same as me.

>If you survive this, I look forward to meeting you.
You have these two lines of dialogue, one suggesting that Pipsqueak and Phalanx know each other, the other suggesting otherwise. Which is it?

Actually, it's less important that I know and more important that you resolve this within the story. However, instead of trying to explain within the dialogue, which would likely be a bit monotonous and long-winded, I would recommend removing or rephrasing at least one of the lines so that you avoid the issue altogether.

>"Oh, please," the raider's reply was cold and unemotional.

This isn't an attribution. It looks like one at first glance, but this is a separate description of the speech itself. However, since it isn't an attribution, it shouldn't be punctuated like one.
>"Oh, please." The raider's reply was cold and unemotional.
You have the same thing here along with an unnecessary ellipsis.
>"If you insist…" the raider leader sounded bored.

>the blue maned medical pony staring at him

This is what we call Lavender Unicorn Syndrome (LUS), which is where you refer to a character by (usually physical) characteristics, instead of by name. There's a description here http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Lavender-Unicorn-Syndrome

A good rule of thumb is that if the scene would be fundamentally different if the character had a different trait, then it is okay to use the trait as a description.

For example: Fortunately, the brick-coloured filly blended in with the barn wall, so the bullies moved on.
In this situation, the filly's colouring is important, because if it was any different, she wouldn't blend in.

By contrast: The purple unicorn waved to me.
In this situation, the colour of the unicorn doesn't change the situation. A yellow unicorn could wave just as well as the purple one.

There's a lot of LUS throughout the scene with Fleethoof and Greenhorn watching the battle.

>I thought you were with the captain?

Not a question.

>"Uh… sure." the colt replied

For some reason, you have a full stop, not a comma here. Probably just a typo.

>"This," the stallion said, hopping into it. "Is what I call a treetop lookout."

This is the same error as I explained earlier.

>Fleethoof said, his face fell.

Comma splice.

> Without a loud boom came from the battlefield.

I think the word "without" doesn't belong here.

>A couple dozen infantry

Given that there are only ~6 tents in the camp, including the medical tent and Captain's tent, I'd guess there's only space for, at the most, twelve ponies in their group. You might have to rework the description of Greenhorn looking at the camp.

An overall note here. It seems very odd that Pipsqueak and co. welcome Greenhorn as a full member even though he hasn't shown any basic competence. I completely understand Fleethoof letting him come aboard the treetop so he could keep his mind off the situation I can't say this enough. Fleethoof's characterisation is awesome, but it strikes me as odd that there wasn't any protest from the Captain about keeping Greenhorn safe. Even though Greenhorn is a cadet, he hasn't shown that he knows what he's doing in a combat situation and hasn't been able to help them. Considering that they are a small group of rebels and supplies are very limited, they don't really have room for a deadweight member. I would expect the initial agreement to be that he's allowed to stick around until he's out of danger and then he'd be expected to go it alone. Then he would have to prove his abilities merit him sticking around. Instead, he's just offered membership in the group, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

This relates to another point. Greenhorn hasn't shown even a sliver of competence. He's nearly gotten himself killed by raiders, used some of their supplies, and tagged along during a raid, nearly not distracting the pony doing actual work. I know he's a novice, but he should show some potential at least. Having them carry him along without him doing his fair share would be rather unrealistic. Perhaps he could request to stay and offer to do chores around the camp or claim that he'll prove himself rather than having the Captain just offer him membership.

Finally, I would expect at least one member would be at minimum sceptical about the addition of another member, especially one who has made such "famous" mistakes on the radio. Dess seems arrogant, but accepting. You could either strengthen her reaction, or if there are other members we will meet in the future, use one of them, but there are very rarely even scheduled additions that don't result in some griping. This would also give you a good mechanism for showing character growth in the future.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is in the trip. As always, I encourage you to ask questions something I wrote is unclear.

Best of luck with your continued writing and I hope this helps.

Request Review: "Death Doesn't Like Fiddles... " 3543

File: 1358797141285.gif (5.7 KB, 640x480, Quill.gif)

Tags: Comedy

Synopsis: He really doesn't…

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Cl2AGTsk7rMBAHkA27pMucazECrdDqScELQMx6i7tWs/edit

Comments: Came from one of the Write-offs, and I've tinkered with it a bit more since then. After a brief vacation on the shelf, I'm dusting it off for an EQD submission.

The image is planned to be my submission image. I've apparently lost Sparky, who was supposed to work on one of his artworks so I could use that instead. I haven't heard from him in quite a while, though.

The Devil Doesn't Like Fiddle Claim Professor Hugbox 3545

File: 1358824660064.jpg (88.77 KB, 336x960, image.jpg)

By God. Took a quick look at this one. Expect a lengthy review in the morning.

Uh-oh... 3546


This doesn't bode well for me, does it?

I feel so stupid Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3547

File: 1358838008024.png (183.7 KB, 900x1159, I deserve this pie to the face…)

I think we should have this video linked somewhere in the OP. Perhaps in the "How to Review" or someplace more relevant.
I've just watched this video, and it's changed my entire view of reviewing.


I haven't watch the video, but RogerDodger gave me a summary on IRC and yeah, it's good advice. And I don't think you should feel bad about "doing things wrong before". I've always felt it's the author's prerogative to think about the reviews they get and to mentally translate the "should"s into "I think you should"s and "I would like it if"s. Perhaps that should be clearer.

I think a lot of authors lack confidence about their work, and that, coupled with the firm attitude some reviewers sometimes display (myself included) maybe causes some problems — I know I've seen reviewers criticised for being horrible Nazis who want to reshape everything in their own image, and it's not impossible to believe that some fics may be damaged by an author following advice that they don't agree with.

The thing is, whoever you are and whoever your reviewer is, it's your work that you're doing and you have the final say about how it turns out. You need to look at the suggestions your reviewer makes and think about whether they would make your story better or not, from your perspective. And, at least in my experience, usually they do. Most of the reviews I've received have brought to light issues that were bugging me subconsciously and thus helped me fix them and bring my work more in line with what I wanted it to be.

I have personal opinions and tastes. I find Twilestia creepy beyond all belief, I find mane six shipping silly, I hate double-spacing, I like onomatopoeia more than I should, I dislike all but a few heavily personified third-person narrators, I hate LUS and I have a soft spot for naieve narrators. But I'm just some dude on the internet, and so are all reviewers, and therefore it's the job of every author to evaluate and consider the critique they get here and elsewhere before applying it. Mentally insert "In my opinion" before every sentence a reviewer says to you, if you have to.

Film Crit Hulk likes to say that we all know what a good story is internally, so just be confident in your own abilities and remember that no reviewer is God.
This post was edited by its author on .


I think the difference mentioned in the video is a little more than just adding "in my opinion" to the front. The example he gave was, for example, say one part of your story was boring. The feedback "this character is boring" is helpful and straight to the point. If the reviewer instead takes it further to say, "this character should be more exciting", it's been abstracted too much. What if the point was that the character's boring? This character is supposed to be boring. Or maybe it wasn't. By simply saying "this character is boring", you've got both cases covered.

The other thing is the "ignore the small things" part. I think there's a necessary distinction between getting feedback (e.g., what a writer circle is for) and getting copy-editing (line by lines). You want the former first to handle all the big things, because copy-editing paragraphs that are liable to be rewritten entirely is kind of wasteful. We don't really make that distinction, though, and oftentimes reviewers end up doing both.


>I think the difference mentioned in the video is a little more than just adding "in my opinion" to the front. The example he gave was, for example, say one part of your story was boring. The feedback "this character is boring" is helpful and straight to the point. If the reviewer instead takes it further to say, "this character should be more exciting", it's been abstracted too much. What if the point was that the character's boring? This character is supposed to be boring. Or maybe it wasn't. By simply saying "this character is boring", you've got both cases covered.
Hehe, I'll have to actually watch it sometime. =/

>The other thing is the "ignore the small things" part. I think there's a necessary distinction between getting feedback (e.g., what a writer circle is for) and getting copy-editing (line by lines). You want the former first to handle all the big things, because copy-editing paragraphs that are liable to be rewritten entirely is kind of wasteful. We don't really make that distinction, though, and oftentimes reviewers end up doing both.

Well, I guess that's up to reviewer discretion. Personally, I do line-editing only for stories that I feel are more-or-less in the right overall shape. And sometimes what looks like line-editing is actually more general and in-depth, like "Look at this line, here's what you did wrong, here's why I think it's wrong, here's how it could be better, here's why that makes it better".

Death Doesn't Like Fiddles Review Professor Hugbox 3553

File: 1358878556301.jpg (64.18 KB, 1272x728, 135639380373.jpg)

Honestly, I barely paid attention to the story, because even if the story is a problem, it doesn't matter. This document makes me think that you've read a piece of fiction before.

First off, I can tell you have people talking, yet there's no diaglogue queues, or who is even speaking. I don't know who's talking or when it's narration or what the hell is going on. Furthermore, what is with all of these ellipses? You're not using them in any kind of correct manner at all. Are you using them to signify the difference between speakers? Because for one, that's not what they're for, and two, we have things to signify what that's for.

It's funny, because your grammar is excellent. Unfortunately, the sentences are so bland and dumb that I hardly care. I barely even know what the hell is going on. You need to format this like a regular piece of fiction, or else EQD will never accept this. Your story could be so good as to make Fallout Equestria hang its head in shame compared to yours, but without the proper formatting, no one will even bother to pick it up. You need to have proper dialogue and narration, so we can have an idea of setting, actual characterization, theme, and plot. Right here, I don't see anything about setting. What is this even? Death just talking about things no one even cares about. It's not comedy, it's just rambling.

Also, not as long as I thought, cause really I didn't have to nitpick at anything. It's just a very, very board issue.
This post was edited by its author on .

Filler 3554

>You need to format this like a regular piece of fiction, or else EQD will never accept this.

Point of correction: EQD put up a fic written in a similar fashion not too long ago.

Professor Hugbox 3555

File: 1358881010565.gif (207.66 KB, 272x213, 135636259632.gif)

Thanks for the correction, but either way, the way that the author has done this is just… no where near the level of that, mostly in the main formatting than the content.

Them ellipses. That was mostly what I was getting at.

I haven't checked EqD stories in a little under a year.


File: 1358886182205.jpg (69.34 KB, 800x600, 82716__UNOPT__.jpg)

My suggestion: remove the ellipses. That the narrator is addressing someone else is quite obvious. I have to disagree with >>3553 that this should be formatted as a regular piece of fiction: I cannot see how that would add value to the story in any way whatsoever. Good day.
This post was edited by its author on .

Professor Hugbox 3558

File: 1358886784112.png (281.45 KB, 563x471, 135086669129.png)

It seems to me that it's two people talking, but I wasn't even able to tell. If it is two people, then it needs to be formatted as a regular piece of fiction to get the fullest value. But I could barely tell if it was a monolog or not, it's a very confusing piece.


File: 1358886919802.png (257.7 KB, 959x858, 116173 - artist-prozenconns Ca…)

I see the issue here, then. As far as I can tell, it is two speakers, but one only speaks in ellipses (hence my suggestion). In light of that, your confusion is understandable.

Oh my... 3561



Well, to give the basic outline, it's like this: the whole story is a single dialogue between two characters of which only half is written. (Hence the lack of quotations or tags, because there is no point at which I switch to purely narrative voice.)

I used ellipses to signify the other character speaking in because I wanted the reader fill in the responses themselves and get personally involved in the story. (Which is a big reason why I made very sure to not use any ellipses while Death was talking, to avoid unnecessary confusion. Apparently, that needs work.) Then, when you got to the end, you learn something about the whole story that you did not before that point, and read it again with a whole new perspective.

So, does anyone have a suggestion for a replacement of those ellipses which would look better? They're the places where I signify the other character is speaking, so I don't think just cutting them out entirely would be wise. I didn't structure this like a monologue. I structured this like a dialogue.

cas onna phone 3562

Well, I for one wasn't confused at all. I don't get how you could be confused when it's someone talking that's phrased in a way as to sound as it's addressed to someone else. Did you not pick the implication up from that?

I think the ellipses are the lesser of two evils, and fleshing it out more so as to decrease the frequency of them would be best.

Aplogies if I come across as stepping on anyone's toes.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3563

File: 1358910658946.png (73.2 KB, 125x125, 132631965934.png)

Actually, I get the impression that the devil is the only one who speaks. The responses of his addressee are implied.

Professor Hugbox 3566

File: 1358953482653.gif (52.39 KB, 500x500, tumblr_marrf2VdUk1r5h2ogo1_500…)

Those "implications" aren't easy to pick up on, in my opinion. But that's just me.

If readers are even able to get confused because of the formatting, it needs to be reformed regardless.

Minjask, What r u doing? Stahp! Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3621

File: 1359090072963.png (380.92 KB, 500x698, tumblr_m4eg24JUX11rvbo6ao1_500…)

Guess I'm getting this one too.

Claiming: Only Shadows Of The Past. ( >>3035)

And of course my shift key just broke. This should be fun.

Mini Review: Only Shadows Of The Past Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3624

File: 1359092761541.jpg (36.64 KB, 300x225, RavenTeenTitans_6857.jpg)

Aios mio! I don’t even know what I just said, or read. What a mess!

I only read the first chapter, because that should be plenty to work on for the next few days. Until then, I will not finish this review.

First off, your synopsis isn’t very enticing, and does little to give the reader an idea of what they’re in for. Your phrasing is all wakward, you clump multiple word uses together, and you don’t format dialogue correctly.

>She choked through the dust as the sound of cracking bones and joints popping back into place echoed across the barren landscape caused by her body healing itself while she slept.

I… What? The barren landscape caused by her body healing itself? Are you saying she created the land by getting injured and then taking a nap?

>And behind her lidded eyes she did dream.

Poetic, but it sounds strange in exposition.

>Luna sat in the Night Court and stared at the oak double doors before her. And waited.

I’m sorry, but you can’t just do that. That’s not a sentence, so you can’t leave it chopped off like that. Periods mark the end of a sentence; they are not to be used for dramatic pauses. You also shouldn’t use a double ‘and’.

>Luna walked into the hall and listened as the stone slid into place behind her, blocking out all the light from the room behind her.

I noticed that you said ‘behind her’ twice in the same sentence, which made it sound somewhat like a broken record.

>Cautiously she began to move, and watched as the light from her horn cast strange shadows in the chamber creating a very surreal atmosphere. Luna watched the shadows and could almost see the faces of her subjects hiding in the dark spaces, choosing to hide in the very shadows they fear because they fear the holder of nights dim light even greater for allowing the darkness to even exist.

You use the word ‘shadows’ three times in here, and twice in the same sentence. Dark and darkness are also too similar in close conjunction.

>Luna stood from the throne, "Guards," the guards looked up at Luna expectantly, "announce to anypony in waiting, that night court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us."

This ought to be punctuated as such: Luna stood from the throne. “Guards.”—The guards looked up at Luna expectantly—“Announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
And that’s not even to touch the strange way Luna speaks. Given her old style of speaking, there’s some leeway there, but you shouldn’t flaunt it as you have here.

Your imagery isn’t that bad, though. I would word a few things a bit differently, but there’s a clear mental picture of… whatever’s supposed to be happening. Work on your punctuation, word repetition, and phrasing. Try out a few writing guides, and send this back in. I’ll pick it up if I’m not gone by then.
This post was edited by its author on .

Unmarked Croswynd 3632


Tactical 3636


I can't stand by for this.

Yeah those excerpts look bad, but nowhere near as bad as Minj is making them out to be. Most importantly:

>you can't use periods for dramatic pauses

The hell I can't! I'm gonna write sentence fragments and you can't stop me!

>gives dubious punctuation advice and passes it off as fact

apart from the fact that your actual work there is a bit questionable, you should avoid actually telling people how you think something should specifically be done, if it's as big and subjective of a change as that.

Dear author, if I have time, I will give you a re-review, but no promises.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 3639

File: 1359137097065.jpeg (156.92 KB, 1275x1086, 221332__UNOPT__safe_ponified_t…)

Now, now, maybe the EqD pre-readers told him that. There are subjective problems that the PRs will reject stories for. Like, I remember reading a rejection letter someone had posted that said the PRs don't like SFX in stories, but I myself don't really mind it.


>This ought to be punctuated as such: Luna stood from the throne. “Guards.”—The guards looked up at Luna expectantly—“Announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
That's a little overcomplicated. Try this:
>“Guards”—the guards looked up at Luna expectantly—“announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
Or possibly this (but I don't really like seeing "Guards" as its own sentence):
>“Guards.” The guards looked up at Luna expectantly. “Announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
This post was edited by its author on .

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3643

File: 1359153658015.jpg (69.64 KB, 610x422, 041210raven.jpg)

I'm willing to admit if I've made a mistake—and I will also admit I may have been tired when I did that review—but I thought I was being nice. If you've got a problem with the information I'm distributing, please don't hesitate to let me know. I want to give a good review—it's the whole reason I joined /fic/. What was wrong with what I said, further than what you've already stated, if you please?

Thanks. Maybe I should star my reviews for a while.
This post was edited by its author on .


File: 1359158646432.jpg (28.93 KB, 499x357, image.jpg)

Personally, I'd go with


>The guards looked up at Luna expectantly.
>“Announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”

The idea is that the guards' actions in this case can be interpreted as another speaker, so it gets its own paragraph. That's what I think, anyways.


File: 1359168473211.png (49.25 KB, 500x348, mukyu_2.png)

>SFX in stories
B-b-but it looks unprofessional and lazy!

Eh, I dunno. I advocate not using them, but to each their own.

>“Guards”—the guards looked up at Luna expectantly—“announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
I'd go with this one because starting a new paragraph or ending "Guards" with a period would disrupt the flow being conveyed in the sentence. Leastways it seems like that to me.

Anonymous 3647


No, I think Anon's got this right. The guard's action, if it needs to be there at all, must be its own paragraph. Otherwise it's just in the way.


Agreed on all counts. Note also:
>“Guards”—the guards looked up at Luna expectantly—“announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
means that the speech was continuous, but the narrator wanted to wedge a comment in there, and
>“Guards—” the guards looked up at Luna expectantly “—announce to anypony in waiting that Night Court is closed. We shall be in our office, adjusting tax codes if thou art in need of us.”
means that the speech stopped while the inserted action took place. It's up to the writer to decide which way it happened.


File: 1359177999755.png (158.02 KB, 465x358, Twilight131670198943.png)

You're both anon!

Thanking for Extended Review + Requesting Grammar Nazi 3659

File: 1359285632283.png (47.41 KB, 250x189, 250px-Albinoshoutinggorillas.p…)

I recently had a piece of work reviewed by Writer's Block, as shown here.
Request: >>3376
Review: >>3461

After doing so he spent the better part of a week going through my work, pointing out its flaws, taught me stuff about grammar I didn't know and basically kicking my crap in the right direction.

I'm so happy with the result I'll probably breed some sort of albino shouting gorilla to say my thanks from roof tops across New New York.

That said I also planned to subject myself to the torture of getting this less-crap-than-it-was story onto EQD. I just spent a week editing it, so more :effort: shall be applied.

So now I need a Grammar Nazi, some OCD individual that would pick out every flaw EQD would use as a excuse to reject it.
All i can offer is praise and getting your name to be shouted by albino shouting gorillas.
I know morning_angles was interested >>3377
Perhaps you would be too.

Looking forward to subjecting someone to less horror than I did to writer's block.

Google Drive (Should Work): https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5gI-CcsIkUEUVU0amdoU082WlU/edit

or FimFiction: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/45342/time-turners-discordian-detective-agency-the-missing-kitten-of-inspiration

I will of course find something to review as well.

Croswynd 3661


Oh, that was me. For some reason, I must have been logged out? Weird.



Both your story and yourself were great fun to work with. I believe this series has great potential which is fairly close to the surface. If the way you pulled those replacement scenes seemingly out of thin air is any indication, I know you’ve got some talent, held back only by inexperience which you are both willing and wanting to overcome. You're not quite as far from EQD as you might believe, is what I'm getting at. Keep chugging at it, and watch that punctuation.

So it was entirely my pleasure, and I certainly hope to see more of you in the future.


I took a look at your updated Fimfic version, and the superscript command is acting funny. Maybe you can try connecting the numbers to the words instead of the punctuation, and see if it changes anything. If that doesn’t work, try asking around; we've got a few folks around here who can probably troubleshoot HTML format and help you get them looking really good. I'd personally get rid of the brackets around the numbers for a start.These things:[]

Requesting Review, "Death Doesn't Like Fiddles" 3668

File: 1359417055808.gif (5.7 KB, 640x480, Quill.gif)

Tags: Comedy

Synopsis: He really doesn't.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Cl2AGTsk7rMBAHkA27pMucazECrdDqScELQMx6i7tWs/edit

Comments: Alright, let's try this again. I extended some segments, added a bit of new material, Hopefully, you'll enjoy them. and replaced the ellipses with a whole new form of "other character" indicator, which should help keep the immersion I wanted while not sacrificing the overall look and style.

So, better or worse?


Rodinga isn't in the queue, even though he's made a new review request: >>3659

He forget to fill the form, or did someone just not put him in yet?

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 3671

>Rodinga isn't in the queue, even though he's made a new review request: >>3659 He forget to fill the form, or did someone just not put him in yet?

I'm actually torn between asking properly or just doing it informally. I'll probably fill out the form properly now.

Claim: The Frightenmares 3672

File: 1359424150592.png (96.44 KB, 282x320, like_a_sir_by_secret_pony-d52u…)

I think I can help you with talking heads and tellyness.
I'll run through your work and find anything that sticks out as a sore point. Then I'll start making suggestions.

Review Request: Attack of the Smooze! 3680

Title: Attack of the Smooze!
Name: Bok
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Slice of Life][Comedy]

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie set out to find
a mysterious film that happens to be the town's darkest secret.




Grammar [which I'll fix] was an issue with the pre-readers at EqD, but they said the story itself was
otherwise fine other than "it drags somewhat between when the search starts and when the movie is found."

Suggestions on how to fix this are appreciated!

*Review: The Frightenmares Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 3688

File: 1359550746273.jpg (11.61 KB, 134x195, riveting-tale.jpg)

Request: >>3503
Claim: >>3672

All in all, it’s a good story. There are a few areas I’d like to see improved though and I have a few suggestions.

>Already I regret being an only child
Shouldn’t that I be Trixie? What’s with this Silly filly speaking in third person all the time, insufferable trumped up waste of decent magical talent. I have a mind to… Is that thing still on?

>Trixie was performing a séance. Séances were probably the most common job she had to do, and one of the trickiest. The trick was to gather enough information on the “summoned ghost” before starting and to string together just enough vague proclamations to make everyone feel happy.

Might need to be reworded, especially the opening sentence. Instead of “she’s doing this” perhaps a “Sweet Celestia doing this sort of thing is more boring than watching paint watch paint dry”, or more along the style of the previous scene where she makes a mildly interesting entrance.

>“Everypony close your eyes. Spirits are easily startled. We wouldn’t want to scare them, would we?”

>Murmurs of “No”s greeted her in response, and the ponies all shut their eyes, eagerly awaiting the séance. Trixie magicked some fog into existence – it was rather amazing how the feeling of fog could trick ponies into thinking ghostly things were happening.
This is good; it gives us a sense of her dastardly-ness while setting the scene.

>“Spectral tea.” Trixie paused again. “He’s gone. You may open your eyes now.”

I don’t suppose you could extend this scene? Perhaps losing her audience a bit more and then saving the payday with a good turn of words. You don’t need to, but I suspect more fun could be had.

> “Never ‘Miss Trixie’. Ever. I mean, do I look like some sort of cider-swilling school teacher?”

Perhaps: Does Trixie look…
I know I’m probably overplaying it with the third person, but then again so does Trixie, unless Trixie is under emotional pressure.

>“I’m a fake!”

Trixie dumps calling herself Trixie, which of course helps to show Trixie’s distress in this situation.


This scene might be a source of complaint about talking heads. I suggest having Reg act like a clumsy ghost and stumble around the room knocking glasses over and disturbing houses of cards. The table they’re sitting around would be a good place to trash.

>“The door was open so I just wandered in off the street,” the pony said with a shrug.

Get the entire table to shout or glare at him in unison, it’s an opportunity to unite against a common foe. For Comedy.

>Trixie paused at the door to Lovelace’s house. She felt like a character in a story – coming full circle to the beginning again. She wasn’t a character in a story, though. There weren’t going to be any easy way outs, no cheap tricks by the author to get her out of trouble. She had to do this herself.

Never been too keen on this sort of thing, in this case it goes a bit too long. Breaking the fourth wall is good in short bursts but loses appeal fast. You can use the first half of this paragraph finishing at “again.” and it’ll be amusing. The rest can be a self-observation of where she is without a reference to story elements and it’ll work. Well, for me at least.

Beyond these the story is in good form, as you said you spent some time working on it already. I do like the fact that you managed to give Trixie some redemption without overdoing it, especially as that would treading on the canon introduced by season 3. The continuing tricks and deceptions are also something I enjoyed (though that’s probably just my personal taste as a result of my own work).
I’ll look forward to seeing this appear on EQD when you decide it’s ready again.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review request: Encased In Stone Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3690

File: 1359575092846.png (66.7 KB, 900x854, tom_the_rock__or____diamond__b…)

Title: Encased In Stone
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Tags: Normal, Dark
Word count: 3251
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16_d6KgvmZLRyoGV6wsdk1lA4WiY_A4Dq4YK5w8YFZoE/edit
Synopsis: Such an interesting pair. They don't realize what they've taken, or what they've unleashed. They will be mine.

This was sort of a dream I had a while back. I took a different approach this time and made it a first person present tense story. I hope I can clean it up enough to send it off to EqD. Now to get a commission for it.

review acknowledged: The Frightenmares Commissar-Rarity 3708

Thanks for the review. I'll be sure to work on the things you mentioned.

Also I have a thing against Trixie using third person all the time because I've seen it misused all the time. I tend to keep her in third person only when she's specifically trying to impress someone.

But anyway, thanks again for taking the time to review it!

Pascoite!uxy6g7ov9I 3709

>Also I have a thing against Trixie using third person all the time because I've seen it misused all the time. I tend to keep her in third person only when she's specifically trying to impress someone.



File: 1359698763738.png (242.85 KB, 500x500, patchuu.png)

I like to put it as "Trixie referring to herself in third person is a speech quip, not a mental handicap".


Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 3721

I suppose Trixie can't be too insufferable, otherwise it would wreak the story's premise. Good luck with your editing.

Claim of "Lark!" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3731

File: 1359732808813.jpg (8.63 KB, 192x192, claimed.jpg)

The wait is getting ridiculous. I know nothing of Adventure Time, but I'll review you anyways to see how well you fare with making it accessible. Come back tomorrow and your review will be done.

Apologies that you had to wait for so long to get it.

Also, Minja Bleeding, pass me a link to chapter 1 of your fic and I'll review yours as well.

Unmarked Croswynd 3732

File: 1359739088601.jpg (72.77 KB, 894x894, image.jpg)

So I believe my reviewer has suffered an unfortunate fate. It has been two months, and while I'm patient, I do not believe the story is enjoyable to my reviewer. What do I do now?

Pascoite!uxy6g7ov9I 3734

He's often in IRC, but not always paying attention. You can try him in there. Or you can request a different reviewer. Though for 150k words, I'm not surprised it would take this long. It took me nearly 2 months to do 75k.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3736

File: 1359750892193.png (73.2 KB, 125x125, 132631965934.png)

Oh, um. Much obliged. Eh, you don't really need to read the first chapter since that part's supposed to be like sandpaper for your eyes, it's not part of the main storyarc, it's a story Scootaloo wrote and it's already as bad as I can make it. But if you really want to read it, here's the link. https://docs.google.com/document/d/12aBA0t2VjlOyVbW3cSs5RpOEFfCFzQnKMKuPoBaEBys/edit

I figure a good rule of thumb to expect for wait time is a day per 2k words. Most reviewers don't need quite that much, but you want to give them time to fit into their schedules. For 150k words, I think 2 months is a reasonable time to wait before saying something.
This post was edited by its author on .

CLAIM: A New Stallion 3741

File: 1359762274465.jpg (50.23 KB, 823x1131, snarkle_derelle.jpg)

I have claimed http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#126296 from languishing in the queue. Expect your review in the next 48 hours. Oh, and Buckler? If you have any requests, this is the time to voice them.

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 3754

I sense a great disturbance in the fic.

Review of "Lark!" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3755

File: 1359776978377.jpg (321.21 KB, 364x1021, peaceful_resolution.jpg)

Righto. So some line-by-line in doc on grammar, punctuation, the like. There's not much to review, so I won't have too much to say.

There are three things which this overall will discuss in detail: your dialogue structure, the ending section, and plot driving force.

When you try to jam in direct thought and a few actions into a single sentence of dialogue, there's going to be trouble. It diverts the focus from the dialogue, chops up the reader's ability to read between the lines if there were any, makes it hard to sort out in the mind. Convoluted is the word I used, because that's what it feels like in my head. I could read it perfectly enough, kinda, but inside when I process it I find it jumbling. What's wrong with regular-styled dialogue? Regular-styled, of course, meaning "new speaker new paragraph", actions/physical details go before or after the dialogue in dialogue tags, that sort of thing.

Your grasp on dialogue punctuation also seems somewhat inconsistent, because you punctuate it fine one line and fail to do so the next. I'll attribute it to just being careless, so you'd want to keep an eye on that in future writing.

There's also the deal with semi-colons, which I would advise you to use only in narration. They join two related independent clauses, i.e. complete sentences, i.e. if the semi-colon were a period, it'd still look right. It's because people don't often speak with semi-colons, and semi-colons don't join narration and dialogue on account of dialogue being a separate category of, um, thing.

Now, the ending section:
-Colours are so gimmicky

-The whole pass-the-narration-around thing is somewhat confusing

-I'm questioning the point of it, and more importantly, it doesn't give me a reason to read on.

The average reader will let the colours slide. But this is /fic/, and we're hard arses who condone the hard way to do things. The closest thing would be scene break and then have Twilight's section be written normally, i.e. not in Jake's voice.

Pass-the-narration gets confusing because there's no anchor to the ongoing events. Think of it as the advertisement between scenes. Simply put, I don't care about Jake or Finn passing the baton around, nor do I care that Twilight is talking in purple. None of this talking is actually the story itself, and why am I reading about something redundant within the first 1000 words of the story? It makes for some "what is going on" moments which quickly turn into "you know, I don't really care". Show me something actually going on rather than transition, because transition simply isn't interesting. In fact you could probably do away with the pony side of things and just have everything told from Jake's point of view, from the little I've read.

For the last part, refer to the attached image. It's a peaceful resolution. Satori (that's the one with the purple hair) pulls Patchy (that's the other one with the purple hair) on the cheek. Patchy gets angry. Patchy doesn't get angry. Satori gives us a hnng inducing smile.

There's no conflict in the story when you end the chapter. Jake and Finn are in Equestria. Huzzah. Nothing's happening, nobody's interacted - Rainbow talks and saves them, but there's no interaction - it's all one-way to you, one-way to me - and there's no trouble. Jake and Finn seem perfectly happy to be there and don't seem like they'd want to go back. The ponies don't seem like they mind having them around. There's no conflict, nothing to have the reader read on because there's nothing that promises to be discovered if they do. There's just the novelty of having Jake and Finn (and Princess T) in Equestria.

If you wrote a bit more about how humans are hated by ponies, or something, then, yeah, maybe. But in the section you submitted for review, there isn't, so there you go.

Just some notes on the rest of it - the narrative voice is actually done very well, and it shows in descriptor choice. Some of the jokes were reasonably funny. Characters are bubbly and fun-sounding and are probably all as they should be.

So the summary of it: examine yo dialogue, clean up that last bit, and make them actually start doing something. You have a good grasp on Jake's voice, but you need to practice wielding the rest of it.

And that's that. If you've got any questions or concerns, feel free to ask me.


Well, first of all, thank you very much for your input.

I also thank you for your compliments. Jake's voice is very fun to write in.

The ending was supposed to be a massive cliffhanger: "Why the emphasis on human? What history do humans and ponies have in this continuity? What does Twilight know about them? The consequences could be cosmic!" I seem to have failed to convey that sense of drama. Any advice on how to correct that?

Spoiler:The story is in continuity with the fic The Best Of All Possible Worlds, where the only humans in Equestria so far have been Cicero and Voltaire.

Twilight's voice is NOT supposed to be "normal". She is written by Princess Bubblegum, and will definitely be using more latinisms, formal constructions, science references, and otherwise talking like a book… which sounds a lot like the way normal narration is done, especially pre-Camus or Hemingway. So… how do I go about making her sound like a very bookish person, rather than like an actual book?

The Adventure Time cast have a tendency to be hilariously/disturbingly casual about the strangest and most horrifying things; I honestly thought their LACK of reaction to being ftunnelled into a new world was funny in and of itself. How would you suggest that I emphasize that this strangeness is deliberate and characteristic?

There's also the ship tease: I'm intending to have in-story!Jake develop a sort of crush towards Rainbow Dash… because she reminds him of his wife. Yet he's got lots of hangups about it, because, well, adultery is bad, and because she's quite different from her. This conflict would slowly develop if the immigrants begin to actually believe that they're stuck in Equestria for the long haul. Writer!Jake is just teasing his wife in one of their usual strange and raunchy games, and milking a very obvious source of drama and conflict. If the reader hasn't guessed that yet, should I add some unsubtle hints here and there later in the story, so that they reevaluate in retrospect?

Also, expect many thinly veiled sex jokes and toilet humour. The veil is very important: it's what makes them funny.

Once we've resolved that, I'll look into getting rid of the gimmicks. It's lucky that you suggested that today, because only yesteday I had come up with a gimmick that I would have enjoyed very much.

One reader complained that the fic was somewhat inaccessible to those unfamiliar with the characters. In response, I devised a framing device, like the Show Host that showed up in a couple of Adventure Time episodes. Instead of something human like that, it would be a bunch of screencaps from a computer command prompt, where the story would be treated like the result of a text command. The user runs the command "fanfic". The application asks him what kind of fic they want, suggesting a list of flags (the user selects Random, Crossover and Adventure), and then it asks the user for a list of the settings it wants, reminding them that there is a modifier to use a sub-canon from any of the fanfics, in-universe or out. The user asks for "AdventureTimeWithFinnAndJake" and "MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic -subfanon TheBestOfAllPossibleWords". Once the script is triggered, it asks the user to enter the names of those that are going to be the MAIN characters of the story. Each time the user punches a name in, a description of the character is printed to the screen (if you type Finn, it will print "Ideal Hero. Age fourteen. Great fighting and social skills. Terrible at math.") , and the program asks for confirmation ("Do you really want to make this character the focus of the story, Y/n?"). Thus, all of the main characters of the story are declared, one after another, with helpful, short-and-to-the-point descriptions. After a final confirmation is done, it looks if the computer had generated the whole fanfic all by itself, colours and all, just from those instructions.

I think it's a pretty sexy concept, with some very amusing potential repercussions. Maybe it's TOO nerdy? I wouldn't want people to think I'm aping Homestuck or something…

Claim: "Attack of the Smooze" Croswynd 3769

File: 1359828039723.jpg (14.47 KB, 211x230, image.jpg)


I'll take your story and get my review out later today. Apologies for the wait you've had so far. Permission to comment on your story would be great, too, if you want comments.

REVIEW: A New Stallion, by Buckler 3775

File: 1359841463344.png (49.73 KB, 512x512, snarkle_9000_transparent.png)

So, I picked up your story today. I have to say, it’s challenging, and I must admit to a degree of morbid curiosity about its original state, if this is an edited work.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not unsalvageable, but a lot of work would need to be done. I’m going to start with your first paragraph, the italicized introduction, as the problems introduced here are repeated throughout your work. Use these edits and suggestions as a template for the rest of the work.
First and foremost, there’s not just one paragraph here. There are at least two, and possibly three, depending on the scene you wish to work. We’ll get to that detail in a moment.
Before the larger structure becomes a concern, I’m going to break this down sentence by sentence, fix each one in turn, and then address the section as a whole.

The beating of my wings and the wind zipping past my ears are all I can hear.
This isn’t half bad. It builds an image, isn’t overly florid, and avoids the weather reports all-too-common for fan-fiction. I note you’re going for first-person, present tense. This is a very challenging style, and might not be suitable for new authors just getting their pens wet, but I’ve been surprised before. Let’s move on.

I've got to get away, I've got to warn everypony, before it's too late!
This could be two sentences easily. As it is now, it’s death-by-commas. Suggestions include:
1) I’ve got to get away! I’ve got to warn everypony before it’s too late!
2) I have to get away and warn everypony before it’s too late!
This solidifies the in-media-res feeling you started in your first sentence. Other than a clumsy comma-splice, no death sentences here.

*Twang* Shit!
Were this a casual read? I’d be done here. Onomatopoeia followed by un-pony cursewords would douse any desire to keep reading. I understand you’ve written this for the mature, gore-friendly set, but breaking immersion so casually does not instill hope in your readers.
Don’t use sound effects. Instead, describe the sound of the event, from the characters’ perspectives. In this case? Try something like this:
Something whips across my field of vision, whistling as it passes.
As for the cursing? Think ponies. Think candy-colored marshmallow equines who are living pun machines and don’t quite realize it. Instead of ‘shit’, I suggest ‘horseapples’, or something more creative.

They're shooting arrows at me!
Okay, a little expansion and development here.

I barrel-roll left to avoid the flaming projectile.
So, when was it on fire? You only mention twanging, earlier. Yes, I know you address this in the next sentence, but as it’s a first-person tale, you may wish to consider avoiding the projectile, and THEN applying an adjective to it as it’s more directly observed.

God damn it's on fire!?!?
Where do I begin? I must repeat my earlier statement against human cursing. Also, as an exclamation, you should separate it from the more coherent thought. And double-interrobang?
Goddamn! It’s on fire?

They don't want me to escape, not after what I heard, what I saw.
We introduce a reason for his flight, beyond mysterious flaming projectiles. Still, this suffers from the same problems as the earlier comma-spliced sentence. Similar suggestions would repair this example as well. Break it into two, and consider an em-dash after heard, with ‘saw’ in italics for emphasis.

I can't go any faster and my wings are aching, got to land, I can run the rest of the way for sure.
As above, comma splicing. End the first sentence after ‘aching’. I’ll overlook a proper actor for ‘got to land’, as it captures the panicked thought, but I’d consider exchanging the comma afterwards for an ellipsis or another em-dash. Also, if you’re actively thinking something, and not narrating, I’d suggest offsetting it somehow. Bold, italic, or a slightly different font are all ideas. Some folks use quotes.

After looking down my hopes are dashed, it's the canopy to the Everfree Forest.
So, this comma splice thing. You should look into it. On an unrelated note, this is where you begin to have trouble with your first-person-present perspective. To maintain the tense, I’d suggest:
I look down and my hopes are dashed. It’s the canopy to the Everfree Forest.
Even with that change, though, there’s no emotion here. It’s a dry telling. Simple punctuation changes can help here:
I look down and my hopes are dashed. It’s the canopy to the Everfree Forest!
Or you can involve your character a bit more in the description, and the retelling:
I look down and my hopes are dashed. Somehow, I’m just above the canopy of the Everfree Forest!
You could also offset the ‘canopy’ text as actual thought, but you would still need to address the punctuation issues.

I don't want to land there after my experience with the Poison Joke plants.
…really? Poison Joke is your greatest concern in the Everfree? And would that even be a consideration when fleeing capture or death?

I keep changing direction to avoid the projectiles, these aren't on fire anymore, hell they aren't even arrows they're rocks.
More comma splicing, and your inner narrator is beginning to ramble, and he sounds less like a pony fleeing for his life and more like a squeeze-junkie wheezing for some change.

Why are they… I got my answer sooner than I wanted.
Another slip into past-tense. The first part could be addressed as thought, but then you still need to fix the tense of the second half, and fix the punctuation. These seem to be the largest issues throughout.

I felt the baseball sized rock hit me in the back of the head my vision blurs for a split second and start to sway, my flying slowing down as I decrease altitude towards the canopy.
See-saw tenses here. Broken punctuation, clumsy structuring of the sentence, missing actors, and so forth. Edited, this might read:
Something crashes into the back of my head. My vision blurs, and I start to sway, losing altitude. The canopy is coming up fast, and I can’t get my wings to respond.

No dammit! Up go up!
This should be encompassed as a thought, and if separated from the rest of the narration, would flow better.

But my wings won't listen to me, I'm exhausted beyond belief and they're so close to me now, I can hear they're chants even louder now, the beating of they're drums.
Their/There. Comma splices. Unnecessary ‘But’. Fragmented narration.

In one last vain attempt I try to pull up and take another rock to the back of the head with a sickening crack and feel myself propel to the ground.
Thesaurus attack! Why use propel, when you’re not flying, but in free-fall? “In one last vain attempt” sounds like word-padding. “I struggle in vain to…” would flow better, and fit the frenetic pacing you’re trying to achieve. Stop using ‘and’ in place of a period.

I crash through the canopy and hit the ground with a loud thud, nothing to break the fall.
*pedant* Technically, the canopy broke the fall. */pedant* Also, comma splice. You could delete everything after the comma and retain the message.

I see the torches glow in the distance as everything fades to grey and then to black.
We know you see it. Don’t spell that out. Just tell us what you see. Part of first-person narration is using the flow of experience in such a way that the line blurs between observer and observed. Perhaps “Flickering torchlight approaches, as the rest of the world fades to black.”

Okay, so, what have we learned? There are a few spots where you need to educate yourself on structure and/or grammar.

First? Comma splices. Stop it. Stop it, stop it, stop it.

Second? Tense shifts. If you start in present, stay in present, and vice versa.

Third? First person is incredibly hard to maintain. You grew up reading third person narrative, and you will instinctively fall into those patterns when you lose your way.

Fourth? Separate thought and event. Make sure your audience knows what’s in your character’s head, versus what’s happening to his surroundings.

Fifth? The aforementioned larger structure. Let’s look at your (unedited) first paragraph here, in its entirety:

The beating of my wings and the wind zipping past my ears are all I can hear. I've got to get away, I've got to warn everypony, before it's too late! *Twang* Shit! They're shooting arrows at me! I barrel-roll left to avoid the flaming projectile. God damn it's on fire!?!? They don't want me to escape, not after what I heard, what I saw. I can't go any faster and my wings are aching, got to land, I can run the rest of the way for sure. After looking down my hopes are dashed, it's the canopy to the Everfree Forest. I don't want to land there after my experience with the Poison Joke plants. I keep changing direction to avoid the projectiles, these aren't on fire anymore, hell they aren't even arrows they're rocks. Why are they… I got my answer sooner than I wanted. I felt the baseball sized rock hit me in the back of the head my vision blurs for a split second and start to sway, my flying slowing down as I decrease altitude towards the canopy. No dammit! Up go up! But my wings won't listen to me, I'm exhausted beyond belief and they're so close to me now, I can hear they're chants even louder now, the beating of they're drums. In one last vain attempt I try to pull up and take another rock to the back of the head with a sickening crack and feel myself propel to the ground. I crash through the canopy and hit the ground with a loud thud, nothing to break the fall. I see the torches glow in the distance as everything fades to grey and then to black.

This is a wall of text. Much of the rest of your story follows suit. My suggestion is to break a new paragraph every time a new though begins, or a new realization is made, like so:

The beating of my wings and the wind zipping past my ears are all I can hear. I've got to get away, I've got to warn everypony, before it's too late! *Twang* Shit! They're shooting arrows at me!

I barrel-roll left to avoid the flaming projectile. God damn it's on fire!?!? They don't want me to escape, not after what I heard, what I saw. I can't go any faster and my wings are aching, got to land, I can run the rest of the way for sure. After looking down my hopes are dashed, it's the canopy to the Everfree Forest.

I don't want to land there after my experience with the Poison Joke plants. I keep changing direction to avoid the projectiles, these aren't on fire anymore, hell they aren't even arrows they're rocks. Why are they… I got my answer sooner than I wanted. I felt the baseball sized rock hit me in the back of the head my vision blurs for a split second and start to sway, my flying slowing down as I decrease altitude towards the canopy.

No dammit! Up go up!

But my wings won't listen to me, I'm exhausted beyond belief and they're so close to me now, I can hear they're chants even louder now, the beating of they're drums. In one last vain attempt I try to pull up and take another rock to the back of the head with a sickening crack and feel myself propel to the ground.

I crash through the canopy and hit the ground with a loud thud, nothing to break the fall. I see the torches glow in the distance as everything fades to grey and then to black.

Five full paragraphs, give or take, with an excerpt for your internal dialogue. Now, edits aside, doesn’t that flow better to your eyes, and to your own internal pacing?

Finally? Don’t be discouraged by this review. It’s hard to find your feet and harder to find your voice. Hit up the EQD Editor’s Omnibus, located here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMMs8H-GpFIXPsQeC0RNu8V-Cq6uyGl_UERpOUK_6KY/edit .

Hope this helps!
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Croswynd 3806

File: 1359870235740.jpg (162.25 KB, 696x800, Reference.jpg)


Due to circumstances beyond my control, I'm going to have to move your review to tomorrow. Hope that doesn't inconvenience you too much, mate!

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3810

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>The ending was supposed to be a massive cliffhanger: "Why the emphasis on human? What history do humans and ponies have in this continuity? What does Twilight know about them? The consequences could be cosmic!" I seem to have failed to convey that sense of drama. Any advice on how to correct that?
That kind of cliffhanger requires too much input from the reader. It's also not a very good cliffhanger because reader expectations of pony-human relations are… resigned, I suppose, is the word. It's not your fault, it's just overexposure and readerbase adaptation. People simply don't find humans in Equestria to be surprising, and hence, it does not work as a hook.

With that in mind, you need then to give your readers something which they aren't resigned to. Like Twilight getting violent, something getting destroyed, something going horribly wrong. A good cliffhanger ends the chapter just before action, not in the middle of it, if I recall correctly; but from your end point to the next possible instance of action, there's probably a bunch of exposition and setup to get through first. Get that hammered down so that your reader will want to see where it leads to. What's the next plot event? Go ahead and write it down until it's about to start.

To give you an example, I wrote a chapter where a bunch of ponies discuss things, think, bla bla bla, and then they get a letter. The next chapter/plot event is finding out what's in the letter. I ended the first chapter with

"Caughlin took a deep breath, and opened the letter."

The next chapter then opened with the contents.

>Spoiler:The story is in continuity with the fic The Best Of All Possible Worlds, where the only humans in Equestria so far have been Cicero and Voltaire.

I'm afraid that doesn't mean much to me, but okay.

>Twilight's voice is NOT supposed to be "normal". She is written by Princess Bubblegum

Okay, now that went over my head completely. I'll address this later with regards to the framing device.

>The Adventure Time cast have a tendency to be hilariously/disturbingly casual about the strangest and most horrifying things; I honestly thought their LACK of reaction to being ftunnelled into a new world was funny in and of itself. How would you suggest that I emphasize that this strangeness is deliberate and characteristic?

Well, again, I haven't watched Adventure Time. I didn't feel much for their lack of reaction either way because I don't know the characters nor what to expect of them; I just took it at face value and accepted it, so there was nothing, so to say, for me to feel amused about.

What strangeness are you referring to? Did you mean the part about lack of conflict? Oh, conflict doesn't have to happen solely on shock, or even on behalf of the AT crew; the conflict could, and rather should, start from the pony side, given your framing device.

>There's also the ship tease: I'm intending to have in-story!Jake develop a sort of crush towards Rainbow Dash… because she reminds him of his wife. Yet he's got lots of hangups about it, because, well, adultery is bad, and because she's quite different from her. This conflict would slowly develop if the immigrants begin to actually believe that they're stuck in Equestria for the long haul. Writer!Jake is just teasing his wife in one of their usual strange and raunchy games, and milking a very obvious source of drama and conflict. If the reader hasn't guessed that yet, should I add some unsubtle hints here and there later in the story, so that they reevaluate in retrospect?

I think I picked up on the hints well enough. I'd say keep it subtle like you have for now.


I can't help but think that you're kinda missing the point of the story, which is, well, to tell the story.

Call me old-fashioned, but I can only imagine that the elaborate setup would only serve to utterly distract the reader from what's actually going on. Because, you know, it sounds like all the flashing lights and bells don't relate to the plot or development of characters at all.

Sure, it'd be impressive. But it'd also be bad for the story. That's just what I'd think, at least.

>framing device

So this is a story told or recollected by Jake, Finn, and Princess Bubblegum. First off, the distinction needs to be made whether it's a fabrication or a retelling. It's a subtle thing but it needs saying; people will assume that it's the latter more likely than not.

Secondly, the existence of the framing device needs to be more clear. Something more direct to the point of "I am retelling this" is needed, because I thought it was just a standard first-person perspective story with a strong narrative voice, which is also why I didn't like the ending at all. It makes more sense with the knowledge that the framing device is present, although I'm still not a fan of it for the reasons already mentioned.

Should that be the case, there is also a precaution you have to take - that your framing device isn't too intrusive to the actual story. Multiple narrators arguing with each other mid-scene, fourth wall breaks… ugh. That only disrupts the proceedings, because petty arguments are shallow and less fulfilling to read about than actual things happening. So you'd want to mull on that should you wish to strengthen your framing device.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review request: Twilight's Odessey, Chapter 2 3811

Title: Twilight's Odyssey

Author: DemPonies

Tags: Adventure, Alternate Universe

Synopsis: In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Little does she know that her very existence is about to set a series of events into motion that will take her far beyond the borders of Equestria itself—and change the fates of both her nation and her life, forever.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dbslI6QS6s21i-uHpb_qkvZAkFS_YGOA3NhnjYm2vjc/edit

Comments: If anyone who hasn't read the first chapter wants to pick this up, you can either read it here (http://www.fimfiction.net/story/24518/1/twilights-odyssey/chapter-1-summer-sun) or read the tl;dr version here:

In an alternate Equestria that isn't ruled by Celestia or Luna, filly Twilight walks through Canterlot with her family during the Summer Sun Celebration. She gets separated from the rest of her family, and stumbles unto the tent of a sooth-sayer (who happens to be Trixie's mom) who shows her ominous visions of her future. Her brother interrupts the visions, and takes her back to their parents after breaking the news of his eventual departure to Saddle Point, Unicornia's top military academy. Reunited with her parents, Twilight participates in the raising of the sun for the first time, which inspires her to find out more about magic.

I'd recommend the full version, but I'm biased, of course ;)

Review: Attack of the Smooze! Croswynd 3823

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Alright, to start off, I enjoyed the idea of your story. The ending made me smile and I felt the dialogue, on average, was pretty good. So, I'll just go through everything I found odd, incorrect or what have you, and you can decide whether or not to use it.

"The confident voice of the narrator quickly dissolved into a garbled mess as the film sputtered out of the projector, and on the dragon manning it."

I'd suggest replacing 'on' with 'onto'.

"Twilight, having watched his last five attempts to get the ancient film to work beyond those two words, began to magically roll the film back into its canister."

"Twilight began to magically roll the film back into its canister for the sixth time." flows better than what you have. Always try to keep your sentences streamlined and moving in one direction, as opposed to having a thought in the middle of a sentence. Making the reader pause in the middle of a sentence tends to pull them out of the story a bit.

" "It's okay, Spike. We have a spare of that film, anyway. Uh, Spike?" "

I'd combine this sentence and the next few together, to increase flow. For instance:

"I think that's enough, Spike. We have a spare of that film anyway."

When he didn't respond, Twilight looked up to see that she had accidentally mummified Spike within the roll of film. Panicking, she instantly untangled the entire movie around him, freeing him and at the same time dropping him on his head."

I'd also take out 'entire' before 'movie', as it's unnecessary. I'd also remove "at the same time", since 'and' implies that already.

""Omigosh, Spike! I wasn't looking and I-""

You're using a hyphen wrong. It should only be used to bridge two words like "horse-drawn" or for stuttering like "Th-that's n-not what I s-said!" If you're ever breaking a thought off, it should be an em dash: —

""Actually, there was a whole collection of them. In fact, there was a ledger listing all the ones the library owned, but—"

Oh, hey, you do it here. Good job. Just gotta get that consistent.

"He had seen what happened when something went unaccounted for in Twilight's massive organizational structure, and he also knew that in her obsession to find it had probably just dropped it behind a shelf. "

Long sentence. I'd recommend splitting it, but it's not required. I would, however, change the second half to "he also knew that in her obession to find it, the reel had probably just fallen behind a shelf."

"Spike facepalmed."

I'd personally avoid words like 'facepalmed'. Instead, I'd say "Spike raised a hand to his brow and sighed." or something.

"Later, the unicorn and the dragon were sorting through a small mountain of movie reel canisters in the basement, each one containing some educational movie or classic long since forgotten. "

I'd split these two sentences up to make it easier on the reader. Like:
"Later, the two of them began to sort through a small mountain of movie reel canisters in the basement. Each one contained an educational movie or classic long since forgotten."

As you can tell, I also changed 'the unicorn and the dragon' to 'the two of them'. This makes things flow better. Also, the way you worded your sentence implies that something happens at the end of the sentence; it's the 'were' that does it. Usually that clues the reader in that something unexpected happens like, "they were doing this when something happened!" Leaving false clues like that, unintentionally or not, is difficult on the reader.

"They had been down here for hours and they still hadn't found the movie they were looking for, even though the stack of accounted movies was now almost reaching the ceiling."

Try to avoid words like 'here', because they imply the character and the reader are in the same place. 'here' only works in dialogue, really, in this context. Instead, use something like 'They had been in the basement for hours and they still…"

""You know," Spike said as he began delicately balancing another movie reel, "this would be a lot easier if you'd just tell me the name of the movie you're missing.""

Even though he's the subject in the previous paragraph, if you have prose between the dialogue, it's generally better to make the line a new paragraph.

"Twilight blinked, and then giggled."

I don't know why Twilight would giggle here. It seems more in character for her to just blink.

"On the very last page she found it, stabbing the book with her hoof."

I'd suggest, "She found it on the very last page and tapped the book with her hoof." Stab implies impaling the book on her hoof, which is comedic and I'm sure not the intention you had.

""Woah. Seriously?""

While it isn't technically incorrect, I prefer to use "Whoa" over "woah". But do what you will.

""But what about the-""

Here's another incorrect hyphen.

"Twilight said as she began putting on her book pack, "

I'd change the comma to a period.

"Only a few minutes later Twilight was ready, with a list of every actor in the movie that she knew lived in Ponyville."

Remove "only", as it's unnecessary. Try to be as concise with your sentences to make it easier on the reader. Also, a comma comes after beginnings such as "A few minutes later" or "After a time" and such.

"With Spike in tow she set out to obtain a copy of this long-lost film, so that no pony could ever set eyes upon an unfinished ledger!"

Another example is right here: "With Spike in tow" should have a comma, since it's not part of the main sentence.

"Twilight trotted down the main street of Ponyville, eyes intently set on the list she had created"

I'd suggest "eyes intent on the list she had created", just to take out a few unnecessary words.

""The first pony on the list is…a donkey!""

When using ellipses, it's generally preffered to make it thus: "The first pony on the list is… a donkey", with a space between the ellipses and the following word. It emphasizes that you have a pause better than just the ellipses itself and is grammatically correct to boot!

"No longer just down the street, she now lived on the outskirts on Ponyville with Cranky Doodle, quite a walk."

"Quite a walk" doesn't fit in with the rest of the sentence. I suggest using a semi-colon or an em dash. In the case of the former, "…Cranky Doodle; it was quite a walk." and the latter, "Cranky Doodle—quite a walk."

"Twilight knew, however, that if she had a copy of Attack of the Smooze!, it would be well worth it."

To keep the flow moving in one direction without deviation, I'd suggest moving 'however' to the beginning of the sentence. I'd also redefine "she" as "Matilda", since it is a dangling participle. Always make sure the reader knows who you're talking about at all times.

"She had just rolled up the scroll to place it in her book bag when Pinkie Pie seemingly bounced out of nowhere to strike up a conversation."

This doesn't fit in with the rest of the paragraph. I'd recommend making it its own paragraph to more easily slide into Pinkie's visit.

Now, I'd also like to take this time to touch on something that may keep your story from dragging. Pinkie's parts, specifically here and the ones where she's hunting for the people on her half of the list, are a little long. They can be funneled into a few lines of dialogue to keep this part from dragging down. Personally, I'll say I enjoyed her parts, but I may be biased for best pony.

"Did they lose their legs in a horrible-""

Here's another hyphen used incorrectly.

""Actually, Pinkie," Twilight interrupted before she became trapped in a trademark Pinkie Pie stream of consiousness"

"interrupted" used here is an example of unnecessary repetition. The reader knows Pinkie was interrupted due to the em dash used in the previous sentence. I'd change it to "Twilight said". You can never go wrong with 'said'.

"Pinkie began jumping up and down, somehow with even more pep than before."

Personally, I'd remove the comma and "somehow", just to be concise. But that's stylistic.

"The list Twilight possessed ran rather long, and if she ended up having to go through the entire list by herself, the day would be over."

I'd suggest "would be over before she finished". Right now it abruptly ends at 'over', which might throw a reader off.

"Pinkie saluted. "Yes ma'am, Sparkle ma'am!" she shouted, and in an instant she was gone.

It took Twilight almost an hour to reach Matilda and Cranky Doodle's house, a modest cottage very much meant for the quiet retirement Cranky Doodle had sought. A small black cloud billowed from the smokestack, so Twilight at least knew someone was home. She knocked on the door, and the clanking of several locks followed. The door finally opened, and standing in the doorway was just the donkey she wanted to talk to."

I'd put a scene break between these two paragraphs, just to clue in the reader that some time has passed.

"Twilight walked inside, and as she entered Matilda began walking toward the kitchen."

I'd suggest "Twilight walked inside while Matilda walked toward the kitchen."

"Twilight had taken the time to find someplace to sit, a small little sofa in the corner of the house."

These two halves are a little strange to read together. I'd suggest "…someplace to sit on a small sofa in the corner of the house." Notice how I took out "little". It's unnecessary, because you said "small" right before it. Repetition is something you need to look out for.

"First on the list and she already probably had met with success."

The words here are placed in an off-putting order. I'd suggest "…she might have already met with success."

"Matilda's smile instantly evaporated, replaced with a glare that would have turned Discord to stone, again."

I'd suggest "Matilda's smile instantly evaporated and was replaced with a glare that would have turned Discord back to stone."

""But I-""

Here's another hyphen.

""Well, that was odd." Twilight said as she took out a quill and crossed Matilda's name off the list. "

Comma instead of a period at the end of the dialogue, since you used "Twilight said"

"Pinkie's method of obtaining the movie was a bit more direct.

"Hi! Do you have Attack of the Smooze!?" she would say to every pony on the list. Most of the answers she received consisted of slammed doors in her face, a few were a barrage of extremely unkind words, and one was a scream.

As Pinkie watched the last pony on her list run away, she couldn't help feeling confused. Why did mentioning this movie make everypony so angry? As she was pondering this thought and of cupcakes made of pure chocolate, she saw a very exhausted Twilight round the corner, checking off the next to last name on her list."

Again, this part might be what the pre-reader was talking about with the drag. If we're from Twilight's perspective for most of the story, it's better to stick with Twilight and have her come into contact with Pinkie again instead of showing us what Pinkie's been up to.

"Pinkie had, of course, slowly risen from behind Twilight as she was looking at the list."

Take out "of course".

"The pink earthy pony gasped, causing Twilight to fumble the scroll and drop it."

I'd suggest "…gasped, causing Twillight to almost fumble and drop the scroll."
This post was edited by its author on .

Review, Part 2: Attack of the Smooze! Croswynd 3824


Continuation of review:

""Yes?" she answered, wondering if there was an appointment that she had forgotten about."

New dialogue should start a new paragraph.

""Canicomeincanicomeincani-" "

Here's another hyphen.

" If it was Twilight Sparkle that needed some questions answered, there were almost certainly matters of national security, or at the very least needed in making sure that the unicorn pony herself didn't end up destroying the town. "

This is an extremely long and nonsencial sentence toward the end. I'd suggest breaking it up into a couple sentences and straighten out what "or at the very least needed in making sure the unicorn pony herself didn't end up destroying the town." means. Because as a reader, I had to go over that sentence quite a few times to even guess what it meant.

"she raised her head and looked into the mayor's eyes to completely convey her desperation,"

If she's performing an action after dialogue, always capitalize the first prose bit. You should also replace that comma on the end with a period.

"Twilight expected he mayor to tell her to get out of her sight any second now, but when she looked up the Mayor was simply looking at her with a sad knowing."

"he mayor" should be "the mayor". Also, "a sad knowing" looks a bit weird, but I'm not sure it's incorrect. It did pull me out, though, so I thought I'd mention it in case you'd like to do something about it.

"She placed a hoof on her shoulder, "Miss Sparkle, there are no surviving copies. They were all lost in a fire in Ponyville years ago, which is probably why everypony gets angry at you when you ask. I'm sorry. You'll just have to list the movie as 'lost'."

I'd suggest making this it's own paragraph and define who exactly "She" is. Right now, it looks like it refers to Twilight, based on the last few sentences. I suggest "The Mayor placed a hoof on Twilight's shoulder.". Also, make that comma at the end of the first dialogue a period.

"C'mon, Pinkie." she said as she slowly moved out the door with Pinkie happily "

Replace the period with a comma in the dialogue.

"The mayor stood there a few moments longer until she was sure they were out of earshot, then made her way back to her desk and let out a long sigh.

"Whew. That was too close."

Twilight slinked back to the library, Pinkie still following, perhaps in some effort to cheer her up."

I'd put another scene break between "Whew" and "Twilight slinked…" to clue in the reader that time has passed.

"the pink pony chirped as they approached the library, "why, if I had a bit for every time I forgot an ingredient when making cupcakes I'd be richer than Mr. Filthy!""

Since you ended the first dialogue with an exclamation mark, put a period after 'library' and capitalize 'Why', since it starts a new sentence.

""IT'S RICH!" Filthy Rich shouted from across the street."

Tee hee. I smiled.

"As Twilight slowly walked into the library, Spike was standing in the middle of the library, claws behind his back."

You use 'library' twice here. Don't repeat words that close together. Also, I'd suggest reworking the sentence to read, "Twilight slowly walked into the library with her head hanging in defeat. She noticed Spike standing in the middle of the room with his claws behind his back."

""No, Spike. Take a letter, I'll be explaining to Princess Celestia that I'm not fit to run this library.""

I'd put a period in between 'letter' and 'I'll'.

"Spike rocked back and forth on his heels, carrying a coy smile."

You can't carry a coy smile. However, you can do this: "Spike rocked back and forth on his heels with a coy smile on his face."

"Taking that as his cue, Spike brought his hands out from behind his back and in them was a movie reel canister labeled "Attack of the Smooze!", showing what looked some fire damage but otherwise in great shape."

This is a long sentence. Suggest breaking up into two different ones, specifically at "…from behind his back. In them was a…"

"All of her misfortunes of the day became irrelevant as she jumped for joy and grabbed the movie canister out of Spike claws with her magic. "

This is an awkward sentence. I'd suggest "All of her misfortune vanished when she levitated the canister out of Spike's claws. She jumped with joy and grinned at him."

"Spike then reached behind his back and produced a small note. "

I'd take out "then".

"Twilight took the note too, slowly going over the small, precise writing, and read the piece of paper aloud."

"too" reads weirdly. It might take a second for the reader to register that she's holding the canister still, which makes the 'too' technically correct. Still, it breaks the reader out of the immersion, so I'd recommend take it out.

""Yeah, that's all it says." said Spike. "

Comma instead of a period at the end of the dialogue.

"Pinkie answered in a sing-song voice, speeding out of the library and in the general direction of Sugarcube Corner to no doubt fetch it."

Take out "to no doubt fetch it". Since there's no doubt, the reader already knows that's what she's doing. No need to reiterate it.

"As Twilight thanked Featherweight for the hundreds of copies of the movie premiere site and time, she had the good fortune of catching Rainbow Dash overhead, and recalling her ability to rally the entire pegasi population with nothing more than a rain of pamphlets, called out to her.


Rainbow Dash looked down to see a Twilight Sparkle almost wobbling under the weight of all the flyers she was carrying, and did a quick somersault to double back and land right in front of Twilight.

"Hey Twilight. Uh, need help?"

"Yes. I was planning on showing a movie tonight outside of Ponyville. Would you mind passing these flyers around town?"

"Sure thing!" and without another word she took a huge bundle of the advertisements in her hooves and flew off, scattering them in strategic locations around town. Twilight was positively giddy. She'd be able to experience a part of Ponyville history and share it with the entire town, too!

As the packets of information began to fall, most of the younger ponies were rather excited at the idea of seeing a movie on the massive cliff face, especially a movie crafted in Ponyville. The older ones, however, simply stared at them with utter and complete dread. One flyer expertly managed to find its way into the office of the mayor through her window, catching her in the face. As she tore it off and began to read it, only one word escaped her lips.


This entire break here might count a bit as padding, as well. To be honest with you, you could probably just take this out entirely and say that Twilight got RD to deliver the pamplehts without showing it to us. The shift to the Mayor is the only thing that makes me hesitate, but we already know she doesn't want anyone to see it, and her actions later prove that she did get a flyer and hatched a plan. So… that's my advice. Take all this out, since it's not strictly necessary.

"The younger part of the audience was chatting excitedly, the older exchanging worried glances."

I'd change this to "The younger members of the audience were chatting excitedly, while the older exchanged worried glances." The way you have it, 'part of the audience' and 'was' are somewhat at odds with each other, number-wise, even if it's technically correct. My suggestion keeps the numbers meshing doubeplusgood, comrade.

"As the light became faint enough for movie viewing, Twilight Sparkle made her way to the front of the crowd with a small microphone."

You used 'As the' in the previous sentence. I'd suggest using a different opener here.

""Ahem!" she stated, before the feedback caused enough of a screech to make her wince and get most of the town's attention."

This reads awkwardly. I'd suggest, "Ahem!" A blast of feedback caused enough of a screech to make her wince and grab the audience's attention."

"However, due to the diligent work of an expert team of researchers, the movie once though lost has been recovered!"

'though' should be 'thought'.

"All at once, a large mob from he older population of Ponyville set upon the projector with bats, frying pans, and any other blunt object they brought with them."

'he' should be 'the'.

"In under a minute the projector was reducing to a scrap heap, spewing smoke and sparks."

'In under a minute' is another example of an opening not part of the main sentence, "the projector was reduced to a scrap heap, spewing smoke and sparks." So, add a comma! Yay!

"The mayor and her mob stood there for a second, and they all then breathed easy"

I'd suggest "The mayor and her mob stood there for a moment before sighing with relief."

"Pinkie then flipped the switch to a second projector, which had been hidden in a grove of trees a few dozen meters away from the first projector."

You use 'then' a lot. I'd suggest not doing so. Take it out here, specifically.

"There was no mistaking the other one, a larger than average earth pony with a fan for a cutie mark. Twilight turned to the crowd to see Mr. Breezy cupping his face in his own hooves, sobbing."

Since this is a new subject, I'd suggest making it its own paragraph.

""Gee golly," the younger Smooth Shake said, "Do you ever wonder if there's other life out there?""

Put a period after 'said'. Or lower case "Do". Either, or.

""Naaaaaah." the younger Mr. Breezy said, giving a very exaggerated "pshaw" movement with one of his hooves."

Comma instead of period at the end of the dialogue. Also, take out ""pshaw". It's… not necessary and kind of weird to read. In fact, I'd completely reword that part to make you point. Maybe "…exaggeratedly waving the idea away with a hoof."

"What then appeared was a very obviously fake comet tied to a piece of string hurtling through a drawn background of space."

Here's another 'then'. Take it out. Same with 'very', and change ' a' to 'an'.

"The fake comet then approached an equally fake cutout of the planet Equestria inhabited. A very unclean edit showed the fake comet on fire as it approached the planet to simulate its entrance into the atmosphere, and the movie switched back to the POV of the couple."

Take out 'then' again. Also take out 'Equestria inhabited'. That's obvious. You should also try not to use acrynoyms in text. Instead, take out 'POV of the' entirely.

"The camera angle was in front of them now, both ponies after the path of a bright light just offscreen."

I'm not sure what 'both ponies after the path' means. You should reword this.

"Mr. Breezy leaned in for a closer look, and the meteorite that was the source of the glowing cracked open, and some sort of slime appeared to dribble out of it."

Here's another example of breaking the sentence so the reader is pulled out of the story. Streamline like so: "Mr. Breezy leaned in for a closer look at the glowing meteorite just as some sort of slime dribbled out of it." Notice I took out 'appeared to'. The reason behind doing so is it either is or is not dribbling. Adding 'appeared to' is just unnecessary fluff.

"Yet, she couldn't seem to find the willpower to tell Pinkie to stop the movie. It was so horrible yet she could not look away."

Change the second sentence to "It was so horrible… but she couldn't look away." because you already used 'yet' in the previous sentence.

"The next few scenes followed the Smooze around, as it ambushed the various residents of Ponyville and ate them, growing larger each time."

The first comma here is unnecessary.

"One of the particularly awful death scenes was Matilda's, who fell victom to the monster when the Smooze attacked her from a tree branch."

'victom' should be 'victim'.

" The Smooze's rampage would have been much scarier if the flight from the creature had been in any way coordinated, instead each pony ran in a different direction without any sense of preparation."

Suggest breaking this in two at 'Instead'. Use a semi-colon, em dash, or just make it a new sentence. Add a comma after 'Instead', regardless of your choice.

"As it was seemingly destroying Ponyville, the scene then switched to a very poor mockup of Princess Celestia's throne room in Canterlot. "

Take out "then". It burns us.

"And that wasn't Princess Celestia either."

Suggest "But it wasn't Princess Celestia, either."

"They had instead hired a rather tall and lanky unicorn pony that they had attached fake wings to, and to complete the effect, had fans blowing in Fake Celestia's direction to create her signature flowing hair, somewhat cheapened since the fans could still be seen."

Here's another long sentence to break up into smaller, managable chunks.

"A giant FIN appeared on the side of the cliff and the credits began to roll with every pony in town looking on, mouths agape."

This made me chuckle, because it reads like it emphasises a giant gin appears. Like a flipper. To avoid this, give 'FIN' some apostrophe's around it like so: "A giant 'FIN' appeared…"

"The mayor slowly walked to the front of the crowd, cleared her voice, and tried to justify what they had just seen."

The mayor should "clear her throat", not her voice. Also, cut off 'and tried to justify what they had seen', because she's about to do that. You don't need to tell us she is.

"Told that it would be a box office hit, and bring untold tourist money to our small town."

I'd suggest "We were told that it would be a box office hit and bring large mounts of tourist money to our small town." Notice I took out 'untold'. I did this because you already used 'told' before.

"Another followed, until the entire youth section of the town were either laughing so hard that they were rolling on the ground or had tears in their eyes.

To make it more gradual, you get to use your favorite word! “Another followed, and then another, until the entire…”

“"Again!" she shouted in between laughs, "Show it again!"”

Period instead of a comma at the end of the prose.

“How could they possible like this…this…disaster? No wonder the older ponies had tried to stop her!

The mayor was equally confused. She looked out across the crowd. "You mean you liked this…crime?"”

Here’s some more ellipses to correct.

“She nudged him, and he groggily replied by sitting up and scratching his rump.”

Take out ‘replied by’, replace ‘sitting’ with ‘sat’ and ‘scratching’ with ‘scratched’.

“Spike somehow produced her a pen and quill, and began to write as Twilight dictated her letter to the Princess.”

New paragraph, since Twilight was just speaking.

“Spike bathed the letter in green fire, with neither Spike or Twilight noticing the letter went only a short distance away, to the top of a small hill within viewing distance of the movie.”

I’d suggest “Spike bathed the letter in green fire—but what neither spike nor Twilight noticed was that the letter only flew a short distance away, to the top of a small hill within viewing distance of the movie.”

“Beside her, Princess Luna munched away on a candy bar, "Do you think they will show the film a seventh time, sister?"”

Period instead of a comma before the dialogue.

Alright, we’ve reach the end of this review. Overall, I enjoyed the story enough to read through it in its entirety. The ending was fun to read, even though the movie section may have gone on a little longer than necessary. Like I said in the middle of the review, the only parts I can think of that the pre-reader could have been thinking of were the Pinkie parts and the break with Twilight and RD interacting over the flyers.

I’ve listed out all the things I found grammatically incorrect or awkward, so there’s nothing else I have complaints with in that department. It was also relatively easy to read, aside from the corrections I’ve suggested about the flow of your story, so congratulations.

The only issue, and it’s minor, that I have is the ending with Princess Celestia and Luna. It seems more fanon than canon, in my opinion, and while it’s funny, it’s still an absurd idea. But really, it’s a good ending if you’re not going for strictly canon characterizations (which you managed to do well throughout every other part of the story).

That’s all I’ve got to say for this review. I hope you found it helpful!

Review Request: The Here and Now 3844

Title: The Here and Now
Name: 4Darker
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [sad][slice of life]

Synopsis: A lonely and broken Trixie Lulamoon endeavors to make a special day as memorable as possible.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/77288/the-here-and-now

Comments: My first serious try at fanfiction and, no doubt securing my title as the living saint of originality, it is a sad Trixie fic.

I submitted it to EqD on a whim and most of what I got from the prereader was humiliatingly long laundry list of obvious grammatical errors that have since been corrected. However, he/she/it also said I was using the passive voice too frequently and that my language was often "telly" (some of the specific examples were "her gaze wide with awe" and "she felt a sudden wave of happiness").

Help me better bend prose to my will, pony people!

Review of "A Really Bad Story" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3848

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tl;dr derailed story that could have been amusing, but ended up not being because the focus shifted from the amusing premise to some argument thing.

Or, >pic

First off, don't take any of this personally. Secondly, this won't take too long. I only have one thing to criticize, and you know by now what it is.

"Story proper" refers to the sections pertaining to the proper story, the one about Scoots. Just to get that down early.

See, your synopsis told me that this would be about ponies. Scoots writing a story. And I was expecting that. It was all right until the focus shifted away from that to the squabbling.

Focus shifting isn't a bad thing in itself; The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley, which is equal parts distilled magic and Britishness, goes into sections where the narrator brings out some kind of philosophical argument thing against the disbelief of water babies. Very existential thing. But I could read that because 1) it was interesting, 2) on the relative scale, it was a brief detour (3 paragraphs in a book several hundred pages long).

Let me raise you another example. Darwin-something-or-other, a Roundworld novel by Terry Pratchett and some other guy. The first chapter was about the wizards of Discworld observing that Roundworld, their magic experiment, was in trouble. The second chapter, in its entirety, was an argument against the existence of God and in support of Darwinism. I dropped it four pages into the second chapter. I didn't pick up the book because Darwinism, I wanted to see what the synopsis sold: Darwin develops evolutionary theory as a result of the wizards of Discworld tampering with his life.

Now, bring the focus back to yours. Faceless narrator #1 banishes Scene Break (now known as SB). SB returns. SB rewrites everything in obnoxious, hard-to-read italics, and makes this little grunts, completely ruining the flow and any seriousness the story had.

Bickering can be interesting. But it wasn't, because the cause for bickering is petty, the wording of bickering is simple and not intelligent (not to be confused with unintelligent), and because it got in the way of something that I was very well interested in. And that made it annoying.

On the relative scale, too, this turn of events hijacked what I could see of the story. I have never used the word "derailed" so befittingly before; I literally watched the plot crumble and disintegrate into nothing. Because when such a whopping amount of focus is transferred away, the structure of the original story loses its integrity. Add to that the fact that the bickering has minimal structure - it's some kind of petty argument, for goodness' sake - and you have a pile of words. And when I saw that happening, I couldn't help but jump ship early.

Really, this entire review boils down to a few notes on grammar and me trying reasonably hard to convince you that the narrator intrusion is a bad bad bad idea. I'm sorry it couldn't be more helpful than that; the first part of C. 2 was actually decent, which was why I felt disappointed when that happened.

Hey, you managed to make me feel disappointed. Now you just have to work on making me feel more than that.

If you had to keep the heavy narrator intrusion, though, I suppose this is how it would work (though I'm not saying this is a guaranteed method):

1) Establish the narrators as proper characters
Plot is characters doing things. If you establish your n.s as c.s, then them doing things can be interpreted as plot development, which would help diminish reader bewilderment or rejection, i.e. "What is this and why am I reading this if it's unimportant?"

More importantly, it helps give the arguing some sorely needed depth, which would help us to care more.

To go back to The Water Babies, the narrator refers to the reader often as "dear child", and descriptions have instances like

>…Tom was beat.

>Now, you do not know what it feels like to be beat, for you are but a child; yet one day when you are a man, it will be inescapable, and you will be sorely tempted to give up even though you must hold your ground. But when you do, you will be able to understand better why Tom flopped down and failed to move…

or something like that.

The narrator is a present character right from the beginning because of the way certain things are phrased and described. It's a very subtle way of establishing the narrator, but it makes narrator intrusions a lot more acceptable, because we expect it.

2) Make the arguments more interesting, or at least amusing
Shouting matches are unamusing. British insult-trading is amusing because of the clever way words are used. Be witty with your exchanges, and your narrators will seem less like dorks.

3) Keep your focus overall on the story
Your readers come in because of your synopsis. Don't cheat them. Limit the focus the narrator intrusion gets, and bulk up the story proper sections. At the most let your intrusions be punctuations to the story, so that your reader can feel safe and assured. Establish your story solidly; it's the one you want to tell and the one your readers want to read, after all.

This is also achieved by giving us more to read, so we know that there's light at the end of the tunnel, but hey.

Just a few more notes:

Either way, the story-proper-in-italics have to go. You don't need to make the distinction between narrator-writing and SB-writing; it's a nuance I don't really care for, I should think.

This is a rather effective way of running the whole amateur story shindig. I think the trick is that the amateur story was readable enough for the reader to be amused, not frustrated; you've kinda got that, but I'd suggest you clean up the bad caps and go for the occasional misspelling of hard words instead (like misspelled!), so you get a more of "yeah, hey, I did that too!" endearment from the reader.

This does a good job of playing Pinkie interacting with the narrator without derailment. Note how little Pinkie interferes during the proper story part, and how the integration of narrator participation and "story proper" comes after the story proper is established, and how slow it is because of setting up. It also illustrates the lack of need for author distinction.

I'd advise you to read these two. They're not long at all, and digesting them may help refine your approach to your own work.

Keep writing.
This post was edited by its author on .



For Casca:

Don't know if you still remember me (I've been absent a long time due to personal projects and couldn't write a lot).

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3853

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D: Awww man, bummer. Well, I guess that's why I come here, isn't it? Thanks, man. I'll try to clean that up. Writer's Block mentioned that making the scene break a sentient character might add to the story. I suppose I just went a little overboard with it. Well, it is a really bad story, after all.

Attack fo the Smooze! 3866


Bok here. Sorry for the belated delay. Thank you ten times for the review; I often fail to resist the urge to write silly stuff in my story, often to my detriment.

I'm glad it made you smile, too. That gives me the fuzzies. :3

CLAIM: Death Doesn't Like Fiddles, by Writer's Block 3869

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You have been selected.

Croswynd 3871

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No problem, mate. It was my pleasure. I enjoyed it on the whole. Was a fun, little story.

Celestial Sparkling 3875

Trixie has come back for revenge a third time now, and she has an arsenal of new tricks to use against Twilight Sparkle! Twilight tries to best her once again, but at what cost?

I'd actually like to request Pascoite to review my chapter for me(if he has time!). The link is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LAmtPE1Geyr7umKSJL16WqZZFVp0ivf8S2g6gJtUTKA/edit?usp=sharing


File: 1360056470719.png (33.61 KB, 200x283, nom.png)

Pshaw, no worries. Just take a lil break, digest, come back. Like I said, the first part was decent and could be made into more; you just have to keep your story elements in rein, and let them have free flow only when they should.

Righto, I'll get to you when I can.

Request Review, "Just Wait Until the End... " 3891

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Celestia: a friend, a sister, a leader. While some think her career hasn't always been among the most illustrious, all must wonder how she can keep her sanity intact.

Or if she does at all.


Comments: Here I am again.

This sat on Fimfiction long enough, and it's time for its round-two with a pre-reader. The main complaint was with length (Air Pirate said he liked it, but it wasn't quite good enough to fall a couple hundred words short of the minimum, due both to some grammatical issues and a few stupid flubs on my part.)

So, after a small stint on hiatus while I learned a couple things about my writing, I've taken it and not only filled it out a little more so as to bring us a good hundred over the minimum, but I tweaked it a bit to clean up the presentation as well.

I know it's a bit of an oldy, but it was the first fic that people actually liked reading, so it would be nice to just try again with it and see if anything changed. Have at me, and I hope you enjoy.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming, "The Here and Now" 3892


Oh yes, and I'm taking this one.

Claiming "Celestial Sparkling" by MrJoshy 3893

Okay, claimed. You're second in my personal queue, so expect something this weekend.

REVIEW: Death Doesn't Like Fiddles, by Writer's Block 3905

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Disclaimer: I have neither looked for nor read previous versions of your story. Take my next few words with a cubic parsec of NaCl.

These second-character speaking parts. I don't see what the big deal is.

Honestly, this would be just as legible without ANY responses from the second party. Me, I'd still prefer quotes for the speaker, but so long as the style is consistent who am I to complain?

Ignoring that bit of discussion, let's move on.

Story? For what little there is of actual development, it manages to tell a tale and, upon first read, surprises the audience. For that, kudos. Despite my tendency of late towards 20,000+ word tales, I believe short stories are, in many ways, better stories. They force an author to prune away everything but the central theme. No real complaints here.

That leaves the actual writing.

To be frank, it could be better.

From a technical aspect:

You utilize commas instead of periods, and neglect commas further down the line:

Better, now where was I? // Better. Now, where was I?

You use inflection haphazardly. Some paragraphs make sensible use of italics and the like, others read like TV dinner instructions.

Likewise with idiom, slang, and colloquialism. Perhaps it's part and parcel with the whole 'Reaper' gig, but I get the feeling in some parts that he's a '40s gumshoe, in others a '20s gangster, and in still others a tweaked out meth-head trying to sell his watch for another hit.

Finally, the comedy. It's functional, in much the same way a seatbelt is functional. It's there, it provides a service, but on an average day you don't spend much time thinking about your seatbelt, especially if you're not in the car.

The story, strictly speaking, is not a comedy. However, the Reaper thinks he's witty, and thus uses comedic themes. They serve a purpose.

Once you put down the story, though, you don't think about the comedy. If anything sticks with you, it's the reveal. You might say, "Great! I wanted the reveal to be a surprise!"

The problem? We remember the reveal, but none of how you got us there - and that seems an awful waste of space.

What I mean to say is that characterization is weak. And since the story features only two characters, and one of those characters is, functionally, mute…

I think you can see where I'm headed.

Neil Gaiman has said that one of the best things a writer can hear is "What happens next?" It tells the writer that the reader is invested in the story, even if the little part he wanted to tell is over, and the world he opened will live on in another's head.

I genuinely enjoyed this story. It entertained me, and surprised me in the last few lines. If that was your goal, mission accomplished.

But I'm afraid I won't be mulling it over a week from now, wondering about what-ifs.
This post was edited by its author on .

Acknowledgement of review 3916


>The story, strictly speaking, is not a comedy.

Funnily enough, I agree. I simply could not think of a tag that was more appropriate. I didn’t think it “dark” enough for Dark, though one could say it has a few elements of that, and “Slice-of-Life” seemed a bit too odd, though “Shipping” and “Adventure” simply don’t describe it at all, to my knowledge.

So how would you tag such a fic? Maybe “Random” instead of “Comedy”?

>Perhaps it's part and parcel with the whole 'Reaper' gig, but I get the feeling in some parts that he's a '40s gumshoe, in others a '20s gangster, and in still others a tweaked out meth-head trying to sell his watch for another hit.

I always picture this sort-of high-pitched, almost nasally-toned “20’s gangsterish” accent to his voice, which I tried to copy in his speech, though maybe I can try and make it just a little more even-keeled at least. It sounds hilarious whenever I read it, and, given the physical image of him I have in my head, it's all the funnier. Dang. I think I need to get someone to make a cover-art with my Reaper actually on it, just so I can show him off to people. I can’t copy his voice, but something for people to look at might at least give folks an idea of how his voice is supposed to sound.

His overall character is that of an obnoxious, egotistical brat. He’s selfish, insulting, and sick to death of not getting the attention he wants. Instead, he’s in a job where his options are limited, his unchosen -image undesirable, and his life infinite. Basically hell.

>I genuinely enjoyed this story. It entertained me, and surprised me in the last few lines. If that was your goal, mission accomplished.

Surprising you with the ending, and gifting a small measure of entertainment, was indeed the goal. I am very pleased to hear that.

>But I'm afraid I won't be mulling it over a week from now, wondering about what-ifs.

I’m a little less pleased to hear that, but I suppose such a thing is very subjective. It would be stupid of me to expect even a small portion of people to drool over this for the rest of their lives; people are just too complicated to paint with a single brush.

While I could think of what-ifs for this story until I was blue in the face, Like what if the “mute” dies before a loved one does, thus meaning he’s a new Reaper with a terrible task to perform someday that he cannot escape? What if the deal doesn’t work as it was supposed to, thus creating a Reaper with a broken or vengeful heart? That’s not even mentioning some of the other thoughts and one hint at a larger story-point that I hid in there. that is not what the story was about. It was about being in the presence of an dissatisfied and powerful jerk who is making you a deal you can’t refuse.

So, while I tried for some depth, maybe even a bit of fridge-horror, as that and fridge-logic are some of my absolute favorite tropes to look at I suppose I’m satisfied at giving you something you enjoyed reading. I wanted it to be an experience first, a thought-provoker second. Whether someone chooses to explore this further is up to them, but as long as they read it and had fun, I have little to complain about.

In conclusion, thank you for your time and your thoughts. They are highly appreciated.

Celestial Sparkling 3920

Trixie has come back for revenge a third time now, and she has an arsenal of new tricks to use against Twilight Sparkle! Twilight tries to best her once again, but at what cost?

I'd also like to request Pascoite to review this story(if he has time!). The link is here https://drive.google.com/?authuser=0#folders/0B9gNwMiCx3oJTkRpbkREZ1RuVG8


Your link's broken.

Review, "The Here and Now" 3931

There is indeed a slight problem with telling, though I am admittedly having a little difficulty selecting out particularly moments of passive voice that were especially jarring to me.

Since line-by-line is very difficult with Fimfiction, you really should submit this in a Google-Doc format for true instruction and dissection on technicals, which is pretty much its weakest point as far as I can tell for now. However, just so some basics are covered, let’s pull out a few paragraphs and break them down.


Review acknowledged: The Here and Now 3932

You are a gentleman (or gentlewoman) and scholar, Block. The paragraphs you restructured really highlighted to me how much I was relying on the same sentence structure again and again (she adverbly verbed the noun. She adverbly verbed the noun), and seeing the way you broke up some of my larger paragraphs made me realize how tediously large those paragraphs were to begin with.

I have to ask, though, what is the etiquette around simply implementing a reviewer's rewords verbatim? I've learned so much after your review and the EqD editor's advice that I'm itching to move onto other stories as soon as possible, but your suggestions (especially that ending bait-and-switch, wow) are so good that it'd almost be a shame to not use them.



You flatter me, sir(or madam).

Well, considering it's your story, and that I made those suggestions for your story, you can use the suggestions however you wish.

I'd highly suggest you make sure they actually work first; particularly on the technical points, as I am not the authority on grammar around here. Again, you'll find people can be a lot more helpful with Google docs, as that enables true line-by-line and allows you to discuss particular points with your reviewer in the doc itself.

Also, whatever my opinion, you should make sure the story you wind up with is the story you wanted to end up with, with the flavor and style you wanted to use. I could suggest directions and tangents until I passed out, but if the story becomes something you can't take pride in anymore, then it is no longer your story; it's mine. And what a terrible waste of your story that would be.

You could just as easily run into a later reviewer who thinks my idea is an enormous bag of clichéd putrescence and makes an entirely different suggestion. However, you are the creator, and upon you falls the duty to create. I am just a voice in the dark, serving as one of the walls you must overcome in the drive to better yourself. Though, I do like to imagine I am among the shorter ones.

So use my suggestions however you wish, but make sure they simply enhance the story you wanted to make, instead of feeling my word is an absolute law. Watch and listen, for that is how you achieve knowledge. Debate and question, for that is how you achieve wisdom.

And keep writing; when you improve, that is how you shall irritate failure.

Review of "Celestial Sparkling" by MrJoshy 3989


First off, a preamble. There are no rules in writing. For any standard practice, you can find successful published fiction that breaks it. The point is to understand what you're doing and have all of it be a conscious decision. The more convention you break, the bigger risk you're taking that your story will lack appeal. I can spout all sorts of guidelines at you, but in the end, it's your decision of what to do. Some things are closer to rules than others. I can tell you that a word is misspelled, and it probably would be some oversight on your part that you wish to correct, but you might have spelled it that way on purpose to create some effect. So you have to take what I say, actually think about it, and decide if it makes sense for you. If you make every change I suggest, you'll end up with a story that suits my tastes, and another reviewer would tell you it still needs work. The person who needs to be happiest with your story is you. If you agree that suggestions I make would improve your story, then take them. If not, then don't. I'm as wary of the author who uses all of my feedback as the one who uses none of it. In short: know what you're doing and why.

So, I've left a lot of comments in your documents, and they'll cover most of the mechanical issues as well as some of the more abstract topics. There are only a few things I want to expand upon.

Show vs Tell
It's much more effective to convey emotion through context than through blunt narration. Your story is a little movie playing in the reader's head. He needs to be able to see what's happening. When your narrator says that someone is sad, how does that look in the reader's movie? There are a lot of ways to look sad. Either I just accept it as a fact, which does nothing to connect me to the character, or I come up with my own scene, which is more work than most readers will bother with. Keeping with the movie parallel, does an actor stroll on stage and say that he's sad? It gives you the information you need, but it isn't very interesting. Instead, he makes you conclude he's sad by what he does and says. While showing can often take more words than telling, it doesn't follow that throwing more words at the problem will fix it. Try these examples:

He walked into the room sadly and fell into the nearest chair. It had been a bad day at the office, and he didn't even hear his wife the first two times she called him.

There's little to visualize with that. It relies on the reader filling in a lot. Let's try again.

He walked into the room with a frown on his face and fell heavily into the nearest chair. His skull was still pounding from the worst workday in his memory, and as he continued staring at the wall, his wife's voice finally pierced the haze that choked his thoughts.

Wordier and more descriptive, but better? A little. We get some more justification and background, but still not a lot that really helps us visualize. One more try.

He trudged through the door, his coat crumpling to the floor where he'd missed the rack. He collapsed into his favorite chair and rubbed his reddened eyes as his boss's screaming still echoed in his ears. "Bob? Is that you?" Finally broken from their focus somewhere far beyond the opposite wall, his eyes shifted toward Gail. She must have called him three or four times before her voice had cut through the fog in his head.

Not much longer, but it speaks more to his motivations, hints at more of the background, and gives us a lot more to picture.

When we figure out a character's emotions from context, we're forced to think about and identify with him. It makes for a much more engaging read. It makes us care more about what happens to him. Keep things within reason, though. Having a character able to contain her tears can be much more powerful than having her bawl. Real people try to control themselves. It's more relatable. And a reader will tend to feel worse for a character that can't cry for herself.

The biggest red flags to watch for telling are outright naming an emotion (sad), -ly adverb forms (happily), and prepositional phrase forms (in excitement). The last one in particular is often redundant with an action it follows (pounding a fist in frustration). The bottom line: does your description use (mostly) elements that some observer would note and be able to figure out what the character was feeling?

The best methods for showing include body language, facial expression, posture, speech, reactions to dialogue, and sometimes thoughts.

Dialogue Punctuation
This will be short and sweet. Here are the most common forms of dialogue and how they should look:
"Speech," he said.
"Speech." He performed a non-speaking action.
"Beginning of quoted sentence," he said, "finish of quoted sentence."
Other end punctuation can stand in without changing anything.
"Speech?" he said.
"Speech!" He performed a non-speaking action.
"Start of quote…" he said, "end of quote."

Note the conventions of capitalization and punctuation.

Perspective Jumps
Watch your narrator's perspective. Note when he's saying things that are internal to a specific character and nobody else could know. He is then in that character's perspective. You can shift from one character to another, but doing so abruptly or often is jarring to the reader, besides not giving us enough time to get comfortable in his viewpoint. There's a concept of psychic distance, or how closely the narrator is connected to a character. Take these statements:

It was a sunny day. (factual, dispassionate, distant)
A nice day, actually. (A bit of judgment going on, so we're touching on someone's mind)
He could remember spending summer afternoons like this down at the lake. (Firmly in a character's perspective)
Why couldn't I just retire at thirty-two? he thought as his gaze lingered out the window. (Deep in the character's head)
Screw it. His life wasn't going to end if this report was a day late. (Narrator is indistinguishable from the character, giving us the character's thoughts as his own)

It's most effective when you can transition smoothly up and down that scale, particularly to zoom out of one character and in on another when you want to shift the point of view.

Glossing Over Important Events
I've discussed which events in doc already, so I won't rehash them here, but you can't just come up with a few highlights that you want your story to hit or some end goal you want it to attain, and then skimp on what happens in between. As I noted, there are several missing scenes in your story that would contain the background justifying what's happening and some of the story's most emotionally charged moments. This would include what Trixie's been doing, where her motivation comes from, what happens while she's confined, and how Celestia decides what to do about it. So far, you're focusing more on the effects of your key events than the events themselves, and while an action-oriented story can deliver enough interest to keep some readers hooked, you need that meaning behind everything to make it memorable.

If I walk in the door and see a woman in a movie crying over someone on his deathbed, it's sad. But it's sad by default. I'm much more affected if I'd seen the movie from the start and had the context. I feel much worse for her because I know exactly what she's losing instead of the token amount she gets for the generic sad situation. When you short-change events, you lose that chain of connectivity that carries all the weight, you lose the importance, you lose the investment.

Word Repetition
Lastly, let's look at some words that get overused frequently in fanfiction. Here are your totals over the two chapters so far:
start/begin: 21
A little on the high side, and I usually discourage writers from using these, as they're frequently abused and often get used in clusters. They're best held for instances where the beginning of an action needs to be emphasized because it's an abrupt change or the action never finishes. Otherwise, it's painfully obvious that an action would begin.
look: 47
High. Find some other ways of describing it.
turn: 5
Very good
walk/trot: 3
Also very good
is/was: 66
Not as bad as it may seem, since these are extremely common verbs, but watch how much you use them in narration. They can be indicators of telly language, and are also boring. Go for active verbs where possible.
just: 18
Borderline, but watch this word in narration particularly. It can often be cut without hurting anything.
slowly: 9

Good idea, and the writing's not bad. It does lack some of the intangibles that are hard to describe in an experienced writer's work, but that's not really something that can be explained. The only remedy for that is to absorb as much as you can from reading well-written stories and to practice as much as possible.

Note that the first thing I do in a GDoc is turn off email notifications to keep my inbox cleaner, so I won't see any responses you make to my comments. You can post here or contact me by email (in the tripcode) if you have questions.

When you've had a chance to look things over, please post a reply that you've seen your review so we can move it to the spreadsheet archive.

Keep writing, and have fun with it!
This post was edited by its author on .

I've seen the review(for Pascoite) 3991

Let me just say this; if it hadn't been for your review, Pascoite, I would've had a helluva time reviewing it myself. I thank you for your time that you took for it. Also, I will have fun editing it, I want it to be the best story that it can be!

I Don't Feel the Same Chapter 1 and Outline FullmetalPony 4005

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Title: I Don't Feel the Same
Tags: Slice of Life, Friendshipping
Description: Friends, family, cutie marks. Everything seems to be changing around Pound Cake.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pXnbcAdgauq6mueqAjZzTYX8bj9WyO-Mmnh-0sBWL1c/edit

Outline: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12ni-FiYzRRy5krvRfBmQNOOnJ846vGGNF_ttWpxrVSA/edit

Well, I got my first rejection from EQD so here's the issues:

Ellipsis use
Dialogue punctuation
Comma use
Plural possessives

The pre-reader also thought that Mr. and Mrs. Cake's treatment of Pound and Pumpkin was too harsh, but that part has been re-written since then.

They also requested the outline which I also want looked over. Thank you very much for your help.

Claim: Encased In Stone 4008

I recall wanting to participate in the community and do something creative and productive. I'll review fics here instead.

Claiming http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html#3690 since that's a bit too long for such a short fic to sit in the queue.

You've reviewed me once before, Bleeding, let's see if I can return the favour. Expect review on Monday or Tuesday.

Ungracious relinquishing of claim 4061

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Almost three months ago I said I'd review "The Wanderer's Wife" by ARBPW. Since then, it's become increasingly clear to me that I'm never going to finish what I started. So I figure it's way past due for me to acquit myself of this fic.

I'll be sending my personal apologies to the author, but in the meantime, perhaps someone with some actual perseverance could claim it.

In the future, if I get the reviewing bug, I'll limit myself to fimfiction comments. I reckon I'm too consistent a flake to be claiming things in the TTG anymore.

*Review of "Encased in Stone" 4072

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So, I’m back to reviewing, this time with useful guidelines taken from Brandon Sanderson and Janet Burroway. Asterisking because I want to feel the Inception-like experience of having a review reviewed (also, because I want to improve, obviously).

Also, as the usual disclaimer, remember to take all of my advice with a spoonful of salt, as there are no rules in writing, only tools to be used properly. If you follow my advice to the letter, you’ll end up with a story written to my tastes, not your unique vision. Instead, use this review to point yourself in the right direction to improve.

Before Reading:
A dark story from a self-professed fan of Dark, so I’m certain that it will be just that. The title invokes obviously invokes Discord, but I’m not so sure that he will be present. The synopsis, however, isn’t particularly gripping or evocative: it doesn’t give enough information. Who’s speaking? About whom? What did they do? Well, let’s find out.

A trickster-archetype forest spirit fools Rarity and Spike with his magic and transforms them into gemstones. (For some reason, this is, like, the third fic in a row I’m reviewing which has this weird “monologue” POV)

Specific Notes:
The grammar is good (though you should watch your em-dashes), but I’m not really an expert on that. Unfortunately, I believe that there are far bigger problems with this story that make it below EqD’s standards (or my perception thereof). I’ve made some notes in the doc, with a more general explanation here.

First and foremost, I must direct your attention to the POV you’ve chosen. It’s first person, but told as if the POV character was in-focus at all times, with no lines of dialogue given to other characters and all external actions described by the “protagonist” through a rather thick lens. There’s nothing wrong with that by itself—but all unorthodox points of view have to be handled carefully and only be used if the story warrants such an approach. In your case, however, some of the problems were made worse by the choice of viewpoint.

Firstly, you tell a lot. As I was making my first read-through, the impression that stuck with me the most was that I was completely starved for description. There’s a lot going on in there, both with action and visuals, but we aren’t given any clear pictures at all. Such a telly form seems natural with the viewpoint you’ve chosen, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This is also related to the problem of pacing you’ve got.

A smaller complaint I’ve got is the word choice and sentence structure you’ve chosen to deliver the narrative: there’s a lot of “filters” and “I” pronouns, which reference the POV character and thus detach us from the story. An overuse of the first-person pronoun is the general bane of first-person narratives, but in this particular case, we are forced to stay with the viewpoint character for the entire ride, never taking our focus away from him. Novelist Brian Kiteley, in his book “The 3 A. M. Epiphany,” writes about first-person stories that “Another lesson…is how important it is to let things and events speak for themselves beyond the ego of the narration.” This doesn’t mean that one should avoid egotistical narrators—I believe that’s what you’ve been going for, actually. But with this, another problem rears its ugly head.

The POV character lacks characterization. I won’t comment on how anime-esque he is, the bigger problem is that he is rather one-dimensional. We are given very little information on him, and what we have is given mostly through little exposition-y bits. We know that he’s a trickster, but that’s merely an archetype, not enough to provide for a rounded character—especially a POV character. We aren’t given any history or explanation to him, how he fits into the world of MLP or anything like that. He’s supposed to be some sort of forest spirit, but that’s not dwelt on at all, so we have to take it at face value. The worst part is that he’s given no motive. There is something about syphoning magic, but that is only glanced at in the ending and feels like an afterthought, so I can assume only that he condemns two of the mane characters to a fate worse than death purely for the evulz. At least, he certainly gives such an impression for most of the story.

A problem which arises from the previously mentioned points is the lack of a character voice. What I mean is that there’s very little to suggest a specific character from the narrative style you employ. We’ve got laughter and “oh’s” and “ah’s” sprinkled generously throughout, but those feel generic and, by themselves, do not provide a character to become interested in. The main culprit here is probably poor word choice, especially in dialogue. I’ve touched on examples of this with my in-doc comments, so I don’t know how to explain this better. All I can say is that it can be very difficult to find a proper voice for a character, but you’ve got to try.

Another thing is pacing. You’re way, way too fast. I’ve already touched on a lack of description, but in some places, the time-line just becomes confusing. Mainly, this is before Rarity is turned, after the first hard scene break. You skip through an entire week with just a few paragraphs, giving us little indication as to how much time passed exactly or what, exactly, happened during that time. The gear shift is sudden enough to be jarring. A time skip like you’ve got there can be pulled off without a problem, and is actually the right thing to do at that point in the narrative, but you should put more into it, make it clearer and more gradual.

The biggest conceptual problem I have with this story is that I don’t feel any reason to it. I don’t see what it’s “about”, not in the sense of the plot, but general theme. As I’ve read it, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was just dark for the sake of dark, and I don’t think that you can make a good story that way. You may argue with me on that account, but that is my opinion.

You’ve said that this was based on dream, which is a pretty good source of inspiration, but dreams themselves don’t make for good stories. You need to go deeper. Ask yourself questions about this story, about what made you want to write it or why you had that dream in the first place. Try different things, experiment; see what works and what doesn’t. You really need some flesh (substance, in the form of characterization and description) and soul (depth) to this story. So, expand.

I know that this is a pretty negative review, but please don’t be disheartened. I can see that you’ve got the seed of a story in here. You need to work hard on your execution to make that seed grow into something. Take my advice with however much salt you believe it deserves, and do read up on theory. You’ll get better so long as you strive towards it. Keep writing.

CLAIM: The Wanderer's Wife by ARBPW 4074

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Don't worry, Nietzsche. I've got this one. ARBPW, expect a review within a week or so.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4083

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What makes this even more awkward is that my counterpart (which is so transparent it's laughable, but I have my reasons) is usually the only one who reviews reviews, and isn't very good at it at that.

>Before reading

Yeah. As much as I like to read dark, I definitely have a looser grasp on it than I'd like, and I'm still struggling with the synopsis.

>telling a lot

I was afraid of that. I think some tell is inevitable for this writing style, but I wanted to challenge myself–to step outside my comfort zone of third person limited in past tense. I suppose I could shift from present tense to past, but I really like the 1st person feel for this, especially since that's how I experienced the dream.

>POV character lacking characterization

That's another problem I was afraid I'd run into. I should tell you now that it's a kitsune, and though I'm fascinated by them, not a whole lot is known about them. They were legendary japanese fire spirits that lived in the forests, and took the form of a fox. They were illusionists and cunning tricksters, with antics ranging from harmless pranks to malicious destruction. This particular fox is enjoying tormenting Rarity and Spike, but really just wants the power within them, so that he might gain an extra tail. That was a subtle point, so it's forgivable if you've missed it. The more tails a kitsune had, the more powerful they were, so that's it's motive.
I was nervous about it, because kitsunes are japanese legend, and most myths and legends in the mlp universe are greek. But that's the dream I had, and I hadn't remembered any dream so vividly before, so I wanted to write it.


It was a dream. Sue me I'll work on that, but that was actually how the dream went, and you don't tend to dislike these kinds of things while you're asleep.

>No reason to the plot

>Dark for dark's sake
Yep, I figured you'd say that. As I said, the reason is very subtle, and almost not there. The problem here lies in humanized reason trying to be put into a misunderstood, nonhuman legend. It just doesn't work. The narrator actually is just being cruel to be cruel, because it amuses him. He chose Rarity because she takes gems, but he really just wanted to imprison somepony and take their power. He also enjoys tormenting ponies.

>negative review

Are you kidding?! This is great! I'd actually be worried if you had nothing bad to say. (in which case I may have actually attempted to solicit an Ion-Sturm review, or better yet: The Samurai.) As you've just said, it's a seed of a story, and it need nurturing. Like a child, it can run too far in the wrong direction without careful discipline, which is most of the part you play. Thank you very much for this review. I'll see you in doc.

Claim: Twilight's Odessey Croswynd 4085


I'll be done with it by tomorrow at the latest, mate.

Review: Twilight's Odyssey by DemPonies Croswynd 4096

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So I took the time to read through the first chapter, to prepare myself for this second, and I found myself very intrigued. The alternate history you have here is rather interesting and the small hints you gave us with the crystal ball in the last chapter are wonderful carrots to hang in front of a reader’s face. With that in mind, I’ll descend into your second chapter and point out all the things I find incorrect, unusual, or stylistically different from my own writing, for comparison and perhaps even correction, should you agree. I’m sure there won’t be much, as it seems what you have written is wonderfully done so far.

“A drawn out pause started as he awaited a response. "I always read a lot, Dad," Twilight said, as if stating the most obvious thing in the world.”

Now, when I write, I always make dialogue its own paragraph. It’s what I’ve always been taught and what most books do, as well, especially given the added prose that comes after the dialogue you have here. If it were just the dialogue after “A drawn out pause”, then it would be alright, but the combination here is enough to jar the reader. I noticed you’ve done this same thing a few times in the last chapter, so it’s ultimately up to you, but I feel a new paragraph starting with the dialogue would improve flow.

“"That's actually what we wanted to talk to you about," her mother cut her off.”

With the em dash (love you for using it, by the way), “cut her off” isn’t strictly necessary, since the em dash already implies that. I’d change this to “her mother said sweetly” or something similar.

“"You're quite welcome, Twily," he replied, as he gently patted her head.”

Since you’re obviously an experienced writer, I’ll take the time to nitpick more than I would in other reviews. I believe the flow here would be better served to replace the “, as” with “and” or just removing “as” entirely. The comma acts like a pause, which is somewhat jarring for me to read with “as” following.

“Her voice sounded dejected, as if some final, irreversible threshold had been passed.”

I’ve had a criticism on my own work; it’s regarding giving too much information when an implication would do just as well. Now, I’m not entirely sure this is unnecessary, since I like it, but I’m also the one getting the criticism in the first place, so I thought I’d mention the same for you here. Her sigh and drooped head imply already that she’s sad and a threshold has passed. What you have here is just fancy fluff repeating what’s been implied. Take it out, or do not; it’s your choice and, I imagine, an ultimately stylistic choice.

“"Goodnight, Twily! Try not to stay up reading for too long," her father said before joining his wife by the door.”

The last bit of this sentence implies they’re just standing by the door, instead of leaving. I’d recommend “following his wife out of her room.” or something like that.

“With Shining's hooves and what felt like a spinning head on her shoulders, she jerked her head up and down a few times in an effort to nod.”

So I understand what you’re saying here, but it comes out rather awkward. I was reading through it and my brain caught on “felt like a spinning” and I had to re-read to make sure if you had missed a word or not. Perhaps “She jerked her head up and down a few times in an effort to nod, a difficult task with her mind spinning like pegasian whirlwind. Shining’s hooves on her shoulders felt like the only thing keeping her grounded.” Eh, it’s rough, but I’d say change what you have to something easier to swallow.

“With one arched eyebrow, he eyed her up and down, scrutinizing her.”

“Eying her up and down” and “scrutinizing her” are uncomfortably similar. I’d use one or the other, personally, not both.

“Twilight made her best impression of a nod again.”

Perhaps “gave” would be better than “made”?

“Shining gave her a long, hard look. "Okay…" he finally said, slowly releasing his hold.”

Here’s another example of that dialogue thing I mentioned earlier. Your choice whether or not to change it as suggested before, but I will say this one is less of a problem, since Shining is the subject all the way through the line.

“"What was that for!?" she growled.”

Ah, what did he do? Did he shake her at the beginning and that’s what made her head spin? I definitely didn’t understand that to be the case reading through so far.

“This time, Twilight shook her head. "No, that's not it," she said. "I would love to study magic at the Academy!"”

You missed the “l” in love for italics here.

I'd like to take a moment to say this whole section between Shining and Twilight is rather confusing. It's only through backtracking and guesswork that I can put together what happened. Shining Armor, who is either feigning his ignorance or is actually unaware about the exam, which is strange considering it was his idea. I'd also like to note that the scene change is bizzare. Where exactly are they? I thought they were on the day of the exam. In fact, there's nothing that says where they are at all. The scene break in particular implies that some time has passed.

"Shining snickered for a bit."

Take out "for a bit".

“"Don't you worry, sis." Shining placed a gentle hoof on her shoulder. "According to the pamphlet, you've still got two more weeks before the exam," he said, glancing at the still-floating piece of paper.”

I have to admit, this dialogue, then prose, then dialogue, then prose is grating on my nerves. It’s pulling me out of the story each time. It might just be me, though, but I don’t like it. I prefer the normal dialogue & prose or prose & dialogue approach to writing, rather than alternating between the two in the same line multiple times.

“"Just… t-two weeks," she repeated, with a single upraised and twitching eye and a slightly slackened jaw.”

I’d replace the first “and” with a comma.

“Shining bit his lower lip and looked to the side, obviously unsure what to do. "Tell you what," he finally said. "How about this: after you've studied a bit in the Academy, I'll teach you how to form barriers during my next leave. In the meantime, I'll help you pass your exam."”

I’d like to mention at this point that you don’t need to put “he said/she said” after every line of dialogue. For instance, in this case, taking out “he finally said” completely would improve the flow. I leave it to you to correct or not correct throughout the rest of the story, where similar occurrences happen.

“Realizing her parents were waiting for an answer, Twilight woodenly nodded.”

Another nitpick, but I’d use “nodded woodenly”, instead.

“ "Here, Twily," he said, handing it to her. "Show this to the guards by the gate"—he nodded towards two armored stallions standing by each side of the entrance—"and they'll let you through. Follow the path all the way to the entrance."”

Here’s a point where the subject of the paragraph shifts. I’d recommend making this part its own paragraph, due to this. A friend of mine recently put it as “one actor per paragraph” and I think that’s a dandy explanation of it.

“"Well, what are you waiting for?" her father asked. "Run along, scamp! We're counting on you." Twilight frowned, but, just as she was about to berate him, she saw his big, warm smile and beaming eyes looking down on her.”

The same as above.

“With a straight back, head held high, and chest stuck out—a stance she had often seen her brother make when confident—she decidedly turned around and marched away.”

“decidedly” sticks out here. Recommend removing.

“"Break a leg, Twily!" her father shouted from a distance. Determined not to falter, she didn't look back, for fear that she wouldn't be able to carry on if she did.”

One actor per paragraph!

“It smells like the… flower shop?”

I think you should put “the” on the other side of the ellipses.

“She quietly cleared her throat before raising hear head high. "My name is Twilight Sparkle," she said as articulately as she could. "I was told to give you—"

“hear” should be “her”.

“Left to her confusion, she shook her head slightly, pushing it aside, and pressed forward again."

Review Continued: Twilight's Odyssey Croswynd 4097


The way you worded this, it sounds like she pushed aside her head, rather than the confusion. Recommend rewording for clarity.

“As she kept moving, the smell became all the more conspicuous until it all but overwhelmed her. “

Two “all” in close proximity is a bit cringe-inducing.

“In its turn, the grass was sprinkled with patches of various kinds of carefully groomed bushes and flower gardens, each with its own color scheme.”

I’m not familiar with the phrase “in its turn”. Is it incorrect or does it mean “Meanwhile” roughly?

“One of them raised a sabre almost his own height up towards the sky while another looked as if it was in the middle of a pirouette, balancing on one leg.”

I wasn’t going to mention anything about “his”, but you called another statue “it” right after, so I recommend using “it” for both, or the gender identifiers both times.

“"Thanks!" Twilight waved to the guards. Neither of them made any effort to reciprocate. That's alright, she thought, I'm going to assume that's guard-speech for "you're welcome". Still, I hope Shining won't become like that after he's… Twilight stopped for a moment before she promptly picked up the pace.

I know it's a short sentence, but "Neither of them…" should be its own paragraph, both because of the one actor per paragraph and because it emphasizes it better for the reader, who may skip over non-dialogue portions. It's funny and deserves to be read, I think. Also, make the thoughts she has its own paragraph, as well.

"It didn't take long until she heard chatter coming from down the hallway."

Personally, I'd use "It wasn't long before" rather than "It didn't take long until". The way you phrase is feels awkward to my mind. But perhaps that's a difference between English and American English? Dunno, your choice to change, as ever.

"After a moment's hesitation, during which the fillies and colts looked back and forth between each other, the other's followed suit."

"other's" should be "others".

""Take a seat," said the stallion. Twilight, and everypony around her, simultaneously fell to the closest chair with a loud thump."

One actor per paragraph!

"Most were frozen still, like scared deer."

"frozen" implies "still". I'd remove "still" or replace it with "stiff", if you have to have something.

I'd like to take this opportunity to compliment you on your prose. It is wonderful to read through. Your similes and metaphors work in tandem with the bare bones of the sentence in a way I wish I could replicate myself. It all feels so easy reading through it and the sentences are all varied enough so I don't feel as if I'm reading the same sentence over and over in different situations—a problem I seem to have myself. You're a wonderful writer, I'll say that sincerely. Your descriptions are vivid and beautiful, a fact I'm rather jealous of.

Your dialogue, though, still feels a bit wooden at times, but it works for the most part so it's little more than a passing irritation every now and again. I've especially liked the characterization of the guards and this new professor. They're fun to read.

"Twilight exchanged a glance with her mom before they both followed her dad, still with his muzzle down in the map, out the entrance."

There's an errant space between "mom" and "before".

"The only response was the usual scribbles from the examiners' clipboards. That's it? Was it that obvious that I was going to fail!? She gave a deep sigh. Maybe I wasn't meant to go to the Royal Academy… Maybe it was hopeless to begin with…"

"That's it?" has an errant "T" not italicized.

"The Princess gave a small, almost silent, gasp, while Blueblood simply snorted in response. "Are you daft!?" he asked. "There hasn't been a dragon attack for generations, and if there ever was one, we would have prior warning!""

Make Blueblood's part its own paragraph, even though he was mentioned in the previous sentence. The Princess was the main actor for that line.

"Before Blueblood got a chance to respond, Princess Guinemare rose from her throne. "I, too, think it odd that something so big could find its way to the castle without me knowing," said said. "But I trust you wouldn't barge in here in such a hurry unless something is amiss, so I will give you the benefit of a doubt.""

"said said" should be "she said"

""Lord Minister Fancypants." She acknowledged him, and he raised his head."

If she's acknowleding him by her words, it should have a comma. If by her actions, give us said action.

So ends my review, and I must say, a fantastically fun story to read through. I originally picked your story for a review because the synopsis was fascinating. It turns out that the story matches and exceeded my predictions for my entertainment. Overall, I'd say this is ready for EqD if it hasn't already been posted (a fact I would find hard to believe).

Most of my "corrections" are little more than nitpicks, but I do hope they're somewhat useful to you, if for nothing else than food for thought. The story flowed wonderfully, with, again, lovely descriptions. I must admit I don't want to like it, simply because it's better than anything I've written, and I originally attributed the popularity on FiMFiction to its use of Twilight Sparkle as the main character.

I'm happy to report I was wrong on the last count. You definitely deserve the popularity, Twilight nonwithstanding. Your prose is something I could fawn over and was a pleasure to read. Your dialogue, like I said, was a bit wooden at times, especially the interactions between the family members, but everyone else's, such as the Princess' and Blueblood and such, were great. Thank you for giving me a story that not only wasn't a chore to read through, but one I actually enjoy.

Please continue as you are, though I hope you don't take as long as I to update a chapter. ;)
This post was edited by its author on .


Thank you for being such a sport! Seriously, seeing your positive reaction to my review made it worth making.

The most important piece of advice I believe I can give is that you should take some time to distance yourself from what you have already written and think on it from a different perspective. You keep saaying that this was a dream, but translating it directly into a story is most likely a mistake. Paradoxically, trying to tell exactly what happened—either in real life or in a dream—is the least likely way to produce good fiction. Novelist Janet Burroway writes that "To the extent you want to capture 'what really happened,' you remove your focus from what will work as narrative."

If you'd like to discuss your fic some more, I'd love to chat with you on IRC or in doc. Just set the time and place.

Review acknowledgement 4109

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Thank you for your very helpful and speedy review! I'll keep what you said in mind both in my future writing and when I go back to polish what I've already published. Especially the "one actor per paragraph" thing. Something I've heard of before, but I guess haven't incorporated into my writing-style yet. Thank you! :)

>I'd like to take this opportunity to compliment you on your prose. It is wonderful to read through. Your similes and metaphors work in tandem with the bare bones of the sentence in a way I wish I could replicate myself. It all feels so easy reading through it and the sentences are all varied enough so I don't feel as if I'm reading the same sentence over and over in different situations—a problem I seem to have myself. You're a wonderful writer, I'll say that sincerely. Your descriptions are vivid and beautiful, a fact I'm rather jealous of.


I'm very glad you've enjoyed the story. Again, thanks a lot for your review! :)

Review Request: Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Panther of the Bluebloods 4111

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Tags: [Adventure][Random][Comedy]
Word Count: 21000
Link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5gI-CcsIkUEQWk3anE4cTJhYlk/edit?usp=sharing

The Sequel to my previous effort that Writer's Block helped me with. >>3461
Now that it's predecessor is once again in the EQD queue it's time for me to clean up this story and bring it up to the same standard.

Prince Blueblood is being haunted by visitations from a giant spectral Panther, a creature responsible for the murder of one of his ancient ancestors.
Now the Prince is worried about what the panther intends to do to him, but nopony else wants to help him.

Desperate, he takes the advice of a trusted relative who suggests that he take the case to Equestria's only Discordian Detective. The only pony willing to believe him, for a reasonable price.
This post was edited by its author on .

REVIEW: The Wanderer's Wife by ARBPW 4127

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I struggled with a review for this story for quite some time, as it certainly cleared many of the hurdles of which most fanfics run afoul.

Every time I dove into the tale, though, there was a growing uneasiness. It was akin to a sense of dread, not from the material itself, but from its construction. It was an itch that made it hard to concentrate on the story itself.

I was finally able to put a harness on it tonight, although I do not have a name for it.

But first, let me tell you where the problems aren't.
Characterization! Sepia, Starflash, Honeysuckle, etc… they all want something, have their likes and dislikes, and interact well. This is well done.
Grammar! Internally, no complaints. On the larger scale, though? Well, see below.
Spelling! No issues here.
Pacing! Again, no major issues.

No, where it seems to fall apart for me is in its inherent construction. Allow me to elaborate with a few examples. It's hard to explain otherwise.

>She listened with great enthusiasm to the lecture she was receiving on the former, and she could see the latter beginning to fall gently and gather on the ground outside the window next to where she sat.

You took the concepts you wished to present, and then you ran with them. And you ran a bit further. And a bit further than that. And then you kept running. This could be rephrased in a manner that would flow better to the reader:

She listened with great enthusiasm to the lecture on the former. As it continued, she could see the latter beginning to collect outside.

Your mileage may vary. But this could have easily been two sentences and, if built in that fashion, retain the attention of this reader. Let's continue. A few lines down:

>"Miss Stripes, would you kindly awaken the lazy boy to your left?" the elder asked sternly. "I don't think he is going to learn much about Canterlonia when his mind is frolicking in the land of the lazy, is he?"

The elder is interrupting his lecture - and Stripes' focus - but we don't even know he's speaking until the first sentence is complete. It doesn't carry the urgency or irritation that the elder seems to intend. Slightly modified:

"Miss Stripes." The elder peered towards the back of the room. "Would you kindly awaken the lazy colt to your left? I don't think he's going to learn much about Canterlonia in his sleep, is he?"

As one last example, we have this:

>“Don’t you think you’re a little old to be playing in the snow?” he asked with a grin. Sepia turned away from him and began to walk towards the fountain. “Hey, you’re not mad at me for napping during the lecture, are you?” He got his answer when Sepia shot him an angry glare.

There's nothing to break the scene or communicate the actors. You have Starflash speaking, then Sepia acting, then Starflash speaking again without attribution, then an answer from Sepia from Starflash's pov. It makes for muddled parsing, and this reader loses track of who's doing what without going back and teasing apart the paragraph.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is this. I've read through the story, through the five chapters you asked for review, and while the plot is comfortable, the pacing good, and the characterization fairly thorough, these sorts of problems are inherent throughout the work.

Some other minor points:

Onomatopoeia. I'm not a huge fan.
Thesauritis. It doesn't feel intentional, but there are a great many places in the work where ALMOST the right word is used. It's jarring, and drops me out of the story.

Anyhoo, please let me know if I can clarify anything. I look forward to additional chapters.

Review acknowledged: The Wanderer's Wife Arbpw 4132

Well, it took a while, but after sending it to the Training Grounds three months ago it's finally been reviewed. Thanks Snarkle. =)

Claim to review reviews in response to claims to stories requesting reviews Filler 4147

I'm planning on getting to Rodinga's and 25's *'d reviews this weekend**. I'd do CartoonGeld's as well, but since I can't comment on a review without first reading the story, and CartoonGeld appears to have reviewed a crossover of a story I'm not familiar with, so I don't think I'm qualified to comment on that. Unless he wants me to.

**This'll probably take a while, since I have to go over both story and review for both reviews. Expect the review of reviews some time in the next month, Rodinga and 25. Hopefully, I don't let you down.
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Awesome. Thank you for taking the time, Filler!
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Review Request: The Syndicate 4208

File: 1361115279428.jpg (81.16 KB, 894x894, The Syndicate.jpg)

Title: The Syndicate
Author: Bok
Tags: [Slice of Life]

Synopsis: Equestria's great crime ring is run by the most unlikely of gangsters.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MPHwD2H6KU_KSeUE8EeV7zgzbJcbeU6hZRBGbDwe4As/edit [Feel free to comment on the document]

Long story short, I need a grammar bolshevik. The EqD reader said he really liked the story itself, but pointed out a few problems that I simply cannot find.

Suggestions in the story itself welcome as always.

Any of you brave, handsome readers willing to take on this task?

Claim: Just Wait Till The End... 4209

Ever felt that you're not doing enough? I think I can manage a review a week, especially if it's short. And why do I always keep taking the dark ones?

Anyways, claiming this. It might take me up to a week, but I'll try to be as thorough and constructive as I can. Hopefully, I won't disappoint you, WB.

Tiger 506 4218

Synopsis: Follwoing the attempted invasion of Equestria by the Changelings, and the
near loss of the Crystal Empire, Princess Celestia feels that the Royal Guard needs a weapon capable
of flighting off any future attempts, instead of solely relying on the Elements of Harmony.
Following the theft of this new weapon, she calls upon a retired division of her guard to rise up
to the challenge. But without knowledge of what the weapon truly is, or its true purpose,
the commanders of the division set out to build their own from scratch. But time is running out.
Chapter 1: Fond Memories
Chapter 2: The New Deal
Chapter 3: The Burden of Loyalty
The pre-readers of Equestria Daily said:
Issues with comma use, compound word hyphenation, and capitalization.


I had absolutely no familiarity with the crossover either, so I don't think that would hamper your ability to critique my review.

However, you do have a lot on your plate already with the two promised reviews of reviews and if you still prefer not to because of your unfamiliarity with the crossover material, I would not want to inconvenience you. If you would like to review it, I would value your opinion, but certainly do not feel obligated to do so.

Review Request: Second Chance 4247

File: 1361228594484.png (133.33 KB, 500x500, 1306008511488.png)

Title: Second Chance (WIP)
Author: Kazune
Word Count: 1660
Tags: [Slice of Life]
>not sure what other tags would fit

Synopsis: The peace in Equestria is based on hidden laws. Laws that are needed to protect the innocent and give the guilty a chance to atone for their crimes by receiving a second chance. These are thoughts of a single pony from a group of few ponies tasked to help the Princesses in keeping the land of Equestria in its utopian state.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bRhP1BHVIaZftVumrBx-8JMtfaEIYO4Bii1_qKRt7VM/edit
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I Am Not Afraid 4253

Synopsis: Everypony has something they're afraid of. Maybe it's heights, maybe it's the dark. Maybe it's expressing your feelings to the one you love. Maybe… it's even yourself. But when you finally learn to conquer your fears, you learn that there's nothing that can stop you anymore. You can rise up to do great things. You can be courageous.

Tags: Shipping

Comments: I remember finishing this fic a long while ago. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to rewrite and actually make Nova feel more real. I would just like a general opinion on my writing.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/84558/i-am-not-afraid

Chasing Clouds 4255

File: 1361348653874.png (158.89 KB, 900x684, 90896__UNOPT__.png)

Requesting Pascoite, please.


FimFic: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/19352/chasing-clouds

Ch 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19DOFZg9TVWZCSxwpJ5WNbdReF7fXAqMuzN2OebyCCfg/edit?usp=sharing

Ch 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18MyeZdq_REBGGRvnTymSVHpt69zxPpBuCyEmzPP9xAo/edit?usp=sharing

Synopsis: From first love to disapproving parents, from school dances to discovering the difficulties of living together, Cloudchaser and Flitter embark on a journey together that will last them a lifetime.


Hey real quick. I opened this up to see if you'd made any major changes, but immediately I noticed this:

>Flitter put a hoof to her mouth and whispered into Cloudchaser’s ear, "Hey, I think you’re mane is awesome.”

Okay, partially my fault, I forgot to point this derp out to you when I wrote up your review, but you're better than this.
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SwiperTheFox 4257

File: 1361395165553.jpg (69.13 KB, 791x716, Rarity_flinch (My Little Pony)…)

This is kind of a weird request, but…

There are these two fics that I'd like feedback on. I'd love to improve them and flesh them out. There's a big issue, though.

They're autobiographical. That is: these are stories about me, my life, my problems, and so on. That doesn't just make it hard for me to revise them and expand them– it makes me feel sometimes that I want to just wash my hands of them because of how painful the experience was of writing them.

So, while I see criticism, I'm wonder if that's a horrible mistake since I will naturally be hypersensitive to such things. I'm not sure what to do.

What do you guys think?

Anonymous 4258

I think you already poisoned the well and quite likely will not receive the help you would have wanted naturally because the reviewer/pre-reader/proofreader/whatever will be focusing on the fact it is your story rather than it being a story to help with.

Anonymous 4259

You're someone with known talent and ability. While it might be a pair of stories very personal and important to you, if you can separate those personal feelings for just a little while, and let people give you constructive critique, and work on them from the standpoint of crafting them better as stories, in the end you will have things that you will be much more proud of and be able to look back on for a lot longer than the time you had to swallow your pride for.

Unless the stories are well known and every reviewer here has seen them it would be fairly easy for the author to ask for a critique anonymously in a reviewer thread and remove their name from the documents they present to them.

Tactical 4260

SwiperTheFox 4261

File: 1361398385852.png (93.95 KB, 917x870, Fabulous_Rarity_by_swoop_oster…)


Well, yeah, I guess I probably will put them into a Google Document and share them soon-ish. Not that this exact moment, but very soon. I'll use another name, and it should work out since that will let me psychologically distance myself.

>You're someone with known talent and ability

Awwwww, thanks!~

Claiming "Chasing Clouds" by Azusa 4262

Claimed, then. I've got a couple other things on my plate, so I can't guarantee any time frame other than sometime within the next two weeks.


File: 1361402408656.png (203.54 KB, 442x531, Twilight131324707073.png)

>within the next two weeks.
That sounds reasonable.

Request Review: Secrets of the Ancients 4266

Title: Secrets of the Ancients
Tags: Dark, Adventure
Word Count: 4885
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/85055/secrets-of-the-ancients
Synopsis: A lost civilization rediscovered, the past holds many secrets. But sometimes, the past is better left buried. When shadows loom, can what's been lost save the future? Only time will tell as Twilight and her friends team up with Equestria's sword, the Centurions, to explore what could very well be their downfall.

So this is just the first chapter in what I intend to be a relatively longer story, probably over 100,000 words. What I'm mainly after is a critique on plot and style. Does the universe I'm setting up interest you enough that you would want to see the next chapter? Of course any and all advice is appreciated. Thank you for your time and I do hope you enjoy.

Edit: So yeah, I've been doing some recent pondering and decided to change a few things. Firstly the name of my story is now going to be "Revelations" or some variation like that. Also the description of my story is changing slightly: "A long forgotten civilization, the past holds many secrets. When shadows loom, can what's been lost save the future? Only time will tell as Twilight and her friends discover long forgotten knowledge. Sometimes though, the past is better left buried."
And lastly I'm going to be modifying a few small details in the story, nothing that looks major but still hold significant impact on the overarching plot.
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I need something to review and I can't decide Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4267

File: 1361441073356.png (500 KB, 793x919, Really.png)

As somepony with multiple stories in the unclaimed request list I know what it's like to wait. I also know I owe the thread a review and a couple more for good measure. But I just can't decide.

So I'm going to let other people choose for me.
But first a caveat: I'm not confident enough in my grammar wizardry to do major editing jobs.

That said, hit me. include a link to the original request and a quick reason why I should read it. It doesn't have to be your own, it just needs to be unclaimed.

I shall await responses while singing the doom song.

Filler 4268

You could go with the one that has a karma claim on it. Tiger 506 by CaptHyatt. You can find it with Ctrl+f.

Tactical 4269

>karma claim

Hooray, I got that phrase to stick!

Anyway, what with my queue having nothing but Unmarked in it, I guess I might pick something up from TTG sometime soon.

Claim + Review of "I Don't Feel the Same" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 4282

File: 1361512785447.png (77.35 KB, 466x448, welp.png)

>le queue

Oddly enough, I've actually read this one before, so this should be quick.

…and so it was. Review below.

Let me suggest why the pre-readers wanted the outline. A possible answer is because nothing much actually happens in Chapter 1; all you do, while important, is introduce characters. I know this is just the beginning, but if that's all you're going to give your readers, it's no wonder if they don't stay interested enough to follow. In other words, this needs to be published only when you have chapters 1, 2 and 3, because that's when stuff actually starts happening and the conflict is revealed.

That much being said, this strikes me as the kind of story that would do much better as a 10k+ oneshot rather than a multi-chaptered thing. See, having chapters gives your reader more opportunity to jump ship. Personally, I'm a lot less likely to stop reading a oneshot after a few thousand words of setup, rather than a story where nothing much happens in the first two chapters - because in the oneshot, I can see more clearly that there's more in wait.

Tone-wise, it's very slice-of-lifey and slow. This isn't bad in itself, but it weakens the action scenes like the cereal one and the kickball one. I reckon this is largely due to writing style: it's a simple, direct kind of writing. Not much beyond the basic vocabulary, sentence structure is okay, descriptions are minimal and content is largely dialogue and soft actions. There's also a much bigger risk involved: it isn't as engaging as other styles. In short, you're not keeping the reader's mind active enough to be fully immersed. When things happen, they process and try to make sense of it. When not much happens, they fall into some kind of slump.

I'd suggest you increase sensory descriptions in the kickball scene, things like his heart pounding in his ears, sweat dripping down his snout, prickly heat building underneath his mane, to better convey the action, better stimulate imagination, as well as establish Pound more solidly as the central character. See, your narration is rather distant. It tells us things, it shows us things, but it lacks… personality. It could be that I much prefer narration that's at least tinted with the MC's personality - like how a story featuring Rainbow Dash would have similes pertaining to weather or flying, or a story featuring Fluttershy would be more easy-going with pacing and word choice - but that's what it felt like.

Hinting at Bran being a crystal pony in the early chapters would make for nice foreshadowing points. Like how Redstreak might flinch a little when looking at Bran, and Pound asking him what is it and Redstreak replying "Nothing". Or how Bran would avoid the sun aggressively, or have him knock into something and make a strange sound. Get into Bran's mindset and see the world from his view, so that you can create foreshadowing opportunities while making it still realistic and believable.

Pumpkin being part of a bully gang… eh, I guess it could work, though why wouldn't Pound have told on her? He doesn't show reservation in doing that with the cereal, so why would he not have told his parents for something much more important?

Also, the first scene that the bullies show up… Pumpkin would need to be a dick alongside Jade, or else Jade would just come across as stupid, not mean. I'm fairly sure you've got that down already, but it only adds to the question stated above.

Oddly enough, I found grammar to be more or less perfect. Good job with editing on that front.

Otherwise, this has the potential to be a meaningful piece about friendship and ponies, the likes of which are sorely lacking. Just make sure you write more before re-sending, and make your beginning more interesting.

Keep writing.

Reviewing Reviewers Concept Filler 4298

File: 1361562920774.png (87.1 KB, 256x256, lyraskyscraper - Copy.png)

Okay, so at the moment, we have three ways of getting feedback on reviews in here. There's: 1. *-ing your review, 2. writer feedback of review, and 3. another reviewer cutting in on your review. 1. is the most common form of this, since writers don't always know how good a reviewer can be (that's why they're coming for reviews) and 3. only happens when a reviewer is both outlandishly wrong and spotted by another reviewer or passerby who can call him/er out on it. But in the last month or so, only three reviews have been *'d.

As such, I propose the following form for evaluating reviewers on their performances.


Yup. Reviewers gonna get reviewed with this. The idea is that after a review happens, the recently reviewed (or another reviewer) comments on the review. The purpose of this form is to let reviewers know what opinions of them as reviewers are, and to let writers know who to request, with listed reviewers' strengths and weaknesses. All evaluations are public right now, which can be changed later, but that's the way it's set up right now. They're over here:


The top listing is an example of what it'd look like. (Don't worry about the details in that example; I was making stuff up as I went.) Name of reviewer, name of evaluator, strengths, weaknesses, overall rating of helpfulness.

I asked around in #fic for a bit, and a few concerns were raised immediately: Grif said evaluations were open to authors being sour about negative reviews, but Ezn replied that that's what the details on the form are for. Figments has brought up the possibility that reviewers don't want to be publicly evaluated, but in a way, that's kind of what we're doing here anyways.

Of course, this is still in beta stages. Things are mutable.

Opinions, thoughts?

Also, I'll be using this for the *'d reviews as well as posting details in-thread, if you guys (25, Rodinga, CartoonGeld) don't mind.
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File: 1361565306993.jpeg (144.01 KB, 640x480, Writer_Wreath_1.jpeg)

I am liking this development very much. Also, a bit of a shame that the idea didn't even cross my mind before.

I'm hoping that this will greatly increase the quality of feedback we give here.

A spreadsheet doesn't seem like a good way of storing so much text, though. Is there anything else we could do?

FullmetalPony 4301

Hmm, looking over the outline I think I'm gonna put the scene with Jade before the kickball scene. If I do that, I think there will now be more direct incentive for Pound and Redstreak to be friendly to Bram. Looking back, the way I did it before feels a little forced.

I'll also add a little foreshadowing into the kickball game.

As for the one shot idea, I'm not really seeing it. I can see a chapter reduction, but not a full one shot. You brought up the risk of readers jumping due to chapter, but I've found that readers also also scared away by large word counts. Personally, I'm skeptical of touching anything with over 15K. It appears daunting and not something someone wants to sit down an read, now a 5k chapter IMHO seems much more manageable

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 4303

File: 1361574736427.jpg (12.06 KB, 525x375, raven.jpg)

*hugs you* Filler, you've done it again.
It's a shame you didn't come up with it sooner, because I've been flying blind in my efforts to see every *'d review reviewed, and this will definitely be an invaluable tool in guiding a review reviewer. Unfortuneately, I'm taking a break from /fic/ for a while. (Actually, ponies in general) Technically–and by my own rule–I shouldn't even be posting this but., meh.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 4308

File: 1361585321430.jpg (12.92 KB, 205x246, suwako_allofmyyes.jpg)

>Looking back, the way I did it before feels a little forced.
Hmm. Some people might say that, but I just thought it was because Pound's a genuinely nice pony.

>As for the one shot idea, I'm not really seeing it

Fair enough. It's your call in the end. While it's true that people are more wary of large oneshots, I still stand by the assertion that it's better for execution, and they stick much more in a reader's mind.




Overall, good thoughts, so here's my two bits:

Any way we could perhaps tie the reviewed reviews to the list of TTG regulars?

That way, multiple reviewed reviews by a regular are as easy to find as locating and clicking on their name in the list, keeping some of the clutter down by organizing them into little subgroups. People who are not yet considered "regulars" will get a section in the list labeled as such (a "potpourri" section), until they are moved to the list proper.

Also, a couple points on the form:

-Conflicting purpose on two of the questions.

The evaluator's name being left blank is only helpful if it is someone else other than the writer. For, if it were a writer and they left it blank, their anonymity is instantly destroyed by the question of "Is this evaluation in response to a recent review you got?"

Not a problem to start wars over, maybe, but it's something to consider. If this is a matter of making sure reviewers are kept on the straight and narrow, it seems that reviewers of reviewers should be encouraged similarly. If someone is willing to make an opinion, they should be willing to back it up with something other than just the opinion; a name encourages honesty and some degree of personal restraint, and helps keep nattering lunatics from starting smear campaigns with worthless double reviews by putting a little consequence to their choices.

-Number rating system

5 could be a little better worded, I think.

"The writer's ability improved" is not really something in the hands of the reviewer, so much as the writer. A reviewer could make a great review, and the writer's abilities could still not improve by virtue of hardheadedness. Or they could improve by taking very little advice from the reviewer in a strange freak-show accident of luck and legwork.

"The writer should improve" might be better, as it implies more that the reviewer gave them all the tools possible to succeed, than that they are guaranteed success. A good review does not necessarily create a good writer.

Overall, good strategy. Could be a nice tool, if it's used well.

Is this a sage?

Claiming The Syndicate p0n00b 4315

Another MLP-related chan? I'm so new to the internet.

Well, I'm going to claim The Syndicate by Bok (http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html#4208). I think I can have it done by tomorrow evening. I don't have too much on my plate right now.


This is just another gateway to the same queue as the Ponychan thread.

Claiming "Tiger 506" by CaptHyatt 4318

File: 1361599075283.png (428.76 KB, 1000x680, DisQord.png)

Well I asked for suggestions and only got one. So here we are.

Be warned CaptHyatt, I've already given you're work a brief glance and I do not like the look and feel of it.
This review is not going to be nice.

As we get started I'll read your work through and record how it makes me feel, to that end I highly recommend you enable comments in your GDocs.
I will be primarily watching for how the story flows and interests me, I'll use what grammar I have to let you know what's wrong.

First tip: break your paragraphs when the character speaking changes.

I'll be posting your review soon and/or pronouncing doom.

The Syndicate 4321

File: 1361604212194.jpg (81.16 KB, 894x894, The Syndicate.jpg)


Hi, thanks for taking the time to look at my story! I've already responded to some of your suggestions, so if they're gone, then that's why.

Review: Tiger 506 4324

File: 1361618166849.png (353.59 KB, 1055x758, GuardDuty.png)

The pronouncement is doom.

I know I intended to read the entire thing before I started touching on grammar, but I cannot let this stand.
Prepare yourself, I expect some anger will be natural, try to be open to criticism.

Hint: If your rage starts to build up, take look at the picture.
>– Chp 1, Fond Memories –
We’re being formal here, use: “Chapter 1:” or “Chapter One:”
This basically sets the whole tone for the review.

>“Same junk, different day.” Captain Avery Dornier thought as he stood in front of the new recruits. “Good morning, my name is Captain Avery Dornier. Today you start training at Canterlot’s most esteemed training centers for the Pegasus Royal Guard, and home of the 5th Pegasus Division. It is not going to be a trot in the park. As the branching center for the Pegasus Royal Guard, how you perform over the next few weeks will determine where you go.

Here we go:

First: When quoting thought use italics and/or ‘single quotes’.

Second: when ending a thought or speech and describing who is speaking, use this following guide from the EQD editors’ omnibus (which you should read).

✔ "Hi there," the pink pony giggled. (She giggled while saying the words.)
✔ "Hi there." The pink pony giggled. (She said those words, then giggled.)
✔ "Hi there." The pink pony grinned. (The word 'grinned' isn't a 'speaking' verb.)
✔ "Hi there!" the pink pony shouted. (Exclamations and queries replace the comma.)
Take note the commas and full stops, seriously.

Third: You repeat the captain’s full name and title twice and the name Pegasus Royal Guard twice. Redundancy is bad, you’re just wearing out your welcome with your reader.
Instead start by referring to him as “Captain” then give the full name when he introduces himself. As for the Pegasus Royal Guard, introduce an acronym like PRG. Further to this when referring to Pegasuses as a collective it’s best to use Pegasi; this convention is actually based on Latin and is near universal in the fandom.

> Today you start training at Canterlot’s most esteemed training centers for the Pegasus Royal Guard

I see an unnecessary plural, there’s probably only one place the guard gets training regardless of race. It should be: “Today you start your training here at the Royal Guard Training Centre.” “facility” sounds good as well.

> …how you perform over the next few weeks will determine where you go. You could go to escort for the princesses…

The speech here is really dragging on. After the full stop at “go” break the quote and describe the captain doing something captainy, pacing along in front of his troops for example. It’s critical to break up long dialog with physical actions or the reader will feel like they’re being lectured too, they don’t like that.

> I will do my best to make sure you achieve what you want. But that is all I can do.

Replace that period before “But” with a comma, it’s the same breath of speech. As a further point, I suggest reading your dialog aloud to yourself or use text to speech to get your computer to read it to you.

> Take today to get settled in, meet the other recruits, just enjoy the last day of freedom you’ll have,” Avery says winking. “Dismissed.”

Try: “Take today to get settled in, fraternize with the other recruits and enjoy your last day of freedom,” Avery said with a wink. “Company dismissed.”
Any social activity in the military tends to be called fraternization for some reason, use it, your readers expect it.

Also, take note of tense. This is the “Time” in which an action occurs, in most fiction this is firmly in the past while in dialogue it will often be in the present.
For example: Avery says winking. This implies he’s right in front of me winking, not in a story about the magical land of Equestria winking at some poor recruit. This should be past tense unless it’s characters speaking in dialogue or you’re attempting to write in the second person perspective. On that note: don’t write in the second person.
Sweet Celestia; that was only the first paragraph. Also, this was not 400 words, it’s 5,616 words.

Since I’ve covered your greatest errors already I’ll be a bit briefer with the rest.

The second paragraph:
First: it’s far too long, if a look away from my book/screen/hologram I’ll have a heck of a time finding my place again. Those indentations and breaks exist for readability, use them.
Second: We don’t need his life story and his foalhood dreams, that’s going into “Too much information”. Readers will get bored and go play Minecraft (which incidentally I want to do right now).

The Third Paragraph:

First: We have the life story problem again. Just say Aero was from “cold-as-the-moon Stalliongrad.”

Second: This is coming into the show and tell category. Don’t tell the reader, show it to them. Want to show somepony is from Stalliongrad? Say that he has a duller coat with thicker hair to cope with the Stalliongrad winters. A visual description and an origin in one simple phrase, you could replace the entire paragraph with that.

The Fourth Paragraph:

>“Yeah, same as last month, and the same as I will say next month.” Avery responds, shoving his lieutenant on the shoulder.

Try: “Yeah, the same as it was last month and the same as it will be next month,” Avery responded as he gave his Lieutenant a pat on the shoulder.
Shoving suggests he’s pushing his lieutenant over violently with associated anger.

Huh, it seems I’ve only covered the first page. At least we’re getting into some actual dialogue now. Oh for the love of Luna…

Right, this is imperative. When you have two characters talking ensure that you break the paragraph between character changes and make it clear as soon as possible who is talking. I lost track of which guard was speaking several times here. Next, read your dialogue out aloud. There are far too many commas in here and it sounds unnatural.

>“Name one thing in the last year that we have been ordered to do. Other than training.” Avery adds,

Try: “Name one thing in the last year that we were ordered to do, other than training,” Avery added.

Just so you know, the original version is setting off Microsoft Word’s fragment sentence warning.

>“I thought he handled the Unicorn Branch.” Aero questions, following Avery into the administration building. “He does, but remember he is also the captain of the entire Royal Guard… Something that has held us together way more than anypony can see,”

I’m going to chime in on a factual note here: Armor is a Captain. This means that he’s in charge a company with Lieutenants (and sergeants) beneath him handling individual troops. If Armor is in charge of the entire royal guard then the guard must be a small organization about a thousand in number. He’d answer to a Commander who would be in charge of multiple companies (think Commander Hurricane) possibly Celestia herself if she takes a lot of interest in the Guard’s operations. This is consistent with small militaries that belong to small countries or individual cities.
This means Captain Avery is of equivalent rank in a separate division of the Guard. He could tell Armor to mind his own bees wax back in Canterlot. Avery would send his reports to a Commander, to Celestia or to Armour who would compile the report along with his own for Celestia (in which case Armor would be forbidden from changing it).

>“I mean, look! Our budget has been dwindling ever since the divisions reclassification to ‘Training Only.’”

After the exclamation mark you could have Avery toss the reports to the LT for an action break. “divisions” should be “division’s“ we’re talking about a budget that belongs to the division.

At this point you transition into another scene, so I’m going to stop my review here. I’ll wager I went further into this than the EQD Pre-Pre-Reader did. One look would be enough to reject your work.

So here comes my advice:

First: Don’t like the patronizing tone of the review? Tough.

Second: Read the Editor’s omnibus and all the advice pages linked from the top of the Training Ground thread. Read and understand each of them, this is important.

Third: Write Something Else, it’s difficult to rewrite or edit something you have finished recently. Give your mind time to forget this before coming back,

Fourth: Read other people’s work. Now that I’ve pointed out your errors you’ll start to unconsciously and consciously look for them elsewhere. That is a good thing because you need to take
the time to learn by example. I suggest you find something with a five star rating from EQD’s fiction archive.

Fifth: Get yourself a good text editor. Microsoft Word is still the top of the pile, you can ask at your school/office/college to see if they have a volume licence you can use. Failing that get a copy of Libre Office, it’s free. That said none of those will save you from every grammar slip up, they’ll just point out egregious examples.

Finally: It all comes down to you. You could decide to give up or you can pony up and learn what you did wrong so you can improve. Depending on your response to your review I will be judging your character. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

*edit: Some trivia, the number of fragments and errors detected in your story by Microsoft Word was so high it wanted to send a copy of your work to Microsoft to check for false positives. In short, the computer couldn't believe it.
This post was edited by its author on .

A note 4327

>Don’t like the patronizing tone of the review? Tough.
>It all comes down to you. You could decide to give up or you can pony up and learn what you did wrong so you can improve. Depending on your response to your review I will be judging your character. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
You're telling your reviewee to "try to be open to criticism," then proceeding to be condescending. It reflects poorly on your character. Have you ever had a teacher or professor patronize you? If you hadn't, that's why. They know you don't know the stuff they're trying to teach you. That's why you're in their classes. Here, writers may not know the things you're trying to tell them. Please don't berate them for it. (If you had, then you had some shitty teachers/professors and I'm sorry to hear that.)

…Looking across the review, though, it doesn't seem that harsh. Regardless, this:
>Don’t like the patronizing tone of the review? Tough.
is a terrible mindset to have. And this:
>Depending on your response to your review I will be judging your character.
is perhaps even worse. They both make you sound pompous.

I had something written up on why acronyms are bad, but I couldn't put it into words. So I'll just leave it at this: Introducing acronyms for the sake of curbing name repetition is kind of* like introducing descriptions of characters for the sake of curbing name repetition.

*There are a lot of differences, of course, but I can't enumerate them at the moment.

I heavily recommend against using both italics and single quotes for thoughts. Right or wrong, EQD PRs will probably call you on it. (It's a point one can easily defend, but it's horrendously non-standard.) As far as I've looked, I'm not seeing any hard and fast rules beyond "be consistent in how you do it." I've seen books not use anything at all, just commas separating the thought from "he thought" or other such pharases. Italics are still the most common.



I like using nothing at all. I like the slight confusion between italicized direct thoughts vs. telly thoughts i.e. "he was thinking about food."

what's with all the people with terrible attitudes lately? *cough* okay can't claim superiority there with a straight face.
This post was edited by its author on .


I would hope I'm not coming off as pompous myself. If I do, then Rodinga, I apologize. However, I still feel the need to point out: We are not here to judge writers. We are here to judge writing. And even then, we're not good enough to say things like "Don’t like the patronizing tone of the review? Tough"–or so I think, and that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, along with the "I hope to be pleasantly surprised" line. Judging writers only happens in extreme cases, and extreme case or not, we can't act like we're above writers who come to us for review.

But yes, I apologize for my tone.

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4348

You're probably not the only one who needs to apologize. I think I got a bit carried away and decided not to like tiger 506.

So, CaptHyatt: I apologize for the roughness of my review.

and Filler: I apologize to you for rubbing you up the wrong way.

As to the issue of thought:
I prefer to use both conventions to avoid issues of using one alone. I've used Italics on its own before and lost the formatting during transfers between formats, single quotes won't be lost in such a transfer.
However I suspect readers prefer italics so I end up using them as well.

It is a form of dialogue, even without an intended recipient, so it tends toward quotation marks.

However it's also silent and needs to be obvious from the outset that it's unusual, thus italics.

Review Request: Love, Sugar, and Sails DSNesmith 4359

Love, Sugar, and Sails (working title)
Author: DSNesmith
[Romance] [Adventure]
The old saying, "All ships pass through Zyre," is only a slight exaggeration. The zebra slave colony-turned-independent city-state is the key trading port of the entire Ceracen Ocean. The lush jungles and beaches of the Golden Isles are some of the only land in the west with the right climate and soil fertile enough to grow priceless sugarcane, allowing Zyre's economic influence to spread far beyond her beautiful shores.

Tyria Metrel, part of the security team at Equestria's embassy in Zyre, has her hooves full investigating the local group of pirates known as the Pit Vipers. On top of that, a new diplomat has arrived to hammer out a trade agreement between Equestria and Zyre, and he might well be the strangest pony she's ever met. Ambassador Rye Strudel is a pegacorn, a flightless and magicless crossbreed pony, but Tyria soon learns that his disabilities don't prevent the ambassador from getting himself into deep trouble.

Rye's cheerful curiosity and drive begin to stir feelings Tyria thought she'd given up on long ago; at least, when he's not making her tear her mane out in frustration. But when the two of them stumble upon a mysterious plot by the Pit Vipers to seize control of Zyre, they'll have to work together to save the city. And if they're lucky, they might just find love along the way—assuming they don't drive each other crazy, first.

A standalone sequel to "The Age of Wings and Steel," knowledge of said fic not required.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OOiHbgXkMb--UTipVDtBLxeomUZ3wHssx0W-dbDdgz0/edit - Chapter 1

Would love a review of Ch 1. It's still very much a first draft with minor edits done for grammar, etc. Also, because I've never done a TG thread before, how should I go about putting up future chapters? Thanks in advance.

Review of The Syndicate complete p0n00b 4360

'ello chaps.

Just coming to say that I finished reviewing The Syndicate by Bok (http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html#4208)(http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html#4315)

I noticed a lot of your problems were stemming from statements with two clauses separated by ", and". According to The Elements of Style, when two clauses are closely related, the comma is not needed.

There was also some rewording issues that needed fixing. These are things that I'm not the best at offering suggestions for, but oh well.

Bok and I actually communicated through chat and fixed it together, so there's that.

Now, back to my story…


I haven't reviewed in awhile, so what the hay, I'll take this.

*Review: Just Wait Until The End 4367

File: 1361745855334.jpeg (192.29 KB, 640x480, Writer_Waiting_1.jpeg)

So, I’ve finally finished the review of WB’s fic. Sorry that you had to wait so long, but I’ve had some things on my plate this week. Asterixing review because he is best Gaul. Also—this is my fifth review! *toots party whistle*

The usual disclaimer: remember to take all of my advice with a spoonful of salt, as there are no rules in writing, only tools to be used properly. If you follow my advice to the letter, you’ll end up with a story written to my tastes, not your unique vision. Instead, use this review to point yourself in the right direction to improve.


Princess Celestia is berated by her conscious/split personality/outside influence. In a twist, we find out that it takes place just before the Royal Wedding.

Specific Notes:

I’ve commented on most of the particulars in the doc. Here are some more general notes on your fic.

1) First of all: there’s a lot of semicolons out there. I’ve counted ten—on a seven-and-a-half page fic. The semicolon is that black sheep of the punctuation herd—it’s really “extra” (Kurt Vonnegut has said that the only reason to use it is "to show you've been to college") and it’s very easy to misuse. I’m really not good with semicolons, so I would recommend you check in with someone else on whether all of your uses are correct. Or, simply, get rid of them.

2) A thing I’ve touched upon in the doc and provided examples is the presence of pleonasms—redundant words. There are quite a few times when a word can be removed or the sentence reworded for a stronger effect. It takes attention and experience to notice all of those, so my advice is to go through your work again, preferably read it out loud. See where you can get rid of stuff—if it’s entirely optional, then the rule of thumb would be to remove it. This also has relevance to point 3) of the review.

I know that you’ve been adding to the wordcount to pass the minimum, so asking you to exercise word economy might seem counter-productive. My only suggestion would be to expand on the scene you have—add more details, more imagery. I’ll write more on it in point 4).

3) Flow problems, pacing and word choice. There were a lot of sentences that just seemed awkward to me, especially in the beginning (it got slightly better as it went). Some sentences were too complex and long for their own good. I even questioned your punctuation a couple of times, though it doesn’t seem that you have problems in the comma department. Again, read your fic aloud, watch how you pronounce the sentences and try to word them clearly and concisely. Also, there was some questionable word choice in dialogue, both Celestia’s and the intruder’s, which made it sound a little unconvincing. A couple of times, near the beginning and the end, you provide description/exposition that, while fleshing out the scene, break tension due to their placement.

A bigger stylistic gripe I have, however, is that the narration comes off as rather shallow and telly, and least for the subject matter at hand. There were places where you’ve told us Celestia’s feelings outright. There was quite a lot of good imagery too, but I’ve never felt deep enough inside the character, so to speak. If I were you, I’d concentrate on deepening the POV, adding emotion and fleshing out the imagery, making it more show-y. Your fic is a character study, an exploration of inner thoughts, and that kind of subject matter asks for a highly intimate approach to POV. I’m not saying that you should make it first-person, no. But you should try to lower the distance your style puts between the reader and Celestia. This all continues on in point 4)…

4) Plain imagery. You’ve got good examples of comparison and rather evocative imagery, but I feel like there should be, well, more. Both in quantity and in depth. The imagery just feels underwhelming for an introspective fic, where it could have been used with great effect to convey the character’s emotions, the conflict between Celestia and the Intruder and provide more in-depth hints as to the nature of the “voice.” I’ve said most of what I could say about it in point 3), so I’ll just repeat that you should try expanding on the content. That should also help with your wordcount.

5) The Intruder. While I like how it’s never explicitly stated just /what/ the intruder is and the way the conflict between it and Celestia goes, I must admit that, paradoxically, I’ve skipped over most of the Intruder’s italicized dialogue. Firstly, because blocks of italics just aren’t conductive to keeping my attention on the text. But the bigger problem was that, after a while, I could predict exactly what it would say. The Intruder’s dialogue has a set structure (speaking only in questions), but lacks a distinctive voice. All it does is aggravate Celestia by listing her failures throughout the show, so that makes it predictable. It’s communication with Celestia is rather one-sided, at least until she banishes it by getting angry (which was dealt with too quickly, in my opinion). The predictableness is a problem extending to point number 6), a rather subjective and conceptual one…

6) Clichés. You may argue with me on this, but it’s my personal opinion. Seeing how predictable the Intruder’s accusations were made me think about how on-the-surface the issues you are dealing with are. The “Celestia is a failure” trope is rather well-developed in the fandom, and the accusations you throw on the Princess will not be a surprise to anyone, especially considering how they all came from canon events. I am not saying that doing this is bad, but I would have liked it more if you explored those issues deeper, or presented an original take on them. One way to do it would be to explore the theme through an original situation. I’m going to stop myself there, before I start to sound too much like I’m telling you how to write your fic.

7) The Twist. Whatever I say about the ending next, know this: it made me distinctly think about what’s going to happen next and how Celestia would feel after the events of the wedding. That probably means that you’ve succeeded with the effect the ending was supposed to give, so good work on that front.

However, at the same time, I’ve realized that this twist results in a plot hole. We aren’t given any information on when this scene takes place, but, as could be seen in the episode, the wedding was not a discreet event by any means. While external clues can be ignored, I have the impression that the preparations would have an effect on Celestia’s inner thoughts—but she acts completely as if the scene takes place on a regular Tuesday. Another thing to consider is that Shining’s words imply that the scene happens after Twilight’s freakout and I certainly feel like that should have been mentioned. Recent events have a much greater impact on the psyche than the past, and that was certainly something noteworthy. Yet the Intruder speaks only of the past, and no thought whatsoever is given to the current happenings, which seems, at the very least, odd. I understand that you’re relying on this twist, so you can’t simply give away information, but subtle foreshadowing would make the ending far, far stronger than it is now.


The tl;dr is that it’s good, but needs some work both in concept and execution. One thing that I’ve particularly liked and commented on in doc is the interplay between Celestia and the Intruder. I recommend you think more on that angle and expand on it as another “selling point” of the piece, in addition to the ending. One thing you should be aware of, though—be subtle. Very, very subtle.

Now, I’m going to commit a faux pas and do something unprofessional by commenting on the author instead of the work. I’ve read three of your fic so far (A Monologue, Death Doesn’t Like Fiddles and this one) and all are similar in that they are these introspective, single-scene fics with a slightly unorthodox, personal point-of-view that hold all the punch till the end. Nothing wrong with those fics, but don’t you feel like you’re pigeonholing yourself? Going out of your comfort zone, trying out entirely new things is the best way to grow as a writer. Of course, I don’t rightly know you, so you might have 30+ fics entirely different from this mold, in which case feel free to blow raspberries in my direction. Just a bit of tongue-in-cheek advice.

I hope that my review was of help to you, and I’m again sorry for taking so long to do it. Take my advice however you will. Good luck and keep writing!

FullmetalPony 4372

Well I'm sure there's some new problems but I've tentatively been able to cut the story down to 3 chapters. I think I'll have tactical take a look in his thread. Thank you again for the help

Review request 4374

Title: For Candy
Tags: Comedy
Synopsis: Lyra messed up. She admits it. But really, Bon Bon should have been more careful with where she left unguarded bowls of delicious sweets. Now, to set things right and save their 'Night Before Nightmare Night' party, Lyra is determined to search all of Ponyville for replacement candy. Even the untested haunted house designed by Pinkie Pie.
Summary of chapter one and two: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Od5uLctO281ZFOA42Jzd0Gpm_puvK3n-4YWoa9mUzq0/edit
Chapter one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CmhSWaLvPQR_KGl1LzwV-H6sH7T8Ee2ssvSoKEBNqt4/edit 3315 words
Chapter two: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XZlFnuL6CYjFLE1uN_p7nr-7dQ7r0LSrpM8MZKXczR0/edit 7102 words
Chapter three: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Tq8HTAqzJY5exCwBZlY-ox1dJcD51-MDdRJw_NXU0wA/edit 6329 words
Comments: I'm looking for a review of chapter three of my story. I know that reading 10k words to get to a review may be a bit much, so I included a basic summary of the first two chapters. Any comments on the story title and synopsis are also welcome. Thanks in advance.

Thanks! 4375


You did a really awesome job! Also, you mentioned something about a fic called Ruby, but I can't find it anywhere on here. Do you have a link?

p0n00b!/4gd.A55H. 4378


It's on Ponychan. You can also find it in the review request thingy.

Review Request: Twisting in the Sheets 4379

Title: Twisting in the Sheets

Author: HoofBitingActionOverload

Email: [email protected]

Tags: Shipping

When Rarity’s friends discover that she has been secretly meeting with an escort, they begin investigating, and soon discover a web of lies and unrequited romances none of them could have expected.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qjSlNfdYcOYdxC2BTow5rWKBvKgp_Hr__0WzFstfO-s/edit?usp=sharing

Comments: I need someone willing to go through and tear this fic apart, grammar, syntax, style, plot; everything. Thinly veiled hostility is welcome.

acknowledgement of review 4381


Seems like I can never quite get these things quite right. Here is my obligatory defense, feeble as it might be.


I'm thinking I didn't use them wrong, but I might have overused them. Then again, I thought this story was fairly ship-shape, and look how that turned out.

Trimming them down probably would be a good thing one way or the other.


Well, I tried. The original was a lot shorter, and this is precisely what I wanted to avoid when lengthening it. Crap-in-a-hand-basket, this is why people say leave well enough alone.


Well, that's what I was trying to do. Apparently, I seem to either be too stingy or too bloated with words. Or, in other cases, both.



It seems distinctive voice continues to elude me in all of these shorts, and I simply cannot get the characters to stick no matter how much thought I throw behind them. I try to let them stand on their own, and people say they're "under-developed". I go into greater detail and I'm being "telly". Why can't I seem to find the middle ground here?


Well, as you said, it's the ending I was working for.

This is meant to be the start of something greater, with the dark possibilities and implications of one moment serving as our window into what could be a terrible future (if season three were disregarded, as the canon in that sort of screws this over). I didn't think the whole concept so original, so much as what could happen because of such an accumulation of guilt and second-thoughts can do to a mind. Everything builds upon each other, and the further she goes, the more she seems to fail or make mistakes. Things in MLP are laughed off, but every time she does something, it seems to end in conflict or send children into dangerous situations they really shouldn't be able to handle.

Plus, coming up with something that hasn't been done to death in here is like finding a drop of water that isn't wet. I do what I can, but dang it if it isn't almost impossible some days.




Alright, I–


Where was I? Oh, yes.

Well, wish I'd seen that plot-hole coming.

In my defense, I would say that the present is what reminds us of the past. It is because of what is happening now, that she is thinking of what she has done before. Guilt is a slippery slope, with every failure leading to another, and yet another. She does not think of the now as much, because the before is drawing her back along roads best forgotten. The brighter the light, the darker the shadows along its edges.

Also, I would not necessarily say it has to happen after, as it could logically happen before it as well, hence her more casual attitude about the whole thing.

Still, some hints or clues as to the present would probably go quite a ways. I'll have to tinker at it some more.


>Going out of your comfort zone, trying out entirely new things is the best way to grow as a writer.

Well, ironically enough, that's what this was supposed to be when it was first made.

These were me taking themes and characters from my long fic of almost 60k done in third person omniscient (I used to have two of the buggers, but the sequel had to be scrapped when the first was rewritten) which no one gets past chapter 1 on, with one outlying case of chapter 4 and a couple chapter 2s.

I even submitted that thing to two other threads recently, and they imploded. I found reviewers for it before that, think for a brief time I'll get one case of a full read-through, and their lives get turned upside-down not a couple weeks later. I'm starting to wonder why I didn't title the thing "Macbeth" and just get it all over with; the next reviewer will probably get hit by a bus full of rabid donkeys.


Sorry about that, I think my blood boiled a little right there. Not your fault, it's just frustrating that I can't seem to find how to fix what I'm doing wrong. I keep thinking I've solved the problem, or at least taken steps in the right direction, only to find I've either made it worse or replaced the original issue with three whole new ones.

Oh well, I suppose one of these days, I'll finally hammer them out. Just have to keep hitting my head against them. Thank you for your time, opinions, and patience. I suppose it's back to the bench for this one until I can get it walking again.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 4389

File: 1361884452986.jpg (24.47 KB, 156x271, drink.jpg)

To be fair, your piece is particularly subjective to try and critique, due to the unorthodox style. Ask six people for critique and you'll get six conflicting responses, so said Stephen King(?); at this stage, I'm pretty sure you're better off moving on and working on new material.

It's Also About Time 4392

Tags: [Adventure]

Synopsis: In a desperate attempt to thwart the nefarious scheme of a power-crazed sorceror, Twilight Sparkle ends up displaced into the future, where no evil ruler has taken control, all of her friends are alive and well, and everything seems to be just fine.

Full story on googledocs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ey6fgYEaI0809Ewmd04wNr-EVWlT_Bt1vX4cZYTYRbQ/edit

I'd very much appreciate a review on the full story.

I have not submitted to EqD. (I'd like to, but well. You know.)



Agreed. As I said, it is not at 25 that I am upset. I asked for his honest opinion, and he gave it. I am merely frustrated that I still seem incapable of creating the stories I know I want to make, and that I feel I can make, if only I could get past this blasted hump. Still, it is only through experiencing failure that one can keep getting up to spit in its eye.

However, as you have both said, maybe it is time to try branching out a little more. Take a break from these one-shot experiments and finally develop that long-fic to its conclusion, maybe tinker with the sequel a bit. Who knows, maybe I can create some medium fics detailing the backstory behind all of them.

We'll see what we get.

Love, Sugar, and Sails - review 4425

Comments are in doc.

Acknowledging review 4427

Thanks. No arguments except
>change green colors to greens
'Colors' is being used here in the sense of 'flag'. Although upon further research it appears this usage is always spelled with a 'u'.

Edit: whoops, forgot to put my name in the box.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim + Review of "Magic Books, Runes, and a Little Hope" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 4428

In which I am pleasantly surprised despite my initial misgivings.

Okay, I'll be honest with ya, as I'm usually expected to be: I fully intended to shred this to bits when I started. I've seen you kick this around, I've seen others kick it around, and suffice to say, I was expecting something bad. But it wasn't.

Aside from some terribad technical errors - please never ever put direct thought into quotes if you're italicizing them too - the piece actually read rather smoothly. Sentence structure was nicely varied, although you could work on your vocab, since the language used is on the simple side. Dialogue was okay, direct thought was all right, interactions fair enough. Functional, I think the word is: it serves its purpose and doesn't get in the way.

You've managed to present Ghost as a rather balanced character by showing the justification for his sourness. You've also shown him relieved when the time is right. Keep up the rational emotions and you'll be fine, I should think.

There's actually not much I have left to say. I mean, Phantom is pretty ridiculously powerful, and one wonders why he isn't trapped for good like Discord and Sombra were by Celestia. Ghost being able to fend off his attacks is a little questionable, but there's not enough of it for me to poke a hole into. If you made the fight more one-sided - not completely, but more - I think you'd highlight the contrast, and thus more accurately present, their abilities, which gives us an idea of how dangerous Phantom is and conversely how difficult Ghost's conflict will be.

Might as mention as well that Ghostwriter is a horribly unpony name. Seriously. You've heard it a ton, yah? There's a reason for that.

All in all, it's better than average, and while it isn't brilliant, it certainly isn't bad - far from it.

All that's left is to continue. Keep writing.


Derp. Should have posted this in Ponychan (which I did). Ignore this please.

A Wake of Mist and Flame 4434

>>126688 A Wake of Mist and Flame Heliopause




and editing!


Actually just editing. And done!

Updating queued stories 4440

File: 1362106059555.jpg (17.94 KB, 256x256, gentderp.jpg)

It's been a while since I requested a pair of stores in the queue, I've since changed the synopsis of both, removed the shipping tag from the first and the latter has been extended.
So I'd like to update both my entries and probably relink them here as well.

In all honesty I should have improved the synopsis of both of them when I did my last edits, I've requested a review of both over in the synopsis thread and they could be improved further.


Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration
Length: 37,465 (enough to scare away reviewers)
Tags: [Adventure][Comedy][Random] (Romance/shipping has been removed, it isn't heavy enough to need one)
Characters: Time Turner, Rarity, Octavia, Vinyl Scratch, OC's, Princess Luna

G Link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5gI-CcsIkUEUVU0amdoU082WlU/edit?usp=sharing
F Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/45342

Synopsis: Illogical, dishonest and audacious - these describe the methods that Detective Time Turner will use to solve a client's problem by following the trail of chaos to the source.

When a young fashionista asks Turner to find her lost kitten he’ll find himself hunted by gangsters, chased by a lovestruck mare and accused of stalking a pair of fillyfooling musicians. All for a reasonable price (plus expenses).

Status: Currently in EQD's queue. It's passed the initial pre-preread for the first time, kinda proud of that at least.


Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Panther of the Bluebloods
Length: 31,343 (And growing, get in fast before it reaches 40,000!)
Tags: [Adventure][Comedy][Random]
Characters: Time Turner, Prince Blueblood, Shining Armour, OC's, Princess Luna
Guest starring: Twilight Sparkle, Octavia, Vinyl Scratch and Fleetfoot.

G Link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5gI-CcsIkUEQWk3anE4cTJhYlk/edit?usp=sharing
F Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/59778

Synopsis: Prince Blueblood is being haunted by visitations from a giant spectral Panther, a creature responsible for the murder of one of his ancient ancestors. Fearing for his safety Blueblood seeks help, only to be refused assistance from everypony he’s insulted.

Desperate, he takes the advice of a trusted relative who suggests that he take the case to Equestria's only Discordian Detective. The only pony willing to believe him, for a reasonable price.

Status: Still being written, I'd love to have someone look it over before EQD finishes with Kitten. Give the readers something good to go onto.

Chasing Shadows 4472

So… first time submitting a story to this place, and oh boy did it take long to understand how the system here works =P

Title: Chasing Shadows
Tags: [Comedy] and [Adventure]
Current lenght: 7,399 words (Prologue and first chapter)

Synopsis: Armed merely by their Royal Criminal Investigation badges and couple of Pixie Sticks, royal guards Word Wise and Dusk Dancer are ordered to track down an escaped fugitive on the run from the law.

One a unicorn stallion, the other a nocturnal mare. While they may not see eye to eye, they are going to have to learn how to get along in order to bring a convict to justice and to save their jobs as royal guards.

Google link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yua0DZ_ur26Cn1piPKYyFwiCEZfjnHAJmS7gDmcrk6s/edit
FimFiction link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/52988/chasing-shadows#comment/2206975

Latest comment I received from EQD:

1) Comma mis-use in many places.
2) Awkward phrasings.
3) The mare's accent is difficult to read and extremely annoying. Cut down on the number of additional letters and find another way of telling us she's drawing out certain syllables.
4) A guard being fired? That generally doesn't happen. Moreover the mare is tormenting the pony by saying it was a choice between him and a barrel of moonshine? Are you trying to set the mare up as a bit of a prick? You need a bit more setup than that.
5) Don't use multi-colored text.

Me and my team have tried to fix the issues you see up there however I'd like to hear a thir-party opinion on whenever we've been succesfull or not, especially in the case of spot number 2.

Don't be afraid to be harsh with your critique, as we need every bit of help available to make it to EQD.

Sigh. Oops. Made a new thread instead of posting here? 4475

I appear to have screwed up, and posted a new thread instead of listing my fic here for review. Is there any way to move the darned thing? I'm a /fic/ noob. (update: Thank You Moderator!)

(Here's the post – signed, mod)

Author screen name: Georg (at FimFiction.net) Georgfelis here

Email address: [email protected]

Tags: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life

Synopsis - FimFiction "Twilight believes the new unicorn magic school teacher is a pretentious royal jerk. Green Grass thinks the town’s librarian is an interfering, arrogant brat. Can they teach each other differently before somepony gets killed, or worse, married?"

Summary: A comedy in which the Unicorn Magic Tutor who rotates around a 7-school district returns to Ponyville only to make a horrible first impression with the Element of Magic. Things only get worse until even Princess Celestia and Luna get dragged into the misunderstanding, which eventually turns into a learning experience for all of them.

Link to story main page : http://www.fimfiction.net/story/67042/the-traveling-tutor-and-the-librarian

Link to Gdocs of all chapters: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CwjIkgcajHS_VlpG38EUoxzrKE38UAfPZ_w28ZwKCyk/edit?usp=sharing

What I would like reviewed : All of it. (Yes, you may wince in pain now. It's 98k words. Don't worry, it's funny and not dirty (although there's a lot of innuendo))

Comments: The story has been gone over top to bottom by two different proofreaders/checkers, and should be pretty clean by now. I want to submit it to EqD, but with my experience so far, they're going to want me to run it through here first. Yes, I'm aware that submitting a Twilight/OC Rom/Com fic has a very low probability of being approved by EqD. I'm going to try anyway. I think it's that good.
This post was edited by its author on .

## Admin ## 4476

No problem. I've edited in your thread to your post there.

You can also edit your posts and threads afterwards. Just check the checkbox near any post of yours, and then the "Edit" button in the bottom right corner of the page.

If you have any questions or need any help navigating the site or the settings, just let me know!

Review of "Chasing Clouds" by Azusa 4477

Detailed comments in doc.

This is the spot where I'd normally make some overall remarks about mechanics, character, and plot, but I covered everything I wanted to say in doc already. The mechanics were pretty clean, I don't feel I know the characters very well, and the plot needs to be tied together more tightly as well.

Actually, there is a little more I could say about the characters. We spend a significant amount of time in Flitter's perspective. I don't feel like I know Cloudchaser at all. Their interactions are pretty superficial, and I haven't learned anything about her. And the one through whose eyes we see her has fallen in love. That's a big disconnect. And while we do get some glimpses into Flitter's personality as well, she's still somewhat of a mystery. We don't get much insight into her motivations, like her fear of what her mother might think. That hints at some significant back story that we never see. It's the little things like that that make the reader understand the character and identify with her. We need a strong sense of who she is. And as a character piece, making that connection with the reader is what will make or break this story. A lot of that will be forged by show vs tell. Not that you were overly telly, but your showing is too focused on large-scale action and dialogue. It's the details that really carry the emotion.

Keep writing, and have fun with it.
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Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 4478

File: 1362457487931.png (33.17 KB, 174x169, AweSumPony.png)

I'm going to be going on vacation, and so am taking these five stories from the queue for reading material while embarked upon the passenger aeroplane. Expect reviews by the following Sunday or Monday.
⬤ These look like the same thing:
mlpchan: >>4111
ponychan: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#126531

⬤ Featherdance by Azure Spark:
Ponychan http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#126684

⬤ A Wake of Mist and Flame by Heliopause:
Your name sounds familiar… I think I passed by you while Hitchhiking on my way to Aldebaran. Or I might have reviewed one of your stories before. Looks like you're on FimFiction! Either way, Claimed.

⬤ Chasing Clouds with Rainbow Dash by Cloud Chaser (try saying that 15 times FAST!)
The URL of the post doesn't have a number/link in it. Instead… It is a link to a jpeg on imgur with a screen shot of the post number in it. I… I have never before in my god-forsaken existence seen someone work so hard to avoid using Ctrl-C. Nevertheless, I'm too tired and drunk and lazy to do the detective work to reassemble the link to the original post, but at least I have the Google doc link. This might be interesting. Claimed.

⬤ A New World, A New Threat by Boredhooman
This post was edited by its author on .

Thanks for picking those up. 4479

File: 1362474971431.gif (235.77 KB, 281x274, mlfw7539-FillyDerpy.icantstopw…)

> These look like the same thing: mlpchan: >>4111

Thanks for picking those two up Demetrius. I probably shouldn't have posted both, long word counts with the terrible old synopses doomed them to the too hard basket.

I hope you enjoy reading them, in case you're interested EQD just got back to me with the following feedback on the first one.
>Comma misuse: missing commas between dependent and independent clauses, comma splices… this is by and large your worst offense
>Dry phrasing (e.g., your second sentence "It is a city for those who think themselves more important than they actually are in the grand scheme of things.")
>non-hyphenated compound adjectives
>Inconsistent amount of spaces between sentences (ranging between 0 and 2)

I've already started working to fix all that, the primary offender was chapter one and I redid that last night.
I'm not going to insist you spend the next week nitpicking, but if any chapter strikes you as being dry let me know.

And again, Enjoy (that being the entire point after all).


First of all, I wanted to thank Casca for being the editor of my fanfic "Fallout Equestria: Brownies Dawn", as his/her help has been very useful, and I managed to improve a lot since I started writing.

But now that he/she had to drop it because of real life problems, can I ask for another editor on this thread, or should I look somewhere else? I don't know what's the basic protocol, and I'd like to find an editor who can help me fix any grammar mistakes.

I'm not asking for someone familiar with Fallout or Fallout Equestria, just someone who can help me to fix any mistakes I make, since I'm not a native English speaker and grammar is my weak point.


I'm not sure if you got my PM in the IRC last night, so thanks for the review.

p0n00b!/4gd.A55H. 4485

>>4266 (Secrets of the Ancients by UnhinderedBrony)

I'll take this one. Expect a review by Thursday.

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4486

File: 1362551811801.png (459.63 KB, 697x1146, DiscordLikeaSir.png)


As addition to that upcoming review, I gave the story a lookover. Here's my two bits:

First Person Narration:
The perspective switches within the chapter with a big friendly character name.

In my opinion that style only works with a small series of smaller actors on an overarching plot where it all comes together in a large multi-layered story. Which tend to be very long (150K+).

My objection to it in this case is that this story switches too quickly and doesn't build enough on individual characters. I learned this with my own story, in short/medium stories with first person you should endevour to only tell it from the point of view of a single character. That's fairly limiting but it's characteristic to the style.
I suggest sticking to Twilight and have distant events relayed to her by a letter or another character.

Alternatively you could switch to third person omni narration.

The Princesses:
The story switches between them quickly and is slightly out of my normal perception of their characters. For example I could never see Celestia say "No Worries".

Their entire scene would be prunable in my book.

Finally your Synopsis (including your newer one) could use work.
Check this guide by Soundslikeponies: http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3348.html#4484
I found it very useful.

*edit: I noticed you intend to go beyond 100k words. I'd advise against that unless you have a fair amount of experiance under your belt. generally because long word counts are, discouraging to readers and reviewers if they don't think a story is worth the effort reading (more over doesn't have 100+ likes). To put this in perspective I aimed for 35-40k and still had a lot of trouble finding help, you'll have a worse time beyond that.
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>>4480 I can't delete the post, so I'll write here that I found another editor. Sorry for the trouble.

Acknowledgement to Rodinga 4489

Firstly thank you for being the first to comment on chapter 1 of my story, I’ve been waiting in anticipation for this. Now for a few comments that can possibly clear up what the point of this story is to address your points.

I actually do intend this to be almost exactly what you’ve said, and it will probably end up well over 100k words. I realize the plot has been barely revealed in the first chapter and I already intend to change a few things because of that.

The princess scene I was wondering about myself, I intended for it to be character development as the characters in the show get little to none of it, especially Luna, and they will play a somewhat large role in this story, not to mention the fact that this is a darker version of the MLP universe requiring a slight tweak to the Celestia character, though I’ll watch out for too much of it (I’ll look at the specific line you’re talking about and if I don’t entirely cut it see about at the very least tweaking it).

The quick switching is actually somewhat purposeful but if multiple people think it is too much I may cut back and try to develop my scenes a bit more.

My overall intentions for this story are as follows: The plot will be revealed piece by piece, as well as the universe I've set up because while I haven't removed anything I have added to the universe. Throughout the story I'll be delving into the nature of magic and destiny, as well as war and the history of this world (what came before Equestria, how did things get the way they were, stuff like that). The multiple first person perspective really helps with the method of reveal I'm going for though it won't be obvious in the first chapter. I could switch to third if it is absolutely necessary to make the story interesting and readable however I feel it would take away from the impact and intention.

I’m also curious as to whether your synopsis comment is on the original one I provided or the revised one.

I of course appreciate your comments, they’re the first ones I’ve gotten and I’ve been waiting till I got at least one persons opinion before continuing to write. As I side note I would also like to know how you thought I handled my first person writing (not too many I’s, things of that nature). That may be best left for the actual review but I like as many opinions as I can get. Like I said in my post the biggest things I need to know are is my style effective, especially flow wise, and whether or not the plot grabs you enough to make you want to read more than the first chapter.

Review of Secrets of the Ancients p0n00b!/4gd.A55H. 4491


I've got some tests coming up in the near future, so I won't be able to do a full review, but I was able to do the first perspective of your story.

Let's see… where to begin…

The first thing I noticed is that you wrote this in a present perspective. Unfortunately, it really weighted this story down with errors. I read on one of the guides on here (can't remember which one) that 99% of stories are written in the past tense. Writing a story in the present tense should only be done by someone who very well knows what they are doing, and not by a first-time fiction writer. Frankly, I would suggest writing this in the past tense. I don't think it will be that hard; just change the tenses.

As far as grammar goes, you really need to read up on commas. I've found places where you missed commas and places where you put bad commas in. One resource I can suggest is "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. Another source is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/). Read them. They will help you.

I will give you the benefit of a doubt that your show vs tell was okay. However, there was one point where you refer to a pony as a winged pony.


Forgive me the dark undertones, but that was how I was feeling when I read this. I know that a winged pony is a pegasus. I know that you know a winged pony is a pegasus. Anyone that reads this fic will know that a winged pony is a pegasus. Tell it like it is.

Overall, this story could use a lot more improvement. I've only gotten the first perspective commented on, as I won't be able to work on the rest of the story. However, it's better than not being able to do any review whatsoever.

The gdoc that I made can be found here at https://docs.google.com/document/d/13NvHdmd3uloQPn21bcRQ5xPu7Z2dwzZawkfhCv81chk/edit?usp=sharing. I wish you luck on this and future fan-fics you wish to write!

Acknowledgement p0n00b 4492

Well thank you for what you were able to get to.

I'll take a closer look at my comma use, though I've always been of the opinion that in fiction writing grammar comes second to style so long as it doesn't interfere with flow and readability.

I've actually read all the style guides you suggested in addition to others, and while I agree that most stories are written in past tense I don't think that alone is a reason to shy away from present. My reason for choosing present tense is the fact that it will make certain planned events go over smoother, as well as the fact that I love the style, and I don't get to write in it for most of my works, so I find that this is a great opportunity to expand my horizons. However with that said I'll rewrite some of it in past and see what it looks like and if it might work better.

About the one example you presented about why you don't like present tense I feel some clarification is in order on my part… The character is contemplating that time has gone by while another action takes place. It is possible to use past tense as a support verb as long as the main verb of the sentence is still present (even then past is sometimes used in present tense writing as a main verb). In reality which tense you use all depends on whether what is being talked about has already happened or is currently happening, allowing for past and present to be intermixed. It really isn't too uncommon to see a little bit of past tense sprinkled in a predominately present tense story, otherwise it would be near impossible to write much more than a continuous story with no transitions whatsoever.

The whole winged pony thing, easy fix and I see your point.

As for the comment about "the wall of heat" I'm actually drawing from my experiences in the middle east. If you've ever been in 130 degree or up weather, after steping out of an air conditioned building, it actually does blind you. Though it isn't necessarily the heat that directly blinds you, the severe brightness of the sun does. I tried to seperate the two events of running into the "wall of heat" and "being blinded" with the words "as a". I'll reword it to make this distinction more clear though. (It really does hit you like a bag of bricks, especially at first)

When you mention using a better word than "benefit" because it makes a negative sound like a positive, this was on purpose. Its something we in the military do all the time, complaining about another of the "many great benefits" of being in the service sarcastically. It's a way to relieve stress.

I agree that the story needs work and I already have some changes lined up, some even before you looked at it.

Pretty much all of your comments are related to punctuation and the use of present tense. And without doing the rest you won't be able to comment on what is the most important aspect (i.e. story). You seem to be a person who doesn't care for first person present, a lot of people don't and I can't please everybody in this regard, but putting that aside did the story make you want to read more? My big worry is that I haven't included enough of the main plot in this chapter and have spent too much time developing the world as well as character development. The first few chapters are in my opinion easily the most important for a story, because if you don't engage the reader immediately they won't keep reading. In fact this makes the first part of the first chapter the most important. So with that said, I'll reiterate, putting aside your dislike of present tense, did the story at all engage you?
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p0n00b!/4gd.A55H. 4493

I will say that the plot is good. It's just that I think it could be much better if you just did past tense instead.

putting Time Turner on ice Demetrius on Tablet 4495

Sorry, Rodinga. I thought this was going to be finishing-touch proofreading; you indicated it had been reviewed before by Writer's Block. To my chagrin, you have three big problems that occur again and again all over the place:

- Misplaced or absent commas
- Comma splices (two independent clauses in need of a semicolon or break into two sentences)
- Tense errors

Highlighting these problems over and over again is very time-consuming on the device I use for reading.

For this reason, it is taking me substantially longer to get through your story than I originally thought, and thus I must put it on hold if I'm to get to other stories I've claimed. In the mean time, you could run a comb through what you have and eliminate those categories of errors; I've pointed out plenty of examples for you.
This post was edited by its author on .

Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4496

I'd actually held off using the comb because i'd thought you'd be offline at somepoint this weekend. So I was reluctant to make changes you might not be able to see.
I'll see what I can do before you get back to this.

Review Request: The Gray Area 4504

Title: The Gray Area.
Author: Annakavanna
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Dark][Adventure][Human]
Synopsis: Krysta, a human girl, is taken body and soul into the cosmos. So wronged has this girl been, that surely only the deep slumber of death itself could pacify the reach of despair within her.
Ever mysterious, the universe deposits young Krysta into a world without sin. However, one question remains. How can a sinner exist in such a world as this?
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/46879/the-gray-area

The pre-reader of Equestria Daily said this:
Thank you for your submission. However, due to issues with tense consistency, its/it's confusion, and comma use, it cannot be forwarded to the pre-readers.

That was all they said, so I would like to think that is all that is wrong with it. However, what I would like to think isn't the same as what probably is. So! If someone would do me the great service of reviewing my story I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

Request: George Buys A Chair Casca!blANCA/Sq2 4514

File: 1362841142701.png (221.93 KB, 557x407, rahhhh.png)

Howdy TTG. Sorry to do this to ya, buuuut…

Title: George Buys A Chair
Tags: Random
Wordcount: 6.1k
Synopsis: In which George buys a chair, discovers a bomb, and in its construction finds a new side of himself.

Notes: This is an original, non-pony short story. I'm most likely going to ask for second opinions because in addition to improving I want to gauge the effectiveness of this particular style across a range of different readers.

I will be slow to reply due to a sporadic internet connection, so apologies in advance for that. But rest assured that the advice will be received and at least strongly considered.

Review of I Am Not Afraid 4516

Claiming Chasing Shadows 4527


Claiming Chasing Shadows. I'll write a review of it in the next day or two.

Review of Chasing Shadows 4552


A review of Chasing Shadows by Hydkore.

Google Docs link to the review: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iBWf_aXGimY-8dxnf9MEWRpvIRB4-O-5AG8foBovw_o/edit#

Gratitude for your counsel 4568


I cannot express just how muh help you've been to both me and my team; the review you put up was most excellent one and certainly helpfull both plot and grammar-wise, especially for someone like me, who isn't yet that accustomed to English language(and those links will help in future).

But yes, I do indeed need what you call a line editor. I've actually tried to do that in couple of occasions, however no one has turned up… I'll be giving it another chance but I have my doubts. I also might grab myself another pre-reader to just revalue these present scenes.

Interestingly enough, one of the earliest drafts I had for that Word Wise scene was awfully similar to what you proposed: the start is similar but Word would arrive to the yard, only to see the assigment board full of other guards. He'd try to get past them and just when he succeeds, the crowd dispers and the officer responsible for the assigments says there's nothing left. Word would leave with head hanging low, wandering around until deciding to go back to the barracks. On his way, he'd be ambushed by an unnamd officer and offered the RCI job. I ultimately scrapped this as I wanted to introduce the current Silver Spear character and have him be the reason Word gets the job.

But now that you mentioned it… what you proposed sounds actually good. I'll also try to think something to make Dusk's scene better, but I think that'll come by adjusting and adding more dialogue. I in sense could do the same with Sabrine as with Silver Spear, as in having her dislike Dusk, but I think it would be just generally repetative sounding.

Conser the other stuff… I'll be looking through Sabrine and basically nulling her down.

Anyways, I'd just like to say my thanks for being such a big help and hopefully we'll get in contact again.

Review: A Wake of Mist and Flame Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 4580

Request Review, Tabula Rasa 4593

Synopsis: For Equestria's top Cutie Mark expert, Ponyville is a village steeped in memories, not all of which are pleasant. He has avoided returning there for many long years. However, everyone in Equestria has their duties. His are taking him back to Ponyville.

Tags: Slice of Life, Norman, OC Ponies

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90206/1/tabula-rasa/tabula-rasa

Please Review: one-shot

Comment: Thanks. Note: Contains OC Ponies

Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns 4625

Adventure, Romance

After completing Starswirl's spell, Twilight decides to create a research team to discover new magic for the benefit of Equestria. However, her unorthodox recruiting process leaves her with an eclectic and somewhat dysfunctional group of unicorns, including a burnt-out DJ, her old rival Trixie, and a street musician with ulterior motives for joining.


This is hopefully going to be a somewhat lengthy fic, but I only have the first chapter done. If any reviewer wants to continue working with me on this fic over time that would be cool.

Claiming: Tabula Rasa 4626


I can do a review for this tomorrow. I love the Crusaders.

Claiming: Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns 4627


I'm claiming "Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns" by ColtClassic. I should have the review done Sunday.

I've read the first little bit. So far, this is well-written and quite amusing. If I like the rest as much as I like the first scene, I may consider being a long-term pre-reader for it.

Claiming: Twisting in the Sheets 4634


I'm claiming "Twisting in the Sheets" by HoofBitingActionOverload. I'll have the review done by Monday.

I've looked at the first few thousand words or so already. The grammar is almost perfect. I'm only finding a few issues with word choice and clarity. Everypony is in character. This is really a good story so far.

Review: Tabula Rasa 4636

Review: Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns 4638


I finished my review of ColtClassic's story, "Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns."

Review link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UiRG03QTXuJlobfVrjOVkN6bo_hS1CRkpIdVbCbNbF8/edit

Review Acknowledgement, Tabula Rasa 4645

Thank you very much for your detailed and constructive review.
Being my first attempt, I really appreciate the pointers.
I'll try to improve it based on your suggestions!
Thanks again!

Review Acknowledgement: Princess Sparkle's School for Eccentric Unicorns 4651

Thank you for the review and the helpful comments, I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. Also sorry for the font change, I guess that's what I get for careless copy/pasting from openoffice.

Sorry 4661

I messed up the post to this story and accidently taged it wrong. I'm very new to this website so i accedently messed up the link because i was told to post it like that in irl. I was recomended here by EqD, they also said i need work on my grammer and punctuation. I also want to say thank you to Demetrius for reading my story and I would love to hear what you think of it as a whole.

Review: Twisting in the Sheets 4663


I finished my review of "Twisting in the Sheets" by HoofBitingActionOverload.

Review link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1idj1Qa8YkR7P9_OBnheltAj-gdHXeS-kW2pgg4o3Ju4/edit#

Review: Book of Monsters: Where the Road Goes 4665

I did this review a few days ago, but it hasn't been taken off the queue.

Review request: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#126806
Claim: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#127004
Review: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#127016
Acknowledgement: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#127029

Sorry if this isn't the right way to notify the queue maintainers.


Oh, that was in an old thread. You can post a review in an old thread if you think that's the only place the author will see it, but post it (or at least a link) in the current thread as well, or a maintainer will probably never see it.

Review Acknowledgement 4669

Well, thank you very for your thoughts.
I agree with most of the review, but I do have one or two questions.

I'm sure I can, and should, make some of Rarity's intentions more clear, especially towards the end. But there are a few specific instances, Rarity asking AJ to dinner for example, where I'd like to keep her motivations at least somewhat ambiguous. Is this a serious detriment to the story? Or is it forgivable if I make other scenes more clear?

So, Rarity asking the escort to stay dressed as Applejack is entirely unlikable, but it isn't a problem of remaining in character, right? Rarity can be very selfish, and she is still dealing with her feelings for AJ at the time.

I guess it would be a happier resolution if she insisted otherwise, but does it make for a better fic?


Please excuse my slowness.

I won't bother you with the details of why, but I have not gotten to writing the reviews yet. Sorry to all those involved.
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Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 4684

File: 1363577243846.gif (45.59 KB, 298x389, waitwhat.gif)

No issues from me.
The extra time has given me a chance to plow through Time Turner.

I suppose my single biggest problem is that I'm essentially editing work from a version of myself that didn't know grammar. No to to mention replacing dry sentences and a nagging feeling that one of my scenes needs to be rewritten entirely. The early chapters were particularly terrible.

So far I've gotten through the first 6 chapters of the first story. Another week and I should be into the second.

When you do catch up Demetrius, I'll look forward to seeing what you think.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: For Candy 4701


Bob From Bottles,

I've read all three chapters of "For Candy," and I can't find a single story problem to talk about. Furthermore, the technical quality of your writing is so high that my most thorough editing turned up nothing but a few typos. Consider this your review: patch up the typos I pointed out in your Google Docs and submit your story to Equestria Daily. You're more than good enough.

Review acknowledgement 4722


Thank you for the review. I'll be sure to fix up the typos you found.
I agree that it's time for this story to get published. I'll give the first three chapters one more look-over and get the fourth ready for review, then we'll what EQD says.


When I catch up and begin work on yours again: unlike it was during my trip, I'll be sitting at my desk with a proper keyboard and mouse, with a consistent interenet connection. This means that typing editing & style comments will take far less time and be less of an interruption from reading.

I do very much appreciate you taking the initiative and editing, as well as your patience!
This post was edited by its author on .

Twisting in the Sheets 4740


There are four elements that follow a disaster: emotion, thought, decision, and action. They can appear out of order. Sometimes they can be skipped if the response is obvious and action is immediately required. But structurally, it's best if they're all there.

When Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie are coaxing Rarity out of her room, we see Rarity's emotional reaction to the preceding disaster, we see her decision (to get a date with Applejack), and her action (she leaves the room and starts heading to Sweet Apple Acres). We never see her thoughts, and structurally, you have to show them at some point, preferably sooner rather than later.

I would add a paragraph to the start of the next scene, summarizing Rarity's thoughts and laying out the scene goal.

Example: Rarity had to fix this. If she was ever going to be more than friends with Applejack, she had to make things right. Invite Applejack to dinner. Apologize. Promise never to see see Sugar Sweet again. And if all goes well, Rarity thought, there can always be more dates after this one.

When we know that Rarity is intending something so ill-advised, that creates tension. Also, by dropping in the line about Sugar Sweet, you lay the groundwork for her scene later on.

If you don't want to do that, then make sure you cover what her thoughts were retrospectively after the failed dinner date.

Example: Rarity was in shock. How could she have been so stupid? She'd thought she could just apologize, show Applejack a good time, and her friend would want to keep on dating, slowly developing feelings for her over time. Ha! thought Rarity, She was never interested in me in the first place–and she never will be, now.

As for the ending, I think it would be a much better story if Rarity became less selfish in the end. That's what I wanted coming into the story: a story that would affirm my belief that Rarity is a good person. I expected to be moved emotionally as she learns a painful lesson, but I expected her to come out of it a better person.

If she stays unlikeable in the end, you're telling a different kind of story: one where you change the reader's understanding of her character. You can do that, but not with the story as you've written it. To do that, you would need an opening that promises that by the end of the story, we will no longer like Rarity: maybe add a prologue where an older, different Twilight gets together with Applejack or Rainbow Dash to talk about old times, and they reflect on their broken friendship with Rarity.

Unless you really do want to tell that kind of story, Rarity has to stay likeable.

Review: It's Also About Time 4744


Glimmerglaze, I wrote a full review of your story, It's Also About Time.

Review link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qb4vbzNnIfrm0-TL-3BeOQn93ep19iR0phoZRaI9FMM/edit?usp=sharing

small bit of clarification Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 4749

I'm reviewing stuff on my FimFiction blog and putting links in the spreadsheet. This evening I did "New World, New Threat"


Acknowledgement of Review: It's Also About Time 4755


So you can remove it from the queue posthaste! I don't have much to say yet, except for expressing my deep gratitude for the tremendous effort you have undertaken on my behalf.

Thank You 4824

Thank you for taking the time to review my fic Demetrius. I'll take the words you gave and go through more editing. Also, I got the name Cloud Chaser from a generator, so I stuck with it. Thank you again

The Gray Area 4876

Title: The Gray Area.

Author: Annakavanna

Tags: [Dark][Adventure][Human]

Synopsis: Krysta, a human girl, is killed in a horrible act of hatred and violence. The gods pity her and send her being into the universe at random.

She will of course, end up in Equestria where she will slowly lose herself, threatening pony-kind as she does.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/46879/the-gray-area


Thank you in advance for your time and effort.


I don't believe I see your submission on the unclaimed requests list, Fräulein [or Herr, but your name makes me think "Fräulein"]. I might be TTG's newest official reviewer, but I'm pretty sure one's story is automatically added to that queue once you use the | Submission form | up in the OP. You should use this, since it'll put you on the full queue.



Fräulein is correct.

I thought I had submitted it there, but I see now I was mistaken. I shall fix that immediately.

Thank you for pointing that out.

Critique of "Through the Well of Pirene: Chatper One" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 4887

File: 1364338795272.jpg (140.14 KB, 894x894, 132723239304.jpg)

Also known as the "Oh my god I'm so slow at this I'm so sorry" edition… =_=

A long, long time ago, in an IRC channel not so far away, I made a promise to review this work. Not sure if it ever made it into the queue directory… pretty sure it did, and Ether has been remarkably patient with me in regards to the pace of my work. In fact, he’s been a persistent and appreciated friend through my illness and recovery.

A lot of this is going to be review for you, Ether, but you’re not the only person who can learn from this. Plus, I just find the write-up to be a nice cap to finish projects off with.

Anyway, on to the review~

In the category of grammar and technical merit:

I’ll be the first to (happily) admit that you have some pretty fantastic grammar. Everything was very well constructed, with an obvious knowledge of how the English language works. There was a consistent issue with your commas in a few categories, however. Namely, in the transition between narrative and dialogue, which I’ve had some difficulty with myself in the past. And probably will continue to do so.

The commonly accepted method of writing protracted scenes of dialogue is to have a piece of quoted dialogue, break it with a comma, introduce some narrative to avoid Talking Head Syndrome, break that with a comma, and then continue the dialogue. Take the following line for example:

> “This is a fantastic reference guide,” Twilight said, setting a book on the counter, “and it should help clear up any confusion.”

This is a perfectly acceptable way to write dialogue. The problem is that most authors – yourself and myself included among them – tend to do it like this:

> “This is a fantastic reference guide,” Twilight said, setting a book on the counter, “It should help clear up any confusion.”

This is incorrect to my knowledge. Notice that the second segment of dialogue is no longer supported with the coordinating conjugate and, so, without the narrative in the middle, the dialogue now reads ”This is a fantastic reference guide. It should help clear up any confusion.” The second piece of dialogue is a complete sentence independent of the first, but the narrative is trying to bridge the two together with that ending comma after counter. You do this a lot in your work. The best way I can think of to explain how this is supposed to work is to think of the bridging narrative as a point of punctuation in the dialogue itself. If you’re bridging to narrative – most often to attribute a speaker to the dialogue – look at where you’re breaking the dialogue. If it’s on a comma, a natural break in a sentence, then break back into the dialogue with another comma at the end of the narrative, as in the first example, and continue on where the dialogue left off. If you break where there would be a termination mark, like a period, then end the narrative with a period, then introduce more dialogue as a new sentence.

> “I do hope that helps,” said Twilight with a smile. “Is there anything else?”

Unfortunately there is, and it’s a bit of a sticking point for me. Commas between items in series catches me up more often than I would like, and I’m not as experienced with it as I could be. Now, when I say “items in series,” I mean two things. First; when you have a list of objects or actions that are each independent from one another. Second; when you have multiple ad/verbs all modifying the same noun in different ways. There weren’t very many instances of either, but it’s worth bringing up. In fact, I should, because upon further thought, I believe I may have ill-advised you in one instance of this. In one scene, a lamp is described as having a gentle yellow glow, which I advised you needed a comma between gentle and yellow. I believe I may stand incorrect in that regard now, as the words modify each other in sequence, not in tandem. I even explained the trick for spotting these coordinate adjectives and I still told you to put a comma there. So I feel stupid now.

The trick, for those wondering, is to try and place the word and between what you suspect to be coordinate adjectives. In this case, gentle and yellow glow doesn’t make a terrible amount of sense. The glow is not both gentle and yellow. The lamp was yellow which was gentle in nature. So yeah, my bad there, but there were other instances of coordinate adjectives which did need commas between them.

And while we’re on the subject of commas – which was really you’re only grammatical failing – you need to brush up on what determines introductory, parenthetical, and nonrestrictive phrases. In particular the first of them. This is one of the many things I don’t have any supplemental reading bookmarked for, unfortunately, so you’ll have to do some legwork.

In the category of stylistic performance:

This is both your weakest and your strongest area, at the same time. You have a fantastic presence in your storytelling, witty without breaking drama, dramatic without sacrificing humor. I’d like to attribute that more to your style than to the actual story itself, which is the next section, because it was never any one overarching thread that convinced me of this fact. It was the little details that sneak themselves into the prose. Things like a thoughtful ellipse before a nonplussed “no.” You write very well in that regard, but in terms of stylistic performance, you fall a little short.

In particular – and this is pandemic of authors breaking into first-person narrative – there is an absurd overabundance of statements beginning with I. They were absolutely everywhere. Some paragraphs had nothing except sentences starting with I, which made a few of them a little painful to read. It breaks the flow of the story and the immersion of the reader when they have to constantly step back into the position of the protagonist every time he or she performs an action. Or examines something. Or has a thought. There were a lot of sentences like this:

> I could barely see the path anymore because it was so dark.

I’m embellishing, of course. None of them were really quite that bad, but they were in that vein. In a first person narrative, it isn’t strictly necessary for the protagonist to constantly mention that it was them that did, saw, noticed, et cetera’d something. The very fact that the protagonist is relating this fact somehow must logically mean that it transpired for them. For example, the previous example could just as easily been stated:

> The path was bitch black.

I’ll say again: the fact that it’s the protagonist relating these events means that it’s redundant to mention that it was the protagonist that did something. This also goes for hearing things, or smelling things, or feeling things. In fact, most sensory phrases fall under this category – and not just for first person narratives. Unless it is syntactically required of the sentence, do not do this. There’s never a need to mention that something felt icy cold to the touch. It’s enough to mention that it [i[was[/i] cold with the option of mentioning that the protagonist touched it. The very fact that the protagonist is aware an object is cold must mean that they at some point touched it. Most logically, at the point in the story when they mentioned that it was cold in the first place.

Another way to think of this is to focus less on the protagonist at hand, and more on their environment. Phrases such as ”I even wished that Daphne was back by my side again,” are focusing in on the protagonist, but you could reword them to focus on the environment as ”Even having Daphne around to yell at would have been an improvement.”

In the category of story and character progression:

This is the first “Human in Equestria” story I’ve ever read, which is ironic, because I mentioned an interest in breaking into the subject in my last review some months ago and I took this on without realizing what it was. In no way have I been disappointed with the direction the story went (and is going from what I’ve read ahead on). I don’t want to spoil anything, but the relationship between Daphne and Leit Motif seems, to me, to be very unique in regards to most “Human in Equestria” synopsi I’ve looked into. Most seem to focus on the excitement of exploring this new world we’re all so in love with, but you’ve thoroughly subverted that to good measure. At least, with half your story. Your supporting protagonist seems quite keen on exploring it, but the story hasn’t actually gotten there yet as of chapter one’s conclusion.

I do have a few complaints, one of which being the multiple protagonists in a first person narrative setting. I’ve seen it done well, and I’ve seen it done very, very badly. Your story is somewhere on the positive end of that spectrum, but based upon my current impression of the later chapters, it could use some improvement. Your supporting protagonist, Amy, is in limbo somewhere between active story participant and macguffin girl. In her segment in the first chapter, the story seems only to follow her because your primary protagonist, Daphne, doesn’t find it imperative to try and find Amy during their game of hide-and-seek. Amy’s segment feels further like filler because of her involvement in the ensuing chapters – of which she has none. I don’t normally take material from later chapters when performing these write-ups, but I think it’s rather crucial to bring to your attention here. I realize that Amy is a main character in the story, but why does she have a leading role as a supporting protagonist – complete with her own perspective of different events – if she’s so sparsely considered in the story? It’s something that really needs to be considered when moving forward, especially given how chapter one ends. Previously, the story shifted perspectives when one protagonist ceased acting. Well, I can’t think of anything that would make Daphne cease acting more than the end of the chapter. And Amy was right there. Where’s her perspective of events in the next chapter? Thinking back on it now, it seems starkly missing… but again, that’s in the next chapter. If you’re going to continue this perspective trade off, though, you need to keep it more in balance, instead of using it as a plot device – which is what it seems like to me at the moment. It could work in a third person narrative, but in first person it’ll become jarring if it’s not done consistently.

I’ll be keeping my eye out for this, and likely harping you the entire way through the next chapters. You’re not getting rid of me this easily. /evillaugh

Another thing to keep in mind is establishing proper baselines for your characters. It’s been resolved for the scenarios in chapter one, but it’ll be something to watch for in later chapters, and in later works. For example, your story employs a “fall from grace” motif to open. Daphne has a preconceived notion of how the world works, and the story’s events irrevocably shatter that perception. Much to her own detriment in the story. It really is the catalyst for the entire story if you think about it. But this bombshell of a revelation was made less poignant by the fact that Daphne seemed indifferent about said events until they were brought to her attention by another character. She just seemed to ignore the source of her trauma, remaining at a sort of bland neutral. Neutral to negative isn’t as far – or as exciting or harrowing – an experience as positive to negative is. That’s just simple mathematics. Your revisions, however, helped to establish a more positive outlook on Daphne’s part, and put her actions first, and that positive baseline helped to make her crash into the negative conflict of the story more meaningful. That’s not to say that every character has to start out shine shine and rainbows before we authors metaphorically kick them in the shins; Daphne is a perfect example of that now. She’s only just barely begun to come to grips with her trauma. In fact, she’s still struggling with it when the story begins, even if she wasn’t aware of it. But she’s trying to climb as opposed to remaining idle, which is important.

It’s no fun to kick your protagonist when they’re already down, and it’s even less fun when the protagonist just doesn’t seem to care in the first place.

And there we are. Obviously, Ether, I’m interested in continuing to proof and help edit this work, as I’m quite in love with the story concept and many of your characters. Expect to see me hanging around chapter two when I next get the chance, but we’re going to have to talk about Amy’s involvement at some point.

Hopefully I can keep my academia and my health under control this time, as I really do enjoy this work.

Onward to greatness~

Acceptance of Review for "Through the Well of Pirene" 4888

Acknowledged, and I'll be getting back to you.

Claiming 4895

Well, my week is free, and I need something to change that. You there—your story is sizable enough.

Deshalb, I, Crushric, claim the story "The Gray Area", by Annakavanna, originally posted 3/26.

To Annakavnna (or Fräulein, because German): The Gray Area is by far the longest story I've reviewed so far in my career here. Accordingly, my review style will be altered to adjust for it (I'm known for writing reviews longer than the stories I've reviewed themselves). My look will be less on my usual whole-story line-by-line, and will focus more on general errors, plot things, and grammatical nonsense. All of which I will offer my bad sage advice on. I'll shall be brief. The review will be complete either today or tomorrow—sometime within 24 hours, at worst.

Review Request - Ever on the Edge 4896

File: 1364410051492.jpg (260.9 KB, 772x1023, Celestia_OBEY_dirty.jpg)

Title: Ever on the Edge
Author: Nonsanity
Tags: Normal (Not sure what else would fit. Political?)

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dtqszx1gQa9t5I-o95ARKdb2QRWZhsrPBpbvaa8z93Y/edit?usp=sharing

Trust is everything to an immortal ruler. She must have the trust of her subjects. She must have servants in whom she can trust. There is a reason why Equestria has no queen.

This is a short one-shot I wrote yesterday—the fastest I've ever gone from idea to last words. It's almost all dialog of a political nature—rather odd. I'm curious as to how others will take to it.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4898

You know, it's interesting. I just finished reading "A Dangerous Path" by Erin Hunter, in which Bluestar, leader of Thunderclan, doesn't trust any of the members of her clan, and pretty much goes insane. Funny coincidence.

Reivew of "The Gray Area": First Part 4903

On to Chapter Two.

>A certain butter yellow pegasus with bright pink hair was quite surprised that Zecora.

Because you begin this scene from this POV, it works a bitter better. [Also, a bunch of paragraph in this chapter aren't indented. Fix that.]

>Most of the time it was one of the crusaders or Twilight. The lavender unicorn was always curious about Zecora's form of magic after all

Few things. You're writing this as if we the reader knew who these people were. Sorta. You just name them and give no real explanation for it, for really describe them well enough. I mean, granted, we're probably all Bronies here, but when writing, you should pretend that this is entirely your own universe, and that nopony knows these characters but you. Just trust me. And because of the phrasing, you need to comma after “magic”.

>a now well traveled path, trees surrounding them.

“now-well-traveled,” thanks to now those are all used as part of the same adjective.

>Zecora, I know you already told me why you asked me to come with you but I don't understand

Needs a comma before “but”, yet more importantly, this sentence is too long and awkward. You could slim it down, I suspect.

>Zecora's voice matched her grim frown, the situation obviously not much better. Fluttershy nodded in understanding of the tone and followed the zebra, head low.

Rule of thumb: action of one character and dialogue of another do not belong next to each other. Fluttershy's action belongs in its own paragraph, or at least slap it to the front of your next paragraph. You have this problem throughout.

>The timid pony shrank into herself, half of her face concealed by pink.

“Pink” what? You have to say these things. As it's written, it somehow implies that she imploded almost, her face eaten by pink something. Don't be this vague.

>Currently laying on a makeshift bed a bandaged Krysta …

I'm a bit confused. Are you an omnipotent narrator? If so, it's a bit hard to tell, but if you were, it'd make more sense. [See the end of the review]

>Winter is coming soon.

Get the Starks… [GoT reference]

>…a pause button on a remote control …

From the POV of anyone in the story, this makes no sense. As an omnipotent god narrator, this sorta works, but the futuristic (or modern, whatever have you) implications of these words make no sense in context. [Reading ahead, I can see you gave ponies this technology. Still, Krysta lacks it.]

>…the emerald green shocking her. They were dark and seemed so deep, nothing like the eyes of a pony.

The hay is with you and your obsession with Krysta's eyes? And pony eyes come in most every color ever. Why are human-eye green so shocking to Fluttershy? If anything, Fluttershy might be bothered by how tiny and beady our eyes are compared to hers.

>…sending signals that Krysta's brain was simply unable to compute right that moment.

Signals to whom? This whole line is just really wispy.

>”Woah there girl. It's alright, we won't hurt you.”

This way of speaking is more in line with AJ than Fluttershy. And you need a comma before “girl”, since it's a form of address.

>….though Fluttershy nor Zecora could tell why.

You should have a “neither” after “though”

>Ok, so they can talk. I have no idea what they are saying but that is obviously not random animal noises. Are they intelligent? But how!? They are just animals! 

Friendly advice: put though like this into italics. It just looks much prettier. Also, the space between the end of this line and “Krysta thought” is too long. And use your contractions. And the word is “okay”, not “ok”. Please write it out—it makes you look more professional.

>…the barrier of language unable to stop the Element of Kindness' message …

What is this Element if Kindness? You must write as if we readers don't know.

>Zecora in fact did realize

“In fact” is usually offset my commas. “Zecora, in fact, did realize.”

>Body language was a very universal language indeed.

This was legitimately made me angry. BODY LANGUAGE IS NOT UNIVERSAL. Not at all. Especially not from quadruped to bipeds. A dog moving its tails means it's either happy or anxiously, a cat doing it means its concentrating, a horse (pony) doing it means 'tis angry. That's just one—one!—example of how this line is so, so wrong.

>"Ok Krysta. You have no idea where you are, what happened to your clothes, or how you made it into the house of a black and white striped…thing. …

Indicate who's speaking a little earlier, please. Also, a comma needed before “Krysta”, since it's a form of address. I will no longer point out “form of address” errors.

>A fact that was proven, when she was caught.

That comma ain't needed.

>The express she wore, caused my heart to stir.

Same as above. Also, you mean “Expression”, not “express”. Otherwise, I'm confused.

>In Krysta's world, you NEVER received a kindness unless something was expected of you. It was unheard of, even in her village of simple fishermen. Every man for himself was the most common phrase spoken in her world after all.

You swap POV insights in the same paragraph. This is starting to get more than just a mite bit irksome.

>On that line of though Krysta suddenly

Thought*, and a comma is needed after “though[t]”.

>Tell your friends, of this poor thing's plight.

Kill that comma, Fräulein. And advice time: don't put these commas in the middle of Zecora's sentences. It's wrong. I will not mention this again, you will simply fix these errors because you want to improve.

>Zecora nor I have

The word “nor” generally needs the word “neither” before its use. Ergo, you need once before “Zecora”. This is just how people speak.

>…that said intelligent(?) creature was in a bind so to speak.

You're a goddamned narrator whose godlike powers lets her see into everyone's mind. Don't write (?) anywhere, especially when you're the kind of narrator you are. A (?) seriously breaks immersion, which is what you stride for.

>…out to the forest." She called into the library, poking her head into the door.

This should really become a dialogue tag. Becoming [to the forest,” she called out..] So far, and annoyingly at that, you've had a complete lack of proper dialogue tags because you somehow have been weaseling around them. This ends here.

>Spike poked his head out from a door of his own, a smile on his face.

Describe Spike. Again, always assume we don't know who these characters are. Otherwise, you come off as lackluster in descriptions—unbecoming your… writing style—and even lazy.

>"No eating a tub of ice cream while we are gone." She warned with narrowed eyes, onto his tricks.

This should become a dialogue tag. And Spike already learned his lesson not to do this.

>Walking back through the doorway Twilight nodded and exited the library, closing the door with her magic.

Comma after “doorway”. And, again, when you have a different character acting, they need their own paragraph. If you don't, you're being needlessly confusing.


If you capitalize this word, than all other races much have their names capitalized, such as human and dragon and zebra. You don't seem to do this later, so don't do it here.

>…she might have an idea what what "she" is.

Remove a “what” from here. Also, since this is within quotes, “she” should be ‘she’. You use single quotes if you're quoting something already with normal “” quotes.

>"Twilight…get mah rope." Applejack deadpanned

Comma, not a period. Also, as a Southern gentleman, I take hearty offense to your way of transcribing AJ's accent. Lastly, an ellipsis of this literary nature is followed by a space.

>…No one just gives their food away! You can't fool me!"

Ah, now it makes sense. She was born before 1840, the year basic human decency was invented. [The girl's paranoia is really out there. I mean, really out there.]

>…pelted with peas, zonked with zucchini, and plastered with potatoes

Pretty sure you made one of these words up… but whatever.

>Applejack moved in for the kill.

This is poor, poor phrasing. Change it to something less… murderous, please.

>"Will somepony please talk normal?" She asked

You seem to have a serious problem with this, punctuating dialogue. http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingexercises/qt/punctuation.htm

>Well ah know how tuh fix that

*Twitch* You're a Yankee, ain't ya? Word to the wise: don't do AJ's accent like this. She does not have a very thick one. At all. And never say “tuh”; it's more like “t’fix”, which looks much nicer. *Grumbles* Damned Yankees. No respect for the Southern accent. And AJ's more from the Ozarks than from the general South, according to her actual accent. *Grumbles*

>Krysta watching the exchange…

“Watched” would be the correct tense here, otherwise both clauses of this sentence just… are odd.

>…tough love, is still love.

No need for that comma.

Chapter three, ho!

>….forest until Celestia had already started to raise the sun.

… You don't have to really say that, but I'm not longer going to bug you about things you shouldn’t say because you assume we know them, I'll just keep silent. You'll figure it out on your own, now that I've pointed out that it oughtn't be done.

>…cart that was being hauled by rarity.

A name needs to be capitalized. And Rarity would NEVER pull a cart; she'd con trickconvince someone else to do it for her. Finally, this sentence is in the passive voice. Don't do that. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/active-voice-versus-passive-voice.aspx

>She didn't dare eat it. It was obviously poisoned, as it had just been given to her without a demand of payment.

Then again, if Krysta spent her life playing Dungeons & Dragons, than here fears are entirely justified. That's why in D&D you never trust women, especially if they're coming on to you, because 100% of the time they are evil. It's just how it plays out. I think my DM had a problem with girls in his life. [Just a random comment of mine]

>When ah was a filly, ma 'n pa …

*Glares* Yo, Yankee, it's “ an’ ”, pronounced like “uhn”.

>Guilt and loss began to eat at her, sounds of grief escaping her shaking chest. What was she going to do?

Oh, boo hoo. We all got problems. [This is my standard response to any sort of sadness/angst in any story. Take no offense/note of it and carry on with the review.]

>"It is very nice to meet you Krysta." "Yeah, nice to meet you!" "Charmed darling. You have a lovely name Krysta. "This is so exciting! We are talking! Well we aren't really talking but we can call each other over now! I am so happy I could just scream! Or jump! Or spin around! ORRR I could spin around while jumping and screaming!!"

Each of these lines deserves its own paragraph, Fräulein.

>”Rarity… You are evil.”

Don't capitalize “you”.

>Oh don't you worry about a thing darling.

Introductory things like “oh” and “well”, when used to start a sentence like this, demand a comma immediately after them.

>Not that life in her world was pure filth. Soap simply didn't exist

-_- Soap has been around at least 2800 B.C. Babylon. There's no reason it shouldn’t exist in Krysta's world. The only reason she might not have used it is because it, soap, might not be affordable to her people, which would be because the materials to produce it weren't locally available.

>Her staring was noticed by Krysta who slowly put a hand over the bandage, green orbs meeting blue.

Two things. One: this sentence is in the passive voice. Two: BY THE NINE DIVINE, don't ever call eyes “orbs” ever. That's just so purple prose that it's universally agreed upon to be hated. So, please, for your own sake, don't do it. Please.


There is absolute no need to drone on a sound effect like this.

>I still think you are the devil..

Aside from the need for contractions, “the Devil” is usually how it is [Devil is capitalized]; because of the “the”, it's referring to a specific entity.

>Both doors required her to take a route directly passed ponies of course,

In this case, the correct tense is “past”. “To pass” is a weird verb in English, taking on two different past tenses, depending on meaning, “passed” and “past”. “They marched past.” “He passed me the corn.”

>It was not exactly the best picture one could imagine for elements of harmony.

You capitalized “Elements of Harmony” earlier. Why aren't you doing it here?

Review of "The Gray Area": Second Part 4905

On to Chapter Two.

>A certain butter yellow pegasus with bright pink hair was quite surprised that Zecora.

Because you begin this scene from this POV, it works a bitter better. [Also, a bunch of paragraph in this chapter aren't indented. Fix that.]

>Most of the time it was one of the crusaders or Twilight. The lavender unicorn was always curious about Zecora's form of magic after all

Few things. You're writing this as if we the reader knew who these people were. Sorta. You just name them and give no real explanation for it, for really describe them well enough. I mean, granted, we're probably all Bronies here, but when writing, you should pretend that this is entirely your own universe, and that nopony knows these characters but you. Just trust me. And because of the phrasing, you need to comma after “magic”.

>a now well traveled path, trees surrounding them.

“now-well-traveled,” thanks to now those are all used as part of the same adjective.

>Zecora, I know you already told me why you asked me to come with you but I don't understand

Needs a comma before “but”, yet more importantly, this sentence is too long and awkward. You could slim it down, I suspect.

>Zecora's voice matched her grim frown, the situation obviously not much better. Fluttershy nodded in understanding of the tone and followed the zebra, head low.

Rule of thumb: action of one character and dialogue of another do not belong next to each other. Fluttershy's action belongs in its own paragraph, or at least slap it to the front of your next paragraph. You have this problem throughout.

>The timid pony shrank into herself, half of her face concealed by pink.

“Pink” what? You have to say these things. As it's written, it somehow implies that she imploded almost, her face eaten by pink something. Don't be this vague.

>Currently laying on a makeshift bed a bandaged Krysta …

I'm a bit confused. Are you an omnipotent narrator? If so, it's a bit hard to tell, but if you were, it'd make more sense. [See the end of the review]

>Winter is coming soon.

Get the Starks… [GoT reference]

>…a pause button on a remote control …

From the POV of anyone in the story, this makes no sense. As an omnipotent god narrator, this sorta works, but the futuristic (or modern, whatever have you) implications of these words make no sense in context. [Reading ahead, I can see you gave ponies this technology. Still, Krysta lacks it.]

>…the emerald green shocking her. They were dark and seemed so deep, nothing like the eyes of a pony.

The hay is with you and your obsession with Krysta's eyes? And pony eyes come in most every color ever. Why are human-eye green so shocking to Fluttershy? If anything, Fluttershy might be bothered by how tiny and beady our eyes are compared to hers.

>…sending signals that Krysta's brain was simply unable to compute right that moment.

Signals to whom? This whole line is just really wispy.

>”Woah there girl. It's alright, we won't hurt you.”

This way of speaking is more in line with AJ than Fluttershy. And you need a comma before “girl”, since it's a form of address.

>….though Fluttershy nor Zecora could tell why.

You should have a “neither” after “though”

>Ok, so they can talk. I have no idea what they are saying but that is obviously not random animal noises. Are they intelligent? But how!? They are just animals! 

Friendly advice: put though like this into italics. It just looks much prettier. Also, the space between the end of this line and “Krysta thought” is too long. And use your contractions. And the word is “okay”, not “ok”. Please write it out—it makes you look more professional.

>…the barrier of language unable to stop the Element of Kindness' message …

What is this Element if Kindness? You must write as if we readers don't know.

>Zecora in fact did realize

“In fact” is usually offset my commas. “Zecora, in fact, did realize.”

>Body language was a very universal language indeed.

This was legitimately made me angry. BODY LANGUAGE IS NOT UNIVERSAL. Not at all. Especially not from quadruped to bipeds. A dog moving its tails means it's either happy or anxiously, a cat doing it means its concentrating, a horse (pony) doing it means 'tis angry. That's just one—one!—example of how this line is so, so wrong.

>"Ok Krysta. You have no idea where you are, what happened to your clothes, or how you made it into the house of a black and white striped…thing. …

Indicate who's speaking a little earlier, please. Also, a comma needed before “Krysta”, since it's a form of address. I will no longer point out “form of address” errors.

>A fact that was proven, when she was caught.

That comma ain't needed.

>The express she wore, caused my heart to stir.

Same as above. Also, you mean “Expression”, not “express”. Otherwise, I'm confused.

>In Krysta's world, you NEVER received a kindness unless something was expected of you. It was unheard of, even in her village of simple fishermen. Every man for himself was the most common phrase spoken in her world after all.

You swap POV insights in the same paragraph. This is starting to get more than just a mite bit irksome.

>On that line of though Krysta suddenly

Thought*, and a comma is needed after “though[t]”.

>Tell your friends, of this poor thing's plight.

Kill that comma, Fräulein. And advice time: don't put these commas in the middle of Zecora's sentences. It's wrong. I will not mention this again, you will simply fix these errors because you want to improve.

>Zecora nor I have

The word “nor” generally needs the word “neither” before its use. Ergo, you need once before “Zecora”. This is just how people speak.

>…that said intelligent(?) creature was in a bind so to speak.

You're a goddamned narrator whose godlike powers lets her see into everyone's mind. Don't write (?) anywhere, especially when you're the kind of narrator you are. A (?) seriously breaks immersion, which is what you stride for.

>…out to the forest." She called into the library, poking her head into the door.

This should really become a dialogue tag. Becoming [to the forest,” she called out..] So far, and annoyingly at that, you've had a complete lack of proper dialogue tags because you somehow have been weaseling around them. This ends here.

>Spike poked his head out from a door of his own, a smile on his face.

Describe Spike. Again, always assume we don't know who these characters are. Otherwise, you come off as lackluster in descriptions—unbecoming your… writing style—and even lazy.

>"No eating a tub of ice cream while we are gone." She warned with narrowed eyes, onto his tricks.

This should become a dialogue tag. And Spike already learned his lesson not to do this.

>Walking back through the doorway Twilight nodded and exited the library, closing the door with her magic.

Comma after “doorway”. And, again, when you have a different character acting, they need their own paragraph. If you don't, you're being needlessly confusing.


If you capitalize this word, than all other races much have their names capitalized, such as human and dragon and zebra. You don't seem to do this later, so don't do it here.

>…she might have an idea what what "she" is.

Remove a “what” from here. Also, since this is within quotes, “she” should be ‘she’. You use single quotes if you're quoting something already with normal “” quotes.

>"Twilight…get mah rope." Applejack deadpanned

Comma, not a period. Also, as a Southern gentleman, I take hearty offense to your way of transcribing AJ's accent. Lastly, an ellipsis of this literary nature is followed by a space.

>…No one just gives their food away! You can't fool me!"

Ah, now it makes sense. She was born before 1840, the year basic human decency was invented. [The girl's paranoia is really out there. I mean, really out there.]

>…pelted with peas, zonked with zucchini, and plastered with potatoes

Pretty sure you made one of these words up… but whatever.

>Applejack moved in for the kill.

This is poor, poor phrasing. Change it to something less… murderous, please.

>"Will somepony please talk normal?" She asked

You seem to have a serious problem with this, punctuating dialogue. http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingexercises/qt/punctuation.htm

>Well ah know how tuh fix that

*Twitch* You're a Yankee, ain't ya? Word to the wise: don't do AJ's accent like this. She does not have a very thick one. At all. And never say “tuh”; it's more like “t’fix”, which looks much nicer. *Grumbles* Damned Yankees. No respect for the Southern accent. And AJ's more from the Ozarks than from the general South, according to her actual accent. *Grumbles*

>Krysta watching the exchange…

“Watched” would be the correct tense here, otherwise both clauses of this sentence just… are odd.

>…tough love, is still love.

No need for that comma.

Chapter three, ho!

>….forest until Celestia had already started to raise the sun.

… You don't have to really say that, but I'm not longer going to bug you about things you shouldn’t say because you assume we know them, I'll just keep silent. You'll figure it out on your own, now that I've pointed out that it oughtn't be done.

>…cart that was being hauled by rarity.

A name needs to be capitalized. And Rarity would NEVER pull a cart; she'd con trickconvince someone else to do it for her. Finally, this sentence is in the passive voice. Don't do that. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/active-voice-versus-passive-voice.aspx

>She didn't dare eat it. It was obviously poisoned, as it had just been given to her without a demand of payment.

Then again, if Krysta spent her life playing Dungeons & Dragons, than here fears are entirely justified. That's why in D&D you never trust women, especially if they're coming on to you, because 100% of the time they are evil. It's just how it plays out. I think my DM had a problem with girls in his life. [Just a random comment of mine]

>When ah was a filly, ma 'n pa …

*Glares* Yo, Yankee, it's “ an’ ”, pronounced like “uhn”.

>Guilt and loss began to eat at her, sounds of grief escaping her shaking chest. What was she going to do?

Oh, boo hoo. We all got problems. [This is my standard response to any sort of sadness/angst in any story. Take no offense/note of it and carry on with the review.]

>"It is very nice to meet you Krysta." "Yeah, nice to meet you!" "Charmed darling. You have a lovely name Krysta. "This is so exciting! We are talking! Well we aren't really talking but we can call each other over now! I am so happy I could just scream! Or jump! Or spin around! ORRR I could spin around while jumping and screaming!!"

Each of these lines deserves its own paragraph, Fräulein.

>”Rarity… You are evil.”

Don't capitalize “you”.

>Oh don't you worry about a thing darling.

Introductory things like “oh” and “well”, when used to start a sentence like this, demand a comma immediately after them.

>Not that life in her world was pure filth. Soap simply didn't exist

-_- Soap has been around at least 2800 B.C. Babylon. There's no reason it shouldn’t exist in Krysta's world. The only reason she might not have used it is because it, soap, might not be affordable to her people, which would be because the materials to produce it weren't locally available.

>Her staring was noticed by Krysta who slowly put a hand over the bandage, green orbs meeting blue.

Two things. One: this sentence is in the passive voice. Two: BY THE NINE DIVINE, don't ever call eyes “orbs” ever. That's just so purple prose that it's universally agreed upon to be hated. So, please, for your own sake, don't do it. Please.


There is absolute no need to drone on a sound effect like this.

>I still think you are the devil..

Aside from the need for contractions, “the Devil” is usually how it is [Devil is capitalized]; because of the “the”, it's referring to a specific entity.

>Both doors required her to take a route directly passed ponies of course,

In this case, the correct tense is “past”. “To pass” is a weird verb in English, taking on two different past tenses, depending on meaning, “passed” and “past”. “They marched past.” “He passed me the corn.”

>It was not exactly the best picture one could imagine for elements of harmony.

You capitalized “Elements of Harmony” earlier. Why aren't you doing it here?

Review of "The Gray Area": Final Part 4906

On to Chapter Five.

First notes: this chapter's indentation is all screwed up. You should fix it, make it consistent.

>The major changes were simply the angle of the shoulder stitching (for comfort) and torso shape (for obvious reasons).

Seriously, try to avoid putting things in parentheses. It just looks silly. Separating them with em-dashes, though, is more acceptable.

>…her hair was brushed – and simply styled in two thick braids that framed her face– and she was wearing …

Em-dashes are for this kind of thing. And it would look like so, “…her hair was brushed—and simply styled in two thick braids that framed her face—and she was wearing…” (Note the lack of spaces.)

> Me friends and I made a new friend

“Me friends”? I didn't know Twilight was Scottish. That explains so many things…

>…attacked by a manticore.|Guess she should count …

What's with that weird little line before “Guess”?

>Another regal chuckle left the Princess' lip

You sporadically capitalize and then don't capitalize the word “Princess”. Make up your mind: one or the other.

>"Dear sister, what art thou thinking waking us up at this hour? Thou knoweth our duties are more than difficult as it is after a thousand years."

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) — holding back MY RAGE. *Takes deep breath.* The word is “knowest” or “know’st.” -(e)th is third person, like the modern -(e)s. -(e)st is 2nd person informal. And she'd say, if you INSIST ON MAKING HER SPEAK LIKE THIS, “Dear sister, what thinkst thou, waking us up at this hour? Thou know’st our duties…” Get this wrong again and I'll strangle a kitten. I'm sick and tired of seeing people FAIL MISERABLY at the 2nd person informal.
[There, my totally unjustified anger was been vented. We may proceed after I put the table back. ┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ) ]

>"I shall be ready momentarily." Her voice lost it's irritation and old manner of speaking, replaced with well practiced speech patterns and a solid tone. The door shut quickly, leaving Celestia and Level outside waiting.

This should be its own paragraph.

>“I guess ahm good to go too…

Goddamned Yankee…

>Days AppleJack will do my work for me list ..

It's “Applejack”. Why are you so suddenly getting this all, all wrong?

> ~So he IS a dragon! I thought he looked familiar! I cannot believe you have dragons here too! All of ours left our lands hundred of years ago!~

Look, Fräulein, this is not how dialogue works. Here in English-speaking countries, we use “” to indicate speak, not tildes. Please fix this before I harm my wall with my fist.

Onto the final chapter.

>~If you all drop me I swear I will come back and haunt you like a displeased ancestor!~ Krysta's panicked voice could barely be heard in the sound of takeoff.

-_- No. Bad author. Bad. I mean, if you really, really wanted to help indicate that no one understands her speech, then use « … » . French is a dead language, after all. [It's not, but I like to pretend it is.] These are “guilliments”, which are what the French use, and so is technically a recognized form of quotation mark. Still, I'd say use normal quotation marks. [After reading ahead, I can see how this makes more sense, and am willing to deal with something like it. But, please, use the guilliments, since those are an actual form of the quotation mark.]

>…for she always prefers to fly on her own.

“Preferred”. This is otherwise a tense error.

>In fact, this could possibly be the safest place in Equestria for her except perhaps maybe the princess'.

Princess Celestia’s what? This sentence kind of just… dies before it finishes.

>    ~I wonder where we are going.~ .

After this line, you have a scene break. The scene break is utterly unlike all the others before it. Change this scene break into the style of the previous chapters.

>“Sister, I have not seen you this worried since before my fall. Are you so certain that something bad will occur?” Luna's voice was cool and focused, every syllable punctuated with the utmost precision.

Why did you make Luna stop talking like it were a few centuries ago? I mean, I prefer THIS style, since it's how she spoke in that wedding episode. But, and here's the thing: be consistent! Please go back to the last chapter and update it so that Luna no longer talks like a moron. Dankeschön.

>Any pony listening in would not know what on Equestria she was talking about.

Despite one weird line from Twilight, it's established in many places that Equestria is just a single country, not a planetary government.

>…You witnessed what I witnessed.”

This doesn't sound like something Celestia would say; she isn't known for using bigger worlds than needed. Plus, with Luna she'd use smaller words, since Luna is less accustomed to modern Equestria.

>Spoken language was easy to control. Body language was not, and it easily betrayed her genuine feelings of confusion.

I'd argue that body language is easy to control if you know what not to do, but I'll let this annoying bit slide.

>Krysta's eyes opened wide, either from her terror or her want to see more one couldn't be sure.

You need to be “more—one couldn’t”, since that's proper punctuation. But that’s one the real problem here: it's the pussyfoot writing. Look, you're the writer, Fräulein; for all intents and purposes, you are the god of his story. Don't eve in a narrator say “one couldn’t be sure”. As both writer and narrator, you know for a FACT what these are. So state them like facts. Be bold and certain, like Hemingway. But because of how you phrased it, this entire sentence is just weak, weak, weak.

>Trembles ran over her skin causing the hair on her body to stand almost on end.

This is both a fragment and, because of that, a tense error. No!

>…this is Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna.

Comma ain’t needed.

> “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Gut genug. Und wie könnte Luna Deutsch lernen? Ich kann Englisch, Spanisch, Deutsch Griechisch, Latein, und andere sprechen, aber spreche ich lieber Deutsch.

> “Hable usted espanol?”

Es “español”, no “espanol”. Actually, the word “usted” here is utter nonsense. Remove it, because otherwise I can tell you don't speak Spanish. And then put a ¿ at the forefront of the sentence. I'm a polygot, you see. And will rage at you if you get other languages wrong.

Of note, I *love* languages. For some strange reason, I really enjoyed this scene.


First of all, let me say this off the bat: I love the idea behind this story. Though I'm not too crazy about HiE, I highly approve of this story's big issue being a language barrier. In fact, I was actually sad when Luna got English correct. So with that in mind, proceed as I tear you apart.

Your prose is infuriating. In the first chapter it's needlessly purple, flowery, and annoying as all hells. You say things like “as the short fall was proven to be quite dangerous, especially being pulled down with the force that she had been” and “One could almost see her nervous system burn as the signals moved their way down, the sheer amount of information they were carrying shorting out her systems”, which hare so needlessly flowery or convoluted that you literally look as meaning. You need to tone that tone.
But then you have the opposite problem: many of your lines are just… meh. You tell rather than show, which makes your writing beige. Look here: “In an act of shocking bravery Fluttershy made it to the side of the bed and looked down upon the poor creature, the sight of the bloody bandages upon it's shoulder causing her eyes to well up.” The first part of this line is so telling that it's horrible. Why is it “shocking bravery”? Who is shocked by it? And then the part of her eyes is good showing, letting us know how Fluttershy feels without says it. I call this the “Ghostwriter Paradox”, when you both show well and tell bad in the same story, often in the same sentences. This often leads to you having overly lengthy sentences that lack any true substance of meaning to them, especially when you drop into the passive voice
You go from purple to beige, tell to show rather often, so much so that I have trouble finding you voice as a writer: you need to be consistent, and hopefully consistent showing.

While we're talking about voice, what the hell kind of narrator are you? Third-person omnipotent? If so, I can't approve. I'm going to say something harsh here, and you might not like me for it, but, as you say, “tough love is still love” [in my case, for helping people write]: your story needs to be heavily edited, if not at parts rewritten. This story would be helped tremendously if it were third-person limited, all taking place from Krysta's POV. That means that you cannot have the reader know what the ponies are saying, allowing us to really get int Krysta's head, to really understand the language barrier, to really understand how alone she feels and probably is (at the start). You need to keep ot her scenes only as she sees them, only as she understands them, and your story will benefit from this, I do think. Let us, the readers, feel the language barrier. You could have us be confused about the ponies' motives just as she is. But, since you swap POV's, and thus voices, I really couldn’t connect to Krysta's problems. I understood, she did not; I couldn’t even try to emphasize properly.
And I really think you should keep the language barrier up a bit further. That whole scene with Luna and languages? By far that was my favorite scene—my biggest problem is that Luna didn't first ask in Latin. If Luna were clever, she's ask in Latin, since that was the language of the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church (or whatever), and often the international language of Europe till French became more popular. So, logically, asking in Latin would rule out ALL of those things. I think, however, that the language barrier was breached too early. While this is just my opinion, I think Luna should either not think of English (at first) or have a really poor grasp of it. After all, English is the bastard spawn of mostly German, French, and Latin, with hints of Greek, Celtic, and Norse.
Actually, being that I'm something of a linguist, I'd argue that Krysta's English has a lot of implications that don't work for you story (that England exists; and your use of “ok”, which suggest Boston is a place), only I would overthink it like that, so I don't bother ranting about that.
But, yeah, I love languages, and so the idea of the language barrier really interested me. You could just do it a bit better if you kept the whole story from her POV, and keep us in the same dark as she's in [understanding-wise].

Your grasp on grammar, such as your atrocious disregard for colons, is evident. I can tell the comma is your worst enemy, since you don't have nearly as many as there ought be, and sometimes you have too many. You need to take a step back, learn more about commas and how they're used, and then get back to writing, that you will no longer have this problem. If your grammar is poor, you'll never get anywhere in this writing world. And, as I see it, you have no real functioning grasp on how to use dialogue punctuation, since you either never tag it properly or pussyfoot around having to do it.

Also, the whole… violation scene and her reaction to it after waking up was… disturbing. That's not a slam against you. In fact, making people uncomfortable can be good, since it's rarely done in this fandom. It's just that many people might be turned off by that. The problem here is its tone is all off. While a rape is pretty much the darkest, worst thing ever, the rest of your story doesn't really have much of a dark tone. The people who want to read your kind of story aren't exactly the ones who'd often want to read even the implication of that. You don't have to remove it, just keep what I'm saying in mind.

As I see it, you clearly need an editor well-versed in the art of commas. There are a number of Fimfic groups all about that, finding editors and such. Look them up. They can be of good help.

If you have any questions or comments or replies, I’d be glad to here them. I'm here to help you.

Then again, I'm just a reader with an opinion.

The Twilight Struggle 4907

Title: The Twilight Struggle
Writer: Lapis Lazuli
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Dark], [Adventure]

Twilight Sparkle enters her third year amongst her friends in Ponyville, she finds herself plagued with strange dreams of an unknown power whispering dark secrets to her. The voices speak of Power, of the strength to protect what she holds most dear, of the great knowledge she could attain, such that no force could ever threaten her lands, or her friends, ever again.

Though she shrinks from this voice, the lure of greater knowledge, of magical power far beyond what she currently knows is enticing and alluring to her, eating away at her resolve even as the lack of rest begins to wear her physical defenses down.

What is this voice, and what does it plan for the most faithful student in Equestria?

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90058/the-twilight-struggle

Comments: Anyone who wants to take a read at it is invited to do so.

Claim: The Traveling Tutor and the Librarian 4908

I'm reasonably ahead of schedule with non-pony stuff, and I haven't done anything particularly ill-advised lately, so I think I'll take the giant fic at the top of the queue.

A note to the author: I will make an attempt to read through the entire thing, but in order to get the review out in a reasonable time and minimise redundant suggestions, will probably not touch on everything. After the initial review is posted, if you would like me (or someone else) to review the rest, you are welcome to resubmit.

Acknowledgement of Review: The Gray Area 4913


There seems to have been an error. The first and second parts of your review are the same. Please clarify?

Whoops. 4923

Oh, I didn't do that, did I? I'm so, so sorry. MLPchan was wiggin' out on me.

First thing of note before actually going into the story, the idea behind it (at least at first glance) isn't the most unique hen in the house. Human dies, ends up in Equestria. These are just my impressions from the summary. See, I don't believe in bad ideas, only bad execution. So just because the concept is perhaps cliché, however, don't mean I'll hold it against you, but many prospective readers just might.

>belonged to what are known as humans were a sight to behold

There's a tense error there. “are known” is present tense, not the proper “were known” of the past tense.

>Through almost a thousand years of a world war

This is somewhat awkward. Perhaps something like, “Over the course of nearly a millennium of war, …”

>It is not with him however that the prosperity started.

Tense error with “is”. Ought be “what”. Furthermore, when you have the word “however” used like this here, you need to separate it with commas. That is, this line should be “… with him, however, that is…” That's just the rule, Fräulein.

>Belthar however,

The “ , however, ” here is something you'll have to correct. I shall no longer make note of it, trusting you to be able to find all its future problems on your own.

>His values were simple. Protect the weak and innocent, …

Because of how the former sentence sets it up, and how the latter sentence is a list, that period in the middle should be a semicolon. And because the semicolon is only for the one sentence, “Protect” should be in the lowercase.

>So when the warlord died, and Belthar became king, …

That first comma there feels like it shouldn't be.

>Thirty years is what it took to clean up the bloody victory

This story is in the past tense. Cease at once with the present tense.

>…of the would be kings …

This is written as “would-be”, not “would be”.

>"Protect the weak and innocent, listen to your people, and learn. Learn so we all may grow."

This line isn't indented like the others.

>….in the land of the humans. Pushed away ….

Period should be a comma, since of how related these clauses are.

>Evil could not regain its hold on the lands with force like it had before in the hearts of men

This line is weird “Before”, I assume, means “in front of” here, but the way it's worded made me think you stopped mid-sentence. You might want to rewords the “hearts” line to the front of the sentence.

>This new evil had a name. Plague.

Place a colon before “plague”, since of how colons are used. Let me point you here, since you could use knowledge of the grammatical colon: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/colon-grammar.aspx

>No one knows …

Use the past tense, thank you. It's out of place here.

>Though she held 14 years under her belt …

Rule of thumb: write out numbers, especially shorter ones. I tend to always write them out, but when the numbers are as low as your here, write 'em out.
Also, because this clauses begins as “though”, you need a comma after “belt”, which is where this clause ends.

>…unfortunately thin. Partially from being malnourished and partially from her mother's genes.

This second sentence is a fragment. You need a comma after “thin”, thus, to fix this

>Though her skin didn't cling to her bones it was easy to see that she may have missed a few meals.

If you have a clause beginning with (or centered upon) a conjunction like “though”, the clause must end with a comma. The same is true of adverbial clause, and of prepositional phrase more than four words long. I shall no longer mention this, trusting you here to find all future problems.
Further, this is in the wrong tense. Again. “May have” should be “might have”, because “might” is the correct past tense

>It rested against another of it's kind …

“it's” is either a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. “Its” is the genitive (possessive) case of the word “it”. You can see the problem here.

>…space between the two. A perfect place to …

A colon is needed before “A”. From now on, I shall no longer mention this, as I trust you to learn how to use a colon.

>She had tried reaching her arm into the space to see if she could find any that way but it was too large, and her arms were too short.

You need a comma before “but”. Generally, you need a comma before words like “but”, unless the clause is really, really short. Because of how long this is, you need that comma.

>And by golly Krysta was going to get them come hell or high water!

Punctuate it like this: “And, by golly, Krysta was going to get them—come hell or high water!” It flows better, and is more accurate.

>Brushing herself off with shaky hands Krysta grinned,

Because of the tense shift, you need a comma after “hands”. This allows you to use the present progressive tense in the past tense, by making it a dependent clause, and the independent clause the “Krysta grinned”.

>The thud of her landing next to the rock …

Uh, how far did she fall? I mean, falling hurts. A lot. Just saying.

>The loud exclamation echoed through the forest as she looked upon the largest group of the fungi she had ever seen!

QQ . Why's the narration yelling at me? I didn't do anything to it. (Guideline of style: never end narration with an exclamation mark, unless it's a thought. You can, however, end them with a question mark if the narration is actually a character's thought. But other than that, don't use things other an a period to end a narrative sentence. It only works if it's a thought, but not as you have it written here)

>"Mother will be so excited! I can't wait to sho—"

When you interrupt dialogue, the generally accepted proper punctuation is an em-dash, “—”. Its power is wrought into our mortal world by reciting the ancient incantation, alt+0151.

>Her village was under attack.

How exactly does she know that? Has this happened before? Was it the “viking rapists!” scream, practiced over the years to alert people of just what kind of screams mean what? In fact, if this sentence “Was her village under attack?”, since it's coming from her thoughts, that would be more appropriate, if you otherwise wrote it to suggest suspicion rather than certainty.

>If the village survived this she …

Fact: if a clause begins with the word “if”, it must ALWAYS end with a comma. Ditto for “when”.

>As the reflection continued on its screen began to change.

This… sorta makes no sense. At all. I don't even know how to help you here, it's just that illogical.

>She watched as each took turns stabbing the villager, making a competition out of how much blood they could get on their blades in one thrust.

Yep. Vikings. On the plus side, Vikings were the only people who bathed daily back then. So at least if they raped you, you wouldn't get a yeast infection. [I apologize very, very much for saying that.]

>Taking hold of a stone in the death like grip her hand held, …

Whenever you describe something as like another object, and then attach the “like” at the end of the word, you must combine them with a “ - ”. So, it should be a “death-like drop”.

>Her aim proved true and with a howl of pain and a dull thud,

For the sake of flow, put a semicolon after true, so it reads “Her aim proved true; with a howl of pain and a dull thud, … “ That just flows better.

>Instead the man touched …

When you open a clause with “instead” and use it like you have it here, you need a comma immediately after the word itself.

>Or even worse… She had to get away!

Please don't ever use an ellipses during a narration, please. Please. It's just bad form.

>A fact that was not lost on our would be bandit fighter.

You just technically broke the 4th wall. No. “our would-be”. Plus, he was a fighter. If it were “on the would-be assailant”, that'd work. Also, this is a fragment. Use commas to attach it to the sentence before it.

>With a bone grinding …

“bone-grinding”, since these are being used as a single adverb.

>…green eyes stared skyward in a half lidded gaze, …

I could handle it once, but no longer. Don't say “green eyes” like this. At least say “her green eyes”, otherwise I could interpret these eyes as anything. Also, you often say “emerald”. It's either green or emerald; pick a color and stick with it.

>With the voices drawing nearer the adrenaline that rushed into her blood stream said otherwise.

What does this even mean? Ah, I see. You need a comma after “nearer”, because on the prepositional clause at the start. Otherwise, your sentence's meaning here is a complete clustf***.

>In one huge push of will power and effort Krysta launched herself

Prepositional phrase. You will learn what these are before reading any further this review, for I shall no longer remark on these errors, trusting in you to want to learn that you might never make them again and correct the one's you've yet made. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/03/ — introductory clauses in general, really.

>Lithe fingers made their way around a low hanging branch, …

-_- Please state whom these belong to, or at least say a “she/her” in the next sentence. Without them, the sentence could easily mean lithe fingers of an unknown beast.

>…as the short fall was proven to be quite dangerous, especially being pulled down with the force that she had been.

This entire line is pretentious and should die.

>…with it's many wonders, …

Its. Not it's. You will now go out and learn the difference, since I see it again not far off. I shall no longer point out this error to you, for I trust you to learn it. http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/its.html

>… the stars that she was forced to look upon now only proved to terrify the poor girl to no end. 

Question: why? [I'll discuss your narrative style later, but this sentence's an example of one of my problems with it.]

>Chuckle filled agreements filled the air,

“Chuckle-filled”, due to how you use them here. Also, you used “filled” twice in the same sentence. Doing that to a word is a general no-no.”

>The man who she had hit

You declined the word “who” incorrectly. Because this “who” received an action/object, it is declined as “whom”. “Who do you think you are?” [Nominative] “Whom do you serve?” [accusative/oblique] “You gave it to whom?” [dative/oblique] “Whose dress is this?” [genitive]. Yes, I'm a grammar Nazi. Yes, this difference that's lost to many of us, and so it doesn't exactly matter anymore. But please try. For me. Please? I'll be your friend.

>Now then missy, that wasn't very nice of you.

“missy” is being used a form of address, and thus need a comma before [and after] it. [Reading ahead: You have this problem a lot. Seriously work on it, since I hate it when people fail to do this basic grammatical step.]

>All three men chuckled under their breath causing Krysta to shudder.

Comma needed before “causing”, since of the tense shift.

>One could almost see her nervous system burn as the signals moved their way down, the sheer amount of information they were carrying shorting out her systems

Hello there, prose. We'll be back for you at the end of this review. Stayed tuned, AnnaKavanna.


Don't use more than one explanation mark ever in serious writing!!!1!

>…now armor less crotch …

When you use “now” as part of an adjective, you need to attach it to the word with a “-” . And, as a general rule, if you're using “less” as a modification of an adjective, you attach it to the end of the word, no bars. It should read “now-armorless”. Sometimes it'll be “armor-less”, but that – isn't generally needed.

>…the small girl could do nothing but blink and breath, …

A perfect example of when not to use a comma before the conjunction “but”, at least as I’d write it.

>Krysta drug a hand a hand through the dirt

Give a hand a hand to this problem.

>…her to shiver some, her arms crossed over her chest

Either making the verb “crossing” or make the “her arms” bit its own sentence.

>…in her, "I am alive", high .

Those comma aren't need and, on fact, make with line awkward to read.

>"Oh gods!!"

This line isn't indented. And what'd I tell ya 'bout havin' two 'a three 'a them exclamation or question marks in a row, hmm?

>Why is this happening!?"

This “!?” is an acceptable double-punctuation, however; it's called an “interrobang”. But, see, there's a seldom-used interrobang that looked like this “ ‽ ”. That's a single interrobang, and I like using it. You, however, don't need to use it, I just like to. A note, though, for this and the rest of its paragraph: Use contracts. People use them more often than not, in my experience here in the lovely South. And so was it up north. So, please, especially when you're panicked, use contractions.

>The black and white striped being in question, named Zecora, watched the strange creature with curiosity and worry. With one glance to the wound the manticore had inflicted she gathered Krysta up and slung the girl onto her back with little to no effort.

You really shouldn't do this, change POV's in the same scene. You mention the other person's name, whereas everything before was was third-person limited (from the girls' perspective). You should instead describe this from Krysta's POV. It just works better, and is less jarring. Also, try to NEVER have the narration give a character's name; you can always find a better way to express it in-universe.

Sorry. Hope this helps!


Yes it does! Thank you very much for this! You have given me a lot to think about.

It will be a large improvement.

Review request 4938

Title: For Candy
Tags: Comedy
Synopsis: Lyra messed up. She admits it. But really, Bon Bon should have been more careful with where she left unguarded bowls of delicious sweets. Now, to set things right and save their 'Night Before Nightmare Night' party, Lyra is determined to search all of Ponyville for replacement candy. Even the untested haunted house designed by Pinkie Pie.
Summary of first three chapters: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Od5uLctO281ZFOA42Jzd0Gpm_puvK3n-4YWoa9mUzq0/edit
Chapter one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aA5oVO9f2cysFBx0uj02NS4qcQiV8CxfYjJ-LDYlxnk/edit 3321 words
Chapter two: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XZlFnuL6CYjFLE1uN_p7nr-7dQ7r0LSrpM8MZKXczR0/edit 7102 words
Chapter three: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13TFlMR6spIq76P1PTe8kBaWLLjvItexeW-tBWgZfGT8/edit 6326 words
Chapter four: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19vEye3xkpLJNX1ZQLBEHt2P-B9CXyoMiPPikVoILulg/edit 6187 words
Comments: I'm looking for a review of chapter four of my story. I have included a basic summary of the first three chapters so that they don't have to be read, but any comments on them are welcomed. Thanks in advance.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review request 4946

Title: A.C.
Description: Chariot, a pony born into slavery, travels across a post-apocalyptic Equestria (completely unrelated to Fallout: Equestria) with the simple goal of reaching a mountain in mind. He'll soon discover what the world once was and will try to restore it.
Tags: Dark, Adventure
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/144B4otGAPDhWrvDX9SyP6h_kcze9Hj3w-lkAb83PoEc/edit

I've been up and down, inside and outside of this first chapter and I'm hoping it's up to par. Grammar, tenses, pacing, passive voice, all that good stuff I'd like to think I've addressed. I've been wrong before, though. This is sort of a final copy and whoever ends up taking it on would (hopefully) only need to give some basic finalizing tips. It's the flow that I'm mainly concerned with. Thanks to whomever ends up tackling this :D

Review Request: Forever Young 4949

Title: Forever Young
Author: Hyperexponential
Tags: [Sad]
Synopsis: Nopony ever said the friendship between Fluttershy and Discord would be an easy one. The difference in their life expectancies doesn’t help, but that’s a problem Discord can fix with a snap of the talons—that is, until Fluttershy finds out. Discord isn’t one to give up easily, though. He’ll do anything to keep his one and only friend. Anything.

Inspired by the image by C-Puff, here: http://c-puff.deviantart.com/art/Friend-Request-358777066
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nZvhRbTeB-MrGydirpq4uheZMDIYerbA6mciKRRUxyc/edit
Word Count: ~3,300 word one-shot
Comments: I appreciate having any mechanical issues pointed out, but I'm primarily after a critique of the storytelling, with emphasis on characterization, dialogue, and pacing.

Review of "Ever on the Edge" 4956


"Ever on the Edge" by Nonsanity is a political dialogue between Kindred Path, seemingly an adviser to Celestia, and her nephew and granddaughter. The piece centers on issues surrounding the limits of executive power and the idea a tyrant is defined not by what she does, but what she has the potential to do. The themes and ideas expressed throughout echo many concerns with the current American political system.

I will split my review into two sections: the first addressing some technical issues with the piece, and the second addressing the story as a whole. I will finish by making some suggestions to improve the story.

Technical issues:
* The two younger ponies are the nephew and granddaughter of Kindred Path, yet they refer to each other as cousins. The granddaughter should be the niece of Kindred's nephew. Or perhaps, the nephew is actually the grandnephew of Kindred.

* Your story refers to giving Celestia veto power, yet the Nephew also wants Celestia to break the stalemate in the senate. Veto powers would specifically allow Celestia to block any actions of the Senate, but if the Senate isn't taking any actions, veto power would do nothing. It seems like the Nephew is proposing much more than granting veto power (such as giving Celestia expanded executive and/or legislative powers).

* I noticed quite a bit of passive voice in your writing. Some of it is appropriate, but in other cases, the use of passive voice detracts from the writing. I'll provide an example of where you use it well, and example where it is inappropriate, and a case I could go either way:

>"Nothing is getting done. No decisions are being made. We need to break the stalemate!"

I like the contrast here between describing the Senate's actions in the passive voice, then ending with the active pronouncement "We need to break the stalemate!" For this reason, I would like to see you reword the previous clause (Princess Celestia be given the power of veto when the senate is deadlocked like this) to be in an active voice heighten the contrast you're creating here. (My suggestion: We're not suggesting that any of that should change, only that Princess Celestia intervene when the senate is deadlocked like this. Nothing is getting done. No decisions are being made. We need to break the stalemate!)

>"Changes need to be made!"

My apologies, but this is a rather bland call to action. I would consider rewording this to something in the active voice.

>"Not every change the senate makes is wished for by the populace."

This sentence reads a bit awkwardly because of its passive construction, but I can see the reasons for wording it this way. It maintains some parallelism with Kindred's previous statement, and you can emphasis on the word "populace" by placing it at the end of the sentence. Although I would be fine keeping this sentence in the passive voice, I would advise against retaining too many passively constructed sentences.

I've made comments on other minor technical issues in the document.

Story Issues
I know this story deals with some rather abstract political issues, but you make everything too abstract. You provide very few details about the political climate of Equestria that would spur on a movement to grant Celestia expanded powers. The only even you mention specifically is a trade agreement with Saddle Arabia, and that seems like a poor motivation for the nephew's political movement. You make some vague statements about deadlock and corruption in the Senate, but I want more specifics! What are the stakes? Why does the nephew speak with such urgency? What will happen if Equestria continues on without interference from Celestia? Answering these questions are important for making the reader care about the underlying debate.

Related to the point above, the nephew serves as somewhat of a strawman in this piece. The readers never really get to understand his full argument as the story focuses only on Kindred's rebuttal to his plan. Rather than just have Kindred lecture the reader, her point would stick more if you first convince the reader of the nephew's case, then have Kindred show the readers why they are wrong.

For this reason, if you wanted to flesh out this piece, I would suggest structuring it as a Hegelian dialectic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic#Hegelian_dialectic). This structure is well suited for stories because its three parts (the thesis, the antithesis, and the synthesis) fit together nicely into the three acts of a story (the beginning, the middle, and the end). You currently have the antithesis (Kindred's conversation with her granddaughter and nephew) and the synthesis (Kindred's conversation with Celestia). You're just lacking a good beginning to convince the reader that something is wrong with the political climate in Equestria and establish the stakes of the debate. The story then builds to the antithesis where the ideas built in the thesis clash against Kindred's views. Finally, the story leads to the synthesis where Kindred recognizes that, while their ideas may have been flawed, at least the motivation of her granddaughter and nephew are pure, and in that realization, there is perhaps some hope.

Review Acknowledgement - Ever on the Edge 4957


Thanks for the excellent review. Considering the fact this was just a test of the whole idea that ended up becoming a scene, it's been surprisingly popular. Enough that I feel the need to improve it, and your comments have helped with that.

I'm usually not too concerned with passive voice in dialog if that fits how the character would speak the line. In narration I try to keep it to a bare minimum, only using it where it actually improves clarity or covers for a lack of an easily-defined actor for the action. Of the four passive voice moments you commented on, I changed two of them to active voice. The other two are best if they stay as they are, I think.

This "story" started out with me sitting in a car and editing another one of my stories on an iPad. I came up with the idea that an immortal ruler would have to stay very hands-off, and wanted to record it. I opened up a new doc and wrote the first line as only as a bullet point in a list—then after a moment's thought, went back and added a quote to the front. I went on from there, and this was the result.

I'm contemplating expanding this into a full story, if I can get my inspirational ducks in a row. Adding a scene before this one, perhaps where the granddaughter and the nephew are discussing their plan, would be an excellent idea then. The story wouldn't be about them in particular or the whole veto issue. I've written a preliminary scene for the start of the actual story that would continue from this point—the story of the granddaughter becoming Celestia's new advisor, stepping into Kindred Path's horseshoes.

That little scene is on FimFic: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/93424/2/ever-on-the-edge/possible-start-to-a-longer-story

Oh, and I hadn't decided if the nephew was older and was actually Kindred's nephew, or if he was the same age as the granddaughter and actually her grandnephew. Either way, using "cousin" and "nephew" would be correct, if possibly less accurate. (Nopony is going to go around saying, "Could you pass the sugar, first cousin once removed?") ;)

Review Request: Gift of the Goddess Medievalman 4983

Title: Gift of the Goddess
Author: Medievalman
Tags: [Romance][Comedy]

Synopsis: A thousand of years of life experience would no doubt teach Princess Celestia a lot about romantic relationships, and that is exactly what Twilight wishes to learn from her beloved mentor. When Princess Luna catches wind of these lessons, however, she sees a chance to relight the fires of love within her sister again. But when a “one-time fling” turns into a life-long infatuation, Luna and a reluctant Cadance must race to reverse the effects of their meddling before Twilight finds herself in a most compromising position! But can she truly resist the total affection of a goddess?


Chpater 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HQ0d-IQkJiSXc5FQa6DNto_c_EoLstqGxJ2fe-m0oB0/edit?usp=sharing 6,003 words
Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pM-m62AeLydIw4mD9UFzw36Zn1VkoU5vy1-3Yx93Huo/edit?usp=sharing 6,256 words
Chapter 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SoNv9KhTL527cDq-lzSud1fiuMAisg7lHx4PsC3lqEg/edit?usp=sharing 8,034 words

Comments: Need a good set of eyes to run through all three chapters. The EQD pre-reader that took a look at it gave this short list to watch out for:
Its/its confusion
Hyphen/dash confusion
Comma use
Dialogue punctuation
Compound word hyphenation

and included: 'To be blunt, I liked what I saw, and I'm a pretty big Twilestia shipper. However, I'd say this needs some editing pretty badly.'

I've already gone through and edited the story a few times and need a review to see if it is up to standard.

Thanks in advance.
This post was edited by its author on .

Request Review, "To Dine with my Enemy" and Claim of "A.C.". 4985

Tags: Dark

Synopsis: Questions are like embers, burning the soul until one can no longer take the pain and the coal must be flung from out into the world so as to be extinguished by answers.

However, these answers shall be given on wings of ice, and the pain not numbed by its frigid bite. What does one do when one is told throughout their childhood to "forgive and forget", and yet they find somepony with which they can do neither?

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ECSJNvrg7qNxjRlEyTMpCVq_tI0QaMt4KRcGahdsFao/edit?usp=sharing

Comments: Tidied it up and toyed with this one a bit, adding some more to the scenes and tweaking the ending a hair. Thinking of EQD with this one as well. So, there's that to consider.

Hope you enjoy.


Let's see what we can do.
This post was edited by its author on .

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4988

File: 1364898726830.png (211.14 KB, 1134x1154, inkling.png)

Okay, With April Fools over, I'd like to submit a story which started out as a big practical joke for Ion Sturm (Who totally spoiled my fun because he's a big mean meanie pants ;.; ) But I do actually plan to go somewhere with it now.

Title: An inkling Of interest
Author: BleedingRaindrops
Tags: Romance, Slice-of-life
Wordcount: 2347
Synopsis: A blank filly with no attention span whatsoever, tries to discover her talent while dealing with the misunderstood advances of a sweet young colt who had the best of intentions.

To anyone who picks this up, the 'i's are intentionally all lowercase. This was originally a joke to irritate Ion, ever since he mentioned it in the skype /fic/ move discussion when Moony missed all his 'i's, but I've turned it into a plot device, so, just try to ignore it, please.


File: 1364939631930.gif (1.96 MB, 640x360, Twilight131795086464.gif)

>Foal shipping

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4992

File: 1364947448734.jpg (53.32 KB, 344x360, 9658 - macro pinkamena_diane_p…)

>whining about foal shipping written specifically by me
Are we seriously fucking doing this again?
We've been over this. Fuck. You.
This post was edited by its author on .


Sheesh, it was just a joke.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4997

File: 1364971000695.png (66.15 KB, 355x316, 17502_428510590558325_34367362…)

Well it stopped being funny a while ago, and you knew this, because I told you about it, with vigor. Knock it off, or I'll just report you next time.

Request: Good Thing I'm So Organized Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5003

From the looks of the queue I dunno if I should be doing this, but.

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle is organized. She's very organized.

I haven't actually thought of a synopsis.


Tags: Fucked if I know.

Wordcount: 5000ish

Review, "A.C." 5026

Have a review:


This has some very high potential, but it is held back by a lot of confusing, muddled organization and presentation of its plot.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or complaints, please feel free to express them.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming Forever Young 5027


Yeah. Just looking for something to do while I've got writers block going on. Short enough to probably get done in a day or so…

Comments on Comments 5030

Thanks so much for all this constructive feedback! I shall put it to good use.

Some comments on your comments though:
The reason behind the drivers throwing out the excess food was that they aren't terribly bright. Or as you put it, "beyond-stupid sort of stupid." Perhaps a comment by Chariot addressing the stupidity of throwing food out would make that clearer.
Also, the reason behind the ambiguity behind what the drivers are is that the story is told entirely from Chariot's perspective. He has no reference of what these things are beyond what he grew up with. I try to limit any references to things that an uneducated slave pony in an isolated community wouldn't know about. Which, I'll admit, has been difficult. Perhaps I should just stop trying to do this?

Everything else you suggested makes perfect sense and will be a tremendous help. Again, thank you! Now, off to editing.




>The reason behind the drivers throwing out the excess food was that they aren't terribly bright. Or as you put it, "beyond-stupid sort of stupid." Perhaps a comment by Chariot addressing the stupidity of throwing food out would make that clearer.

The only problem is that, the dumber you make them as a whole, the less threatening we can really find them. You've already established that the small commanders are at least reasonably intelligent, so I'd imagine they wouldn't want to waste precious food if at all possible. Stupid does not necessarily mean they have to be utterly short-sighted, and them displaying at least some intelligence in regards to goals and planning shows them as a genuine threat. Even if the soldiers are not particularly bright, it could at least imply that someone in their hierarchy knows what they're doing.

The barrel could be used for food that’s rotten, as any farm can have that, but there is little point in making the Diamond Dogs waste precious resources in this manner. It doesn’t add to their danger, nor to their cruelty, nor all that much to their already hilarious stupidity. It just seems like a pointlessly simple way to make them shortsighted, and I have that much more trouble making them into a serious threat or danger to our protagonist. It also makes me wonder how such idiots could even take over Ponyville in the first place.

Intelligence and common sense can be the crucial difference between Saturday Morning Cartoon villains and actually threatening villains. If you want the Diamond Dogs to be a real danger, you have to give them at least enough brains to be so. My 3 year old niece would throw away good food on a whim, and a threat to my freedom, she is not. While she also doesn’t have the constitution of a gorilla, those are dangerous because they are animals. Even armed with a pointy stick, I’m only afraid of a gorilla because it has no ability to understand me, and thus it is dangerous. It has no idea how to really use the pointy stick, but it is dangerous enough without it that the pointy stick just becomes a small fraction to be added to its danger value. Your Diamond Dogs are not gorillas. They are (arguably) rational beings, with the capacity to speak and think. Thus, they have the ability to have some degree of foresight, so wasting food is not adding to the threat they possess.

>Also, the reason behind the ambiguity behind what the drivers are is that the story is told entirely from Chariot's perspective. He has no reference of what these things are beyond what he grew up with. I try to limit any references to things that an uneducated slave pony in an isolated community wouldn't know about. Which, I'll admit, has been difficult. Perhaps I should just stop trying to do this?

It seems to be Chariot discussing what happened in his past, so him using some somewhat better language could be excusable, as he could have learned quite a deal in the time between then and now.

Or, alternatively, you could show him learning things during this first chapter by expanding into his childhood more. Maybe that can be something he and Jilly do as children, which they treat as another form of mischief: they try to learn, not only how to read, but how to think and explore beyond the boundaries of their little prison. It adds to their character, and to their friendship, and expands on your opportunities for exploring the world you have created.

However, disregarding that, I'd advise you at least chose to use as much description as possible. Just because he can't identify what they are doesn't mean that he can't see and describe that they obviously aren't ponies. Look carefully at how the Diamond Dogs are built: squashed faces, stubby noses, much more angular ears, and protruding fangs. Build an image of them in our heads, and be sure the image is as clear as possible.

Be constantly reminding us that these are not ponies by constantly dropping references to the fact that they are dog-based creatures. You don't even have to use the word "dog", as long as you use enough action and description to show that they are dog-like. Turning three-times before they sleep, a pack mentality, alpha males vs. lesser males, etc.

Feel free to discuss further.

Review done 5048


Well, this didn't take me a whole lot of time to review this. ~3000 words and what-not. Anyhow…

Very well done. There were some bloopers in there, but nothing too drastic.

She was okay for the most part. There were a couple of parts that I noticed that didn't quite go with her character

>And she was crazy

Fluttershy is not the type of pony to jump to conclusions like that. I know that Rarity was frustrated, but "crazy" has too much of a negative connotation to it. That was the only thing that caught my eye. There was one other thing, but other than that…

You did a good job with her. No complaints.

This was the one that bothered me the most. Remember, this guy is chaos incarnate. He's going to be clowning around or not making any sense. Reading this, he sounded too philosophical for my tastes. I guess it's not so much the arguments, but how he says those arguments. You do get better near the end, with the Twilight and Celestia analogy and the "Inspector" comment. However, there was a point that he asked about if Fluttershy would have wanted any foals. That doesn't sound at all like Discord. Most of the things you would need to revise would be focused around Discord's dialogue.

Dialogue: See Characterization

Pace: This is quite good for a 3300 word story. It covers a simple problem. Therefore, it shouldn't take long to resolve. I saw all four parts: the initial conflict(Discord is making Fluttershy immortal without her permission), the rising action (Fluttershy's conversation with Rarity and Discord removing Fluttershy's immortality), the climax (Discord removed his own immortality), and the falling action (Fluttershy and Discord both die). I've seen stories where the author takes forever getting to the point, making me feel like those guys in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (GET ON WITH IT!). The pacing is very good.

Overall, you did very well with this story. It was quite interesting to see how Discord would have to deal with the thought of losing his only friend. Like I said, the only qualms I had with this are Discord's lines, but you are more than capable of fixing it.

If you have any questions, you know how to contact me.


Review Acknowledgment - Forever Young 5055


Thank you, sir! You have provided me with precisely the kind of thoughtful feedback I've come to rely on from /fic/ and the Training Grounds.

Correcting the mechanical flaws and problems in Fluttershy's characterization should be straightforward. Discord's situation will require a bit more thought. Your observations concerning Discord's talent for chaos are well taken. Except in the final scene, Discord's appearances are all one-on-one dialogues with Fluttershy. I imagine him in those situations dialing his mischief back considerably for her sake, but you're right in saying that Discord must still remain Discord. Discord's antics are a zesty seasoning and potentially distracting if overused. I'll try adding a few more dashes to the pot, but I think I'd rather err on underseasoning than overseasoning the stew.

I suspected Discord's question to Fluttershy about never having had a family might be a problem. I wanted to accomplish two things with it: One was to give Fluttershy and Discord an intimate moment in which they didn't sound like a bickering old married couple. The other was to establish that Fluttershy had remained a spinster over the years, lest the question arise in the reader's mind. My hope was that Fluttershy's lead-in with Pinkie's status as a great-grandmother would set things up.

I appreciate your comments on pacing. Everything that is in the story is there for a reason, so I wasn't too worried about the story dragging. I was concerned that it might seem rushed in one or more parts, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

Thank you for the offer to entertain further questions. I have none to inflict upon you at this time, but may well have some for you before I set my story loose on the world.

The Six-Pointed Star 5100

Tags: [Human][Alternate Universe][Slice of Life]

Synopsis: Across the great kingdoms of the Internet, a strange new power is rising. United and devoted, the bizarre force finds itself flanked on all sides by supporters and enemies, loyal followers and traitors alike, and the rest of the world is left with difficult questions. A lone man journeys to the heart of the the Collective, seeking the answers.

Just what is a Brony? And what do they want?

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kyRRxtTybMS1uEk2jtDkZ0wKci6YAoa6wMzaLkWRnOs/edit

Comments: Any and all constructive criticism is welcome. Mostly worried about characters, and how they come across. The setting is a bit strange, so I'm considering adding an additional chapter that has several short stories and songs to flesh it out more – thoughts on whether that's necessary or not would be appreciated.

Review request and a Claim 5122

File: 1366133099406.jpg (58.93 KB, 872x917, rarity_photoshoot_5_by_aleximu…)

Title: Cutthroat Couture
Author: Bronetheus
Tags: Slice of Life
Synopsis: The patience, talents, limits, and character of the Element of Generosity are all put to the test when an ambitious business rival moves to Ponyville.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FTFd1os2TOzcdEQaGAl1u1FGvUzI9yLl3XY_18zoiZE/edit

So, having gotten about 100,000 words of pony writing experience under my belt, I feel somewhat ready to write a story about the Best Pony: Rarity. I want to make sure I get her character down pat, so that's one thing I may need help with. One of my biggest problems in the past and possibly present, though, has been that my narration tends to be really dry and uninteresting. I realize that's a very hard thing for a reviewer to fix, but I feel like that's the area in which I need the most help currently. Of course, I may be totally blind to bigger flaws, so by all means point those out too.

Also, looking at the queue… yikes. I wish I'd taken a screenshot of the brief time a few months ago when it was totally empty.

In order to help, or rather not hurt further, I'm going to claim Casca's George Buys A Chair. >>4514

I know it's not pony, but Casca has done much good for the MLP fanfic community, here as well as on FiMFic, so I'll repay that however I can.

Claiming "Cutthroat Couture" by Bronetheus 5123

How perceptive of you to choose best pony wisely. I choose you for my 50th (at least the 50th that's on the books and under this name) review in The Training Grounds. Rarity's the character I'm most comfortable writing, so we'll get your voice for her tuned up. I've (always) got a lot on my plate, so it may not be quick, but it will be thorough.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5125

I knew I was forgetting something.

I would like to withdraw "Good Thing I'm So Organized."

*Review: George Buys A Chair 5127

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Doc comments: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1umCbsSyWX0e8R1FST3f4OPt6gKUEmMw7KWZEpYMH-yk/edit

So, that was a fun story. A rather interesting twist on the narrative of the mild-mannered yet psychotic coworker who one day flips, seemingly out of nowhere.

The conversational, informal tone is obviously part of your message. I'm too tired and out of essay practice to try to unpack it, but it works, and it works wonderfully… Until the two sections I highlighted where the narration just beats the reader over the head a little too hard and detracts from the story.

If you remove or reword those parts, and fix the smattering of typos, you'll have a wonderful little vignette on your hands. My only complaint then would be that there are no ponies.

I hope that helps. And here's to you for being part of Seattle's Angels! I love you guys.

I am honored! (insert the starry-eyed Rarity emoticon from Fimfic here) Especially since you've done a lot of editing for my favorite authors, most recently and notably GaPJaxie and Vision, if I'm not mistaken. I wish I had more than one chapter so far so I had more examples to work with, but of course, the first chapter is the most important in a lot of ways. Probably better I don't get too far ahead before systemic flaws are brought to my attention as well.

Acknowledgemet of review Casca!blANCA/Sq2 5130

File: 1366184500661.jpg (282.6 KB, 800x600, ehehe.jpg)

Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and even more glad in your effort to outline a solution and the reasoning behind the tweaks for the two (three, wasn't it?) scenes. And with SA, it's a pleasure in itself, though I've gone off 'em due to uni.

So, yes - thank you very much for both the criticism and the kind words! I'll get cracking soon as I stop having assignments to rush.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 5134

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My apologies, but various forces are pulling me away from the fandom, a very prominent one being Ingress. Additionally, I've mostly lost interest in the franchise, despite all the wonderful creative works it has garnered and people I've internet-met through it. I finished reviewing the first Time Turner story a few weeks ago (via Google Docs comments) but have not reviewed the second one, and now am doing what I should have done over a week ago: un-claim it. I have emailed Rodinga about this.

Anonymous 5135

The game?

Unmarked Review De-quest Croswynd 5138

File: 1366341378018.jpg (107.55 KB, 500x500, Quills copy.jpg)

Well, it's been several months since it was claimed, nearly half a year, so I'm going to go ahead and say you can take Unmarked out of the queue.

Unless someone else wants to take up this heavy mantle.

Review Request: "Forever Young" and Claim Hyperexponential!LtjCGaFoA. 5140

This is the second time through The Training Grounds for this story. It benefited greatly from the criticisms of p0n00b, and I would be grateful if he would be willing to give it a second look in its revised form. I believe he will find Fluttershy much improved and Discord far more discordant.

Title: Forever Young
Author: Hyperexponential
Tags: [Sad]
Synopsis: Nopony ever said the friendship between Fluttershy and Discord would be an easy one. The difference in their life expectancies doesn’t help, but that’s a problem Discord can fix with a snap of the talons—that is, until Fluttershy finds out. Discord isn’t one to give up easily, though. He’ll do anything to keep his one and only friend. Anything.

Inspired by the image by C-Puff, here: http://c-puff.deviantart.com/art/Friend-Request-358777066
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J3_IvJzkszrfSI5f9Uguehy8LSsMO3jiKCsul3QudTg/edit
Word Count: 3,566 word one-shot
Comments: I appreciate having any mechanical issues pointed out, but I'm primarily after a critique of the storytelling, with emphasis on characterization, dialogue, and pacing. I also plan on posting this to Applejinx's review thread. My ultimate goal is to get this story EQD-worthy.

Previous Review: >>5048

[EDIT] The claim is made over on the ponychan side of the street.
This post was edited by its author on .


As a note, It's best to post claims/reviews in the same thread where the review request was posted. The writer may not know to look here for it.

Hyperexponential!LtjCGaFoA. 5145

Whoops! Thanks for catching that. I think I've set everything straight (I hope.)

Review Relisting Refresh: The Panther of the Bluebloods 5147

File: 1366391311092.jpg (17.94 KB, 256x256, gentderp.jpg)


More than two months since it was posted, claimed and then unclaimed. The sequel to the story that made Demetrius quit the fandom. A story that has doubled in size since it was posted. A laconic attempt at sarcastic wit in the face of Canterlot nepotism.

Title: Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Panther of the Bluebloods
Tags: [Comedy][Adventure]
length: 46,390 (My, hasn't it grown?)

Synopsis: As Time Turner prepares to celebrate the Ponyville summer sun celebration with his stalker/marefriend, Lucky Catch, he's cut short by a visit from Prince Blueblood, the second most powerful pony in Equestria.

The Prince is haunted by a spectral panther: the creature responsible for the death of one of his predecessors over a thousand years ago. When the Captain of the Royal Guard refuses to waste resources investigating a ghost story, Prince Blueblood takes his aunt's advice: to hire the Discordian Detective to discover why the panther has returned after so long.

The issues: It's complete, but it sufferers from my fundamental flaws of occasional dry wordiness and the plague of the comma splice.
While it is a sequel I won't be forcing anyone to read the predecessor. If fact you're probably better off avoiding it until I make all the changes Demetrius suggested. So it's probably best to read this one cold.

A cursory review was done by Writer's Block and highlighted the issues above. Now I need someone to crowbar them into my face and tell me how terrible I am.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to flag anything (and I mean anything) dry or in error and I shall rewrite the entire damn paragraph. There's also the typos that escaped the grammar nazi edit squads.

Beyond that I hope somepony will vaguely enjoy reading it.

Link: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5gI-CcsIkUEQWk3anE4cTJhYlk&usp=sharing
Zelda: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/59778/

Good night, and good luck.

Review of "For Candy" by Bob From Bottles Pascoite!uxy6g7ov9I 5148

Just so you know, Bob, someone posted a review in the other thread.


Submitting a request for Review 5149

o My Little Dovy: Friendship is your Thu’um
o Onward Conward
o [email protected]
o Crossover, Adventure, Human in Equestria
o Dovahkiin is sent to anceint equestria under mysterious cercustances. There he helps slay the meat eating dragons that have come back. He goes through the process of regaining his lost dragon souls and accepting he is a pony while trying to figure out the being that is bringing these dragons back to life.
o https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GIo94vdKwJriXkYfxp0MGvYZ3oV7ulvfQJJRsDlgY6A/edit
o All of it, if possible (it’s basically 1500 words)
o Comments/requests: Need help adding fat/meat/filler. I am terrible with that.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim + Review of "To Dine WIth My Enemy" Patchouli Knowledge 5167

File: 1366469923899.jpg (7.4 KB, 177x177, 23648124638.jpg)

The Great Unmoving Library has decided to grace you with a review. While I maintain the largest - possibly the only - collection of books in Gensokyo, my extent of things beyond magical theory are best described as a dabble at best. Thus, do bear in mind that while I am blunt, I am also merely myself. Meiling, for example, might enjoy this more than I (though I doubt reading is up her alley). Onwards!

This isn't Casca with all of his mid-sems done.No siree, no.

How to use this review: Do not take any of the comments at face value. When I say that this is that, or that is this, try to find out instead what it was that made me say it. Dig at my motivations rather than my fielded ideas; you've worked with me reviewers long enough to develop the skill for it.

The first thing I will note is that the writing quality in terms of descriptions, choice of words, sentence structure, all in all style, is well done, and "solidly written" is a fitting label for this work.

My main concerns are with characters and plotting. The two are intertwined, and you can figure out from the comments the shape of these concerns.

This is what your story development looks like, boiled down:

Hints of danger and intrigue
Subtle presentation of immortals being killed
Twilight is attacked and almost dies
Twilight is saved

There's a lack of resolution for the buildup of the first half, and a lack of character development for the action of the second half to have the significance it needs to matter. What we are told about Wet Works far outweighs what we know of Twilight in terms of character. Broad strokes do well in making Wet Works an interesting character for the first half; compare this to the thin strokes Twilight is painted in. All she does is worry and act as a vehicle for retrospective-style exposition. Nothing she does is shown to have any impact; she controls herself too much and when she fails to do so, still nothing of significance happens. There is nothing Twilight can do, so it seems, and while this may be true of your situation, it makes it weak.

The second half was when the interest spluttered out. Wet Works suddenly overpowers Twilight with no magic after a fairly interesting but ultimately unfulfilling, plot-wise, conversation. Again Twilight has no control over the situation, but here her lack of control becomes the focus, while it was simply a subtext with the exposition taking front and centre. At this point reading further seems to offer the reader nothing in the way of explaining more the situation, and because there's that disconnect, I drifted off.

I'd suggest cutting down on the scene and varying up the style more drastically. Shorter sentences. Choppier thoughts. Make it sensual. The sounds, the smell, the sensations - bring to life the raw feeling of hopelessness. And then bring in the Captain before it becomes tedious.

The ending does not provide any resolution. It does not provide Twilight with character development. It is instead given to Wet Works and some line which, were he a more solid character in terms of actions and motivation, would have some punch but ultimately is flat. I mean, a death threat from some guy in prison, who Twilight will never see again. That's not exactly ominous.

Conclusion: well-written, but unfulfilling. Give me more in the way of story and characters.

Keep writing.

Acknowledging review, "To Dine With my Enemy" 5176


Well, here were my thoughts:

>There's a lack of resolution for the buildup of the first half, and a lack of character development for the action of the second half to have the significance it needs to matter. What we are told about Wet Works far outweighs what we know of Twilight in terms of character. Broad strokes do well in making Wet Works an interesting character for the first half; compare this to the thin strokes Twilight is painted in. All she does is worry and act as a vehicle for retrospective-style exposition. Nothing she does is shown to have any impact; she controls herself too much and when she fails to do so, still nothing of significance happens. There is nothing Twilight can do, so it seems, and while this may be true of your situation, it makes it weak.

My main purpose was a little less for developing Twilight’s character, and a little more for presenting a situation. However, I had thought the character appropriate for my chosen backstory, which I tried to present throughout the discussion.

My version of events goes as such:

First, out go Discord and Chrysalis. Curiosity arises over their demise, and so investigations begin.

Then go Luna and Celestia. A nation mourns, and the hunt begins in earnest now, with Twilight leading the way for her teacher’s killer. There is no more question as to the monster they’re hunting, and now the whole countryside is up in arms.

Then, Cadence and Shining Armor. Cadence because she’s also an alicorn, and Shining Armor because he was protecting his wife at the time. In the struggle, Shining Armor manages to give Wet Works a good strong hit, breaking his horn and essentially crippling him.

Twilight, this hunt now having become personal, eventually finds and corners the wounded Wet Works alongside the other five corner and their Elements of Harmony. Wet Works, in desperation, fights back and kills Fluttershy, targeting her as she is arguably the weakest in terms of combat experience, physical condition, and overall mentality.

However, even despite that, he is caught and is now going to face trial for his crimes. Twilight is coming in here to ask her questions before the jury gets a hold of him. Imaginably, he is not going to be coming back, so this is pretty much her last opportunity to try and get her final solace from this lunatic they have been hunting and who has hurt her so much on a very deep and personal level.

The almost one-note self control is her attempt to deal with the pain, an effort to shut out the strong desire she has to have her vengeance and simply be done with it. She knows that would be wrong, so she is having an emotional break, trying to cope with the still raw wounds of her loss by shutting out as much emotion from herself as possible.

>The second half was when the interest spluttered out. Wet Works suddenly overpowers Twilight with no magic after a fairly interesting but ultimately unfulfilling, plot-wise, conversation. Again Twilight has no control over the situation, but here her lack of control becomes the focus, while it was simply a subtext with the exposition taking front and centre. At this point reading further seems to offer the reader nothing in the way of explaining more the situation, and because there's that disconnect, I drifted off.

Funnily enough, my first version played out much differently. Wet Works was originally supposed to do absolutely nothing, except sit there and be creepy, and the final section was her trying to get out because she simply can’t bear occupying the same room as this creature. I added the assault segment to put in some actual action and give my villain some real threat power. Anyone can talk big and nasty, so I thought it best to actually show that Wet Works was dangerous, if one did not give him the proper caution. Like a trapped animal or a cornered dog; he doesn’t need magic to be dangerous, he simply needs the right moment. Magic simply gave him more moments.

However, I can agree with you that the attack sequence played out much too long. A lot of the dialogue I fitted in that whole sequence would likely sit much better in earlier and later segments, during the quieter scenes when he only has the power of his voice to make him dangerous.

If I keep any speaking parts during that segment, I’ll have to try and keep it short and sweet.

Makes more sense too. Wet Works would have to know that there is no reasonable way he could fit in some long-winded monologue when his victim is already passing out. He’d either have to let her regain consciousness, so she could not only hear him but likely break free and crush his head like a soda can, or he’d have to accept that she probably got nothing past the first couple sentences and he’s just wasting air.

>The ending does not provide any resolution. It does not provide Twilight with character development. It is instead given to Wet Works and some line which, were he a more solid character in terms of actions and motivation, would have some punch but ultimately is flat. I mean, a death threat from some guy in prison, who Twilight will never see again. That's not exactly ominous.

My thought while writing the ending was thus:

The final line is not a direct reference to Wet Works himself, but a warning that another just like him will come someday to test her again. Even if he’s no longer alive, and she eventually forgets about him and the pain he caused her, another version of Wet Works shall eventually rise, as darkness is inevitable as long as there's light to oppose it.

“… wearing different faces but speaking in the same voice…” is referring to the fact that every generation of society has its boogeymen. He is simply one of this generation’s. And his goal, and the goal of his successors, shall all revolve around bringing an end to something timeless, be it families, societies, or rulers. He is a villain that knows his place in the world, and his place is to give Twilight and her kind (that being the keepers of goodness and light. With him, specifically alicorns and other such long-lived creatures) a method to test themselves against and find their true nature, be it good or bad.

Twilight chose to not have vengeance, and to not allow her guards to kill him, instead allowing the law to have him and do with him what it will. While it is doubtful he would survive, it is the principle of the matter and she is going to uphold that principle.

So, that was supposed to be Twilight’s development. She is struggling to understand why somepony like this even exists, while simultaneously struggling to keep herself from falling apart, and becoming either a murderous fiend herself, or an emotionless drone.

That was my thinking, anyway.

As always, thank you for your time and your thoughts.

Patchouli Knowledge 5181

File: 1366554258606.gif (57.53 KB, 55x105, bobbing.gif)

>My version of events goes as such:
See, that's a story. That's the foundation needed to establish not only the motivation and character, but also the decisions made which lead up to this point - the body to the head of the fish, so to say, and without it one is left with a rather odd floppy thing. I'd suggest that alternating between the dungeon scene and these important pieces of information, through disjointed flashbacks or such - short scenes with a drastically choppy style, perhaps?, so as to not overwhelm the dungeon scene - would make the current scene so much more stronger.

>The almost one-note self control is her attempt to deal with the pain, an effort to shut out the strong desire she has to have her vengeance and simply be done with it. She knows that would be wrong, so she is having an emotional break, trying to cope with the still raw wounds of her loss by shutting out as much emotion from herself as possible.
needs justification and background to be presented. Having Twilight be very distressed, or just out of control emotionally in interjections, would provide an interesting juxtaposition. Just putting the idea out there.

>The final line is not a direct reference to Wet Works himself, but a warning that another just like him will come someday to test her again.

This isn't something the reader would realize on their own with what you've given, though, simply because the idea of an immortal killer is so… new, I suppose is the word, and far out in terms of power level. It's a bit of work to get to the idea that Wet Works is an immortal killer, let alone to imagine there's more than one of him about.

Alice Margatroid 5190

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The only collection of books? I have a decent collection myself, there's that grimoire shop in the human village, and Marisa certainly has a sizable collection. Though admittedly some of those are probably on "loan" from you…



>I'd suggest that alternating between the dungeon scene and these important pieces of information, through disjointed flashbacks or such - short scenes with a drastically choppy style, perhaps?, so as to not overwhelm the dungeon scene - would make the current scene so much more stronger.

Sounds intriguing. I’ll have to try that. This wasn’t supposed to be anything long (it started as a write-off entry), but I don’t imagine some expansion with a few flashbacks would hurt it.

Though I’d want to be careful about abusing them to the point where I utterly eliminate any reason for the dungeon scene to start with. Plus, there were some subtleties I tried to play out that I really wouldn’t want to lose (i.e, such as the fact that not once are Cadence, Shining Armor, or Fluttershy brought up by name in either the narration or the dialogue. I felt it such a great way to hint at just how badly those ones hurt, and how fresh the loss still is.)

>This isn't something the reader would realize on their own with what you've given, though, simply because the idea of an immortal killer is so… new, I suppose is the word, and far out in terms of power level. It's a bit of work to get to the idea that Wet Works is an immortal killer, let alone to imagine there's more than one of him about.

I imagined it less being that Wet Works is immortal, and more that the concept of Wet Works is immortal. Wet Works doesn’t want to die, but his purpose is to fight those who proclaim themselves good. Therefore, he knows he won’t survive, or ever truly succeed, given the fact that “good always triumphs”.

But, even should he die, another will just take his place someday, be it several decades or several centuries from now. Heroes always have villains, and so even should Twilight beat him, there will be another villain for her to face sooner or later.

For him, it’s less about the actual conquest and more about the necessity of the whole song and dance itself. He’s the mirror for the world to judge itself against, as the morning cannot be understood until one has endured the night, and as long as he touched them in some way, he did his job and he doesn’t regret it.

Derpity !GXORDm9Q9w 5196

I'll do my best at reviewing this

Claiming and posting requested review 5205


Ah! Wonderful! So much better. Discord could use a little more tweaking, but he's significantly better than the Discord from the first draft I read.

I've also been making port in that there village known as Ponychan, and I noticed that you've got Applejinx to look this over as well. Reading through his comments, I do have to agree with him on the ending. This is a story about the interactions between Fluttershy and Discord, and frankly, I could care less about what the town thinks of them. As far as the whole statue thing, I respectfully disagree with him on his thinking that Fluttershy wouldn't want to have a statue of her. However, I could see the idea of having the two of them in the same sculpture.

As far as that whole beginning scene, I think he's right on that as well. You could add in a few lines to get the gist of what's going on.

Also, as far as the whole immortality discussion with Rarity, I think it may be better for them to talk about Celestia and what she goes through with immortality. As far as I recall, Twilight didn't gain immortality upon her transformation. Besides, didn't McCarthy or Larsen or whoever it was say that Twilight wouldn't outlive her friends? This is up to you of course, but we know for sure that Celestia and Luna are immortal, so I would think it would be a more logical choice to have Rarity focus on them.

Anyhow, that's my two cents. Feel free to contact me if you have questions. I'm available from 9:30 P.M. until whenever I need to hit the sack.



Response to Review: "Forever Young" 5207


Thank you so much! It's clear that I still have some work ahead of me, but I'm glad to see that things are moving in the right direction. I would indeed like to follow up with you. You mention 9:30 PM. Which time zone might that be? (I'll also follow up to your email to me.)

Review of "Cutthroat Couture" by Bronetheus 5208


I won't go into too much detail here, since it's all laid out in doc, but the consistent problems I saw were:

-Some comma usage issues with conjunctions or hierarchical and coordinate adjectives.
-Participial phrases that are misplaced modifiers and/or have unclear timing of events.

Your counts of commonly overused words:
begin/start: 12. Not too bad but a little goes a long way with these.
look: 11. Good.
turn: 9. Good.
smile: 7. Good.
trot/walk: 2. Good.
that: 79. This one is hard to judge. You'll have to look at each use on a case-by-case basis. It can signify three problems: 1) you may overuse certain sentence structures, 2) you may overuse demonstratives as pronouns (one of the comments I left will explain), 3) you may be using "that" when you should be using "which." 1 and 3 are things I'll usually notice, and I already marked a couple istances of 2, so you're probably okay here. Might be worth a once-over, though.
just: 22. Pretty good for this word count.
is/was: 57. This is also one that has to be taken on a case-by-case basis. It can signify that you're using too much passive voice, being telly, or lacking action in your verb choice.

There are a few issues here. First is telly language.

We've already had a discussion on this in doc, but I'll rehash the point here. It's better to communicate emotion subtly than saying it outright. Your story is a little movie that plays in the reader's head. So treat it like one. Does an actor stroll out on stage and declare that he's sad? It would give you the information you need, but it's also boring. Instead, he drags his feet, won't make eye contact, has red eyes, might cry, is easily distracted… In short, he gets you to figure out that he's sad, and by doing so, he's made you identify with him and think about him. That involves the viewer/reader and makes for a much more interesting read. It gets the reader invested in the story. We're hardwired to read others' emotions from such cues, so it feels natural to do it this way. Give the reader the cues that an observer would use to deduce the character's emotion and lead him to the conclusion you want him to draw instead of spoon-feeding it to him. The only times it makes logical sense to show are when the narrator is objective (outside all of the characters) or the perspective character is presenting her own emotions. When the narrator is telly about a non-perspective character, it doesn't make sense. The perspective character had to interpret that emotion somehow. If she couldn't, then I can't either. Give me the same evidence that the perspective character used. That said, do you have to show all the time? Well, no. You can get away with it if the comment is of only mild importance. If emotions are running high, you're at a critical plot point, or you need the reader to feel along with the character (that is, empathize with her) instead of just understanding it, youshould be showing. Red flags for telly language include (but are not limited to) outright naming an emotion (sad), -ly adverbs (happily), and "in/with <emotion/attitude>" phrases (in excitement). The last one in particular is almost always redundant with an action it follows. Show me the emotion through body language, facial expression, some dialogue (but don't depend too heavily on it), reactions to dialogue, posture, and sometimes thoughts. Can readers misinterpret the emotion you're trying to portray? Certainly, but you should be able to get them close enough that the distinction doesn't matter. If you absolutely need to get a super-specific one across, you're probably overdoing it, and if I can't pick it up from the cues you give, how could the perspective character possibly do so?

Next is a problem with two symptoms in your story. "Talking heads" is when characters talk back and forth with little to no action breaking up the dialogue. The characters could be statues for all I know. What's said is only half of a conversation. Fix it using the same techniques as showing. One of the symptoms is that much of your conversation is only interrupted with speaking actions. The other symptom is that they are only speaking actions. As long as you've exited the dialogue, use that tag to bring in some other kind of action as well.

Finally, watch your perspective shifts. I could talk a lot about this topic, but the specific instances where you did it are brief and places where you could easily cut the entire bit out without harming anything. So I'll leave you with this: perspective shifts shouldn't be done too often, really examine whether the shift is necessary in the first place (does it add to the story, and can that information be relayed without changing perspective?), and be careful to handle the shift smoothly. That last one is the part I could go on at length about, but I'll hold back, since I don't think your shifts were necessary, so the point is moot. If it comes up later in your story, I'd be happy to explain.

You're pretty close to having a good Rarity going here, but there are a couple of things missing.

First, since much of the narration is told from inside her head (in places, the narrator makes her comments for her, essentially making her the narrator), such passages need to sound more like her voice. They should be written in the style of her dialogue, which you did pretty well, and then when you pull the narration back to a more neutral feel, you can come out of her voice.

Second, and this ties in with the telliness/talking heads, show-more-detailed-action stuff, consider that Rarity, and people of that same personality type, are very visual speakers. Her eyes, ears, hooves, eyebrows, shoulders, etc. are constantly in motion, always gesturing. This goes with her speech as well, where she has very deliberate inflections and emphasized words. Really think about how she looks and sounds while she's speaking, and convey that to the reader.

This chapter is all setup so far, so there's not really anything to judge yet. What's here is fine.

Nice start on this story. Just give it a tune-up, and you'll have a solid start. The few biggest problems are interrelated, so you can pretty much knock them all out at once. Keep writing and have fun with it!

Any questions? Post here, find me in IRC, or use the email in my tripcode.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Acknowledgment 5209

File: 1366775200532.png (92.18 KB, 650x407, gala_rarity_by_rydelfox-d49z2k…)


I really appreciate your time and effort, especially with everything else you have on your plate right now. It's going to be very helpful, for sure. I don't have any questions at the moment, but I've been meaning to start hanging out in the IRC now that my internet is less shitty, so I'll find you or somebody else there if I come up with any.

Some brief responses to your critique:

You are absolutely right that my perspective shifting served no purpose, and I'm embarrassed I posted the story here before catching them. It's a bad habit I've got, possibly from running roleplaying games for many years.

Also, as with the fishiness of how Hilton acquired his business license, Rainbow's secret orders do become a plot point. Taking a page from a previous, awesome editor, I made sure to include at least two Chekhov's guns in the introduction.

As I feared, my attempt to make my narration more interesting backfired and resulted in a ton of tell-y adverbs and obvious redundancies. I've got my work cut out for me there, but now that you've pointed out exactly where to look, it should be doable. Thanks a lot!

Review Request: Strive Croswynd 5239

File: 1367013182307.png (165.82 KB, 900x797, YEEEEAH.png)

Title: Strive

Author: Croswynd

Tags: [Slice of Life]

Synopsis: Appleoosa was created by the sweat of earth pony brows, stubbornness and more than a few bits. Now that Braeburn’s seen his dream come true, the investors have sent a pony representing their interests. Turns out, Appleoosa ain’t the money maker they were looking for and they've come to Braeburn with an ultimatum: pay back their investment or lose the town he helped work so hard to build.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O70og7teTak9SPPkZMmZodURIH0CDruRQLYhtaNO75g/edit

Word Count: 2,424 (Chapter 1)

Comments: An in-depth review would be helpful, but whatever the reviewer who picks this story wants is perfectly acceptable to me.

Claiming: Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency: The Panther of the Bluebloods 5247

File: 1367081513145.jpg (87.01 KB, 1000x1000, Kiith_Gaalsien.jpg)

I'll be reviewing this over the weekend, probably over next week too. I'll be in touch as much as possible, and I'll try to have a review by the monday after next.

Sincerest thanks for your help with my end of the writing spectrum. I feel it's only right to return the favor.

Lost but Not Quite Found 5277

File: 1367454907140.gif (475.68 KB, 500x281, The Eye is Ever Watchful.gif)

#Adventure #Sci-fi #Coming-Of-Age #Prologue
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/97271/lost-and-not-quite-Found ← Summary and Story
I wrote the first bit hoping for some feedback as it is my first attempt, and as I expected, it received mixed results. Unexpectedly, zero comments. I have some ideas about where I went wrong, but nothing solid and I was hoping I could get another opinion on what all needs to change.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review request 5318

Title: For Candy
Author: Bob From Bottles
Tags: Comedy
Synopsis: Lyra messed up. She admits it. But really, Bon Bon should have been more careful with where she left unguarded bowls of delicious sweets. Now, to set things right and save their 'Night Before Nightmare Night' party, Lyra is determined to search all of Ponyville for replacement candy. Even the untested haunted house designed by Pinkie Pie.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19vEye3xkpLJNX1ZQLBEHt2P-B9CXyoMiPPikVoILulg/edit
Word Count: 6095
Summary of previous three chapters: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Od5uLctO281ZFOA42Jzd0Gpm_puvK3n-4YWoa9mUzq0/edit
Comments: I'm looking for someone to help me get this chapter ready for posting. I mostly need a second set of eyes to catch any typos or grammar mistakes that still exist. Though, comments on the story itself are welcome. Thanks in advance.

Claim and Review: Lost but Not Quite Found Croswynd 5405


I was going to claim it first, but I just went ahead and reviewed it since I had the page open. Hope it helps, mate.

"Chandler tried to cook… again. She thought as the acrid smell of scorched earth caught up to her awakening senses."

Thoughts should be treated like regular dialogue. I'd recommend forming a new paragraph for this like you would any other dialogue and get rid of the ". She" and replace it with ", she". Same thing with the following "Wait… dirt? The mare rolled and contorted into a reclining position against the mound of dirt her crash through the undergrowth had left."

"She could feel the occasional impact on her drenched coat as the rain poured on"

Poured on what? Did you mean in? Or do you mean the rain is continuing to poor? Clear this up.

"The foliage sliced whatever natural light may have been into thousands of thin shafts shooting down through the canopy, though there were several small fires scattered about the newly-made clearing, hissing and sizzling whenever rain landed near them as they provided lit the dim atmosphere. "

This is a rather long sentence. I'd suggest breaking it into two. Also, "provided" seems like the remnant of a sentence, so I'd take it out. Conversely, you can change "lit" to "light to". Even better, you could transform the sentence into "There were several small fires scattered about the newly-made clearing, hissing and sizzling whenever rain landed near them. The flames provided a sinister light to the dim atmosphere." Or something to that effect.

"The mare jolted up straight with a strangled cry and swiveled about searching for some sign of familiarity in the unfamiliar wilderness."

Add a comma before "searching".

"The clear centerpiece of the area was the giant mangled hunk of metal laying battered and worn a mere sixty paces from where the mare was sitting. There were other furrows through the dirt similar to hers leading from the crash site, most ending in large pieces ripped from the construct, others had sources hidden from her view."

This should be its own paragraph, since you're describing something new and specifically interesting, rather than something that blends in with the rest of the descriptions. I'd also add a "while" before "others".

"Her tan coat was covered in dirt and blood from a combination of her tumble and a myriad scratches."

This sentence could use some work. First of all, we know she's injured from the fall. No need to retread that. Also, "a myriad scratches" doesn't agree with itself. Fix it to say "Her tan coat was covered in dirt and blood from a dozen, myriad scratches." Or something to that effect.

"Her mane was brutally distinct from it's usual pampered muted-red curls and silken length, as the tumble and elements had forged it into a brambled nest glued together with everything the forest had to offer."

"it's" means "it is". "Its" shows possession. Remember that. Your description of the hair is also a little too much all at once. Try spreading the descriptions out or just take out one of the modifiers. Like "usual". You don't need that to imply "pampered" is the usual state of her mane.

"The mare dropped back against the mound without regard to the new coating of mud her back just earned. "Where am I?""

This should, again, be its own paragraph.

""None of that is worth the time it would take to explain. I promise I'll answer your inane, endless flood of questions later, but for now just shut up and listen.
"That 'thing' over there is how to live for longer than sunset. Walk over to it. If you can't, crawl. If you can't do that, then there's no hope for you, and you're dying very unhappily on this rock. Just get moving, it doesn't matter how fast or slow. As for where you belong… I don't think you want to know about that.""

There's nothing wrong with this part, but maybe you could spice it up by saying her voice moved to a new location to say the second paragraph of dialogue. Your choice. Just a thought I had.

"It wasn't that funny… the mare thought ruefully."

New paragraph.

"Shaking her head the mare gave in, and started pulling herself up."

Comma after "Shaking her head". Comma after "in" isn't needed.

“The blood loss and soreness in her muscles made it more difficult than expected, but she eventually lurched to stand under her own power. After a short while of stumbling steps and near-falls, the mare began to near the wreckage, and finally saw what caused the acrid stench.”

This should be its own paragraph, since just before it is a thought. Treat thoughts like dialogue.

"Everywhere she looked the charred remains of whoever was with her when she came here were scattered and cooling. Images of house and home flew through her mind faster than she could keep track of, though a combination of distance and damage kept her from recognizing the bodies. As she spun slow circles around her in the shadow of the wounded metallic monolith, she eventually came to a stop as her mind blacked out.

This should be its own paragraph. Comma after “Everywhere she looked”. I’d replace “she came her” to “she came down”. The last sentence implies that when she’s spinning in circles she’s coming to a stop. Improve by way of “She spun slow circles in the shadow of the wounded, metallic monolith and eventually came to a stop. Her head was fuzzy and she could hear some kind of buzzing in her ear as her mind finally blacked out.” Something like that.

“A short while later a drawling and increasingly familiar voice awaited the mare's second return to consciousness.”

Comma after “A short while later”.

“"Not answering that, get inside."”

Make this two sentence. “Not answering that. Get inside.” This makes the voice seem more clipped and annoyed.

“They can't hurt you. They're just… her mind trailed off as she had difficulty bringing herself to think of death.”

New paragraph. And everything after that make a new paragraph. Treat thoughts like dialogue.

“ Some of which were much older than whatever recent events caused the explosion of bodies and metal.”

Some of which what? Always be clear on what you’re describing. Make sure the reader knows you’re talking about the scratches.

“The monolith was angular and lined with creases in the metal, seemingly for aerodynamics, though the general block shape and lack of wheels contradicted that theory. It had a large hole with glass shards lining it at the front, and a series of four seemingly intact cylinders in a row at the back. “

This can be its own paragraph.

“Despite her training at several universities, the mare was at a loss as to what purpose the cylinders held. Probably some kind of storage, judging solely by size.”

More dialogue stuff. You know what to do.

“"I don't know what you want me to find here." she complained as boredom sunk in.”

When you do dialogue, always end the sentence in a comma, unless your non-dialogue that accompanies it is a non-verbal action. If you had said “She scratched her mane.” then you would use a period. Right now, she’s complaining, something you can verbally do.

“After a few seconds of waiting, a hiss of rushing air drowned out the sounds of the jungle and a thin slat fell off the
building landed with a resounding clatter on the ground below, and left a dark hole leading further in. As the mare walked over to the opening, she realised there was still a problem. The new entrance was a grand three feet away from the ground, and there was no chance of her climbing in her condition.”

You have a wayward paragraph here. Fix it. Also make it “…the sounds of the jungle and a thin slat fell off the building to land with a resounding clatter on the ground below. The slat left a dark hole leading further into the monolith.”

“She called out hoping .”

She called out hoping? Poor guy. This is a case of a muddled sentence. You should have “She called out, hoping.”

“She shrugged and looking around the room she found herself in.”

“and looking” should be “and looked”.

“Along the walls were the door she entered, two on her left, and a heavily-dented one to her right.”

This is a mess of a sentence. I’d use “Along the walls were doors, two on her left and a heavily dented one to her right.”

“The damage drew her attention, Why is this wreck mostly damaged on one side? Everything else just reeks of neglect and a fully-male community. I'll have to ask Serra about that.”

This should be a new paragraph. Also that comma is incorrect. It’s not something she verbally did, so use a period.

“Continuing her search, she checked the doors on her left. “

This is an example of something you’ve done right but that you’ve done incorrectly elsewhere. Beginnings like “Continuing her search” or “At first” should always have a comma like you have here; they are parts of the sentences that aren’t part of the main sentence.

“Though the doors lacked knobs or any obvious means of moving them, they slid into the wall whenever she got close to one so despite her unfamiliarity she had no trouble finding her way through them.”

This is a bit of a run-on sentence. I’d split it in two at “whenever she got close to one.” Then the second part can be “Despite her unfamiliarity with the doors, she had no trouble finding her way through them.”

“One led to a privy, though that is loose use of the term.”

Should be “though it was a loose example of the term.” Don’t talk to the reader. Talk from her perspective.

“Small hole over continually flowing water does the room more justice.”

Again, don’t talk to the reader. Have it be “A small hole over continually flowing water did the room more justice.”

“Before she was given the chance, Serra cut in again. "Second on the left."”

New paragraph.

“"Plus if you have something to shove in your face it'll give me time to answer before you start rambling off other even more stupid questions."”

Remember that thing I said you did right? You did it incorrectly here again. “Plus” should have a comma after it.

“It appears I was correct, she apparently does have to be that uncouth. “

This should be its own paragraph.

“To her eternal astonishment, the stove did manage to start.”

Why not change “did manage” to “managed”? Always be concise.

“I don't think I've ever missed the rats of all things in Trottingham.”

Own paragraph. Also, “of all things” should have commas around it. I’ll skip over these from now on, since you’ve hopefully picked up on it.

“And that, is a question I'm not answering."”

Get rid of the comma.

“"This 'building' is a poorly made cutter, I know it's a wreck but its still a ship. “

You have a habit of running sentences together with commas. Sometimes it’s better to use a full stop to make dialogue sound more natural.

“Palette payed no attention and continued her wrestling without the object moving in the slightest.”

“Payed” should be “paid”, almost always, unless you’re sailing.

There’s a few mistakes sprinkled through the rest of the story, but I’ll stop with “A stranger approaches.” This doesn’t match the tense of everything else in the story, which has been the past. It should be “A stranger was approaching” or “A stranger approached”.

So I find myself at an impasse. At times, your descriptions are great and it flows nicely. At other times, it feels like you stumble over yourself to include everything in one sentence. You can make more than one sentence to describe things or you can subtract a few of the descriptions to make the flow better. I’d go with the latter, personally.

The dialogue is hit and miss. A lot of the times, it feels like you don’t have a proper grasp on how people talk. There’s a lot of commas I your dialogue, which I mention sometimes, that makes it seem as if people are saying things all in one breath. Full stops are your friend.

There are a few spelling issues sprinkled throughout the piece. I mentioned one at the end of the review, but you’ll have to go through the story with a fine-toothed comb to catch everything. Half of writing a story is editing, believe me.

The story itself isn’t exactly the most interesting to start off with. I find myself uninterested in the character, since I’m not given any reason to care, really. All i know is that she’s a mare who wakes up with amnesia in a strange jungle. I’m not even sure she’s even on the planet. And the technology being used says that maybe it’s in the future or she’s in another dimension? There’s a lot of missed opportunities to add wonder to it, because we’re really just left floundering.

Honestly, I’d say you weren’t even writing a pony story. It’s more like an original fiction that happens to have pony characters. There’s very little connection to Equestria other than a vague reference to the Everfree. It’s not bad that you want to write original fiction, but if it doesn’t fit the universe, or we’re not given any explanation for anything, it’s best to not try and hammer an original fiction into fan fiction because you like ponies.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim: For Candy Croswynd 5407


I'll get your review out shortly, mate.

Review: For Candy Croswynd 5408



One of my complaints would be the gigantic paragraphs you have a habit of forming as you write your story. They're a bit much and really feel like walls of text, which is a shame, since what's actually inside the walls of text is pretty funny.

Another would be that there isn't anything extremely interesting happening in the first third of this chapter. On the other hoof, that may be the point if the previous chapters were chock-full of stuff happening.

I found a few mistakes, which I commented on inside the doc, but otherwise it looks fine and I found myself grinning the last two thirds of the story. The dialogue felt natural and the characters stayed true to their personalities. The rich description, which may have made the first third a little heavy, felt lovely in the other two thirds. It all flowed very well.

And thus, my review is ended. If there's anything else you want me to specifically look at, do tell, and I'll go back through it. Otherwise, it was great.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review acknowledgement 5409


Thank you for the review. I'd admit to being guilty of trying to cram too much into a single paragraph. I'll give the story another sweep and work to break up the longer ones.

You are correct about the previous chapter being chock full of things happening. I wanted this chapter to go at a slower pace to give both the reader and Lyra a chance to relax and collect their thoughts. Do you think I went a bit too slow in the first third?

Croswynd 5410


Having not read the previous chapters, I can't say with 100% certainty that it's out of place. However, it feels like a silent movie, where nothing but actions, and not very interesting ones, happen. It's just Lyra watching the two Cakes work. If there were a bit of dialogue to break up the mass of description, I think it'd be better. Unless you're going for the silence.
This post was edited by its author on .



You make a good point. I'm going to rework the opening with some dialogue and see if I like it better.

Review request Switcheroo 5412

I would like to request a review for a first chapter of mine.

As by myself I’m mostly concerned by the following:

- Show don’t tell
- Sentence structure
- Flow/pace

As for the review A general overview with examples would suffice. A line-by-line is not needed at the moment (if done anyway it is still appreciated).

Tips and tricks to improve the areas in the list above are greatly appreciated. Sites of interest, and/or books I could look into are welcomed too.
Thanks in advance

Split :D

Title: Switcheroo
Chapters: 1
Words: 2289

WIP. Twilight switches bodies with Princess Celestia, and something goes wrong as they are switched, now Twilight has to find a solution:

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12KfWI5g4PtailvGmWvPKGeu97Sf8KwwYVtzZyWcpHCA/edit#heading=h.p7wjewdtm0bl


What the hay. I guess I'll take this.

Claiming "Strive" 5420

File: 1368220553291.png (101.89 KB, 450x624, I_got_this_luna.png)

Prepare thyself, mortal.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Request: Creepy Doll 5428

File: 1368324540674.png (188.28 KB, 1100x1000, 22613__safe_lyra_bonbon_artist…)

Title: Creepy Doll

Author: Dublio

Tags: Sad/Dark

Synopsis: Lyra and Bon Bon have always been close friends, and at times, more than that. When they decide to take the next step and proclaim their everlasting love for each other, a tragedy befalls them. Lyra tries to cope without Bon Bon. When Bon Bon reanimates as a vengeful doll, Lyra wonders whether everlasting love is what it's cracked up to be.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1InZdC5t_jkGJKio0Xv4TiL54ZUAw1VboX9NenMralzQ/edit

Word Count: 6718

Comments: I'm aware that the synopsis and title are terrible, so help for that would be nice. Aside from that, I'm looking more for comments on pacing, rushed scenes, dream logic, not enough description, and any other common story concerns. I'm also concerned about the ending as well. I had other ideas I'd like to discuss with whoever my reviewer is, but I wanted to check with them first. Other than that, feel free to fire away. Thanks in advance to whoever picks up this story.

Note: Haven't sent to EqD, so no pre-reader notes or anything like that.

Review of "Strive" 5437

File: 1368334337120.jpg (83.71 KB, 510x465, typing_luna.jpg)

>The aches and pains of a day’s job well done thrummed pleasantly through Braeburn’s body and a satisfied hint of a smile played across his face.
Thou shouldst use commas with conjunctions when they separate clauses, but not when separating a compound structure of two items. If thou hast a new subject, thou hast a new clause.

>hard headed

'Tis one word.

>Rays of orange light speared the purpling sky with the faintest wisps of clouds hanging across the edges of the horizon to drape the huge peaks far in the distance.

Thou askest far too much of one sentence. We go from sky to clouds to the horizon to peaks. It leaveth Us confused as to the sentence's focus. Be they all important, then they deserve individual treatment.

>Well, g’night Appleloosa.

Direct address requireth a comma. In Our spare time, We run a charity for abused punctuation. Perhaps thou couldst contribute, seeing as thou hast evicted several innocent commas already.

>Braeburn tipped his hat with a smile.

And how hath his smile tipped his hat, pray tell…

>old, dirt road

These are hierarchical (versus coordinate) adjectives, and need not a comma.

>Over the whispering susurrus of the wind through the apple tree leaves

Thou couldst eschew "tree" here, as it is obvious and implied. Thy usage of "whispering susurrus" vexeth us in two ways.
Way the first: It is redundant. 'Tis not a bad use of context clues, but instead of hinting at its meaning, "whispering" giveth it outright.
Way the second: Thy narrator's voice hath a serious disconnect with thy focus character. When thou usest flowery language for a down-to-earth character, it fitteth not.

Now Our head hurteth.

*grabs buffered analgesic*

>the sound of creaking

Creaking is a sound. Thou needest not explain such.

>he caught sight of it

'Tis not meet to use a pronoun before thou hast established any possible antecedent.

>The silhouette of a pony appeared in front of a carriage and the two lights he’d seen were lanterns clattering against the back of the vehicle.

Another missed comma betwixt clauses. We trust that thou canst root out these little bugaboos.

>The carriage disappeared back behind the trees, but he could still hear the carriage clattering as it ran over the ruts in the old road.

Needless repetition of "the carriage."

>The bouncing lights lights

The lights have been doubled! Huzzah!


Missing apostrophe. Will-o'-the-wisps. Art thou not satisfied with commas? Wilt thou force innocent apostrophes onto the streets as well?


>Light filtered out of the windows and spilled out onto the road, interrupted only by his shadow.

Modifiers latch onto the nearest possible object, like little blood-engorged leeches that might pop with the slightest touch and spew their sanguine contents…

We digress.

Thy participle seemeth to describe the road, due to their proximity in the sentence.

>It was a small carriage, built for one pony if he were any judge.

Another missing comma, and that word "carriage" hath been sorely overworked ere now. Prithee give it a chance for some repose before thou engagest it in any more labour. He hath relatives available.

>the small window built into the side of the door could hardly be seen through the grime

Given that thou art attempting to create a vivid atmosphere, passive voice is a poor choice to connect with the reader.

>he wore a cap on his head

Pray tell, where else would one wear such a raiment?

>stranger. Mighty strange

Thou shouldst avoid repetition or near-repetition of words and phrases in a close space. 'Tis better not to repeat thyself, as it is repetitive.

>Don’t suppose you all have a mayor, yet

As much as We appreciate that thou hast attempted to take in a stray comma, it simply doth not belong there. We are, however, heartened at thy show of charity.

>some pony

In this instance, 'twould work better as one word, as in "somebody."

>“Well, what’re you waiting for, kid, take me to him!” Flimity exclaimed.

For a half-dozen paragraphs, thou hast given Us precious little as to what the characters are doing. We see a few actions, so at least they have not been petrified, but there is nothing to discern their moods. When thou art in a conversation, dost thou close thine eyes and process only the words? Nay, thou wouldst judge thy fellow conversationalist's tics and behaviour for clues to his hidden meanings and disposition. They frequently say more than the words.

>Flimity said grudgingly

And now that thou hast given Us a clue… Well, not a clue. Thou hast 'cut to the chase', as the youngsters like to say. 'Tis an example of the renowned 'show, don't tell.' Adverbs are one of Tartarus' instruments in this endeavour. How doth Braeburn know he acteth grudgingly? Presumably through some detail of Flimity's actions. Show Us these details. 'Tis not always necessary, but thou art trying to create a strong sense of Flimity's personality here.

>“Silverstar!” Flimity yelled as he bursted through the door before Braeburn.

Word choice. Meanest thou 'before' as in 'in front of'? It seemeth not, but if Flimity hath already burst (the preferred past tense) through, how can Braeburn also burst through?

>The sheriff tipped over backward in his chair from where he’d been leaning at the outburst.

That parseth… poorly. We get the sense of what thou art trying to say, but this saith it not.


And this is the entirety of Silverstar's reaction to his tumble. Wouldst thou be so taciturn and staid in his place?

>Braeburn glanced guiltily

Again, what doth that look like?

>You can go kid

Another missing comma.


L-lost, and… on the streets…


>a apple-buckin’

An. If this is supposed to be imitating an accent, perhaps, but Our countrified associates speak not in this manner.

>once over

Commas… apostrophes… and now hyphens fall victim.

*buries head in hooves*

*glances back up with immense, irresistible, glistening eyes*


>Silverstar started, “but we’re still only a year old, Mr. Flam. We’re just getting started

More repetitive repetition of repeated words.

>old fashioned

The hyphen… had a wife and child…

*noisily blows nose*

>Never in a million years’d I’d’ve

Let us expand thy maze of elisions. 'Never in a million years would I would have'

We leave the disentanglement as an exercise for the reader.

>Silverstar looked apologetic.

'Tis a fact, not a feeling. The reader hath more interest in the latter. Another example of 'show, don't tell.'

>Braeburn suddenly felt unsure of himself.

Thou shouldst never so blatantly tell Us how a character feeleth. Wouldst thou care as much if—

Blast, what are the foals watching that is popular?

Ah. If one of your beloved Winx stood there stone-faced and declared herself to be elated, wouldst thou be as interested as if she leapt and clapped her hands and flitted her intricate, delicate, glittery wings…

Glittery. So glittery…


Thy software hath assumed thou wast beginning a quotation and hath given thee a single open quote in lieu of an apostrophe. However, thou needest one not. Thou hast eliminated the entire word 'of', not letters from 'course'.

>The night outside was cold against his fevered skin, and it felt like freezing tendrils were clutching at his heart.

Once again, the narration feeleth incongruous with thy protagonist.

>his vision blurred from held back tears

Another missing hyphen. We would place its likeness on a milk-carton, but… they all look the same. Is that… racist?

>He ground his teeth against the urge to let them fall.

Thou reachest awfully far back for an antecedent. It soundeth like his teeth may fall, which…

We cannot imagine such an urge.

>Trees surrounded him, silent and watchful. Their leaves were silent for once

So, they were silent, thou sayest?

>Unripe apples were sprinkled all around the branches, ready for bucking in a couple of weeks.

More unnecessary passive voice.

>Just tain't fair.

Ah, another expansion exercise. 'Tain't (as it is properly spelt) would mean 'just it isn't fair'. Somewhat awkward phrasing.

>Braeburn felt his smile fall, but the lightness in his mood remain.

Verb tense.

'Tis not a bad story. From a standpoint of plot, there is little to say, unfortunately. The whole chapter thus far is set-up, so there is nothing in the way of flow, consistency, or believability to discuss. It seemeth a good enough introduction for what is to come, but, forsooth, that is the rub, is it not? A good direction implieth not good execution, so We will have to see. That is the greatest challenge of good writing, after all.

Thy characters require some more fleshing out, as it were. Flimity cometh across most vividly. Our connection to them is limited by the aforementioned problems: 'show, don't tell' and thy story's voice. Consider that equally important, if not more, as writing what a character doth is writing how he doth it. Thou hast focused more on what happeneth at the expense of how the characters feel about it. And Little Strongheart is just bland. As to voice, We speak of both the narration and the dialogue. Braeburn's speech lacketh much accent (but prithee, do not go overboard on it) and colourful expression, as is his wont. Thy narrator is also a poor fit for thy protagonist, which createth an unnecessary distance betwixt them. It could perhaps be manageable in a more omniscient voice, but thy perspective is firmly with Braeburn.

Final mood: Disaffected, since We have not gotten to the actual story yet. And sad for the poor punctuation. Not that thou hast committed grievous numbers of offences—nay, thy mechanics were largely good. Just those cute little commas…

Write thee onward, citizen!
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Acknowledgement: Strive Croswynd 5438


Thank you for the review. It was as entertaining as it was useful. :)

As for the narration, Braeburn isn't the narrator. All the descriptions aren't coming from him. I've never had people comment on the way I write this way in the past, so forgive my confusion.

I've corrected what you've given me and if you want to further criticize my lack of knowledge regarding comma use, please do look into the second chapter. :P

If not, that's fine. You've done more than enough for me already.
This post was edited by its author on .


File: 1368337719559.jpg (81.47 KB, 1000x834, thumbs_up_luna.jpg)

We realize that Braeburn was not the narrator himself, but the narrator was in his perspective—followed him around and spoke to attitudes he had that wouldn't be externally apparent. 'Tis still a good idea to tailor thy narrator's voice to the focus character to some degree. It need not sound like Braeburn's dialogue, but neither should it sound a world apart from how the point-of-view character himself might perceive things.

It is akin to writing a playful piece about a foal romping through a lea, but using such obscure verbiage that it loseth all childlike feel. Unless, of course, the effect is deliberate, as in a farcical piece aggrandizing the exploits of a foal, which We have seen done well on a few occasions. But beware—'tis difficult to execute.

Croswynd 5440

File: 1368342504456.jpg (51.23 KB, 800x800, Bubble Berry.jpg)


That does make sense. I'll keep it in mind for the future and change what I already have written down.

Request Review: Corsairs Jurassick 5441

File: 1368345358608.png (503.66 KB, 848x666, Corsairs.png)

Title: Corsairs
Author: Jurassick
Tags: Adventure
Synopsis: Pirates fighting a proxy war using magic against technology.
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/102945/corsairs
All chapters would be nice for a review
Comments: Has not been reviewed by pre-readers. Please be brutally honest and downright mean :)

Switcheroo - review 5447

File: 1368498562535.png (170.61 KB, 768x1041, 260993__UNOPT__safe_raindrops_…)

My comments are in the doc.

Also, claiming Gift of the Goddess
This post was edited by its author on .

Thanks 5455


Hey, Azu. Thanks for the review. I'll look into it later tonight, would you mind answering question when I have them?



Sure, just reply to any comments you're not sure about if I'm not online.

Review request 5475

Title: For Candy
Author: Bob From Bottles
Tags: Comedy
Synopsis: Lyra messed up. She admits it. But really, Bon Bon should have been more careful with where she left unguarded bowls of delicious sweets. Now, to set things right and save their 'Night Before Nightmare Night' party, Lyra is determined to search all of Ponyville for replacement candy. Even the untested haunted house designed by Pinkie Pie.
Link to chapter five: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vywvlfavrPQMg4dGP06QNOPE4e9sbHo_mkdLIqQC8M8/edit
Link to summary of previous chapters: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Od5uLctO281ZFOA42Jzd0Gpm_puvK3n-4YWoa9mUzq0/edit
Comments: I would like to get chapter five reviewed. Thank you in advance.

The Tree FullmetalPony 5492

File: 1368924954924.png (857.65 KB, 800x888, Thetree.png)

Author: Fullmetal Pony
Word count: 7420:
Tag: slice of life
Description: Apple Bloom makes a discovery that could throw Sweet Apple Acres into chaos.
Links: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tx3VS21WM3Fyh7we2ZsThwLivlFQHHgdr1MuWKe3R8M/edit?pli=1

Claiming The Six-Pointed Star alexmagnet 5533

File: 1369107260661.gif (3.38 MB, 480x270, 132815768991.gif)

It's been a goddamn long time since I've claimed anything here, so here goes. I'm gonna try and clean up some of the fics clogging the queue since they've, apparently, been stagnating for quite awhile. Let's hope I still know what I'm doing…



I'd like to remove my story from the queue. I found some massive problems that need to be fixed. Thank you in advance.

FullmetalPony 5649

I'd like to remove this from the queue

Claiming, "The Twilight Struggle" 5669


Alright, I'm already half-way through this and you've sat in here for a month. Not entirely liking what I've seen so far, but we'll cut that mustard when we get to it.

Review of Travelling Tutor: Part 1 of 5 5709


Here is your review. I believe when I claimed this I said it was ill-advised, and that's because I tend to take a while with my reviews and I probably should have known I couldn't get it done within my own expectations. I apologise for the delay. Some of that is because the story is very long, some is because I've been busy and had other things I needed to get done, most is just because I've been procrastinating.

But a chunk of the delay is because I struggled to complete the story, simply because I got bored with it. I got sick of reading the story and actively didn't want to read it any more. This happened several times, including once where, on a plane, I intentionally left myself nothing to do except read the story, and ended up staring out the window into the middle of the night instead of reading it. I don't mean to disparage your story, but my honest reaction to it was giving up. Unlike me, if a regular reader reacts like this, they won't make an effort to come back and try again.

However, I agreed to review this and I did try to give this thing a fair shot, which is one of the reasons this took so long to get back to you. Each time I "gave up" on the story, I would put it down, spend a few days to a week away from it to give myself a fresh perspective, and then try to take it back up again. It took a few (four, I think) restarts, but I did manage to work through it. I believe you improved some as the story went on, but no one is going to read the later chapters if they aren't interested in the earlier ones.

There are two main symptoms that caused me to give up on the fic, both of which can be illustrated with one example from your first chapter.

In your first chapter, you introduce Green Grass as a travelling librarian who is returning to Ponyville after a long absence and then jump to a story about how he got his cutie mark.

Here you take an interesting detail and put in the completely wrong place. The cutie mark story is a good way to show original motivations for a character and give a reader a sense of why the character acts the way they do. It gives the reader some context and background for the character they are already familiar with.

However, the cutie mark story is a terrible way to introduce the character, because it doesn't introduce the character, it introduces the character as they were when they got their cutie mark. It is information that is useful only after we've known the character for a while and have gotten context for their personality.

Cutting to the cutie mark story also obscures the most important detail of the situation, which is that he is returning after a long absence. Showing how he reacts to this can give us a great sense of his character. You could include details like if he notices what changed or what stayed the same, who he meets and their reactions as well as his reactions to them, or a myriad of other details focusing on the fact that he is coming back to Ponyville after a long time away. Any of these details would be more relevant to the character, because they are about the character as he is now, and they would be more relevant to developing the setting for a similar reason. In any case, it would be far more effective than burning the cutie mark story when it is least potent.

This type of thing is representative of what happens quite often in the story. For some reason you include irrelevant details about completely unrelated situations instead of just focusing on the immediate characters and their circumstances. In general, look carefully at the scene, and unless there is a very compelling reason not to detail the immediate situation, then don't jump to an unrelated scene, as maintaining the immediacy will keep the reader engaged and interested in the story.

On the topic of keeping the reader engaged, you also need to work on showing instead of telling. This is even more endemic than the issue with unrelated situations.

Because you don't show well, your story comes off like an outline and reads very flat and dull. However, there are about as many definitions of showing versus telling as there are writers, so let me explain what I am thinking of in terms of showing and telling and why I believe your story needs improvement in this area.

The way I interpret showing versus telling is in how readers interpret the information. What is told is what the readers get at face value. This is the baseline information that is conveyed to the reader. Think about academic reports or outlines. These are good examples of what primarily telly writing would be like.

In contrast, showing is about the scene that readers create in their minds as you tell the story. When you show something, you give just enough detail that the reader can figure out what is going on and then fill in their own details in their heads.

The reason showing is so important is that it allows readers to connect with what is going on. Pulling in some science for a moment, when people imagine a situation, the same areas of the brain activate as when they are actually experiencing the situation. So when you show well, your readers can imagine what is going on and will actually feel the emotion of the situation.

On the other hand, when you just tell them what is going on, they don't have to think or actively engage with your story, so they won't and will get bored quickly.

Here are a few canonical examples of telling:

>She was sad.

Something like this doesn't give enough detail and the reader won't be able to work with a description this short. In particular, outright stating feelings like this is almost universally a bad idea.

>"I feel sad," she said.

This isn't as universally bad as the short above example, but you should never use this as a primary way to show how someone feels. If a character is saying they feel a particular way, the reader should generally be well aware of this beforehand. Having a character talk about how they feel is a very ineffective way of conveying the information. However, with the right context, this can be an effective way of expressing trust.

>A deep sadness consumed her. It seemed like she would never escape her veil of despondency. Everything looked dark, felt dark, seeped darkness into her very pores. The depths of her sorrow were unimaginable.

A lot of people seem to mistake length for showing. While showing is generally more descriptive, just because you have a decent amount of description doesn't mean that you are showing. This example is just four overly flowery ways of saying, "She was very sad." It doesn't show the reader anything at all.

Now that you have some examples of what not to do, let's look at a few more common ways to show. Disclaimer: I don't believe I am a particularly skilled writer, so these may not be ideal. However, they should give you an idea of the basic techniques.

>She plodded down the road with her head bowed and tail dragging through the dirt.

Body language is the most common suggestion that guides give for showing and it is one of the few that doesn't depend much on context. The reason body language descriptions are so effective is that they give the reader detail to imagine, but don't tell them exactly what to think. They picture the scene and infer what the characters are feeling. Because they "work" to figure out what happens, they are engaged with the text and they will accept it much more readily.

Body language is particularly strong for showing emotions, but it is harder to develop character through body language. Word choice (and choosing the right actions for your characters) is critical for showing, both in showing emotions and character development. Choosing the right word can give a completely different emotional context, eg plodded vs skipped vs stomped. Putting each of these in the above sentence gives a completely different picture (skipped would hint she is exhausted but happy, stomped would hint at furious). Also, different characters have different actions that would be more common and playing with those can help you convey emotional context. Cranky Doodle plodding along wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, but Pinkie Pie plodding along would be cause for concern.

>"The flowers— they don't smile anymore."

Dialogue can be very effective for showing. You just need to make sure you keep in mind what you what to show and choose words that convey the information while still showing the scene. Pauses and punctuation can also help you make your point, just be careful not to overuse them when they aren't necessary for showing.

>She looked out into the familiar meadow. The grasses curved into frowns, as though the burden of living weighed too much for them to stand. The trees wept for better days, shedding their leaves like tears.

Narrative voice is an underrated technique for showing personality. Carefully choosing the details that the perspective character focuses on can give a view of their personality and emotional circumstances, while seeming to focus on completely different subjects. This can add depth to a character and can be a great way to induce foreshadowing.

Even if you don't use a particular character viewpoint, paying attention to the narrative voice is an important part of setting the scene, particularly for emotive genres, like shipping or horror. Using an appropriate narrative voice can hint at future events and build immersion into the story, which is critical for stories that attempt to work with the reader's emotions.

So you have a few examples of techniques you can use to show instead of telling. One final example:
>She ambled her way through the meadow, eyes cast down onto the grasses below. Each blade curled downward and frowned at her. She tried to look away and avoid their judgement, but this only invited the sun's blazing anger into her eyes.
>"It's ok, sweetie. We brought you your favourite: petunias."
>The flowers seemed lifeless, a futile speck in an expanse of disapproval. She let out a sigh and slumped lower. "I'm sorry, girls. The flowers just don't seem to be smiling anymore." She turned away and slowly trudged back to Ponyville. She was deeply depressed.
Often, writers will do a wonderful job showing something and then ruin it by telling what they just showed. When you tell something, it means the imagination doesn't have to work to picture it, and it stops any engagement that the previous description had created.

Now that you have a decent perspective on how to show, instead of telling, let's discuss when it needs to happen. You can't show everything, so how do you decide what details are important to show?

A general rule of thumb is that if you want readers to care about something, you need to show it. Any emotional scenes as well as development of major characters would fall into this category. If it is important, but they don't have to connect with the information, you can tell it. This is commonly superficial information that is important for the next bit of the plot, but doesn't evoke any emotion. For example, facts about the upcoming plot device or characteristics of background or one-time characters would fit this category.

I mentioned the scene where Green Grass gets his cutie mark as out of place in the very beginning. But it also illustrates a lack of showing. As it is now, you give the facts of the situation with almost no emotional context. The scene should give us a look at formative Green Grass and show us the beginnings of traits that will make up a large part of his adult personality, including the reasons he works with kids, all while giving the reader an amusing anecdote about the past. Instead, it reads like a news report, with the bare minimum of facts and a dry emotionless delivery. The only bit of true showing that you do, his excitement of getting his cutie mark, loses effectiveness when you tell us about his excitement before and after the small bit of showing. Also that small bit is mostly drowned out by another much longer news report about Celestia and the other leaders of the school. I agree that undoubtedly technical conversations that led to his eventual employment are necessary to tell, but you shouldn't let them overshadow what should be a potent ending to the scene. In general, you want to show enough that the telling is a pacing break for the reader and they rarely if ever get the sense that the telling is the main focus.

Putting aside that the scene is out of place, let's look at why this scene needs to be shown. Green Grass is your main character, so it is important that your readers have an interest in him. Any major character should inspire some interest, whether the readers like, dislike, or are merely curious about them and interest can be best cultivated by showing. In Green Grass's case, I'm fairly certain you want the reader to like him, and showing his empathy with kids is a good way to do so. As I mentioned above, this gives an opportunity to show some depth and give the reader a perspective on how he's gotten to where he is now.

Also, since the scene is (currently) at the beginning of the story, you want something to hook your readers. Showing is the best way to get them engaged and convince them that your story is worth reading. Once you manage to hook readers, you can give and take and they'll let you get away with a lot more telling. However, you need to set up the baseline and periodically give them something interesting to engage with.

If you can work on showing emotions and character development, that will go a long way toward addressing what made me get bored with the story. And contrary to what you may think, even though I got bored with it, it wasn't particularly terrible. There were some later sections that I hated, but for the most part, it was boring because it was mediocre. Not terrible enough to be out of the ordinary, just not where it needed to be. You also do well with the actual events of the story, in that you put the characters in particularly embarrassing situations, which are always fun to read about. I don't think this is particularly far off once you get the show vs tell issues behind you.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review of The Travelling Tutor: Part 2 of 5 5710


Now that I've gotten what I think the biggest issues out of the way, let me jump to some disclaimers.

You've probably noticed that this review is quite long. I didn't read your story in one sitting, certainly didn't write this in one sitting and so I don't expect you to work through this review in one sitting. So take some time off. Don't try to read all of it in one sitting. I've tried to break it up with collapsible spoilers to make this easier.

Take some time to think about what I've said. Find where I'm wrong. In something of this length, there is certainly somewhere where I'm wrong and if you can figure out where I'm right and where I'm wrong, you will probably get more out of this than any amount of advice I could give.

On a similar note, my review is just my opinion. Now, I generally try to explain my opinions and I believe that others will agree with my opinions. But these are just opinions and others will disagree. If you see something you disagree with, then feel free to point these out. Ask questions. I have no illusions that my descriptions are perfect, and if something is unclear, please ask. Also, feel free to ask questions at any time. It took well over a month for me to get this review out, so I expect you would need time to digest it as well. So if you have questions six months down the line, feel free to ask. This goes for if anyone else is reading my review as well.

Finally, feel free to ask for a second opinion. I don't think I have all the answers and there are certainly areas where I'm not as strong. All I ask is that if you ask for another review, you let the other person know about this one so they don't waste time with duplicate work.

Now back to your regularly scheduled review.

The footnotes need to die. In a fire. Painfully.
Ok, I don't actually care how they die, but they are a terrible literary device. They are the absolutely worst form of telling. They work in exactly one situation: when you have a piece of writing where you don't care about reader immersion (so usually non-fiction), and you can put the footnote on the same page as the text, so the reader can jump down and look, then jump back up to where they were without missing a beat. Fimfiction supports neither of those things.

Let me tell you what happened everytime I encountered a footnote. I saw a footnote and reacted with a rapidly degrading degree of excitement. Very quickly going from "how novel, a footnote" to "execution imminent." I (sometimes) made a mental note to look at what the footnote said at the end of the chapter. By the time I reached the end of the chapter, I wasn't particularly interested in what the footnote said, and if you had more than two or three footnotes, there was no way I was going to piece together which note went with which part. On the rare chance I actually connected the footnote with the correct part, I nearly always got the reward of thinking, "Well, that was frivolous." I don't care what Twilight's mom thinks of the hugs. In the extremely rare case that the footnote did add some relevant information, my immediate reaction was "Why didn't you just put that into the story properly?" All in all, the footnotes never worked and that is entirely to be expected. If the detail is important enough to warrant inclusion in the story, then there should be a natural place to put it in the story. If there isn't a natural place to put it without disturbing the flow, then it doesn't belong in there at all.

On another note, Green Grass strikes me as a completely generic and out of place name.
Think of every pony that has had their name mentioned in the show. Every single one has a name that is at least tangentially related to what they do or their personality, including the ones that are mentioned as throwaway characters. Green Grass's special ability is teaching young students in magic, and even if you try to stretch it with the growth metaphor, is still extremely strained. The only canon pony name I can think of that comes close is Caramel, but this assumes that he is not a member of the Apple family, and wouldn't be named Caramel Apple.

Now, it's probably too late to change the name of your main character after thirty-seven chapters. However, be aware that you'll be fighting an uphill battle with the lack of realism. To mitigate this, you may want to play up the growth metaphor as much as possible when Green Grass talks about working with young magic students, and perhaps giving him an interest in botany.

Another thing I noticed was that Twilight doesn't particularly feel like Twilight.
This is an extremely subjective thing, but I'll try to explain what I mean. You tap into a few of her more superficial characteristics, like her interest in all things academic and literary and her OCD, but beyond those, she doesn't seem to act in ways that are particularly like Twilight Sparkle. In particular, a lot of the relationship seems like it is led by the author's desires more than arising naturally from the characters. But I know there is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to how characters act in situations that would never be addressed with canon, so it may be that I'm letting my headcanon get in the way. So, I'll point out specific instances when I address chapter by chapter stuff.

However, I'll ask a couple leading questions to try and see whether my concerns are really legitimate. What about Green Grass, out of all the ponies that share interests with Twilight Sparkle, makes him stand to her as a romantic interest in a way no other pony does? Similarly, what about Twilight Sparkle, out of all the ponies that share interests with Green Grass, makes her stand out to him as a romantic interest in a way no other pony does? And how do you show not tell this in the story?

On a similar note, nearly all of your characters strike me as quite petty, especially in the beginning. They seem to take events as personal affronts and seem a lot more materialistic than I would expect. While this may be necessary given the politics of the world you've created and may be intentional for Green Grass and possibly even Twilight Sparkle, it feels really weird for the princesses to act that way as well. However, this is also really subjective, so it may just be my interpretation of the stuff.

One last thing before I move on. The proofreading on this was incredible. I think I noticed two missing words somewhere in one of the twenties and that was it. You and whoever you had proofread this are amazing and deserve major kudos.

Now let's look at some chapter by chapter stuff. This will be front heavy. It will also be relatively sparse, as I'll try to touch on one example if I see it, but won't point out later occurrences.

Chapter 1

Right off, you start with a weather report. This is something you'll see from a lot of new writers who think this is the right thing to start with. This makes it extremely cliche and, in the vast majority of cases, it is not effective at all.

The very beginning of your story is a critical part of your story. If you don't interest readers in the first couple sentences, they will very rarely stick around to read the rest. The very beginning is also psychologically important because humans naturally remember things at the beginning. It's called the primacy effect if you are curious. So whatever detail you put at the beginning is going to stick in the reader's mind.

Some stories invoke a weather report because the weather is particularly important. Something like It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled and rain buffeted the windows. There would be no leaving the hotel tonight. is acceptable because it sets up the mood and the initial conflict. In this case, we know the story will always have the underlying tension of being trapped, and the characters will likely face the problem of desperately wanting to leave, but not being able to. Because readers will remember the storm strongly, the tension will persist without having to reiterate the storm everytime. So even though the weather report is incredibly cliched, it is not without merit because of the way it sets up the story.

A good heuristic test for determining whether a weather report has merits is by asking whether changing it would fundamentally affect the story. In this case, changing the weather to anything but a horrible storm would allow the characters to leave when they wanted to, and would completely change the initial premise. This indicates the weather is an important detail in the story.

Now, let's look at your opening. In your opening, the weather is clear and pleasant and then is never mentioned again until Rainbow Dash brings the clouds to "put out the fire." Applying the heuristic test, how would the scene be different if instead of clear and pleasant, it was overcast and annoyingly windy? As far as I can see, it wouldn't change at all. Green Grass would still be able to travel into Ponyville and he could still ruminate over whether he should visit the library or Sugarcube Corner first, and how much Mrs. Dewey is going to flog him for keeping the library book all that time. In fact, if the weather was overcast and windy and Green Grass was still whistling, it would be more significant, because then we would know he is really excited and happy to be back rather than just responding to the weather. So it's pretty clear that the weather isn't important at all and you should start off with something more important to the story, like showing Green Grass's reactions to being back in Ponyville.

On another note, the weather introduction doesn't even fit with the rest of the chapter. You show Green Grass whistling and carefree, but the rest of the chapter, he is anxious about visiting the library.

>but stranger things had happened. Most of them at the school.

This is exactly what I was referring to about misplaced details. Here you have a great lead-in to a story about how Green Grass had his tail turned into a toad during the amphibian mating season and was consequently chased into a tree by amorous frogs. Except that's not what you lead into here. When you drop an explicit reference to very interesting material, you should lead immediately into that material. Either that or make it very clear that the juicy details will come out at the appropriate time. If you have no intention of fleshing out a reference like this, then it is best to leave it out. Otherwise, you are just building anticipation for the reader that will never come to fruition, and so will just frustrate them.

A good test is to look at the what the reader would be most interested in at the end of each paragraph. In this case, it is those stranger things that must have happened at the university. If there is an obvious answer and that is not where you want to take the story, then you need to change the preceding paragraphs to make the story go more to where you planned it. Either that or jump into the details.

In this situation, simply removing the excess comment would fix the issue. The "stranger things had happened" feels like an ending, so the reader expects you to change the subject back to more current events.

About the very last part, using caps and extra punctuation is a very gimmicky way to convey emphasis. It will work for most casual readers, but more avid readers, including the EqD prereaders, will immediately recognise it as a gimmick and it will have a negative effect. Your narration and appropriate punctuation should be enough to convey the emphasis, and if they are not, then it is a heavy hint that the part needs to be rewritten.

As an overall comment on the chapter, the narration you choose makes Green Grass seem really oblivious. Quite literally the only details he notices through the entire chapter are the weather, the flowers on his parking spot, and the dragon at the end which is another reason that the weather report is so out of place. I realise that he is probably less aware than a lot of other characters, but it doesn't seem like this continues, so I'm guessing it isn't intentional. Even if you do want him to be oblivious, I would recommend he at least take his cues from the more obvious scene around him, rather than jumping to random unrelated scenes.

Chapter 2:

Equations, even very simple ones, don't work particularly well in narration. Most people either hate math enough to shut down when they see the symbols, or will recognise it as a gimmick. Again, your narration should speak for itself without gimmicks.

Use sentence lengths to your advantage. You do a decent job of this when Green Grass is panicking over Spike, keeping the sentences short to match his racing panic. However, you need to be aware of your sentence lengths and how they affect the story.
>Green Grass's blush had almost made the green pony a nice healthy McIntosh red by the time Rainbow Dash hefted her cloud up and flew back up to where the delayed afternoon storm was being reassembled.
This is a pretty hefty sentence. Sometimes those are appropriate. I know I personally have a tendency to spin my sentences long. You can probably tell. However, the main details that you are trying to get across is that Green Grass is blushing heavily and that Rainbow Dash is leaving. Rainbow Dash leaving is something the audience just needs to know, so the sentence length for that part isn't as important.

However, the blush is body language for showing Green Grass's embarrassment, and in general, you want those to be easy for the reader to interpret and fit the flow of the scene. Embarrassment tends to be a quick, immediate emotion, so a shorter sentence is more appropriate. With deeper, less immediate emotions, such as relaxation, familiarity, or even love, longer, more detailed sentences will likely fit better, but they should still be as direct and understandable as possible. Also, try to use vocabulary that is evocative of the desired emotion.

Your description of the blush is very convoluted and indirect, long when it should probably be quick, and uses language that has absolutely nothing to do with the appropriate emotion.

Chapter 3:

Parenthetical statements, similarly to the footnotes, should be avoided. If the detail is important enough to include, it should fit into the narration.

The formula seems completely out of character for Pinkie. She generally has strange ideas and methods, but she usually ends up achieving a pretty acceptable outcome. She knows when things aren't appropriate and avoids them. Her strange antics live in the grey area outside of the normal, but never where they would actually hurt or offend somepony. The formula seems to me like it crosses the line.

The formula also seems like it is really only there to give Applejack a reason to stop by. I'm sure you can find a less out-of-character justification to include Applejack in the story, even if it is only Applejack stopping by just to visit.

As a note, the interactions between Green Grass and Applejack and particularly, Pinkie Pie, seem quite flirty. There is a light-hearted give and take, as well as compliments and some good natured teasing. There's nothing wrong with this, but I'm noting it as a point of comparison for later.

Continuity check: You mention here that Mrs. Cake has been pumping milk for the twins, who were born in season two. However, you later set the story during the Running of the Leaves or the Grand Galloping Gala, and other events that take place in earlier seasons. While it is not necessary that the episodes take place in chronological order, most readers will assume that this is the case and unless you have a strong justification for going against this, it is simpler to follow it.

Related to this, I would encourage you to intentionally avoid having Green Grass as a Twilight's boyfriend specifically during canon events, as it brings up the question of why he wasn't around.

>I think you kinda scared her a mite bit with yer antics. This is the point where you're supposed to say, 'Yeah, I'll go apologize'

Back to the timing of events issue from before. Your narration is the only thing that can give readers a sense of timing. When you don't show a break in the narration, readers will assume there is no break. So here, it seems like Applejack references Green Grass scaring Twilight, and then immediately chastises him for not jumping up to apologise. Realistically, there would be a beat of silence, where Applejack would stare at Green Grass, who would look confused and completely miss the hint. Then Applejack would make the suggestion.

This will likely become more natural as you get better at writing and as you consciously practice showing instead of telling, you will get better at recognising where you need to show more to get the scene across.

As a note, this section has quite a few places that could use more showing and better focus on making appropriate length beats (both longer and shorter).

Related to the above, the banana-marble-chip cake is borderline out of place for Pinkie. The ingredients would be reasonable for Pinkie, but I think she would be aware that the sections should be separate for Twilight and Spike.

Review of The Travelling Tutor: Part 3 of 5 5711

Chapter 4:

There's something very "meh" about this chapter. I can't really put my finger on exactly what is causing it though. This is one that could definitely benefit from a wholesale rewrite.

Twilight seems to exist mostly in her head as well. This is probably quite appropriate for Twilight, but you may want to tone this down for the sake of the narrative.

Putting Spike in the oven seems more like a Pinkie thing than a Twilight thing. I'm not sure this is a big enough detail that it warrants a change or a mention, but it does feel a bit more out-of-the-box than would be typical for Twilight.

Why exactly does Twilight feel so bad about Green Grass? He did throw a bucket of water on her and Spike for what appears to be no reason and never explains why. He claims he wants to apologise, but doesn't think it's reasonable to apologise Twilight and Spike individually, even though that would be the most convenient and Spike would be inconvenienced by trying to meet both of them together. It seems like the only reason that she forgives him is that he looks rather pathetic.

Which might be reasonable, except through the entire previous chapter, he has to be basically coerced to go over there, which kind of defeats the genuineness of his pathetic look. I get that a great degree of his trepidation is supposed to be due to cowardice, but his dialogue when he is over there seems rather confident and you don't give us any real body language clues that suggest he is actually concerned, rather than just selfishly fearing that Twilight will do something to him.

So, even though he threw water in her face for some reason, which he never explained, and in doing so, basically incapacitated Spike, then comes over to the library seemingly to talk to Dinky, only looking at her when her glare starts burning, offers to apologise but only if the circumstances are right, and then gives her a severely and probably intentionally damaged book, Twilight is not only ready to forgive him, but feels bad for even mentioning the severe and intentional damage? Why exactly?

Chapter Five:

I remember specifically giving up at least once in this chapter. After re-reading it to write this part of the review, I completely remember why. You need a lot more showing, both for emotions and character development and the entire thing could use a rewrite, if not a completely new plot.

Here is the first mention by either Twilight or Green Grass that expresses any interest at all in the other. This includes any positive descriptions or noticing positive characteristics, or even any vocabulary choice to suggest that there might be some interest. It is also rather abrupt. Immediately, Green Grass is using very strong language to describe Twilight. This would be a lot more acceptable if you build up to this some in prior chapters.

The pacing in this chapter is horrific. Twilight is about to kill him. He should have some realisation and should be somewhat panicked, which means quick pacing.

Random scientific correctness comment: You are aware that CO2 sublimates right? (Spoilered for the fact that it isn't all that relevant to helping the story.)

You don't justify Twilight's actions at all. In the space of about three paragraphs, she claims she wants to apologise, claims that she hated him from the start, and then decides that she shouldn't be so immediate with her opinion, all without any justification for her claims. You don't show any indication that she feels remorse from the previous chapter and given her checklist, she doesn't value him at all so really wouldn't care about apologising. As for her hating him, she was ready to completely forgive him without any apology or apology cake before seeing the writing, which doesn't suggest any hatred at all. There's a possibility you could rationalise Twilight as misremembering the past to fit her current opinions, but you haven't shown enough to let that make any sense. Finally, her sudden decision not to judge him so harshly has no motivation other than a random thought.

Twilight ending up in Green Grass's house doesn't make very much sense. Remember that she is very paranoid and quite organised, hence aware of what she is doing. Introducing a reason for Twilight to actually care about interacting with Green Grass is good, but you would likely be better served introducing this in a different way. You could have have Green Grass accidentally drop the Don Rocinante book when he brings the damaged book back, which would give her a more legitimate reason for going over to his wagon.

Also, it seems like a significant part of the point of including this is to set up innuendo chicken, which seems to be the sole point of several chapters. If a chapter doesn't advance the plot (or the advance could be equally applied by one or two innuendo-free sentences) then you should strongly consider omitting that chapter.

Considering the two points above, when it is this transparent that the only thing motivating the characters and the plot is the author's puppet strings, it makes the story really bland and boring.

If an action should happen between words of dialogue, describe the action. When there is contiguous dialogue, it is assumed to be instant. By putting in the action, you give the reader a sense of timing and add to the scene.

Also, a teacher's meeting in the bar? With the superintendent and everything? Really?

Your characters spend far too much time in their heads and the narration suffers for it. I get that they are supposed to be cerebral, but when you only give us their thoughts, it is very tell-y and doesn't give the imagination much to work with.

Chapter 6:

Ok, even if she somehow ended up in his wagon, Twilight would never fall asleep there. First, the only reason for her sticking around is that she was engrossed in the book. Twilight is established in canon as an avid reader who sometimes stays up for days when she gets particularly involved in studying and reading. If she is enthralled enough by the book not to notice that she is trespassing, she is not going to fall asleep while reading it.

The rest of the chapter is just spent in Green Grass's head.

Chapter 7:

Plot objections from the previous chapter still apply.

Subtle Twilestia. Nice.

You've got a nice chunk of saidisms in this section. Saidisms are where you replace the word said with another more specific verb like retorted or yelled. While these can be appropriate when you are trying to draw attention to specific pieces of dialogue, you should be careful to use them sparingly, and try not to have a large section with new verbs every time. Think of these like yelling in conversation. If you yell once, you get everyone's attention. If you yell all the time, people tune you out and start to hate you.

>With ears drooping and head held low, Twilight plodded out of the wagon

This is the first example of good showing that I've seen. Granted, the description itself is closer to depressed than indignant, but it gets the idea across and is more effective than just telling the emotion.

And the rest of the chapter is innuendo chicken.

Chapter 8:

Pinkie Pie feels off here. Remember that Pinkie is not just random, she is unorthodox with the goal of getting her friends to smile and have fun. Pinkie's actions seem to be just random rather than directed toward making Green Grass or Twilight smile. It's pretty clear that the two of them haven't gotten along at all to this point and Green Grass hasn't said anything to Pinkie to that would contradict that. Plus, Twilight's made it pretty clear that she has no interest in being around Green Grass, so it doesn't make much sense that Pinkie Pie would try to force them together against their wishes. Furthermore, it's pretty clear that her efforts are making Twilight unhappy, and though Pinkie is persistent, she does respond when it is blatantly clear someone doesn't want her around, so in the unlikely event that she follows through with her plan, she would probably respect that Twilight doesn't want to participate.

This seems like a good time to bring this up. I mentioned how Green Grass's encounters with Applejack and especially Pinkie tend to be a bit flirty. Twilight and Green Grass's encounters do not seem flirty at all, which makes it extremely strange that Twilight and Green Grass end up getting together. There is something to be said about opposites attracting and this is often achieved by having personalities that grate enough that sparks fly, but not so much that they are making things awful. Green Grass and Twilight's to this point have been genuinely awful for at least one party. They show no evidence of sparks or chemistry, but a ton of evidence that the other's presence tends to bring misery, so by this point, I would expect them to never want to see the other again.

If you want to make them being interested in one another actually realistic, you need to hint at that interest in their initial interactions. Think frustrated curiosity, rather than exasperated hatred as they have now.

Chapter 9:

Not much that I haven't covered. Still in his head and needs more showing. Although I'm not entirely sure how this advances or adds to the story.

Chapter 10:

There is an entire episode about how neurotic Twilight is about being "tardy," so it makes no sense for her to be late, particularly without any explanation. Also, her lateness doesn't really affect the story, so there's not much point in including it.

Twilight being jealous of Green Grass doesn't make a lot of sense. From the show, she is pretty much actively non-competitive, and really only competes when she is trying to achieve some other objective and the competition is a means to get there (think both Trixie episodes and the Fall Weather Friends race. She competes, but only because she needs to win for some outside reason, or she doesn't particularly worry about winning and just wants the experience). So her jealousy makes absolutely no sense with her canon personality.

This might be the best overt example of where your characterisation of Twilight fits with the superficial characteristics, but not her true personality. If you just consider her as a hyper-achieving student, then it makes sense that she might be competitive in all areas as well. However, canon makes is clear that this isn't the case.

Finally, there's not really a reason for the jealousy. There is plenty of friction between the two characters already, so the jealousy doesn't add anything.

You make it pretty clear that his special talent is helping unicorn foals learn magic, and that he doesn't feel at all like his cutie mark is inappropriate, so why is he doing his thesis on griffin history? I could see writing a paper or taking a class because of an interest, but a thesis is a major undertaking (you mentioned it as already six months in and certainly not completed yet) which really only makes sense if it is at least tangentially related to his passion. Plus, griffin history has nothing to do with the name Green Grass either.

As I mentioned last chapter, you've spent the last nine chapters having Twilight and Green Grass unintentionally do awful things to each other, without having any indication of redeeming qualities during their meetings. Then all of the sudden, they find a shared interest in teaching, and in a few paragraphs, they are making plans to spend time together? You've been setting up their hatred for nine chapters. It shouldn't disappear after one positive encounter that lasts less than half of one chapter.

You avoid the pitfall that a lot of short-sighted shipping stories fall into which is having the characters hit it off right away and never run into any problems. But you actually spend too much time building up their antagonism without any hint of a positive interaction, to the point where it is unlikely that any amount of time together would fix things, much less a single conversation during a party.

I don't like innuendo jokes that are there for no other reason than to be innuendo jokes, but I will admit that you slip them in cleverly. If you can find a better way to fit them in with something that actually keeps the story moving, then I think that would help.

Chapter 11:

I'm not a fan of the cutaways. They tend to wreck the momentum of the scene. My suggestion is that if the detail is important enough to warrant inclusion, then you should be able to fit it in without abruptly changing the narration.

If being an earth pony is a sore spot for Green Grass, you should hint at that earlier. Insecurities are great ways to add depth to characters and good sources of conflict that readers can relate to. On a similar note, later, you have him sensitive about his weight. This is the same type of thing that can help add depth to his character and allow you to create conflict without having to resort to puppet stringing the characters. Remember that showing with subtlety is absolutely key when using insecurities like this.

You burned the cutie mark story earlier, but here is a much better place for it. We've gotten to know the character Green Grass, now the cutie mark story can give us background with context. Plus, it is a perfect story that can get Green Grass and Twilight laughing together and bonding, plus the way he tells the story is a good way to show how comfortable he is with Twilight.

The apologies feel rather forced. You don't give any body language to show that the characters actually care, and the actual apologies are half-retracted the moment they come out of the mouth. In fact, the entire apology dinner feels like author puppet strings.

I get that you need the arranged marriage law to advance the plot, but it really seems like the kind of thing Celestia would never do. In fact, I think you mention this explicitly later. Why not just have Green Grass never be able to stand up to his parents? He's already shown that he is a bit of a coward when it comes to visiting Twilight and this would only cement this as a legitimate character flaw. Plus it would give him something to overcome and show how he grows in the story.

In general, if you can use character traits instead of introduced obstacles to create the conflicts, the story will feel much more natural. When the conflict comes entirely from external objects, it feels like author's puppet strings are driving the story and the story feels like a wish-fulfilment fic, rather than an actual story. Plus, it breaks the readers engagement, as each time, they have to learn about and accept the new obstacle each time, as opposed to seeing it coming themselves and being rewarded by either being right or missing the twist.

This is the reason why the innuendo jokes are one of the few things that really work in this story. While I would prefer you work them into something more integral to the plot, they are one of the few things that you build up to with character interactions.

>took an instant dislike to, for some reason

People almost always have justifications for what they do, even if they are instinctual judgements. Even if this was instinctual, this is just lazy writing. It's obvious you want the reader to dislike this character, you need to show it. Descriptions like this are likely to make the reader support this character out of spite.

Chapter 12:

Why exactly does Twilight go along with Green Grass after the kiss? Her initial reaction to the kiss should probably be to push him away and scream at him. Even if she freezes initially, you spend half the chapter with her saying she should roast him alive for what he did and it's pretty clear she knows exactly what he is trying to do, so why does she go along with it?

I think you try to justify it by saying his parents and fiance are so awful that she doesn't want to subject him to that, but she hasn't met them yet, so there's no reason for her to react that strongly. And you already know what I think about how much Green Grass and Twilight should like each other.

Also, the narrative style is even more telly than normal. I get that you are trying to go from inside Twilight's head and she is not exactly thinking straight, but that style doesn't lend itself to showing very easily, and your writing is tell heavy even in normal narration.

Chapter 13:

The first part of this chapter is probably my favourite part of the entire story. The conversation between Spike and Green Grass feels very natural and I noticed you show a lot more than normal by using body language. This would be a good section to look at as an example. I think you get the feel for Spike as a character in the way that you don't have the feel for Twilight.

The only thing that felt a bit off is Spike's preternatural ability with books.

In the Twilight section of the chapter, I feel like you have all of her friends there, just to have them there, rather than only having the ones that are needed to advance the story. I can see why you would want all of them there for this section, but in general, when you have all of the mane six in a scene, several of them come off as very flat and empty. What generally happens is each takes their turn and ends up as a caricature or place holder or a couple take center stage and the rest tag along not doing much. This happens in the episodes as well. It's a function of having six characters that we can only focus on at most three at a time.

So just be careful about using all six only when it is necessary, and leaving the ones that don't make a difference to the scene can get rid of some deadweight and make the scene more potent.

Rarity kissing Applejack made no sense. I don't know if this is a reference to something or is just supposed to be a joke, but it struck me as more strange and creepy than funny, and there doesn't seem to be enough involved to make it a necessary plot element.

Review of The Travelling Tutor: Part 4 of 5 5712

Chapter 14:

A few sections of this chapter really only serve as a rehash-everything and sum up where the relationships are. This isn't really necessary. If you feel like the point hasn't been made, go back to the scenes themselves and try to show what's going on better.

You have Twilight just overtly talking about her feelings to herself. This is kind of unrealistic as most people don't say exactly what they feel. Case in point: http://youtu.be/sFBhR4QcBtE

It's also a lot more effective if you can communicate how the characters feel through tone and word choice rather than just trying to tell us.

The Princesses' involvement in Twilight's relationship is one of the things that strike me as petty.

Chapter 15:

Green Grass's reaction to Celestia gets monotonous and is rather disjointed. I get that he is supposed to be surprised enough to be passing out, but it is disjointed enough that the meaning isn't clear and it loses a lot of its effect. Just get the surprise and if necessary, the bucket out of the way and then go on with the scene.

Why exactly does Princess Celestia make Green Grass run the race? She's supposed to be wise and a little manipulative, so you would expect him to learn some lesson or get something out of it. Instead, he ends up as an afterthought for one of her guards.

Why does Mrs. Cake notice that Twilight doesn't like Green Grass, but none of her friends do, even though she has directly told her friends about this?

I'm not sure I get the point of the wasabi. It seems like it is there to give Twist Twilight a strange speech impediment and to act as poor justification for Twilight missing the alcohol.

The drunk chapters. I absolutely hated these. For many reasons.

First off, Twilight and/or Spike should be able to smell the alcohol before they would actually put it in the glass. You try to mask this a little with the wasabi, but realistically, if the drink is that strong, then she should notice from either the smell or the taste, regardless of whether the wasabi is still affecting her.

Next, there's the issue of storing the alcohol where Spike could get it and accidentally put it into her drink. Remember that Spike is a baby dragon, so he wouldn't be old enough and therefore, shouldn't be able to get access to the drinks in the first place. So, Spike shouldn't possibly be able to put the alcohol in Twilight's drink in the first place.

Aside from those plotholes, there's the issue with Twilight's personality. Obviously, there isn't a canon personality for drunk Twilight. However, if you make an effort to tie in some aspects of her canon personality and just adjust those for alcohol, it is a lot more realistic for the reader and makes a lot more sense.

A common idea about what alcohol does is that it lowers inhibitions. So if you take a character who has a lot of internal barriers that they set for themselves, they might act out on these. Fluttershy is the perfect example of a character who we might expect to become completely different when drunk, as we've seen how much self-control she constantly exerts and how different she is when she stops exerting it. Pinkie Pie exerts very little self-control and probably wouldn't be very different from how she acts normally.

If you think about Twilight, she actually exhibits very little self-control, despite being very introverted. She doesn't have trouble talking to other ponies, she just isn't in the habit of doing so. She basically does whatever she feels is necessary, and runs pretty much unchecked to do what she wants. About the only time she has had to exhibit self-control in the show was when she had to keep Spike's, Fluttershy's, and Rarity's secrets, and it was clear how much she struggled with that. So even if Twilight did get drunk, it is unlikely her personality would change that much. She might get laugh-happy, but she probably wouldn't do anything really out of the ordinary.

Chapter 17:

This chapter seems to suffer from several of the problems I'd mentioned before. Luna's intervention seems hackneyed and unnecessary. It strikes me as the overdone prophecy type of intervention that the main character must change or else something horrible would happen. And while you could probably get away with Luna being immature enough to actually try this, it doesn't make any sense for her to intervene. She doesn't even know Green Grass, why would she care about his future in order to intervene to that extent? Furthermore, she doesn't have any reason to suspect that Twilight and Green Grass actually care about each other, as her only details are from reports and from the political situation you've set up, there's no doubt she would learn about false reports very quickly. Plus, there's the fact that neither character has shown any real interest in the other yet to this point. She is acting in a very knee-jerk and petty way, and if this is supposed to be satirical, you haven't made the situation ridiculous other than what I've said above, so there isn't enough evidence that the reader would conclude this.

Next, the conversation is just trying to sum up what has happened to this point in the story again, except that it doesn't fit with what has happened yet. Again, Twilight and Green Grass have not yet had an overall pleasant experience together. It's not like the flirty antagonism that is often portrayed, where the other characters can legitimately say, "Look how much fun you two have together. It's clear that you are flirting." Basically, everything that has happened between the two to this point has completely sucked for at least one party, if not both. So why does Spike say the two clearly like each other, when to the reader, it is much clearer that they don't? Pinkie and Green Grass, you could get away with this characterisation. Twilight and Green Grass, not so much.

Chapter 18:

This is more of the drunk chapters. Twilight overreacting is closer to in-character, but that's about it. You already know what I think of these.

And you have a giant info dump that is supposed to sum up them coming to terms with what happened. I can see why you want to skip some of this with a summary, but again you are just telling us what the plot needs to have happen and we don't have any reason to actually believe it. You need to show the major bits if you want the reader to believe that you aren't leading the characters around by puppet strings.

More of Twilight's friends completely ignoring what's happened over the past few chapters. At least now Green Grass is displaying some signs of interest, but I would expect her friends to be more protective of Twilight than enthusiastically pushing a relationship with the first stallion that happened to come along.

Are you sure you are not setting Green Grass up with Pinkie? He displays his competence in the story and Pinkie is the only one to see it. I get that you are setting up more innuendo chicken that doesn't seem to set up the story at all but you show more setup for a relationship with Pinkie here than all of the other chapters combined have shown for Twilight. All of the setup for a relationship with Twilight have been told by author puppet strings against what the character's actions generally show.

Chapter 19:

More innuendo chicken that doesn't advance anything. You also skip the only really interesting scene, which would show how Twilight reacts to adversity with Green Grass around, which would help indicate comfort level and whether she is still trying to impress him, and also how well Green Grass and Twilight mesh under pressure.

Chapter 20:

This chapter has a lot of underlying politics floating around. I'm not a politics person, so I didn't find this interesting, but it is clear that you've put a lot of thought and depth into the politics of the situation, so I'll leave them alone. Any suggestions I made specific to the politics portion would just miss the intended audience. However, I believe the same major suggestions that I've mentioned apply, even to the politics heavy parts.

In the future, I may mention that there are politics around and will mostly leave those sections alone unless there was something else I could get out of it.

Chapter 21:

Twilight's mother is reasonably well developed. I would be careful about making her too over the top and ridiculous to be believable though.

Also, the hinting at the pregnancy is excellent. This is how a lot more of the plot development should be invoked.

Chapter 22:

Twilight's father is only the second character to actually acknowledge the obvious about what is going on between Green Grass and Twilight. It does feel like an info dump, but it is refreshing to have a reasonable perspective for once.

There's a lot more info dumping going on in this chapter, with a lot of needless catchup. In fact, a lot of it is just catching up on a lot of the details left by the unnecessary innuendo chicken from earlier.

Chapter 23:

Twilight and Green Grass's interactions still seem wooden, but you do get a little bit of teasing about Green Grass's weight in there. And later in the chapter starts to get the hang of it.

I would recommend that if his weight is actually a significant concern for Green Grass, that you hint at it earlier. Having him a little insecure over it adds depth to the character, but it is a little weird that it doesn't appear until most of the way through the chapter.

Lyrics in the narration don't work particularly well, especially since they aren't particularly necessary to advance the story.

I would prefer it if you focused a bit more on Green Grass's abilities with unicorn fillies and colts. It makes sense as one of his positive traits and would be a good vehicle for Twilight to recognise positive traits in Green Grass. Right now, you haven't shown any reason for Twilight to have any interest in Green Grass besides a few suggestions that turned into "good" ideas.

>The unasked question of what ‘it’ might turn into in the future drifted unspoken through the library air.

You killed any atmosphere you might have had with this sentence.

Chapter 24:

Here you have Green Grass become completely morose and decide that Twilight should break up with him, for literally no reason. They haven't fought, argued, or even teased each other. He just decides he needs to break up. This is another sign of author puppet strings again. You just decide to apply some drama to Green Grass and it is pretty apparent. If you are going to have him go into a frenzy like this, at least have some semblance of a fight to make it reasonable why he is reacting this way.

On a related note, you never have the two of them get in a fight or argue after they finally acknowledge that they are in a relationship. It's like they wade through a bunch of stuff at the beginning, but once they decide to get together, they don't seem to disagree and the only problems that occur are the universe throwing things at them that they inevitably weather together. To be honest, it should probably be the reverse, but you should at least include some relationship troubles to be realistic.

You have the obligatory include her friends for the purpose of including all of her friends. By the time you get past Rarity, you lose any impact that the scene might have had. Besides, the last few are just thinly veiled references to gory fanon anyway, so the reader certainly isn't going to take any of that seriously. Pick a couple to get your point across, and if it is really necessary to include the others, use a summary sentence or two.

Chapter 25:

I'm not sure the scene in the bar is particularly realistic.

The breakup is really forced. As I mentioned before, it is literally a breakup for no reason, just because Green Grass gets some type of jitters. Along the same lines, the reconciliation seems similarly forced. The reasoning is basically that they haven't tried it enough. It's almost like the entire breakup is because Green Grass asks, "Why?" and they get back together because Twilight asks, "Why not?" It's all very frivolous and it comes across as author puppet strings.

Keep in mind, even though you have "conflict," because it is entirely frivolous, it doesn't seem like a legitimate relationship hurdle, but a hoop that the author is making them jump through. You still haven't shown any instance where their relationship shows any fortitude.

Nearing the end of the chapter, you begin getting the idea of the back and forth that makes their attraction seem legitimate. They are teasing each other playfully, but also complimenting each other and generally enjoying the other's presence. This is how it should be when they are falling for each other, not just once their relationship is established.

Chapter 26:

The interactions with Twilight's friends feel much more natural now. Also, you seem to be getting the hang of the back and forth. I'm not sure how plausible actually starving Green Grass against his will is, but you could alleviate that by some hints dropped that he agreed to the diet.

Chapter 27:

I prefer the weight thing as something he has to work through rather than something that gets solved by a doctor's visit and then never reappears again except in jokes.

You have the innuendo chicken for no reason again.

Chapter 28:

You weave the plot well here. The tickets in the Princess box is much more natural than a personal intervention, plus it makes more sense for them to actually intervene now that Twilight and Green Grass have actually acknowledged their relationship. Also, having Rarity produce tickets that solve a problem for Sweetie Belle is a nice tie up. Unfortunately, there's not really a way to see it resolve with the perspectives that you've been using (Twilight and Green Grass), and I wouldn't recommend changing things.

Most of the rest of the chapter is politics and the appropriate lead up. Again, not my kind of thing.

Chapter 29:

First half is more politics. To be honest, I mostly skimmed it to keep myself interested. My same objections to his studying griffins apply and could probably be replaced by asking about educational opportunities just as easily.

You have some awareness whiplash in the second half. Green Grass is the only one of the pair aware of the transportation, but then Twilight jumps to convince him they should go on the chariot. It would make more sense if the same pony was eager the entire time.

Chapter 30:

You could improve the atmosphere of the flight by using body language and reactions. You have the perfect setup for transferring fear into passion, however you need to complete it by showing his fear and tension rather than just telling us about it.

Jumping around with perspectives isn't really necessary. The readers won't have any trouble figuring out what happened if you just have the actual scenes.

Hinting at the sent "friendship report" was a nice touch. Just kill the footnote. It ruins any satisfaction the reader will get.

Chapter 31:

The concert itself is excellent. It is exactly the kind of thing that Green Grass wouldn't be interested in, except for the fact that Twilight is there with him, and that makes it all ok to him. You do a decent job conveying this, and it adds to their relationship.

My disinterest in politics extends to the more technical details of Griffin history. Again, this is just my opinion, but I would much prefer Celestia and Luna act as subtle manipulators from the shadows rather than constantly making appearances.

Chapter 32:
This chapter is almost entirely politics.

Chapter 33:
I mentioned this before, but putting Green Grass in with canon events is quite odd as it begs the question of why he isn't around in canon if he is such an important part of Twilight's life. I would recommend avoiding explicit reference to episodes and just put them in a similar event sometime between seasons or in the future.

Also, I've mentioned what I think of lyrics.

Why do you choose to make the grade the first time Green Grass really sticks up for himself? I understand the desire to show growth, but the grade is a particularly random point to do so.

The scene with Euripides is both out-of-character and out-of-tone for your story. The story would be just fine without it, it doesn't add to any noticeable character development, and it just distracts from the lighthearted atmosphere that you would want to show Twilight and Green Grass's blooming relationship.

The scenes with the reporter (including future chapters) are the same way. They don't really add anything to the story and don't develop any new characterisation.

The statistics/poll thing strikes me as oddly forward. As your story mentions, each of them have grown up in the nobility, so they should understand how to deal with attention from other ponies without making a spectacle. In the past, they've reacted negatively to embarrassing publicity, so it doesn't make sense for them to intentionally create it now.

Chapter 34:
This chapter has nothing to do with the rest of the story.

Chapter 35:

The Euripedes scene is, again, both out-of-character and out-of-tone. In fact, you could skip everything up to the introduction of the home movies and not miss anything.

You have a double dose of innuendo chicken. I get the messing with reading Don Rocinante, but, for the purpose of streamlining it, I would drop the innuendo chicken with the candies. Especially since Green Grass is supposed to have a weight problem.

Chapter 36:

The letter is awful long for a bathroom letter. You may have meant that it was a letter that happened to be written in the bathroom, but from the conversation, it seems as though it was a last minute, hastily scrawled thing from Green Grass and I don't think that's what you were going for.

The ending doesn't have any coherent emotion. It feels just kind of neutral and falls pretty flat. There's not really a sense of loss from the two separating, but not a coherent sense of hope for the future. I think you tried to incorporate too many other characters rather than focusing on the two that matter and crafting an ending around them.

Chapter 37:

This doesn't add much. It's pretty clear that it was a knee-jerk reaction to the season finale.

Review of The Travelling Tutor: Part 5 of 5 5713

>>5709 (Link to Part 1)

Overall: The biggest thing is showing instead of telling. Pretty much every section could use work on this. Next, I think you need to work on your portrayal of Twilight.

Here's why I believe OCxMane 6 stories tend to be hard.
1) You have to create a reasonable original character.

2) You have to create an interpretation of the Mane 6 character that stays true to the canon characterisation while putting her in a situation that canon isn't going to give you any help with.

3) You have to craft a series of events that realistically brings the two together as romantic partners. This includes finding a justification for their relationship to advance beyond friendship (something that would never occur in canon) all while staying true to canon.

4) You have to make the relationship have enough ups and downs that it seems realistic.

5) If you have all this done, you need to weave a story around it, so the above doesn't seem completely contrived.

Right now, you have most of 1. Green Grass seems like a reasonable character and while I believe you need to firm up some inconsistencies around the outside, he is most of the way there.

I don't think you are there with the rest of them.

To me, your interpretation of Twilight misses all but the most superficial characteristics. She is a purple unicorn and she has the external interests and some of the canon neuroses, but she shows very little of the deeper personality, which is instead replaced by generic-female-character-getting-involved-in-a-relationship personality.

The events that bring them together still need a lot of work. I still can't see anything beyond an interest in books and education that brings the two together. I can't find any reasonable answers for my test for these types of relationships, which asks "What about these characters, that doesn't apply to the other characters around, makes them uniquely fit to be in a relationship?"

The ups and downs are stratified. Basically all the personality difficulties occur before the relationship starts and then their personalities never conflict again. That isn't very realistic. Finally, if the other ingredients aren't in place, you can't really craft a story around them.

I understand that the story is supposed to have comedic elements, but you still have Twilight and Green Grass getting together in a non-satirical manner and for this to work, we need to take the relationship seriously.

So it seems to me that you are still a ways off.

However, you have definitely improved from early chapters to later ones, and that will only continue as you keep writing. Green Grass has a lot of potential as a character. I doubt you would have too much difficulty writing a less ambitious fic starring him that could make EqD. Establishing him as a character in a separate story may make the process easier, as you wouldn't need to introduce a completely new character while setting up the initial meeting for the relationship. But this one is definitely not there yet.

You have improved, so just rewriting it would probably go a long way. However, I would encourage you to think hard about what I've suggested before doing so, especially about showing and crafting a more realistic Twilight. Even if you don't take my advice, understanding why I suggest what I suggest can help you figure out how readers might react to your writing.

If something I say isn't clear or doesn't make sense, please ask. I understand that the review took a while, but my response time will be much quicker for a shorter question, and if something I've said doesn't make sense to you, then it is completely useless. And don't feel obligated to ask right away. If you think of something a few months down the line, feel free to ask.

This goes for anyone who happens to read this, not just the author. If others can benefit from this review, then so much the better.

Finally, the last and most important piece of advice: keep writing. Don't give up. You noticeably improved during the writing of this piece, and I have no doubt you will continue to do so with each word you write.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Request: The Changing of the Guard 5735

Title: The Changing of the Guard

Author: Rarity's Stallion

Tags: [Dark]

Word Count: 4174

Status: Incomplete

Synopsis: After Twilight is crown by Celestia and Luna as the sole princess of Equestria and left to govern the land by herself, Equestria is thrown into an armed conflict with the Griffon Nation. While necessary measures are undertaken to ensure Equestria's security, these measures along with the war effort sow the seeds of discontent. This discontent soon boils over into a full-scale revolt that threatens the very throne upon which Twilight sits.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/94220/the-changing-of-the-guard

Chapters to be reviewed: All posted

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5737

File: 1370122872666.png (129.77 KB, 773x600, 227790__UNOPT__safe_vinyl-scra…)

Claiming this as I said I would in the original thread. I might not be able to get to it until Sunday night/Monday morning due to the writeoff.

Review of The Changing of the Guard Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5749

File: 1370203025051.png (236.91 KB, 747x1070, swapping_jobs___vinyl_scratch_…)

Prologue Play by play:

- your opening sentence is pretty lame, as is the rest of the first paragraph. You generally want to have some kind of pull there that sucks the reader in from square one. It's not in that bad of shape, however, as "Are the rumors true, sir?" achieves this at the beginning of the second paragraph. However you could try to work on the first sentence/paragraph a little more.

- You have shining say 'blah blah, soldier' too often. He uses it in 3 out of 4 dialogues in one place when talking to Cloud Rider

- Personally I'm not a fan of using caps lock for shouting. Not unless it's blood curdling, throat tearing, damning-screams-from-the-depths-of-hell level shouting. The exclemations do a fine job of showing a character is shouting, an caps lock is just uneccessarily ugly. (plus you can save it for real shouting such as the above)

- "Shining unzipped Cloud Rider's mouth. . . Cloud rider gasped for air" do ponies not have noses anymore?

- the repeated use of ', soldier' is really starting to wear thin at this point.

Prologue Thoughts:

So the style is pretty good, any changes I would make would suggest would be mostly nitpicks. It's a good use of in media res from what I can tell so far.

However, everything about this opening is somewhat typical and generic. It's missing little details that would bring the situation to life. Mostly, the complete lack of any focus or detail on who's in the riot, or some inkling of what they're pissed about (without giving away everything, since you clearly want to keep some level of mystery about the circumstances). You could have Shining look out a window at the crowd and describe what he sees.

The guards all have a pretty good characterization, though Shining does not. Sure, we know him from the show, but you need to establish your Shining Armor. The only line I can think of that shows some character is when he mentions he has a wife and foal. However, his actions of aprehending Cloud Rider and watching over him himself do speak to his character somewhat. Obviously he's trying to be a pillar in this situation, but that doesn't mean you can't have a bit more of his character bleed through, especially since you can take advantage of the scene being from his perspective.

Chapter 1 Play by play:

-Something I see quite often is that the author doesn't quite play both sides. You don't suffer too much from this, but the commander (for being a commander) doesn't seem to have thoroughly thought through the choice of having their forces spread thin. Not by his dialogue, at least. I'd say you should have his explanation be more convincing.

e.x., "The chances of them rallying the royal guard within such a small time frame are minimal. The reward by far outweighs the risk. Not to mention that in the long term, striking as hard and fast as we can while the enemy is off guard could save countless soldiers lives than if we engage in a war of attrition."

Rationalize the bad guys, or they wind up seeming like saturday morning cartoon villians. Not that your story suffers from this much, mind you, but it does a bit.

- Somewhat related to the point above, the commander doesn't really seem like an intimidating opponent. Any commander should be fairly smart, but on top of that you can choose to characterize them in different ways. You can make them proud with a strong sense of righteousness on their side. You could make them a brawny warrior, whose outward appearence hides a surprising amount of tactic and cunning. You could make them a measured, quiet, calculating general, who ruthlessly plays the numbers and carefully measures each step.

- I don't believe the setting has really been described beyond the fact that there's a map, a chalkboard, and obviously a war table. What kind of buildings do griffons live in? Are the walls cement? Brick? Wooden?

Chapter 1 and closing thoughts:

Overall this story is fine, but it suffers from being, well, typical. That's not entirely a bad thing. If you write a pretty good pony-griffon war fic, you'll probably get some people who enjoy it quite thoroughly. It does mean, however, that you'll have a hard time standing out, since you're putting your story out there in a crowd of other very similar stories.

What you should however do, even if your plot is generic, is try to make your characters more interesting. Your first impressions aren't exactly weak, but they aren't great, either, just average, maybe slightly above. To sell something that's been done a lot before, you need to make sure it's really defined, and make sure that it pulls on all the best elements of its group to become 'the' story that stands out among its peers.

If you plan to make this story quite long (10+ chapters, which it seems like you're probably planning on doing) I'd consider going back and trying to have more 'punchy' introductions to characters, settings, and even chapters. The beginning really has to sell the reader on a story that has so many cousins.

I would warn you not to linger over the beginning of the story for too long though. You can only learn so much from remolding the same material over and over.

Reducted!Me72xQnm6o 5755

Hi, I found your review request in some document. I am here to tell you that after reading the first chapter and less than half of the second, I have come to the conclusion that your story is coming along nicely enough. I hope that this adventure you are spinning doesn't end in writer's block, because I could totally see that happening.

Also, in the dialogue between Spike, Twilight and Rainbow Dash I became confused as to who was talking. I know that it looks cumbersome, but can you stick a few more names onto their dialogue? That would be much appreciated by your audience I am quite sure.

There seem to be no plotholes outside of the realms of magic. The characters are behaving well enough.

I have very little to report on negatively actually. See, the thing is that this story is simple. It is has a nice light-hearted style and that is influencing who I am while I critique it. If anything that means that you are a well enough writer.

I very much appreciate the RPG style of recap.

Hey! I'm trying to be mean here. But there is not enough plot to pick at, your grammar and spelling are doing quite alright. The sentence fluency works. If I were to be mean I would have to call you simple.

The action is gripping enough.


Also, how are you planning to hook the reader if at all? I just don't see where this is going.

alexmagnet 5919

File: 1370529947832.png (262 KB, 650x538, SleepyfilliesTwilightandTrixie…)

All right, took me a little while, but here we are. Now, this review is gonna be somewhat short since I’m only going to be looking at some of the systemic problems in your fic (grammar-wise) since we already spoke about my other issues with it (at length). So, with that being said, let’s get into this beast.
>I wonder if that little spectacle was caused by anyone I'll be meeting later, I thought to myself

Right, remember how I said “grammar-wise”? Well, we’re actually going to start with this first.

Okay, so since this story is written in first-person, you have two choices for representing the narrator’s thoughts. One the one hand, you can italicize thoughts and treat them like dialogue, in the sense that they deserve their own paragraph breaks and such. And on the other hand, you can leave them un-italicized and just use them like regular narration. Since it’s written in first-person, you don’t have to clarify that it’s the narrator’s thoughts because it’s clear whose thoughts we’re hearing. Now, how you have it up there in the greentext technically isn’t incorrect, but it gets rather grating to read “I thought to myself” after every single instance of the narrator thinking something.

First off, “I thought to myself” is redundant since you can’t think to anyone besides yourself, unless of course he’s telepathic, which he isn’t. Second though, when you italicize the thought, as you have, stating that the narrator is the one thinking is also redundant. Personally, I prefer to just italicize thoughts and leave the tags (I thought, she thought, he thought) out of it, but if you want to tag your thoughts, then leave them un-italicized and shorten “I thought to myself” to “I thought, I wondered, etc.)

Moving on…

>If it were any other place I would probably have needed a map to make my way through the huge city

>Off in the distance I could see the six gleaming towers hanging over the skyline

>As I approached the entrance I saw that both of the guards were looking at me more and more curiously

In each of these example sentences (and there are many more I did not quote here), you have an introductory clause or a conditional clause, such as “Off in the distance” or “If it were any other place” respectively. Both introductory and conditional clauses require commas after them (introductory technically only requires one if it’s longer than three words), so they should read like so:

>If it were any other place, I would […]

>Off in the distance, I could see […]

>As I approached the entrance, I saw that […]

Basically, introductory clauses, or phrases/words (like the ‘Basically” I just used), set the stage, so to speak, for the rest of the sentence. Some other examples of introductory phrases/clauses/words:

>Because Twilight’s head was so big, she could barely fit through the window.

>Incidentally, the reason her head was so large had almost nothing to do with the ‘head enlargement’ spell she had attempted earlier.

>Fortunately for her though, the spell would wear off just in time for her to tumble through the window and into a very surprised Trixie’s lap.

For more information, and less stupid examples, check out this link:

>I turn myself in the direction of the distant landmark

>I hesitantly reach out and take the envelope, putting it inside my suit pocket.

A few times, you switch randomly to present tense. There are only few instances of this, but for the most part you’re pretty consistent with your tense. Just comb through and make sure your tense doesn’t switch around and you should be fine.

>with a unturned pink hood covering much of his face,

I think this might be the only you time you do this, but “a”s become “an”s when they are followed by a word starting vowel, or something that sounds like a vowel, such as in:

>It was an honorable attempt, but Twilight couldn’t convince Trixie that she hadn’t been climbing through her window.

>Trixie didn’t believe that it was just an honest error.

Now for my favorite bit, dashes.

>and in the middle- above it all- was a shining star

All right, so I already talked about this in-doc, but I’ll go into a little more depth here. When you have parenthetical elements, such as you have here, they can be separated in several ways. You can just use commas if you want a soft break, such as here:

>Twilight, breathing heavily, tried to think of an excuse.

Or, if you want a harder pause, or you want to make the separation more clear, you can use dashes. However, if you use dashes, for the love of God, please don’t use hyphens. I mean, you can probably get away with it and no will really care (except for me) so long as you’re consistent, but you should use dashes. En or em will do, just use one of them. In the case of en dashes, you should leave a space on either side, like so:

>Trixie raised an eyebrow – clearly unamused by the intrusion – and slowly exited the bathtub.

And em dashes, should be use without spaces, like so:

>As she reached for the drain—her hooves moving cautiously—Trixie kept one eye trained on Twilight, unsure if she would make any sudden moves.

Since you seem to be using American English, em dashes are technically more correct, but I think you could safely use either en or em. Really though, all the cool kids use em dashes because they’re bigger and sexier. By the way, again, I mentioned this in-doc, but you can easily generate em dashes by pressing Alt +0151 and en with Alt +0150, so really there’s no excuse not to use them.

Anyway, moving past dashes and into the most ubiquitous problem I noticed when reading The Six-Pointed Star… dialogue punctuation.

>“Excuse me, are you the reporter they said would be coming in?”, she asked as she looked over me with a friendly expression.

>”Could you tell me about these people I'll be meeting?”, I asked as I walked next to her.

>“Oh! I nearly forgot!”, she exclaimed

Let’s start with the easy stuff first.

When punctuating dialogue, if what’s being said ends in question, exclamation, or ellipsis, then you don’t put a comma after it, just like you wouldn’t put a comma after an exclamatory statement in narration. In these instances, the question mark/exclamation mark takes the place of the comma (or period if it’s the end of the sentence). So, these should look like this:

>“Excuse me, are you the reporter they said would be coming in?” she asked as she looked […]

>”Could you tell me about these people I'll be meeting?” I asked as I walked next to her.

>“Oh! I nearly forgot!” she exclaimed

And further, when you have dialogue like this:

>”You're all clear to go ahead now”, he said before giving a quick bow.

Or this:
>“Oh, sorry, I expected that you would know”, she said apologetically.

And you’re writing with American English, then you need to put the comma inside the quotation marks. Which you actually did here:

>“On behalf of the Brony Collective, welcome to the Citadel.”

Of course, here it’s actually a period and not a comma, but the point remains. If you’re using American English, then you need to put the comma/period inside the quotation marks. For example, dialogue should look like this:

>”Trixie, wait! I can explain,” Twilight pleaded.

However, there are exceptions, such as if the thing in quotations isn’t clearly being attributed to someone or isn’t dialogue or a direct quote, such as here:

>”Can you?” Trixie asked. “You can explain this?” she said, pointing to the book Twilight was holding labeled “Breaking and Entering: A Beginner’s Guide”.

See, in this example, the title of the book is in quotes but the period doesn’t go with it because the title itself is neither an independent, nor dependent clause. You could also do this:

>Twilight mumbled a series of “umm”s, and “uhh”s, unable to form a complete sentence.

Here, it’s dialogue, but not a direct quote so the comma goes outside. Since I’m probably not doing the greatest job explaining this, just go check out this link:


Okay, so this basically covers all the grammar issues and a few other things. Besides this, you have a few instances of missing words and awkward phrasing, most of which I tried to point out, but you seem to have a pretty firm grasp of grammar, aside from the thing with dialogue punctuation and dashes. Your writing is pretty solid, though you could stand to have a few simple sentences now and again. Having nothing but compound sentences for 95% of the fic can get a bit tedious and makes the already long-winded narration (and dialogue) feel even more so. Everything else, we already talked about, as I said, but if you have any more questions/concerns/clarifications, feel free to email me or make another post here on /fic/. Personally, I don’t really check mlpchan all that often though, so you would be better off emailing if you had any further questions. Anyway, as I told you, I like your fic, and I want to see it do well, so I wish you luck. Just do a bit of proof-reading to catch some of the typos and such, and you’ll take care of a decent amount of the comments I made.

~alexmagnet out…

Review Request 5923

File: 1370545530481.png (522.94 KB, 900x647, applefire_by_negitave_zero-d5m…)

Title: Farming in the Icy Inferno
Author: ForlanceAbice
Email: [email protected]
Tags: Romance/Shipping, Sad

Synopsis: Applejack never put much weight in having a special somepony. She was a farmer through and through, and her life is dedicated to preserving and upholding Sweet Apple Acres. It is in her blood after all, her heritage. It is up to her to carry the mantle. Alone. Sure, Big Macintosh might not be of unicorn genius, but he holds a hidden genius that could revolutionize how technology is used in Equestria, something that the farm holds back on.

The same could be said of her sister Applebloom. She might not know it, but the little crusader shows a hidden knack for construction, even if the Crusaders themselves don't realize it. There is also something else she also hides, something more subtle, but even of perhaps greater potential.

All in all, Applejack wouldn't be surprised if her talent was something non apple related. As for Granny Smith, she might have had been once a proud apple bucker during her younger years, but in her ailing old age, all she can do about now is cook.

That means the whole future of the farm falls squarely on Applejack's shoulders.

She doesn't have time nor the desire to find and fornicate with some stallion or mare, her duties demanded that she give her all to the future of her livelihood. So she didn't expect anything much one cold morning when a mysterious pegasus crashes into the barn that is undergoing renovation.

A very "famous" pegasus to be matter of fact, who flees a most tiresome life, desperate to just settled down and find some simple peace. Both Applejack and this mystery pegasus will find out life is never simple, especially when their fates are intertwined with something most sinister.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/83612/farming-in-the-icy-inferno

Review Acknowledged 5925


Thank you for the insightful and helpful review! I'm glad someone had the time to go through that whole thing, so now it seems it's my job to make this story actually readable. Much appreciated.

Twilight's Dollhouse 5990

Tags: Dark Tragedy
Synopsis: This funeral was just Twilight’s first. She realizes every pony she loves will die. Now that she is an Alicorn, she will have to relive this crippling heartache hundreds of times. . . Unless she can find a way to keep her best friends forever.
Links to Story:
If you really prefer gdocs, comment away here:

Looking for an overall review, with a focus on the earlier chapters. I'm going to submit to EQD, but they've bounced every other story I've submitted for being too dark. With some reviews and any grammar my editors missed, I think this one can make it.

Review Request: Repetition 6169

I'd love to have as much feeback as possible on this, so here it is.

Title: Repetition (working title)
Tags: Slife of life, sad…ish
Length: just shy of 5000
Status: complete

(working) synopses:
Twilight has always asked questions. But are there those she shouldn't?


This is an attempt at a character piece, so let me know what you think (I'm not posting it anywhere "official" anytime soon).

PLEASE: I'd love feeback from as many people as possible. Don't know if this breaks Da Rules, but imho the more the merrier!

Anyways, thanks guys.

Review: TTDDA: The Panter of the Bluebloods 6388

File: 1371587165105.png (154.78 KB, 605x480, 0Kushan Brogo edit2.png)

First review ever… please don't crucify me!

There were some grammar issues, especially in the first few chapters, but I think I've marked most of them and if you'd like I can go over them again and look for anything I've missed. Overall, your style is solid and readable, if a little dry at points (again, especially in the early chapters).

As for the actual review…
Not a bad story, overall, especially in the latter half. It was clever, highly entertaining, and even quite heartwarming at times.

But there were a few big problems.

The first issue is the first few chapters (I'd say 1-4). They're slow, and the writing is not on par with that of the later chapters. They're a bit difficult to get through, honestly, though not unsalvageable.

I'd suggest you go over them, see what you can do to rewrite them a little using the skill you had by the end of the story. The first few chapters are what people will use to decide if they want to read your story, and given that the story is one that's worth reading, it's only right to have early chapters that match the rest in quality.

Next problem is a tricky one: Characterization.

I've made a few long comments on the subject, but your versions of canon characters, most notably Blueblood, Shining Armo(u)r, and Pinkie Pie (in her first appearance; her latter appearance is fine) are very different from their canon characterizations. As I've also said, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The characterizations are consistent within the story. I also may have overreacted early on, and that may have colored some of my perceptions After re-reading the relevant sections, Shining Armor strikes me as less OOC and more stressed based on the circumstances, for example.

This is the biggest one, so lets focus on it one character at a time.

Shining Armor is a HARDASS in this story. Now like I said, some of that was situational, but not all of it. I understand that he doesn't like Time Turner, but after he learns that Timey is innocent (and a key player), I think he'd loosen up a little. If memory serves, he doesn't crack a single smile throughout the entire story. Sure, Cadance isn't there to make him happy, but he seems fairly easygoing in the show. Look over his lines, add some sarcasm, a sense of humor. That would go miles towards fixing the problem. I suggested earlier that you could swap him and "Captain Ironsides," but having read the ending I'm not so sure that would be a good idea. In fact, I think if you could edit his dialogue a bit—and maybe make him a tad more assertive—it would work just as well. (Note: I'm not the best at characterization myself, so it's entirely possible everything I just said was pure bunk. I don't think it is, but then I wouldn't necessarily know, would I?)

Next is Blueblood. Near the end you started to address this, but throughout the story he is far too competent to match with his canon characterization. He's not exactly suave, but he's too much the chessmaster for me to believe he's the same stallion who used Rarity's gown as a mop. I'm not actually sure if this can be fixed without severely altering the story, and I'm not sure you should fix it, either. If you were using canon!Blueblood, the story would be vastly different, and, I suspect, nowhere near as entertaining. I was going to suggest having the character in question be Blueblood's father, perhaps concerned about his idiot son's safety, but even that would required a good deal of rewriting. I'm not sure there's an easy solution for this, aside from—in the future—giving Blueblood a reason to walk all over Rarity at the Gala and pretend to be a total oaf. Since that effectively makes the show's characterization of Blueblood a big fat lie, though, I'm not sure it's a good idea either. This is probably the hardest thing to deal with, though you could just leave it as-is and treat him as a completely different Blueblood, taking the flak you get for it in stride.

The final problem is the one I exploded about in the last chapter. You probably know what I mean, and if not, look for the largest comment on chapter ten with the highest number of allcaps'd words. It came out of nowhere, it felt bizarre and somewhat creepy, and, truth be told, I'm fairly certain it was unnecessary. It felt like it was poisoning the happy ending you had, which greatly bothered me. I'd say drop it, and if you really want to do that for some reason, then bring it up in a later story, where it can get proper attention. AND DON'T HAVE TIMEY AGREE TO IT WITHOUT RESISTANCE, because that felt a bit out of character, especially given what Timey JUST DID TWO SCENES BEFORE. (Sorry for the… impassioned response, but I was ENJOYING that ending, dammit!)

Sorry if I was off-base in any way. I've got very little experience editing things and the only other person I've done it for responded extremely badly to any comment that didn't unconditionally praise his writing skill, characterization, or otherwise stroke his ego.

P.S. Thanks again for all the help on my story, and sorry this took so friggin long. Hopefully next time I review something I'll be able to do it in less than two months.

Oh, one last thing. This wasn't a huge problem, but Timey's ability was underused. Seems like a huge asset for him to completely forgo using most of the time.

Review Response: TDDA: PotBB Rodinga !vL.TDTGrPw 6391

File: 1371610618938.jpg (17.94 KB, 256x256, gentderp.jpg)


>There were some grammar issues, especially in the first few chapters, but I think I've marked most of them and if you'd like I can go over them again and look for anything I've missed. Overall, your style is solid and readable, if a little dry at points (again, especially in the early chapters).

I warned you about this. There is something like a 4 month time difference here, but it's good to hear that I've improved.
>Next problem is a tricky one: Characterization.

As you said most of these a rewrite grade problems. Mostly they came from a few ideas and slanted views.

>Shining Armour

Mostly born out of need for someone to insult. In the very first thoughts the role belonged to an OC Inquisitor from the tax office who'd be hounding Time Turner. But I needed someone on the side of the law who'd be well meaning and mostly competent
Probably some lingering dissatisfaction with his first appearance was involved as well. I came to the conclusion that while Armour is a goofball he would be annoyingly 'by the book' while on duty. Thus cementing him in as that type of pony and forgetting everything else; ignoring them on the basis that it's 'time turner's view of him'.


This one is born out of a simple observation: If Celestia is the chess master she's portrayed as (you may have noticed her subtle influence on a few occasions), then for Blueblood to hold his position he must have some redeeming features. So I made him a politician and a self serving bastard that would be responsible for everything Celestia can't be bothered with: Parliament, nobility, the gala and so on.
Fixing this would mean bumping up his snobbishness and perhaps transferring some credit for his good side to Fab. Not as critical as Armour, but it does need addressing.

>Pinkie Pie

When/if I do rewrite I'll leave "Feeling Pinkie Keen" and "Party of One" playing on my other screen.

>The Final Problem

A bad idea no-one called me on. I should probably have listened to my doubts on that and it's not the first time I've had a story derail itself. There's a quick, last minute solution and I'll have to implement it.

So congratulations on your first review. I told you before that I expected the experience would be useful to you; that improvement you saw can be attributed to me learning the art of editing and being edited.

It also got this off the review queue. Yay!

So, moving on, I'm looking forward to continuing with "My Little Homeworld". Let me know when you want me to give it another look. I think you should send that off to EQD, if you haven't already.

Thanks again.

Review Request 6422

Unnamed Doctor Whooves Fic


Tags: Adventure, Cross-over, Slice of Life, Sci-Fi,

Synopsis: The Doctor, having lost his previous companion in an accidental dimensional jump, has lost all his memories. And the only things he has to link him to the previous world are an unusual Pocket Watch that can't be opened, two keys, and an odd metal bar with a sphere at the tip. What secrets will he learn about himself? And how much will he change in this new dimension?

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rgVbuFyM85SjNRmdJZ62fQnicB1SqZLlF2vWY-aaJFs/edit?usp=sharing

Review Request: X-Com: Equestria LoRo 6427

File: 1371766274758.png (27.7 KB, 250x93, 53558_r.png)

A little crossover-fic I did on the X-Com Project as if it existed in Equestria.

Title: X-Com: Equestria

Author: loliger_rofler

Tags: [Dark] [Crossover] [Adventure] [Alternate Universe]

Synopsis: All over Equestria, ponies are vanishing in the dead of the night. The planet is under attack by an unkown, deadly force. The council of nations approves the last resort: the X-Com project

Captain Shining Armor is recruited as a commander for the X-Com project. Overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the situation, his first decision shall be the one that has the most dire consequences:

He recruits the elements of harmony.

They will have to find their place in the organization, they will have to work hard, fight hard, deal with pain, loss and suffering. They will have to outmaneuver, outsmart and eventually outgun their enemy to save Equestria, ponykind and even the very planet from complete destruction.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/53558/xcom-equestria

Word Count: 9,461, first two chapters.

Review, "The Twilight Struggle" Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6428

File: 1371787288958.jpg (8.08 KB, 259x194, images (2).jpg)

Okay, so here is that review I promised.

However I must give you fair warning you that what I have to say in here is not all that pleasant at times.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


If you have any questions or complaints, feel free to make them known.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 6429


Uh, I don't know if this is really the place to show him that. Wouldn't PMing his FimFic account have been better?

Acknowledge Reception of review 6597


Thank you much for your time and assistance in the matter of this fic. There's a lot of feelings I have about it, but given how much time has passed - and how much other writing I have since done - I dont know how much of it will actually get applied.

Still, thank you for giving an immensely in-depth look at it. I'll take quite a few of these suggestions to heart.

Claim: Does Ponyville Dream of Electric Sheep? Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6600

File: 1372761600013.jpg (35 KB, 720x480, I am going to viciously murder…)

Would review you, but I've already done so on Ponychan a while back, and I'm not sure what more I'd be able to do for it.


I don't care if your post is missing. You're dark, sad, have an interesting synopsis, and are only 4,000 words. Short. Sweet. Delicious. Mine.

Review: Does Ponyville Dream of Electric Sheep? Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6667

File: 1373102124435.jpg (8.93 KB, 200x200, images.jpg)

Your entire opening scene bothers me. Every word of it. I actually considered punching a small animal about halfway through this review. But anyway, let’s get this aneurysm over with.

>"He's only a pony… I think. What's the worst he can do? Stare at me and say nothing?"
I don’t have a clue who’s speaking just yet, but you get away with this because the line is interesting enough that I continue reading.
>With that, Twilight Sparkle sighed out and closed her eyes.
This bothers me. The opening phrase, “with that” is normally used after some sort of dramatic exchange between our main character, and either another character or an object. There’s a sense of finality to the phrase, and it often indicates a character walking away from a concluded argument. Here, it just feels so out of place that I would have put this story away right here if I hadn’t promised to review it. It’s your story, but I would advise you to leave out the first two words of this sentence.

That said, the sixth word in this sentence irritates the crap out of me. I have never seen or heard of anyone breathing in when sighing, so I would assume that Twilight is breathing out here, ergo: sighing out. I am now trying to imagine her actually sighing in, and it sounds more like a gasp than a sigh.

>She took in a quick breath of air, put her hoof to her chest, and sighed out all her anxiety, letting her eyes relax.

Wait, what? Is this seriously a detailed explanation of what just happened? Excuse me while I close my eyes, swing my palm up to my forehead, and grunt out my exasperation, letting my brain relax.

>Her horn glowed in unison with the door in front of her. The wooden door violently swung open, revealing a quaint café inside.

Seriously?! I went to elementary school. They had an english class there. I learned how to join related sentences there. You just use commas and conjunctions. They don’t sound so choppy when you do that.

Another thing: Why the bloody hell did the door *violently* swing open? She couldn’t open it gently, dispite having just relaxed herself? That is to say, that she didn’t relax Spike, as she sighed out.

>Twilight stood in front of the café's door and surveyed the inside with narrowed eyes.

Oh, good. And here I thought she was at the library.

>Twilight’s face didn't move a muscle as she glued her burning eyes onto a certain pony who sat alone at a table.

The fuck?! I thought she just relaxed herself. Why the sudden animosity?

>He was so still that anypony that confused him for a statue wouldn't be at fault

Who. Anypony who confused him for a statue.

>The tone of his voice was enough to make Twilight squirm where she was sitting.

Oh, okay. Great. Now I know that not only is Twilight subject to violent, unexplained mood swings. She’s also a complete and total pussy. I knew there was a reason she was worst pony.

>"You come here every day, and you always order the same thing. In the same way. At the same time. Why?"

>"Well, I quite like it here." He smiled. "Have you tried their cinnamon buns?" He sniffed in steam from the pastry, and sighed out, keeping his dead gaze on Twilight.
>Twilight raised her voice, "No! I have not tried their cinnamon buns because I don't come here everyday like you do!”
>“Why," Twilight continued, lowering her voice, "do you like this place so much? Why are you here exactly at 8 A.M. and why do you always leave at exactly 9:30 A.M.?"
Hey, I go to the same deli for lunch every day, and I show up at roughly the same time. If some girl comes up to me and verbally attacks me over something so petty and childish, I might smack a bitch.

>Barging into a café and interrogating somepony wasn't really considered normal in Ponyville.

It’s not normal anywhere. Unless you live in some kind of western film, but then it would be a saloon.

>Nothing seems to perturb that pony.

You switched to present tense for a moment there.

>"Are you sure you're fine? There's nothing I can get for you?"

Oh, NOW the reader is smart enough to infer that this is a waitress? Readers are generally smart, but I was still pretty confused until I read the next couple of lines.

>Twilight offered a small, polite smile. "No I'm sure I'm okay, thank you."

Are you sure you’re sure?

>The waitress furrowed her brow and eyed Twilight for a moment before nodding. Without another word, she left Twilight alone.

She said something while she was nodding!? Where? I missed it. Oh, you’re just assuming we’re thick as mud again. Okay, thanks.

>Twilight looked down at her salad she had ordered.

Oh, she ordered it and it was hers. You don’t say? She didn’t order somepony else’s too you don’t think?

>It was untouched, and she must have had it just sitting in front of her ever since she'd ordered it.

I bought a bag of baby carrots once. You know why? Because I like to eat them. Out of curiosity, I checked the ingredients label. I was curious what they would put on the label that was required by law to list the indredients of the contents of the package. Guess what it said. Go ahead, guess. Carrots

>Twilight slipped through the closing door and shot her head to the left.

I… what? Okay, I’m going to stop getting into the fine details, because I’m getting ridiculously frustrated with this story. I might go kick a puppy or something.

When we get to Rarity’s scene, things start to make sense. Rarity acts like her usual self, and vindicates me by reminding Twilight to think rationally. Only when Twilight mentions that the pony never moves, do things start to make even the slightest bit of sense. Then she mentions he looks like a robot.


Fucking, finally.

It only took a few *thousand* words, but you’ve finally given me a shred of reason to be interested in this story. Now her actions make at least some sense. I still think she’s a crazy bitch that should mind her own business, but I can at least excuse her irrational behavior because the pony that shows up to the same place at the same time orders the same thing and never moves, … is a robot.

+Thank you, author, for that delightful appetizer. Now where the fuck is the main course?! You’d better get it here yesterday or you can forget about getting a tip!

>She was frowning as she held up a copy of the town newspaper, The Daily Hoof, to her face

Apply hoof to face. Good. Nothing actually wrong here, I just found this a bit humorous considering my reaction to the beginning of this story.

>She raised her newspaper back up and hid behind it.

I’m going to lower this story down if you don’t quit doing this.

>The pony raised her eyes above her newspaper and let them bounce from left to right.

Are you trying to mislead me? I know this is Twilight. Quit beating around the bush and just say her name already.

I’d have to say that Pinkie makes the most sense out of any of the characters in this story. She even serves as comic relief from the massive headache I’m developing as I read this story. Oh, and if you’re new to reading, a headache isn’t normal.

>"I need you to get up to that window up there. Can you do that, please?" Twilight whispered.

>The mouse squeaked softly, and made its way past Twilight and to the house.
Seriously? A mouse? *sigh out* No, no, there was a mosquito on my forehead. That wasn’t a facepalm at all. I was just, smacking a mosquito with my hand, and it happened to be on my forehead.

Whew, finally finished. I might just have to take another break from reviewing. Actually, I’m just going to post this and go to sleep. I’ll feel better in the morning. Hopefully.

Claiming "Farming in the Icy Inferno" Writer's Block 6676

File: 1373134582426.jpg (20.13 KB, 400x269, pinky_brain_x_3.jpg)


I'll be taking a look at this, though no master shipper be I, so let's see what we have here.

The Training Grounds - Queue update 6678

File: 1373136883672.png (440.13 KB, 500x497, SquareSeriesSoarin.png)

Unclaimed: 15
Reviews awaiting acknowledgment: 5
Reviews In Progress: 5

Total reviews since spreadsheet began its use: 1384
Est. Total since founding: >1600

Unclaimed Stories
5/15 * For Candy by Bob From Bottles http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html
5/28 * The Apprentice by 94 aka Stickbabiga http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#127651
5/31 * Pony Grand Tour by Hoof of Approval http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#127675
6/1 * Plain Old Chaos by sobbing http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#127682
6/8 * The Shape of your Dreams by Blank! http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/122131.html#127748
6/9 * Twilight's Dollhouse by Kaidan http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/122131.html#127748
6/13 * Repetition by Axis of Rotation >>5990
6/19 * Shimmer by Eyeclops http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#127814
6/20 * Unnamed Doctor Whooves fic by n00btankz >>6422
6/21 * Scootaloo's Father's Day by LiamNeighson http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#i127837
6/21 * Homework is for Home by Silver Ink http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#i127838
6/21 * The Battle of the Golden Oaks Library by p0n00b http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497+50.html#i127839
6/23 * A Stroll in the Park by Ignis Latinicus http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#127655
7/1 * Hearts and Mail Day by FeatherFoot http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497+50.html#127925
7/6 * Scootadare by Impossible Numbers http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126497.html#127992

Reviews Awaiting Acknowledgment
Hearts and Mail Day by FeatherFoot
Your Little Butterfly by Mickey Dubs
Travelers of the Realms (working title) by Cody The Kirby A.K.A. Ghostwriter the Scribe
Does Ponyville Dream of Electric Sheep? by Xenmas021
Luna and Order by Fullmetal Pony

Reviews in Progress
Eustatian reviewing Unmarked submitted 11/24
Azusa reviewing Gift of the Goddess submitted 4/1
Derpity reviewing An inkling of interest submitted 4/2
Writers_Block reviewing Farming in the Icy Inferno submitted 6/6
CartoonGeld reviewing Autumn submitted 6/19


If you have any problems (like you submitted a story to the queue over a week ago and no one’s looked at it, or your reviewer has disappeared) then feel free to ask for help in this thread or in the #fic IRC: http://derpy.me/sXAWK

And I’d greatly appreciate it if someone would let me know if I forget to do this at the start of every month.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical 6680



Nearly everything about this review is incorrect.

Author, drop me a line and we'll talk.
This post was edited by its author on .


File: 1373138730339.png (113.95 KB, 401x391, 230881__UNOPT__safe_raindrops.…)

It would help him a lot more if you told him what was wrong with his review…

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6684

File: 1373156660467.jpg (26.27 KB, 400x450, Whiteraven.jpg)

>Implying opinions can be incorrect.
We gonna do this every time I don't absolutely love the story?

Doctor Whooves: Remembrance 6689

Doctor Whooves: Remembrance

Author/Screen name:

[email protected]

Romance, Crossover, Adventure,

The Doctor has forgotten himself, his past, everything. But he met someone new. Someone who doesn't care he doesn't remember himself. A kind hearted mare who, even though she's only felt pain caused by others, still cares for every pony she knows. And the Doctor doesn't know what to expect.

Chapter One: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rgVbuFyM85SjNRmdJZ62fQnicB1SqZLlF2vWY-aaJFs/edit?usp=sharing

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:
Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

Review on all chapters if possible. If not, read each chapter and point out my most “Fatal” Flaws.

Tactical 6693


No but we're sure gonna do it every time you spend an entire review trying to sound like you know what you're talking about while you bitch about things for no reason.

You also completely missed the fic's legitimate flaws, probably because you were busy feeling good about yourself for borderline insulting the author. However, I doubt you would have noticed more things than individual nitpicks and baseless characterization things anyway, with what I've seen from your reviews.

If I seem like I'm being bitchy, sorry, but I read your post as a challenge. I've always bit back on my impulse to jump in and tell people "this is a crappy review!" because you guys are the ones putting time into TTG and not me, and that's great. It's just that I was the last one to give Blade Galloper an edit, and the idea at least deserves better.

while I'm here? I don't think you should make a thing of reviewing people's review style. It would be silly no matter who was doing it, and if the review we're arguing about is what you're trying to bring people closer to…
This post was edited by its author on .

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6697

File: 1373192861735.png (107.01 KB, 800x551, 1336713377089.png)

That's a fair point, I suppose. If I'm not being helpful, then my sole purpose here is wasted. I only ever came to /fic/ in the first place because I wanted to help. It frustrates me when you jump in and say "This guy doesn't know what he's talking about" because I do actually try.

Aside from that, I think you pegged my intentions wrong. I was in no way feeling good about myself as I wrote that review. The wording threw me for a loop, and sounded whack as hell, so I made a point of it. Now that you've mentioned it, I did miss some key flaws, but it wasn't because I got off on insulting the author. It was because my vision was clouded by the headache I sustained just trying to make sense of the damn thing. I wasn't kidding about that.

As for the reviewing reviews? I only do it because no one else does. It's a good idea, and I thought if I could get it to catch on, more people would pitch in and help. Everything I've ever done on this board was with the intention of improving someone's writing. If I can't even do that, maybe I should just leave.


That's not trying, you don't even know what it means.
If you tried then you would have exercised for three to five years since you were the age of ten. You need prior knowledge and to think for at least one week or two before saying solid things about the story. Instead you thought of insipidly commenting on his vocabulary because it's easier.
Work out your observation and literary skills with a teacher and a load of books, and only then come back to reviewing. You can only write forcefully, you don't have a natural talent for these things? Neither do others, that's why they've learned till they finally managed to make a naturally substance filled review.
You want to really point out his vocabulary? do it in one paragraph, don't waste your entire review on it. If you at least didn't try to oversell your critique by exaggerating on it then somebody wouldn't have bothered to pick it out.
I also take issue with Bipolar's old english review and how there's much more commenting than explanation, it's practically no better than yours.

Also you commented on the dialogue with an excessive amount of emotion that no person which takes his job seriously would ever do. You think this is a comedy show? To fall into a common act such as faked anger is the lowest way of getting things done. It barely uses any logic, it just goes with the flow and doesn't have any quality checking, not even thinking outside the box. In other words you were getting off to an addiction.
>I was in no way feeling good about myself as I wrote that review.
You know it is half-assed, yet you still publish it. So you have a lack of self-respect for your own work because you either don't consider it yours or you don't consider your written works worthy of something.
While I'm writing this I'm thinking about how I'll be seeing this post whenever I open the thread. I put forethought into what I write - I usually save my text in a pad, rather than writing everything in one go.


"How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"
– Matthew 7:4


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That isn't Tac, Minj.

Anonymous 6706

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Mentlegen I propose a cease fire. Because bickering like this doesn't prove anyone's point.

And makes you all look dead wrong by going insulting each other.

I can't force you to stop but if you want to help Minjask please try to help him with tips etc. And don't act like a pile of poo. Review his review don't go OMG THIS IS SOOOOO BAD on his ass.

Tactical 6707


That actually wasn't me, unless I've started sleep-posting. Me, I had half a mind to bitch you out and then give myself some space without having to get a last word in.

That said, Anon has it right–you choose a non-issue to get bitchy about, something that deserves less than one paragraph, and then you spend the rest making a show of your false anger and being totally unhelpful.

Since the topic of telling people how to do their edits has come up, I would like to refer you to my own style.

I will when I can be bothered, anyway. Currently I'm on my smartphone.

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6708

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Forgive me. I haven't been here in long enough. I saw ZDR and assumed it was a tripcode.
God I feel dumb.
This post was edited by its author on .

Dublio 6709

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Can't we all just get along? There are nicer ways to tell someone about their reviewing style. Like a PM. That way, you don't lose face. This kind of thing makes people not want to come here anymore. :(

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6710

File: 1373223996603.jpg (8.1 KB, 208x243, scootaloo munching.jpg)

Do you have an email I could contact you at? I had originally intended to find you IRC and talk, but then my internet started being dumb, and then the confusion that's just happened… happened. I really don't want to fill up this thread with further discussion about it.


File: 1373224335261.gif (1 MB, 849x720, 358881.gif)

>I can't force you to stop
I can.

Seriously, stop derailing the thread. Minjask's email is in the TTG regular list. Please take this conversation over there.
This post was edited by its author on .

To the maintainers 6712


You can remove my story from the queue.

Claim: "Repetition" HoofBitingActionOverload 6714


I'll see if I can help any.

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 6718

File: 1373286663850.jpg (3.91 KB, 126x127, 535689_3594722039823_162662573…)

Let's just disregard that embarrasment, shall we? I see now where I went wrong, and I fully intend to correct it as best I can.

A lot of your descriptions seemed unnecessary or redundant, and Twilight's behavior seemed irrationall to the point that it lost all believability. Here are just a few key points.

>With that, Twilight Sparkle sighed out and closed her eyes.
This is an example of what most writers would call awkward phrasing. There's nothing grammatically wrong with it, but it really just hits the ear wrong. Try saying it out loud. You might notice something.

>She took in a quick breath of air, put her hoof to her chest, and sighed out all her anxiety, letting her eyes relax.

Obviously this is a description of Twilight's relaxation technique which was showcased in Games Ponies Play. It clashes with the previous sentence because it's basically the same thing. You're giving the reader the same information twice, and this ruins the flow of the story.

>Her horn glowed in unison with the door in front of her. The wooden door violently swung open, revealing a quaint café inside.

This confused me a bit. First of all, these two sentences just feel to me like they should be connected. Second, if Twilight just calmed herself down, why is the door opening violently?
Another thing: Why does it matter what the door is made of as long as it's there to be opened?

>Twilight stood in front of the café's door and surveyed the inside with narrowed eyes.

This is one of those moments where I really just sat back and said "You don't say?". We already know that Twilight is standing in front of the door because she's just opened it, and it couldn't be anywhere but the cafe. I can see how you were trying to use this to show her state of mind by mentioning her narrowed eyes, but it could be a lot smoother, and I think you should work on it's delivery.

A way you might correct this would be to just say "Twilight stood". Rather than reiterating her already apparent location, stopping here focuses on what she does next, which is not to move. She stands there, instead of immediately barging in, and surveys the scene. That would be another thing to tweak. This is my personal preference, but saying scene instead of inside just sounds cooler.

>Twilight’s face didn't move a muscle as she glued her burning eyes onto a certain pony who sat alone at a table.

More of my confusion at her having just calmed herself.

One thing to note. You say "A certain pony" here as though trying to hold the image back from the reader. I'm guessing you were trying to focus on Twilight's intensity, but the way you've described this pony gives the reader nothing to latch onto, and makes your next description sound awkard and poorly done.
>The beige stallion wore a pair of huge square glasses that made his eyes look like black dots,
This sentence looks cheap, and it doesn't need to be that way. You've wasted the first sentence by just focusing on Twilight's gaze, and you've wasted the second one on describing everything you can about this pony. This is inefficient, and could be fixed by blending the two.

If you say that Twilight was glaring at a *beige stallion* as opposed to a certain pony, it gives the reader a better image without sacrificing the flow of the sentence. This not only indicates which stallion she's focusing on, so as to avoid confusion at his next mention, it allows you to smooth out your description of him by spreading it across more of the story. Then when you come back in with "He wore a pair of huge, square glasses which made his eyes look like dots" It doesn't sound so cheap.

I would also rearrange the surrounding sentences to make them more efficient as well.
>He flaunted an annoying grin as he sat stock still, periodically inhaling the steam from his cinammon bun through his nose
Mentioning his stillness like this removes the need for your next awkward sentence
>He was so still that anypony that confused him for a statue wouldn't be at fault.
Oh, and while I've mentioned it, you should make a note that when referring to a person, you should say "who", not "that". This is an area of english that is often disregarded in modern dialogue, but it should be addressed in writing. That sentence—should you choose to keep it—should read "He was so still that anypony who confused him for a statue wouldn't be at fault." Do you see the difference?

>The tone of his voice was enough to make Twilight squirm where she was sitting.

So, she's calmed herself down, gotten fired up with a sudden and violent mood swing, barged in there, walked straight up to him, and suddenly his voice is enough to make her squirm? I haven't been a fan of Twilight since day one, but even I don't think she's that much of a little bitch.

>"You come here every day, and you always order the same thing. In the same way. At the same time. Why?"

>"Well, I quite like it here." He smiled. "Have you tried their cinnamon buns?" He sniffed in steam from the pastry, and sighed out, keeping his dead gaze on Twilight.
>Twilight raised her voice, "No! I have not tried their cinnamon buns because I don't come here everyday like you do!”
>“Why," Twilight continued, lowering her voice, "do you like this place so much? Why are you here exactly at 8 A.M. and why do you always leave at exactly 9:30 A.M.?"
This is sort of where I started to go "Twilight, what are you doing? Twilight, stahp!" Honestly, Twilight. You live at a library. Should I bother you about your love of books?
Having read the rest of your story, I can see where this was coming from, but all I could see at this point was worst pony berating an innocent stallion who was just minding his business, and his only crime was being a creature of habit, much the same way Twilight is herself. This seemed irrational to the point of all believability having been completely shattered. I'd have put the story down at this point if I weren't putting in the time to help you improve it.

>Twilight looked down at her salad she had ordered.

>It was untouched, and she must have had it just sitting in front of her ever since she'd ordered it.
This was two more moments I felt went without saying. The wording of the first sentence irks me because I looked at it and went "Oh, it's *her* salad and *she* ordered it? You don't say?" Same thing with the second one. If it was untouched, it goes without saying that it had been sitting there since it was ordered. You don't need to say that. That's like saying that rain hit the ground, and it must have fallen from the sky.

>"Are you sure you're fine? There's nothing I can get for you?"

>Twilight offered a small, polite smile. "No I'm sure I'm okay, thank you."
If a friend of mine ever said "I'm sure I'm okay" instead of just "I'm fine", that would throw up a big red flag. Wording a reply like this is not normal and it's a good sign that the individual is not thinking rationally. Maybe this was your point, maybe I'm just crazy. Wait, no. I am crazy. That aside, give some deep thought to the wording of this line if you haven't already.

Finally, Rarity steps in to be the voice of reason. That seemed oddly convenient, but I was glad somepony was telling Twilight how ridiculous she was being. She even flat out said the same point I made earlier
>Twilight, that's a bit odd to follow a pony simply because he has a few habits, don't you think?
This shows that you knew this didn't seem right, so it draws attention to that you were hoping to go somewhere with it. But like I said, it's so out of place that it shatters all sense of believability. If you can make it more apparent to the reader that this stallion is strange *before* you have Twilight follow him around, it might sound more believable, and the reader will actually side with Twilight instead of Rarity. Try following Twilight as she first begins to notice the stallion's strange behavior. You've got to create the mindset of "Something is wrong with this pony" before you develop Twilight's irrational behavior in response. If you can do that, you might have a story here.

>However, despite these perfect conditions for a day off, a certain pony decided that the day would be one of research, work and digging. This pony sat alone at at the Hay's Bay, and she wore a pair ridiculously large, dark shades that disguised her emotionless face. She was frowning as she held up a copy of the town newspaper, The Daily Hoof, to her face and occasionally flipped a page.

This paragraph can be passed off as snark. The narrator is making a point of how ridiculous Twilight is being, and it's slightly comical. However, continuing past this is milking a dry cow. The joke is over, and continuing not to name Twilight becomes frustrating.
>The pony raised her eyes above her newspaper and let them bounce from left to right.
I don't know if you were trying to go for a mystery feel or something here, but there isn't another pony you focus on in the story, and we've been following Twilight, so it almost feels insulting not to just say that this is Twilight. Unless of course, you had a good reason for it.

The Pinkie Pie scene almost made sense, but it felt like Pinkie was lacking some of her usual exuberance. I personally felt that the long-long lost brother joke could have been played out for just a second longer.

>A bright moon in the dark purple sky that loomed above Twilight's head

You're doing it again. That thing where you state information that everyone already knows. This is a bad idea, and you want to avoid it whenever possible. Saying "A moon" implies that there's more than one, which—unless this is an alternate universe—there isn't. If the moon is out, it's likely that the sky is a dark purple color, especially considering the universe we're dealing with, and that it looms over Twilight's head is about as apparent as the ground beneath her feet.
Mentioning that it's bright has some merit, though. This shows that it's a cloudless night, and the moon is probably full.

>After the light died down, a glow took its place in the bushes. In front of Twilight's nose, waiting for her command, was a ghostly little mouse. It glowed faintly, and stood at attention, waiting for its caster to order it. Twilight could see through it, and wisps of a smoky light constantly accompanied it.

I missed this on the first pass; This is actually somewhat clever. It's nice to see Twilight experimenting with her magic every now and again, because it draws on her character a bit, and reminds the reader that she's more than just a vehicle to convey the author's fantasies. She's a pony. More specifically: a unicorn who loves to study magic. Props for that.

All in all, not a bad story idea. If you work on your delivery a bit, this could turn out to be enjoyable. Good luck with it, and remember, remember the fifth of November. keep on writing.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming "Twilight's Dollhouse" 6729

Request is >>5990.

Self-submitted to my own thread at >>6728.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Review: "Repetition" HoofBitingActionOverload 6732

File: 1373322229765.jpg (11.62 KB, 80x80, toboggan.jpg)


Here you are:


What you have is okay, it could be great. I hope my comments will be able to help you some.

Also, I've never bothered to try reviewing anything here before. If one of the more experienced reviewers here would be willing to look this over or my comments on the story itself and point out any mistakes I've made, I would greatly appreciate it.

Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6733


You did very well. Even having not read the story, I was able to draw enough from the review to see where you were going and your responses seemed logically sound, given the information provided.

One thing to improve though would be to provide examples of errors, so as to make issues a bit clearer for the one being reviewed. How about in your “Summary of Errors” providing at least one or two errors for each point? That way, if the person you are reviewing for has no idea what a misused semicolon looks like, they can actually see the problem and try to start fixing them. However, this is overall a small issue and an easy fix, and I hope to see you continue with this level of quality.

Welcome aboard.


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The large, clearly marked section entitled "My Advice" was superb and I really wish more reviewers included something similar. Too often I see reviews that just read like laundry lists of grammar and plot issues, with little to no suggestion for improvement. I mean, this is a free service that awesome people are offering in their spare time, so it's not like the author is entitled to anything more than a second opinion, but still. Even if the author doesn't take your suggestions, those comments could still inspire a different enough train of thought that the author gets just the creative burst they need to get better.

Review, "Farming in the Icy Inferno" Writer's Block!hS9ZjLM/uE 6787

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