I may not have written anything for this write-off, but it did at least give me an excuse to start writing a fic I've been wanting to write for a long time. I didn't want to submit it incomplete, but now I kind of wish I had just so there would've been a little more variety in these fics.
Well, since I had some free time today, I decided to read all the entries and give my
reviews of them. So, without further adieu, let's go!Four Horseshoes
So, despite this being the first review, it's actually the one I wrote last. The reason for this is because I knew what I wanted to say about all the other fics, but this one was different. It required a second reading…An Idea for S4E1-2…
…and upon a second reading, I understood some of the subtleties a bit more.
This fic might well be the best fic I've ever read for a write-off, not that I've read all that many write-off fics. The whole time I was reading, I couldn't help but think, “This sounds an awful lot like a fairytale kinda thing”, and then BAM… the ending is what makes this fic so spectacular. If, for some ungodly reason, you're reading this review but you haven't read this particular this fic, then I'm warning you now. I'm going to spoil the ending, and the reveal at the end is the absolute best part.
For the longest time, I couldn't find the connection to season 3 and I was waiting, just waiting, for Sombra to show up randomly, or something stupid like that. But when this line finally hits at the end:
>Who's got my rusty horseshoe?
I literally got chills down my spine. I was pretty sure that's where it was going, but only immediately before this line was given. The reveal is so powerful and so well done that I can't help but feel jealous at the impressive execution displayed here.
But it's not just the reveal, this entire fic is phenomenal. There's so much left unsaid, and yet so much explained. I absolutely love the, heh, love between Valerian (amazing name, btw), and Cast Iron, and I love how wrong it goes.
Anyway, there's just so much to love about this fic and I honestly don't have any complaints, well, besides the fact that beheading seems… forced, I guess. Like, you needed him to become the headless horse, so I get that, but maybe I'm missing something. I feel like I must be because there are a lot of things implied by the two thugs, but I didn't pick up on their reasoning for killing him other than, “because some unnamed boss told them to”.
Welp, since I'm not a part of this contest, I feel perfectly safe in taking guesses at who wrote what, and for this I'm going to say that presentperfect is the author. I'm calling you out, present! Also, I would be pretty goddamn surprised if this doesn't win. It's easily my favorite fic, and, in my opinion, easily the best of the lot.
Hmm, I've got a lot to say about this one, but I'll start with the easy stuff first. Fluttershy's House of Villains
All right, so right off the bat, that's kind of a terrible title. Now, I realize this is just a write-off so titles aren't that important, but c'mon. You probably could've come up with something a little more creative and less… literal. I don't want to harp on you too much, so I'll move on.
So, next up are ellipses […]. The first thing you should know about ellipses is that they are not used for interruptions in dialogue, that is reserved for em/en dashes. Second, when you abuse the hell out of them like that, it gets really annoying to read and you'll scare readers off faster than a red and black alicorn with social issues and bat wings. But, having said that, ellipses are fine to use, in moderation, which actually brings me to me next point. In a similar fashion to ellipses, you used ALL CAPS DIALOGUE quite often. Now, unlike ellipses, you pretty much never want to use ALL CAPS… ever. It just looks really bad and comes off as very amateurish. It's much more powerful to use some description to portray someone shouting than just using caps as a crutch.
Okay, I'll make a quick note of one consistent grammar issue, then move on to the plot.
“Dialogue should be tagged like this,” he said.
“Yes, not like this.” She replied.
Dialogue that is tagged with 'he/she said', and the like, should end in a comma/?/!, not a period. A period indicates the end of the sentence and creates broken attribution.
To give another example:
> “Go away!” he cried.
This implies that he is shouting 'Go away'. But…
> “Go away!” He cried.
Implies that he shouts 'Go away', then cries.
Also, there's a lot of random tense shifts…
Moving on to the plot…
I like the idea you presented, even if it has been done multiple times. Gathering all the villains for an epic showdown is an idea that gets used quite often, and, if done well, it can be awesome as all hell. However, when you spend 95% of the fic just gathering villains without any confrontation, it feels like we're watching what should be the first five minutes or so of an episode. You have these long exchanges between Sombra and Blueblood, and, while possession by Sombra is an interesting idea, you don't really explore it all that much. It's kind of presented as 'Sombra lives inside Blueblood, but doesn't really do much besides freak Gilda out', who, by the way, acts fairly out of character, as does Trixie. Plus, is she still a villain if she already had her “redeemption”?
Anyway, like I said, interesting idea, glacial pace. If you were to improve this, I would suggest either cutting a lot of the beginning, or find a way to make it more interesting. Right now it just reads like two ethereal voices spouting dialogue back and forth.
Well, I don't have much to say about this one. Apparently gathering all the villains together was a popular idea this write-off… that only had 4 entries. I can at least say that this is much better than the previous fic, if only because the author goes about gathering the villains in a more creative way. Ready or Not, Here I Come
Now, I liked this well enough, but I still had a good few problems with it. Namely, it's rather telly in a lot of places and the prose is fairly bland, not bad, just bland. Also, the ending felt extremely anti-climactic. You spend the entire fic building up what becomes three separate battles, and it's really cool. Except for Gilda's part. It just rubs me the wrong way. Regardless, having these disparate battles sounds really awesome, and, for the most part, it's at least pretty cool. The pacing suffers a little bit because there's tons of jumping back and forth with very little time spent on each group, but it's a neat idea anyway.
However, as I said before, the ending could not have been more of a letdown. I get what you were going for with a sort of fade to black followed by cutting to a scene of them drinking tea, but it leaves so much to be desired. The way the Elements light up at the end implies that their use was necessary to defeat the villains (which I don't believe for a second that Gilda is so powerful she can only be defeated by the Elements), but somehow Fluttershy still reformed them? Uhh, okay, I guess.
The main reason this is an issue is because the rest of the fic is pretty long. There's tons of scene breaks and loads of exposition, but then it all suddenly ends in literally one sentence.
>At that moment, all six of their Elements of Harmony began to pulse.
Maybe I'm just a stickler for actually resolving conflict without resorting to deus ex machinas, but hey, that's just me. It feels like this whole idea was meant to be in a visual format. All the gags and the silly guards, those would all work better with a visual element. Right now, they just fall flat.
There's a lot I like about this fic, short though it may be, but also a lot that I dislike.
On the one hand, it's an interesting take on Celestia, Luna, Discord, all the other godly figures, but on the other, there's so much name-dropping that it's really easy to have no idea what's going on. Over and over again you reference places and people that we've never seen, nor met, which would work in a longer fic where you have to time to explain who these people are and what 'Moon River' is. I mean, if you ignore that fact that you're literally just making up names and event with no real explanation as to their significance, it actually is a very interesting world you've created. I absolutely love the idea of Celestia and Luna being part of an 'Order' that acts as a sort of pantheon of gods. That's a damn cool idea, it's too bad that right now it's just a bunch of names and places with no meaning. It brings to mind one of the minifics from awhile back about a bunch of OCs in the desert or something like that.
Despite my misgivings, this is still probably me second favorite fic if only because it sets up what could be a really cool villain. Also because it made me imagine this scenario:
Celestia: “You betrayed the law!”
Dread: “I am the law!”
I wish Sylvester Stallone was in this fic…
Welp, I guess that about wraps up my
somewhat decent reviews. Again, I'm sad that hardly anyone entered. Apparently we all had other things to do. *sigh* Maybe next time…
This post was edited by its author on .