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Write-off - I Lost Count edition 4506[View All]

Sister thread: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/126972.html
Accolades: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/scoreboard
All anthologies: http://www.fimfiction.net/user/fic+Write+Off
Current list of participants: http://goo.gl/DMUWc

Hey, buddy. Psst. Come over here. I got somethin' for ya. You see those folks over there talkin' about writing and "plot" and "character" and all that baloney? Yeah, well there's this place, right, where they all hang out one weekend, and they write stories like a bunch of mad baboons with half-broken typewriters. We give them fake medals when they win, too. It's a riot. You can join in too, as long as you can make words from those pretty little fingers o' yours. So if you want a chance to get into the big leagues, I got all there information you need right here…

– Participants write stories over a 72 hour period
– The stories are written from a prompt decided at the event’s onset
– Participants submit their work to an anonymous anthology
– Readers then rate the stories
– Finally, everything gets wrapped up with author reveals and winners announced

If you’d like to participate, just drop your name below and I’ll add you to the list.

The event will take place on the weekend starting 15th of March.

The exact times for each round are listed here: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15

When finished, submit your works here: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15/fic/submit

Note that you can preview your work once it's submitted by going to the "My Submissions" page, and you can edit it as long as submissions are still open.

You can markup your work with BBCode for bold, italics, etc. See http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/faq#How-do-I-get-style for the list of available tags.

Prompt suggestions will be taken two hours before the writing commences. After an hour of suggestions, the prompts will be open to be voted upon by the public.

Prompt suggestions: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15/prompt/submit
Prompt voting: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15/prompt/vote

The rules of the event are listed here: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15/rules

I reserve the right to disqualify any entry with or without reason.

Once the stories are collected into an anthology post on the »Fic Write off« Fimfiction account, a public poll will allow readers to rate the stories. Voters must read at least half of the stories submitted before casting a vote. When voting opens, go here (http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15/fic/vote/public) to cast your vote.

After a week of voting, the scores will be tallied and the winners will be announced.

Well, I think that’s everything. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.
Good luck. Roger out.

Picture source: http://dawnmistpony.deviantart.com/art/MLD-4-350745107
This post was edited by its author on .
190 posts and 18 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

RazgrizS57 !Cinderm9Hs 4845

Well that was surely something. I expected to do worse than I had, and even though I rushed my entire story in about six hours, I had fun.

Perhaps we'll have another go sometime, write-off.


Congrats redsquirrel456! You da rodent!

Well, I certainly can't complain about getting almost a 6! Knowing what I know now, I would have given myself a 4 or 5 at best. My top and bottom 3 picks showed up in the right order so that makes me feel good about how I voted. And, well… I got a most controversial ribbon! Though, I think that's only because some voters most likely chose to ignore all my mechanical and structural issues.

Don't quote me on this, but I would guess that it's based on the average difference of votes. So, in my case I got an average of 5.91, but with a 2.57 controversy score, that would imply I probably got a few 7's and probably a few 4's.
This post was edited by its author on .

RedSquirrel456 4847


You rushed yours in six hours too?

I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I was sweating bullets trying to finish it on time and had like a minute left to submit.

I honestly didn't think I had this one, but there you go.

Good show, everyone. I enjoyed quite a few of the other entries, and I was pretty sure I was going to lose to a couple of them.

Tactical 4848

I, uh.

I did quite well, considering the fact that nobody understood my entry.

Why would you rate a story you didn't "get" a 7 or higher?


I lost my wager on guessing who you were/are. No surprise there since I don't know anyone on here.

If it makes you feel better about the voting, I gave you a 5, which I consider to be exactly average (I would guess you gave me a 3 after your critique of me).

Author of "Crusading With Good Intentions" 4850

Woo, below average score!
Meh, I knew I wouldn't do well when I couldn't complete the story in time. I'll definitely be going back, finishing it off, and fixing any mistakes I can spot, though.
It was a lot of fun though, and definitely a learning experience. Dialog has always been something I've been uncertain about writing, because I was never sure if I could pull it off. That my entry ended up being mostly dialog between three or more characters was a big jump, and overall I was happy with how it turned out.
This post was edited by its author on .

Roger!DodgeR9Q6o 4851

Congratulations to Redsqurrel, now a two-time gold medallist. And congratulations to everyone who participated and voted. Without you guys, this contest wouldn't even be possible. So thanks a bunch.

Alas, robbed of the wooden spoon…

I'm kind of depressed about my entry. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about writing it. I tried desperately to come up with some other idea to write, so desperately that I didn't start writing until the second day (making it terribly rushed). It was supposed to focus on a slow descent into madness, where you're introduced to a good-hearted character who through a series of external events is brought to do horrible things. But you can't just rush a story like that.

And yeah, it's not a pony story. That's something I hear a lot. And I have to agree.

I've been thinking about making a future event not necessarily for pony fanfiction (i.e., remove that one rule that nobody actually reads). If that doesn't happen (I'm aware that most of you are only here to write/read ponyfics), I'll probably sit the next ones out, as I think I ought to stop writing ponyfics-that-aren't-ponyfics.

In any case, I believe we're due for a few minific rounds now.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 4852




Man, there were some great entries this time around. I really can't wait to see some of these cleaned up and submitted to places. Plus, it's so awesome having, y'know, a full roster of writers to compete against, too. :D

I want to know opinions on Rainbow Dash's middle name, since both Dran Kito and I gave her one that wasn't the fandom standard of "Miriam". Destiny or Mareweather: WHO WILL WIN

>In any case, I believe we're due for a few minific rounds now.

I know at least one person who'll be happy about that. :)

Java 4853


Slightly less awesome: finding the time to read it all!

As far as middle names go, I think they're weird in general.


Well, I had two reasons behind my selection of RD's middle name. The first being that it's a small play on the term "weathermare" and the second being a homage to Merriwether Williams. I very much liked your choice of middle name as well, since it suits her character and what she's responsible for in canon.

Tactical 4855


Yeah, I caught the little nod to Merriwether! I liked that, actually.

Destiny shook me a little. If we're going by the model of Pinkamena Diane Pie, then a "full" pony name has an ironically not-ponyish feel to it. If you're going to go for Destiny you may as well have said Danger.

Three options with names like Pinkamena Diane Pie.

1) what we know ponies by is just their common names; they have surnames and everything. This grates against canon.

But I do like that it basically makes them Jellicle Cats. What, do they all have a secret, "true name" too?

2) the Pie family is odd like that.

3) Pinkie made her name up.

Snarkle(at)Office 4856

>1) what we know ponies by is just their common names; they have surnames and everything. This grates against canon
I disagree. We've already seen other ponies (Mi Amore Cadenza / Cadance) who use nicknames for official business. Reminds me of some Earth-based countries where a name change is as simple as a filing fee.
Who knows? Maybe Twilight's full name is actually Twilee Cthulhu Ftaghn Hastur Hastur Hasparkle.


Aww, dear, I did not expect to finish this low. Oh well, at least I know exactly what my mistakes were. Congrats to the winner, the runner-ups and everybody else.

Also, I totally guessed right on Tactical’s and PresentPerfect’s entries.

This write-off felt like it had a lot of very strong fics, with just several at the bottom. It’s great to see such a large turnover, and I hope that the next write-offs will be advertised just as much, if not more. The more, the merrier, I say. We definitely needed a prelim round, though, or at least more time to vote.

Thank you for taking your time, but I can’t open the doc, sorry. You can send it to my e-mail (in my trip), if you want.

Congratulations on winning!

It always seemed to me that the main six were grossly overlooked by the public. Fancypants doesn’t recognize Rarity during their first meeting, and he never comments or even asks about the Elements of Harmony, despite them stopping Discord just seven episodes earlier. I like to interpret this fact as an indicator of Equestrian society as hedonistic and unthankful. Of course, I also enjoy the interpretation in which Twilight’s friends are national heroes. And I caught the “Dole” bit. I was actually talking about ponifying the rest of his name.

REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!! Pascoite!uxy6g7ov9I 4858

Last chance, everyone. All you new folks, this is a rare chance to get in my queue if your story is one you really intend to make good. I've only gotten three takers so far, so those are the three unless someone else speaks up. I'll give it another day. See previous post for the guidelines: >>4793

Tactical 4860

I'm BURNING to know: What gave me away?


Email sent! I don't know how recent your Microsoft Word program may be (if you have it at all) so I sent it in two formats. I can send it another format if necessary as well.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 4862

Hah! I wondered if it was anything to do with Merriweather Williams. :)

My usual go-to for RD middle name is Elizabeth, but Destiny came to me as I was writing this, and I think I may use it from now on.

Destiny is a real name though. :B

Conversely, I guessed right on your entry. So yes, like Tac, I want to know what gave me away. :3

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4866

File: 1364276495884.png (224.53 KB, 720x720, hehehe.png)

I have a feeling I'd be able to guess pretty well what it was if I read it. You've got a pretty unique style, Tac.

Tactical 4868


Do I?

I mean, I know of a few specific things that might raise flags, but…

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4869

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I've always found that habit curious of humans. When someone makes a statement, be it subjective or objective, we often respond with a two word question, questioning the statement:
>Is it?
>Does it?
>Are they?
>Do I?

As if the person is going to respond "No, not really, I just wanted to see your reaction."


Thank you! I’ll definitely use your suggestions when I edit my fic. And wow, it’s a lot! If you want to offer more critique, maybe you could help us out in the training grounds? We’re always welcoming to new people.

I’m not familiar with your style, but the quick pacing and general technical competence clued me that it was probably you. It was just a vague guess, though until you accidentally gave yourself away in the thread.

Thanks for supporting my story, by the way. Do you still want a deeper review?

Well, you have this narrative style with a very clear definition between scenes and a certain thinness of description. You put emphasis on the plot and the progression of events, and you have a defined theme in mind as you write. I’ve felt a serious “Pinkless” vibe from “Assumptions,” if you will.

But what really sealed the deal was the way you reviewed and formatted your posts. Seriously, vary it up a little, or it’s no fun to guess anymore.

May I ask what gave me away, besides the obvious fact that English isn’t my first language?

Tactical 4872


I have a couple of minor rewrites to do, to address the stuff that's easy to address. My real issue is getting the pillow fight to deliver its meaning. I knew when I wrote it that it was a tough sell.

But after that I'll be handing it around for reviews.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 4873

>English isn’t my first language?


That explains the increasing level of incoherence in the typos as the story progressed. Am I right in thinking that you were only able to proofread the first two scenes or so? Because that all felt fine.

Thinness of description, eh? Yeah, that's me. :B And my only defense against the dark arts reviewing style thing is that others do it that way as well, so I've been hoping to simply blend in. Assuming you're talking about using the hidden button thingy, that is. I've actually changed the specific style I use during the course of the writeoffs, a couple of times, going from line-by-line responses to paragraph summaries, and then from spoilers to hidden upon coming to mlpchan, not to mention this time I tried to go with actual reviews instead of just responses. GUESS I WILL HAVE TO THINK OF SOMETHING NEW FOR NEXT TIME

As for what gave you away? Your story was, conceptually at least, better than mine and I have been beaten by you before. >:V Mostly it was just discussing stories with Pascoite outside the contest, and he was all, "That sounds like 25" and I was like "Yeah, you're probably right."

Question Time Roger!DodgeR9Q6o 4875

If you're bored or feeling opinionated, here's some Q's that I need some A's to:

* Would you like an M-rated event in future?
* Would you like a minific (400 to 750 words) event in future?
* Would you like an event not limited to MLP fanfiction in future?
* Do you prefer events with an art round?
* Do you prefer events with a preliminary round?
* Do you prefer events with judges?

Any general thoughts or criticisms regarding the event as a whole are also very welcome.

Similarly, feature requests for the site are good. I have on my to do list at the moment:

* [High] Ability to change e-mail
* [Mid] Auto-fill author fields with most commonly used author name (rather than username)
* [Mid] Some scripts to merge scoreboard scores together (for people who've accidentally used similar but different author names)
* [Low] Vote maps
* [Low] Author guessing


Hah, I'm that recognizable? I'm flattered. Let's see if I can get rid of these pesky typos in the next write-off.

You might be surprised, but I didn't have the time to edit anything at all. I was simply more conscious of my writing during the first few scenes, but then i quickly lost the stamina to check myself while I wrote. I'll definitely restructure my schedule next time to leave a chance for an editing pass.

I did notice that the reciew style was different, actually. What really gave you away was the spoilered list of top picks at the end. Nobody else did that.

Ooh, me first!

1) I don't think I particularly care for an M-rated event. I'm very, very iffy on the whole issue and I don't think I'd participate—even if I wrote something T-rated.

2) Oh, I would like a minific event. I don't know how different from the usual it will be for me, process-wise, so I've no idea if I'll like it or not. We'll see.

3) I suppose I could write original fiction for a non-fanfiction event. I wouldn't participate in events for other fandoms. What I worry about more is how popular such a contest would be. Wouldn't want to write for something without many other contestants.

4) I do like the art round, as it gives a whole week more to think up ideas for the prompt (using the prompt given to the artists) and the ability to choose a pic gives more freedom. But I think that text-only prompts are fine too.

5) Definitely for preliminary rounds. I think we suffered this time by not taking it, and it's always better to have more readers, since we've usually got less votes than entries.

6) I'm actually against judges. I think community voting is better.

I have a couple suggestions myself:
-Definitely advertise the write-offs on Reddit and other places. It'd be nice to get into another Nightly Round-Up on EqD, too.
-Keep the list of participants. Sure, we got less than half who actually entered, but I think the list helps.

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4879

>Would you like an M-rated event in future?
sure, but this time around you'd have to properly plug it to the appropriate (clop) places to ensure we have enough of a turn out.
>Would you like a minific (400 to 750 words) event in future?
>Would you like an event not limited to MLP fanfiction in future?
eh, that would be far too subjective when it came to judging.
>Do you prefer events with an art round?
I'm sort of borderline on this one. On one hand, it's a cool idea. On the other hand, the art based prompts I've seen in the past have (for the most part) sucked as prompts. I think there were only 2 good ones from the last time we did this.
>Do you prefer events with a preliminary round?
Only if a preliminary round actually increases voter turn out for the post preliminaries. You have the numbers for that one.
>Do you prefer events with judges?
Ew, no. I can't think of anyone who could keep personal bias to a minimum to play this role.


You asked so I provided! Alas, I think I want to get a little more accomplished at my own writing before getting myself overwhelmed with critiquing other's stories.

I'm up for anything as I just need to practice my writing in general to make improvements. Though, I probably wouldn't participate in an M-rated event for a long while yet. My art is better than my writing at the moment, so I'd enjoy an art round! But really, I don't know how the other formats work so I'll just go with the flow for now.

Advertising on Reddit is how I got here! I approve of continuing this course of action.

Random question: How does one use the fancy green quote text? I seriously have no idea and it bugs me that I can't figure it out.


Just put a ">" before a line of text,
>like this



>Well, isn't this just green!

Tactical 4883


Would you like an M-rated event in future?
I love these.

Would you like a minific (400 to 750 words) event in future?
I started this shit.

Would you like an event not limited to MLP fanfiction in future?
I would, but it would lose participants, so why bother.

Do you prefer events with an art round?
No, I don't. It's a nice idea, but just for me personally, it's a little harder. I say do both with and without.

Do you prefer events with a preliminary round?
No. Stretches things out too long.

Do you prefer events with judges?
No preference.


1) No

2) Yes

3) Don't care, but it'd be odd.

4) They haven't been the best prompts so far, but I think they could be if we went about it differently. After the first art event, one of the artists proposed changing it from a text prompt to something like "use these three objects somewhere in your picture." I think something like that might prove interesting.

5) Indifferent. Now that I don't have time to read much, it's an easier way for me to participate in the voting, but it doesn't really matter.

6) Yes, because there are obvious trends that show up in the public voting, but that doesn't often make much difference, so it doesn't matter much.

REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pascoite!uxy6g7ov9I 4885

I only got interest from three, so here are the ones I'll review:

Good Thing I'm So Organized
Let Me Be Your Armor
The Ends

plus Assumptions, 'cause it's Pres.

My schedule's kinda stacked right now, so it may be 1-1.5 weeks before I get them all done. If that means you're not interested, say so.

Tactical 4889

I… didn't think I…

… I'd like to offer to yield my spot, if someone else is really burning for a review.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 4890

Oh boy opinions I have those.

>Would you like an M-rated event in future?

I enjoyed it, but no. That went over like a lead balloon, and I would rather have people actually participate.

>Would you like a minific (400 to 750 words) event in future?

Hell yes.

>Would you like an event not limited to MLP fanfiction in future?

The real world no longer interests me. I would sit this out if it happened.

>Do you prefer events with an art round?

Prefer? No. But I do like having them once in a while, if only because of the ability to pick from among numerous prompts.

>Do you prefer events with a preliminary round?

After this writeoff, I'm gonna say no. It was fun just jumping right into reading and voting.

>Do you prefer events with judges?

Gonna go with no.

>spoilered list of top picks at the end.

Crap, I knew I shouldn't have done that. Noted.

Tactical 4891

I do top picks at the end too. Always have. But I don't enter very many writeoffs.

Compendium of Steve 4892


I'd love to do more minifics, and doing something outside of MLP I could go for as well.

Ion-Sturm 4894

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>>Would you like an event not limited to MLP fanfiction in future?
As in, you could submit any form of fanfiction or original fiction, as long as it met the prompt?
I don't see why this couldn't be done. The problem would be that whoever didn't write within the MLP fandom could suffer a big point drop since, let's face it, we'll enjoy things we wouldn't enjoy otherwise if it wasn't in pony form.

Review of "Let Me Be Your Armor" 4897

Java, you're first up.

Let Me Be Your Armor:

Starting with the weather. Unless you're playing it for a joke, or the weather is integral to the plot, all this does is tell the reader you don't have anything more interesting to say. Readers have seen this done over and over again, and it's not going to get their attention.

>pressure against her eyelids.

From… the sunlight? Really?

>The alicorn stays silent and tries to suppress her embarrassment at being caught daydreaming, though concealing a blush on her pale coat is an exercise in futility.//

Notice how you did a nice job of getting at her emotion indirectly (the blush), but you short-circuited it before we even got there by feeding me the answer.

>One might further speculate that you’d rather waste your time frolicking like some pegasus foal, than learn to control your magic before you set another fire in your sleep.//

That comma is unnecessary.


Use a proper dash for interruptions, either an em dash with no space (Alt+0151 = —) or an en dash with a space (Alt+0150 = –).

>the stallion cuts her off.//

You don't need to tell me what the punctuation already does.

>Perhaps Her Majesty might find Herself more at ease with this injustice were She to be reminded //

Missing a comma after "injustice."

>Every word from her mouth is clipped, every muscle taut with rage.//

You're doing it again. I'll give you some wrap-up comments about show versus tell, but this is another example. You depict rage well, but then you outright tell me that's what it is. You've undone what you started.

>the bells on the hem his robe//

Missing word.

>His magic grasps a piece of chalk and he begins to sketch geometric shapes on the board.//

Missing a comma to separate the clauses.

>if you aren’t in tune with at least some of them you can’t do magic!//

Same thing again.

>Hopeless confusion overtakes her anger.//

More telly language. Except in very unimportant passages, don't just inform me how a character feels.

>An afterthought://

Your narration in this scene is from the mother's point of view. How does she know it's an afterthought? Just stating it plainly like this smacks of skipping into Celestia's head for the grand total of one sentence. It's best to avoid frequent or abrupt shifts of perspective.


While it's common to see this, a singular term should technically take the full apostrophe-s, regardless of what letter ends it.

>That’s not what I asked, mother.//

It's customary to capitalize "mother" when it's used as a term of address.

>“Mother. . . “//

Smart quotes break sometimes. These are backward.

>Back then//

Introductory elements leading into a clause's subject are usually set off with a comma, but some usage (primarily British) doesn't do so.


I believe canon spelling is "windigo," though both are correct.

>When the winter began, we didn’t trust another.//

I assume you meant "each other" or "one another."

>We nurtured out grudges//

I assume you meant "our."

>pegasi scouts//

Noun adjuncts are singular, like "palace guards," for example.

>an novel concept//


>Years too late for them to really play as equals, once she was grown//

Well, once she was grown, they wouldn't really be playing, anyway.

There are two main issues here, and they're related.

First, show versus tell. It's better to engage the reader by getting him to interpret emotion through subtle cues that he would observe if he were there. This is how we're hardwired to interpret each other's emotions, so it feels more natural. Take an actor. Does he stroll out on stage and declare that he's sad? That'd give you the information you need, but it's boring. It doesn't connect you to him at all, doesn't get you to think about him, doesn't make you identify with him. Instead, he hangs his head, slumps his shoulders, has bloodshot eyes, has trouble concentrating, may hide his face in his hands. In short, he gets you to deduce how he's feeling by his actions and appearance. Look for ways to include details like body language, posture, reactions, facial expression, and sometimes speech and thoughts. And then don't undercut it by giving us the answer in addition. You did this some, so you've got some understanding of the concept. the biggest (but not only) red flags are outright naming of emotion (sad), -ly adverb form (happily), and prepositional phrase form (in excitement). The last one in particular is almost always redundant with an action it follows. But the point is: can you visualize the scene from the given information and figure out the characters' emotions? Yes, I can figure out what "sad" looks like, but there are many ways people can look sad, and you'd be putting the work on me. You paint the picture and let me interpret it.

Second is talking heads. You have long stretches of dialogue where your only actions to break it up are speaking verbs, or where a character doesn't do anything until the end of her monologue. These character may as well be statues. It's akin to a show/tell problem in that it relies too much on dialogue alone. Good showing uses a mix of techniques. So use those same details to show me what's happening during the conversation and how the characters feel about it. What's said is only half of a conversation—give me all the nonverbal bits.

We didn't get to know too many of the characters. What little we see of Celestia is fine, though watch for that one perspective shift I noted. You can shift perspectives, but do so smoothly and only when necessary. It's entirely possible to give information about another character by how your perspective character perceives her, and by keeping the perspective character fixed for longer stretches, the reader gets to know her better, in addition to avoiding being jerked around.

I had a couple of issues here.

First, it's unclear to me exactly how Celestia came to be, and it seemed to be a major focus of yuor story. It was the whole point of the lengthy middle scene, and yet I came out of it only with the history lesson, which doesn't say much beyond what we already know from canon. How did the alicorn come to be, and what does it mean that the same family had a second one? That's past the realm of coincidence.

Second, aside from setting the scene a bit, providing a time frame, and meeting some of the characters, I didn't see a point to the opening scene. What happened in it didn't have any bearing on the events that followed. Just mentioning in another scene that Starswirl was her tutor would have caught me up without losing anything, unless I missed something.

Third, canon says that Clover the Clever was Starswirl's apprentice. So we must be past that era if the threat of the windigoes is gone. So she doesn't factor into any of this. Is she gone now, or does Starswirl have another apprentice? This is a minor point, but one that I was curious about.

Lastly, this plays like a character piece, which is fine, but there still has to be some conflict or growth. There is a tenuous conflict in that she comes to terms with some history that she didn't know. That can work, but you need to emphasize her emotional connection to that knowledge. Otherwise, she comes across as a little too matter-of-fact about it, and it feels more like a few scenes than a coherent story.

The writing quality is quite good. I didn't find a large number of errors, and some of the grammar you attempted and got right is pretty advanced. That quality alone does tend to make a story stand out, so I'm not surprised that your story rated well.

Just watch the show-versus-tell, mitigate the talking heads, and raise the stakes on the conflict so you can make something memorable here. Keep writing, and have fun with it!
This post was edited by its author on .

Roger!DodgeR9Q6o 4899

>[T]hat would be far too subjective when it came to judging.
True. But judging is already quite subjective, and the judging isn't really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It's a means to an ends (prompting collaborative feedback), mostly.

>I would, but it would lose participants, so why bother.
It would allow people who'd rather write something else to enter when they otherwise couldn't, so I'm not sure about it losing participants. Of course, I can see people being uncomfortable with not everyone using the same crutch.

At worst it'd be a low-entry event like the M-rated one.

I think (hope) most people here read and enjoy more than just pony fanfiction. I'd certainly prefer a story better that's set in a suitable world rather than one that has ponies hacked into it as an afterthought.

Java 4900


Hello there, fine-toothed comb! Thank you, Pascoite.

I can agree with the overwhelming majority of the mechanics issues you've brought up (I felt the "eyelid" description was natural, but conflating heat with pressure may be a personal quirk and I'll concede the point). In terms of style, I'll take both points to heart, especially since, uh, everyone else has been saying the same things.

In terms of plot and characterization, just, yikes. I obviously have a long way to go here. The focus should have been on Celestia's frustration over her childhood. It's complicated, and in retrospect I'm not surprised I failed to convey it in so few words. She should be constantly overprotected and in a state of comfort, then shocked and hurt when something from the outside world pierces that bubble. At the same time, and in part thanks to her rank, she has both a certain degree of freedom and a total lack of perspective, which combine to blind her to the root cause of that pain.

Pacing-wise, it needs additional scenes to show the escalation of anger and frustration. Luna's birth should be a pivotal event. Celestia is lonely, so rather than feel threatened by the potential lack of attention, she fears for Luna. Celestia holds a grudge against the adults in her life for allowing so much pain into her life (realistically, of course, it's fairly mild, but she doesn't understand that). She wants to save Luna from that. The realization that she has an opportunity to spite the adults in her life by doing so, and prove herself the better "parent", placates her and resolves her inner turmoil. It's a grim determination that, no matter what they might do to her, Luna will be protected.

Going beyond what was shown in Armor:
That gives Luna a childhood much the same as hers, with the added wound of an angel child for a sister. Ceaselessly helpful (to Luna), and occasionally prone to fits of rage (when the adults aren't watching), Celestia serves as both role model and antagonist for Luna. Those family dynamics give you the alicorn who has the raising to hide her emotions and to bottle up decades of impotent rage, a worldview of being beset on all sides by ponies ignorant of the emotional toll they take on her, magical training at the hooves of Star Swirl (Luna would take every opportunity to separate herself from Celestia), and a sister who stands for everything that is wrong in her life. That is where you get someone so wounded and powerful that they will literally force the heavens to stand still and damn every living being just to strike back and make the pain end.

And yet, it all stems from simple lack of perspective and misunderstanding. In the intervening millennium, there is ample opportunity for Celestia to find understanding and grow into the ruler of modern Equestria. It's simple enough that given just a moment of clarity by the Elements, Luna can forgive Celestia enough to accept her offer of friendship.

Clover the Clever is a canon element I'd forgotten, but I can work that in easily enough. I might need to work on the alicorn thing: does the canon actually show any pegasus/unicorn couples?

Java 4901

> M-Rated:

> Minific:


> Non-MLP:

My only objection is that specifying the setting serves to counter the blank-slate, "where do I start" problem. Leaving the realm of fanfic will also expose authorial weaknesses regarding elements that fanfiction can ignore or deal with minimally, such as introducing character.

> Art round?

> Preliminary round?
> Judges?
No prior experience. No opinion.

Tactical 4951

Hey, Pasco?

I, uh–

I just remembered that you said I'm next in line. The thing is that I have already done quite a lot of editing and whatnot. Basically I have a new version.

If you have already done a lot of work on my review, then go ahead and finish it, of course.


Haven't started yet. If you want me to wait until you're done with these revisions, I can do that.

Tactical 4953

Well, there are a few small bits that are in "outline" form. If that's good enough for you, go ahead and start.

Whether I finish it or not, here's where it will be.

This post was edited by its author on .

Review of "The Ends" by TheNumber25 5004

>She came to the village from the barren, wasted fields when the autumn sun was halfway to zenith. He saw her from the height of his tower long before the other sentries.//
Since pronouns function with antecedents, it's generally a bad idea to use one before you've established any possible antecedents, even generically, like "the stallion."

>denocked the arrow in his crossbow//

Nocking is more for a standard bow. I'm an archer, and while I've never used a crossbow, I've also never heard of that term being applied to one.

>throguh the hole//

Typo. I'll go ahead and get this out of the way. I've heard that this story had a lot of editing problems, and if I point out every single one, it'll take me days, so I'll have to point out the types of problems I see and rely on you to find them all. Ones like this would easily show up in a spellchecker.

>One of the guards shook free the mare's knapsack.//

That doesn't mean he empties the contents. That means it was attached to him, and he rid himself of it.

>with a dull sound, glittering with gold//

Watch those stacked "with" phrases. They can sound repetitive.





>The caravaneers said, you've scrappers without par, who can trap a twig blight for us.//

Neither of those commas is necessary.

At this point, I'll say that the conversation is pretty dry. It's a bit talking-heads (lack of action to remind us that the speakers are actually characters who do things while they talk), and we're not getting any indication of emotion from them.

>Without a word//

Exact same description of Monsoon's action, only 3 paragraphs apart.

>Red, dotted//

These are hierarchical (versus coordinate) adjectives, and so don't use a comma between them.

>Mighty trees, covered with slithering vines, blotted the sun with their leaves.//

There's some nice imagery in this paragraph, but all of the descriptions are very similar in structure and length, so it gets bogged down. Each image should seem fresh, not another part of a list.

>Monsoon followed Flint, carrying a bundle of thin prods. She spat them on the ground//

The second sentence here tells me that Monsoon was carrying the prods, but the placement of the participle in the first is ambiguous, tending more to identify Flint as carrying them. Participles like to latch onto the nearest noun or pronoun, so you have to consider their placement in a sentence carefully. It's a common problem, and I'm not going to mark any more, unless they're in a sentence I'm copying out to make another point. You'll have to find these on your own.

>Flint climbed the tree and returned with the strings in his teeth, tied to a hidden trap above.//

I lied. I'll mark this one because it's particularly bad. It saya his teeth are tied in the tree.

>He hammered the prods in the ground//

Okay, now I think you meant "rods," now that I can see how they're being used. A prod is a stick you use to poke an animal, for instance, to get it to move where you want.

>A quiet sounds//

Number mismatch.

>Its teeth were white like a sharpened palisade.//

I don't get this simile. A palisade isn't typically white.

>The heavy trunk pressed what was left into the ground, leaving only a head and a paw to stick out.//

Every sentence but one in this paragraph starts subject-verb. It's fine to have a number of those in a row, as it's the most common type of sentence, but you have to vary the length to keep them from getting in a rut, unless there's a compelling stylistic reason to do otherwise. You do change up the length a bit, but this just goes on too long, and it gets very repetitive. Your sentences start with the, a, the, it, with, the, the it, splinters, the.

>Flint let out a breath he's been holding and turned to Monsoon.//

Change to present tense, but I suspect it's just a typo.



>he lied in his bed//

Lay/lie confusion, and wrong form at that. Lie/lay/had lain does not tak a direct object. Lay/laid/had laid does take one.



>circling the palisade, pushing crunchy leaves and twigs out of his way//

It's usually a bad idea to stack up multiples of the same element in a row, like these participial phrases. It tends to be clunky. Participles are particularly bad at this, since it frequently results in a misplaced modifier and unclear timing (they imply concurrent action).

>The boulder was on the usual place//

in, not on


Flaky. but that's an odd word for describing soil.

>Somepony moved the stone and then replaced it.//

This is a completed action in the story's timeline. Use past perfect tense (had moved).


In this sense of the word, the preferred past tense is "knit."

>Flint grit his teeth.//


>Something long and thin whistled before her nose.//

That's a movie effect. Arrows don't whistle. I suppose you could fashion them to, but I wouldn't see the point. Their stealth is part of their effectiveness.



>He reached the end, tasting the night breeze with his nose and spit out the dirt from his mouth.//

You need another comma after "nose" to mark the end of the participle.

>The Elder was already waiting, her dusky eyes narrowed, her hoof gripping her staff so hard that it shook.//

Here's a case of multiple absolute phrases stacked up.



>A warm droplet streamed across his brow from the gnash on his forehead//

gash. And it's odd for a single droplet to "stream." That'd be an awfully fast pace.

>groaning with pain//

You're not often telly (well, you don't even take many opportunities to be showy, for that matter), but I've caught you doing this a number of times. "In/with/of <emotion/attitude>" phrases are telly and often redundant with an action they follow.

>they landed close to the palisade near the forest//

Another spot that needs to use past perfect tense.

>Flint led in front//





Missing a space.

>They came to a massive oak when Monsoon noticed a flicker of light in the pond nearby.//

The cause/effect is backwards here. Long story short, you need past perfect tense in the first part (had come).

>as if shook by invisible hooves//


>Flint and Monsoon laid in the pond, half-submerged in water reeking with plants//

Lay/lie confusion again. And I guess it depends on which plants. Not all of them reek.

>What seemed like an eternity later, the cicadas sang again.//

Missing an "after."

>"Lilliputian?" Flint asked.//

Why is he reacting to what the narrator said?


Shaky, but a fairly bland choice of word.

>flapping fish//

I don't know what you're trying to say here, but I'm pretty sure this isn't it.

>They briskly trotted past a field of grass stained red and besieged by swarms of flies.//

They did this after they camped? And they camped during the day? That's just… odd.

>Coversations tired them a long time ago//

Conversations. And I can't tell quite what you mean here. It's oddly phrased.

>It was closer to end of yet another tunnel//

Missing word.

>He laid down on the blanket

>She laid down next to him.//
Lay/lie confusion again.

>flakes of frost falling from it//

All that (unintentional?) alliteration of soft sounds is undercutting your tension.

>We've to go!//

"Have" is only worked into a contraction when it's an auxiliary verb (You've been friendly) or it indicates possession (primarily British usage, as in: We've three hours left). Either expand the ontraction or wedge a "got" in there.

>He winced his eyes against the morning sun, but it wasn't on the sky.//

Winced is intransitive; it doesn't take a direct object. And the sun is in the sky, not on it.

>The tunnel opened into a free-standing bridge//

Onto, not into.

>Flint pulled back to make a running start. He lowered his head and broke into a gallop towards the gorge. He jumped, pushing against the edge with both rear legs and landed on the other side. With a loud crack, the planks under his rear legs broke, falling into the void. Flint fell on his chest, scratching at the smooth planks with his front hooves as he slid down. Monsoon jumped to him, grabbing his hooves and stopping his fall.//

See, this just comes across incredibly flat. They should both be in panic mode, and you should be flooding me with their emotional states, but I'm just getting a sterile list of facts.

>Monsoon lied on her side//

More lay/lie confusion.

>they told me that they're dead//

Verb tense problem and ambiguous pronouns.

>I've told that Juniper was dead, but her body never found.//

Verb tense and missing word.

>"Care to tell me, how?"

"Let's get this fixed, first."//
Unnecessary commas.



>The section's a couple meters long everywhere.//

I don't understand what he means.

>The tunnel led down, into the depths.//

Unnecessary comma.

>With a surprising satisfaction, Flint noticed that they were getting closer to the source of that cursed sound of dropping water.//

The opening phrase is very telly. Dripping.

>Another lied down on the ground

>A sheet of webbing lied on the ground//
Lay/lie confusion again.

>Tremors shook the ground as it advanced.//

I can't find an antecedent for "it."

>fell right on his way//


>The crossbow laid on the ground behind a fault in the wall//

More lay/lie confusion.

>a smell of mercury//

I didn't know it had a smell…

>His ears perked to the cracking of a fire.//

I believe you meant "crackling."

>He was covered by a thick quilt, embroidered with colorful thread.//

Read this paragraph again. Except for the last sentence, every one is identical in structure and length. It's very plodding to read repetitive forms like this.

>He tried to nudge her awake when a metallic click sounded from the door.//

It's unlcear to me that this is the cause/effect relationship you wanted. It says that the click cause him to try nudging her awake. If you reword as "He was trying…" it would mean that the click sounded while he was trying to wake her up.

>and tehn looked a little higher//


>glaring daggers//

Watch the cliches.

>they convened around a large bonfire.//


>lumpy, red paint//

Hierarchical adjectives. No comma.

>It's like a miasma manufacture//



That's a pretty brittle and soft mineral. It wouldn't be very durable in something that gets used as much as a door, and if it's very old at all, it likely would have chipped away already.



>made all of them lock automatically, by just closing the door//

Unnecessary comma.

>This is where we've to go!//

Another place where the "have" contraction isn't really appropriate.

>A cupboard at the opposite side of the room opened//

On, not at.

>'their followers?'//

Inconsistent placement of the question mark. Not far back, you put one outside the quotes, even though both of them are the same as to whether it was actually in the quoted material.

>Monsoon and Flint traded looks. He looked//

Repetitive use of "look."

>after teh herds//


>They made sure that the streets outside were empty and went outside.//

Repetition of "outside."

>closed shut//


>with a bang//

Why wouldn't they take care to be quiet?

>the charred tower//

You just used "char" in the last sentence.

>The sun was in zenith//

Usually "at its zenith."

>they noted that they've walked//

Verb tense.



>Flint prayed that it be open//

Missing word.






Missing space.

>Flint stood uo//


>Monsoon was tied to the altar as she was captured//

She was already captured and carried off…

>as if it was//

In hopeful/wishful/hypothetical language, typically introduced with "as if," you use subjunctive mood. as if it were.

>A piece of stained glass fell from one of the stained-glass windows.//

You don't need that hyphen, and repetitive.

>in her bounds//


>He untied Monsoon//

He did that awfully quickly…

>We'll meet at the tower.//

They just escaped from a tower. I gather that it's not the one they're trying to find, but you need to make that clear. It took me a while to figure it out.

>He reached old castle//

Missing word.

>hanging from teh side of the mountain//


>the charred tower stood crumbled.//

That doesn't quite parse…



>Nothing ever comes from that grove.//

Missing word?

And at this point, I'm going to ask what happened to Juniper. You haven't said that she's following Flint, but you didn't say that he'd made her go with Monsoon, either. So is she on her own somewhere?

>the door wringed from its hinges//

Word choice. "Wringed" doesn't work here.

>spotles wallpapers//

Spotless wallpaper, I presume.

>silverware on the cupboards//


>The air crackled with energy, he felt it in his hooves and his eyes.//

Comma splice. You've had several others, but they were in dialogue, so I grudgingly let them go.

>the dour of juniper//

I'm guessing you meant "odor?" Dour isn't a noun.

>You almost killed me and—" Zigzag tore the silk bow from his hoof.—"you've betrayed your daughter."//

That's not how to punctuate an interruption, and your dash placement is inconsistent.
You almost killed me and—" Zigzag tore the silk bow from his hoof "—you've betrayed your daughter."

Well, that ending was completely anticlimactic. You get us invested in what happens to Monsoon and Juniper, then just drop them completely. And we never see what the purpose of the apple was, what Monsoon thought it would do, whether any of the hornheads recognized it as anything important. How is this connected to MLP? Does it come before, after? Is the miasma connected to Nightmare Moon? I'm left feeling lost.

-Lack of any emotional language. I've noted this a few times, but there were a lot of facts thrown at me, and not much about how the characters felt. There was enough action, but that can only hold a reader's interest so long. You need to connect me with the characters, and that means getting me to deduce the character's emotions and feel along with them. I can't do that if I'm never given a reason to.
-Repetitive sentence structures. That compounds the problem of fact-listing, because it robs the facts of interest when they feel like a list of bullet poins. It just didn't flow well, didn't feel like it was moving.
-Use of a lot of terminology that most readers won't know, and little to no context is given. You can only go over he reader's head a few times before he'll give up, unless it's structured in a way that he cal tell he doesn't need to understand the meaning for an effect that's being created. That's pretty difficult to do well. ANd this is such an unusual setting and premise that I felt thrown into the middle of things without enough understanding of what was going on and why. It was like reading a sequel that requires an understanding of what had happened before. I can follow along a bit, but lack the background for it all to click.

There's a good story in there, but it lacks something in the delivery, suffered from a lack of editing, and didn't really come to a conclusion. Keep writing, and have fun with it!
This post was edited by its author on .

Thanks for the review! 5025

A maginificently through review, as always. Thank you.

That is quite a bit, so I hope you'll forgive me if I concede and don't try to defend myself on any of these points. I suppose that my only excuse is a total mismanagement of time. I will use your review when I edit my story later—I already have a lot of ideas on how to expand it.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review of "Assumptions, or Making an Ass Out of You and Me" by PresentPerfect Pascoite!uxy6g7ov9I 5106

>eyebrows cinched//
I've… Never heard it described that way. I'm not entirely sure how to picture that, but the two possibilities I came up with would convey the same mood anyway…

>It's bad enough that I have to rely this much on machine stitching//

Hm. Given Fluttershy's comments in "Dress for Success," I'd figure machine stitching was her standard method.

>and so forth//

That's an odd vagueness that doesn't really fit with a narrator that hasn't settled into a character's viewpoint. Kind of like the way English teachers hate it when you tack an "or something" onto the end of a sentence.


For me, an odd word choice, given where they are.

>what I mean is…//

I'm not sure this works as trailing off. With the very next thing being Twilight's dialogue, it feels more like an interruption.

>apparently unperturbed by the slight//

This is a judgment call, but the narrator is hovering above all the characters. If he were in Rarity's head, I could see it as her impression, and I guess that's the default, since she's the only other one present, but the narration's not firmly in her perspective, either, so it feels like a proclamation from on high.

>Pinkie is far too… Energetic.//

No need to capitalize that last word.

>And while I respect Fluttershy's abilities with a needle and thread, our opinions on fashion differ far too much.//

Well… that's not the point. Fluttershy's not going to be inventing designs. The question was whether she could help, which would mean: does Rarity trust her to follow her pattern/instructions?

>Rarity cut her off before she could reply.//

There's nothing to cut off. Have Twilight open her mouth to speak, for example.

>I was, however, hoping to ask you for a different sort of help; specifically, the magical kind.//

There's no independent clause anywhere after that semicolon.

>Rarity allowed herself a brief smile.//

Okay, you've finally placed the narrator in her head by relaying an internal process that wouldn't be apparent to anyone else (allowed herself). Establish that voice early on.

>up–" she motioned to indicate the whirling circle of sewing supplies– "and//

Inconsistent dash placement. They go with the dialogue if it actually stops, or with the narration if there's just an aside being wedged in.

>You have to stop and take a break now and then or you'll burn yourself out!//

Comma between the clauses.

>Rarity replied primly.//

Show me that. Her body language and expression would sell the moment. You haven't been telly in this story, but there's not that much emotion coming through outside of the dialogue either. You've got some, but punch it up a bit.

>dare say//

One word.

>as she fought to keep a lid on her anger.//

You've pretty much portrayed that. No need to rehash it and short-circuit the showing.

>This had been time enough//

I think you meant "there."

>disentangle her tangled//

Kinda repetitive.

>begin mending the dress afresh//

"Begin… afresh" has a weird feel. And no time at all would be needed to "begin." How far might Twilight think she's gotten?

>Rarity rolled her eyes audibly.//

That sounds… painful.

>Just, choose//

That's no place for a comma. If you want a pause there, use an ellipsis.

>Twilight turned to her final book, reading over the spell index carefully.//

Participles latch onto the nearest noun or pronoun to modify. Some still sound natural and can be sorted out by logic , but this one really sounds like it's describing the book. I'd change "book, reading" to "book and read." That also fixes the problem of concurrent action, as you have her turning and reading at the same time.

>Think about it: donkeys//

The list of things she wants Rarity to think about spans several sentences, so capitalize after the colon.

>They can toil from sunup to sundown and they never complain!//

Missing comma betwixt clauses.

>Hoity Toity and his client will be coming by on Friday to view my work and I would hate to collapse from exhaustion in front of them.//

And again. You don't like those commas, huh?

>in despair//

Stop that.

>Oh, certainly dear//

Comma for direct address.

>"Yay, You're Donkeys Now!" party//

That's a lot funnier than it has any right to be.

>And I promise to follow your patterns to the letter.//

Isn't this the point I made earlier?


Per Webster, the only acceptable past tense is "gritted."

>I know that you're quite skilled and I have nothing to worry about.//

Where's my damn comma?

>Let's get a move on girls//

Comma for direct address.

>calls of, "Another spool of blue thread, Rainbow Dash," or "Rainbow, could you bring me the gold ribbon, please?"//

Because these aren't being presented as formal quotes, you don't need the first or third commas.

>brownish grey//

Hyphenate that.

>It is you!//

I hear that with an inflection. Italicize "is," maybe?

>I… Think//

That's still the same sentence. No need to re-capitalize.

>I've been a donkey for less than a day and already it's affecting my self-image.//

My kingdom for a horse—er, comma.

>But how did you…//

Personal preference thing, but you can put a question mark after the ellipsis since it is a question.

>upon it being set on the table//

Technically, the "it" here should be "its," but it's a rather long explanation of why. I didn't bug you about earlier similar instances, because they were in dialogue, and it's reasonable for a speaker to get it wrong. But this is narration.

>headway. "

Extraneous space.


Probably should be hyphenated.

>dare say//

Again, one word.

>She placed her hoof on Rarity's shoulder; Rarity did not seem entirely convinced.//

These are both related to the preceding quote, but I wouldn't think they were closely related enough to each other that they'd warrant a semicolon.

>She pulled away from Twilight, moving to her drawing board and sweeping designs to the side.//

The participle would seem to describe Twilight.

>It landed square on her withers, and she brayed in surprise.//

She didn't see it coming? And there's another of the "in/with emotion" phrases that are almost always redundant and extraneous.

>Carry that on up to the barn for me and we'll talk some more.//

Missing comma betwixt the clauses.

>Applejack trotted over, grabbing and pressing her forehead against Twilight's.//

What did she grab? Her forehead? If so, it's hard to press it against Twilight's forehead as well. It'd be a strange head-hoof-head sandwich.

>Rarity had confided in Twilight earlier about Rainbow Dash's questioning.//

This comment really feels out of place. It needs a smoother connection to what's happening right then.

>Rainbow Dash burst out laughing.

>"Oh man! The day finally came when Applejack has to teach Rarity how to talk!"
There's not some dramatic reveal going on here. Couldn't these be one paragraph?

>this will go off without a hitch//

Your use of a similar phrase in the scene's first paragraph stuck with me to the point that this felt repetitive. Maybe they're far enough apart, though. Your call.

>There were some hitches.//

And there you go again, pretty soon after the last one.

>save for the initial trip to Twilight's//

Set this off with a comma.

>The eyes of the townsponies filled her with a sense of wrongness//

I can't tell whether you mean she feels they're wrong or something is wrong with her.


-ly adverbs are generally exempt from hyphenation in two-word phrases.

>Just keep your story straight and you'll do fine.//

Needs a comma.

>Welcome to the Carousel Boutique//

Normally, you wouldn't put a "the" in front of a specific name like this, i.e. "I'm going to the store" versus "I'm going to Wal-Mart."

>high-class looking//

Hyphenate all that.

>glancing around the room in confusion//


>have a seat//

Or, if she's adopting southern speak, "sit a spell."

>disgust etched on his face//

How so?

>a face of desperation//

And we're at a high point of the story. You really need to be showing this.

>C… Contagious//

Ellipses generally aren't used for stuttering/partial words. You sure you don't want a hyphen there? And only the first "C" needs to be capitalized.

>Miss… Er//

That can be a continuous sentence. You don't need to capitalize "Er."

>That would be myself//

Reflexive pronouns are used when the person is also the subject. Technically, she should use "I," but I never hear even grammar freaks speak like that. I suggest "me."

>Meal Ticket made a face of disgust//


>And, you're sure the quality is up to Rarity's standards?//

No comma.

>Hoity Toity seemed less enthused//

Who's making this judgment? You've just mentioned Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight. You haven't had a clear point of view in this scene.

>The valet spent the entire time picking his nose.//

How does he fit a hoof in there?

>Rarity looked at Cranky and Matilda//

You're clearly in Rarity's head here. It makes it feel a bit odd that there was no perspective in the early part of this scene, when Rarity was behind the curtain and couldn't have witnessed what happened, by sight anyway.

>it would be her//

Technically, "it would be she." Does she know that? Your call.

>like myself//

Again, not the place for a reflexive pronoun. like me.

>dare say//

One word, dammit.

>dare say//

This story was well-written, the characterizations were convincing, and I enjoyed it. I only have a couple of overall issues with it, and they're pretty subjective. First, the ending was kind of weak, but I'm at a loss to suggest an improvement. Second, I felt like the story would have been stronger if Rarity and Twilight had figured out that general prejudice on their own. They had already taken notice of the odd looks they were getting and that ponies who knew what had happened still treated them differently. It wouldn't be a big step for them to put the pieces together themselves, and then they could still go talk to Cranky and Matilda about it, so it wouldn't be a fundamental change to the plot. The lesson you learn best is the one you figure out on your own, after all, and it'd have a bigger emotional impact on them. It'd also add tension to their visit to the Donkeys, since they'd already have some dread hanging over them about what they intended to discuss. I also don't understand the bit about locking their door. Yes, they don't feel entirely welcome, but nothing even close to violence or malice has ever been directed at them, and you haven't added anything to that effect. Having ponies assume they're less capable is one thing, but fearing theft, vandalism, or bodily harm is entirely another. You also might work in something about how they feel guilty about their relief at being themselves again. You did play it so that was reserved for joy at having their magic back, but it'd be nice to see them either note that they actually find themselves ambivalent to the physical changes (which would be the sappy take) or happy that they look "normal" again and feeling bad about those thoughts.
This post was edited by its author on .

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 5112

>I've… Never heard it described that way.

Allow me to ask, has the vocabulary for eyebrow movement just filtered out of common parlance in the last twenty years or something? Because this is seriously two writeoffs in a row where someone's been confused by my eyebrow-related language. I'm curious: how the heck do you describe that motion?

>Given Fluttershy's comments in "Dress for Success," I'd figure machine stitching was her standard method.

For precisely that reason, I figure she'd try to steer away from it after hearing such criticism. Certainly for an important, high-class client.


I'm going to change this, not for the reason you suggest (I thought it was clever, perhaps suggesting that Rarity's levitation style has something to do with the naming of her boutique), but because in rereading that sentence, I just realized a sewing carousel is an actual device, and that's not what I'm getting at here. Yes, I have a freaky knowledge of sewing.

>The question was whether she could help, which would mean: does Rarity trust her to follow her pattern/instructions?

My intention was to say that Rarity was afraid Fluttershy might try 'fixing' her designs. Friendship, yes, but she's not thinking clearly right now. Any suggestions for rephrasing?

>Okay, you've finally placed the narrator in her head by relaying an internal process that wouldn't be apparent to anyone else (allowed herself). Establish that voice early on.

I'm glad you pointed this out, because I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be in Twilight's head (note the "seemingly all at once" in the first sentence). So I'll have to keep a closer eye on that.

You'll have to forgive my dash usage.

Hah. I just looked up "dare say" and it can be one word or two! VICTOLY

>The list of things she wants Rarity to think about spans several sentences, so capitalize after the colon.

That's a good catch. I'll have to look out for those more often.

>And again. You don't like those commas, huh?

Never in my life did I think someone would ask me this. <.<

>>And I promise to follow your patterns to the letter.//

>Isn't this the point I made earlier?

Friendship and all, but I figure as nervous as Rarity has been trying to get all of this stuff done, actually asking Fluttershy, like bringing up, "Please don't mess with my designs, please please please!" never really occurred to her. I may be ascribing more of my own thought processes to Rarity than I really should.


This word gives me so many problems, I swear.

>>It is you!//

>I hear that with an inflection. Italicize "is," maybe?

Now imagine Sweetie Bot saying it. It's very All Your Base.

>Technically, the "it" here should be "its," but it's a rather long explanation of why. I didn't bug you about earlier similar instances, because they were in dialogue, and it's reasonable for a speaker to get it wrong. But this is narration.

Usually I'm good with that structure. I hereby blame the time limits for all such errors, commas included. Also, I decided it was best as "their".

>What did she grab? Her forehead? If so, it's hard to press it against Twilight's forehead as well. It'd be a strange head-hoof-head sandwich.

Looks like I forgot something and I'm not entirely certain what. Figure it's easier without the grabbing. I do like extra hooves on my head sandwiches though. :V

>>Rarity had confided in Twilight earlier about Rainbow Dash's questioning.//

>This comment really feels out of place. It needs a smoother connection to what's happening right then.

How's this? "She sighed, the news of Rainbow Dash's questions to Rarity fresh in her mind."

>Your use of a similar phrase in the scene's first paragraph stuck with me to the point that this felt repetitive. Maybe they're far enough apart, though. Your call.

NOT FAR ENOUGH @[email protected]

>>The valet spent the entire time picking his nose.//

>How does he fit a hoof in there?

Lots of practice.

I'll ponder the ending. Mostly, I just wanted them happy to be back in their own bodies, despite what lessons they may have learned along the way. The part about adding in some guilt is a good idea, I will definitely do that.

Thanks again for a wonderful review. I think every fix I didn't comment on here (and a few of the ones I did) I took, just fyi.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5124

"furrowed his brow" is mine. Dunno about anypony else.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 5126

But… think of the eyebrows! D:

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