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File: 1362806409633.png (353.71 KB, 667x500, 224762__UNOPT__safe_rainbow-da…)

Write-off - I Lost Count edition 4506[Last 50 Posts]

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.


Times
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


Submissions
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
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


Rules
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.


Voting
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 .

Anonymous 4507

And as always, if you're new to the /fic/ community and you write fanfiction, this is a fantastic place to get review, critique and help with your stories and writing.

Feel free to check out the reviewer threads if you ever need any help.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 4511

YAY MORE WRITEOFFS

I thought this one was gonna be minifics, Roger. :B The lack of a prelim is an interesting move, at least.

4512

>>4511
Next one will be minifics.

Maybe.

4513

File: 1362841013084.jpeg (171.93 KB, 640x480, Writer_Angry_1.jpeg)

>Lessons on Friday and Saturday, have to prepare for test on Sunday.
>Planned social gathering around that time.
>Haven't written seriously since December.

I am so doing this.

RazgrizS57 !Cinderm9Hs 4515

Meh, why not?

Whitbane 4521

Responded on Fimfiction but I'll tag in my name here, too.

Tactical 4522

>>4512

I was thinking of running one. Perhaps I'll call the next one? I can't decide whether I want to do minifics or mature. I feel like going with both would be basically encouraging horrible entries.

Whitbane 4523

>>4522

Sounds like a challenge to me.

Tactical 4525

>>4523

I said inviting it, not that they would all be that way.

I COULD write a sex scene with less than 1000 words, and it might be hot or it might be sweet and nice, but how many times would that be fun to read in a row, and how severely would that invite people to do a lazy job of it?
This post was edited by its author on .

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 4526

Pleased to see this got into the Roundup on EQD. :)

Sure sign me up 4529

http://www.fimfiction.net/user/MrNumbers

Sure, sign up the infamous, where 'in' is used as a prefix meaning 'not', MrNumbers up.

4530

File: 1362934075376.jpg (18.55 KB, 309x309, 3135-309x316.jpg)

>Is this what I think it is, Private?!

Sir, yes sir! Another write-off, sir!

>Another write-off! Well it looks like you have some stiff competition this time, Private! No four-story submission for you to skip through like some namby-pamby jackanape!


Sir, yes sir!

>Is that terror running down your leg, Private?!


Just a little sir!

>Are you gonna to go home to your momma, Private?! Maybe she'll–


Sir, no sir! Sign me up, sir!

>You don’t get excited in this army! Drop and give me some nervous breakdowns!


Sir, yes sir!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQlLu0JvsOI

4531

^ That was brilliant, and now I fear the competition in one masterful stroke.

Stroke? Ha! I'm having one! Geddi-fuefnef

4532

Count me in!

I'm in! 4534

I would love to! Sign me up!

I shall pen up a story so amazingly fantastic that- I have no idea what I'm doing.

Sign me up anyway!

theworstwriter!cGl3f2NaNw 4535

Eh, why not? The weekend after that is booked, as is the one after THAT, but the particular weekend with the contest just so happens to be wide open.

Anonymous 4538

>>4535
What is THAT in this context?

4539

>>4538
The weekend in the previous sentence.

4540

Hmmm… I'm a bit hesitant, but I think I'll give this a shot and see where it goes.

yay. 4543

I'mma do this

4544

>another Write-Off
>in the span of no more than three weeks

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

OH GOD
OH GOD I CAN'T BREATHE

HAHAHAhahahah oh….

Y'all ain't gonna make me work this time!

4545

>>4544
Considering you've never entered I'm not sure what your point is.

4546

>>4545

What point would there be other than to laugh like an idiot?

YOLO. CopperRose 4547

You know what? Never wrote a fic, love writing, why the buck not? Count me in.

4548

File: 1362973345094.png (1.31 MB, 900x1273, princess_celestia_and_dragon_b…)

>>4547
>YOLO
I am going to enter just to trounce this guy for saying that.
Maybe.
Hopefully.
Probably not.

Verzin!9b6EXi20WI 4550

Hm. Never tried this before. Let's give it a shot.

4561

I am going to fail so hard.

Sign me up before I come to my senses!

redsquirrel456 4563

Sign me up.

Sign me up *twice.*

Snailpony 4564

File: 1363059804187.png (20.74 KB, 149x134, snails.png)

Eh, wynaut. I'll take part

Count me in WILIZIN 4569

Always wanted to try my hand in one of these write offs. :D

Axis of Rotation 4575

Sweeeet new contest. Hopefully I'll actually have time to do this one.

4577

File: 1363139211143.gif (Spoiler Image,3.8 MB, 640x272, GJbhwtV.gif)

>List of participants
>Ion-Strum
YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR THIS TIME.
>Pic
This post was edited by its author on .

4578

It's high time someone drew a charged molecule playing a guitar.

Java 4579

Sure, I'll give it a shot.

Sounds fun 4581

Sign me up.I need to write more, and I usually do better with a goal.

Eustatian!Wings60m9. 4585

…minor cash-flow problems related to moving banks, and just when I'm starting to build
credit, too. Feh. At least the rent got paid and payday is soon enough, but the word of this pay-cycle is "cheap entertainments."

So, Wings totally in. Time to beat something awful out of my muse.

Neckbeard the Brony 4594

Yep. I shall participate as well.

4595

Alright. Lets do this.

Whitbane 4597

Every participant lowers my odds exponentially, and holy crap are there a lot of people.

4598

>>4597
Your chance of winning is 1 / n, so it's actually a bounded decay. The third person to join has more of an impact on your chances (50% -> 33% => Δ17%) than the fourth (33% -> 25% => Δ8%), and so on.

Anonymous 4599

>>4598
Assuming of course, the winners are chosen at random, and not as they are, a secret council of Ponyluminati deciphering the runes they cast into a gilded bowl of zebra blood.

4600

Well, shit.

I didn't think anyone would figure out my secret judging rubric.

Back to the drawing board, I guess…

Oldenmw 4601

Eh, why not, I'll try my hand at this.

DamienReave 4602

Signed up, looking forward to it.

Lots of interest looks like…

Okay then. 4603

I'm probably making a huge mistake, but what the heck, I'll sign up.

Prompt Suggestions Open 4606

If you've got any prompt ideas, now's the time to post them: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/15/prompt/submit

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 4609

File: 1363323179938.png (369.2 KB, 725x795, vinyl_scratch_profile_picture_…)

Prompt pool seemed weak, so I added four.

I think I might actually vote on this round, despite not entering.

theworstwriter!cGl3f2NaNw 4610

Methinks a few of these prompts were submitted by newer folk.

Ah, well. I've found three I really like. Hopefully one of them wins.

4611

>>4610
Yeah. I'm fixing the title case on a few of them, but many aren't even in the format of titles (which they should be, but that's only ever been a de facto rule). The other issue are prompts that mention specific characters, which is pretty much an instant turn off (for too restrictive).

I'll probably put a few tips on what prompts should look like on the submission page to avoid it happening in the future.

Java 4612

Just to make sure I'm not missing something, these little two and three word blurbs are the entire prompt?

4613

>>4612
Yep.

Whichever is the highest rated when voting closes is the selected prompt.

Prompt 4614

File: 1363327361323.png (379.92 KB, 1219x1296, bloom_season_5_safari___by_cos…)

Good Intentions

Good luck, everyone!

4615

File: 1363329401745.jpg (25.43 KB, 480x423, x7RXe1O.jpg)

>>4614
If I were to use an idea or character that was already known to be mine, would that be grounds for immediate disqualification, or would I simply be at the mercy of people that know which story is mine and suffer the glut of downvotes?

4616

>>4615
If you rename the character it should be fine.

Neckbeard the Brony 4618

Hey, I just noticed my name on the list twice. I'm TheMoreIThink on Reddit, sorry for the confusion.

Neckbeard the Brony 4619

Also, when you say that the prompt is "good intentions", what does this mean? Are those words alone the prompt, or amI missing something?

4620

>Are those words alone the prompt?
Yes.

The prompts are intentionally vague to give room for interpretation.

It's written in the rules that submissions "must be based on the prompt to a reasonable and discernible degree", though I've never actually disqualified an entry for breaking that rule. Again, the vagueness is intentional. As long as there's a good faith effort, you'll be fine.

Tactical 4623

>>4620

To be clear, the connection to the prompt COULD be the words "good intentions," or more likely, it'll just be a story about god intentions.

Anonymous 4624

You Monster 4633

Had an idea. Spent something like four-five hours, off and on, writing 3000 words about it. Am cautiously optimistic about the result. Will get to edit it maybe.

Sleep now.

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4637

Got about 500 words done, but at least I know exactly what I plan on doing now. Here's to hoping I get at least the bulk of the writing done today.

Anonymous 4639

In terms of formatting, can we use italics?

Anonymous 4641

Awesome! Thanks for the speedy response.
And good luck everypony.

4644

I have a 920-word outline, and a 6-7 hour window tonight to actually write it. Won't get much chance tomorrow, what with working all day.
…Yeah, this is gonna be interesting.

Anonymous 4647

> Error: Wordcount too high or too low

Damn. If I don't come up with filler, it seems I'm out.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4648

Clocking in at 3400 words, written in a single sitting and then barely even spot-edited with the rest of the remaining time, with its name changing several times throughout the process, I am now officially stepping away from my entry and letting its flaws be what they are.

Java 4649

I need to be up for work in three hours, so tomorrow (aka today) is gonna suuuuck, but I like where this is going.

You can do it everypony! Rock dat keyboard!

4650

>>4647
Wait, so is there a word limit? I don't think I'm in trouble the way I'm going, but would be good to know. I didn't see any in the rules.

Anonymous 4652

>>4650
Yeah. It's not in rules. It's in event information though (Word limit:2000–25000).

Fortunately I managed to expand some scenes here and there, so I'm still in.

Anonymous 4653

Make sure you're all familiar with the rules and contest info so you don't get stuck trying to submit at the last second and unable to do so.

Anonymous 4655

Re: formatting, is it normal for indentation to get stripped?

4657

>>4650
Yeah. Not sure why I didn't already have the word limit in the rules. As anon said, it's in the event overview thingy, 2,000 to 25,000 words.

>>4655
That's just standard behaviour in HTML. You shouldn't need indents anyway.

4658

I'm gonna have to drop out of this. I didn't expect me to be so busy this weekend, and I can't get any writing done. Good luck to everyone else though.

Anonymous 4659

>>4657 Need, no. It's "only" presentation. I see that the tabs are preserved in the source, I just wish the stylesheet rendered them because I think it looks amateur to have them absent.

4660

>>4659
By "You shouldn't need them" I mean that the formatting guidelines say you should use double-spaced paragraphs without indents. This is so that people can't narrow authors down by trivial differences in presentation.

Author of "an inkling of interest" 4662

File: 1363543305560.png (104.49 KB, 1134x1154, oh.png)

Eek! i started too late. Weekend got away from me. i'm only at my first 1,000 words.

Anonymous 4668

>>4660

Ohhhhh. *blushes* Woops.

Anonymous 4670

Whee! Fic finished, submitted, and awaiting judgment!

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4671

Oh shrubbery, I only have seven or so hours left to write at least another 1500 words…

Let's do this!

equuizzicals 4672

>Sunday
>less then 500 words
Yeah there's no way I'm gonna get this thing done now. I ended up with way less free time then I thought I would this weekend. C'est la vie I suppose. Glad I tried at least.

Anonymous 4673

>>4672

Never surrender! Gotta catch your groove!

Anonymous 4674

I don't even have an idea yet. On track as always!

Anonymous 4675

Started writing today.

Current wordcount: 7,091.

Welp, still enough time to write the second half!

Anonymous 4676

>>4675

> 7000

> half

wat

Author of "Assumptions" 4677

Rather proud of myself for busting out two-thirds of my story with enough time to give it a good read-through. I hope it doesn't turn out to be too "heavy" for most people's tastes, but I have a good feeling about it.

theworstwriter!cGl3f2NaNw 4678

Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope.

I'm getting really good at disappointing people, but this isn't happening. I'm less disappointed in myself than I was the last time I dropped out, because I know my excuses are better this time, but still.

I had a timetable, and there was a slot for this, but circumstances warped what I could and couldn't do. Next time, I'll have to have contingency plans and/or redundant slots to commit backup time.

Sighs forever and ever.

4679

File: 1363574090707.gif (192.18 KB, 250x200, c36.gif)

Another write-off come and gone with a grand word count of zero written (if one does not count titling the document). Stop scheduling these during my work week, dangit!

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4680

Yeah… I don't think I can finish this on time without making it looked half-assed. I'm at 1552 words, and I'll be pushing to get this completed, but I probably need to at least double that number.

Somebody hold me :C

Author of "an inkling of interest" 4681

File: 1363574567420.png (211.14 KB, 1134x1154, inkling.png)

>>4679
>weekend
>work week
i'm certain you'll find time to ridicule mine, ion.

4685

File: 1363578661893.png (218.45 KB, 498x554, 5L8M6n3.png)

>>4681
My days off are Tuesday and Wednesday :|

And doubtful. I can't remember the last (or any, for that matter) Write-off that I gave feedback in where I hadn't been a participant.

4686

Well, for better or for worse it's submitted. Should be interesting to see how it goes down.
So, let the games begin, and may the best pet win!

Compendium of Steve 4687

File: 1363581152842.png (913.09 KB, 636x1389, Rainbow Smiles.png)

>>4686

There. Ya earned it.

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4688

Let's just say that I want to make this a quality piece, but time is saying otherwise. What I do submit will be different from what I envisioned, no doubt about it, but this is a story I loved writing nonetheless.

After all is said and done, maybe I can regain that quality.

Unmarked Journal 4689

I guess it's time.

I look forward to seeing what everyone else came up with.

4690

Ugh. I told myself not to enter since I was way too busy this weekend, yet here I am with a last minute entry. Wish I had more time to clean this up and write an actual ending, but oh well.

Good luck, everyone.

Dropping out at the last minute Author of "an inkling of interest" 4691

File: 1363586292066.png (104.49 KB, 1134x1154, oh.png)

>>4685
Aww, i was looking forward to that. Oh well, the story i've submitted was nothing like the original work i'd intended anyway. i spent too much time building it up, and never got to the point i was trying to make. i don't even want to submit it at this point. it's complete crap. Oh well, i'll just take my time fixing it up and put it on Fimfiction in a few weeks. you'll see my face and my story then.

i guess you could say i had *good intentions*, but it turned into one big mess, then i over reacted, and i'll assume you know the rest.

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4692

GAHHH DONE.

4693

File: 1363586674294.jpg (51.53 KB, 960x540, UjxwQXV.jpg)

>>4691
>All these lower-case "I"s
>Dat pun

Author of "The Ends" 4694

All in one day. I've finished typing three minutes before the deadline.

I've had the idea for the story in my head shortly after teh prompt was revealed. It took me two days to flesh out, and writing for just one day is certainly not enough.

I liked a lot how the begginning turned out, with the quality steadily dropping as the hours ticked. I've stopped liking my prose somewhere on the thirteenth hour mark. Oh well, at least I've finished it, and that's enough to be proud of.

I'm looking forward for (deserved) critique on my writing, and seeing what the other have cooked up, especially considering how many are supposedly newcomers.

After all, the best part of the write-off is getting loads of great, constructive feedback on your work.

4695

Well, we broke 100,000 words.

Nice work, guys.

4696

File: 1363589460009.jpg (20.86 KB, 400x298, xqefEH[1].jpg)

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4697

>>4695

On one hand, many entrants!

On the other, the chance of people being overlooked.

As for me and my entry, I'm cautiously not hating it, and I feel like it has a lot of ways that someone could tell that it's mine.

My First Post! 4703

So, I thought I'd say hi to all you other participants!
I'm pretty excited about the competition and this was the first complete short story I've written in… 10 years?
Yeah, working in the sciences does not lend itself to much creative writing, hopefully it didn't show through too much.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with what I got done in the 10 hours I left open for this.
(it sucks when someone at work quits and suddenly you have an extra day of it yourself)
Good news was, I didn't know the site auto-adjusted the time when you logged in so technically I had four hours of edit time after I submitted!
I'm looking forward to reading a Hobbit's worth of tales and I wish everyone the best of luck!

TL;DR: Super excited, my first story/post, going to read all the stories, and good luck to all!
This post was edited by its author on .

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4705

Well, shit.

I just finished reading the first story on the list, and I'm not sure if there's a point in reading any more.

Anonymous 4706

Fimfiction works unusably slow. Did anyone save .epub with all of the stories?

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4707

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz2cg1tnQ0c 4708

Again: no preliminaries, one week to judge, and now almost 100k words to go through. It's like magic.

Well, guess I better get to reading.

Anonymous 4709

*re-reads a sentence*

I don't think hooves work that way.

Eustatian!Wings60m9. 4711

Never get in a fight with one's muse.

In any case, looking forward to…

100k one week

Guys, haven't we been here before? Really, really hoping it's more fun when I don't have a horse in the race, but this is madness.

4712

>>4707

Cute, but I too need an epub as I read on my tablet. My tablet with no mobile data because I'm cheap like that. And epub because Moon Reader lets me set the font the way I like it, which I'm very picky about.

And normally don't bother anyone with.

This is a passive-aggressive post, but I really would appreciate an epub upload to this thread if anyone has it.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4714

No seriously though, I'm feeling inadequate compared to "The Ends".

Why the Faust don't we have prelims?

Anyway, I know this is bitchy of me, but I'd really love feedback. I don't know how I feel about my thing, and some of its meanings are important but I don't know how I deployed them, and I worked hard on some style elements and I dunno how they came out.

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4715

For the record, if my story looks like a gradual decline in both speed and quality, as if I raced the final hours to get the rest of it written, that's because it was.

I eagerly await criticism to the harshest degree and will be returning the favor soon enough.
This post was edited by its author on .

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4716

Mini-reviews:

The Ends: Flawed, like everything is, especially the way a few elements of the ending were confusing (though other elements of said ending were goddam amazing). I also was prepared to hate this because of the telly opening that wasn't hook-y and not even morose enough to be an anti-hook. Then it was followed by a confusing and not terribly hook-y opening.

That said, the writing in the meat of the story was marvelous and I don't expect to see it topped.

Crusading With Good Intentions:
Unfinished. Starts with too much CMC back-and-forth, would like if it moved on to action.

Your ideas for the CMC causing mayhem are solid. This is finished so I really can't give it a good score in good conscience, and for now it's just plain and simple canon CMC doing their thing. So… eh.

Cloud Stories: This is adorable. I have major respect for the gags and the cuteness here. However, I'm not feeling your Rainbow Dash voice. She's not way off, but I'd like something closer to the flat-character Rainbow Dash that her rabid defenders hate. The voice you HAVE is nice, but it's not Dashie enough.

The joke of Pinkie telling her story in third person falls flat, I think. I think the best would be if you went for something more blatant than "why are you telling it as if you're a character in the story?" I also think that the story should have stuff like exaggerated descriptions, asides about happy things that Pinkie would talk about, and a bit of Pinkie voice in general. Some exclamation points. I'm feeling your Pinkie voice way less than I'm feeling your Dashie voice, which is to say I don't like it.

Pinkie's story goes long. The idea is to get where her story intersects with Derpy's, so get there faster. I largely like the story you tell here, though.

The ending is adorable.

Again, I'm only ankle deep in the contest, but I don't see this getting knocked off my top list. Good show and now I'm depressed for my own entry.

"To Dine with my Enemy" 4718

>>4714

Ask, and you shall receive.

Good Thing I’m so Organized

I’m at a loss here, with my main question being: why?

There seems to be a couple different conflicts, and yet neither is all that deeply explored.

We start with Rarity, upset that Twilight has organized her workspace for some unknown reason. We then follow Applejack as she visits Twilight and finds her obsessively cleaning the library. Admittedly, it is an interesting scene as Twilight mechanically proceeds through everything, and sets up an equally interesting question as to why she’s doing it.

We then later cut to a devastated Boutique, which has apparently been Twilighted into a terrible mess. Twilight herself is hiding, Rarity and Applejack trying to comfort the weeping unicorn, and then we cut to the reason she seems so upset.

Flash back to Celestia telling her what she did when she first received her Cutie Mark. It is played as the dramatic reveal of what happened betraying some inner monster, and sets up guilt, but the problem I have here is that it apparently ignores the fact that Twilight already knows this. She told the CMC the story herself, and these details were shown (thus, implied that she knows what happened). A “ten years” later reveal makes little sense to me.

If we ignore this and move on, we are treated to the following scene of Twilight and Cadence from the end of season two.

I don’t see any problems with this particularly, as it would be a nice set-up for the whole “can’t control herself, because I’m a monster” angle, but again, she stopped herself in the show and she was facing Chrysalis (who had been Cadence’s face) at the time. Confusion as to who she was fighting seems reasonable.

I’d play up the fury and the willingness to destroy her foe much more heavily, cementing that Cadence was a hair’s breadth from being turned into a fine vapor. It’s hinted at, true, but not really given enough strength to truly convince me of anything.

Our final scene is the other five gathering together to comfort her and tell her that she’s not evil.

>Fluttershy flapped her wings and quickly hopped over to give Twilight an urgent nuzzle. “Twilight, no! We know you’d never hurt anypony! You’re our friend, and…”


However, given the earlier description of the Boutique after Twilight arrived (wrecked in what can only be assumed a very violent scrap), I would question this line of logic. However, it is completely ignored, as is the reason the Boutique is in such a terrible state now, for the rest of the fic.

We are given Twilight's take on the two earlier scenes, and why they make her a monster, but one still makes no sense, and the other was simply not given enough weight to justify it.

Then Pinkie pops up with a pillow fight out of nowhere (an oddly counter-intuitive method of dealing with somepony who has trouble controlling themselves) and some innocent shenanigans ensue.

After they’re all tuckered out from whacking one another with pillows, we end on Twilight remembering that she has finished organizing, and deciding it doesn’t really matter.

This again begs the question: why? Why was this important? What was the significance of her obsessive tendencies? Was it some method where she was trying to keep control of herself? Was it a sign of a breaking mind?

This is never delved into, nor given any weight beyond it existing for some unknown, yet apparently ultimately important, purpose.

And what of the question of, “Am I a ticking time-bomb, just waiting to explode”? She doesn’t dwell on that after a single pillow fight? Which apparently woke up some demon when she grinned and flattened them with what could only be assumed a hail of pillows? In a moment of violence(innocent though it may be)?

The fight’s an admittedly cute scene to end on, but it seems to lack any real punch, given that the main conflict never seems to actually be fleshed out properly before the resolution. Too much happens too quickly, and the few moments that could have been nice spots where we really some some darkness, or fear of herself, are glossed over much too quickly.

And as I said earlier, one reason seems to make no sense, given its original context. If the Cutie Mark incident is to remain a reason, there would need to be some explanation as to why what we get in the show seems to be different than what we get here. Should we assume that episode never happened? That seems a difficult proposition, given that it also references the Wedding, which happens much later.

Also, I have to ask: where is the prompt? Is it the obsessive organizing, Celestia and everypony else keeping her moment at the school hidden from her, what? Where are the “good intentions” in this story?

All-in-all, there could be something here, but it lacks some crucial building which would make it more poignant and truly heart-wrenching. It would be advisable to expand more on those two scenes where she is really struggling with herself, and also on those flashbacks. Give us more reason to believe her fright, and to believe her struggle, otherwise it just seems rather shallow and confusing.


There is a basic first-glance take. Feel free to debate me on it, but that's what I thought.

Also, you'll find the hide command very useful, which is an "h" put into the brackets.

4719

>>4712
I'll look into getting .epub exports happening, but it won't be for a little while. Fimfiction will certainly be functioning beforehand.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4720

>>4718

Ah.

Yes, your feedback hits something very important. In the following spoiler are the "meanings" of every scene.

Thanks for the tip about the hide feature.

Twilight has suddenly gotten worse about the whole "gotta organize everything" deal.

Twilight is showing signs of actual, pathological OCD. I meant to imply that she's got a physical tic going on in which she "needs" to repeat the procedure for dusting her books.

Twilight didn't get violent, they just had to drag her kicking and screaming away from things that needed organizing. Being confronted about her recent behavior, plus the whole "messing with someone's mental disorder" thing was what made her break down.

Twilight's entire "organized" character trait is a way to convince herself that she's under control. Originally the line right before this was "I wasn't always so, you know, organized" but then she would've been telling the story before Pinkie and Fluttershy even showed up.

There IS nothing different from the episode, by the way. You'll recall that Princess Celestia shows up and takes Twilight "down" from her DARK TWILIGHT RISING DODGE THIS DODGE THIS state. And she DID transform everypony in the room into inanimate objects and she DID turn Spike into a ten story tall menace. Twilight telling the story to the CMC takes place long after this scene. Of course Twilight knows at the time of show-canon, why not?

Ah, now I see why it bugs you that she already told the CMC. The idea is that the NEXT scene was a backslide, and it happened just last week, which co-incides with her organizing rampage.

Point taken that I could have gone much harder on the Royal Wedding scene. However, I'm pretty sure (no, totally sure) that Twilight had no idea at that exact moment in continuity that she was up against some shapeshifting master of evil. She got over it, and yeah it was reasonable, but I'm working with the idea that the backslide was scary either way. If anything, THIS is where I break canon. It's a stretch to say that Twilight spent the rest of the episode suppressing some kind of really scary flashback.

Now, the pillow fight. I knew this was questionable.

Twilight letting her inner violence out really IS meant to be a good thing. She trusts herself with it.

Her stealing all the pillows, then knocking over her neat pile, is symbolic.

At the end, Twilight realizes that she's participated in a whole bunch of chaos, and made a big mess, and abandoned the task she thought was so important… and that it's okay.

The obsessive organizing and the fact that Twilight wants to do good with a power that she's afraid of are the links to the prompt.


I'll give your feedback a truly complete pondering soon. I feel that this could become something postable without extensive additions or reworks. Maybe.

I'll also return the favor soon enough.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author: "Let Me Be Your Armor" 4726

The Ends:
I felt like I kept reading the same chase scene. The guards are after us! The rest of the townsfolk are after us! The wind is after us! The not-Sombra is after us! The unicorns are after us! It quickly grew stale.

Found it a little weird to be talking about bony or cold hooves. I'll admit that it may be my own knowledge of equine anatomy that's lacking, or perhaps liberties were taken due to the marshmallow-y nature of this particular brand of pony. Still, those depictions read like they were written with "foot" in mind, and a Find/Replace pass taken afterward.

On the other appendage, I don't know if the tinderwheel is an original concept, but I like it! A clever, plausibly pony way of starting a fire.

The details get a bit fuzzy towards the end. Without a torch and before the monster is revealed, they can see inside the mine. The allegiance and movement of Juniper never seems quite clear. If she's allied with the unicorns, why? She lacks a horn, so the miasma shouldn't affect her.

Zigzag struck me as a villain from the first, which I'm not sure was intended. He's too deep in enemy territory and too trusting and carefree to be otherwise.

In broad terms, it feels like an action movie in terms of pacing and content. Unfortunately, in my mind, it draws on that format too heavily and contains far more violence, bloodshed, and death than I enjoy in my ponies. I know that there's an audience for it, but it's too far outside my comfort zone to truly enjoy.

Technically proficient, though. It seems internally consistent, utilizes canon settings well, and lacking any glaring typographical or semantic flaws (there are some, but on a level that's understandable given the timed format).

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4727

>>4726
Was saving this for a larger post, but a nice coincidence that you're here.

Let Me Be Your Armor:

The opening and the reveals as to who's talking to who about what are impeccable. Which makes the serious Talking Heads Syndrome very unwelcome when it hits all at once.

This is something I might write. Actually, it's quite similar to a couple of things I've written. I love this for what it is and what it does, but its flaws bug me. I would like to see this finished.

First, the idea of where the alicorns came from might be a little too subtle. If I'm getting this right, Celestia comes to the uncomfortable realization that the racism and hate made it so that her family is the last alicorn bloodline.

Second, you don't unite the events and messages. Even when you circle back to Starswirl and the opening scene, I don't see you tying up your conflicts and developments.

Regardless, I appreciate and greatly respect the feels here.

"To Dine with my Enemy" 4728

>>4720

Here are some further counters and explanations:

>Twilight has suddenly gotten worse about the whole "gotta organize everything" deal.

>Twilight is showing signs of actual, pathological OCD. I meant to imply that she's got a physical tic going on in which she "needs" to repeat the procedure for dusting her books.


I did catch that the OCD was supposed to be significant. That is not what I struggled with. It is that it appears rarely discussed, outside the beginning and the little blurbs of it on the end, and it almost seems to have more overall importance than what I felt the actual purpose of the fic, which was not her OCD.

>Twilight didn't get violent, they just had to drag her kicking and screaming away from things that needed organizing. Being confronted about her recent behavior, plus the whole "messing with someone's mental disorder" thing was what made her break down.


This was not explained, nor truly implied. All I see is that one minute, she’s being asked to go to Rarity’s after Applejack leaves in a decided hurry, which did help imply that something is wrong.

However, the next scene is Rarity’s destroyed Boutique, with a pair of stunned ponies and a severely upset Twilight. As we continue on, and we see the main problem is her control, it leads me down a certain line of thought, as it is never discussed or properly implied that she was fighting against being taken there in the first place. We hear that she had a “fight”, but we are never told or given a proper line as to why she is fighting, beyond that she has some bad memories.

Which makes it confusing that nobody ever references the fight more than they actually do, either to explain why everything is so messed up, or for Twilight to explain why she feels no guilt out of such an act as essentially demolishing her best friend’s home and workplace.

>Twilight's entire "organized" character trait is a way to convince herself that she's under control.


Clever, what I for the most part assumed, and I approve of the line of reasoning. But, again, it is not all that well explained in this draft of why this level of OCD seems so dramatically stronger than her usual. What happened to make her like this now, of all times?

>There IS nothing different from the episode, by the way. You'll recall that Princess Celestia shows up and takes Twilight "down" from her DARK TWILIGHT RISING DODGE THIS DODGE THIS state. And she DID transform everypony in the room into inanimate objects and she DID turn Spike into a ten story tall menace.


I don’t disagree with the events. They did happen like that, and I know there is something to be found in them which could be useful. However, playing it as a “ten years later reveal”, makes no sense, given the events in the CMC episode.

>Ah, now I see why it bugs you that she already told the CMC. The idea is that the NEXT scene was a backslide, and it happened just last week, which co-incides with her organizing rampage.


There we go. That seems reasonable, and helps with most of the arguments. So, now I can assume that the reveal happened before she’d even come to Ponyville (or, at least, far before before the events in the CMC episode), when she’d have had time to adapt and cope with this revelation, maybe growing comfortable enough with the story to share it and not feel too bad about herself anymore.

So, you should make the timetable of of events clearer, so that readers are not confused as to which moment in time they’re in when following this sequence of events. For example, I might keep Twilight a filly when she’s told about the truth. Don’t let more than a couple years or so go by, which would help keep one segment at least firmly connected to the past. I would also suggest references in the first few scenes that establish the Canterlot Wedding being very recent, which gives a little more meaning to the time period this fic is established in, and would help prevent undue confusion. Given how most of us did something with her as an alicorn now, you made a tremendous leap backwards, and so it should be made clear that we are not anywhere close to where we are now.

>Point taken that I could have gone much harder on the Royal Wedding scene. However, I'm pretty sure (no, totally sure) that Twilight had no idea at that exact moment in continuity that she was up against some shapeshifting master of evil.


But she did have an idea that she was against somepony evil, and not the Cadence she knew and loved, but that’s not the real point. It’s the fact that there was little apparent weight in the scene that the show didn’t already have as is, thus causing problems with why this was so much of an issue with her. It’s barely even hinted that there was anything really more she wanted to do than stop her, which is again entirely reasonable given the circumstances.

>She got over it, and yeah it was reasonable, but I'm working with the idea that the backslide was scary either way. If anything, THIS is where I break canon. It's a stretch to say that Twilight spent the rest of the episode suppressing some kind of really scary flashback.


It would have been a forgivable break, as this goes against canon already anyways, but I think you simply don’t have enough “backslide” as is to justify your intended response.

There’s not enough emotion, or thought, or action, to really support the idea that Twilight was, even for a moment, wildly out of control. We’re talking beyond self-defense, or the protection of loved ones (like her brother, who the villain admitted having dark plans for).

Tackling Cadence and menacing her is perfectly acceptable under such circumstances as she’d found herself in at the time, as is anger and some measure of violent action in order to free herself, not the sign of dangerous behavior.

Thought of cruel, unnecessary harming of a helpless foe takes it up a notch further though. Actually doing so even further than that. Murder, thoughts of or otherwise, can be the ultimate expression of rage and a mind that might not be all that well.

You will need something in here that shows Twilight was not acting reasonably, or justifiably, before we can take her self-accusations of evilness and danger to others seriously.

>Now, the pillow fight. I knew this was questionable.


>Twilight letting her inner violence out really IS meant to be a good thing. She trusts herself with it.


I would have actually found it very nice and quite possibly poignant, had it felt like the moment was truly her finding herself trustworthy, instead of a random act of randomness. The changeover from guilt to acceptance was simply too quick, even given the little actual development the issue itself seemed to have. Had there been more before this moment, I would have likely found it a lot more charming and satisfying. The scene was nice, the build-up to it was less so.

>Her stealing all the pillows, then knocking over her neat pile, is symbolic.


Clever, and see above.

>At the end, Twilight realizes that she's participated in a whole bunch of chaos, and made a big mess, and abandoned the task she thought was so important… and that it's okay.


It’s the fact that the “loose control of herself” plot-thread feels dropped without a real resolution which is the problem for me, not the “OCD” bit. This would have been a fine sum-up, had the real issue felt like it had been properly discussed and resolved before this point.

>The obsessive organizing and the fact that Twilight wants to do good with a power that she's afraid of are the links to the prompt.


So, is this a story about how the OCD is the good intention gone wrong (helping her control herself, before turning into a dangerous obsession), or the power which is hard to control and she feels cannot be used for good at all, despite how much she wants to?

I’d argue that they need to be more separate entities if it was supposed to be “both”, with the OCD given a more muted role in the overall plot. Which could be accomplished by simply beefing out the true conflict more, which is the fear that she’s going to hurt someone if she’s not extremely careful every second of every day, hiding behind her routines in order to maintain her control.

Giving that more focus allows us to see what the OCD for what it really is: merely a sign of the underlying problem, which is a very strong feeling of self-doubt. Fear of abusing, or misusing, power is a very, very deep fear for anyone who’s in a place to truly do so (granted that they aren’t either lunatics or souls made of 95% pure, unpasteurized evil), so expand on that fear and let us really feel it. Make the fear our own to some extent.

You can also expand on the resolution a bit more in the process. Let her friends bring up examples where she used her power for good, Twilight where she was tempted to do so for evil. Back and forth and back and forth, let the war of words rage, Twilight battling to prove to her friends why she doesn’t deserve to have such power even as they try to show her why she does.

There’s so much room for depth in here, so flesh it out and give it some. You have most of the bones, so add some real meat and see how it looks. Again, it isn’t the plot so much as it’s the “why”s you’ve left behind that really need to be answered before the end comes around; not so much “revision”, but “addition”, in order to make this as clear as possible. I know there’s an argument for quality over quantity, and I agree with it, but I think you need some quantity to help with your quality. It isn’t your usage of language, which seems fine enough (especially given its origins in a Write-Off. I doubt my own is much better), but I don’t think I could swim in what feels like a glass of water. Even if it was the purest, sweetest water available, it simply isn’t deep enough for me to truly immerse myself in right now. I can swallow it, sure, but I can’t really put myself in it yet.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author: "Let Me Be Your Armor" 4729

>>4727
Delicious feedback!
I probably needed at least one more scene in the middle. The Serious Talk in the second scene is taking place months, if not a few years, after the first, and I didn't really make that pacing clear. The timing of the final scene, I hope, is a bit clearer - it's in the winter, so it's almost certainly at least ~2 years after the first scene.

And apparently, I was too subtle on the subject of alicorns. Every direct reference to their mother is as a *pegasus*, and I make a passing note that their father took special care of the passing *unicorns* (there is a bit of contradiction when I later state that he was fairly removed from northern politics, so that may have slipped past). My idea is that there's nothing particularly special preventing an alicorn from being born to a pegasus/unicorn couple, it's simply the separation of the races that keeps them vanishingly rare. Even Celestia realizes that the biology is nothing interesting: "not the birds and the bees, mother." Their mother just knows that there are probably others, somewhere, especially since the south seems to have worked out some sort of peace.

Regarding unifying the themes, I'm not sure where to improve. Perhaps that additional scene might have helped? I think I was fairly explicit in the final message, that Celestia was so alternately sheltered, and wounded by the same, that she would go on to unwittingly inflict that childhood on her sister in turn. I think I can agree that it could use a more fleshed-out buildup.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author: "Let Me Be Your Armor" 4730

Crusading with Good Intentions:
Very good. Captures the feel of the show well with its use of recurring canon gags and themes. Felt a little lengthy, but if the Cutie Mark Chronicles could squeeze into 22 minutes, this could be an episode as well.

Biggest complaint is that, especially at the beginning, the Crusader's voices are very weird. For opening dialogue would have felt more natural in my mind were Scoot and AB switched. It gets better as the piece progresses, possibly because more of the dialogue involves characters outside of the Crusaders?

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4731

>>4728
Real quick one last explanation.

Pinkie's idea was to let Twilight have fun being broken of her OCD i.e. her method of keeping herself under control. Showing herself that she can let go and trust herself.

The OCD and the distrust were quite linked >:

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4732

>>4729

Yes, I totally thought of that! It's a very nice message.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4733

I shouldn't be posting one at a time, but this one can go on its own.

Untitled Journal
Why the hell did you write this?

First Set of Story Comments 4735

Managed to get through the first 8 stories in the list today (not counting my own).
I wanted to get through 9 for halfsies sake, but technically I'm there by word count and I'm tired now so whatever.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on what I've read so far for each (spoilers):

The Ends
I was somewhat confused by what exactly was happening early on, but I felt it picked up nicely after that. The biggest concerns I had for this tale was the obvious need of proofreading and the strings of short/choppy sentences that interrupted the flow from time to time. Most of the time I enjoyed the descriptions and details, but at times scenes felt muddled and drowned by it. I thought the overall plot and ideas were great though! I also loved the subtleties of sneaking in lore of the mane 6 with events/locations.


Crusading with Good Intentions
I actually really enjoyed what the story was offering, but was sorely disappointed at the abrupt incompleteness of it. I felt the story had a great flow to it, the characters were represented well, and I didn't find very many mistakes. Oh, and I totally called the ending early on, which may or may not be a bad thing.


Cloud Stories

This story made me laugh the hardest so far. I thought you did a great job of representing the characters, it had a great flow to it, and I just enjoyed the story as a whole. The biggest issue, which I'm sure you're already quite aware, is the shoddy proof-reading as it gets near the end.


Let Me Be Your Armor
I thought the writing was pretty fluid throughout, with only the occasional hiccup with sentence issues. I found the premise to be interesting, but also felt that the story was far from complete (plot holes of a more literal variety). I am guessing that's due to the time constraints of the event (I know that's what got me to cut out 3 scenes worth of stuff, dumb ex-coworkers).


Untitled Journal
To be honest, I didn't really like the story's premise much (not going to let it affect how I vote, just didn't suit my tastes personally). Having said that, I thought the presentation was well done and I didn't find many errors in the writing. The story did seem to lack a lot of background information and the general state of affairs of Equestria at the time which I found disappointing and felt should have been worked somehow. Early on, I was thinking 'The Jungle' before it took a hard turn for WWII.


Only Good Intentions
I found the guard bit to be the most amusing part. I also found the premise to be very believable, mostly thanks to the heavy influence of one canon episode in particular. That being said, the overall readability suffered too often due to grammar or sentence structure issues (ignoring Spike's letter). The character dialogue seemed really strong for every pony. Spike, sadly, is not a pony though and I felt his speaking bits were a little out of tune (his actions were fine).


Those Who Aim to Please
HERPERTERTES! Sorry, that's the 'key word' I used for your story and it amuses me (it's because I can't remember the word for Abacus's condition). Anyway, I found Abacus to be a great character with exceptional depth for such a short exposure. And adding to that, I felt you hit the nail on the head with every pony (except the mule of a dad, you didn't hit him nearly hard enough). The read flowed so well and there were so few noticeable errors, that it was extremely jarring when one was hit.


Fillies, Flying, and Friendship
(please don't read this until after you have read my story, thanks!)
This your own story you dunce! Go home! But yeah, I can't believe you cut out three scenes! This effectively halved it's length and killed a lot of the early build up and motivations to create stronger feels later on! I mean, how do you cut out the first day of school and practically the entire weekend adventure? Also, I bet next time maybe you'll read up on how to write dialogue BEFORE you write a dialogue heavy story! Let's just hope nobody notices and is for some reason enamored by your failures as a human being. Go cry me a river!


Making Friends
The biggest thing going for this story? That awesome plot twist at the end! The worst thing? I was way turned off at the opening bits. It felt really confusing and it didn't seem to have a reason for it. I can't really put a finger as to why right now (would need to reread), but it made it into my shorthand notes. Your overall writing had good grammar, but some of the transitioning of scenes felt awkward (perhaps intentional to strengthen the ending bit). Although I enjoyed the inclusion of Foster's world, this can be a strong hindrance to any reader that does not understand how that universe operates (I actually don't fully understand it myself, but just enough for your story).


If anyone wants a more detailed analysis/review/critique from me for whatever reason, I'll gladly give it. BUT! Only after I get through the ten stories I have left to read. Oh, and nothing I say is of ill intent by any means and please, PLEASE give me some awesome critiquing back! It is my first tale after all.

Anonymous 4736

>>4733
I wanted to convey the rapt of nationalism and how it can lead good people to do bad things. Unfortunately, I didn't have time for any of the impact to actually be there – the majority of the story is just introducing the simple-minded narrator.

So, yeah.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4737

>>4736
What you wrote has some nice ideas to it, but it's not pony fanfiction.

And even as to the ideas it has to it, I already read Animal Farm a long time ago.

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4739

Cloud Stories:
The humor was excellent. Pinkie was Pinkie, Derpy was reasonably characterized, and the faux-shipping and magnets reference were appreciated. Maybe a little too scientific on the magnets, though.

The sudden perspective shift for Pinkie was a bit jarring and the explanation late. The ending felt off, too. It was only hiccups, sure, but it felt too serious, too business-like, after the lightheartedness of the rest of the story.


Untitled Journal:
The political bent to the story strikes me as decades old. There's validity to the subject, and it may be of some special relevance to you, but the battle of the -isms seems old hat.

The outright warfare at the end forced me to stop reading. I'm sorry. You're on the prompt, and that's the best I can offer.


Only Good Intentions:
I noted the oddity of Twilight's break-in routine, and then you addressed it believably in the very next paragraph. Nicely done. Also liked the way you subverted the alternate definition of "clop."

The climax was disappointing. Luna says a word, and suddenly everything is okay again. A little more embellishment on the struggle, some back-and-forth to the dialogue would help. It just seems too clean like this.

That said, I like your vision for Tartarus and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.


Those Who Aim to Please:
Half these stories so far touch or focus on Cutie Mark Concern Syndrome. Are we all fixated or something?[/freud] (I'm guilty too) But anyways. Slightly disappointed that Apple Bloom didn't get her cutie mark in petty theft, there.

This is totally unrelated to the story, and I know it's a consequence of the stylesheet, but I had to laugh when I got to "AbacusTABsummonedTABupTABallTABof…". I AM REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS EXTROVERSION THING I NEED MY SPACE(S). Seriously, you're on the better end of a formatting fail. =)

Poor Abacus has all of my feels. I think the pivotal intentions in this story are AB's merely innocent, not good, intentions in "borrowing" the blueprints, but there are certainly well-meaning folks and a happy ending, so I'm not too put off.

Excellently written dialogue, very in-character.

Overprotecting and Overreacting 4741

Fillies, Flying, and Friendship

I really liked the story. Dialogue is believable and characters actually have characters.
My only problem with this is its length: the story ends too soon: bullies scene feels too alien to the rest of the story: it introduces new characters only to throw them under the bus.


To Dine with my Enemy
OC feels too OP. His cutie mark feels unnecessary complex and screams "villain sue" because of colors, which is confirmed later: he somehow managed to put strong magic ponies in caskets. Dialogue is also hugely biased towards him and his huge answers, while Twilight is either flipping tables or telling that death sentence is bad. He doesn't behave like someone whose " body was almost emaciated".

4742

>>4741
Glad you liked it! For your comments:

I addressed this somewhat in my self critique, but I had made the decision to cut out 3 pieces of what I planned so I could have a 'complete' story done in time. It was supposed to begin with the first day of camp going through the perspectives of RD, Fluttershy, and Firefly (in that order), followed by events throughout the week to set up the weekend. The bullies were originally planned to pop in and out during the week while RD was distracted/hidden by her growing following. There was also supposed to be an actual tangible adventure for Fluttershy to show some growth, but I didn't have the time to write it (I really hate when coworkers up and quit, forcing me to pick up shifts on my weekend). I'll definitely flesh this one out fully once I get all the feedback I can get and put it up on Fimfiction. Again, thanks!

4743

File: 1363714212626.png (157.16 KB, 450x366, IAMthehighestlevelunicorn.png)

Welp, I was about to go and read the entries so I could give my "reviews" of them, but little did I know how friggin' many there'd be.

Where was everyone during the last writeoff? *sigh* Oh well, I guess I'll still review a few of them, just gotta find ones that I like now.

4745

>>4743
Oh, oh! Review mine please! It's my first and I need all the helpful spite, I mean, critique I can get!

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4746

Only Good Intentions
Hamfisted and telly. I feel like a reviewer wanting to encourage the author here to keep writing and keep learning.


Those Who Aim to Please
Kinda the same. Lousy hook, less than inspiring dialogue, plodding progression broken up by not nearly enough gags. This is covered with signs of of "I'm just trying my hand at this." As such, I won't comment on how hard I hate] your Applejack accent. Oh wait, I just did.

I also don't like your characters' internal monologues. Having characters essentially "talk to themselves" is not a good way to tell their motives and ideas. Nice ending, though, what with the chekov's gun. I would say that it should link back to the story at large and wrap stuff up, but you didn't really have anything running constantly through your story at large.


Fillies, Flying, and Friendship
I was going to give rather extensive criticism here, but then I realized that what I was typing was basically hating on the story. That would be rude; I don't want to dismiss or discourage the effort here. Suffice to say that I found it hard to get past the author's weak "writing chops," so to speak.


Making Friends
I don't like the dialogue in the bit where Mom and Dad come to take the imaginary friend away, but that's a minor thing. This was wonderful in all kinds of ways. This is almost certainly another for my top list. Thank you, author, for writing this.

There are a few little bits that hurt the ending, though. Convincing us so hard that BETHANY is the one who's growing up, with things like boys and music, might be too much. Maybe if you make it more obvious that Lyra is just projecting her growing-up-ness onto Bethany? Like, Bethany is only getting a crush because she's growing up alongside Lyra, and Lyra understands that now? And earbuds… earbuds and music seem like such a straight-up cliche for "girl going into her tweens". In retrospect, yeah–that would be really cool, wouldn't it? To have it so that Bethany's growing-up already seems to the reader to be kind of just copying Lyra's growing up. That would make for a really great "ohhhh" moment at the reveal.

Also, it threw me (and I'm pretty sure it will throw everyone) that the parents know about imaginary friends and about Foster's. I'm also not a fan of the very ending with Jason. First, Jason's name comes up a total of ONE time, so I had forgotten him. Second, it's ending on something inconsequential instead of ending with the big awesome reveal.

I think the reason I wrote more for you than for others is \because I want you to fix this up and make it really good, and then post it on Fimfiction so that I can re-read it, and fave it, and plug it to other people.


No Quixote Here
I cannot think of a single way to improve this thing. I was grinning almost the whole way through. I suppose the ending wasn't a very clean wrap-up; it just kind of took things back to the status quo, albeit with a lesson learned.


Life Less Frightening
I'm sure I could go back over and pick at the writing if I wanted to, but it successfully carried the idea of Luna watching Stardust grow and change and it had at least some success of giving the reader a connection to Luna. I mostly like this because I like the technique of taking this story, then having a "surprise" ending that links it to something we already know from outside the story.

I feel that this is heavy-handed; that this could have been done better if it was subtle instead of direct. First, you could make it believable that Luna was becoming obsessed. Second, you could spend more time and effort on Stardust's breakdown. Having Stardust sobbing, and having it because of a terrible tragedy, and straight-up telling us what that tragedy was in the same scene, is unworthy of what you have going on here. Mostly, though, I really enjoyed this.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4747

>>4746
Hey, thanks for the time to make a review!

I agree with all of your points to the faults in the story. I blame the fact that I intended to get most of the writing done Saturday, which as fate would have it, didn't happen. It was Sunday when I realized what I was writing needed to be flushed out, needed to have more scenes, needed to be more subtle; yet I had that realization when I was about a third of the way through, and there were about three hours left. As a result, everything declined, the latter half especially being nothing more than just a skeleton of what I wanted to write.

Excuses aside, I did have fun writing it. After all is said and done I'll definitely be rewriting it into a quality piece.

An Asshat 4748

File: 1363755396603.gif (18.07 KB, 500x800, JAKETHISISUS.gif)

My votes were determined by the creativity of the story titles and nothing more, so best of luck!

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4750

>>4747
Something that would make the obsession angle quite a bit more believable: If Luna didn't think of her rebellion as being about him, but as being about how beautiful the night is because, for her, the night is about her relationship with Stardust.



Overprotective and Overreacting:What(sic) if Chrysalis Never Existed?
See comments on Fillies, Flying, and Friendship. I feel that English may not be your mother tongue, so I won't hate too hard on this, except that I was not able to enjoy it.
This post was edited by its author on .

4752

>>4746
It's perfectly fine if you don't care for my story and I expected there to be plenty of issues with it to begin with. I know I've already critiqued myself quite a bit about it already (I cut out about half of what I planned to write to ensure I could finish on time). If there's any criticism you feel you could offer me that could aid in the growth of my writing in any way it would be greatly appreciated, even if it involves putting the story I wrote in a vice. I'm an adult and am no stranger to rejection or shortcomings and some stranger on the internet, no matter how rude or hateful, could dissuade me from pursuing my own interests.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4753

Fillies, Flying, and Friendship:
You get credit for your backstories on these two. Very plausible explanations for their personalities, and meshes well with canon. Also refreshing to read about good intentions gone good, rather than seeing the theme subverted in almost every other story here.

Could use some work in terms of structure and word variety, but considering the time constraint, I won't rate too harshly on that count. Everypony "squeaks", for example - change up the wording, even if just to state in plain words that their voices cracked or broke. Look over the paragraph before Fluttershy freezes at the door for places you could use some added punctuation to help with flow.

Using single quotes to denote internal thoughts was not at all clear to me until the two of them started actually conversing. Single vs double quotes is too visually subtle. You did a good job utilizing that to segue from Fluttershy's internal monologue into her first conversation with Dash, but as the story goes on and that confusion stops being desirable, I think you would have done better to mark them differently, even at the cost of losing that stylization at the first occurence.

Faux-shipping is entertaining, but in this story it definitely veers into uncomfortable territory. The room number mixup forms an excellent trap against speed readers. Well played there, but we're dealing with fillies. Had you left it at that, ha-ha, okay, minds in the gutter, you got us. But your language and imagery when RD wakes up Fluttershy, and the wings-that-totally-aren't-proxy-breasts size comparison, sounds creepy and a type of fanservice I'm just not comfortable with (especially, again, considering their age). Maybe you were just going for youthful un-self-consciousness, but I feel like you missed if you were. Probably because those elements were already bothering me, I was a little put off by Firefly's dominatrix act in the final scene as well, but at this point I'm not sure I'm maintaining objectivity.


Making Friends:
Well. Bucking. Played. The reveals were great, and the writing beautifully fluid. I'm generally not fond of crossovers, but the choice fits the fandom and it doesn't become an element until the reader is invested. Good show!


No Quixote Here:
Solid and largely entertaining. My biggest complaint is that Fancypants lacked his normal decorum. It's justifiable, but feels off.


Life Less Frightening:
Well, that's a different take on the Sisters' Conflict. Unfortunately, I don't feel like you really built up Luna to fall into such delusional grief, or for Stardust to commit suicide. There's just too much character building that's never shown.


Overprotecting and Overreacting:
Distracting level of technical errors, and most of the voices fail to capture the characters beyond merest caricatures, if that. No sense of larger structure, it just starts sad and gets sadder until the ending seems inevitable. Not sure if you're implying suicide in that final line, and I'm not sure which interpretation is worse.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4754

>>4752

Here's the review I deleted.

Less than great mechanics again, and again, all kinds of "incorrect" decisions that a /fic/ reviewer would beat out of the author in short order. Seriously, I want to make this bleed with a red pen. Telling, talking heads, lavender unicorns, single quotes, and weak said-isms and adverbs all over this bitch. THIS is a very large part of why I found the writing to be weak. There are many, many specific issues that read as "wrong" to my eye. I need to get to other stuff so ask me again once the contest is over and you know who I am.

Reading this quickly became obligation instead of leisure. I think it's just that I'm having trouble getting past the technical/style problems. Flutters and Dashie are just heavy-handed reflections of their canon traits. The plot spends most of its time just being the obvious "be Fluttershy's friend" story, which nearly obscures the actually interesting bits like Rainbow Dash's parents and Fluttershy talking to herself.

Since I'm going into depth now, I should note that Rainbow Dash's parents are explained in a conversation that goes sorta long instead of having it come out in an interesting way, and Fluttershy talking to herself is supremely awkward dialogue every time.

It's funny, I really don't like how you wrote Fluttershy talking to herself, but on the other hand I understand the idea of having it be "thoughts" and she doesn't think of it as talking to herself. I don't like giving "how I would do it" examples, because then I'm worried that my example will influence the author too much, but I find it hard to give any general suggestions for this.

Anyway, all of that misses my main complaints–your writing is what you should be working on. Since I'm being invited to, I'll go and grab a few bits that I thought were very weak writing.

>Seeing the Rainbow maned filly she was semi cursing in her mind just minutes before caused the grieving filly to give a look of sheer terror expressed across her tear stained face.

"semi-cursing" and such things that you'd say in conversation, but that are incorrect, generally should not be in the descriptive narrator voice. This is also a big, ugly sentence. Also there are two Lavender Unicorn Syndrome things and I dislike both of them in this specific case. Finally, you have some show-don't-tell problems going on here at a moment when I really want description. "Tear-stained" is good, but I'd tear this sentence down and write something new.

>Rainbow Dash brushed her teeth in a hurry, threw on her blue and lightning bolt covered pajamas, and jumped into her top bunk before Fluttershy had time to spit out her rinsing water. Fluttershy didn’t mind at all at her friend’s habit to rush around and took her time to turn out the light and climb into bed. The two fillies said good night to each other and each made their way to dreamland.

I don't like idioms like "made their way to dreamland." "Fluttershy didn't mind at all" is seriously, seriously telling–it's the narrator voice telling something simple and not even emotional that's inside a character's head. The descriptions here are boring and don't convey any kind of feeling or meaning.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author of "Assumptions" 4759

I'm halfway through my readings, so I thought I'd post what I have so far. The feeling when no one is going to read your story because it's really long and last in the list.

Let Me Be Your Armor:
While interesting, this mostly comes off as an exercise in headcanon and worldbuilding, and as such, is not precisely a story. The only real plot occurs during the conversation between Celestia and her mother, and that scene suffers greatly from 'talking heads', i.e. a lack of any emotion or action cues, such that the characters may as well be conversing in a blank void. I did enjoy reading this for what it was, though; the use of present tense supported and shaped the narrative voice, and I loved a lot of little touches, especially the use of the Element of Inspiration. If you were to expand this, and I would recommend doing so, I would suggest focusing on that conversation and Celestia's status as a symbol of tribal unity. Also, lose the weather report opening.


The Ends:
I think this has the extreme potential to be an excellent and memorable story. It is, however, painfully obvious that you didn't have time to edit more than the first few scenes. Beyond that, I found the writing ever so slightly irritating, full of sentences that were choppy internally as well as against one another, neither of which did much to help most scenes. The dialogue, however, shone through immediately, and the world-building in this piece is stunning. I mean, I'd thought it was set in the past, for one. The ending, though, was a bit of a head-scratcher, and I've really no idea what happened. What was the purpose of bringing the apple there? What did it actually cause to happen, and what will become of their having done that? Anyway, finish up that editing (paying careful attention to lay/lie confusion) and maybe throw another look at the ending, and you've got yourself a real winner here.


Crusading With Good Intentions:
While the dialogue has a tendency to be difficult to follow, owing to a lack of proper tagging, and there are some issues with dialogue punctuation, this is a competently-written entry, time-out ending aside. That said, I can't help feeling like I've seen it before. "The Cutie Mark Crusaders go crusading and interact with each of the mane six" has been done quite a bit, and this doesn't really add anything to the genre. The planned ending is cute as hell, yes, but getting there was not turning out to be all that interesting, especially as Apple Bloom and Scootaloo's initial failures bring to mind the "neglecting to notice their own talents" gag from Show Stoppers.


Untitled Journal:
I long to an explanation of what those dates mean. Use of the name "Maine" is very confusing, as it does not seem to have been ponified in the least. Beyond that, there are two very large "wham!" moments: the first mention of Communism in what initially appears to be your average slice-of-life journal story about a farmer, and the very end, with its abrupt foreleg-eating. I think, for a journal story, this works well; the voice is natural, without falling into the usual journal trap of over-exposition. That said, I rather wish that the last few entries had a bit more meat on them. The point where our narrator joins the military is the main turning point of the story, and I'd have loved to see more detail put into that change in his personality.


this was never meant to happen:
I do wish spaces had been left between the paragraphs; it's just that much harder to read without, and this is rather difficult to read. There's a marked lack of proper punctuation, both commas and periods, so sentences run into one another. This is, overall, unreadable. I applaud you for entering the contest, however, as that takes guts. My only advice is keep reading and keep writing; I would exhort you to check out style guides as well as the various writing guides that members of this fandom have written.


Overprotecting and Overreacting:
There's no easy way to say this: this is a poorly written piece, with numerous spelling errors and word omissions. Twilight in one scene appears to have a speech impediment, judging by the number of excess u's that appear in her dialogue. The story itself feels rather disconnected, with scenes like the one featuring Applejack and Big Macintosh not apparently related to anything. I would also call Twilight's actions out of character. I thank you for having the courage to enter this contest and put yourself at the mercy of other writers. Should you wish to continue writing, you'll need to work on your language skills first and foremost, to avoid those missing words. There are lots of resources out there for aspiring writers, so look for editors and proofreaders who would be willing to let you lean on them.


Life Less Frightening:
"Unsunneia". Adorable. I'll say that this went a little too quickly for me to really get a grasp on Stardust's character, or his relationship with Luna. Certainly, that could be improved upon with some expansion. As a new take on the creation of Nightmare Moon, I found it creative and enjoyable. There's little else to say, really; this is a good entry.


Making Friends:
I loved every word of this until "Foster's". Then I let out a tremendous groan and couldn't take anything seriously anymore. Being unfamiliar with the show, I don't know if there's anything in the final scene that requires familiarity therewith, and so I don't know if I'm missing anything. I don't think I am, at least, but there's still a sense of, "Whoa, suddenly this is a crossover out of nowhere". I think you made up for it with the major plot twist, at least. I'm not sure why I didn't see that coming. Other than the crossover bobble, my only critique for this would be to slow down. The pacing seems a tad breakneck, and I suspect this was written in a rush close to the end of the contest. In the first scene, this works for the narrative, as it sounds like kids describing their play fantasies, but after that, let it decelerate. Overall, what works for me is Lyra's fanon human obsession hardly ever gets used for anything but comedy. I appreciate the hell out of this story.


Only Good Intentions:
Not a whole lot of story here, coming off as chapter one of a longer piece, and what's here is not well presented. The writing is a little choppy; some variation in sentence structure and moderation of pacing would help with that. There also seems to be some spots where minor details are dwelt upon for far too long. The larger problem, for me, was the dialogue. These characters don't sound like this. It was overall stilted and expository, and the only remedy I have for that is try to imagine the characters saying your lines in their voices. See if it doesn't sound unnatural to you.
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Good Thing I'm So Organized 4760

Man! I feel bad now for disliking entries just because they were technically amateurish. Other people had all these charitable, hugboxy comments for them, and I'm the only angry grammar nazi around…

Well, Assumptions up there is too, sort of, so at least I'm not totally alone in that category.

>The feeling when no one is going to read your story

Yeah, mine is deep in too, though I suppose mine has a much better chance than yours of getting hit by someone who's picking at random and not sequentially.

I also feel that mine has a couple of very clear markers for who I am, so we'll see if people are all "oh, I had a FEELING that was you" at the end.
This post was edited by its author on .

Author of "No Quixote Here" 4761

As expected, there is indeed a plethora of technical errors to work through, but I hope it doesn't detract too much. S'what I get for trying to write 7000 odd words on the last day of the write-off! I finished with only two minutes on the clock, so I'm willing to accept that the ending is hurried and sloppy. Thanks to those of you who reviewed it so far, glad to see reception was positive so far, even if it wasn't mind-blowing.

4762

Finished the lot of them! It was mostly enjoyable to read through each of the works and my comments here are just my small short hand notes. If you want me to provide a more in depth review/critique just ask. Also, any review/critique of my own submission is greatly appreciated. I know it needs a lot of work already and a few tips and some guidance would do wonders! Anyway, my 'reviews!':

No Quixote Here
This story was awesome. I was thoroughly entertained by a character I really didn't care to be entertained by. The prompt was well struck, the flow and pacing was great. My only thoughts on what could make it better is fixing the rare grammar issue that wormed it's way through and perhaps making Twilight less enraptured by Blueblood; It just seemed a bit unnatural to me, but that may just be a me thing.


Life Less Frightening
Given some more work (that is to say, completed), I could see myself loving this story. As it stands, readability towards the end drops drastically and there just wasn't enough scenes to portray the kind of bond Luna would need to go full Nightmare at the end. Speaking of scenes though, I think you did a great job with the transitions as a whole.


Overprotecting and Overreacting
I had a tough time reading this and found myself trying to get through it as fast as possible. It definitely needs proofreading for this is effectively preventing the story from being readable or understandable. That being said, I do see the premise in all this and my only criticism on that is that I don't see nearly enough motivation for Twilight to go cliff diving at the end.


Flight Drills
Your story flowed well and I enjoyed the Scootalove. It could use one more proofread to be sure (I think I've said that for every story), and some of the characters are just ever so off. I think RD should have made more of an effort to chase Scoots initially before failing and seeking help and AJ's comment at the end of the diner scene made no sense to me given it contradicted what had just occurred.


Good Thing I'm So Organized
There really isn't much for me to say on this one. 'To Dine with my Enemy' pretty much nailed everything that made itself apparent to me. I read his critique after I read your story and I'm in agreement with all his points.


The Good Intentions of the Great and Powerful
The story had a good flow to it and I found it to be very believable. It needs some more proofreading, but none of the errors that made it through were disruptive in any way. My biggest critique is that you brought up 'intentions' and 'heart' a little too often and there was one paragraph in particular where I thought it was every other word.


To Dine with my Enemy
Your assassin pony is CRAZY. That being said, I didn't notice any errors that I can recall and you brought a unique aspect to the canon world. BUT SERIOUSLY!? WTF!? YOU KILLED FLUTTERSHY!? DAMN YOU!!! Uh, thank you hide feature… more like evil intentions… Enjoyed the read!


Within a World of Dreams
This was really well written as far as grammar and flow are concerned. I gaped at the quickness of the Twi's shift in character and then had an 'oh you' moment with Luna's explanation. However, with more time, I think you should remove that bit and actually flesh out the controversy and conversion to its fullest potential.


Assumptions, or Making an Ass Out of You and Me
The story had a great pacing and I didn't find any real issues within the writing. But I must say, ponies are racist! As far as how enjoyable I thought it was, I found it to be interesting but not particularly entertaining.


this was never meant to happen
As far as story points, my only real concern is that it's almost gorey. You addressed all the other blatant issues with your own note so I won't delve into that.

4763

So here's some quick reviews of some of the stories. I plan to eventually read them all and review them if time permits.

Making Friends
Starting off confused. Who is this Bethany character? What are they doing? I need context!
Oh… they are playing at superheroes or some children's game.

'must have gone several miles'… That takes quite a while…
Everfree forest, eh? Isn't that dangerous? Why would they go there? Unless this is all some child's fantasy make-belief game…

'her hand coming away with a deep-red smudge on it'. I thought these were ponies, I guess they are humanized then, that was a bit jarring.

Lyra gave an apologetic grimace and pushed Bethany back with a hoof. Oh wait is Lyra a pony and Bethany a human then?

What about parents?
Ah there they are. The context is slowly coming in…

Ooh, that's kind of a dark and foreboding feeling, I like it, and I hope I get some more context before this is over.

Oh… I get it… I've seen an episode or two of Foster's.

Okay so overall, I'd say this story was quite jarring at the beginning. I had to do double-takes at a few parts just to make sure I read it right. While having a sense of mystery can be great for immersion, when you don't have enough context, the reader has to work hard to visualize the scene in front of them. There was a nice dark foreboding feel that was accompanied with whenever Bethany had to interact with her parents. I thought the story was going to go with Bethany being 'crazy' and her parents trying to convince her that Lyra wasn't real. So it ended brighter than I had thought. But it still didn't, at least in my opinion, capture the sense of loss as well as it could have.

The writing was good, grammar-wise, nothing jarring and it flowed well enough. Thank you for writing.



Good Thing I'm so Organized:

That scene change to Celestia and Twilight was kind of jarring…
Overall, not a bad story and it certainly lives up to the prompt. It kept my attention from beginning to end, although the ending did feel a wee bit rushed, but maybe that was just because of Pinkie Pie. Also I'm still slightly unsure as to why Twilight organized Rarity's boutique, other than because she likes to be organized. Still, I enjoyed it. Thanks for writing it.


this was never meant to happen:
First off, it's not following the contest standards for paragraphs. And the lack of Capital letters in the tittle irritates me.
In the first sentence there's already a lot of punctuation issues. After reading the beginning segment, it becomes irritating to tread through the words. I can't stay immersed as I'm reading, sorry I have to stop just short of a thousand words. This should have been edited before being submitted. And I'll just stop there.


Life Less Frightening
Nice use of imagery to ease us into the story.
There were a few patches where the words could be reworked to make grammatical sense, but not enough to really break my immersion.
I liked the interaction between Luna and Stardust. A nice simple story and I enjoyed it. Probably my favourite of these that I've read so far. Great job!


I'm glad we got such a large turnout. Thanks for writing everyone! :)

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4764

>>4759

Eeyup. That's all fair.

Armor is absolutely a chunk of my headcanon, though there's a much larger history I'd like to build. It's simply a section that I felt matched the prompt; I wanted to tell it and so I ran.

The second scene is getting a lot of criticism for being too talky, and I'd like some ideas for addressing that. I wrote it as a conversation so that I could keep the focus on Celestia's question, and to avoid getting sidetracked by needing to show her mother much. I could try a different setting for the scene, but my concept for her childhood gives me a limited selection of characters to choose from.

Not entirely surprised that the daydream takes some criticism, since I wrote it first and never revised it once I got into the groove of things. I'll see what can be done there.

And thank you for catching the Inspiration reference. =)

Author of "The Ends" 4766

Thank you all for reading and giving an opinion on my story! I'm taking all of your advice and critique to heart, and so far, I am thrilled about the positive reception. I'll start posting my own reviews tomorrow.

>>4716
>>4714
>>4705
Thank you so much for your words! It really warms my heart to know that I've had such an effect on somebody.

I'll definitely read and review your story in my next post, but meanwhile, would you be kind as to expand on your review? I know that the ending is iffy, but I'd really like to know what elements you liked/didn't like about the story in particular.

>>4726
Thank you for your critique—you've pointed out quite a few rather important bits I should look into.

The repetitive action is a problem that I've realized after writing the story. Can I say in my defense that I've never written an action scene before?

The hoof is actually pretty meat-y for what it is. The bottom contains a soft pad called a "frog" that helps in blood circulation, so there is definitely something in there to freeze off. Though I agree that "bony hooves" should better be "bony legs."

Yes, the tinderwheel is an original concept I've thought up for another, cancelled story. I've not seen it in other stories, though I wouldn't be surprised to—it's really not much of an invention.

Huh, didn't catch that bit with the torch, thanks for pointing it out. As for Juniper's allegiance: She is one of the "followers" of the hornheads, affected not by the miasma, but by the lingering spirit of the corrupted Element of Laughter residing in Cinderhorn. It's the same thing that makes the hornheads paint smiles on their faces. Juniper is too far gone to be saved from it, and the realization made Flint consider joining the hornheads alowing the spirit to almost take him under its control—"A pink haze descended." This scene is where I've truly started to rush, so I'll definitely come back and expand upon it and make everything clearer.

To be frank, I've disliked how I've handled the whole scene with Zigzag. As with everything else, I blame time constraints.


I also thank you for giving such an honest appraisal despite my fic not being your cup of tea.

>>4735
Thanks for the review! May I get an expanded one? One of my goals when writing this was to focus practicing my descriptions, so I'd really like to hear where you thought I succeeded, and where the scene seemed to have too much of it. In addition to anything else you might think noteworthy.

I'll definitely include a review of your story in my next post.

>>4759
Thank you for your vote of confidence. I'll definitely edit this piece into something better. I'm a little surprised that you've liked my dialogue—I thought that it was my weakness!

As was noted before, the ending is severely rushed—it's only somewhere between a half and two thirds of what should have been there, wordcount-wise. As a result, a lot of clarity and explanation is lost. This is what is implied/missing from the explanation(obvious spoilers ahead, so definitely don't read before you read the story):

The golden apple did nothing. It was a lie created by the Grove of Truth—the corrupted Spirit of Honesty. Monsoon ate a fruit from the grove and had her vision. The Grove created the golden apple for no other reason as to draw the heroes into a trap.

After Zigzag's explanation and speech during the ceremony, Flint realizes its true nature. He steals the apple from Monsoon so that she wouldn't try to come back to Cinderhorn herself, and lets her escape as he heads for the tower. He throws the useless apple away and runs to the room with the altar. The corrupted Spirit of Magic attacks him with telekinesis, but the altar room is immune to its presence. When the key turns, its Zigzag using his magic.

The apple is useless, but the altar housing the Elements of Harmony is very fragile, as Zigzag is worried that something as little as a stray bolt would destroy everything. The effects of a stick of dynomite exploding next to it are pretty obvious.

What happens after is left for interpretation. At the very least, with the corrupted spirits gone, the world at least has a chance for recovery.

Oh, also: in the notes I've made for the story, the corrupted spirits are called The Ends of The Elements, so that's one of the title interpretations. Shame that I couldn't put it into the story in any way, except for the "the ends justify the means" line.


I've had a lot of fun writing this (and some pain and frustration, too), and now I'm looking forward to reading the other stories and getting more feedback.

And, of course, I've got a vague idea of who of the regulars wrote which story, and guessing these things is at least half the whole fun in the contest.
This post was edited by its author on .

4772

>>4753
Thanks for the review! I'll address some of the issues here:

[quote] You get credit for your backstories on these two. Very plausible explanations for their personalities, and meshes well with canon. Also refreshing to read about good intentions gone good, rather than seeing the theme subverted in almost every other story here. [/quote]

This is good to hear because these were my main goals, though I personally feel like I had to cut out a lot of what I intended to put in place for their backstories. As for things going well in the end, I'm just a sucker for happy endings.

[quote] Could use some work in terms of structure and word variety, but considering the time constraint, I won't rate too harshly on that count. Everypony "squeaks", for example - change up the wording, even if just to state in plain words that their voices cracked or broke. Look over the paragraph before Fluttershy freezes at the door for places you could use some added punctuation to help with flow. [/quote]

This was something I was already aware of when I looked it over post submission. Especially the wording… for the life of me I don't know why I didn't have a thesaurus open when I was writing this. I myself, was annoyed by how often I use squeaked in particular (I noticed because I misspelled the word every single time).

[quote] Using single quotes to denote internal thoughts was not at all clear to me until the two of them started actually conversing. Single vs double quotes is too visually subtle. You did a good job utilizing that to segue from Fluttershy's internal monologue into her first conversation with Dash, but as the story goes on and that confusion stops being desirable, I think you would have done better to mark them differently, even at the cost of losing that stylization at the first occurence. [/quote]

This is a great point and I agree entirely. I actually wanted to put all the 'thought' pieces in italics but did not get around to formatting it (shame on me). I also initially planned for Fluttershy to do more talk vs thought in scenes prior that I never wrote.

[quote] Faux-shipping is entertaining, but in this story it definitely veers into uncomfortable territory. The room number mixup forms an excellent trap against speed readers. Well played there, but we're dealing with fillies. Had you left it at that, ha-ha, okay, minds in the gutter, you got us. But your language and imagery when RD wakes up Fluttershy, and the wings-that-totally-aren't-proxy-breasts size comparison, sounds creepy and a type of fanservice I'm just not comfortable with (especially, again, considering their age). Maybe you were just going for youthful un-self-consciousness, but I feel like you missed if you were. Probably because those elements were already bothering me, I was a little put off by Firefly's dominatrix act in the final scene as well, but at this point I'm not sure I'm maintaining objectivity. [/quote]

HOLY COW I DID NOT INTEND THIS AS SHIPPING! As far as room number mix-up goes, that was a complete accident. I picked those entirely out of logistics because I didn't want there to be 80+ rooms of fillies and 61 was the smallest number I came up with as flippable. As for the RD prank to wake Fluttershy, my thought process went as follows (alright, RD gets bored, wants to wake Fluttershy up, I should introduce some pranking habits and I want it to backfire, go with the poking/tickle them as they sleep thing, well let's tickle with feathers but how will RD accomplish this? Filly wings are too short to reach without being immediately next to the target and fillies aren't experienced enough to hover with one wing AND use the other to tease somepony… so I'll just have RD stand over her, logistics solved). I really appreciate this being pointed out though because I'm going to rewrite that bit to where RD just sits next to her and gets her wing caught (this is NOT a shipping story). As for Firefly, and I admit this affects the two fillies a good deal as well, I chose to skip a lot of the character build up from scenes I desired to include from the first day and throughout the week. Firefly suffered the most from this because that's where most of her character comes from (she's trying to have some fun as a class instructor since she was relegated away from her normal flight instructor duties). Rainbow Dash was supposed to be a lot more obnoxious and showy and demonstrating she wasn't forming any real bonds with the other fillies. Fluttershy is supposed to be obsessed with making good impressions in her fresh start away from the orphanage so she can have a friend and not have to talk to Fluttershy anymore (but is struggling greatly with her shyness and inner turmoil). Firefly decides to force a change with the move for what are meant as obvious reasons.

All in all, I'm very thankful for your review! I know now to be more aware of potential shipping hazards I didn't intend, be conscious of repetition (open a thesaurus, maybe), and pay attention the effects of structure.


I have no idea how to do fancy quote text apparently.
This post was edited by its author on .

4773

>>4766
I would be glad to give you a more detailed critique! At this point, I will have to go through your story again, but I don't mind. It may not arrive immediately though.

4775

>>4754
I appreciate the feedback and I definitely learned something from your criticisms.

I had to look up what a lavender unicorn was and, well, now I know. I actually forced them in the writing because I saw it all the time in fanfics I have read and thought it was proper to do so (good to know otherwise). As for what I believe you mean by single quotes, I meant for all those sections to be italicized but never got to formatting those sections. I heartily agree with your criticisms on the pulled examples now that I know better and am aware of what I did (and that idiom does suck, how did I let that slide?).

Although I would be happy for more of your critiquing post-contest, I think it would be easier on both of us if I just find (or get directed to) some writing and style guides. I believe there are some on this site somewhere…

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4777

Finally, finally done. Y'all need to write less or something, I dunno. =P

And, I don't think I ever stated this, but please, tear my piece apart.

>>4772
Reponse to Fillies:
I feel better knowing it was unintentional. I got curious at the room numbers ("nine" and "sixty" adjacent in the text), suspicious at the wake-up (standing over her, unfortunate choice of the word "pleasure"), and started frowning at the flying lessons ("why are hers so much bigger?"), but there was never any focus on the subject so I wasn't ever fully sure. I brought it up because I think that such appearances are definitely worth steering around unless you are intentionally writing a shipfic (or riffing on the idea).


Flight Drills:
Repeated rock metaphor painful, but the second implementation had me laughing despite that. Very good voicing.

Hey there parenting feels, how ya been? Another completely sensible explanation for the RD we know now. Though it might go beyond the scope of this story, I'd love to see more exploration of Harsh Parent'd Rainbow Dash.

The ending was a little pat, a little too "happily ever after". Would have been better if it wasn't literally the next day, but if I imagine it's weeks or months down the line, it works.


Good Thing I'm So Organized:
Continuity failure: this was NOT Twilight's first pillowfight. For shame! Also, there is a typo in "…use the knowledge as a filter for you vast power." =P

Okay, but in all seriousness. You've got the canon examples for the idea that Twilight could actually be a pretty scary pony. The climax and conflict resolution feels off, though, and Pinkie Pie Magic doesn't suffice to explain it. Twilight is distraught by the realization, sure. She goes into hyper-OCD mode to distract herself, gotcha. She even starts inflicting that on her friends, well, okay, we've seen her hypnotize the entire town when she's in a weird mood, I'm with you so far.

Past that, I'm a little lost. I can see her snapping at Rarity, or having an argument, but an actual tear-the-room apart fight? Especially when physical violence is the thing she's so worried about? And then Pinkie fixes it by forcing Twilight to defend herself? I think Twilight could use that prompt to have an epiphany regarding her actions under the castle, but I don't think it does much for her broader concerns. We're definitely not on the same page anymore.

Still, great voicing and mechanically proficient writing. As with Fillies above, I like that you play the prompt straight. I think I see the link to the resolution, I just wish it was made clearer.


Good Intentions of the Great and Powerful:
Oof. "It was a convenient name…" That sentence there is golden.

Neat that you take the "rock farm" concept at face value, rather than try to explain it. Only in the Pie family…

My biggest critique is that it felt like it ran on too long. I thought it was coming to a close as she left the farm, but then you continue on to replay the events at the beginning of Magic Duel. I'm not sure what purpose that extension serves. You certainly weren't hurting for word count, and it feels tacked on.


To Dine with my Enemy:
Wow. I don't even have anything to criticize, except to wonder why Fluttershy always seems to be the first to go?

Just. Damn. Epic feels, serious philosophy, will read again.


Within a World of Dreams:
Twilight's logic for splitting herself seems kinda sketchy, but I suppose anything flies in a dream? I think you rely too much on the dream world to avoid explanations, though.

Your connection between Luna's domains is interesting. Have you ever read The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect? Regardless, tying the stars to individual ponies raises a lot of questions about how that works in a good, worldbuilding sense.

The rift into the dream world is a nice hook if you want to write a sequel.


Assumptions, or Making an Ass Out of You and Me:
Clever title. Your treatment of magic is nicely show-accurate, complete with cutesy spell names. Good show of utilizing minor canon details, like Applejack's time spent among the upper class.

You explore the issue of racism far deeper and with more refinement than I did in Armor. That's to be expected, considering that it's the central focus of your story, but I understand better why you felt my own dialogue should have gotten more focus. You're right on that count.


this was never meant to happen:
Absolutely rife with technical issues. Non-canon Discord, no effort into voicing the characters. I don't think it's on the prompt, because I don't think Crusading counts as good intent, and even if it does the story just reduces to "We had a good idea and then we died" with no real embellishment. You're killing the CMC for a childish misjudgment, and that's just too pitch-black for me.

4778

>>4777
Yeah… entirely my bad for leaving unintentional hints at anything. I studied physics and did nothing but technical writing. That sort of thing never really comes up in that style of writing, as with many of the other more blatant issues I currently have (dialogue, structure, show vs tell). Thanks again!
This post was edited by its author on .

Author of "Assumptions" 4780

>>4764
Here's a thought: she's an alicorn. She's learning magic. Surely there's some kind of spell she can mess up in order to learn the things that conversation reveals. I mean, the sky's really the limit: time travel, mind reading, visionary dreams, you name it. But taken as a conversation, well, like I said, talking heads. It's a story within a story, and thus the framing of a conversation really doesn't serve it well.


>>4766
I'm not sure if I missed something, or if it's part of what got glossed over, but I did not get "corrupted spirits of harmony" out of this story at all. That makes a whole lot more sense now.
This post was edited by its author on .

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4781

>>4777

refer to
>>4720
for a breakdown of each scene's meanings.

I had a feeling I hadn't done a great job of conveying how Pinkie's little gambit fixed the problem…

What I didn't realize is that people would think that Twilight actually started a violent FIGHT! No, she was trying to organize things, and AJ and Rarity had to wrestle her down to get her to stop.

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4782

>>4780
Seconded.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4783

>>4780
>>4782
Yup.

I will say however that I LOVED the triumph of Nightmare Moon aspect, and the fact that this was in some kind of crapsack future. But no, that didn't communicate the bit about the Elements to me.

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4786

So I actually haven't done any reading yet, which will be happening Thursday through Saturday for sure. Although, if anyone's up for it, I have a proposal.

In exchange for a more detailed critique/review of my story (like a paragraph), I'll be more than happy to reads yours and offer one in return. Sound good?

"To Dine with my Enemy" 4788

>>4741

I’d try and tell you that the villain is not a sue, but I don’t think I could make a believable case, as I know Suedom can be dependent on tastes in characters and how they are seen in a certain light.

I also respect the fact that I cannot make an OC not a Sue by listing reasons why I do not think they are a sue, as that does not guarantee that they are not a sue by someone else’s standards. Every character in existence is a sue to some extent; it merely depends on how one interprets their sueness in accordance to the line they must not cross with someone’s personal boundaries.

That said, at least let me try and explain why I think that even if he appears, or is indeed, a sue, I do not think it matters quite so much in this context.

>OC feels too OP.


A villain is not threatening unless they can do something to make them so. Him talking like this after he’s been arrested for jaywalking is what would put him in a mental institution, not prison. A villain is not a challenge, unless they have credentials to their name.

>His cutie mark feels unnecessary complex and screams "villain sue" because of colors


The mark I did because I felt it would set him up well, and would paint a nice picture. Complex, I’d argue against (an upside-down crown with some colored drops hanging from the tips is not what I’d call tremendously complicated in form. The swirls of color in the drops themselves might have been a step too far, but I liked the image of an almost inky smudge in the droplets a lot, and so I used it.)

>which is confirmed later: he somehow managed to put strong magic ponies in caskets.


We have seen that Celestia can be not only beaten, but tricked, time and again. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to suggest that such a feat is possible, if extremely difficult for those unwilling to commit themselves fully to the task. I never said he stormed the castle, magic blazing, nor did I say he ninja’d his way past the guards and slipped something into her drink.

It was not important to the moment, or this story, so I let the audience fill it in however they wanted. How he actually did it is theirs to imagine as they please in order to make either the most sense or to be the most exciting. Or both. It was not ultimately important to what this was about, and so I did not include it.

The story itself is about this one moment in time when Twilight is talking with a pony who has accomplished difficult feats and turned her world upside down: a dangerous lunatic that is now caught and is, for all intents and purposes, incapable of hurting anyone else. So I made him what he is because it was the best way to make him an appropriate villain that is reasonably threatening, and yet could accomplish the set goal of the story. What he did is important, but only in regards to the effect they have on Twilight herself, and what they mean for her future.

>Dialogue is also hugely biased towards him and his huge answers, while Twilight is either flipping tables or telling that death sentence is bad.


I’d felt it a natural extension of her curiosity and to the villain’s character as a bit of a talker and almost gleefully hurtful. He knows what he did, and he isn’t ashamed of what he did because he did what he had to do. He’s a villain who knows he’s a villain, and acts accordingly by doing everything he can to drive Twilight to either personal growth or to her ultimate destruction. To him, it’s just his job, and so he will do it with everything he can muster. He therefore fears neither pain, nor death, as it is not his purpose to win. It is his purpose to simply try and win, and in the process, teach those who live longest how to live fullest.

Twilight is also facing somepony who has cut into her life very deeply, and that tends to cause a lot of pain and confusion. I imagined her way of dealing with it is with professionalism and, along with her natural curiosity, would drive her to this sort of action. She doesn’t care about the “how” right now, as the way he did it is no longer important. She only wants to know anyone would want to ask when faced in this situation: why? It started with something almost understandable, even if still wrong, and soon followed a twisted path into someplace that is so much it’s polar opposite she simply has to know what went through his head.

Yet, when someone hurts you very deeply like this, it is hard to maintain a iron heart, as things can only bend so far before they break. And no, Twilight never said the death sentence was bad, nor did she just start flipping tables. He pushed her, she had a moment of weakness, and she acted on them. She might be an alicorn now, but she is still capable of losing her temper when she has the right buttons pressed at the wrong time.

However, she also stopped herself. He asked what made her stop and she explained why: he’s caught; her taking vengeance on him is pointless, and a step down a dark path from which a return is never truly possible. If the courts were to assign his death, I doubt she’d waste a single tear on him and attend the summary execution without a moment’s hesitation. But she will not take his life in some pique of vengeance, with her blood either hot or cold, as that is not the way to deal with pain. It honors no-one, and brings nothing but more pain and loss. Twilight is stronger than that.

And that is what the story is about. This is not about the OC, this is about Twilight and her encounter with a dark and alien mind. The OC is a character, but he is also a method of exploring Twilight. The latter simply gave strength to the former.

>He doesn't behave like someone whose " body was almost emaciated".


I didn’t say he was nearly dead, lying on the floor and barely able to breathe, just extremely thin and ragged. As is expected of a prisoner who has done what he has, and is quite imaginably not being treated well by the Royal Guards because of it. Cause and effect.

However, I only really needed his mouth to work, which can be a dangerous tool should someone know how to use it. His body being in bad shape does not preclude him from talking or even sitting, and I don’t have him doing much else except moving his front hooves around a little while he’s talking.


>>4762
>>4777

I’m sure you could both think of something, if you really wanted to, but I’m truly flattered. I know my descriptive language can leave much to be desired at times, but it is nice to see you found enjoyment out of what I wrote.

And yes, poor Fluttershy does seem to get the axe quite often. The price of being adorable on the internet, I suppose. If it makes it any better, she was technically speaking the seventh to go here, not the first.

"To Dine with my Enemy" 4789

>>4786

How's this?

Scene 1

Probably the nicest of the whole bunch, and it really does put your best foot forward. I don’t have much else to say about this one. Some technical issues that could be tinkered at, maybe some lines smoothed out or something, but that can wait until the bigger issues are handled.

Scene 2

Sliding a little with a whole year going by, during which there is no real mention of what happened, be it unfortunate incidents, meaningful evenings of discussions, or interesting adventures but at it’s at least reasonably close enough that it is merely disappointing to not see that happen, not utterly disruptive just yet.

Scene 3

Another bit of a leap, given that there is little build-up to the fact that he’s going to school at this time. We have no idea if he likes school, or if he hates homework, or what his parents want him to do with his life and how he feels about that.

Without a structure to go off of, this feels like a dramatic leap, but it feels too sudden. The character of Stardust could be built up with some nice evenings of simple conversation about who he is before this point, and discussing how he lives. It makes us care about him, and also about Luna, because now they’re getting to know each other. They’re actually going through the process of becoming friends.

Scene 4

Another leap, and this time right out into the blue. I have no idea if this is late middle-school or high-school.

It’s just a scene that sort of comes and goes. Nice set-up, but it lacks depth and weight and, most importantly, clarity. Unless I can understand what is going on here in the greater context, I have no idea what to really make of it and so I can really attach no greater importance to what’s happening.

Again, we never learned before now that he liked chess, much less that he did it on a competitive level. This would have been a nice thing to bring up earlier at some point before now. Maybe even have Luna teach him chess when he was younger, and have it become one of the things they do at night to pass the time they are not doing other things.

It gives it weight, and it gives us another reason for us to care for them as friends as they interact and build up their relationship.

Scene 5

Back on track again with a clear reference to college. Given the discussion, it seems a high-end one, but again, we still know very little about Stardust. We had no idea he was actually this smart, nor that he had developed a thing for astrology over the years. That would be another good thing to develop.

It also ends on a sort of funny note, with a question that Luna makes no actual answer to.

Scene 6

Without any further discussion of what could have been an important question in regards to character development, we skip to who even knows how many years later.

Just a small paragraph and a couple lines of dialogue.

It could use a bit more meat, but it also might be a very nice separation between his years in college and his return, if the above sections were given more substance, and you added to just how close they’ve grown by showing their interactions, dilemmas, and fights over the years before this point. Let her dwell on this a bit.

Scene 7

Back on track now, but some anticipatory scenes of maybe at least a few days before this would have been nice to build-up his arrival. Amping up the energy, before bringing it down again.

However, it is still an interesting interaction between the two of them that accomplishes some of its goal in showing us that Luna has grown very fond of him. So much so, that she is willing to let him go, even though it hurts her deep down to do so. Her friend is moving beyond her, developing his own life, and she is not going to be the closest friend he has any longer.

More description on her emotional state would be good, as I am trying to decide around here if she is still thinking of him as a friend, or if he has become more at this point. I want to say friend, but unless that is made a little clearer, it would be easy to misconstrue what her pain is actually about.

Scene 8

The wife’s already dead, but we never got to meet her. We need to care about the character, in order to really feel Stardust’s pain, and in order to do that, we have to be there with them.

Him losing his wife and child are deeply saddening, yes, but it is hard to give an emotion for a faceless doll. Unless I see her interact with Luna in some way, be it a friendly meeting, the occasional visit by Luna, that wedding possibility, or some other such event where I get to see what she is actually like, I cannot feel too much for her beyond “Oh, well, someone died. That’s sad.”

Scene 9

Okay, this was another nice scene with some building and a final pay-off that was good to see. However, it feels just a little too sudden again. I would consider a scene before this one that builds up what happens to Stardust, if only just a little. Mayhaps some missed evenings that she puts to grief, or another night where they have a much more dispassionate talk, and she says something like “she’s in a better place” and he makes what seems an off-hoof comment about how desperately he wants to be with her again.

Then you hit us with this scene, and we realize what he actually meant. And I wouldn’t imagine it would make Luna feel any better when she thinks about how she could have possibly encouraged it. Hence, why she keeps waiting for him. She feels it’s her fault, and yet she keeps hoping that he’ll come back and everything will be okay again.

REVIEWS!!!!!!!1!!111!!one! 4793

Hello, class. To the new faces, I'm a long-tenured reviewer in The Training Grounds here and have reviewed over 150 stories in some guise, manner, or site. The majority of those never bothered to try submitting their stories to EqD, but I have helped about 20-25 writers get their stories featured, and all seven I've submitted myself have been accepted.

I usually like to chip in with some reviews in these contests, but I'm too busy to do many this time, so I'll offer this: If you're interested in having me review your story, drop a response in here or email me (address is in the tripcode). I will choose three of the requests for a full, no-holds-barred, line-by-line review. I will tell you everything that's wrong with your story and give you tips on how to fix it. But first, some ground rules.

1. Don't waste my time and yours. I'm not going to review something that the writer isn't going to take seriously. Only request a review if you really want to get your story in great shape. And I expect to see them submitted to Equestria Daily.

2. Since I don't want to influence anyone's opinions while voting is still open, I won't post any reviews until after the results have been announced. I probably won't even read them until after the results have been announced. If you're chosen then check back here occasionally to see when your review is posted, and please reply saying that you've seen it. Of course, you are allowed to ask questions as well.

3. I'd like to give preference to some of the new folks who may never have gotten a thorough review before, but since I don't know who anyone is yet, I can only put this on the honor system. If you're a veteran that has access to a good reviewer, then let someone else have a chance.

Good luck to everyone!

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4794

>>4793

Was all ready to ask for a Pascoite review, but not if you're only choosing three winners.

Still, all the best to the folks you review–would love to see people develop and maybe become /fic/cers thanks to this.

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4796

>>4793

Pascoite, I would love a review. I've had larger plans since before I wrote this story, and I'll gladly accept any help you might offer.

Untitled Journal 4797

>>4759
>I long to an explanation of what those dates mean.
Months are just intialisms of their position in the year. "F.S." is the first month, "S.D." the second, etc. This was mainly because I couldn't use the Julian/Gregorian calendar (for obvious reasons) and it was the first thing that came to my head so I just ran with it.

"C.E." is for Celestial Era. In terms of "would their calendar actually reset there?" Well, probably not, unless Celestia has an ego rivalling Julius and/or Augustus.

Honestly, I didn't spare much thought into this at all, mainly because I couldn't exactly have the narrator hand out a helpful chart telling you which months come in which order.

>Use of the name "Maine" is very confusing, as it does not seem to have been ponified in the least.

From "Spain". I thought I could get away with it since the other named places, Marecelona and Matrot, are bastardisations of Barcelona and Madrid.

Why I chose Spain? … No idea.

Author of "The Ends" 4798

The first batch of reviews is here! I know I’ve promised to post this yesterday, but, unfortunately, my internet got cut off.

>>4780
>>4782
>>4783

Wow. Didn’t expect to fail this hard. As I’ve said, the ending should have been at least twice as long, with more explanation and thematic connection, but something tells me that even if I wrote everything that I planned, I would still have been too unclear. Well, that teaches me about not being too subtle. This will also be a great thing to work on when I get to revision.

Now, onto the first reviews:
Fillies, Flying, and Friendship:
I won’t comment on the usual/newcomer mistakes already pointed out. Those are easy to fix and easy to learn how not to do.

There were some bigger problems I’ve noticed. First of all, dialogue seemed to me as overwritten and unbelievable, starting from the very first scene. There were a few times when lines seemed like they had no purpose other than to inform the reader. By “overwritten” I mean that the dialogue had slow pacing, too wordy to ring true.

A bigger problem was point of view. It kept veering between scenes, and not just between characters, but between modes of presentation. You start out with an omniscient POV in the first scene, and then go into a limited one for the scenes between Rainbow and Fluttershy. The bully scene begins from their viewpoint, and since they are secondary characters, the perspective seems unnecessary. You should definitely choose a single Point of View and stick to it. Limited and omniscient both work, and there is no problem with switching between characters in limited, so long as you do it consistently and don’t overuse.

Lesser complaints: I don’t buy Rainbow’s story. Her reaction is too nonchalant, especially considering that she learned that she was adopted just a day before going to Flight Camp. The revelation doesn’t affect her in any way, and she first mentions it only when asked. Also, isn’t it a bit too coincidental? You’ve even lampshaded how her adoptive father also has the unique rainbow mane. I didn’t like the flying practice bit—it was summarized, not shown. There was a lot of potential for character interaction there, but it was glossed over while less important scenes got the spotlight. Shame. And Firefly’s a dick in the last scene. Just a pet peeve of mine, but I hate it when teachers behave like that.

Also I didn’t get much shipping vibe from this. Friendshipping, sure, but not shipping. And I consider myself a prude.

This fic read to me much like a children’s story, and I suppose that it was intended as such. I’m not too good with judging those, so take my advice—especially about the dialogue—with a measure of salt. All in all, pretty good for a first story. You’ve got a lot of enthusiasm going for yourself, so I hope that you’ll stick around and continue to improve your writing.


Good Thing I’m So Organized:
I have a theory about the author’s identity…

My biggest problem with this story has already been pointed out before: a lack of logical connections between the plot elements, leading to a lack of a cohesive narrative. I did read your explanation for each scene (after the story) and I did, in broad terms, see the meanings while reading. But the ideas weren’t explored enough in the text, so there’s very little for us to come by ourselves to the conclusions presented. Also, some scenes were just plain confusing.

The very first thing: Applejack just leaves like that? No buying it. Later, the friends try to hide Twilight’s problem from each other, and I’m pretty certain that the events on the show have long since taken them past such distrust.

The inconsistencies with canon were already pointed out, and I’ll second them. The events of the Cutie Mark Chronicles just diffuse the dramatic reveal. Any exploration or explanation of Twilight’s condition is omitted, leading to the bulk of the problems. Why did the OCD problem suddenly become worse? If it was so horribly bad, how could a single pillow fight cure her? For that matter, if the point was to make Twilight comfortable with disorder and violence, then there were plenty of points in the series where Twilight took a proactive approach without fear of going off the hook with madness—Nightmare Moon, the Hydra, the Diamond Dogs, straight-up kicking the crap out of Changelings… I can see it being more believable if it was set before the Cutie Mark Chronicles, but you’ve explicitly stated that that’s not the case. Speaking of which, Cadance’s part seems tacked-on due to how short and shallow it was.

I think that the connection to the prompt is a bit strenuous, but in other respects, this fic is quite competent. I recommend a serious re-thinking of your plot and ideas, and a rewrite focusing on expressing those ideas through the story. Funny thing: that’s kinda close to how unclear the ending to my fic was.


Let Me Be Your Armor:
Once again, I am in accord with the other reviews: this is severely lacking in plot. In addition, the fragments of setting painted here seemed to contradict canon, so I had trouble believing in them.

The minor gripes I’ve got: weather report-y opening that turns into a cliché “it was a daydream” reveal, clunky sentences. The dialogue, especially in the beginning, seems kind of stiff, although that can possibly be explained by the speakers and their relationship. A severe lack of tagging, in addition to creating the dreaded Talking Heads Syndrome, actually made some of the lines hard to attribute to a speaker. That’s probably the first thing that needs addressing.

I don’t like present tense and don’t see how it adds to the theme, but that’s mostly personal bias.

I’ve got a problem reconciling the headcanon presented with the events of Heart’s Warming Eve and other canon. Does this happen before or after the windigoes were defeated by the Fires of Friendship and Equestria was formed? How are Celestia and Luna connected to Equestria, if they were born (I presume) outside of its borders? Don’t forget that Starswirl was also the mentor to Clover the Clever, so you have to have that connection in mind, time- and location-wise. And the assumption that alicorns are naturally born from unicorns and pegasi has little merit considering the canon of present-day (so to speak) Equestria. Interbreeding between the races is widespread enough that two earth ponies can have a unicorn and pegasus foals via recessive genes, yet alicorns are still rare and enjoy special treatment. In fact, the one alicorn we have seen so far has achieved status via ascension, and the expanded universe suggests that Cadance has ascended in the same way, so we can assume that Celestia and Luna had a supernatural origin as well.

All in all, this needs expansion. The thing is, the headcanon presented can ring true and plausible—but only with a deeper presentation and detailing. The devil’s in the details, they say. The fic is pretty good from a technical standpoint, especially if you’re a newcomer. If you’re a regular, then I have to wonder about those talking heads…


Life Less Frightening:
You’ve got a coherent tale here, but one that seriously needs some fleshing-out. Once again, the devil’s in the details, and you need more of them for a proper emotional connection to the reader.

The smaller stuff: The descriptions seemed a tad lengthy to me, but not close to purple. There’s quite a bit of telling, with a lot of stuff stated outright, which makes for a pacing too fast for such an introspective piece. Also, Luna seems a bit too distant and ignorant of “common folk,” even for a monarch and even before her banishment. She’s immortal, raises the moon and the stars, yet never heard of homework? Speaking of which, why would the science of astronomy even exist if Luna could point to any star? The thrill of “exploration and discovery” isn’t enough justification for grant money.

My biggest problem is that Stardust isn’t changed in any way by being friends with a Princess. Not even emotionally—he goes through the same stages of growth as any other colt, as if he never met Luna in the first place. The details of their unconventional relationship are never discussed. Would you act like that if you were friends with one of the most powerful persons in the world? Would Luna really do nothing to prevent his suicide, besides physically consoling him? If Luna was so close to Stardust that his death triggered her fall, why is she so lacking enthusiasm when conversing with him? Heck, if the attraction was romantic—it wasn’t fully established whether or not it was—then she’d have reacted to the news of his engagement. The lack of such thought-out details contributes to the turbo-paced narrative, which prevents the establishment of an emotional connection to the characters. Even the ending feels like it was cropped from a larger scene.

And for this story, an emotional connection is an absolute must.


So that’s that. Hope I didn’t offend anybody. I’ll attempt to read and review the other stories, perhaps even after the voting period is over.

It’s a bit of a shame that less than half of the declared entrants actually submitted something, but we got plenty of stuff to read anyways. I’m especially thrilled by the amount of newcomers. Hopefully, we’ll have even more people next time the write-off is scheduled for the holidays and actually has a prize.

Author of "The Ends" 4799

>>4793

I would absolutely love to enter the Pascoite Review Raffle Extravaganza. I'm liking the way my story has turned out and already have plans to improve and expand on the plot and setting, most likely submitting it to EqD when it's done.

But if you decide that a shorter story or one made by a newcomer deserves the review more, then by all means go ahead.

4800

>>4798
Thank you for your comments!

I wholeheartedly agree with just about everything you said! I spent the entirety of Wednesday reading through three and a half guides on writing and I just want to slam my face on my desk for my noobness. I knew beforehand that my two biggest problems were going to be writing dialogue and the show vs tell aspect of writing… and it showed (that's right, I effectively showed something accurately with my wrting… aww)! As far as backstories go, I kind of crammed it in there even though I knew I wanted to sprinkle it throughout the whole story (I chose to skip the entirety of the first week for the sake of finishing in time). I'm glad you didn't get a shipping vibe from it!

As for my detailed critique for you, I'll try and have that done sometime within the next day or two (if you still want it).
This post was edited by its author on .

Author of "Life Less Frightening" 4801

>>4789
Certainly more than I asked for. There were in fact going to be more scenes, but most were cut, shortened, and/or merged because of time constraints.

Nonetheless, a debt needs to be repaid.
Vague opening and a very ominous ending, I like that. I do like the character of Wet Works, but I can't help but feel like he's not playing with her as much as he can. The latter half of the story, to me at least, seems to increase in pace but that can be expected with the time restraint.

That said, Twilight seems a bit too angry, not the calm and collected sort we'd expect of her. I'm all for having her be upset, withholding her emotions and whatnot, but after their brief scuffle all that build-up, all the emotion we would see when bringing up the deaths of Luna and Celestia, it just vanishes. It's like Twilight is a stone wall all of the sudden. Her character is delicate though to begin with, as you don't want to bound into the "Lesson Zero" area, but I don't like the bits with her being wrathful. Despite the context, I think she'd take things a lot more like a filly and not the "bad cop."

All in all, even with everything I said, if you were to sort things out and polish it up, I would definitely read this again.
This post was edited by its author on .

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4802

>>4798

I feel that I have several strong markers as to who I am. Some regarding my behavior here in the thread, some that are just cute little specific details that are me-ish, and some things that really are quirks of my writing that might make me stand out.

Would be highly interested if it was the last one.

Hey, you think YOU had it rough on people not getting it? I've had wall-to-wall "didn't get it at ALL" in my feedback.

4803

>>4802
I want to say you're RogerDodger, but that's only because EZN attributed a great deal of his writing guide to him. A lot of what I have seen in your critiques and the opinions expressed in the guide line up real nicely. But that's just me. Huzzah! Now I have a wager for myself!
This post was edited by its author on .

For "The Ends" 4804

Well, I'm just past halfway in critiquing your story (they just got past RD) and I've got 1,800 words of notes for you so far… I think it'd be best if I linked it to you when I'm done instead of posting it here. It'll be done at some point tomorrow for certain.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4806

Let's start with the last one first, because… well.

this was never meant to happen
I knew from the title that this was going to be unreadable. I looked inside to see for myself, out of obligation. Sure enough, the fic literally didn't last six words before it became unbearable. I ended up forcing myself to read thirty-five words. I wish I hadn't. Then I skipped to the end to see if there was a clever ending. There wasn't. I wish this one had been somewhere else on the list so that I could've ended on a high note with Assumptions.[/hide]

On to your regularly scheduled reviews.

Flight Drills
A lot of telling, and sometimes it really hurts you.

Notably, the whole bit about Rainbow Dash's dad is straight-up exposition. Slash it and replace it with something interesting.

I feel you want that to be the transition into "yelling coach mode" Rainbow Dash. It doesn't work.

Were I you, I would have someone go through this and pound show-don't-tell into your head. It's an important lesson.

EDIT: Goodness that was negative. I liked this much more than I was letting on. I just had issues with the writing.


The Good Intentions of the Great and Powerful
Let me first say that I dislike your intro for a reason that might be unfair. It spends far too much time introducing an old old old fanon idea. The "telly" narrator voice in it is rather nice, I'll give you that. Nice way of characterizing Trixie.

It wears out its welcome and becomes telly eventually–might want to lean on it less as you go. Example–when Trixie gives the Pie family a show. All you seem to care about is continuing that narrative; you should give some description about the show instead.

…eesh. Okay. Same as the last one. You need show-don't-tell beaten into you.

Ending overstays its welcome. You could have skipped most of it.

Mostly, though, I liked the ending once I saw it coming. I always like stories that anchor themselves into canon and perhaps give canon a bit of new meaning.


To Dine with my Enemy
Much respect for the Twilight character in the intro, and for the tone being set with her meeting the villain.

This is not a fanfic that I would read. This is not a fanfic that I would acknowledge as clever or charming. I find the premise annoyingly manipulative, not to mention a bit cynical.

But now that I've convinced myself to appreciate this for what it is, instead of imposing my own standards and desires upon it, I have to respect it. I look forward to finding out who wrote this. I don't know if I would count this as "good" and I don't know if it's on my top list, but whoever wrote it should feel good about the product.

Oh look at me I sound like Eustatian.

Something that would've helped this a bit for me is some kind of subtle reveal at what this fella means by "his kind." Does he just mean "insane serial killers with godlike power?"

I don't see him as a Mary Sue. I mean, he is, but nobody says you have to avoid Mary Sues like the plague. His Sueness is meaningful, so I'm okay with it.


Within a World of Dreams
Boring-ass intro paragraph.

Somewhat more forgivable second paragraph, but this entire opening bit is rather boring and expoistiony. Feel free to me to slap you around for it, if you give a damn, once you know who I am. Or tell someone else what I told you, and they'll probably agree, and maybe THEY can be the one to help you in detail.

Even when we go into Twilight's dream, you spend a long time being boring.

>twist

Contrived, not built up enough, jarring Twilight character, needs to do something to set up the situation as plausible, blah blah blah

>further twist

Contrived, not built up enough, rocky dialogue and still no good Twilight Sparkle voice even though this is the "good" version blah blah blah.

>ending

Now this was actually nice, particularly the flowery language and the repetition on the very ending bit. That might have been the only time in the fic I could say that about your writing. You need to work on dialogue.


Assumptions
>alarcity
>disparaging
Put the thesaurus away.

Points for nice voices, though.

>message

Unexpected and I'm actually pleased by it, because I like this kind of semi-serious worldbuilding approach. It's rather heavy-hooved and expository, and it gets pretty close to straight-up preachy. Could be better, but a very nice idea and I can feel the effort in playing it in a nice way instead of being preachy..

>I'll have ya gabbin' like a real classy belle in no time

I constantly hate on how people write the AJ accent. But this? I actually laughed, out loud, at this. This is adorable.

One thing I wish there had been more of: You should sprinkle some straight-up physical descriptions of Donkey Twi and Donkey Rarity, in great detail. To remind us of what they look like, and to emphasize how different they look.

Not sure, but this might be one of my top picks.
This post was edited by its author on .

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4807

Things about voting. And I suggest that everyone adopt my system.

I have a very low hugbox rating. If I didn't have a lot of good to say about your story, I will rate it quite poorly. This does not mean I think you are a bad writer.

The reason I am so brutal with scores is because handing out a lot of 6,7, and 8 scores makes my 9s and 10s mean less. As such, entries that I thought were okay but that didn't thrill me get 4s and 5s. Basically, hating on fics that were "meh" results in me giving stronger support to my favorites.

6,7, and 8 are reserved for "honorable mention" kind of deals that fall short of my favorites but that I can't score low in good conscience.

Anonymous 4808

I entered this a novice. Anxiety has been eating at me all week long. The two are, likely, related.

Come good or ill, Sunday cannot arrive soon enough.

Anonymous 4810

>>4809

We've been going nuts with reviews, but is posting actual scores ahead of time entirely proper? Maybe I've just drawn my line at a different point in the gray.

I'd like to think, especially considering our setting, that we're better than that, but it still bothers me.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4811

Better than what, exactly?

Well, whatever. You do have a point.

Anonymous 4812

>>4811

Better, as in, above allowing another person's ratings to influence one's own votes, particularly the vote directed back at the first party.
Edit: Or was that question more rhetorical? Making an editorial point about precision of meaning?
>sees things you may or may not have done there

If a reader looks at reviews first (a bad idea, I think, but others may disagree), the review might influence the second reader, but in less concrete ways.
This post was edited by its author on .

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4813

>>4812
I agree. We're better than that.

Still, I understand.

Author of "Assumptions" 4815

>>4806
Did I seriously write "alarcity"? I have so much egg on my face.

Hey wait, no I didn't. Stop putting typos in my mouth! "Disparage" is hardly a thesaurus word, though. I promise I did not look at a single thesaurus in writing this story.

>Unexpected and I'm actually pleased by it, because I like this kind of semi-serious worldbuilding approach. It's rather heavy-hooved and expository, and it gets pretty close to straight-up preachy. Could be better, but a very nice idea and I can feel the effort in playing it in a nice way instead of being preachy..


About halfway through writing the story, I realized I was being more heavy-handed than I had really wanted to. Pony superiority is something I see in the show, and I wanted to approach that frankly. Never having gone the author tract route before (and I suspect the scene with Cranky talking to Twilight hits the hardest), I will have to take a good hard look at how to get the message across without being even close to preachy at all.

>One thing I wish there had been more of: You should sprinkle some straight-up physical descriptions of Donkey Twi and Donkey Rarity, in great detail.


Interestingly enough, I once got the same feedback on another transformation-themed piece. I kinda figured "they look like donkeys with their normal manes" would suffice, but I will definitely take this into account when rewriting. Thank you!

4816

>>4812
This is precisely why I don't post reviews until after the contest.

Author of "Assumptions" 4819

Here are the rest of my reviews. Maybe I should preface this by saying don't read these until after you've read the story? (Does anyone do that? Do people read reviews that aren't of their own entries?)

Good Thing I'm So Organized:
The dialogue and actions of the characters immediately jump off the page, Rarity in particular being written well. The idea explored in this story is intriguing, but there is definitely something missing here, some revelation or scene that will help draw everything together just a bit more tightly and keep it from ending too soon. To be honest, I'm not sure what the first scene really has to do with anything, nor the second; we go from Twilight being some sort of mechanical organizer to her worrying about being too powerful. Therein lies the disconnect. Still, what's here is very well written, and this is a very strong entry overall.


Fillies, Flying and Friendship:
Let me start off with the good. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are generally characterized well, their interactions are great, and the final scene, of Fluttershy returning the favor and standing up for Rainbow Dash, is a nice note to end on. However. This story is ultimately a bit too bulky to hold up that scene without crushing it. There's far too much focus on trivialities, and though many of the scenes are needed to really drive home just how lonely and awkward Fluttershy is, quite a bit of this story could be pared down, and still deliver the punch at the end. (And despite my initial praise for Fluttershy's characterization, she does get just a bit to creepy and clingy throughout the story.) There are also a lot of mechanical issues, which I'm sure others have pointed out by now. I'll focus on the first two paragraphs, though, because first impressions are important and this one left a poor one on me. You start with a 'weather report', which is never a good idea, as it removes any notion of character from the story. "small rainbow maned and sky blue filly" is rather awkward; there are numerous other awkward phrasings, misuses and misspellings about, notably the use of words like "sha-weet" or the sleep-induced "welkom", choices that add nothing to the delivery. In the second paragraph, we then have strange usage, use of all caps for emphasis instead of something more standard like italics, and a very flat, explainy internal monologue. Really, ask yourself, do people talk that way? It's unlikely they think that way either. So while there is definitely a nice, cute story wrapped up in all of this… well, there's a lot of unwrapping to be done.


Cloud Stories:
Wow. This is a near-perfect entry. The tone was great, the characters were great, and the jokes were fantastic. The framing device worked stellarly. You successfully subverted the long-abashed weather report opening. The final scene feels a tad rushed, which is about all the critique I have for this story, so here are all the typos I noticed, so you needn't go looking for them yourself:

there was no thin spots
FIne
Pinkie quickly turned around and exiting into the kitchen
All Heart of the Storm had to be.
Pinkies plans
"enquire" should be "inquiry"
"Which normal cakes grew", should be "While"
barn door's nailed shut
but I Pinkie looked
I was so surprise
it knock me onto
"clouds a smooched; also, why 'smooched'?

Very well done!


Those Who Aim to Please:
First of all, I really can't find too much fault with the writing itself. The pacing might be a tad fast, and if anything, Abacus's father comes off as a caricature. The story after his scene feels a bit rushed, but that's not too surprising, given that this is a timed contest and all. What really digs into me about this story is that it is, essentially, an OC going to Ponyville and meeting the mane cast, a subject that has been done to death, and to death again. It's simply the most basic fanfiction plot ever devised. I hope you'll forgive my cynicism when I say I'm surprised you left out Rarity and Fluttershy, though the latter at least gets a mention. Let's take a look at Abacus. He's somewhat neurotic, a big-city pony by breeding, and he's severely afraid of reptiles. This major character quirk serves no greater purpose in the narrative than to cause hijinks (his knee-jerk decision to move to Ponyville is caused not so much by his fear but by the fact that his dad is a complete dick). He comes to Ponyville, meets a bunch of main characters, and eventually gets praised for ability by the Mayor. I hope you can see where I'm going with this. There's not much of a point to this story. Original characters can be tricky to pull off, and so I recommend taking another look at what, exactly, you want do to with Abacus.


No Quixote Here:
This was marvelously refreshing. So many people hated Blueblood after Best Night Ever, but that's entirely because they did not understand him, as you obviously do. His interactions with Fancy Pants (who is a brilliant foil for him, by the way; I'm surprised I never thought of the potential there), Shining Armor and even Twilight are all perfect. This work could be so much bigger than it is, too; there's real potential to have him go off and do something stupid at the end there, or even later on. Actually, having Celestia come in at the end might be something to rethink, and could again be a jumping-off point for something greater, should you wish to go that route. As for critique, all I can say is you left off the insult after "stuffy, snot-nosed little" and I am just dying to know what Blueblood was going to call him. Absolutely fantastic, and I loved the running gag of Thunder Whatever.


Flight Drills:
I have a bone to pick with the characterizations in this story. First of all is the slow slide into near-Scootabuse; that's never a good sign. Rainbow Dash is of course recalcitrant, which separates this from the rest of that actual detestable subgenre, but I find it hard to believe she is quite that insensitive, especially after having finally taken Scootaloo under her wing in the show. Add to that Scoot saying she hates Rainbow. I just can't see that. This kid idolizes Rainbow Dash in ways that are not healthy. The promise of spending time with said idol, quality or otherwise, should really negate any sense of self-worth, and that is of course how Scootabuse stories come to be. Then there's the scene with Applejack and Rarity, where… really, I'm not sure what the point was. They just tell her to go do what she was already thinking of doing, and don't seem overly concerned either way. I just can't see this story playing out quite the way it's written.


The Good Intentions of the Great and Powerful:
Stories about Trixie being down on her luck after her first trip to Ponyville are a dime a dozen. This one elevates itself just a bit above that pack by tying in her time on the rock farm, then overstays its welcome in recreating the scene where she purchases the Alicorn Amulet. The rock farm and the trials that Trixie goes through there are really what should be the focus of a piece like this. Taking the story as far as you did doesn't really accomplish anything. I have to wonder what the purpose of this piece is.


To Dine With My Enemy:
Is Wet Works based off Hannibal Lector in any way? Because I started reading his dialogue in Anthony Hopkins' voice at some point and then couldn't stop. This is an intriguing piece, though I'll complain that it presumes quite a lot, such as Twilight having any reason to mourn Chrysalis, and does not fill in quite enough background to really drive home Twilight's emotional state. (At the very least, mentioning Fluttershy earlier would help with that, though it would also be less of a blow to the reader.) I like the way the story is presented, though, and I like Wet Works, so this isn't bad at all.


Within a World of Dreams:
I wish there was something denoting thoughts, because running across them the first time is confusing. I suspect formatting troubles. Why does Luna switch to her archaic speech partway through? Well, this is an interesting concept, exploring Twilight's reaction to becoming a princess and all. I have a hard time reconciling the megalomaniac Twilight, though. I'm sorry I can't think of much more to say; yours being the last fic I read, I think I may have just run out of reviewing steam. If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know.


I'll put up my five highest-ranked stories below:

Cloud Stories
No Quixote Here
Making Friends
The Ends
Life Less Frightening


This was a good contest, and quite a few of these stories really made it worth having. I hope everyone had a good time and will take the advice they've been given by all the reviewers to heart. Keep writing!

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4822

>>4819

hrrrrrrrgh

>>4720

Clearly, this fic was not one of my shining moments.

Author: Let Me Be Your Armor 4823

>>4822

We still love you. Whoever you are. =)

Author of "Assumptions" 4826

>>4822
A lot of that makes sense. It's there, just perhaps far too subtle.

Author of "The Ends" 4836

Oh dear, I seem to be running late. Due to various IRL obligations, I won’t be able to give detailed reviews of all the stories like I wanted, or even read all of the stories. I’ll try to get back to this thread and comment on the rest, and, of course, you can ask me for a more detailed critique if you want.

Cloud Stories:
Intro is a little bit too long. I feel like the second set of lines from Derpy, Pinkie and Sweetie are unnecessary. I do not like the large italics section—a simple soft paragraph break would have been enough. The “My breakfast task completely forgotten” line strikes me as too self-conscious for Derpy, the way she is portrayed. The gag with the different narrative style is a bit too self-aware for my liking, especially with how it was lampshaded. Gotta admit that you do have a hang of the “switching narrative voice” device. Some of the asides, especially the ones with Sweetie, are rambling and off-topic, too wordy to support the gags. I can’t imagine Pinkie doing all those things in the cloud-baking scene in such a short amount of time. And the extensive “magnets” description sounds out-of-place in the way Pinkie is narrating her tale. The existence of a mythical “heart of the storm” in a manufactured cloud strikes me as a mythical golden rivet inside every Ford combustion engine, spoken about in hushed tones among factory workers (okay, you got me with Dash’s comments in the final scene, but I still can’t buy that it was actually real). Okay, Sweetie’s first story was pretty funny. I see a problem with a conflict shift here. The plot is about how the storm was dissipated, but that question is answered at the end of Pinkie’s story. Everything from that point on is irrelevant to the first conflict. “Sweetie’s Revised Story” is anticlimactic and unnecessary. I think that lampshading your jokes and plot inconsistencies actually makes the jokes less funny. The ending was cute, I’ll give you that. This might seem a harsh review, but it was certainly a well-crafted story, in technique and plot. I wouldn’t call it one of the best, but it’s nowhere near the bottom of the list, either.


Untitled Journal:
Okay, the first entry doesn’t feel too much like a journal entry, but not enough to break immersion. But the third entry made me stop believing that this was MLP fanfiction. It’s not that you can’t put communism in or discuss a similar mature topic—but there’s an aesthetic to be followed. And this seriously struck me as original fiction with pony terms edited in. And wow, the war just, like, came. Out of nowhere. And it all goes downhill from there. I’m sorry, but I can’t rate this high.


Making Friends:
The opening is very confusing, but the narrative is solid. The imaginary sequence reminds of Calvin and Hobbes—I liked how you weaved reality and fiction together. My first complaint would be that the scenes are wee bit too disconnected. I’ve thought that the second scene came directly after the first and was a direct consequence of it. Some indication of time passed or a different connection would really help. You know, I’d loved this more as a Calvin and Hobbes crossover. The feeling of letting go of your childhood just doesn’t work nearly as much when the imaginary friend is, you know, real for all intents and purposes. The biggest detractor from this is that it’s a crossover. And it’s one of those crossovers that sort-of requires knowledge of the crossover material (who’s Jason?). But its biggest fault is relying on the crossover universe to supply the foundation for the emotional theme of the story. For crossovers to work, they have to both be enriched by the other property and stand out when the crossover is taken out. In all other respects, however, this is very good. I may have even rated it as my personal best if not for the crossover.


No Quixote Here:
Ah, my worst enemy, the spaced em-dash. We meet again. The opening paragraph borders on purple the descriptions, but you balance it out with Blueblood’s actions and opinions. So the mare was with him, but she’s introduced only now? I’m forced to go back and edit her into my images of the scenes, so a tiny mention earlier would have been great. Blueblood’s reaction to Rarity is quite funny, but it still strikes me as breaking decorum too much for his character. Hmm, the banter between Fancypants and Blueblood is fun, but it comes off as wee bit too fast-paced. And, also: you went with the “mane six are celebrated heroes of Equestria” route, and not the “unknown, unsung saviors” thing supported by canon. Not sure how that works for me, I always prefer when fics support canon as much as they can. The pacing on this is very quick, and I think that it would work better as a slower piece. I have the distinct feeling of inconsistent handling of viewpoint. Blueblood’s opinion is injected directly into narrative, and not even as unattributed thought. This works against the sections where the other characters obviously mock him, making the narration randomly switch sides between Blueblood and his foils. Wait, is Twilight smitten with Blueblood? Nope, not buying it. Don’t tell me that there’s no ponification to “Arthur Conan.” The ending goes by too quickly, and Celestia’s appearance is sudden enough to seem as a Deus Ex Machina (it’s not, though, it just reads like one). All in all, very good, but I would really like it to have a slower pace and more meat to the story. I am also very curious as to who the author is.


Overprotecting and Overreacting:
Well, the author already got enough flack for the poor mechanics, so I’ll leave those without comment. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that I could, really, give any comment on. I would urge the author to not despair and read some writing guides—not just style guides, but books on writing and literature in general, preferably supplemented by reading some quality fiction. This board is, after all, a place to improve.


Assumptions:
I know who the author is~!
Not bad of an intro, although some words bring attention to themselves… What I’m really wondering is who’s the viewpoint character. It’s Twilight, right? I’m assuming it’s her. There’s a bit of inconsistency with the viewpoint, but I’m just damn sensitive to that thing at the present time. I have to give you kudos on the alliterations, I do like it. Aww, the donkey-shift could have been so much funnier if it wasn’t just outright stated. The situation cries out for physical description so much, I actually feel cheated out of the mental image! The scene with Rarity and Twilight panicking feels outside of the rest of the narrative voice. The two just don’t sound like them in dialogue, either. Also, there’s some filtering going on. The pacing seems a bit too fast, but something tells me that it’s subjective on my end. The racism angle shuffles out into the open a bit too clumsily and without subtlety, in my opinion. Though maybe that’s how it would, coming out of RD’s mouth? …Rainbow Destiny Dash? *scribbles down in notebook* Moving on. Somewhere around Sweetie’s appearance, the pacing sped up to outright telling at places. That’s the same time when the racism really took on a heavy-handed approach. Pinkie’s a bit too random, don’t you think? Heh, I really can’t see how “Spike is more pony than dragon” explains away the absence of racism towards him. Bigotry is, first and foremost, based on outward differences. So the bit of canon about Spike being accepted in Ponyville clashes with the image you’re going for to deliver your message. Touché on Zecora, though. Would Applejack really act the way she did in her scene? You’re bordering on OOC with some of these “demonstrations.” Heh, Meal Ticket. So much build-up to the dress show, and you summarize it in one paragraph? Shame. Well, all criticism notwithstanding, this was pretty good. The moral is way too heavy-handed, to the point where it genuinely hurt my enjoyment of the story. Your previous stories may have been better, but this one still goes into my top list for this contest.

I’m eagerly waiting for the winners to be declared and hoping that my reviews were helpful. I’ll post the other reviews and my thoughts on this write-off later.

Anonymous 4837

>>4836
In this case, the crossover requires no knowledge. Just the title is self-explanatory, and that's all you need. If you had never even heard of the crossover show, you wouldn't be missing anything, though it might seem like an odd premise. Jason is nobody in particular, just an OC.

Good Thing I'm So Organized 4839

>>4836

ooh me me

I hope you get to me

4840

>>4819
Hey, thanks for the review! Instead of addressing the individual concerns this time, let's just say I did a lot of studying up during the week and can't wait to get to rewriting this post-contest. Fixing my atrocity shall be a fun endeavor.

Also, I think I've read most of the reviews posted, but all only after I read the stories myself (mostly because I'm trying to absorb knowledge).

>>4836

Hey, you live! Let me know if you can access my detailed critique for you.

No Quixote Here 4841

Okay! Time to clear up a few things.

>>4762

I did not mean to write Twilight as being enraptured with Blueblood. I meant it to be taken as she is being awkward due to being unsure how to talk to someone who Rarity has described as being a total jerk, and she's just not sure what to say. People can blush for more reasons than a crush. That also rhymes.

>>4836

I'm not sure whether canon supports the Mane Six being known or not. To me, it can go either way, and the story worked better if I went with them being known heroes. After all, they actually ARE celebrated more than once, and Twilight is presented as Princess to all of Equestria at the end of the latest season. To think at least a few ponies don't know who they are is a bit silly to me.

No Quixote Here 4842

>>4836

Also, there is a ponification of Arthur Conan. It's the last bit, Doyle, turned to Dole. That wasn't a typo.

Because… there's a Dole pony breed.

Yeah. I was really reaching with that one, and I feel bad about it.

Java 4844

Well then. Fun times, and I've got a ways to go!

Out of curiosity, by what measure is "controversial" calculated?

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.

4846

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.

>>4844
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

>>4845

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?

4849

>>4848
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

RED SQUIRREL

I TOLD YOU BRO

I TOLD YOU

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

>>4851
>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

>>4852

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

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

4854

>>4852
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

>>4854

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.

4857

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.

>>4840
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.

>>4841
>>4842
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?

4861

>>4857
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

>>4854
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.

>>4855
Destiny is a real name though. :B

>>4857
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)

>>4860
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

>>4866

Do I?

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

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 4869

File: 1364288440993.png (273.41 KB, 517x461, 136384073948.png)

>>4868
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?
>etc

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

4871

>>4861
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.

>>4860
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?

>>4862
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

>>4871

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

>>4871
>English isn’t my first language?

orly

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

4877

>>4873
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.

>>4875
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

>>4875
>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?
definitely
>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.

4880

>>4871
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.

>>4875
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.

>>4877
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.

4881

>>4880
Just put a ">" before a line of text,
>like this

4882

>>4881


>Well, isn't this just green!

Tactical 4883

>>4875

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.

4884

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

>>4875
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.

>>4877
>spoilered list of top picks at the end.

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

Tactical 4891

>>4890
I do top picks at the end too. Always have. But I don't enter very many writeoffs.

Compendium of Steve 4892

>>4875

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

Ion-Sturm 4894

File: 1364399168916.jpg (300.59 KB, 1280x798, derpy_s_and_carrot_top_s_journ…)

>>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:

Mechanics/Details:
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.

>And-//

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.

>pegasus’//

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.

>wendigoes//

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//

Typo.

>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.

Style:
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.

Characterization:
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.

Plot:
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.

Overall:
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

>>4879
>[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.

>>4883
>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.

>>4894
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

>>4897

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

>>4875
> M-Rated:
No.

> Minific:

Sure.

> 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.

4952

>>4951
Haven't started yet. If you want me to wait until you're done with these revisions, I can do that.

Tactical 4953

>>4952
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.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tRGW51JeEKNznKM_7YHRHeJpWQ7Uh1TjrsEdGFWI8Ac/edit
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.

>boney//

bony

>caravaneers//

caravanners

>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.

>flakey//

flaky

>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.

>durt//

dirt

>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

>flakey

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).

>knitted//

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

>Flint grit his teeth.//

Gritted.

>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.

>Peddles//

Pebbles

>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.

>dizyness//

dizziness

>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//

redundant

>ropey//

ropy

>tree.Flint//

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//

shaken

>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?

>shakey//

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.

>oveer//

Typo

>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//

in

>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//

Typo.

>glaring daggers//

Watch the cliches.

>they convened around a large bonfire.//

Capitalization.

>lumpy, red paint//

Hierarchical adjectives. No comma.

>It's like a miasma manufacture//

manufacturer

>malachite//

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.

>grand-grand-//

great-great-

>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//

Typo.

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

Repetition of "outside."

>closed shut//

Redundant.

>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.

>torhes//

Typo.

>Flint prayed that it be open//

Missing word.

>barricated//

barricaded

>otehr//

other

>dais.The//

Missing space.

>Flint stood uo//

Typo.

>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//

bonds

>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//

Typo.

>the charred tower stood crumbled.//

That doesn't quite parse…

>glueing//

gluing

>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//

in

>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

>>5004
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.

>carousel//

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?

>grit//

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.

>powernapped//

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.

>newly-dyed//

-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//

Stahp.

>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//

C'mon.

>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

>>5106
>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.

>carousel

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.

>grit


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

>>5112
"furrowed his brow" is mine. Dunno about anypony else.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 5126

>>5124
But… think of the eyebrows! D:


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