Like I told Present, the fact that there's two duplicate threads on two duplicate boards clearly means we must make duplicate posts. That's just logical.Fluttershy and the Monstrous Prophecy
Only a few paragraphs in, and noticing that this might need a quick rinse cycle through the Training Grounds. It’s not hampering the enjoyment of the story or anything, but there’s a few punctuation derps, missing the word “back and forth” in the first sentence (*has a moment of silence for the poor hook*), Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, and so on. Still, we typically give grammar a free pass what with the time limit and all, so I won’t rag on it too much.Solo
Third-person omniscient narrator isn’t terribly common and can be a little tricky to write sometimes without making it disorienting. So far this doesn’t feel too confusing, and the tone-matching of whomever’s head we’re in is working nice for me. There are occasional awkward moments however; there’s a few points where we see multiple characters’ thoughts in a single paragraph, and this is typically disorienting. Granted I’m not an expert in omniscient stories. Still, perhaps consider being only able to see into one pony’s head at a time, and only switch at scene breaks, as that’s sometimes easier to read.
“Pegasus” should be lowercased; likely another victim of Word’s auto-correct “help”.
So far, the story is doing a little bit of… not sure what the proper term is, retreading exposition? Explaining that RD wants to join the Wonderbolts. Explaining who the CMC are and what their shtick is. Since your intended audience is fans of the show, that’s really not necessary. Readers will just glaze over that part, and you never want your readers glazing.
A little bit of explanation Lavender Unicorn Syndrome since you guys likely don’t lurk round the /fic/ parts. The idea is that phrases like “prim pony’s prissy pet” and “the little white filly” are distracting; it takes the reader’s mind a bit of time to figure out the reference. Even if it’s only a fraction of a second to get the reference, it still interrupts the reader’s flow. It’s preferred just to stick to “she” and “Sweetie Belle”. As the author, it may feel like you’re being overly redundant to drop “Sweetie Belle” after “Sweetie Belle”, but it’s actually pretty transparent to the reader.
Also a few emotional-related tells here and there. “She was terrified.” or “The situation frustrated Fluttershy.” Best to avoid these whenever possible and demonstrate the emotion through more expressive means, such as body language. And you do the latter at a number of points, so it’s not an issue of know-how, but more an issue of carrying through all the way. Not an easy issue; plenty of us still grapple with this one.
The ferret references are amusing me :P Hmm, this escalated suddenly. I know that AJ here is just being concerned for the well-being of her little sister, and everypony’s scared, but all the same Fluttershy really had no idea that there was an emergency at the time when she was at Rarity’s—she just thought that the CMC were running amok. For AJ to be verbally lashing out at Fluttershy so much is plausible but a slight stretch of character, and you even point this out yourself. She keeps blaming Fluttershy for things that Fluttershy would have no way of knowing. Even in an emergency, I’d like to think that AJ is a bit more rational than that.
I do like the whole vibe here. Turning rampaging critters (and well, larger-than-critters) into a natural disaster is pretty clever, and I’m liking seeing how the different refugee groups are managing. The part here where Lyra is pleading to go find Twilight to save them all is moving.
Gah! There’s no more! Damn. Well, I can’t blame you for not finishing the story on time; I’ve certainly been there myself. Besides, churning out 12k in a week is already impressive. Trying to churn out around 25k in a week for Parts 1&2 would’ve been pretty hardcore. Hmm *scratches his head to decide if he should read the fairly extensive Part 2 summary.* While I can’t fairly include it in my score since it’s “not really written”, this summary is legit and clearly not a tacked on, eleventh hour afterthought, so it only seems fair to peek at it. Ohhh. Oh oh. Okay, now I see what you’re doing with Fluttershy. I guess the mild departures from canon personality are a necessity to pull it off, and you’re giving as strong a justification as you could realistically muster, such as making AJ fearful for the safety of her family.
Overall, I really liked this one. While a little rough around the edges, there’s a lot of creativity in the source(s) of the emergency. There was good thought that went into how different ponies and refugee groups would react, as well as planning out the interconnected scenes and the impact of those scenes (ex. Rainbow rescuing Fluttershy’s animals and then Fluttershy having a misunderstanding later when she sees the empty cottage.) With a little polish and enough time to complete it, this could be really nice.
Ah, another double-hyphener. What you want here is an emdash (—, hold ALT, 0151 on the numpad, release ALT). If you use em as much as I do, that keystroke’ll become second nature soon enough. “Professor” should be capitalized when it’s used as an honorary like as in “Professor Horase”. Also a bit of its/it’s confusion.Rainbow Dash and the Temple of Doom
Wow, what an open college. If I’d tried to pester my TA to get my paper graded quicker, the response wouldn’t be terribly friendly. Then again, I went to a large college that wasn’t located in Equestria, so I suppose there are some differences. This is also an interesting first-person perspective. I’ve known perhaps one other person, aside from teachers, who actually cared about history, but I can relate to that “how can they not see how awesome this is?” feeling, so to me as a reader it’s interesting seeing that applied to something I don’t normally care about. And of course, that feeling makes sense for a pony like Daring.
I do understand that a Daring Do fic can’t be all boobie traps and explosions. And were this a longer piece, I think I could better appreciate the setup that you were building. As it was, the pacing just felt a bit slow. Going through the numbers, it’s something like 3.0k in the college, 0.9k to reach the temple, and then 2.1k for the rest. Like I said, it was good worldbuilding, so that’s not my problem. It just felt like a bit much for a story this relatively short.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I got a little disoriented during the golem fight. It took me a second read to catch where/when the hole was, and that the golem was large enough to plug the hole entirely with its massive hoof.
The first-person narration was engaging and didn’t do much to knock me out of immersion, with the possible exception of the pacing issue I mentioned. I’d quibble that the artifact in question might’ve been overbilled a bit; for this to have minimal (if magical) security and some sort of magic fog “entrance is here” signal, it seemed a bit easy for a highly-sought-for-millennia relic. But a lot of points—the call to action, the impromptu solution pulled from a seemingly-useless early scene, the moral—felt very nicely constructed and were enjoyable. Nice job.
The narrator feels inconsistent at times, toying with being third person limited on Rainbow Dash. The third section of the fic opens with words like “minutiae” and “rapt”, which clearly aren’t Dash words either, mixed together with phrases like “supposedly really great because it meant that something or other”, which is blatantly Dash. It would probably be best to decide one way or the other on this, if it’s going to be a Dash-driven narrator, or a more independent one.Three Weeks
This was pretty robust, and I’m sorta at a loss for what to comment about it. All the elements of the story arc were there, and aside from the narrative issue I mentioned, the execution seemed solid. I guess my biggest issue would be with that with the short length of the fic and how it played out, Rainbow came across as slightly Sue-ish. Specifically, Rainbow caused an issue by not listening, her friend doesn’t believe her at first, Rainbow is proven right and friend apologizes, Rainbow makes a grab-pull for a solution and ends up saving the day, and in the end Rainbow doesn’t really learn the intended moral. She has a few conflicts—Twilight not believing her, and being a bit scared—but it just feels a little unbalanced and not as engaging as it could be, in regards to her characterization. Still, this one was solid.
Hmm, it looks like you’re using emdashes correctly, but unless it’s getting late and my eyes are going, you’re hyphenating with endashes? Like “number–one assistant” rather than “number-one assistant”. You can stay with hyphens for that. Aww, Spike’s always away on royal business. :( Oh dear, Twilight is making a… must-not-make-TF2-reference… No Man’s Land
“Did you ask Pinkie Pie?” Oops, two speakers in this paragraph here. As a rule, one speaker for one paragraph. Eww, Rarity likes olives? Worst poni gonna worst. Some of these elements—like checklists and parenthetical asides about fish—are fairly non-standard, but since we have a pretty solid third-person limited narrator on Twilight, it’s working for me. “Coo-ee”? That sounds more like AJ than Twilight IMO. Though wait, Twilight did say coo-ee in one episode, didn’t she… you’re gonna throw that in my face, aren’t you… I still say it’s more AJ…
Everyone has their own threshold on this, but italics use is coming across a bit heavy to me. Rarity generally will be the worst offender because it is simply just so, dare I say, important toward hearing her inflection within the words on page, so her italics get a free pass to a certain extent. But then you’ve got a bunch from Twilight and narrator italics as well. All things in moderation; the more you use the italics, the less impact each one will have. Besides, this is typically one of those things where if you’re writing the dialogue right, you don’t really need the italics since people will already be reading it in the pony’s voice.
Coffee with extra sprinkles? Hehe I do like how Twilight spaced out there, reminiscing on old research papers. “Rarity looked a bit worried. She could tell…” Woop woop, careful. This has quite clearly been limited on Twilight’s perspective throughout. Suddenly headhopping into Rarity for a paragraph can be disruptive to the flow. If you want to keep the (quite amusing) joke about alliteration, you can have Rarity mutter that aloud or something external like that.
Oh, hmm. So, there’s a good setup here, and some great characterization particularly on main character Twilight. The moral is a good one—one that I can directly relate to, being a fair bit of an introvert offline myself. So that’s all solid. But the reveal here is completely anticlimactic. After weeks of nearly complete non-communication, minus ordering takeout from Pinkie, and including not answering her door, Fluttershy suddenly drops an “oops, sorry,” and we’re already at the Dear Princess Celestia. Might’ve simply run out of time on this one. It just needs more in that climactic scene. Have Fluttershy reveal her need for alone time. How does she feel about revealing this? How do her friends reveal to realizing they’ve been pushing her too much? Rainbow seemed the most insightful on the matter; did she know Fluttershy better than Rarity did? If you take the time to flesh out that one scene, this can be a really nice one.
Digger sounds a bit articulate for being rudely awoken at four in the morning. “He took one of the buns in his hands, his other sliding the handkerchief with the other bun closer towards Digger, the pony’s eyes as big as saucers as he watched the treat near him.” Careful with sentences like this. There can be a desire sometimes to stuff a little too much information into a single sentence, since we’ve got Perkins doing a few actions and Digger reacting to one of them in this sentence. There’s nothing inherently wrong with long sentences like these; just remember to mix it up a little. I’ve seen a few authors get phobic of short sentences, and that can get exhausting to read.
Goodness, it’s one thing for someone to wake up their squadmate at 4am for a special breakfast. It’s another for an officer to hijack the intercom and say “hay guise I play song 4 u ok”. I can imagine music—well-intentioned if ill-performed—could be a nice reassurance during wartime, but so is uninterrupted sleep. Bagpipes on the loudspeaker? Now both sides will want his head.
I mostly gave this a free pass for throwing us in the middle of a HiE war, but if you’re explicitly referencing Ponyville, be careful. If this takes place in the past, you have the lore in Family Appreciation Day that needs to be accounted for. Of course, this might also take place in the future. While I can appreciate a story that doesn’t answer every question, just be careful that what limited exposition you give isn’t of the “more questions than answers” variety, as that’ll just frustrate readers. Like, you’ve apparently got British and Germans fighting here? But no explanation about how that came to pass. Going more vague might actually work better than offering a non-explanatory answer like “Who’re they fighting?” “Oh, the Germans, obviously.” “Well wait, hang on a minute…”
Admittedly, I don’t read many warfics, let alone HiE. This was a nice scene, and I did like it as a scene, contrasting peace with sudden onslaught and carnage. But for me, it didn’t really stand up as its own story. We’re teased about exposition right up through the final paragraph of the story. We’re built up with these characters of Perkins and Digger—who are fairly nicely characterized for OCs in such a short piece—but then they become dwarfed by the war action (though again, I don’t read many warfics, and I can easily see that as being a deliberate “war makes the individual feel insignificant” motif). The story feels like it ends on rising action more than on a climax, leaving it feel unresolved and a bit unsatisfying in that regard. There’s nothing wrong with just having a scene or vignette, but if this wants to be a story, I don’t think it can end where it did.