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The Training Grounds Anonymous 525[View All]


Greetings all, and welcome to the Training Grounds, the review thread for all authors, reviewers, proofreaders, and editors, both newcomer and seasoned veteran alike. It isn't the only such thread, but it's usually the busiest! (Previous edition of The Training Grounds)

If you're a reviewer, old or new, and you want feedback on your review, please put a "*" at the front of the subject line of your review post.

For writers:
Submission guide | TL/DR of the submission guide | List of TTG regulars | Submission form | List of recently-finished reviews | Reviews in progress
For reviewers:
How to review | List of unclaimed requests
For Maintainers:
The full, current active queue | Statistics and queue-dump text for thread updates | A guide to how it's all organized
Live communication:
The IRC channel

Some Notes:
  • Do jump in and participate if you can. New reviewers, editors and authors are always welcome!
  • No one is infallible. If something doesn't seem right, ask about it! Whether it be about a review you've received, a fanfic submitted, or something about the queue spreadsheet, the best way to solve it is through communication.
  • If you think you've been missed: please remind us with a link to your original post.
  • Feel free to ask questions about fanfics and writing them!
  • If you respond to a post: please link to the post you are responding to.
  • Reviewers: the writers want their work to shine. Highlight faults with gusto. Don't fear compliments either: if something makes you smile, a few kind words won't ruin your review.
  • Writers: the reviewers love to read, but will often lean towards being critical. Don't allow it to discourage you; use their criticism to improve your writing! See "Receiving Critique: Gallant" in The Editor's Omnibus and the Submission Etiquette Guide.

Helpful Documentation

How to request to be a queue maintainer:
Note: you don't have to be a maintainer to help out reviewing in this thread. What maintainers do is update and maintain the queue spreadsheet. If you review in The Training Grounds on a regular basis, and would like to help out maintaining the queue:
  • Read / bookmark this document
  • Email Demetrius (deconstrained at gmail.com) and say something random in that email. Post the same thing (verbatim) in this thread, preferably identifying yourself with a tripcode.
  • When you've been given editing permissions, you may delete your random post.
This post was edited by a moderator on .
374 posts and 147 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.


You're not using a secure tripcode.


That's because you have a regular tripcode. Notice how yours begins with one bang and Minjask's begins with two?

Review acknowledged 3300


Thank you for taking the time to review my story.

>I don’t know if it’s just my inobservance or not, but it took me until you actually stated that it was Nightmare Night to figure it out.

Chapter one starts off with Lyra finishing up the decorations for Nightmare Night, and the summary I posted also states it's Nightmare Night. Did you read either of these, or do I need to state it more often in chapter two?

>If this story is going to stay on Google documents, you might want to see that this line doesn’t get cut by the page break.

It'll be on Fimfiction once it's finished.

>Pinkie Pie on the other hand, feels a bit off

I personally don't think Pinkie is as thick as you say, but I can rework that scene to make her come off as less manipulative.

>The CMCs aren’t too poorly characterized

Can you elaborate what you feel is off about their personalities?

>As a suggestion for a title

Thanks for the suggestion, but I hesitate to include Pinkie's name in the title since she isn't a main character.

*Review, "Silent Knight" 3302

Here it is. (Beware, she be a big one).

I'm going to tell you right now that I wouldn't send this near EQD again until you've run through the review threads at least several more times, preferably in a Google Docs format(The reason for which I will explain in the review itself).

Acknowledging review of "Under Free Flag" twillale!x2C2a1oy82 3303


Thank you, Casca.

Seriously, thank you very much. The first chapter is bad, I kind of instinctively knew that, but I didn't really know what to do with it. Just having someone pointing out the things you actually could do better helps a whole bunch.

Like I've mentioned in the comments of my story this is really the first foray I've made into writing. It was a big personal hurdle to publish UFF for all the world to see, and another one to actually actively work to get a critical review of it. Still, current problems notwithstanding, the good points you found make me feel confident in my ability to improve, given some (or a lot of) time.

Your input is much, much appreciated.

If you think the LUS is strong in this one, you should have seen draft 1. It's… gone now. Forever.

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3304

File: 1357843119281.jpg (5.39 KB, 300x223, titansdream04.jpg)

>Chapter one starts off with Lyra finishing up the decorations for Nightmare Night, and the summary I posted also states it's Nightmare Night. Did you read either of these, or do I need to state it more often in chapter two?
Oh, no no no. I enjoyed it. I'll admit, I chose not to read the summary out of habit. I picked it up because it was at the top of the queue, and only skimmed your submission post long enough to see that there were no special requests. When you said you only needed chapter two looked at, I clicked the link and got started.

Back to the not realizing it was Nightmare Night until you said it. Don't take it as a bad thing, I actually enjoyed it. It made me laugh when I thought this was going to be some sort of horror story and then I was like "Oh. Haha, it's just Nightmare Night."

>Can you elaborate what you feel is off about their personalities?

Well, I suppose I could try. Usually when I read a character, who happens to be well in character, I get a strong sense of "Yes, that character would totally say/do that." like I did with Twilight's 'Fear-O-Meter'. When I was reading the CMC's, they came off as mere foals, despite their names. There's nothing to distinguish them as Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom, although Sweetie Belle's fashion disaster idea from Rarity was a nice touch. Other than that, I don't really know how to tell you precisely what was wrong with them, other than that they pass for what they were without claiming that they are. Sorry if that doesn't make sense.

Huh. I guess I just never noticed before. It's the same key, after all.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim: Stars and Stripes Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3318

File: 1357880141798.jpg (35 KB, 720x480, I am going to viciously murder…)

You're in luck. I'm bored, and you're 3 months overdue. Your demise shall be swift and painful.

Review: Stars and Stripes Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3320

File: 1357882744501.jpg (24.72 KB, 320x240, 1129587313_Psupergirls.jpg)

Okay, so I spent the past two thirds of an hour dragging my eyes across that pile of broken glass that you attempt to call a story. As a result they are bleeding heavily, though surprisingly intact. Your pacing is terrible. Did you expect me to cry when events escalated far too quickly to even begin to summon Will Ferrell? Or when emotions were described in such simple and inelegant detail that I had no way to properly imagine them? Did you even stop to think that a reader might enjoy arriving at those emotions on their own? You’ve atrociously misinterpreted the phrase, *tell* a story. You have the worst case of Lavender Unicorn Syndrome I’ve ever seen, you mix and match sentences that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and to top it all off: none of your characters act in a manner that could be called natural by any stretch of the imagination. I would advise you to roll your story up, soak it in kerosene, and toss it into the nearest incinerator. Then, buy a new quill, new ink, and new parchment. Set them aside in a closet. Read at least one of the following guides, if not all.
After that, pick up a book. Read it. Pay very VERY close attention to the writing. Notice the pacing, the prose, the dialogue, the punctuation, the sentence flow, the variation in sentences. Then and only then, should you pull out the quill and ink, and continue to write. You will either enjoy the results, or you will view all of your future scribblings as worthless drivel. In either case, so much the better for the writing community at large.

This has been your foretold and unkind review. Should you require more detailed feedback, you are free to ask, but I do not promise to give it. Thank you for browsing /fic/ and have a nice day.


File: 1357893234944.png (62.69 KB, 254x254, Twilight13654684.png)

Yeah… this is why I was waiting for the author to finish making the edits her last two reviewers had suggested before starting this.


Howdy! Can we please remove this story from the queue? I'm shelving it for a bit… plus Umbra just ripped it to shreds. :)



On a side note, I have a question. Assuming that each thread auto sages at 400 posts, we're getting pretty close to the time when we have to make the next edition of TTG. Is there a way for someone to make an op post on MLPchan with the links as they are here or will we always have to wait for !!Spike or !!Applejack to do it.

Though to be honest the only reason why I ask is because I want to be the one to choose the next TTG op picture, as I has done these last couple of times on Ponychan.

!!Spike ## Mod 3327

File: 1357895752338.jpg (37.97 KB, 701x960)

At the moment, mods are the only ones with the ability to embed a link in text. We can change the text of any post to have those links, though, kind of like how OPs on Ponychan were done.

Claim of "Survivor Shy" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3328

File: 1357897902246.png (247.01 KB, 639x526, lets_go.png)


I think this might be a winner. Claimed, and I'll see what I can do ya for.

!!Applejack ## Admin ## 3331

File: 1357922009736.png (57.87 KB, 250x250)

Yes, this. While we're going to look at making a code tag like [url] to allow that for users, until then we can do it; the password for the OP can also be shared among the TTG faithful to update whenever necessary.

Tactical 3334

On my phone so i cant be bothered doing this properly. Im doing the oldest story in the queue. Itll be done today or else cpnsider the claim relinquished.

Brony 2-Ma-Ro 3338

A thousand thanks.
True to your word, Part 1 was painful to go through, but it really helped. I've been making this story piecemeal for the last year (Anniversary is tomorrow, actually!)
While I will say you've failed to deter me from writing further, you have cemented my decision do a full systems revamp, now with the incorporation of your input. (I'm sure that last sentence is good grammar somewhere on earth.)

Many of the holes you "poked" do get filled later in the story (so far as I can tell), but seeing as it's not written, no harm, no foul. And I'm glad you caught the 117 reference, though I hadn't even considered the others you pulled out.
Seeing the review you've done, I'm definitely shaken by the prospect of performing reviews myself. This outshines any I might do by far.
Right, babbling now. Shutting up.

Give aster*sk and @t my best wishes (and sincerest apologies).



I enjoy seeing writers like you, and I imagine I speak for the board in this regard. Makes some of us all toasty inside.

My own personal belief in what makes a true writer an artist is someone who finds not discouragement in criticism, but a challenge. You will find most of us bark quite loudly, but should you treat your reviewers with respect, I imagine you shall have the friends you need to truly shine. Fear not to ask questions, or express doubts, for that is why you are here.

Which you are well on the road to doing. So, I can quite sincerely hope your story finds its place amongst the rightfully upheld fics of the fandom someday should you continue with this attitude.

I also fully encourage you to try out reviewing. Even if you can only share an honest opinion, nothing is a better learning experience than teaching someone else. A great many of us started out the same way/are the same way still, and you will find your own writing improving quite a great deal as you dissect and attempt to explain what you like/dislike in other stories with a degree of rationale. Practice, practice, practice. It’s what makes a writer better.

If you fear your reviews might be less than professional, you can always append the title of your post with an asterisk (like I did in your review). That signifies you are requesting a review of your review, and we’ve a couple of people in here who like helping out in that regard once in a while.

Now, before we go, I think these two have something they want to say to you as well. @. *. (They say it’s cool; just make sure to keep working at it.)

The Adventures of Dewey Decimal and Steven Tactical!fRainBOoMw 3340

I have grammar nitpicks for you but I'm going to intentionally skip some of—your mechanics are acceptable enough, and this isn't a gdoc fo rme to line edit, and even if it was, I'd prefer not to spend too much time on grammar cleanup.

However, here's an important grammar thing for you to fix.
Long ago some stuffy head librarian decided that it was unsafe for ponies to carry a stack of more than five books at a time

It was nearing two o'clock in the morning and the head librarian of the Canterlot library was sitting at his desk.

This rule had proudly been ignored by everypony who had ever worked there since but nopony had ever bothered to change it.

Similar piles of books littered the room rather than being placed neatly on shelves and the pair's impressive collection of board games was spread out over the central table.

While he had been reading Dewey had left the office and had started picking up the books off the floor.
All of these sentences are short one comma. I think the second one might need two more. Here's a sentence that uses the kind of comma that you're leaving out:
"And that, girl, is how we do it on the farm." Applejack cracked her neck, and then she kissed her semi-conscious pegasus lover on the cheek and rolled out of bed.
This comma is separating clauses. Applejack cracked her neck COMMA, CONJUNCTION, did another action.
Rainbow Dash replied with an incomprehensible murmur, which Applejack chose to believe was Dash's way of expressing gratitude for the good time she'd just been shown.
The first sentence had two independent clauses—I could've written that as two sentences rather than gluing them together with "comma, and then". With this one the second clause isn't like that, but the rule is the same.

The rules for commas are, as you might imagine, complicated. Go learn the actual rules, for real, if you don't know them. What I just told you is nowhere near good enough.

>Wiping the cover, he looked around his office for the cause of his awakening. He heard the whistling and eyed the door before noticing the true cause of his unwelcome return to consciousness. He levitated the scroll towards him, unfurled and read it.

This is a lot of words—actually a lot of sentences—for a very quick action. It makes a short, cute moment into something more drawn-out than it should be. In particular, look at that second sentence—in my opinion, it's rather long and clunky. If you could hone it into something quick and stylish it would be a good thing instead of a bad thing. And the last sentence is very flat and boring. This seems like a nitpick, but it's an improvement you could stand to make in general. I'll give more examples if there are any particularly stand-out ones.

>the spiky maned pegasus

You can do better than that. Give this a little show-don't tell moment i.e. "Steven's head perked up, his spiky mane falling messily across his etc etc etc"

>"It's your own fault. You know you shouldn't carry so many books at once."

I like your sense of humor in general, but this specific paragraph is a little flat. It should be told faster—a gag this irrelevant has no business involving a sentence like "Long ago some stuffy head librarian decided that it was unsafe for ponies to carry a stack of more than five books at a time and so—" etc. Also, on first reading, the last sentence doesn't quite click strongly enough as the reason why nobody's changed the rule.


This is I think the third typo I've spotted. Do a sweep.

>As far as he was concerned, she was someone with power, and that was trouble. The previous head librarian had often talked about Twilight Sparkle's study sessions.

Telly and doesn't really even convey what it's talking about.

>'That Miss Sparkle, she'd read books faster than you can put them of the shelves. Before she moved to the country, she practically lived here.'

Don't let this hang. Frame it, because I didn't get what was going on with this line at first. "Dewey remembered somepony telling him…"

>He placed the stack of books on a nearby desk…

I would expect some show-don't-tell about how Dewey is feeling about the impending visit, here. Instead you have a paragraph that gets telly about something that's rather simple and frankly doesn't seem relevant.

>The prodigy's

bad instance of LUS imo. The two characters hear her voice but they don't instantly think of her as "the prodigy." Maybe "a visitor?" I accept use of LUS when it's being used to talk about one character's relationship to—and/or perspective on—another.

>He'd been so proud, so happy his son was destined to follow in his hoofsteps.

Here's something you could show-don't-tell. Change this to a little flashback one or two sentences long. Or don't—it just seemed like a teachable moment, and this story could generally benefit from slashing some telling. If you manage to show-don't-tell little details like this, or if you decide to just cut them, it'll help the story can flow on in an engaging way. Little explanations like this can weigh you down.

>dialogue punctuation

The rules here are complicated. The simple rule is to treat what's inside the quotes as part of the sentence, so don't capitalize if you end a quote with a comma. I'm tired, so if you need, ask me and I'll give you a better lesson. Otherwise, seek help in an actual style guide. You make a lot of mistakes with this, enough so that I can tell it's not just occasional errors—you need someone to teach you the rules proper.

Sleep time. Imma pick this back up when I can.
This post was edited by its author on .

just leaving this here 3341

File: 1357985277152.png (351.37 KB, 702x466, 130859725672.png)

TTG Template, modified for mlpchan
With Pegasi's permission I'll add the Cloudsdale theme to it just for fun.

Let me know if anything else needs changing.

Review Request: Grace in Equestria Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3358

File: 1358041076836.png (247.28 KB, 1056x1252, Azure Spark.png)

Hello. This here's a crossover with the webcomic El Goonish Shive by Dan Shive, but I can only think of one pony in here who might know the crossover material, so hopefully I crossed it over effectively. I'm also not that great with comedy so… here's hoping. I'm labeling it HiE tentatively since Grace is only 33% human.

Title: Grace in Equestria
Author: BleedingRaindrops
Tags: Comedy, Crossover, HiE
Word count: 2364
Synopsis: Okay, okay, cruddy title, I know, and this is going to be a cruddy synopsis as well. Grace is a super awesome alien girl with morphing abilities, and her crazy boyfriend sent her to Equestria for Celestia knows why. Did I mention she's part squirrel?


Claim 3364

I haven't done this in a while. I'll claim The Great and Powerful Escape Artist!

Edit: As is the custom for my reviews, it is too long to fit in one post, so it makes more sense to make contiguous posts.

If brevity is the soul of wit, then I'm either soulless or stupid.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Stage Fright! by Ezn (Part 1 of 1) Filler 3375

Note after writing the entire review: After looking it over once and already formulating an opinion on it, this review is largely based on what I remember your fic to be rather than what it actually is, despite the fact that I've been constantly looking at your story. Writer's blindness works both ways, I guess.

And so here is my first proper review in well over six months. Goodness, I feel so rusty now.

As always, please take anything and everything I say with a grain of salt. When I don't have an answer, I tend to just make things up—or as I like to call it, theorycraft. And since your issues appear to be less word-and-sentence level, which is what I think I work with often, I'll likely be making a lot of things up. Everything I say is just a suggestion to be considered, not an edict to be followed.

Apologies if I am rude in any way, and sincerest apologies if I've been incorrect or unhelpful. I remember having a bunch of other opening qualifying statements, but I can't quite remember what they were. I suggest reading the overall section at the bottom before making any changes.

Initial thoughts
Well, now that I've read the entire thing, I can't say much in this regard, can I?

Let's try it anyways. The synopsis:

>"Sweetie Belle loves to sing and make up little songs for her and her friends, and she's quite good at it. When Rarity hears her beautiful singing voice for the first time, she suggests Sweetie Belle audition for the Sapphire Shores Singer Search.

>"In front of strangers. Lots of strangers."

It feels like there's a disconnect between the first and second sentence. The first and second both feel like they're fighting each other for the same purpose: they both feel like they're meant to be introductory (well, since it's in the synopsis, I suppose it's all introductory, but even within the synopsis, I mean). The first introduces Sweetie Belle's singing. The second introduces the Singer Search. The first does so while focusing on Sweetie Belle, as if it is… I hesitate to say from Sweetie's perspective, but it's fairly close to her. The second does so while focusing on Rarity, but from Rarity's perspective. Not only are you introducing the conflict, you're introducing a whole other point of view.

…I think.

I'd suggest adding a "So" in front of the second sentence to kind of force the second sentence to add onto the first rather than fighting with it for attention, but then that'd be starting a sentence with a conjunction and that'd feel so awkward. I'd also suggest adding a "her sister" in front of "Rarity" to force perspective, but that might be verbose.

With a second paragraph that short, you seem to hint that you're going more of a comedic route. (It feels like it's meant to be a punchline—it feels like it's delivered like one—but there's no irony in it for it to be comedic.) There isn't a comedy tag on the story, nor is your story fitting of one. That is to say, comedy is not the driving force of your fic. While I think the second paragraph is good and well connected to the second sentence, I'm not sure if it's quite right for your story.

Stream of consciousness
>Sweetie Belle felt bored.
-After staring at this line for a while and wondering why it seemed so off to me, I think I've discovered the reason. At first, I thought it was the tense conflict between this line and the chapter title. Now I believe it's the word "bored." Not a show vs. tell problem, mind you—it's that the rest of the paragraph:
>On the kitchen table in front of her sat a half-finished page of homework. She absently chewed her pencil, trying to figure out the answer to a math problem that had her well and truly stumped. She wrote some numbers down on the paper, ruled a line, began to add them… and then reread the question and dropped her pencil. Sighing, she reached for her eraser.
doesn't sound like boredom. Let's look at the words you've used. "Absently." "Trying." "Stumped." "Sighing." Hm. Maybe there are some show vs. tell issues here, but I'll ignore those for now. Those four words—do they sound like boredom to you? The first and last might, but all together, that sounds more like frustration to me.

>It was the pleasant day outside, and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were probably off having fun, Sweetie thought.

-"The" should be "a".
-Consider moving "Sweetie thought" to after "outside."
-Though this weather report may be somewhat far into the fic (i.e., not the first sentence of the story), it's still just that—a weather report. Not a particularly vivid one, either. More importantly, though, is that this weather report is pretty monotone. I can't remember who it was that keeps using the first line of 1984 by George Orwell for how to do weather reports in a non-obtrusive manner (You, perhaps? I do not remember, I'm afraid), but it does so in a way with voice. It sounds natural. "It was [a] pleasant day outside" doesn't sound very natural, and it doesn't have that voice. When you're trying to sound like a children's story, lack of a voice is toxic.

>"Sorry, Sweetie," Rarity said, already walking into the next room with a glass of water floating behind her, "but I'm incredibly busy with this order.

-As heretical as it may sound, I suggest changing "…behind her, 'but…' " to "…behind her. 'But…' " As much as I dislike opening sentences with conjunctions, I believe it to be better than that fuck-huge-long behemoth of a sentence. Actually, now that I look at it, "already walking into the next room with a glass of water floating behind her" could probably use its own sentence. When you have a participle phrase longer than the independent clause it's tacked onto, that's likely something to consider.

>Sweetie frowned. "But Rarity, it's just –"

-The longer I looked at it, the weirder this line seemed to me. I think I know why:
-First, there's the disproportionate dialogue. The story is about Sweetie Belle. Why is Rarity getting more lines in this scene? With that, the focus shifts heavily on Rarity. I suppose that it's not actually about the number of lines of dialogue Sweetie Belle is getting; it's the scene in general. After the setup in the first paragraph, the focus violently shifts to Rarity. We also get more details about Rarity: red sewing glasses, twenty new outfits. Compare that to the details we get about Sweetie Belle: wrote down some numbers,
-Next, there's the narration being subservient to the dialogue. More on this in the first point in the overall section. The gist of it is that in a children's story, dialogue is intertwined with narration to set a pace and a mood. Here, it feels like narration is getting pushed out of the way and compacted and condensed into cramped spots to make room for dialogue. The narration should carry you from event to event and conversation to conversation, yes, but it's most certainly used for much more than that.

>All it is is math and I can do it if I think.

-Comma after "math."
-Not a big fan of having the song be treated as pretty much normal dialogue. I suggest moving it to its own paragraph:
>"All it is is math,
>and I can do it if I think.
>Rarity is right,
>I'll have this finished in a blink."
preceded by a statement leading into it, like the one I used at the beginning of this bullet point. Hyphen. Thing.

>There was a sudden frantic clopping of hooves against tiles.

-Deflects focus away from charactres and onto the floor. I say floor in general, as you do not specify what tiles, and doing so would probably be a bad idea.
-More importantly, it's passive voice, which weakens the narrative.

>"What is that heavenly sound?" called Rarity's voice.

-This might just be a me thing, but it bothers me when one uses "said X's voice" when X is physically present in the scene. It's not obvious that this is the case here, but that's how I interpret it. After all, it's hard to hear frantic clopping of hooves against tiles and not look in that general direction. And from the way you were talking about how Rarity left the room, it seems like Sweetie Belle has the next room's entrance already in her field of vision.

>Sweetie Belle found herself staring into her sister's excited blue eyes, confused at how she had slipped into the kitchen again without her noticing.

-Like this. The move from the above line to this line is pretty jarring due to the sudden shift in perspective. It feels like it's missing something, and that something is Rarity reentering the room.
-This line, along with many others, feels very rushed. Rather than having an idea (first clause) be expanded upon by another idea (second clause), you lump the second idea into the first (using a modifier—which, I should note, can be considered dangling in this case).

>And then Sweetie Belle realised what had happened. Sometimes, when she got bored or frustrated, she'd make up a little song about what she was doing to feel better. She'd done it again, only this time she'd been singing loud enough for her sister to overhear!

-Consider cutting out some stuff. This looks like it needs to be trimmed down, seeing as how you've got terms that don't do much. For example, you say she realizes "what had happened" and then immediately sayng what that was. While that's not a bad thing (and it might even be what you want), this builds up to a reveal that has little impact, making the buildup feel… pointless, should I say? I mean, cutting things is definitely not the only thing you can do here, but as it is, it feels kind of fluffed and flat.

>Sweetie Belle bit her lip, feeling a blush coming on.

-This is what I mean by "doesn't sound like a children's story." This is showing. You show us Sweetie Belle's actions (and use kinesthetic imagery (or I'm assuming that's what feeling a blush is)) and expect us to infer Sweetie Belle's emotions. While not bad in and of itself, it feels like a pretty complex action for a seven year old. Or at least I would think so. I don't suggest telling us what she's feeling all the time, of course, but this feels pretty deep in the showing zone, which makes it kind of awkward with your proceeding line of "…she said meekly."
-May require transition from previous paragraph. The previous paragraph is an aside in this conversation's context.
-Maybe it's just me, but from what I've seen, those who sing in public are usually not ashamed of it.

>"Bothering me? Perish the thought, dearest sister!" Rarity cried, speaking in the very silly way she sometimes did.

-Suggesting you cut everything after "cried." Who thinks it's silly?

>She always felt embarrassed when older ponies complimented her like this, even when it was her sister.

-I suggest: putting parentheses (In narration? Heresy!) around this line; or finding some way to weave it into the narrative better. As it is, it stands out pretty harshly, being a sudden line of infodump in an ongoing conversation.

>"Sweetie Belle," Rarity said, speaking with a commanding tone, "it would simply not do for you to let this voice of yours go unnoticed. Did you know that the Sapphire Shores Singer Search is going to be having auditions right here in Ponyville in less than a week?" Rarity giggled. "Sapphire told me herself."

>"No, I didn't, uh, know that, but –"
>"You simply must participate, Sweetie! It would make Mother and Father ever so proud!"
>"Uh, I guess, but –"
>"And me too, Sweetie. I would be honoured to be the sister of a filly – nay, a young lady who shared such a beautiful gift as her lovely voice with the whole of Equestria."
-See above point on Rarity dominating the scene.

>Sweetie gulped.

-Visual/auditory conflict. I get the feeling that you're trying to put pictures directly in your readers' head rather than funneling them through the middleman of a storyteller. That sentence I just wrote makes sense to me now; I'm not sure if it will later. The idea is that you're telling a story, not animating an episode.

>on the other hoof

-Suggest replacing with something more detached. Perspective and whatnot.

>Once Miss Cheerilee gave the class their homework and let them out for the afternoon, the Crusaders rushed to their clubhouse. The three of them stood in a circle…

-Not sure about the part about mentioning homework. On one hand, it doesn't get brought up ever again, making it feel like fluff. On the other, if you just cut it, the scene feels like it kind of lacks a lead-in.
-Consider changing the lines to: "…and let them out for the afternoon, the three Crusaders rushed to their clubhouse. The three of them They stood in a circle…" or maybe cut the "stood in a circle" part" and replace it with just "There, Sweetie Belle took…"

>The three of them stood in a circle, and Sweetie Belle took a deep breath and told her friends all about the singing contest, how much her sister wanted her to participate, and how nervous it was making her.

-Missing italicized word.
-Goodness, this sentence is heavy. Consider breaking it up.

>"Ah, come on, Sweetie Belle, it won't be that bad!" Apple Bloom said, once Sweetie had finished talking.

>Once Sweetie had finished talking, Apple Bloom said, "Ah come on, Sweetie Belle! It won't be that bad!"

>"I don't know… What if I forget my lines?" Sweetie Belle rubbed a nervous hoof on the floor.

-Consider putting the speaker earlier.

>Apple Bloom grabbed Sweetie Belle by the shoulders to stop her from shaking.

-What shaking?

>Sweetie stopped shaking, and Apple Bloom released her, and then grinned at Scootaloo.

-Who's grinning? Ambiguous.

>"Really?" Sweetie asked, her spirits already rising.

-My god I hate this sentence structure. If you're going to tell us how she feels, I suggest devoting an independent clause to it.

>Sweetie's eyes went wide with horror. Apple Bloom slapped her forehead and glared at Scootaloo. "You're not going to mess up, Sweetie – Scoots is just sayin' things."

-Three ponies, two subjects, one speaker. Consider adding the speaker.


-Is this a soft scene break? If so, I suggest adding a third space.

>Some autumn leaves floated past her in the wind…

-Feels too elevated.

—At this point, I think I've pointed out the general trends. I claimed this fic a month ago, and making you wait any longer just feels awful, so I'm cutting off the line-by-line here. (There wasn't much substance to it, anyways.)

-Narration is subservient to dialogue in the beginning. This means you're not setting up that children's story voice hard enough. Yes, I keep saying "children's story voice" like there's only one children's story voice—there isn't; there are more—there's the voice used in Going Up, from the same competition; there's the voice used in uSea's Ditzy Doo and the Blustery Day—neither of which I believe is quite the same as the voice I assume you're trying to set—but whatever gives off the feel of "children's story voice," I'm afraid that I think this doesn't quite have it. The next few points in this overall section will be mostly me stumbling over myself in attempts to identify what it is that gives a children's story voice. Damned if I know anything about how that works.
-Narration needs a voice. Take this line for example:
>"This must be a simply enormous wardrobe!" thought Lucy, going still further in and pushing the
soft folds of the coats aside to make room for her. Then she noticed that there was something
crunching under her feet. "I wonder is that more mothballs?" she thought, stooping down to feel it
with her hand. But instead of feeling the hard, smooth wood of the floor of the wardrobe, she felt
something soft and powdery and extremely cold. "This is very queer," she said, and went on a step or
two further.
Copied and pasted from the first Narnia book. Very simple words, in vocabulary difficulty and number of syllables. Hm. Maybe this is why pony names are often three syllables or more—they stand out more. The narrative there also addresses the reader:
>At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.
>None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different.
The first example is a lot more common, I would think. The "you" could easily be replaced with "one" and it'd maintain the meaning. It would probably maintain most of it's voice as well; in both cases, the narration is very casual and not very rigid. There's a difference, but it's slight, and it's not the point of this bullet point; the point is that this casualness gives Narnia's narrative that children's story sense.
-Tell, don't show. Yes, you read that correctly. Complexity. You make the narrative much more complicated than it needs to be with fancy words and complex sentence structures and showing a pony's body language and then expecting the reader to infer what that means in the given context when you've just used the word "meekly" two lines before and… Well, you get the idea.
-Pacing. Everything feels really rushed. This isn't a children's-story-voice thing as much as it is just what I think about the general structure of the story. It might be because you're focusing deeply on several specific points while jumping between them with short transitions rather than spreading focus out evenly. This deep-focus thing may be linked to complexity.
-Note that some of my suggestions do not work well with other suggestions I make. Kind of like bleach and ammonia—both of them will clean things fairly well, but mixing them can get you killed. (As can following any of my suggestions, but that's a different matter.)

Closing thoughts
As I said in IRC, I suspect that you're moving out of your comfort zone by writing in this style. I also suspect that you're drifting back into your comfort zone with more common, mainstream techniques, rather than the devices you'd see in, say, Winnie-the-Pooh. The main thing is getting the children's story voice thing in line, I'd say.

Despite how long I took on this review, I do suggest getting another set of eyes on this. I could be completely off in this review. I keep saying that you're out of your comfort zone, but in giving non-word-and-sentence-level feedback, I'm out of my comfort zone as well. More importantly, everything I say here is extremely subjective—moreso than it would be otherwise. (Oh, there's the qualifier I was missing!) And as I said, I tend to just make stuff up when I don't actually know what's wrong.
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Review Request: Time Turner’s Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration 3376

File: 1358098410689.png (96.44 KB, 282x320, like_a_sir_by_secret_pony-d52u…)

Good evening fellow writers and readers.

I bring you this fic, this glorious time-sink and a labour only its author could love.

I submitted this to EQD months ago as part of their month long writing comp, after their feedback I got my hands on a style guide and improved my grammar significantly.
I’ve edited the entire story multiple times and rewritten the worst chapters, a non trivial amount of work. So now I’m seeking feedback, everything I got on Fimfic says it good but i’ve never had a proper review nor have I been able to find a pre-reader to help me.

So here I am, I’ve come as far as I can without further feedback and I want to get this past the EQD pre-readers just to prove to myself it’s possible.

Due to the obvious issue of length (its 2000 words long than the longest fic in the queue right now) I'm not expecting anyone to claim the entire thing, all the chapters are individually available on GDocs.
I'll also be claiming a few fics to review to make up for this… thing.
Edit: holding off on a claim until I've had enough sleep to be declared legally sane, confound these ponies.

Title: Time Turner’s Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration
Author: Rodinga
Email Address: [email protected]
Tags: [Adventure][Comedy][Random][Light Shipping]
Word Count: 36,878 words

Time Turner is a Detective, specifically a Discordian Detective. Unlike his "normal" counterparts Turner investigates cases using the balance of Harmony and Disharmony. All in the name of fun and profit.

Set two years before Luna's return Time Turner is hired by a young Rarity to locate her missing kitten Opalescence, lost somewhere in Canterlot.
During the course of his investigation the forces of Chaos lead him into conflict with Vinyl Scratch, Octavia and the Marefia crime gang who run Canterlot's illegal alcohol racket.

To solve the mystery of the missing kitten, Time Turner has to bring down the Marefia and destroy the illegal alcohol trade, while interrupting a performance of the Canterlot Symphony Orchestra.
Just another case for a Discordian Detective.

GDOCS: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B5gI-CcsIkUEUVU0amdoU082WlU/edit
This post was edited by its author on .

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 3377

File: 1358101303059.png (162.27 KB, 600x445, 132641278165.png)


This sounded so awesome until "marefia." That made me cringe. That aside, the concept does sound spectacular, and I wish I didn't already have three works (how the hell did that even happen? oh, right, IRC.) on my plate and my homework to wrestle with, to boot.

But who knows. Like you said, people tend to shy away from length. Maybe it'll still be up by the time I clear my work load. I'm torn between hoping it is and hoping it isn't… I've got a lot of work, so it'll probably be quite a while.

Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 3379

File: 1358105670362.jpg (136.42 KB, 772x1000, 4a4a24c9cd047a41357377349d64eb…)

Longest review I've ever received. Thank you very much for all your hard work, Filler. It was a long wait, but this is worth it.

Ever since I submitted this fic as a competition entry I've had this niggling feeling at the back of my mind that it was just wrong in a lot of ways, and I really think you've nailed pretty much all of them. It was written over about three days, and in my hurry to get it finished, I made only the most cursory attempts to actually write it as a children's story. The flaws and idiosyncrasies of my preferred style — images that need to be processed, a deep focus on individual scenes often to the detriment of their connections, sentences that should be shorter, lack of a voice — are magnified in how inappropriate they are for the intended audience and when juxtaposed with my few adverbial plays at doing what I was supposed to be doing.

I'll copy all this somewhere safe and go through the story a few time with your suggestions in mind. It's really important for me as a writer to stretch my boundaries and write in different styles. I'm gonna leave that comfort zone.

>I can't remember who it was that keeps using the first line of 1984 by George Orwell for how to do weather reports in a non-obtrusive manner (You, perhaps? I do not remember, I'm afraid)

I think I've done that once or twice. Anyway, good point, will rejigger.

>Not a big fan of having the song be treated as pretty much normal dialogue. I suggest moving it to its own paragraph

Heh, this is exactly how I did some of the zebra dialogue in my other fic. With the rhyming, zebra comparisons are probably inevitable anyway.

>sentences starting with conjunctions, parenthesis, etc…

It's a sin to say it, but I'm really not hung up about that stuff much at all. I've stopped using brackets in dialogue though. =P

It's funny how the Narnia books got less and less friendly and colloquial as the series went on. The Last Battle is some straight-laced high fantasy writing, and I always find myself thrown by the one use of "I" as referring to the author near the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

>Tell, don't show. Yes, you read that correctly.

You may have crossed this out, but I think it's an appropriate comment. In some ways, this fic is pretty much a case study in tell, don't show. I've been thinking about it quite a bit lately, and the thing is, we say "show, don't tell" because showing is the most obvious, easiest, and usually most appropriate way to uphold a more important rule: "don't be boring". I think you can tell a good deal if you actually have an interesting voice for it, like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett or, well, a good children's story writer. But it ain't easy gettin' that right.

I'll bring up anything else I have issues with in IRC, or in a note tied to a brick thrown through your window. Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim, "Time Turner’s Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration" 3383


Well, I share a goal with you, and I know the dream. No-one's ever even read the end of mine yet. Hopefully Garnot will soon change that.

I'll take you on. 30k? Oh trust me, I’ve seen much bigger fics requested…

I can’t crank it out quick, but it'll get done. However, before I can begin… I sort of need the beginning. You're missing chapter one in that collection; might want to take care of that soon. Also going to need comments enabled for them.


Who knows? Maybe by the time I've done what I can, this fella up here will be available for more fine-tuning. Angles has certainly got a much better grasp of the technicals than I do. I’m just someone who has an almost physical need to finish things; I hate leaving a story only read half-way, or a movie only partly watched. It’s the reason I take on long-fics if they peak my interest. Plus the next time I submit a 60k+ word-beast, I’ll have less competition in the wings, eh?
This post was edited by its author on .

* Review of The Great and Powerful Escape Artist! Part 1: 3385

I haven't done this in a while so I might as well get feedback.

One of the reasons I picked this is that on a quick readthrough, you have a lot of instances of dialogue punctuation gone poorly, and if there's one person suited to collecting a large list of those quickly, it's me.

Ezn's Guide contains a pretty good explanation of how to fix dialogue punctuation, so I'll just link to him instead of reinventing the wheel. http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Said-tags Using his terminology, you seem to have a nasty case of preceding action tags connected to your dialogue via commas. If you're not sure how to fix the listed mistakes after reading Ezn's Guide, let me know and I'll try to explain as well.

Here's a list of places where this occurs:
the eye, "So
with pride, "Yes
her face, "And
her head, "Not
at Trixie, "But
the table, "This
her forehead, "Ok
she smiled, "We
the way, "There
another corner, "This
and smiled, "Ah
Trixie read aloud, "A
stepped in, "I
the pair, "Welcome
at last, "Oh
Twilight smiled politely, "Yes
and frowned, "Aren't
her head, "Maybe
music scale, "Thatt'le
away slightly, "It
a drawer, "Now
she talked, "Well
and frowned, "If
the stick, "Please
speak up, "Yes
hooves together, "Good
mob boss, "About
less menicingly, "I'll
Twilight nodded, "Yes
Lyra stood up, "The
a microphone, "Take
green ones, "I
note pad, "I
Essence spoke up, "However
unicorn's horn, "Today
her face, "Next
to him, "Wait
wife's pockets, "I'm
note book, "you
to sweat, "Well
to b, "YOU
Essence spoke again, "How
hugged her, "Now

You have a few other dialogue mistakes as well. Here they are:
Boutique." Trixie read aloud
Twilight?" She said in a
Baaaabe?" She said in a
sir…" The aquamarine unicorn said

You also have systemic problems with vocative commas. Ezn's Guide mentions this here: http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Miscellaneous-dialogue-punctuation with the sentence If someone is being addressed in dialogue, a comma should appear before their name.

Here's a list of the missing vocative commas I found:
even going Twilight Sparkle
sponsor us Twilight
"Yes you can - While not strictly a vocative comma, this goes along the same lines. Interjections like Yes should also be set off with commas.
help you Twilight
Yes so she
you got it Twilight

Other comments: You have a lot of simple technical mistakes, as you mentioned in the review request, so I'm trying to be thorough about those. You also have other issues, and I'll comment on the more egregious ones, but there are enough mechanical errors that they will be the focus of the review. So, this story likely will need more than one pass to fix up completely.

>It has been three days since Trixie has gone into the box.
This sentence is in present tense, but your fic (including the rest of the scene) is written in past tense. Changing tenses is generally jarring and unless you are trying to create a really weird timeline, you should stick with the same tense.
>Change each has to had.

>the clear flexible glass like material

Lists of adjectives should be comma separated and glass-like should have a hyphen
>the clear, flexible, glass-like material

>She looked down the clear, flexible, glass like material and made note of how far the ground was below her, and looked up at the solid wood top above.

You have three parallel clauses, so they should follow the <verb><clause1>,<clause2>,<conjunction><clause3> form.
>material and made -> material, made

>begin to flash pictures

You do this quite a bit, so I'll reference Ezn again. http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Being-laconic Check number 1.

>to the ground…

http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Commas-semicolons-colons-dashes-and-ellipses Read the bit about ellipses. It's unnecessary here and you are probably better served with a full stop instead.

>library, both were

Comma splice. See http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/comma-splice.aspx for an explanation.

You have quite a few comma splices in dialogue, but since these are often more intentional, I'm not going to flag each of them. However, if you don't know what I'm talking about with regards to comma splices, you should ask and I'll flag some of them.

>looked up from the piece of paper before her and looked Trixie

You re-use looked twice in one sentence here. Also, "before her" is a bit awkward, as it caused a bit of a parse error. Perhaps "looked up from her paper" would be a good replacement for the first clause.

>an impressed expression on her face

http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Show-dont-tell You'll need to try harder on this one.

>While I am great and powerful, and Trixie could easily craft

You're inconsistent about Trixie speaking in the third person. Since she is asking Twilight for a favour, it does make some sense for her to speak in first person, as that is less condescending, and having her use third person is well within Trixie's established character, but you need to pick one and stick to it.

>So, its a trick

It's is the contraction for it is, while its is the possessive form.

>like… A distraction

You aren't starting a new sentence, so a shouldn't be capitalised. Also, be very careful about overusing ellipses in dialogue. While they are more acceptable there than in narration, they can still tend to be overused. You may want to consider moving some of your preceding action tags into the dialogue to serve as beats when you need a pause.

>Its called

Its/it's error.

>this stunt we need

Missing a comma to separate clauses
>this stunt, we need

>a sponsor…"

Ellipsis isn't needed here. Ellipses should be use when the speech is trailing off, and this is supposed to be a confident exit.

>An hour later Twilight and Trixie found themselves in Ponyville's east end

Missing comma. You seem to do this quite a bit, so I'll give you a trick for catching these. If you have a statement that gives some context, like a location or a time, try removing that contextual statement and reading the statement. In this case, An hour later is your contextual statement, so the rest of the statement is Twilight and Trixie found themselves in Ponyville's east end.
If the the sentence without the contextual statement forms a complete sentence, you need a comma. In our example, since Twilight and Trixie found themselves in Ponyville's east end is a complete sentence, so we need the comma.
>An hour later, Twilight

>Twilight was leading the way

The "was leading" construct is unnecessarily verbose and generally weaker than just the direct form.
>Twilight led the way

>a wizards hat

Wizards should be the possessive form wizard's.

>seem so, savory.

A comma is not the way to add a pause. You could use a beat, where you give a reaction; an emdash, if it is a hard pause; or as much as I've advised against it an ellipsis, if it should be a trailing-off pause. But a comma is just incorrect.

>kept leading the way

Repetition of "leading the way" twice in three sentences, regardless of the fact that it's not a great construct to use even once.

>Its doing

>Ah where here

Misspelling and missing comma
>Ah, we're here

>guitars, cellos, lyres, drums and an assortment of wind and brass instruments lined the walls

Lists are most effective when they are three things or fewer, and in most cases, they are less effective than other forms of description. Lists tell us what is there and do so in a bland way, so our imaginations intuitively incorporate that blandness into their picture. Think about the kind of location that would warrant a list: each instrument would be hung on the walls in the same way, without any decoration that would differentiate each section. Even a warehouse wouldn't fit this description.

Instead of using a list, try to give descriptions that give an idea about the atmosphere or overall decor of the place. For example, if it was a particularly modern store, you might describe how everything shined with a metallic gleam, how it prominently displayed electric guitars and speaker systems, or that there was electronic music playing as they entered. Or if it was a music shop with a handmade focus, you might describe the intricate carvings on one of the instruments, the sounds of tools going in the background, or the smell of woodchips.

Basically, when you go to write a scene, imagine it in your head and find what makes it different from every other similar location and try to describe the differences.

>with crimson scrip that

Spelling error. Spellcheck would have caught this, and it comes with most browsers, much less word processors.

>read as follows.

If you use the "read as follows" line, then it should be a colon, not a full stop. However, I would recommend rewriting the line entirely and avoiding the read as follows.

>sign there was

Missing comma
>sign, there was

>like a guitar pick, or strings for there violin, drum keys and sticks,

1. See my comment on lists.
2. their violin

>and those little screws that were impossible to find anywhere other than here that held the pick up for your electric guitar.

This description is terribly awkward. First, it's oddly specific for a detail that doesn't come up as relevant. Second, you have multiple modifying clauses for the same object, so by the time the reader reaches the second modifier, they are unlikely to remember what the clauses were modifying anyway. Third, you address the reader directly during narration for some reason. So unless the screws are absolutely critical to the plot within the next couple pages, I'd recommend dropping that description entirely.

>little vest with a million pockets

This is very informal for a third person omniscient narrator. While it is your choice to use either an informal or formal narrator, you need to stay consistent with your narrative voice and your voice most of the way through is formal.

>the moment she

Missing comma.

>she was leaning

Just use leaned

>the inner working wiring of

Extra word here. Should be either workings or wiring, but not both.

>Trixie opened her mouth to protest having to wait when twilight placed a hoof over her barrel

1. We know why Trixie would protest. You don't need the redundant having to wait in there.
2. Twilight should be capitalised.
3. Barrel? What? Is that actual slang for mouth? I highly recommend changing this to something more standard.

>more minutes the mare

Missing comma

>the blue unicorn

This is what's called Lavender Unicorn Syndrome which will be abbreviated LUS from now on. See http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Lavender-Unicorn-Syndrome
The idea is that you should just use names, as it takes longer for the reader to connect the descriptor to the character, so they don't get immersed in the scene.
A good rule of thumb is that if the scene would be fundamentally different if the character had a different trait, then it is okay to use the trait as a description.

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

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

>Trixie rubbed a hoof behind her head

Not an error, I just want to note this as particularly good. You use a reaction that concisely shows exactly how she feels about the situation and don't try to over-explain it immediately afterwards. Use this as an example for future showing.

>pulled out a set of strings ranging in size out in a glow of magic.

You have a misplaced modifier here. You want to keep the descriptions as close to the object they are describing as possible. In this situation, the glow of magic describes how she pulls out the strings, but is on the opposite side of the sentence. You might want to try something like.
>With a glow of magic, she pulled out a set of strings of all sizes.

>the magic she

Missing comma


Even when you are using a non-standard contraction, it should still follow the rule that the apostrophe replaces the missing letters. So That will contracts to That'll.

The rest of the review will follow shortly.

* Review of The Great and Powerful Escape Artist! Part 1: 3386

And now back to your regularly scheduled rest of the review:
Line by line: (continued)
>"It was meant … that kind of money!"
Just mentioning this as interaction done well. You set up the two characters so we know whose talking and then you let the dialogue happen.

>Well then looks like you don't get it now do you!

Missing commas. You might need a question mark at the end, although I can see justification for the ending statement being more of a declarative than an actual question. There are several ways to handle this, but I think the best way is
>Well then, looks like you don't get it, now do you?!

>you!" Lyra said as she placed the strings back in a drawer, "Now … Twilight" She said in a much kinder tone.

Dialogue punctuation is mentioned above. But aside from that, you have multiple attributions here, at least one of which is unnecessary. I would recommend combining them into one attribution in the middle. Something like:
>you?!" Lyra shoved the strings back into a drawer as she turned away from Trixie. Her face and voice immediately softened as she saw Twilight. "Now, how can I help you, Twilight?"

>Twilight shuffled her hooves a bit as she talked

>It came out like a question, even though Twilight did not mean it to.
One of these descriptions is effective; one is not. If you can't figure out which one, reread the review, because I have explained what makes your descriptions effective and you should be able to extrapolate.


Use spellcheck.


Spellcheck is your friend.

>behind her reveling

Missing comma
>behind her, revealing

>As she walked in, the darkness enrobed her.

This is both unnecessary and a bit awkward. We know the room is dark, so saying the darkness enrobes her when she walks in doesn't give us more information. If you need her to disappear, just say so. Otherwise, you can leave it off.
Also, the sentence just sounds off. I apologise that I can't give a perfectly outlined reason for the reason this is. My best guesses are that enrobed is a rather unusual verb or that you change subjects from the introductory clause to the independent clause: eg As she walked in has subject she, while the darkness enrobed her has subject darkness and the subject from the previous clause becomes the object.

>Popping up from the end of the review here.

I said I was willing to do more, but I want to make sure that you are actually reading the feedback. So if you'd like to keep that possibility open, use the word "majestic" somewhere is your response post. You can have fun with it and hide it in a sentence or in an image name, or leave it out in the open. Just make sure I know that you are actually reading this.

>Lyra was sitting … the tip of the stick

1. Was sitting. You know what to do.
2. This is an egregious run-on sentence. You would be better served breaking this into a couple sentences.

>made there way

>as there eyes
There is the location. Their is the possessive pronoun.

>cushioned chairs, as

Comma splice

>dim lighting they

Missing comma

>Lyra, who was now wearing a black pin striped suit and fedora

I'm one for dry humour, but I would recommend making the description reference that this is silly. As it is written right now, there is nothing to suggest that her attire is anything beyond expected. Something as simple as
>Lyra, who suddenly appeared wearing a black pin
draws some attention to Lyra's actions.

>you money."

Question mark. She's asking a question.

>began to speak up

You know what to do.

>tried to give off her signature smug smile, but it came off more as a worried grimace

You know what I think about this type of description. However, I will admit getting this across just by showing is rather difficult. My method for getting this across is by describing the result when the emotion is genuine and describing the effort when it's not.
For example: She smiled would be a genuine smile. She raised the corners of her lips would be a fake smile.
Another example: She laughed is genuine. "Ha ha ha." is not.
You are welcome to use this method if you like it. Or you can ignore it. But this particular description is rather weak.

>The silouette


>"So, you want me…talking here?"

Just noting that this interaction dynamic is well done. It shows off Lyra's personality well and do a good job of using body language and dialogue to convey Lyra's—

>Lyra calmly sat before her, acting like a mob boss,

Well, you had done a good job up to that point. However, this part does show that you can make immersive prose. This section is how most of your writing should be.

>"Enough, I have come to a decision."

Here's my major plotwise criticism. This is the main challenge in this chapter and it falls without any deliberation. Trixie doesn't have to negotiate with Lyra, make an arrangement to compensate Lyra for the lyre with no frame, get Twilight to make the deal for her; Lyra just agrees. Immediately. Literally immediately. There's no text between Trixie saying how much she needs and Lyra making her decision.

You have an opportunity to create tension and conflict, both now and for the story in the future, and you just let it slide by. Conflict is what drives stories. Without conflict, you have a report on what happens, which is not at all entertaining to read.

Make Trixie work to get Lyra to agree. She's already behind due to the fiasco with the frameless-lyre, so she needs to work even harder to overcome that. Make her sweat as Lyra decides. Make her agree to some ridiculous terms for repayment, like she has to repay double or else Lyra gets a trademark on the phrase "The Great and Powerful." Maybe she has to beg Twilight to call in a favour. Maybe Lyra makes her search all over the shop for some tiny missing screw or she has to find Doctor Whooves and travel through time to save Caesar. Whatever it is, your characters need to work to overcome their challenges. If all of your challenges just fall over because your characters ask nicely, then your story will be completely unsalvageable.

>pulled out the lollipop and was able to speak more clearly, and as a result less menicingly

1. Spellcheck
2. Missing comma after result.
3. Try again with the description. Also, I know this is supposed to be comedic, but I disagree that anything could be made more menacing with a lollipop. The word "lollipop" itself is just about the least menacing word I can think of. Think of the most menacing thing you can think of. Now put a lollipop in its mouth. It is now significantly less menacing, if at all.
It is entirely justified for her to pull out a lollipop and cease to menace the other ponies. While it would be random, that would break your story. But being menacing with a lollipop makes absolutely no sense. Even if random things happen, you can't reframe them in reader's imaginations.

>Trixie and Twilight nodded, "Yes I got it, you got it Twilight?"

Vocative comma and dialogue punctuation are in the lists.
You shouldn't use Twilight's name immediately before having Trixie speak. Readers will associate the most recent name with the speaker, so they will assume Twilight is speaking until they see the name, and then they will have to go back and reread. The passage reads fine with just Trixie nodded.

>customers I will

Missing comma after customers.

>Both ponies before Lyra let off a yes as Lyra stood up

I'm still not entirely certain what this is supposed to say. My best guess is that it's saying Twilight and Trixie squeaked, "Yes." Lyra stood up.

>The lets

Spelling errors. The should be Then and let us contracts to let us.

>"Remember good advertisements."

Missing comma after remember.

This review is already longer than both chapters combined, so I'll stop after the first chapter. Granted, the issues are most likely systemic, so if you learn what's going on here.

I do have some suggestions plotwise.
One of my favourite character tests shamelessly stolen from RedLetterMedia involves describing characters without regards to appearance, role in the story, and, for fanfiction, canon traits. I disallow canon traits, because then authors could just describe the canon characters and ignore their own portrayals. Basically, this gives an idea of how much depth your character portrayals have. Applying this test to your characters:
Trixie: Easily spooked.
Twilight: *crickets*
There's not much there. Those two just kind of do what's necessary to establish the plot line.
Lyra: A tinkerer, very focused, odd sense of humour, flair for the dramatic
Lyra seems to be a much stronger character. The interactions with her were much more effective than those with Trixie and Twilight alone.

In light of this, I would recommend focusing on the Lyra character as the protagonist of the story. Tell everything from her perspective. Since she is clearly the more developed character, it will probably be easier for you to write more engaging prose with Lyra as the focus, rather than focusing on characters that don't have much depth to them. If it is particularly important to use Trixie and Twilight, then make an effort to rewrite them with a nontrivial personality.

That is all for your review. I don't claim to be perfect, so undoubtedly there is stuff I missed and stuff that others may disagree with. However, I believe that the vast majority of what I said would stand up to other sources, so I encourage second opinions on what I've said.
In the other direction, one of the worst things you can do is blindly make the changes I suggested. You should make sure you understand why I made the suggestions I did before making a change. In the vast majority of cases, taking into account my advice, but finding your own way of saying it will be far more effective than using my suggestions verbatim.

If you have any questions or want further clarifications, feel free to post here or use the email in my trip.

Keep writing.

Well Derp 3395

File: 1358135115051.gif (235.77 KB, 281x274, mlfw7539-FillyDerpy.icantstopw…)

I'll blame the aforementioned lack of sanity for the GDocs derp.

All the chapters have been set to comment properly.

@writer's block: I'll send you mail with every link just to be sure, it should work but I'm not going to rely on it.

Here's the link to Time Turner's Discordian Detective Agency on FIMfic.
That should work at least.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming... Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 3399

File: 1358144088454.jpg (141.43 KB, 1600x1067, 134569522148.jpg)

>>3092 The Muse of Madness by ProfCharles
>>3358 Grace in Equestria by BleedingRaindrops

Grammar troubles I can hammer at, webcomic crossovers I can appraise. Give me 24 hours.

Review Request: Pipsqueak the Valiant's Adventure Journal! Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3401

File: 1358148370083.png (149.53 KB, 599x600, cirno_seeking_help.png)

Sorry to do this to ya, TG, buuuut…

Title: Pipsqueak the Valiant's Adventure Journal!

Tags: [Slice of Life]

Synopsis: Pirates, swordfighting, buried treasure and hidden treachery - you don't need these to live the adventurous life.

What it's actually about: Pipsqueak's life before Ponyville, seen through the eyes of Pipsqueak, and then Pipsqueak's life post-Ponyville, in which he is kidnapped has adventures.


Directory: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b8ESWl_nt4OFjcL_E0K9E1gDCNfWriKtPTe_SVWgXFk/edit

GDoc folder: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B9yFkL-93MyyLU1ZczFKNGxUay0yOGx2THVOR0ZXZw/edit

Notes: While reading Vol. 1 is required to get Vol. 2, it's mainly Vol. 2 that I'd like feedback on, and that feedback consists mainly of 1) whether it's boring 2) whether it's believable.

Should probably also mention that, uh, grammatically it should be fine (as fine as the style can allow for, at least), and that I'm fairly confident that Vol. 1 at least is an okay read. But I'm the author, and, well, yeah.

Comments are enabled but if you don't want to, that's fine - as mentioned, I'm mostly looking for a plot check.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claim:Pipsqueak the Valiant's Adventure Journal! 3402

File: 1358148624679.jpg (17.94 KB, 256x256, gentderp.jpg)


plot check? that i can do.
I'll take a look at let you know what i think in great detail.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 3403

Casca, if you'd set that up as Google Drive folder then you could have each separate document open in a single tab.

Edit: TTG auto-sage confirmed.

Edit two: Why aren't comments enabled?
This post was edited by its author on .

Review of The Muse of Madness Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 3404

File: 1358154215928.jpg (85 KB, 900x695, my_little_cthulhu_by_cale_dv-d…)

Line editing colour-coded for your convenience in this GDoc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hOwWJD7Qx1NGo6HbHEHOWXHZcW_IRg83J7w6mG79pn0/edit#

I think I've addressed all of the prereader's concerns in that document, as well added some of my own commentary about stylistic things (which you can take or leave).

There are a few more things I'd like to say about this piece overall.
I feel like you really need to write that sequel to make this all feel more substantial. I didn't really find it scary, and the creepy atmosphere was a little hit and miss. But I'm not sure if you're really telling a scary story here or just using Lovecraftian themes to set up a dark adventure. If it's the latter, I suppose this is a serviceable lead-in to the sequel you've expressed the desire to write.

A lot of the dialogue at the beginning feels very robotic/stilted to me. Whenever I write dialogue, I like to imagine it being said in a specific voice, be it the voice of a VA from the show, the voice of a friend or a famous actor or one I just make up. Sometimes I like to read it in my voice, aloud, and doing those two things are a great way to "feel" if a bit of dialogue sounds right. I recommend trying it.

I also feel like this story could be more vivid in places. You do get sufficiently descriptive in the latter half of the story, but I think the beginning could benefit from some more interesting description.

I'll admit I haven't read very much Lovecraft, but I'm very into horror stories on the internet, and a lot of those seem to take inspiration from him. Have some links I think you'll find interesting:
* The works of Josef K/Cameron Suey – http://thejosefkstories.com/
* Kris Straub's Ichor Falls stories – http://www.ichorfalls.com/category/horror/
* Yahtzee Croshaw's Chzo Mythos games and tie-in short story – http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/games.htm http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/features/expedition.htm
* The SCP foundation's Creepypasta Archive – http://scparchive.wikidot.com/archive

Lastly, I'm not sure why you made that one bit of text italic and green. Coloured text is not something to be used lightly, and I don't really see its purpose here – italics would have worked just as well.

Hope that was helpful. Keep writing!

Review of Grace in Equestria Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 3406

File: 1358159845879.gif (9.35 KB, 194x218, Grace.gif)

~70 comments left in-doc

And here's your overall. Keep in mind that these are really just opinions that I've thought a bit about and tried to justify/explain/rationalise. Obviously, I don't know the full picture of your plot as you know it.
Usually I like a crossover that gets right to the crossing over, but I think this one could do with a bit of setup before Grace goes to Equestria. As Kurt Vonnegut says, "Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages." That's not to say you should infodump everywhere and force your readers through "my fic 101" before letting them read your fic, just that there needs to be a very good reason for withholding obvious information from them: don't mess your readers around with fake mystery. http://www.yingleyangle.com/2010/04/how-to-use-kurt-vonneguts-advice-to.html And I think "how Grace got to Equestria" is a bit of a fake mystery here.

Now, I don't think you need an entire chapter's worth of setup or anything ridiculous like that. You can make do with a page or two at the beginning where Grace and Tedd and whoever else is present talk in the lab and then have her zapped to Equestria. If you can lightly introduce a few things about the EGS world without infodumping, it may make the story more accessible to people unfamiliar with the crossover material, which is always a massive plus when you're writing a crossover. And I'm sure you can slip in some foreshadowing too. Just make it fun to read.

I really don't like the bit about Spike having a crush on Twilight. I know it's a joke, I get why it's kinda funny in a way, but Twilight's reaction just feels wrong. I mean, she hatched Spike. They're family, even if you can't quite call them sister and brother or mother and son. I would expect them to be visibly repulsed by the idea, and that would probably make the joke get all weird, so I recommend thinking of something else.

Other than that, I think you're off to a decent start. Just pay a bit more attention to your punctuation and be careful with your word choices. The Grace and Pinkie relationship will be a fun one, I'm sure, but make sure to really have dig deep and have fun with her interactions with each of the mane six — the fun of crossovers like this is seeing how they all react to someone from another dimension, and too many crossovers opt for the boring "everyone is instantly friends" route, which kinda discounts our ponies' vibrant personalities

I hope that was useful. Keep writing.
This post was edited by its author on .


File: 1358169442199.jpg (117.25 KB, 372x1000, choices.jpg)

I do have it set up as a folder, but I… ah, found it. Okay then, I'll edit it into the post. Also, thanks for the heads-up about comments.

*Review: Pipsqueak the Valiant's Adventure Journal! Rodinga 3415

File: 1358175995916.jpg (Spoiler Image,49.64 KB, 485x362, to many commas.jpg)

An interesting read, though I do have a few things to say about Pipsqueak’s slice of life adventures.

Here's an overall

Is it boring?

Volume 2 is a much more interesting read than volume 1. Pip fits the classic role of “clueless kid who’s blissfully naïve about the world around him” quite well and gives the reader an interesting job of interpreting his description of the world around him, it kept me reading more than volume 1 did. This can be a bit of a double edged sword which I’ll cover in the grammar section.
The addition of Mayor Mare as an adult protagonist is a good choice and builds on her mane colour choice and her past. I found her manoeuvring through to the Equestria bureaucracy to be an interesting development of her character.


There are a few moments in Volume 2 that stretch the willing suspension of disbelief uncomfortably for me.
The use of Seven League Boots is always a bit of stretch (especially in the legs and the groin). Using them to propel a ship sounds spectacularly stupid (which it is) and the result was jangle splattering his own ship and probably himself as well. This is bit weird considering how well everything else seemed to be planned out.

Disabling Twilight’s magic, this goes up there with Rainbow breaking a wing for stock moments in a story and I almost consider it a Cliché. The amount of effort and preparation required to do so also clashes with Jangle’s inferred intelligence (If he had this then he probably would have had better plan B). Clapping Twilight on the horn to knock her out in the initial entry would be my suggested alternative.

Maretopia, it’s always hard to imagine ponies living in a place described like this. The dense unfriendly, pollution filled atmosphere is a bit of an antithesis to the nature of ponies. I personally would have thought of Maretopia as being a sort of Tortuga, Casablanca or Timbuktu. I’ve actually used Timbucktoo in this sort of situation and built it as a combination of the above. Pipsqueak would also consider it a “pirate” city and love it to bits. The concept I’m talking about however sounds a bit more like your Trottingham.

Grammar review:
There is no escape.

Pipsqueak’s writing: the use of consistent mistakes to simulate pip’s writing style is an interesting choice but can be rather grating. Consider Luna constantly talking IN THE ROYAL CANTERLOCK VOICE CONSTANTLY AND GRABBING THE READER’S ATTENTION TWO PARAGRAPHS EARLY.
Try toning it down a little while maintaining the foalish banter—I know I’m asking a lot here.

Commas, while you might get away with this with Pip it still shows up outside his dialog. While not too grammatically wrong the sheer number of commas used is a bit high, (see picture). Try reading the story out loud or using text to speech, anywhere where the comma break doesn’t seem to mesh you should remove it and structure the sentence without it. In particular look for situations where the comma is made redundant by the following word, and for example.

“Until then, we have to learn to live in Maretopia”, comma isn’t really necessary here.

“We don’t ride the buses because Mayor Mare thinks it isn’t safe, but I want to try it at least once, even if it looks cramped and sweaty inside.” Either could go in this case.

“The sun was completely blotted out, and it would almost certainly rain any moment now.” comma isn’t really necessary here either.

Word use:

Reading it our aloud can reveal some flow breaking words like:
“Yes,” replied Twilight. “We suspect that the kidnappers must have used the crowd to their advantage and sneaked him away.” Perhaps stole would sound better here?

In Conclusion:

Believe me there is always something more to fix grammatically, I’ve gone through my own work too many times to take my own skill for granted and others will have their own opinions about how to write.
Ultimately the decisions are yours to make, reread through your work and make sure you believe it to the extent of challenging anything that seems out of place.
Finally don’t take anything I or anyone else has said too personally, you made the glorious effort of creating something beyond 10k that isn’t crap and asked someone to review it. This should make you feel awesome because I know it makes me feel awesome.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3416

File: 1358181986545.png (46.23 KB, 519x515, 134740671961.png)

Ha. And here I thought that 'reviews while you sleep' thing was just a joke. Color me pleasantly surprised.

I was thinking of having a short scene where the others from the EGS universe argue with Tedd over what went wrong, giving a small window into how Grace actually got there, but the real reason as to why she got there won't be revealed until pretty much the very end. (The whole thing is in that spoilers section down at the bottom.) I had some foreshadowing in there, but it's subtle at this stage, so I can see why you didn't notice it. I intend to add clues that will ultimately add up to the answer just before I make the reveal.

>I really don't like the bit about Spike having a crush on Twilight.

D: Aww man. That was my favorite part to write. I could make them even more repulsed but I was kinda proud of myself for thinking of that.

In any case, thanks for the help, Ezn. I'll be getting to those comments now.
>~2000 words
I'm somewhat afraid to look at this.
This post was edited by its author on .

Dewey Decimal and Steven Tactical!fRainBOoMw 3422


Sorry for not plugging through this review like I said I would. Back to commenting…

>ponies always commented on his name when they first met him.

This telly in that it lays out a fact without really any flavor to it. Maybe say more about how he's used to explaining this over and over. Just "he said it without thinking" is the same way. It falls flat—no imagery or emotion to it.

>So you're the one that caused me and Steve to stay up half the night, huh?

I'm pointing this out for a couple reasons. First, this isn't the only time your slightly clunky sentence flow bleeds into your dialogue. Second, Spike would be the last one to use clunky sentence strucutres.

>"Huh." Dewey looked up at the stack of books.

Needs a transition. Dewey has a line, and the very next thing that happens is a different line with a different idea. I assumed at first that Spike was saying this. I'm also confused by "looking up at the stack of books." Just A stack of books? I'm looking for something to tell me about THAT stack of books, over there. If you have described a stack of books, it was so long ago that you need to describe it again.

>Dewey and Spike stayed in the office playing board games for a few hours while Twilight sat and studied.

Boring and telly. I understand the idea, but make a little image for us instead.

>The four of them gathered around the main room, Dewey was chewing some candy he'd saved from lunch.

Obtain a grammar nazi edit from someone. You have very frequent technical problems.

>Steven eyes widened and he backed away.

>"Would it collapse with me inside?" he asked, cutting off Dewey's fat joke before he began.
Apart from the technical problems, you need to move "Steven's eyes widened" to the next paragraph. One actor per paragraph is the general rule.

>If it's close enough to ponyville, I'll go home and use a different spell to find it.

Plot hole: She should know its direction as well, and therefore a vague location.

>Steven wasn't sure where Dewey had gone. As soon as he had figured out how far away the portal was, he'd left the library, leaving Steven to figure out what the workings meant by himself.

We see inside two characters' heads in one paragraph. IMO this shouldn't be.

>Steven grabbed him but Dewey couldn't meet his gaze. "What the hell were you thinking?!"

>Steven already knew what he was thinking.
Not the first time you've done this. You have Steven doing something, a line break, Steven doing something again. You can do this sometimes, but in this case I say it would be better to flow through it, like
"What were you thinking?" But Steven already knew what Dewey had been thinking.

>They'd been friends nearly all their lives and whenever Dewey had done something "eccentric," Steven knew there was only one cause.

Not only telly, but damn this is clunky. You really crammed these three ideas together, so the last phrase there (Steven knew…) is grammatically off. Make this two or three sentences, give it a "show don't tell" if you have to.

>The reason Dewey had kept trying to help Steven all throughout their childhood was because…

We get this look into Dewey's head, right after Steven does something. I'm going to stop pointing out this problem, now.


Take my word for it, a question mark alone is good enough. All caps is also seen as overkill by a lot of people.

>He looked over the edges, frantically searching for any sign of home.

I was expecting you to have the characters suddenly notice their surroundings after spending a few minutes yelling at each other, as a gag. But now a character has taken to the sky and you're still not describing anything?

More to come.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3427

File: 1358221889756.jpg (80.8 KB, 500x353, banzai.jpg)

Thank you so much for the quick response!

On to the points:

>Volume 2 is a much more interesting read than volume 1

You have no idea how relieved this makes me.

>There are a few moments in Volume 2 that stretch the willing suspension of disbelief uncomfortably for me.

>The use of Seven League Boots is always a bit of stretch
>Using them to propel a ship sounds spectacularly stupid (which it is)
Duly noted. I'll see what I can do in the way of either having Jangle do something smarter, or have Jangle be desperate enough to make it believable.

>Disabling Twilight’s magic, this goes up there with Rainbow breaking a wing for stock moments in a story and I almost consider it a Cliché. The amount of effort and preparation required to do so also clashes with Jangle’s inferred intelligence (If he had this then he probably would have had better plan B). Clapping Twilight on the horn to knock her out in the initial entry would be my suggested alternative.

And a good alternative it is. Thank you!

>Maretopia, it’s always hard to imagine ponies living in a place described like this. The dense unfriendly, pollution filled atmosphere is a bit of an antithesis to the nature of ponies. I personally would have thought of Maretopia as being a sort of Tortuga, Casablanca or Timbuktu. I’ve actually used Timbucktoo in this sort of situation and built it as a combination of the above. Pipsqueak would also consider it a “pirate” city and love it to bits. The concept I’m talking about however sounds a bit more like your Trottingham.

Maretopia is, in summary, "Equestria if it didn't have the princesses". The unicorns weaker in numbers and vitality have less influence; the Earth ponies with greater resilience and innovation have advanced science at the cost of, well, everything else. So it's basically a filthy, amoral hole of a city. That note on Pipsqueak is interesting, and I think I'll work in a little of that as well.

>Consider Luna constantly talking IN THE ROYAL CANTERLOCK VOICE CONSTANTLY AND GRABBING THE READER’S ATTENTION TWO PARAGRAPHS EARLY. Try toning it down a little while maintaining the foalish banter—I know I’m asking a lot here.

Hmm… so you mean the abundance of exclamation marks in the sea scene? If that's the case, then okay, I'll try to think of a less lazy way to express the yelling.

>Commas and examples

Thank you kindly for that! The truth is that I have no idea what I'm doing with the commas, since all of this was written a year's hiatus after Vol. 1. I'll take the advice to heart and scour the script.


Oh, no, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and am much obliged to you for getting it done so quickly.

Review of Review Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3428

File: 1358223541319.jpg (26.29 KB, 603x304, Raven-DC-Teen-Titans-Wide.jpg)

Ask-erisk and you shall receive.

> I found her manoeuvring through to the Equestria bureaucracy

Fortunately, posts are editable here.

> Consider Luna constantly talking IN THE ROYAL CANTERLOCK VOICE CONSTANTLY

Department of redundancy department. Unless of course, that was intentional.

> Reading it our aloud can reveal some flow breaking words like:

Might I recommend that you pre-type these in a text editor that you trust? It would help prevent errors such as this one.

These are the only typos I can find, and your review is nicely informative. I used to do review reviews by category and give them a number rating, but ultimately the grade should go to how helpful the review is in improving the story. In that light, I will give you a non-number-rating in two categories

If you’re trying to be the blind leading the blind, I think it’s fair to say that you’re both going nowhere fast. From what I’m seeing here, your instruction was pretty accurate, so you get a “good job”

Additionally, if you’re speaking a different language, the other person is still flying blind, even if you aren’t. Your descriptions of errors left little room for misinterpretation so you get a “good job” for this as well.

I should probably add a category of thoroughness, but that would be impossible to judge without reading the story myself, so I’m just going to assume that you did what you could. Well done.
This post was edited by its author on .

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3429

File: 1358223822790.jpg (18.14 KB, 480x360, 1068089465_SeanRaven2.jpg)

I do believe we've autosaged. Time for a new thread.

Acknowledgement of Review of Review Rodinga 3431

File: 1358232090574.png (220.39 KB, 700x800, Mailshere.png)


First off: Thank you.

> >Consider Luna constantly talking IN THE ROYAL CANTERLOCK VOICE CONSTANTLY

>Department of redundancy department: Unless of course, that was intentional.


>Might I recommend that you pre-type these in a text editor that you trust? It would help prevent errors such as this one.

I did, I am currently kicking myself because I wrote it in word 2010 and I have no excuse for those errors.

>Hmm… so you mean the abundance of exclamation marks in the sea scene? If that's the case, then okay, I'll try to think of a less lazy way to express the yelling.

I was trying to be a little broader with this, Pip’s writing in general can get tiresome to read in the same way that Luna can be if she’s speaking Ye olde Butcheredth Equisheth all the time. I noticed some complaints about this on the EQD page for this after I posted the review saying similar things.

Like this badly written comment:
>Well, it’s wasn’t bad… but, it was crippled with so many errors, it was slightly annoying to read.
>Seriously… Bad grammar and stuff ISN’T a style of writing!..even if writing a child character. It’s all in the way the character speaks and chooses his words and expressions, not in the number of error you can leave behind…

It’s difficult to put in words, I’d suggest cleaning up Pip’s grammar (commas, exclamation marks, run on sentences) but holding onto some of the spelling errors. Tole = told is alright, that and similar errors are cute but still readable.
Though to be honest this applies to volume one more than volume two but to get people to read volume two you may have to clean up volume one. (On a related note this is why I brought my story here, so the sequel I’m writing won’t be crippled by its less well written predecessor.)
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 3432


>"I bought you a new saddlebag, I'll empty these bags into it.”

Confusing. Tell us that he brought a saddlebag for Steven, not that he bought Steven a new saddlebag. See the difference?

>Back when they were kids, Steven had continually been made fun of for being a blank flank.

Apart from the fact that this is "telly" for the same reasons as I pointed out before, this is a REALLY fast change. I don't get him getting over it that fast.

>Just shut up!

Oh he's not over it yet? Well it seems to me like you dropped off on talking about the tension.

>"Please just shut up!" he retorted.

Retort sounds like an immediate riposte. Use a different word because this is delayed.

>"Are those damn Diamond Dogs?"

Describing them as "damn Diamond Dogs" doesn't feel right. I understand that it's your way of saying something along the lines of "Are those fucking things Diamond Dogs?" but it's not quite doing it for me.

>Steven swooped down and picked the pony by his hooves

This is one of those LUS cases where the character's name would do just fine. "swooped down and picked up Steven."

>by kicking and pushing with his magic

Give us some IMAGES!

>"W-why should we?"

It's already pretty well established that they're going to be eaten anyway; this question seems pointless.

>He sat, propped against the tree trunk, the first tears he had shed for a decade rolling down his cheeks.

Way out of place. This is the first dark, depressing thing we've seen so far—the scary bit didn't have an actual tone of terror and survival. It was cartoon scary, almost. This is fine, but drag it out, take your time describing it—don't drop it with just one line.

The fact that you haven't described their surroundings is a major problem. I didn't even know if there were trees around before they climbed up one. More importantly, they're so damn far away from home that I assumed they'd be in some kind of bizzare, alien environment. Even if it's as simple as trees and flowers that they've never seen before. If this wasn't in your plan, I really think you should modify your plan to include this.

>Steven was worried now, Dewey was never one for self pity.

It's weird for me to use show-don't-tell to refer to things like this, but it does apply. It's no good to just say a little piece of information like this about a character or their history. Not only is it boring, it's too sudden, and much like with more typical examples of show-don't-tell, we want to hear some nice, interesting stuff to go with it.


Ew. No.

>"We're not really do this, are we?"

You have done errors like this many, many times. Again, do a thorough sweep.

>without our stuff.

Why? What in their stuff is so essential?

>The rest of the world's not like that!

Again, your story's tone is at odds with itself. I'm not feeling the dark, scary, survival angle, but things like this seem to want me to.

>Despite Dewey's concern the plan worked. The gnolls were relaxing after feasting on a couple of water buffalo when Steven attacked. Their ears ringing from thunder and their behinds painfully zapped, the ferocious predators fled

*really?* You're not gonna write about this? No! Lazy author! Bad!

>Luckily, the gnoll leader had forbidden any of the others from touching the bags

I feel like you may be going for an omni narrator. I would advise you not to. It's a difficult stunt to pull under the best of circumstances, and you fumble it a lot, like with this.

>They were afraid of their leader, but they were even more afraid of the painful shocks and the deafening booms.

"painful shocks and deafening booms" is a very weak way to describe a storm cloud that's so scary that it keeps the gnolls from attacking. Also, you should create the image of the scary storm cloud back when you talk about the cloud doing what came naturally for its kind. Also, I thought this cloud was barely cobbled together, a bare-minimum thing. Maybe explain that it had gained force of its own accord.

>and wrenched it from the unicorns grasp.

Lavender Unicorn Syndrome should not be followed like gospel, but it's a useful concept because you should always actively think about it whenever you use an epithet instead of a pronoun or a name. I say this is an example of LUS that should be fixed.

>racing to grab hold of his leaking weapon

First off, pronoun derp, whose leaking weapon? Second, what the hell is "leaking?" I have no idea what this is describing.

>Intense pain coursed through her

First: First time you're referring to the leader as "her" if I'm not mistaken. Second: Omni narrator derp again—why do we know about the "intense pain?" Third: "intense pain" is a pretty weak way to describe it. Four: Again with the darkness. I think the problem here is that your opening was lighthearted, and you never convincingly shifted the tone to dark for me. Taking the time to establish the characters being terrified of their surroundings, depressed about being far from home, aware that it's going to be a challenge just to survive, might fix that.

>Steven landed next to the fallen unicorn

Really you should know better than to do such a clear example of LUS. What I tell people about LUS is that it's okay if you're using it to make a point of referring to a character by a designation that actually matters to what's going on. For example, "Twilight bowed to her princess," or "Applejack nipped the writhing cerulean pega-slut on the neck," or "the lavender egghead of a unicorn refused to be torn away from her books." Even those aren't perfect—particularly the second one—but I'd consider them more acceptable.

>"You called for me?"

>"Yes, come closer. Did you hear that, a few minutes ago."
I know what kind of moment you're trying to create, but you can't get away with this no matter how badly you want to. Unless you seriously want disembodied voices with no context whatsoever, you're going to have to give us some imagery right off the bat, within the first couple of lines.

>Bowing, the warrior closed the door behind him. The chief turned and looked out the window again. He raised his hand to shield his eyes from the setting sun.

>"A pegasus?"
Ah, so you DID want to hide all the imagery from us. In my opinion, that weakens the scene. I don't give a damn about the mystery of what kind of beings are talking here, I want you to create this cool moment. Still, if it's a creative choice and not just a bad stylistic choice, I suppose you're free to try it out.

In conclusion, I plain and simple don't like your prose. Your mechanics are weak, your word choice and flow are weak, your "telling" problems really diminish all the things you want to say.

I do understand your ideas, and I like some of them. The interaction between your two characters is fun, the basic concept is a nice idea, and I can feel the little moments you're trying to create—it's just, you need to work on the whole writing thing. And there's nothing wrong with that—so do we all.

I was rough on you, but I do respect what you've done here—I can tell you could do much better with some work.

Good luck, keep writing.

ProfCharles 3433

Thanks for the help! I'll make sure to go through and fix stuff according to your suggestions.

Claim 3435

I'll claim Apples and Wheat.
This is a bit of a longer one, so I may take a bit longer. If a review isn't posted by the end of the weekend feel free to poke at me to finish.

TheAlmightySage!!qJzKsStV3/ 3436

Alrighty. My email is there as well.

TheAlmightySage!!qJzKsStV3/ 3442

Cancel request until further notice. I've got some help through a fimfiction group and my job's schedule is about to go to hell in a hand basket. So I won't have time for my writing hobby.

Apologies for wasting anyone's time.

Partial Aborted Review of Apples and Wheat 3449

Sorry to hear about your situation and I hope everything goes well.

I did get to read a couple chapters, so I may as well give you my thoughts on the subject. Perhaps they may be of assistance if you decide you want to try to write again.

Keep in mind, I have absolutely know knowledge of the Spice and Wolf series, so I can't weigh in on whether it is a copy-paste of the crossover series.

Mechanically, your writing is pretty clean. While there were scattered errors, you seem like you know most of the rules and the mistakes were just isolated occurrences. Some time away and then a proofreading pass will probably catch most of them. The one systemic thing that I noticed were missing vocative commas. In dialogue, when someone is addressed, their name is set off with commas. A good test for this is to try reading the sentence without the name. If the sentence still forms a complete sentence, then you should set off the address with commas.

Moving on from mechanical considerations, I feel you would strengthen the beginning if you gave your characters stronger investment in the situation. As far as the beginning goes, Granny Smith tells them to plant wheat, they ask the relevant logistics questions (while this is the most logical next step, it doesn't exactly make for a riveting plot device), then accept it and get to work. Applejack seems to be mildly curious about the whole thing and there's an initial bit of drama about her parents, but that wears off real quick, but that's not a particularly strong motivator to drive the story.

I would suggest strengthening one or more of the character's responses to planting wheat, at least until Holo arrives. You could have Applejack worried that Granny is going senile and imagining the wheat wolf thing or Macintosh breaks his silence because of upsetting memories brought on by wheat or something like that. Because right now, the initial chapters feel like they are just time-killers until the real action shows up, rather than being interesting in their own right. Adding a (possibly temporary) conflict could give those chapters their own driving influence, rather than having their main draw be a suggestion that something interesting will happen in the future.

As for show vs tell, you have a few instances where you directly tell the readers all the nuances of how the characters are feeling, without even an attempt at giving some context. Particularly glaring was this passage, not to mention the random tense switch
>Big Macintosh is a stoic stallion of common sense and full of good old down to earth wisdom, not prone to flights of fancy, so for him the feeling of nervous paranoia was definitely a rare and unwanted experience.

While there is a lot more to show vs tell than that, something like that is like a giant flag. Without getting too in-depth on the subject, if you can patch those up, it is a quick fix that can bring down readers' SvT detectors significantly.

That's a quick overview of what I saw from the first couple chapters. I hope this comes in handy and feel free to send me an email (email is in trip) if you decide you want more feedback.
Best of luck with your work situation and I hope you come back to writing soon.
This post was edited by its author on .

Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 3451

And so ends the very first edition of the MLPchan TTG. Goodnight, sweet prince.

This post was edited by its author on .

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