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File: 1351796181124.png (716.97 KB, 700x875, 1343268526590.png)

The Training Grounds Anonymous 525[Last 50 Posts]

#Reviewer

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 .

Vimbert 526

Not even waiting for a consensus to be reached? Fucking classy.

527

File: 1351801555509.png (1.18 MB, 1280x720, keima-glasses-prop.png)

IIRC, a consensus has already been reached, sans only a couple people. And by a couple, I mean a couple.

Anonymous 528

File: 1351801718589.png (91.55 KB, 664x662, Rainbow Dash131635943575.png)

>Previous edition of The Training Grounds
>Linked to Ponychan
>mfw

Anonymous 529

>>528
Well, it is called a move, and /fic/ is independent of whichever website it is hosted, and that is the previous version.

So…

Anonymous 530

>>527
Actually, there have been four dissenting voices, excluding the mods. Of them, two aren't part of /fic/ in any real way, and the other two have declared they are part of ponychan first, /fic/ second, which should be recognized as a valid position.

531

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>>530

Not really, considering the fact that this isn't a Ponychan matter at all. It's a matter that entirely up to /fic/ and its community.

It's not up to Ponychan to decide the final fate of /fic/. Where the grass is greener, we go.

532

>>526
The TG is a universal subject. It is prudent to have it active in other areas so as to better serve a wider range of users. Your snark is misdirected.

>>528
That is where it is, yes? Then I see no issue.

Anonymous 533

>>526
Having things prepped and ready in case that consensus goes one particular way is logical. It's not a matter of class or not. If the decision goes the other way, what is lost? Nothing.

>>528
And if this was a single reviewer thread, the link to "previous edition" would be to their previous edition there.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 534

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There's nothing wrong with re-using the spreadsheet here on MLPChan. If someone posts a review here, the link to the post on mlpchan can (and SHOULD) be put in the review URL field, and it will link to the review here.

You will only think it's confusing until you realize that the driving force behind the spreadsheet's ability to make finding posts easier lies in how it's a practically/technically an entity that is separate from either board.

536

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Nothing to do yet …

Anonymous 542

>>534
The password for this thread can be shared, if you like. That way anyone who maintains the TG can update it (whoever you trust to do it, that is.)
Same for the sticky. We can have a user post it and the password shared between trusted users like yourself and that way it can be constantly updated whenever it is needed.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 566

I'm claiming 'Traveler of Destitute' as posted 11/1 on ponychan (>>123787).

Why are we here now? 672

Okay, I don't want to derail, so could someone please email me a tl:dr version of why the "move?" What was wrong with ponychan? What's the point? Why here, which I thought was the ghetto-fabulous version of ponychan?

Again, no intention of derailing, but don't want to read the ginormous thread on /fic/ unless I have to. If someone could just email it to me? Email is up thar!

675

>>672
Quick and dirty version right here:
>certain features which will make /fic/ more self-sufficient: post editing, group-post editing, OP controls of threads, built in extension, others
>dedicated /fic/ mod to help maintain the board
>faster turnaround time to requests and board needs
>potential future syndication between sites giving greater visibility
>lack of obtrusive wordfilters, long standing technical issues or problems, as well as content rules not best suited to it
In addition, essentially:
>/fic/'s review community is more about the group, and has little to nothing to do with actual location - so the location isn't really as important as the group, and the location's functionality to the group
>as long the move is clean and mostly intact, the majority seems to be of the opinion it will be better served here and the rest will follow the majority. The small number of those against have either dropped their opposition by having their concerns allayed or realizing the potential benefit. If it turns out not to be a better situation, there's nothing really lost in having tried considering the potential benefits
I can't say much regarding the potential perceptions other may have about the site, but statistics show it on a steady rise to 4th largest imageboard in the world, compared to 3rd for Ponychan, which has trended downward. Though again, the location makes little difference, as long as PRs refer writers to wherever the reviewers are, which will now be here.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 677

>>566
Review of 'Traveler of Destitute'

*Edited to hide the review. Gosh that's fancy, isn't it?*
Alright, I feel there's a story in here somewhere, but it is buried beneath a *ton* of introspection and remembrances. I get that the protagonist feels like the world has changed without him and that he's unhappy about the fact. I feel like I got it too much. Although you may wish to reiterate certain themes (the protagonists respect for his father, his shock at his loss, his doubts about change), you run a serious risk of rambling, of making the reader skip ahead or stop reading if you do so too much. Keep looking back and you make it feel like things won't go forward.

Stylistically, outside of the heavy, heavy introspection, there were a few instances of sentences or thoughts that I thought were worded oddly:

> We did not stick out though going through town as everyone else was similarly dressed and going towards the same place.


This feels like a run on to me.

>> Everything that I knew has been turned on me and I can no longer claim to hold any dominion over what Equestria used to be.


Given the character’s social standing as I’ve perceived it, ‘dominion’ seems like a strange choice of word here. Maybe if he were royalty, which does not seem to be the case. I’m assuming that you’re trying to say that the Equestria of the present seems nothing like the Equestria of his youth (which is reiterated a lot).

>> I have always been one to enjoy my tradition and now there are those that wish to undo my entire history of them.


History of what? His tradition? If so,’ tradition’ should be plural, or ‘them’ should be ‘it,’ but I feel that this sentence needs work either way.

>> All he seemed to start to care about was money


This bit of dialogue looks weird. You could just say, ‘All he seems to care about lately is money,’ or something a bit better than what you’ve currently got. Also, ‘seem’ works here, but this is a good point to talk about ambiguity in the narrative:

>> They were almost dead on though.


You could kill this’ almost’ and give this line much more punch. I would suggest doing a CTRL+F for words like almost, seems, could have, and then considering if you really need them.

Moving on to technical issues, I’ll point a few repeat offenders.

For one thing, there are a number of tense issues. For the most part, you stick to the past tense; I would suggest keeping to it. Here are examples where this issue occurs:

>>The only markable difference I’ve been seeing now were the odd ships. I could only wonder how different things might look at home when I return after all these years. Going through Manehattan on my way back will most definitely show the most noticeable changes


Change “I’ve been seeing” to “I had seen” or “I had been seeing”, though I’d go for the former. That “will” in the third sentence should be a “would.”

>> This will be the first of many similar conversations to come, I just know it. Not that I was ungrateful I just didn’t like the fact that I was reminded that my father is dead every few minutes.


This would be the first of many similar conversations to come, I just knew it. Not that I was ungrateful, (note the comma) I just didn’t like the fact that I was reminded that my father was dead every few minutes.

>> I could only repeat what Gears said and many others will eventually say


[…] would eventually say

There were also a number of missing commas, such as in:

>> When I grew up in Equestria that was pioneer technology.


When I was growing up (I think that’d be a better wording), that was pioneer technology.

>> They were wider, completely black in the middle with a large cut running down the center and had gray portions on each ends that everyone walking seemed to follow.


[…] running down the center, and had gray […]

As for miscellaneous other errors:

>> Ponies came coming


…Yep :T.

>> It’s been a long time like your said and everyone’s changed


your -> you

There were other things that I noticed, but for the sake of brevity I won’t give the laundry list of them. To reiterate the most important point though, introspection in moderation is good, and in a first person story you do want to show us the world through the lens of the narrator, but still consider how *much* of what you show, and if it gets in the way of the progression of the plot. Narrators, just like people, can be dull; showing each of their thoughts does not necessarily equate to interest or intrigue.
This post was edited by its author on .

681

>>675
Cool story, bro! Thanks! It makes sense, I guess. I never noticed any issues with ponychan, but I'm not a reviewer. Yet. I'm thinking Golden Vision and Figments have school me pretty well. May just claim a fic in a few days. See what I can do to help out. :D

## Mod 682

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Added a #Reviewer tag.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 712

I'm claiming 'The Writer and Their Quill' as posted 11/2 on ponychan.(123891).

Claim + Review of "The Infected" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 723

File: 1352349755068.jpg (9.54 KB, 180x280, ahwell.jpg)

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#124275

Line-by-line in doc. I'm not going to sugarcoat this; you've got quite a few bugs in your story.

Your writing is adequate bordering on bland. Spicing up your vocabulary wouldn't hurt; as it is, your word choice is somewhere around basic level. For comedy or gag fics, basic word choice is good because it delivers the content well. But for something [Dark], where you're trying to convey the grittiness, the atmosphere, something more complex than "lol farts", you're going to need words that carry more weight. Your sentence structure is also something I'm not very fond of. Commas exist to make it easier for your reader to follow. Medium-, long-length sentences are fine, but not when they go on and on. Now, yours aren't as bad as to be called run-on, but they are of rather uncomfortable, unpunctuated length. Varying your sentence length would also help lots, because you don't have much of a mix. It's just not-too-long-but-still-long stretches.

Yes, I'm aware that your sentences are structured so as to not need commas. I'm asking you to re-structure them to fit commas in. Like, you've got a lot of places where commas would be better off placed. Those aren't my forte, but there are guides in the OP which you can refer to, should you need illumination.

You've got some instances of inconsistencies. Those are more glaring than missing commas, and I'd advise you to take a moment to think before you work on ironing those out.

Now, this is a summarized version of how much I read:
1) Two ponies sit in an alleyway.
2) One has this backstory flashback a couple of paragraphs after the start.
3) A changeling is killed.
4) More whining

Note that the only significant action your main character takes is the killing of the changeling. Up until then, it's all just monologue and thought. Nobody is actually doing anything, and it's boring. Yes, you heard me right. Your main character is boring because he's not doing anything to show himself otherwise, aside from reminiscence. Come on! This is a story about survival, right? Survival! So many things that one has to do to stay alive, and of all the things, you choose flashback. "I Am Legend" is a good example of how mediocre activities can be become interesting; searching for food, wandering the roads. Taking care of the dog. Just how important a bit of bacon is. You know why? Because the script plays on its significance. How important the little things are, when the world is reduced to a smouldering heap. It gives way to something more deeper - it questions just what a life is made of, and why its preservation - survival - matters at all. Sure, context is necessary, but it is given in small bits spread over a series of activities, not in one huge flashback. The series of activities is what plays front and centre - we call it the plot.

The reason why I tired of your story, I think, is because it's so important for your MC to be someone I can be interested in, because he's the narrator. Everything is seen through his eyes. He's a lens that tints everything. And currently, things are tinted a remarkable bland.

More world-buildling would be good. People who stay in a space for a while tend to notice little details; that helps to make your character more real, rather than a balloon filled with gaseous backstory, on account of noticing little details being what people do. Flesh out the alleyway. Though, then again, and I've said this too in the comments, how the hell an alleyway constitutes as a hiding place is beyond me, seeing as it's right in the open.

But that's not what did it in for me. No, for me, I suddenly found myself unable to suspend my disbelief, because I realized that you're treating changeling-ism-thing as a zombie virus.

Look… changelings are a race, okay. A race. You don't slap on this kind of alternate universe thing without dissonance, and boy was there dissonance all right. Canon is canon because it is established by the source material; it is the context that people have coming in to your story, and unless you weave something with the strength and weight of canon, you cannot win them over. And that sort of thing takes a lot of planning and words to establish. And for what end? So that your readers would accept that changelings are zombies? That's not very worth the effort.

Here's what I suggest. Don't make them changelings. Make them something else. Come up with your own zombie term, whatever, because trying to tie this to canon is not, imo, the direction you should take.

Also, you'd think that Celestia and Luna would have acted. Celestia, you know, who banished her own sister? Who sent an alicorn of all things all the way to the moon? Who controls the freaking sun? Heck, there's the Elements of Harmony, or Cadance a.k.a. deux ex machina, who would step in. If Canterlot is really overrun by zombies, why are there still announcement spells? There wouldn't be anyone left to announce to; if there still is, then the world isn't as bad as you've made it out to be.

I hope I've given you something to think about. If you have any comments or concerns, please feel free to reply in this thread. Keep writing.

724

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For the love of Celestia! Please, make claim posts in the same thread in which the story you're claiming was posted!

731

>>724
If the person reviewing is posting in this thread, then it matters little, as long as the author is aware of where their review will be.

That is, as long as the author receives the service they need and is directed to it, it is not a concern really. In fact, it is an understandable part of the migration process, and so long as no reviews or stories slip through the cracks, they will all get the service they need.

793

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>>724
A claim here, a claim there… it makes no difference, so long as someone has their eyes on the thread. There are many people with editing permissions on the spreadsheet. As long as some are here, then it will work just the same. I'll even do so as well; I'll give this thread daily checks to see if any new claim/request posts are here. Probably won't be necessary, seeing as all the reviews and claims have been adroitly marked and moved, and thus, it looks like this place is getting some love already. Still though, couldn't hurt to give more.

> sage for irrelevance and unrelated pic

Requesting Review, "Death Doesn't Like Fiddles..." 804

Tags: Comedy(I assume)

Synopsis: He really doesn't.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Cl2AGTsk7rMBAHkA27pMucazECrdDqScELQMx6i7tWs/edit

Comments:

Well, here it is. The first story submitted to the MLP TTG.

This starred briefly in the Write-Off on Ponychan, and I'd like to try for EQD with this one. My first try to get on there, a long story, was a total mess. My subsequent one-shot was liked, but too short. So, let's see if this gets my titanic foot in that tiny door.

As a note, I also wish for clarification on the tags, if possible. I may also need Dark, just for a couple moments that are only so when you think about them, but I know that is often viewed as a rather contradictory tag with Comedy, so I left it out for now.

Have at me, ladies and gentlemen. Have at me.

Hmm... 805

>>793

Maybe what we could do is put a little note in the submission in regards to its origin?

For example, in the synopsis column, after putting writing the synopsis down, we put "MLP" or "PChan" in parenthesis a line below it? That, or make a whole new row on the spreadsheet and an addition to the submision form, where you just choose which board you're submitting it to, but I don't know which tactic would be easier to implement. When the majority of fic has been moved, then we can get rid of it, but at least that could help with clarification.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 807

>>805
You don't need to. The link to the post shows which site it was posted on.
This post was edited by its author on .

810

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>>807
>>805
Indeed. I'm glad to see maintainers are using that column. Also, good to see people are using the form properly when requesting reviews.

I'm going to claim Hex by La Barata and review it here. I remember that guy; his long story about Spike ("Irreplaceable" I think was the title) was one of the first fanfics I read, and I was intrigued. I'm interested to see what he's cooking up nowadays.

Also, I have an odd request: could whoever posted the OP of this thread please email me? I'd like to know: (1) how you were able to put the HTML directly into the post, or if that was necessary, and if you had to do any manual re-writing in BBCode; (2) if there's anything I could do to help adjust the template for MLPChan.

> pic because the internet needs more otters

822

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>>810
I believe Anonthony made it. They're currently working on a [url] tag, so you 'ought to be able to do similar stuff soon yourself.
>Pic because space needs more sloths

Anonthony!EEEEEEEE2c 823

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>>822
That is correct. And dang, the reply notifier popped up fast!

I just used raw html to get the thread made this time, but a [url] tag in the works, in conjunction with the post editing and password-sharing, will allow the TG (and the sticky, for the matter) to be fully postable and updateable by any trusted community member.

Forget your otters and sloths. Foxes still remain boss.

Hey. 832

Heads up here, my story "Knightfall" is back in the queue for some odd reason. Was this a mistake?

Morning_angles from Ponychan is still looking at that, to my knowledge. He's just been busy, so that's why we haven't got all the way through it yet.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 836

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>>832
Really? I didn't see any comments in the document.

I added him back to the sheet. Do you think you could get him to post here with a progress update just to be sure?

838

>>836

There are a few in chapter one, about one section down. I've been resolving the comments as we go, so they wouldn't clog the discussions, so that's probably why they aren't immediately noticeable at first glance. As requested, I've put in a comment asking him to drop an update.

He has a tendency to disappear for a few days, due to constraints he appears to have with school, so that's why we haven't made stupendous progress as of yet. Maybe when the holidays pop up and his laptop is fixed, we'll get through this a little faster. We'll see. I'll get worried when a month goes by since our last discussion.

Still, thank you for your concern and your sharp eye.
This post was edited by its author on .

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 843

>>712

Due to size limitations, I'm going to need to break this up.

Review of 'The Writer and Their Quill' Part 1/5

Chapter 1

>> We have wings like the Pegasi to allow incredible speed and manoeuvrability in the air. We have a horn like the unicorn allowing us to summon and control the flow of magic around us. We have the phenomenal strength and a toughened resolve from the Earth ponies.


Two things stand out to me here. I don’t really go for capitalizing race names, though I’ll accept that others do. However, is there a reason that you don’t capitalize unicorn? Secondly, the plural of ‘unicorn’ is ‘unicorns.’

>> Yet, even among all this, we have one ability which is as mysterious and old as the Alicorns themselves.


Mm, I might let this pass, maybe, but part of the end of it seems a bit unnecessary. An alicorn ability that is as old as the alicorns? Also as a very, very technical point (really me just being pedantic), if the ability only comes at a certain age, it seems like it should be just a bit younger than that first alicorn.

>> When an Alicorn reaches an age


I’d suggest either ‘reaches a certain age’ or perhaps ‘comes of age,’ but this doesn’t stand on its own.

>> the secret of life is revealed […] We are capable of seeing when mortals perish.


Is this meant to say that the moment a creature kicks it, an alicorn knows, or that an alicorn can foresee when a creature will die? If the latter, I’d suggest throwing a ‘will’ in there. Regardless, I have my doubts as to whether prescience about others’ mortality constitutes the secret of life, outside of perhaps a very literal interpretation.

>> Is nothing sacred my eyes?


I believe an ‘in’ is missing.

>> Once, I thought death to be a power beyond our reckoning, beyond our control; forever it would be shrouded in a fog which was only lifted when it finally caught up to us. Even death holds no bounds for me; I can see it around me but never feel its icy fingers touch me in an everlasting embrace.


This needs some kind of transition. I’m guessing this is a comparison of states before and after gaining this ability, but it doesn’t come across as such at the first reading. Right now it leaves an impression of contradiction.

>> This is getting heavy.


Mmmm, I am… on the fence about this line. It feels rather colloquial to me in regards to the speaker.

>> Of how never stood near the top, and even when I got close, immortality would force its reckoning into my midst and cut off another pool of happiness for me.


Missing ‘I’ at the beginning, I presume. Other than that… mm, this sentence grasps for emotional depth and gets its arm stuck. It seems like you’re striving for poeticism with it, but it feels mashed together.

>> It’s happening again: it’s getting heavy.


Again, not a fan of this.

>> My name is Princess Celestia, and this is story of how I became mortal.


This is a fine line to end with.

>> Even death holds no bounds for me


Coming back to this line. If she is no longer mortal at the time of this writing, or if she feels differently about death, change this to the past tense.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 844

>>712

Review of 'The Writer and Their Quill' Part 2/5

Chapter 2

>> Today is the first day of my non-working week; no more politics, no more grand introductions: just plain, simple times ahead.


Replace the semicolon with a colon; colons may be used to introduce lists. As for the original colon, I’d replace it with a comma. If you feel ambiguity is a problem with listed items that feature commas, you can separate them with semicolons (i.e. Reno, Nevada; Sacramento, California; and Seattle, Washington), though I don’t think that’d be a problem here.

>> Being a princess is hard work.


Okay, I’m willing believe this, but why don’t you take the opportunity to tell us how it’s hard work? Meeting petitioners, discussing budgets, fighting off princes charming, I’ll leave it to you to decide; however, I would put something.

>> I had sent the invitation for spending the weekend with me yesterday, and the positive reply came back swiftly.


This is a bit of a garden path sentence and could be read a number of different ways: she could have sent the invitation along with herself yesterday, she could have sent an invitation regarding a get-together slated for the day before, or she could have sent the invitation yesterday. One would assume the latter, but I still did a double-take at first. I would advise repair, perhaps by doing something as simple as beginning the sentence as, “Yesterday, I sent […]”

>> She would leave tomorrow, just after midday; I hoped she would have enough time to dine with me before leaving.


I’m one of those individuals that takes the word ‘dine’ to primarily mean ‘to eat dinner,’ rather than any other unspecified meal, and my first thought was, ‘Why wouldn’t she be able to have dinner if she’s leaving late the next day?’ Depending on what meal they’re eating, ‘breakfast,’ ‘lunch’, and even ‘brunch’ all work as verbs.

>> I quickly highlighted his age: thirty five years left, enough for twenty of useful service.


‘Highlighting’ feels odd as a verb here; I think something with a greater breadth of interpretations such as ‘read’ would be a nicer fit. Also, this is a *really* clinical assessment of another. Maybe you’re going for that, but it seems heartless to view another in terms of service life, like a battery to be switched out upon depletion.

Hmm, ‘assess’ would also sound better than ‘highlight.’

>> As a reached the bottom,


As I reached the bottom,

>> She leaned casually over the crenellations with a steaming mug levitating beside her.


The talk of corridors has given me the impression that Celestia is indoors. If so, crenellations seem out of place as indoor décor.

>> She smiled innately.


This doesn’t make sense to me.

>> Luna watched me leave and later retired to her chamber


I would recommend cutting this line or giving it some ambiguity. For one thing, little would be lost by cutting it. More importantly, since this is a first-person narrative, it gives Celestia a degree of omniscience that feels distracting.

>> namely pushing all events back by a maybe up to ten minutes.


Unnecessary ‘a.’

>> Silver crested clouds


Add a hyphen between silver and crested. Compounds like this (adjective + participle) need a hyphen when preceding a noun.

>> It’s about time!” called a Stallion’s voice from the crowd of passengers.


Stallion doesn’t need to be capitalized.

>> She turned from facing the window toward me.


Another slight garden path. Consider ‘She turned from her window to face me.’

>> “[…]. Call me Celestia when we’re alone,” I said sternly


I find it odd that she’s saying this sternly; I would imagine her sounding more congenial if she’s trying to be buddy-buddy.

>> “I couldn’t have a friend addressing me fully in the privy of our studying mind.”


A caveats: privy, as a noun, is very commonly used to refer to a bathroom.

>> I knew how much she like being on time


Liked

>> The carriage trundled onward around another two blocks into the longest street before I spoke up again.


The longest street gets dropped in here and doesn’t do much else otherwise. You could cut ‘into the longest street’ and the sentence would still work. I think it’d be better for it, in fact.

>> “Why do want to retire so early, today is your day Twilight.”


Comma splice. Replace that comma with a question mark.

One thing I wondered about in this chapter is Celestia’s presence at the train station. Given her usual public reception as demonstrated in the show, I’m surprised she didn’t get more of a reaction from the others around her.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 845

>>712

Review of 'The Writer and Their Quill' Part 3/5

Chapter 3

>> My friend is sitting a metre or two away, sleeping away her final hours and there is nothing I can do about it. Nothing.


Comma after hours.

>> My thoughts are circling, in need options.


Missing ‘of’ after need.

>> Could I keep her in my palace, refuse her requests to leave my safeguarding in these secure stone walls.


Replace the period with a question mark.

>>Surely can control some aspects, what use is a power of seeing life if I am to not preserve it?


There’s a comma splice and an ‘I’ is missing.

>> A knock at the door drew blank thoughts from my mind.


Her thoughts seem rather crowded, in my opinion.

>> I raised my head to check Twilight hadn’t woken


Needs a ‘that’ after ‘check.’

>> A look of concern was badly contained in her face, she had the same signs when she was young, and she could never change her instinct reaction, emotion was a part of us which she held more strongly than me.


This does not need to be one sentence. Right now it abounds with comma splices. Also ‘instinct reaction’ is a strange turn of phrase.

>> glass topped table


Glass-topped.

>> two embroiled chairs


Do you mean embroidered?

>> She gave an open hoofed gesture to the second embroiled chair


Open-hoofed. This is a bit weird given the fixed nature of hooves, though it’s not jarring. What is jarring is that ‘embroiled.’

>> I counted the marshmallows in the top, and then took a drink, also.


You don’t need that second comma. Heck, you could get away with cutting the first as well, though I’d accept it as a stylistic beat to imply a pause.

>> “So what, let her die,” I said absent of tone.


I’d replace that comma with a question mark so that this statement can’t be misconstrued as a command.

>> She was as grateful to Twilight for freeing her from Nightmare Moon, although this decision seemed easier for her to make.


As grateful as whom? Celestia? If so, say so.

>> “Then how can I never do what is right, what is needed of me,” I asked, still with my eyes closed.


The quotation should end with a question mark.

>> And when they end up standing on deaths door


Death’s

>> “I would aspire to be like you, even after that long, you still take it so hard; you care more than any other pony we will ever meet.”


There’s a comma splice with that first comma.

>> Chapter 4 is not written, however it shall be titled, ‘Body to Earth.’ Chapter 5 is written. It is titled, ‘Ashes to Ashes.’


Pointing these out if you want to remove them.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 846

>>712

Review of 'The Writer and Their Quill' Part 4/5

Chapter 4

>> I would raise the sun and she will die in two hours.


Replace ‘will’ with ‘would.’

>> Although it would be better to miss it, I would far prefer it as a final farewell than a departure without an acknowledged receipt.


‘Easier would be a better word choice than, well, ‘better.’

>> My student is courteous, kind, grateful, and many other things, but not disrespectful.


Rework this list. If she is courteous, one will naturally presume she is not disrespectful. I’d recommend a list populated with some basic flaws or idiosyncrasies to offset the flaw at the end.

>> She would go against her entire propensity to leave without a goodbye.


I would use ‘It’ rather than “She’ as the subject of this sentence. Also, ‘entire propensity’ sounds off to me; I’d replace ‘entire’ with ‘every.’

>> I’m fountain of knowledge to some, but knowledge passed use or simply without reason anymore.


The part of this sentence following the comma would benefit from a rewrite. “Passed use’ is odd, and the idea of knowledge without reason doesn’t make sense to me. ‘Beyond usefulness’ and ‘simply without purpose’ I would buy, though to use them both would be redundant.

>> “Princ…Celestia?” said Twilight from behind me.


Twilight is correcting herself, yes? Rather than use ellipsis, I would use an em dash to indicate that break in speech.

>> We entered a waiting cart and drove the short distance down the road. The café was deserted. A cross-eyed owner with a sea-blue mane leaned upon the counter. He wiped the counter top with a stained, damp cloth. One eye rested on the doorway, the other down to the counter.


I recommend that you indicate that Celestia is observing through this window. I thought they were inside of the cafe until I read the next line.

>>“Two teas, at the double y-your highness


A comma should precede a direct address. In this case, one should come before ‘double’.

>> “I’m sure the Pegasus are making it rain for good reasons,”


As per your earlier convention, ‘Pegasi.’

>> The teapot cracked and spilled its content out upon the floor.


‘Contents’ is more common.

>> “I’m sorry your highness, quite very sorry.”


Same thing as above about direct addresses. ‘Quite very’ is strange, but I’d pass it over given its presence in dialogue.

>> “Allow me,” I said smiling. I magically surrounded the teapot and fused the cracked porcelain together. I heated the liquid and seeped it back into the mouth of the pot.


Having her magically surround the teapot makes it seem as if she is physically enveloping the pot; you could have her surround the teapot in magic or perhaps just levitate it. Also, whatever magic she may possess, it grosses me out that they’re drinking water that was just spread thinly across the floor.

>> “Last call for Ponyville-bound train. Last call.”


‘The’ before Ponyville-bound.

>> Later, I would tell her all of it, of seeing deaths, of how close I came to letting her down, but I’d tell her that I know of my place in this world now, but, for now lives may be at stake, and I have to protect my people whether they care for me or not.


This is a cluttered sentence; it would look better if you broke it up.

>> The voice was familiar, but it was so immediate that I could help but be paralysed by it.


Couldn’t help.

>> I don’t know how long flew, or how far, or how fast.


Missing another ‘I.’

>> I ran passed her.


Past.

>> “We can’t let you passed,” said the other.


Past.

>> A mare in white stood from my student.


This makes it sound like she’s standing on top of her or something just as odd. I’d recommend replacing the ‘from’ with a ‘near,’ or by placing some measure of distance between ‘stood’ and ‘from.’

>> forehoove


Forehoof

>> Rain began to fall into the dust making dark crescents


Comma after dust.

Again, a reaction toward Celestia in this chapter seemed a tad odd. In this case, it was the guards stopping her from approaching her injured student. In another context, this wouldn’t be so strange for one to do when somebody has been injured; however, given Celestia’s position as a not just a political leader but a magical and intellectual one as well, I’m surprised they wouldn’t let her past.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 847

>>712

Review of 'The Writer and Their Quill' Part 4/5

Chapter 5

>> Myself and Luna gave a few words, but we weren’t to stand out above the rest.


Luna and I

>> They don’t know it was me, they don’t know that we can see death dates, but they may as well know.


I don’t think you should say ‘death dates.’ It makes the idea sound too tangible, too everyday, and I think it’d be better if you wrote about their ability with more of a sense of intrigue.

>> Had I let her get on the train, I would have been that carriage, not her.


But only until midnight.

>> They wore expressions of sadness as expected, some of them even seemed angry, although they will never know what at.


Comma splice from that first comma.

Further Thoughts

Alright, outside of errors which I have pointed out, I thought this was pretty good. Although you have it tagged as sad (which it is), I feel it’d be more appropriate to call it a tragedy. Celestia strives to protect her student from a premature death and, in her efforts, ends up causing it; that has tragedy written all over it.

I feel there was a nice red herring with the mention of the malfunctioning train early on in the story. It was mentioned in a subtle way, as an aside really, but the story is short enough that more astute readers may be taken in by it as Twilight prepares to board her next train.

The first chapter had some odd turns of phrase in it, some of which I have noted, and it put me off at initially. However, I felt these issues resolved themselves once you got into the telling of the story, and once the conflict revealed itself. I would suggest toning down the first chapter a bit; I feel a lot of it comes off as gnomic.

A lot of the details regarding how Celestia perceives lifelines were, while interesting, unnecessary. Reading about digits counting down makes it sound very technical, which I feel doesn’t help. Feel free to allow this ability a bit of mystery.

I noted in a few comments above the reactions of others to Celestia’s presence. Whenever you write her into a public setting, remember that she is a big deal. You don’t need to have the scene revolve around that, but bear in mind that her appearance will turn heads.

One last note: in the first and last chapters, you state that Celestia is not immortal. Perhaps you’re trying to state that a part of her has died, or perhaps you wish to say something else entirely; your point didn’t come across clearly, at least not by my reckoning, and I would advise at least a small amount of hinting or elucidation.

Other than that, I did enjoy this story. It’s not the first story to approach death, fate, and the futility of fighting it, but it did it a nice enough job of it.

Review of Hex by La Barata 850

File: 1352532945123.jpg (38.61 KB, 251x263, spike.jpg)

> pic because this is a story about a bounty hunter and Spike was the first bounty hunter that came to mind

Here is a list of the things I found most annoying
- Unwieldy sentences
- Overkill/hyperbolic descriptions
- Poor characterization
- One really bad cliche

Now, in more detail:
Firstly, I should draw your attention to one big and unwieldy paragraph in the prologue:
> "Now what I tell you ‘bout flappin’ yer gums… the slow bubbling of the coffeepot.
This has actions by both characters and dialogue from one (break it up). Furthermore, it seems like too much of a single character in one sitting. Of the other character, there's hardly any exposition at all until the very end when he fights for his life, and that's all at the last minute right when we're supposed to care, making it seem rushed and forceful.

> taunting him with its presence

Mind the words you use when tone-setting. Taunting is something one would do to provoke anger. The pony that is on the run wants to escape this bounty hunter.

> His back to the flames…to the tip of a cigarette.

Run-on. You tried squeezing two nominative absolutes into this bitch. Furthermore, what's in this sentence is a good example of where you toe the line between strong metaphor/tone-setting and cheesy overkill—
> that most would swear had clawed its way from the pits of Tartarus itself for just one brief moment

Now, as for chapter 1:

You have multiple instances here and there of purple descriptions that make reference to the laws of physics being defied or broken by something because of its extremeness. It is over-used minimal-effort hyperbole that cheapens the narrative.

> A cloud of dust rose…cut by the railroad tracks.

Big ol' run-on. The sentence is a mess.

> cyan pegasus

Oh no you fucking didn't.

About Pinkie Pie:

Now, I really, really do not care for how you portray her. She is not a bipolar airhead who would invent a game like "spot the grain of sand" during a train ride to Appleoosa. Speaking of which, I thought you were trying to portray that the ride was really long and boring, to a locale further away than that, which is why Pinkie began showing signs of losing sanity from boredom. Then the narration reveals their destination, and ten thousand skin cells died on my forehead.

Pinkie Pie is a sophisticated character who just happens to exhibit cartoony traits from time to time for comedic effect. Just consider how she acts in Baby Cakes, even before she matures enough to realize she was in for more than she bargained for. She has a brain that is sharp enough such that she would not react to Rarity's thin excuse for her to not sing her new song to them again loudly as if it were a real concern / warning, and then react to it fearfully as if it were an extreme danger.

All in all, the first train passage seemed very weak, as if it were sawdust (filling material). It is all just train-bound anticipation of an event that is not even described, and features the characters acting forcefully, as if merely to establish that they're there. Seriously. The way Pinkie Pie acts reminds me of that furry abomination in the final loogie George Lucas put on Jim Hensen's grave (by which I mean the musical number in Jabba's palace) in that it makes lots of noise and draws attention to itself, but just cheapens the whole act more than a few un-hidden puppet control rods ever could by how utterly obnoxious it is.

What makes the first train passage even worse is how Misty Veil, a character who becomes important very soon afterward, isn't even in it either in mention or in presence, despite how she's with them on the train the whole time.

All in all, I think there's fluff that needs to go, exposition that needs more exposure, characters that need more purpose and descriptions that need more of the right kind of emphasis. Build a better hook, and give readers more reasons to continue reading.
This post was edited by its author on .

cheezesauce 851

Am I the only one that feels as if most people are going to carry on posting on ponychan?

852

File: 1352542216351.jpg (2.99 KB, 100x68, stoc01.jpg)

The first mlpchan story to be submitted? I suppose that makes me the first to review the first mlpchan story submitted. Capital!

>>804
"Death Doesn't like fiddles…"

Claime'd

Anonymous 853

>>851
I believe that's merely a problem of lack of a better announcement. A day was set but not trumpeted on that day. Everything is set, a groundwork laid, the site prepared and moving. Activity levels are about the same at the current moment. Having gotten that at all is indicative of how much support for the move there is and the benefits of it. Simply making it clear that now is the time and sparking the move wholesale is what is needed. Now if one of these lazy gits would actually take the lead on this and make some statements, it could happen. Anyone want to actually take some responsibility?

854

File: 1352563266819.jpg (61.06 KB, 500x613, BQPsv.jpg)

>>853
I came out of "retirement" to do a review here at 11 PM after what was perhaps the most clusterfuck Friday of my life, to keep my word and promote mlpchan with usage.

> lazy git

855

File: 1352563764067.png (195.99 KB, 878x1044, sh.just.come.jpg.png)

>>854
Clearly, I meant everyone except for you. Of course.

Anonymous 856

>>853
So wait. You want someone to go to all threads saying "hey guys, we moved!!!" ?

Anonymous 857

>>856
I believe someone already did that, actually.
And no, more along the lines of making sure the notoriously languid group stayed relatively on task and aware of what was going on. A lack of communication kills progress, whatever the type.

858

File: 1352567041220.jpg (103.25 KB, 500x281, suruga.jpg)

>>851
>>853
I know this is going back on what I said before, but I don't really care.

I'm not going to remake Ponychan's TTG thread after it auto-sages. Checking both threads it way too much work.

859

>>858
I see. Don't think of it as going back on what you said. Situations are always fluid, and circumstances change. While I personally favor this move, I understand that if it doesn't work out, things can always be copied back over. I simply feel that there is no reason not to give it an honest try. Not making changes now and then leads to stagnation and decay. Things must always seek improvement and small changes to try to stay fresh and alive - and this fandom (and this fiction review community) are things worth keeping fresh and alive. An honest effort from all involved to make this work might extend the worthwhile life of the community.

EDIT: That image is Bakemonogatari, yes? Is that any good?
This post was edited by its author on .

860

>>859
Well, a simple thing would be requesting locks and a post stating where everyone went.

861

>>860
A link should be posted in the sticky, too. Though I'm not sure I want to be the one to ask the Ponychan staff to do this.

>>859
Yes, it's excellent.
This post was edited by its author on .

dolfeus!doseuxbE3s 862

File: 1352568714409.jpg (16.77 KB, 290x210, 12937464_gal.jpg)

863

>>860
That is true. That's up to the individuals, I'd say. If they want to let a thread ride out. It might be better to make a more clean start with lock requests. That way there is less confusion from authors who visit, and perhaps letting people who refer authors know that this has now happened.

>>861
From what I have heard, !!Applejack has made the first move to reach out to !!Celestia about possible syndication in the future. That being the case perhaps the staff here can make that request on the boards behalf. Though then again, it might be better coming directly from an objective member of the board that is respected.

864

>>862
Do you have a last+50 link?
I have been unable to load long threads on Ponychan for some time now.

865

File: 1352569476161.png (347.21 KB, 964x642, Derpy133027187872.png)

It has been done…

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480+50.html#124544
This post was edited by its author on .

866

Tags: Adventure, Tragedy, Sad, Dark, Human, Alternate Universe

Word count: 5k (Still writing more chapters)

Synopsis: Set in an alternate universe where humans and ponies lived together, this fanfic is a combination of Fallout and Fallout: Equestria setting a new world with traits from both universes. The war turned Equestria into a Wasteland, blaming the humans as the ones responsible for the destruction of their land. A human dares to enter the Wasteland and start a journey that will unravel the truth behind the war and the first humans who came to Equestria: The Bronies…

Link: https://drive.google.com/?tab=wo&authuser=0#folders/0B_PODfkLUwO3ZXJrbTdReUtST2s

872

>>866
It would help if you included a title, fixed the link (it points to an empty Google Drive folder) and submitted the request form.

Thank you.

Submission guide (Better version) 879

Sorry, I copy/pasted this from anothe thread and I don't have too much experience with GDocs. Should have checked the submission guides before posting…

Title: Fallout: Equestria - Bronies Dawn

Author/screen name: Sayer

E-mail: [email protected]

Tags: Adventure, Tragedy, Sad, Dark, Human, Alternate Universe

Synopsis: Set in an alternate universe where humans and ponies lived together, this fanfic is a combination of Fallout and Fallout: Equestria setting a new world with traits from both universes. The war turned Equestria into a Wasteland, blaming the humans as the ones responsible for the destruction of their land. A human dares to enter the Wasteland and start a journey that will unravel the truth behind the war and the first humans who came to Equestria: The Bronies…

Links:
-Chapter 0: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B_PODfkLUwO3ZXJrbTdReUtST2s/edit?docId=1ZlsXVxgHtQzM0NKUo8UA90AW4YXUOE0eNuWr-lU6aEs
-Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B_PODfkLUwO3ZXJrbTdReUtST2s/edit?docId=1XtwBlaR4m4Zeg_ncZf_1VYgLWMfX2GOtjr9qfM62TlA

883

>>879
Looks like you already submitted the form, actually, which is good. For future reference, you need only post in one place. Reviewers check what hasn't been claimed in the spreadsheet rather than trawling the thread(s).

893

File: 1352606726238.jpg (5.64 KB, 100x145, nava11.jpg)

Death Doesn’t like Fiddles…
By Writer's Block

>>804

Synopsis
I haven’t much to say here, other than that your synopsis is an interesting one. I agree with it, in that it does a fine job of keeping the plot well hidden, while hinting at the nature of the story within: Short, flippant and somewhat cynical. However, it does err on the side of brevity. While I agree that this is good fit for your tale, as I have had the pleasure of reading it, the discerning reader might not feel the same way. As this is more of a concern than an outright error I’m not telling you to change it, just to consider some alternatives.

Mechanical errors
Very few, so far as I can tell.

>stronger word than loathe?


>Okay, you did some reading

Loathe?

Okay, you

>I got a news flash. It ain’t happening.

flash: It ain’t

>fo

For (unless you’re going for the whole ‘fo sho, mah nizzle’ dialogue, which is up to you, but really doesn’t fit the character)

>as you’ve likely deduced Sherlock,

Deduced, Sherlock,

>twiddle your thumbs?

Hooves? Fetlocks?

>get something fun for once,

‘Get to do’, or just replace ‘get’ with ‘do’

>And while I can’t personally make you into a pile of gelatin, because all the justice in this universe forbid I get something fun for once, that doesn’t mean I can’t dump you next to a pack of rabid chickens and laugh myself silly as you try to decide whether to run or not.


Epic run on is epic. Try separating it with em dashes, al a ‘gelatin—because all the justice in the universe forbid I do something fun—’ to turn it into an aside, or try split this into two sentences.

>I don’t do that kid.

Do that, kid.

>Ursa Major’s

Ursa Majors

>can guarantee you’ll have an actual chance, as opposed to now where the only way you’re getting anywhere

Actual chance. As opposed to now, where the only

Style
I have always been a fan of the narrative tale, and so I may be somewhat biased. Especially because the whole narrative wreaks of Notes from Underground, which is perhaps my favorite novella of all time. Thus, you have a very poignant, fleshed out (snigger) character in Death, who is parried by the mute character of the ‘kid’. The kid’s silent remarks allow the reader to interpret the direction of the conversation; it allows them to assume that character.

It is an interesting narrative device, and it means that the reader feels like the story is free to their interpretations. However, it is up to you as an author to really allow the reader to do so, which for the most part, you do. Only in one section, the “Can I laugh now? … How about now?” did it feel like you’d taken control. This is because you’ve given the kid too broad a spectrum of possible topics to cover, while only keeping one scenario in mind. Thus, the reader feels reigned in by Death’s responses.

It works everywhere else because you, as the author, have given the reader an obvious choice of responses to work with. Had Death insulted the very femme fatale I was willing to sell my soul for, I bloody well would get a bit antsy. So would everyone else. So what feels like, to the reader, an individual response is actually a pretty broad spread of similar answers which you can take advantage of.

Characters
Your character of death has somewhat of the Terry Pratchett about him: coy, disillusioned and cynical as a result. The ‘kid’ on the other hand is, as I have explained above, completely open for interpretation. I have not much else to say here.

Special Requests
This is definitely not Dark. Comedy is fine.

Result
I’m giving you a solid 8/10 “Jolly Good Shows”

Faithfully,
Paper_mate_Pony

899

http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/525.html#879

Just wanted to say that I finally got someone to help me with this fic, so there's no need for more help. Thanks a lot for this thread; you really helped me improve my writing skills.

Claim of "Bronies Dawn" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 900

File: 1352631473072.png (261.36 KB, 525x217, claimed_2.png)

>>879
>>899
And just to clear things up, said person was me. Making it official; I'm claiming "Bronies Dawn".

See, Filler, claim posts are useful!

912

>>900
Useful, yes, but it feels so… inelegant.

Acknowledging Review, "Death Doesn't Like Fiddles... " 928

>>893

Thank you. It's great to see you enjoyed it.

>Loathe?

>…
>Okay, you

What is the specific issue here, if I might ask? Have I misused the word or some such thing?

>twiddle your thumbs?


>Hooves? Fetlocks?


Read the ending again. Look at what Death says about the kid's original color and the kid's eyes. Then you should see why this wasn't a mistake.

!SumPony41s 929

File: 1352701716981.png (28.08 KB, 309x425, Sum_Pony_charge.png)

>>912
Hi Filler!

Hi everyone!

Yes, claim posts are inelegant indeed. Incidentally, I recently had an idea for the future of The Training Grounds I'd like to cast out to everyone as a "what if" sort of thing.

Those of you who have been around since before the spreadsheet existed should remember how it was — with Twilight Snarkle and Filler poring over the thread and composing lists of links to story posts. Now, imagine this: a system that is very similar, only where people who submit stories use a checkbox or some other means to have their stories automatically added to a list of citation links in a "queue" box in the OP. Reviewers would then, using a special cite format (i.e. >>rNNNN instead of >>NNNN) reply to the post with their review, and it would be removed from that list. No complicated bookkeeping, just a simple list of links that is automatically rebuilt when new stories are posted or stories get reviewed.

This would be a return to the thread's roots, and traditions that were in place before I came along. What makes this idea different is that the board software itself would have specific recognition and specific treatment for specific types of posts. That is, in a sense, what the spreadsheet does. However, despite its efficiency, the spreadsheet is still powered by eyeball sweat and Ctrl-F, which makes it fundamentally the same as the manually-maintained list of links used in iterations of The Training Grounds that took place a little over a year ago.

How does this all sound? What pitfalls can you imagine for this type of system? Would this be a worthy replacement for the spreadsheet system?

Queue Statistics:
Unclaimed: 2
Reviews awaiting acknowledgment: 2
Reviews In Progress: 10

Unclaimed Stories
09/05/2012 ❖ The Study of a Winning Pony by The Study of a Winning Pony (>>118617)
11/08/2012 ❖ Luna Visits the Dentist by Luna Visits the Dentist (>>124493)

Reviews Awaiting Acknowledgment
Vinyl Scratch and the Monstercats by Kubu (>>124280) submitted 11/05/2012 ❖ Reviewed by cheezesauce on 11/10/2012 (>>124582)
Keepers of the dead by WhoWhatWhere (>>124494) submitted 11/08/2012 ❖ Reviewed by cheezesauce on 11/10/2012 (>>124521)

Reviews in Progress
morning_angles: reviewing The Final Season, Episode 1, "Knightfall" by Writer's Block (>>120586) submitted 09/24/2012
Azusa: reviewing Three's A Crowd by Sir0Chicken (>>122072) submitted 10/12/2012
Azusa: reviewing The Lovers' Edda by Simon o'Sullivan (>>122926) submitted 10/22/2012
troubleTransistor: reviewing The Mercy of Screwball by Professor Coruptus (>>123076) submitted 10/24/2012
alexmagnet: reviewing Glass House by peppermint.owl (>>123203) submitted 10/25/2012
Panda_Bear: reviewing At Sundown by Equ-us (>>123239) submitted 10/26/2012
FigSenRapMenTor: reviewing Miracles of Harmony by Cody The Kirby (Ghostwriter The Scribe) (>>123531) submitted 10/30/2012
Casca: reviewing Fallout: Equestria - Bronies Dawn by Sayer (>>124170) submitted 11/04/2012
AidanMaxwell: reviewing Not Exactly Green; No ODST Is by SpilledInk (>>124572) submitted 11/10/2012
This post was edited by its author on .

Macil!/5s/Techmk 930

File: 1352704980581.png (119.75 KB, 383x467, fe-littlepip-at the stable.png)

>>929
That idea sounds interesting. Let me make sure my idea of it is decent.

Someone makes a thread in /fic/ with the "Thread Queue" checkbox marked. This makes a thread with a pending story queue box in the OP post.

Someone posts in the thread with the "Queue Story" checkbox (only displayed within relevant threads) marked. In that post, they describe their story, link to it, and mention whatever else is standard.

This causes a link to that post to be displayed within the OP post's Story Queue box. The link looks and behaves like a normal >>NNNN link: hover/click previews work on it if enabled.

Next, someone makes a reply to the queued story post in the style of >>rNNNN (possibly by clicking a "Review" button on the top of the post), and that causes the link to be removed from the Story Queue box in the OP post. Their review post contains their review (or a link to it) and whatever else is deemed standard.

EDIT: Claim posts would have a reference styled like >>cNNNN, and it would cause the the story in the OP story queue to be marked as claimed. And there would also be some way for a new thread to share the story queue of a previous thread. And any claims or reviews posted in the new thread for a story in a previous thread would still cause a backlink to be added to the story post in the previous thread.
This post was edited by its author on .

931

>>928

>Have I misused the word or some such thing?


No, nothing like that. It just seems that death was interrupted by the 'kid', wherein a better word for loath was suggested, prompting death to 'compliment' him on his friend's education. You're punctuating the 'kid' with ellipses, and it seemed like one had been forgotten.

I don't… I can't… It shames me to admit it, but I really can't pick it. Sombre? Purple, green, 'slitty' eyes, distinct lack of thumbs. Hmm. Discord? Thumbs sure, but not known for slitty pupils. Unless you're trying to have a crack at the 'Red/Black Alicorn OC' crowd. Which makes sense, now I think about it.
This post was edited by its author on .

935

File: 1352722848441.jpg (530.41 KB, 800x600, browsing.jpg)

>>929
So, queue maintenance would be automated, based on post format (i.e. the presence of >>rNNNN)?

Let me try to, uh, figure it out some.

1) User checks a certain box in posting field; this prompts system to fill in a slot in the spreadsheet

2) Review posts contain >>rNNNN. That triggers system in pairing it with post, and thus removes it from queue

Something like that?

Well, I'd wonder whether the post editing function would mess up the system. Like, a post being edited from >>rNNNN to >>NNNN or vice versa. Also whether checking the box and having >>rNNNN would end up with something-or-other happening.

Anonymous 936

>>929
Only thing I can think off is that it would make an already convoluted system even more convoluted—I had to reread what you said four times before getting it—which is something /fic/ has famously been known and not used for (who read the guides anyway?). This extra layer of complexity just sounds like asking for trouble.

Another thing would be that it would make /fic/ be stuck wherever it is (unless I didn't read that correctly, which goes back to the first point), which I thought was something the community actually wanted to prevent as best it could.

But, I don't know.

Anonymous 938

File: 1352726427857.png (66.14 KB, 228x202, Avatar image.png)

>>936
>>935
>>930
>>929

I think Demetrius had a solution:

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123620.html#123872

Which I'll copy here because loading that thread is mad:
I overlooked >>123816 when I wrote >>123841. Shame on me.
> Those maintainers now need to traverse two threads for claims, acknowledgements, and other such updates, and correlate those two threads into one spreadsheet, not to mention inevitably dealing with "simultaneous" claims on each board and other such conflicts, and trying to contact one of the reviewers on one of the boards to inform them to stop reviewing.
This is a very good point, and I hadn't thought of it that way until now. There is, however, only one scenario/chain of events where these problems would occur: where reviewer A claims story X on Ponychan, and reviewer B on MLPchan decides to review X before it is marked as claimed. Unfortunately, that scenario isn't uncommon; maintainers are human beings too. Regardless of how many eyes we have on each thread (i.e. with dedicated maintainers for each imageboard), every once in a while maintainers won't be active enough to keep up with claims.

> Now, I'm 110% positive that whoever created MLPchan's TTG is going to reply to this and tell me this concern is frivolous. My reply: does this mean you're volunteering to be a TTG maintainer? It's not a huge headache, but I think the active maintainers will agree that it is indeed a headache. Was this taken into consideration?

I doubt it; the person who created it (and I'm fairly certain of who it was) has never been a TTG maintainer. Now, the fact remains that using TTG in both places is still feasible. It's just a matter of how dissociated with any imageboard we can make it. When I was an active maintainer, one thing that frustrated me at times was when people acknowledged claims in the IRC or some other means of exchange and it didn't leave a history trail in the thread. This sort of frustration could increase in the case of two imageboards (or am I the only one who experiences that frustration?) except in the case of the imageboard, at least the communication history is public and always visible versus visible only to people who leave their IRC clients open and lurking the channels 24/7 in order to get the logs. I wish Google Docs allowed multiple forms to a spreadsheet so we could eliminate the thread as a repository of claims more easily. We could try using a separate spreadsheet/form for pending claims.*

> Just make sure to USE A DIFFERENT SPREADSHEET!

That's too complicated by one spreadsheet. Matters are bad enough as it is with people trying to manually keep one spreadsheet up to date with two threads. Think of what it would be like with one spreadsheet being used for two threads and another being used for part of the content of one thread. Yeah, not going to happen. The best that could be done is segregate the NSFW fiction into a new NSFW Training Grounds, duplicate the spreadsheet, empty its data and re-use it in the NSFW Training Grounds.

* here goes nothing
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGZzWGZweVVCWHNuSDd3MFhWc0ZGM2c6MQ#gid=0
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuAQzDU7RlujdGZzWGZweVVCWHNuSDd3MFhWc0ZGM2c#gid=0
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Anonymous 939

>>938
Could you elaborate? I don't see how does that related to this >>929 .

941

File: 1352733653221.png (40.5 KB, 708x794, Sum_Pony_soon.png)

>>930
Yes, that is precisely how I imagine it would work. Thank you for your input!

>>935
Such complications are all to be discovered and worked out. If, for instance, it were done by adding a "type" column to the cites table and using cites of a specific type for reviews / requests / claims, the most complicated thing that may need to be done in regard to post editing is change the cites-creating part of the code so that it can perform update on the relevant cite record as well as insert/delete when records are added/removed. That would need to happen so that changing a plain response to a review does what's necessary to enact the proper change in the database. That's only one approach I've thought of so far.

>>936
> Another thing would be that it would make /fic/ be stuck wherever it is
No, that was only touted as an advantage of the spreadsheet for the sake of maintaining some optimism about the move to mlpchan. If we had a solution that were automated (where the software eliminates the need for tedious manual bookkeeping) and independent of any imageboard, we would end up with a split community again; there would be two places to go for reviews. That, or there would be two separate pieces of software living on the same server, like PFA, each requiring a distinct login/account until SSO can be finagled.
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Anonymous 942

>>941
Actually, that has been an argument about the nature of /fic/ all along (being able to move and withstand any sudden attacks on it), so I don't see it as part of the optimism of the move when people have been talking about it since before MLPchan was a thing. So I don't understand your first point.

Your second point also weird, because I don't see how having the group exists outside the bounds of any imageboard will make it split (Pascoite is maintaining ponychan, the rest are here) and how locking into a single place would provide any benefit. The split that was so much touted doesn't seem all that real, specially now that Azu is here, and bleeding rain has a thread here waiting for his return. Had there been no outside controller, the split would have occurred and then this whole house of cards would have fallen like a bad joke as there would have been no way for the move to easily be done and no way for the lists and records to be done in an easy to do way.

This idea locking it to a single place is more likely to cause a split because there is simply two options: use the place or get out.

Eventually, people might stop using ponychan, but in the meantime I don't see how this locking up of the group into a place is a good idea.

943

>>931

Death was talking on the kid's previous remark in both sentences. Both the word "loathe" and the "compliment" are suppposed to refer to whatever was stated earlier.

Nope. You're somewhat on the right track though.

Look a little closer at what Death is saying about the kid's original body color. The kid's eye color isn't even mentioned in here, except for a passing comment about how deep red would look good with them.

Plus, distinct lack of thumbs would mean he doesn't have thumbs. You know he does, hence your guess of Discord, but you might want to avoid doing that again in future reviews.
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Anonymous 945

>>942
What is this "locking" thing you're talking about?

Providing a useful function (debating in this thread at the moment it's potential function and how it might work) is just that. "Locking" it into one place? But… that was what the situation was the entire time, before this move happened. There was one site. You almost sound like you prefer a split than a unified group. If this is a 'killer app' that the group adopts, and uses, wholecloth, then that's what it is. The group is the group, not a site. If the group decides hey, there's this function that makes our lives a helluva lot easier, we're going to use it. Then yes, it's a use-it-or-lose-it idea. There isn't anyone who would logically then say "NO, I'm going to strike out alone now!" And if they did, that's fine. They can do so.

955

File: 1352762380950.jpg (5.53 KB, 275x183, MoonPie.jpg)

>>939
Eh, sorry, I think I quoted far more than I needed to.

>>929
>Yes, claim posts are inelegant indeed. Incidentally, I recently had an idea for the future of The Training Grounds I'd like to cast out to everyone as a "what if" sort of thing.

Demetrius said:
>I wish Google Docs allowed multiple forms to a spreadsheet so we could eliminate the thread as a repository of claims more easily. We could try using a separate spreadsheet/form for pending claims.*

Hence, another solution to the same problem that might also work.

956

>>942
>Pascoite is maintaining ponychan, the rest are here
I do maintain Ponychan's queue posts, but I keep up with MLPchan's as well. I'm doing maintenance wherever it's needed.

Anonymous 958

>>945
If I'm understanding him correctly, he wants to get rid of the spreadsheet in favor of having it controlled by some sort of script in-site. That would lock all the work into wherever it is implemented because you cant just keep track of it by other neutral means. That would be a big change; even the times everything was done manually there was someone keeping outside records (if only to make their work easier once they began to paste it back into place). Thats the locking I'm talking about, and what would have made the move impossible.

>>956
Well, as I understand it, you are the only one who is doing it, so thats what I meant.

>>955
I think you can make two spreadsheets throw stuff at each other by means of the Google scripts, so it would just need someone to sit down and make the scripts necessary for one to send the information to the other.

That does make wonder how would that work.

1.) Create spreadsheet A and B with their specific forms.

2.)Story person Z wants a review and fills in the form which loads into spreadsheet A.

3.) Reviewer Y sees a story he likes, goes to the form in spreadsheet B and claims it, loading his review claim into spreadsheet B.

4.)Spreadsheet B, seeing a claim request, tells spreadsheet A and tells it it was a claim for Zs story (I guess it will have some identification thing within the spreadsheet). Spreadsheet A then fills in a box marking it as claimed.

What happens after this is the tricky part: does a third spreadsheet exists to post your review completion notification? Go into another form, say where you posted your review and its all done automatically even with review posts.

You could even go fancier and simplify the information that appears in one spreadsheet by separating it by spreadsheets (spreadsheet A is the one requesters see, and it only has their request idea, title, if claimed or not, and if the review box, and you separate the rest accordingly) and having them communicate and lob requests, claims, and reviews between each other. That would make everything automatic, and between the three spreadsheets you could request reviews from anywhere, claim reviews from anywhere, and post your review anywhere (pastebin, in threads, in fimfiction, in an image hosted in imgur).

Sounds quite fancy and complicated, but the three spreadsheet communicating would make all parts automatic and independent too.


And I am not sure even I understood this all that much.
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968

File: 1352779331451.png (24.23 KB, 295x374, Sum_Pony_is_commutative.png)

Whoops, sorry for the derail.

First, before I respond to three anons people:

A brief history of claim posts, and why they are inelegant
The practice of issuing a claim post began in the early days of TTG, in a time of dense activity where Twilight Snarkle's queue update posts would grow as large as 20 unclaimed fanfics. It was strengthened and formalized as the spreadsheet came along. But why was it advocated?

Even before the spreadsheet, it would be difficult to tell which stories would soon receive assistance versus stories that didn't have anyone working on a review for them. Making an explicit "hey, I'm claiming this one" post, where the intention of reviewing is super-obvious, thus made it easier to notice when stories were being pledged a review. This was especially important in Kusaba-X's extremely minimal structure, whereby finding responses to a post equated to opening the entire thread (which would crash browsers on slower computers) and Ctrl-F-ing for the post's numeric ID. Putting "claiming" in the post's title made it more obvious that something was being claimed and thus gives maintainers something to look for when catching up with the thread.

Enter Tinyboard. It has the (native) feature of displaying all responses to a post in said post's header. Among the responses to a story post, one is bound to find a post pledging a review for it. Even in the total absence of the queue spreadsheet and the traditions surrounding it, finding out whether a story post has been claimed would take at most five seconds by merely moving one's mouse cursor over the responses to the post.

In what I pose as a solution, a post wouldn't have to be a dedicated claim post, where someone would have to be all, "hey, I'm taking this". Nor would it eliminate the ability of someone to claim a fiction so that there's no unbidden overlapping of labor when there's a lot of work to be done. Rather, the system recognizes when someone has claimed a post based on the special citation format, so there's no need to make it obvious that a claim is being made. What would be made obsolete is not the act of claiming stories, but the requirement to make one's claims overt, or to make posts that are nothing but the act of claiming.

>>942
> Actually, that has been an argument about the nature of /fic/ all along (being able to move and withstand any sudden attacks on it), so I don't see it as part of the optimism of the move when people have been talking about it since before MLPchan was a thing. So I don't understand your first point.
Fair enough. You can disregard that point; it's a statement about statements, which makes it even less useful.

> I don't see how having the group exists outside the bounds of any imageboard will make it split

Here's where I think I should elaborate:

First, going back and forth between two places to communicate with the same people as part of collective effort of the same organization is an annoyance, as is having to keep track of activity in yet another additional location on the internet, especially if it's for activity among the same group of people. The spreadsheet was originally a crutch to overcome the hard-to-follow nature of the imageboard (specifically, Kusaba-X's). The goal of my idea here, or Gummii, or anything proposed as a replacement for the existing TTG, is necessarily to integrate the record-keeping with message-posting (and image-posting) ability so that manual record-keeping wouldn't even be necessary anymore. Otherwise, one is faced with either the ridiculously complicated task of integrating two completely separate web applications each with a separate purpose, or the same exact manual upkeep problem faced by the spreadsheet.

Now, with that in mind, what I mean by splitting the community is that if the integrated solution were an adequate place to post and socialize, it would be yet another location across which the thin activity of this community would be spread even thinner, in addition to being yet another place on which to keep tabs.

> This idea locking it to a single place is more likely to cause a split because there is simply two options: use the place or get out.

>>945
> That would lock all the work into wherever it is implemented because you cant just keep track of it by other neutral means. That would be a big change; even the times everything was done manually there was someone keeping outside records (if only to make their work easier once they began to paste it back into place).
Until Macil and everyone else who works on this site say that no customizations on mlpchan are to be used anywhere else without his permission (and assuming everyone would respect that; I would, at least), this is total bunk. In the world of open source web applications, no feature is exclusive to a domain name, organization or person. It can be reproduced elsewhere, and is owned by no one in particular.

>>955
> Demetrius said
> >I wish Google Docs allowed multiple forms to a spreadsheet so we could eliminate the thread as a repository of claims more easily. We could try using a separate spreadsheet/form for pending claims.*
Even if multiple forms in a single spreadsheet were possible (ignoring the fact that it isn't), it wouldn't eliminate the need for manual bookkeeping. What it would do is make maintainers' lives way easier; they wouldn't have to keep watching the thread for claim posts. Also, I do not understand the idea put forth in >>958
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Anonymous 969

>>968
Thanks, that's a little more detail, especially the parts about Tinyboard and the possibilities and such.

Story–[Title pending/Cardcaptor Sakura crossover] ProfCharles 973

Tags–[romance] [slice of life or adventure- not sure which is more appropriate yet] [costume porn] [love dodecahedron] [I need to stop making up tags]

Synopsis–The clow cards. 19 cards which contain great and powerful spirits, bound by Starswirl the Bearded himself, entrusted to the Princesses. But when Nightmare Moon was banished to the moon, they were lost, quickly relegated to legend, then myth, before fading from history altogether.

But the cards are alive, and they seek a new master.

Prepare to expect the unexpected.

Link–https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xWZ8179t9KGNrv5DCNpHnn0_sQY9lJj00P9X8QkxaKc/edit

Chapters–1

Comments–A Cardcaptor Sakura crossover in the loosest sense of the phrase. I could probably change the names of two characters and the plot macguffin and call it a homage to magical girl manga and anime instead, but I am going to stay honest with where I got the inspiration from.
Also struggling for a name–I want something to do with love and cards, but the closest I got was "Heart of the Cards" and that sounds like a Yu-gi-oh crossover.
As for the chapter posted, I am on the fence on whether or not to include a second scene where they all wake up in the morning with hangovers and relieve the events of the night, or whether I should use it as an introductory scene in the second chapter, where the main adventure begins. My main issue on whether to include it or not is because I want to write it from Rarity's perspective (remaining in 3rd person) but doing so would result in a change from 3rd person omniscient to 3rd person limited (I think–I am not very good at identifying between the two perspectives), and I am not sure how to make it work.
One last thing– any advice on a LunaXRarity ship? I haven't seen one before, so I am kinda making it up as I go along. If it helps, Luna is in love with Twilight, but Twi is straight.
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Anonymous 976

>>973
Not a claim, but I wanted you to maybe clarify a few points:

- That makes the options vary from some poker pun to just "Cards of love", so can you give a bit more details you want the title to get across?

- What, if anything, you think you need help with the LunaxRarity ship? OOcness? Quirks you want others to help you add?



>>968
>>968
A bit of a long read. You have been warned
Ok, that might have been a bit long and confused (I was just coming up with the idea and didn't think things through), so let me summarize it: if you make a series of spreadsheet that communicate with each other, and make the sole interface needed to interact with them be the forms, you have a system that needs no learning curve beyond reading the form's required information, maintains the tracking outside the control of any one website and effectively makes it be for all websites that want to track reviews, and allows for later expansions of its capabilities (for example, you can make the spreadsheet send an email notification to the person when his review is done, which isn't system critical but it is a nice addition that I have trouble seeing being implemented in here).

A person might be needed to keep track of errors people might make in using the forms (that would still apply with things here and there would be no way to make it automatically check for even obvious ones), but if the triggers and events can be set up correctly watching the spreadsheet would be a matter of watching for bugs and fixing them.

So, let me put the goals as I understand them:

1.) The system has to keep track of reviews requests.

2.) The system has to keep track of review claims.

3.) The system has to keep track of actual reviews.

4.) The system has to be simple enough for anyone who wants help to be able to use it.

5.) The system has to be as automatic as possible to prevent maintainers having to pore over threads and websites.
If you think the system should do more than just this, please let me know and we can add it to the lists (may I suggest making a thread for this?) just so we know what everyone is talking about.

So, now, let me define the system:
• There will be three spreadsheets with however many sheets and diagrams one ends up needing.

o The spreadsheet, for our purposes here, are called RW, RR and RB (review writers, review reviewers, review back-end).

o Each spreadsheet will have a form which will request their pertinent information: RW would ask for information of the story and writer that needs review, RR would ask you to say which story you would like to claim and what handle you are going to use, and RB will receive the information of where did you post the review (grossly simplified).

• The spreadsheet will have scripts, functions, and conditional formattings which will make them change dynamically as new information is introduce into them, all while trying to keep the information as simple as it can.

o The scripts will be in charge of keeping the different spreadsheets aware of the different information they will need to work: if one introduces information into RW for a review, the script in RW would then send part of the information to RR so that when one interacts with RR it knows what you are talking about. Here is another breakdown of the steps and the work of the scripts:

 Author A, with his story #1 goes into RW and introduces all the current needed information into the form attached to that spreadsheet.

 RW’s script grabs the information of the form and then introduces the relevant parts into the main visible sheet, gets the rest onto another sheet so that it is temporarily stored and then sends the review relevant parts of this information into RR. At the same time, it sends the whole information to RB and it gets recorded there.

• Currently, spreadsheet RW has a record of the request by author A, with two boxes for recording if the review was claimed and where is the review open and waiting for the rest.

• On the other side, RR has received from RW the relevant information it needs for a reviewer to make a claim from the form in RW and is ready to be read by whomever wants to review (which normally means you are already familiar with the far simple spreadsheet RW, with its reduce data). Basically, the current spreadsheet but with two important differences: each story will receive an ID so the system can easily recognize it and there is none of the necessary maintainer data fields.

• As for RB, as it names implies, it simply exists to be in the background making sure the system is fully automatic and records all the information, which could then be used for whatever you might have wanted, but as far as the normal user is concern (and the owner, for that matter) this spreadsheet doesn’t exists and simply provides the back information for the next few steps. For now, it just receives the information and replicates de ID for a couple of sheets.

 Reviewer A goes into RR and notices a story he likes. He goes, enters the necessary information in the form, and this makes him have a claim for it. A handle name, the ID of the story, and he is on his way to review it. In fact, notice you don’t even need to check the RR to confirm the ID, just go to RW and introduce the ID in the form of RR and you are good.

 RR, noticing this, informs RW that it has been claimed and modifies the relevant cell with the handle of the person whom has done the claim.

• RW now has changed a single cell thanks to the scripts, which now tells the writer that he is being reviewed by Reviewer A and no one other than each other has been involved.

• RR now checks the changes and removes the row from the sheet, clearing the space and effectively doing the work of the unclaimed sheet, but not before sending it to RB and making it keep record in yet another sheet.

• RB, in the meantime, simply modifies one of the secondary sheets, records the review claim, and just waits like it has done before.

 This is where it gets tricky and interesting: At this point, you have three spreadsheet with similar information, RW and RR having for the most part only the necessary information, while RB has all the information and uses different sheets with the same story ID recording all actions up to now (the creation of the request and subsequent information with its ID, and the claim by the reviewer). At this point, the reviewer finishes his review and decides he is ready to give it to Writer A.

• Reviewer A goes and enters the form which is going to be attached to RB (but remember, he doesn’t need to actually see RB, RB is again the back-end to make the interesting things happen) and provides where he made his review (which could be anywhere, he doesn’t even need to provide a link if he happens to send by email or just make it in the requesters Google docs), with the ID of course.

• This causes RB script to communicate with RW, which until now has merely being providing information. The script proceeds to give RW the link provided and RW changes the relevant cell with this information, closing the cycle and finish the whole review process.

This makes the system fully contained and automatic, and above all more or less idiot-proof: it requires only forms to be fully understood (and those can be made to clarify directly there) and with RB recording everything, whoever is the owner can recover any information in case there is disagreement. No need for special codes to learn, no need to become familiar with a website (forms have no science to them, you don’t need to post your review in any place you aren’t familiar with, you don’t need to be in any place you might object to), and no need to choose any one place to be the main base for the group, if any place. Keeping tabs of both places would be less of a chore and more of a personal decision, so if you want to keep using both places you don’t have to worry about anything other than filling your forms.

Beyond that, there are many particular functions that this arrangement permits which are simply not possible under your proposition: if a reviewer decides to drop a story for any reason (or you want to add a sort of time limit assurance, like for example a reviewer says to drop his claim after x days) , RB and the scripts assures you can develop a system to recover it automatically and mark it accordingly to see if someone else decides to help them because of it; you can set up for the RW spreadsheet to have the stories removed within a time limit after the review is made, just to eliminate clutter there as well; as I said originally, you can set it up so it automatically emails Writer A so he knows that he got the review (and, if you ask the reviewer to put an email, who to contact); you could even implement the karma system in a far better, and automatic, way, capitalizing in the functions located within the spreadsheet system to count the number of reviews and modify things accordingly to whatever you think karma should do. Can all of that be done with the Tinyboard idea? Can the Tinyboard idea even keep records of anything, seeing how you have a section in the spreadsheet that keeps tracks of the bad apples for the sake of newcomers? Word of mouth? Furthermore, what about having a password which uses an sheet in RB which stores the value and compares it before you can modify things?

I can clarify anything you want, but this is the basics of the proposal: forms as the main way to interact with the spreadsheets, the spreadsheets communicating and transferring the information around and cleaning themselves up as triggers are made, and a simple organization which abstracts most of the organizing from both the reviewer and the writers hand into the spreadsheet (I’m resisting the desire to call the different pieces model, view, controller, databases, and user controls because they aren’t quite the same, but I guess you can see why I want to do so).

Oh, also, there is the chat function for everyone to communicate through that, should they decide to all hang out within the spreadsheet, or just communicate wherever; the spreadsheet and the chat will be effectively independent to each other except for bugs.

Or even better: there are various different review groups that which would probably enjoy knowing this exists and that they can use it as well, and the fact it will only be forms means they have no learn nothing to use it. On that note, this means they probably will interact with due to sheer proximity, making this be easier to strengthen relationship between the various groups and increase the number of reviewers by the factor of ease of usage (not learning about things which aren’t related to reviewing, like how does an imageboard work, or what is the right code for the various things you might need). This also means that this would become embeddable: two links, one for RW and one for RR (or to the necessary forms) , is all what you would need to access the system, so you could place it on your user page of any website and it would require no more explanation than themselves. Can Tinyboard help with that?

I believe keeping it with google docs, and capitalizing on the many functions you can run with it and other abstraction benefits they made specifically for these sorts of things, is the best path to take, and I think the possible expansions which I describe, the fact this makes the automatization be even more effective, and the fact it makes it more open will only lead to an even better system.

Full disclosure: I got plenty of help thinking all of that out.

So, there, that’s my counter proposal.

Anonymous 977

>>976
Innovation! Good ol' ingenuity.

I don't know what exactly will be worked out (I'll need to re-read that a few dozen times I think, along with everything else), but it sounds like this move has been a spark of thinking about new ways to do things since new options have been made available. Exactly as it should be, and hoped for with it.

>(may I suggest making a thread for this?)

I think that might be a good idea. I know there's a few people in a group chat, including !!Littlepip as the site coder, as well.

Anonymous 978

>>977
And why wasn't this announced for the sake of all members of the board?

Anonymous 979

>>978
Just happened, last night.
The IRC still has a lot more members in it. Dunno how many have or use Skype who would want to. I'm sure Pip wouldn't mind if people wanted to be in there. His Skype is maciltech.

Anonymous 980

>>979
Oh. Apparently it's just !!Littlepip, !!Spike and Roger. Excuse me.

Anonymous 981

>>979
Well, I'm sure someone will post the records, of course.

In any case, my counter proposal as to what is the best way to deal with improving the system:
>>976

It extends the spreadsheet into something fully automatic and makes it easy to use by anyone who might want to, so all reviewing groups could join forces and capitalize of it.

ProfCharles 983

>>976

>That makes the options vary from some poker pun to just "Cards of love", so can you give a bit more details you want the title to get across?


Well, the main themes of Cardcaptor Sakura (the work mine is crossing with) is that a young girl gains magic powers and must collect all the tarot inspired magic cards whilst obliviously bumbling her way through a love dodecahedron (to be fair, everyone else is oblivious to it as well). So I want some sort of title that homages these two aspects (tarot cards and complex relationships). At the same time, I dont want it to be a blatant refrence to the original work as I fear such a refreance will automaticly drive away those unfamiliar with Cardcaptor. In other words, I want it to be as accsesable as possible.
The best titles i have at the moment, which I came up with since the previous post, are "Queen of Hearts", which brings up the imagery I want, but also Alice in Wonderland imagery, and "Return of the Clow", which is different from what I want but clearly defines the adventure aspect of the story.

>What, if anything, you think you need help with the LunaxRarity ship? OOcness? Quirks you want others to help you add?


Well, I just haven't seen them interact much, in canon or fanon, so I would like a few hints on how their personalities would interact. I could also do with some advice on how to portray Luna, as she is a character I have difficulty writing.

1004

File: 1352869694335.png (36.7 KB, 200x238, legendary-small.png)

>>976
Impressive.

While I greatly admire your ability to compose and articulate an elaborate idea, what you propose requires automated transportation (or at least communication) of text-bearing cells between Google documents. Is that even possible? The devil is in the details.

I know for a fact it is not possible with Google's built-in spreadsheet functions. Spreadsheet formulae calculate results based on preexisting data when the input is changed (listening for such events as a cell's content being changed), and can't actually change human-entered data. I also can't help but doubt it would be possible with custom spreadsheet scripts (which can change human-entered data), though I'll admit I'm not too well-versed in them besides having looked through the custom script gallery to get an idea of what's possible.

Rather, I believe that since the system you describe transcends the scope of individual documents, the "scripting" would have to be some heavy Google Docs API coding. To be fair, that still might be easier than building a web application entirely from scratch. At any rate, as well as you articulated your ideas, their technical basis ("scripts" and "functions") still seems like a black box to me. I will gladly accept a rebuke/correction if it involves linking to the relevant documentation which would indicate that such functionality is possible, whether through APIs that transcend individual spreadsheets or spreadsheet scripts and functions.

> Full disclosure: I got plenty of help thinking all of that out.

Does whoever helped you think that out have much experience with this sort of thing, i.e. Google Docs API? Will it be possible to contact said person(s)?

I will cease contributing to this derail now. Please forgive me for starting it.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review of "Bronies Dawn" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1048

File: 1352995729594.jpg (57.79 KB, 398x399, hmm.jpg)

>>879
>>900
Line by line in doc, until the mark. I've skimmed the parts after that, so I know how the story goes. Overall in the spoiler. I'd advise you not to read it all in one go. Take a break, a drink of water, a short walk in between, so that you can digest it better.

First off, a note of congratulations. You seem to be taking the criticism and snark rather well; I like that in an author. Shows you're made of tough stuff, and I respect that you do want to improve, I really do. What I would appreciate more, though, is if you'd pick up on your repeated mistakes faster. No fear; this is what this overall review is for.

These are the things which you have doing wrong consistently. This list is here to show you in one go just what needs fixing. It will remind you of your weaknesses, to help you avoid committing them again.

1) Writing discipline
Putting spaces between new paragraphs. Please, please, do not omit the spaces between paragraphs. If you see it, add a space. It's just that simple. It looks messy and like you just don't care for such a glaring slip to be there, even though you do care, or else you'd have chased me out of the doc a long time ago.

Missing punctuation, especially full stops at the end of sentences. Extra spaces, and double full stops. These you have in varying degrees. They are all fixed if you would pay a closer eye to your sentences.

I know self-editing's boring, but you need to do it. And the way to do it is to read each word. Not each sentence, each word. Slowly and surely. And that way you won't miss anything. If you still do, you're not reading slowly enough.

2) Dialogue punctuation
Taken from the Editor's Omnibus:

✔ "Hi there," the pink pony giggled. (She giggled while saying the words.)

✔ "Hi there." The pink pony giggled. (She said those words, then giggled.)

✔ "Hi there." The pink pony grinned. (The word 'grinned' isn't a 'speaking' verb.)

✔ "Hi there!" the pink pony shouted. (Exclamations and queries replace the comma.)

✖ "Hi there," the pink pony grinned. (It should be a period: ‘grinned’ isn’t a ‘speaking’ verb.)

✖ "Hi there." The pink pony said. (This should be a comma; no capitalization should be used)

✖ "Hi there"! the pink pony shouted! (Punctuation of dialogue belongs inside the quotes.)

✖ "Hi there!" The pink pony shouted! (Don’t capitalize "the"; treat the "!" as a comma.)

You have the third-last and the last kind, mostly, and another version which is no punctuation at the end of the dialogue part. Fix them up. This is how you do it.

3) Weird phrasing
Weird, as in "this isn't how people normally describe things". As in, "I read this aloud and I have to admit that while I understand what it means, it just sounds off, somehow". Your word choices tend to be roundabout, e.g. "I walked over to the side of the table and put the cup on its surface", rather than "I put the cup on the table", and this is bad, because you're taking too much of your reader's time for something unimportant. What is important? Actions and character and plot, which descriptors can ever only support.

4) Logical errors
Or errors in logic. Mostly marked out already, but consistent enough to mention. This is solved by re-reading from the top, every time, not from the middle. You do re-read, right? Seeing as it's essential if you want to gauge the flow of the story.

5) Sequencing
This one's a little more tricky. Essentially, you break the flow of the narrative with information out of nowhere from time to time. Adrian happens to be, well, a sucky character. He can't stop whining, and it taints the descriptions itself. Now, personality leaking into prose is good if you can master it, but it's only good if the personality is something you can stomach. See, something like this - my complaints about Adrian are a valid part of the review, but an otherwise unrelated part of this section. Now most of your sequencing is fine, but there are times when you may be tempted to interject paragraphs of backstory in. Don't. Let the event play out its course. If you must, don't do it excessively - never tell the whole story in an interjection, but spread it out. If you want to tell the whole story, wait until the end of the event and have him reminiscence.

6) All caps, boldface words, using numbers instead of words
Do not do this. At all.

–––-
Now, this is where I challenge the direction of the story, the characters, and basically ask you the questions that, if you find you cannot answer, means you need a re-write.

The prologue is kinda necessary for the story, so I'm okay with it. However, I think that the entire Chapter 1 is unnecessary. Consider this, an alternate plan for your story:

Prologue
Chapter 1: MC and Mecha do things in the Wasteland, no backstory - has the reader come to terms that they are companions
Chapter 2: MC and Mecha do more things in the Wasteland, little backstory - an off-hand complaint about how wonky the vegetables taste, followed by something like:

>"Do you remember the cook back home? Always I'd be the last in line, and always he'd tell me that they'd run of food, even though the rest of the chefs were cooking with plenty to spare," I laughed.

>"I never did understand why he'd treat you like that," said Mecha.
>"Either way, I'm glad I had you." I smiled at the thought. "If you hadn't sneaked me those apples, I would have starved."
>"That wouldn't happen," scoffed Mecha, but the edges of her lips were turned up.

Chapter 3: MC and Mecha do more things, etc., little more backstory - MC repairs something, Mecha brags about him.
>"Yep. Adrian was our engineer in the Vault. Best one, too," said Mecha proudly.
>"Oh, come on," I began, but she continued.
>"Taught me everything I know about repairing. Even helped me get my cutie mark."

Chapter 4: MC and Mecha do yet more things. Romantic confrontation.
>"You know," whispered Mecha, as we stared at the starless sky, "I never really thanked you."
>"For what?" I frowned.
>"For everything," said Mecha.
>"I should be thanking you," I muttered.
>Oh, back then, I had been a lot dumber. I was half-dead from fighting a Hellhound when the Vault-dwellers found me; they took me in, bla bla bla, bla bla bla. And then Mecha's backstory, bla bla bla.

Now, why would you do this?

Because it's chapter 1 and nothing of value has happened. So he gets kicked out. Right. And I care because?

You need to have your characters do something of worth, something that matters. Adrian's kindness to Mecha is backstory that has already happened; all Adrian does in real time is wake up, get jocked around by the chef, complains, complains to Mecha, complains some more, and then contrived villain incident which, after that day, would have no more influence over his life. All of this is temporal, i.e. his actions here, aside from deciding to leave the Vault, do not cross over to later chapters. Why? Because they are of no impact. They have not revealed anything about Adrian aside that 1) people don't like him 2) he doesn't like people 3) he is vocal about 1) and 2).

If you had them helping villagers, it would matter, because it shows him being willing, and captures the sense of camaraderie in the Wasteland. If you had him robbing stores, it would matter, because it shows him being evil. It reveals character which helps us to understand his actions later on. But his life in the Vault wouldn't matter, because he's going to spend the rest of the story outside and free from it, and obviously he isn't a changed man aside from meeting Mecha.

Now, instead, if you had them doing things that matter - actually getting along with the plot - you develop your characters, and maybe get us to care about it. Then when the backstory comes in, we think, "Oh, this matters, yay I know more", rather than "Oh, okay". Because, well, if I were to spill my life story to you, would you care? Probably not. Because you're not attached to me in any way. But you'd be interested to hear the life story of the person you have a crush on, because you have that attachment. It's the same with characters.

This isn't the 100% correct way of doing it, nor is your current way 100% wrong. But I'm challenging you to find a reason why you shouldn't scrap your Chapter 1 and actually have them do something interesting. Not for me, but for yourself. Right? And when - if you have that reason, hold on to that reason and work your chapter around that. And no, "because it's hard work" isn't an answer.

You know my thoughts on Adrian already. If you'd make him less self-centered, that would be very much better. Please do so. Unless that isn't your intent, then, well, I wish you the best with that.

Also, the romance aspect? Don't play it up so quickly. Egad. Have us care, and then instead of outright disgust or disdain, we'd feel at least conflicted: "But… but she's a pony! But they're so good together! But she's not a human!" kind of thing.

In addition, this has nothing to do with bronies. And I'd sincerely, with all my heart, ask you to scrap that aspect. I consider myself a borderline brony, I guess, and I can't help but envision fat bespectacled basement dwellers whenever someone tries to use the word in a cool context. It's because if you identify yourself as a brony first, then I, and I'm sorry to say, reckon that it's a pretty shallow life you're living. See, a brony is someone who likes My Little Pony. That's it. This has no impact nor bearing on your story whatsoever, or at least from what you've shown me. It's just a Fallout fic with ponies, or a Fallout Eq. fic with humans. Kinda like a cross of FoE and Conversion Bureau, actually. *shudder* Using the name would only, I suspect, bring derision and wariness, and there's plenty of that for you to deal with already in your genre.

So please, at least strongly consider: just why the hell do I want bronies in my fic? Would a normal human not suffice?

If you have a reason, then work it into your story as fast as possible, so that it's justified.

–––-
Where to, next? That's a lot of text up there, perhaps you're rearing to go?

Not quite. Hold up there, partner.

I'd advise you to, firstly, go read a lot more. Read a ton of a lot more. Stephen King spends advocates at least 4 hours of both reading and writing, every day, and if the master does it, there's no shame at all in following suit. Read, and see how people structure their dialogue, their interactions, their descriptions. Ask yourself occasionally, "Is there something that he's doing better than I am?". Read something published, or if you can't get your hands on that, try here: http://www.fimfiction.net/group/1734/Seattle%27s-Angels There's a group of folders called "Stories: Round 1", "Round 2", so on. Those are good. I can, have and will personally vouch for their relative quality.

I also want you to work on another project. Go do something short and simple. Like "Pinkie Pie takes a walk" or something. Publish to Fimfic and maybe get some user feedback, likes/dislikes, whatevs. Just basically something to change gears with. You need this, because you need to come to grips with your style. You can only develop it by writing, and writing something else will help broaden your skills.

You will need to wait at least two weeks before coming back to this (Stephen King says six, but, eh, well. The longest I could wait was a month). Become completely detached, so that you can purge the living daylights out of the errors in your fic. It'll be an antsy wait, but it will help you to improve much, much more quicker rather than if you were to rush off now. Trust me.

I said I'd help you for at least two, three more chapters, and this offer stands. I just want to see that you've improved. If you come back exceptionally early, I will be skeptical, and if I find out you've half-assed it, well. =\ I'd be disappointed. But, eh, I'm hoping that you wouldn't do that.

Because, you see, it may sound like I hate your story. I don't. In fact I think I rather like you as an author, because you've got the balls to admit that you might not be perfect. There are plenty of self-satisfied, whiny idiots out there, who may or may not be good writers - but you aren't one of them. You've got your work cut out for you, but I'd like to help guide you at least some of the way. So yes - I would like to see you come back.

I hope that you leave this review a slightly better author; I hope that when you come back, you'll have become a much better one. Not because of me, but because of you. All the best; keep writing.


If there's any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to raise them.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming, "The Study of a Winning Pony" 1052

I haven't done much reviewing here as of late, and this is an oldy by the looks of things. All the way back from early September, holy cats.

Let's see what you got. I've almost no idea what I'm getting into here, so you're going to have the opinion of someone entirely uneducated of it's "origins".

If what you say is true, in that I don't need to have read the others, then this could be interesting.

1063

>>1048 I admit that it was a lot of text, but it was worth each letter.

And now that I'm writing this, I'd like to reply some of the points you already stated:

-I centered the chapter 1 in how their journey started and what kind of life they had before. But yeah, I guess that if I want to write about Fallout I should skip right to the action (The only Fallout that spent more time in a Vault was 3, and that was like the first 15-30 minutes).

-I know it's still too early to talk about why I wanted to center it about the bronies, but I liked this as an idea. I got some inspiration from "The Gretat Brony Migration" and translated it to Fallout (minus the humans turned into ponies), making them into the ones who are blamed for the war (So techincally, humans are now like the zebras of the original Fallout) and the main characters try to discover if they're the real culprits or if maybe the ponies did it. I thought it could be used as a new storyline, but if you think this wouldn't work I can always change the plot.

-The truth is that I read lots of books, but the format is very different from the way they're written from Spanish to English (For example, try to compare Spanish and English versions of the same book and you'll understand what I mean). Aside from that, English is the third of the four languages I talk, so I usually make lots of mistakes with the phrasing.

-You said that I have wonky paragraphs. Could you tell me some hints and clues to know when I find one as to avoid repeating this mistake in the future?

*Review, "The Study of a Winning Pony" 1069

Let’s begin.

We’ll naturally start with the first paragraph:

>I was ambushed.


It’s a nice beginning note. Just three words, “I was ambushed” make a very interesting start that means I want to read further.

Now our second paragraph:

>”Let’s bang.”


And now you’ve lost me.

Oh, I’m certainly knowledgeable enough of this generation to know what those two little words could mean, but I don’t like leaping to conclusions, especially since you used a “Normal” Tag. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. So this is mostly confusing, as opposed to funny or particularly helpful. It’s pretty jarring without context and I have no idea who could be saying this yet. Maybe you explain the term later, as well as who’s speaking, and it’s simply a mind overexposed to the internet playing tricks on me.

Third paragraph:

>The surprise attack caught me at a moment of vulnerability. I was in the middle of drinking from my cup of punch when the sudden and crass nature of Cloud Kicker’s proposition caused me to choke on the drink. The punch caught in my throat, and I immediately started to cough violently as the liquid burned my esophagus.


I think this one bit sums up every problem that isn’t created from paragraph two and it utterly
kills interest. It’s like a piece of stale bubblegum. The flavor isn’t worth the tremendous amount of chewing we’ll have to go through to get at it. I think what you were trying for here was showing Twilight’s inner intelligence, that she thinks things way too much even in her own head, but there’s a fine line between being thorough and being long-winded.

Let me try once.

> I was in the middle of drinking from my cup of punch and Cloud Kicker’s proposition caught me off-guard. Coughing violently while the liquid burned like molten lead, a blinding mist formed in my eyes as I struggled to keep standing.


That’s basically what she’s saying. Maybe it can be expanded just a touch, given a little bit more artistic flair, but don’t make mountains out of molehills. Get to the point, with only the occasional dawdling here and there for some fancy prose or some build-up, and you’ll be fine.

Also, it helps get rid of a tremendous humor-killer: telling. If you have to explain the joke to me in such excruciating detail, it generally isn’t funny. Maybe a couple times, if handled appropriately, these long paragraphs giving something in exhaustive exposition could at least be construed as kinda funny, but you do it way too often. Be stingy with words when possible; your audience can fill in a surprising number of holes if you set up correctly and simply let them fill it in themselves.

This applies both to out-loud dialogue and to the narration, which is Twilight’s inner monologue. A
more concise style will help with pacing, and it will make snarks sound much more energetic. Long paragraphs are good for world building, and also make for good joke set up on occasion, but they’re terribly boring to sit through for long stretches without something worthwhile at the end. And repeating jokes or joke forms too often without any variety in between is a sure way to kill them.

And the “proposition” part informs me that this “Normal” tag is wildly inappropriate. If I was the sort to easily offend, I would start raging at this point because you’ve now basically lied to me and pulled me into something I didn’t want to get into.

However, I’ll give you some slack and assume you didn’t choose to misuse the tags on purpose. It’s your first time, so you make some mistakes. It’s all part of learning.

***

Alright, let’s move on a little further than that.

>My assailant grinned at me and my suffering. “Aw, I was hoping to get you to do a spit-take. I’ll have to try harder next time.”


Again, this is much too long, and too much is being explained.

Try this:

>My assailant grinned. “Aw, I was hoping for a spit-take. I guess I’ll have to try harder next time.”


That says the same thing, but without all the needless scene chewing. It also sounds more natural,
especially given that this is, in a manner-of-speaking, an exclusively “dialogue/monologue” story.

First person means that we put a specific voice to the narrator, Twilight in this case, which
means that if the words don’t match the voice we can’t synch properly to the story.

>I wanted to reply with something snarky at Cloud Kicker, but that is a little hard to do in-between coughing fits and your eyes watering. My cheeks also seemed to be burning. Ugh, the stuff had even gotten into my nostrils. I could hardly breathe. At the rate I was going, my tombstone was going to read: ‘Lady Twilight Sparkle, Favored Student of Celestia, Element of Magic, Redeemer of Princess Luna, and Sealer of Discord. Savior of Equestria. Killed by a cup of punch.’ Not exactly the way I wanted to go, but a distinct possibility based on how I felt at the moment.


Okay, I’ll give you another one here.

>I wanted to give some snappy comeback. However, that’s very hard to do when you’re choking to death. My cheeks also seemed to be burning. Ugh, the stuff was even up my nose. At this rate, my tombstone was going to read: “Twilight Sparkle: Favored Student of Celestia, Element of Magic, Redeemer of Princess Luna, and Sealer of Discord. Killed by a cup of punch.”

^
>Not exactly the way I wanted to go.

Just remember, comedians who waste their audience’s time with too much pointless jibba-jabba get sued by Mister T. for trademark infringement. And I pity the fools.

***

Okay, now with that complaint out of the way, and my wallet a tad lighter, let’s look at–

>“Egh, banging a lot of ponies is her thing,” Dash said noncommittally.


>Rainbow Dash turned to see who I was pointing at. Her mouth moved from side to side in contemplation. “Oh, they just need to get on with it and bang already.”


>Dash sighed in exacerbation. “Bang. You know? Sex? Sleeping with one another without

the actually sleeping. Come on Twilight, you’re supposed to be the egghead around here.” That statement had a little more snark that I entirely liked.

>I frowned at Dash. “I know what banging means.” That fact contributed to why I nearly choked to death on punch earlier. “What I mean is that they are spending a lot of time together, but they seem so angry with one another. I thought those had gotten better with one another when they got to spend some time together at the sleepover in the library.” Ugh, I hope Dash did not construe that the wrong way.


>Cloud Kicker gave a short laugh to my face. “Now that’s a lie. Nopony doesn’t need a good banging every now and again. Even Dash has a good marefriend to bang around with now, and she’s the most sex-disinterested pony I’ve ever know.”


>“So, think you can get me into a banging session with Princess Celestia?”


Holy cats, I’m climbing over mountains of bang to cross valleys of bang so I can swim through
oceans of bang to get to the bangapalooza at Bangopolis, the capital of Bangagonia.

This won’t fly, especially if you plan to get on EQD. If someone hasn’t stopped reading already, they’re likely frothing at the mouth after only one of these paragraphs. Because you made a promise of “Normal” and you aren’t even close.

This is what causes death threats from extremely pissed-off fans, my friend; pre-readers would likely tear your head off with your ass. And none of us want that.

So, no, I’d not send this within anywhere within ballistic-missile distance of EQD. Getting subject matter as uncomfortable as sex anywhere close would require an enormous amount of subtlety from a very delicate hand, which you’ve stoutly smashed into pulp with your bang-stick.

Now, if you want to put it on Fimfiction, you could get away with less revision because their community is more accepting of these sorts of stories. Still, you’ll need to make sure it’s at least tagged and rated appropriately, or you’re going to find yourself knee-deep in shit.

And then they’ll break your knees.

However, the story would require complete and utter deconstruction, being rebuilt from the ground-up, before it’d be allowed in the same country as EQD.

***

Okay, so let’s see what worked in here.

>Worry? Why would I worry? I suppose there is the fact that all of us being able to use the Elements of Harmony depended on our bonds of friendship. A couple of my friends being in love with one another should not interfere with that. Love is just a more friendly kind of friendship, right? What is the worst that would happen? Well, Dash and Pinkie could end up breaking up. What would happen if their break up was so bad they would not be friends anymore? Would they be able to use the Elements? What if something attacked Equestria and they needed the Elements but they did not work anymore? What would Princess Celestia say? What would we do? What if I was dooming all of Equestria by letting her friends date one another?!


Disregarding the sexual themes, following her chain of thought felt pretty well-handled here.

And the character of Cloud Kicker seemed alright, or at least it seemed consistent: the sort of pony that simply doesn’t give a shit what others think of her, despite the fact that her behavior is often extremely inappropriate. But she isn’t trying to be mean or vindictive; she just wants to have a fun time.

>“Call me Nopony,” I snarked back as I tilted my cup slightly towards her for emphasis.


Alright, I’ll admit that from this line to the end, even that one about banging Celestia, at least were sort of well-done. Very clunky and bloated, true, but I liked the pacing for the most part. And the delivery of the banging Celestia line was pretty nice. Short, sweet, and to the point. And the scene painted after that was pretty good.

***

So, here are my concluding points.

-Right now, this feels very clumsy, with too many words trying to say too little. Dial it back. Read some really good comedy pieces and take a note of how their dialogue and narration are delivered. Be long when you need to, be to-the-point everywhere else.

Something that might help this feel less wordy would be a liberal use of contractions, like can’t, or they’re, or isn’t. It makes the dialogue and narration, which is almost a form of dialogue, sound more natural and much less distant to the reader.

I recommend this at least once a review and I’m not gonna stop now. Try out “The Dresden Files”, by Jim Butcher for a good nonpony read. I found it incredibly funny and I think it fits with your POV in the story, a good lesson on how to write some comedic first-person.

Ezn’s guide also has a little section towards the bottom with some recommendations you can try. The guide itself also will show you some options in terms of punctuation and how to use them properly. Variety in your structure will help you tremendously.

-I again ask that you don’t send this to EQD. They’ll likely have conniptions. If this is how you want the overall story to play out, you’d do much better on Fimfiction. Otherwise, remove or severely downplay the sexual themes before submission. I should not be able to find that sort of stuff until maybe the second or third reading if it’s properly hidden. Preferably a fourth or fifth, but a second or third at least.

-Whatever else you do, tag this appropriately next time. Comedy, maybe. Normal, hell no.

Replace Normal with a Shipping tag, and a note that it’s a little more “teen-oriented” for both the readers’ and future reviewers’ sakes. It’s better safe than sorry. At least future reviewers will have a better idea what they’re getting into if you do.

***



There you go. I hope you found this helpful, and may you find your fame in the fandom.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1072

File: 1353037774504.png (296.59 KB, 675x675, sakuya_meiling_nosebleed.png)

>>1063
>-I centered the chapter 1 in how their journey started and what kind of life they had before. But yeah, I guess that if I want to write about Fallout I should skip right to the action (The only Fallout that spent more time in a Vault was 3, and that was like the first 15-30 minutes).
Mhm. Yes, I thought about Fallout 3 and how it was so. But the main reason for me saying something as harsh as "rewrite" was to get you to start thinking. I picked out a lack of focus with the flow of things - while you have the events, per se, you spend the bulk of your words on descriptions of the Vault, compared to him actually doing things. So it was kinda an aggravation of your brain, if you will, heh, to get the fog cleared and for you to see just what exactly you want to do.

>-I know it's still too early to talk about why I wanted to center it about the bronies, but I liked this as an idea. I got some inspiration from "The Gretat Brony Migration" and translated it to Fallout (minus the humans turned into ponies), making them into the ones who are blamed for the war (So techincally, humans are now like the zebras of the original Fallout) and the main characters try to discover if they're the real culprits or if maybe the ponies did it. I thought it could be used as a new storyline, but if you think this wouldn't work I can always change the plot.

First things first: it's never too early. I can only help you with what I'm given to know, and I don't care for spoilers, that kind of thing. =P Now the idea is novel in itself, but you need to justify it quickly, because people tend to wonder, "Why bronies?" That becomes a distraction which pulls them out of the story. Having them also makes people skeptical. Why handicap your own story any more than you should?

>-The truth is that I read lots of books, but the format is very different from the way they're written from Spanish to English (For example, try to compare Spanish and English versions of the same book and you'll understand what I mean). Aside from that, English is the third of the four languages I talk, so I usually make lots of mistakes with the phrasing.

Ah, okay. So you're not a native speaker? Strictly speaking, that shouldn't matter to me if I want to be impartial, but, yeah. I'm from an Asian country, so I can understand.

>-You said that I have wonky paragraphs. Could you tell me some hints and clues to know when I find one as to avoid repeating this mistake in the future?

Okay. This is what I meant by wonky paragraphing:

>This is its own paragraph. It continues on, with a description, or an action, and words, and more words.


>Then you have the new paragraph - note the space in between.

>And then this is the wonky paragraph - there is no space in between. Essentially, it's a missing space. It's wonky, and it's related to paragraphing, hence, wonky paragraph.

Basically, it's just you being careless is all. Heh.

>>1069
Point of interest: this got on the featured box about two weeks(?) after he posted the request for review. Heh. The more you know…

To reviewers!! 1075

File: 1353039792858.png (137.28 KB, 500x583, Lyra131618558502.png)

Post you review in one thread. I don't care which one, though it'd probably be a good idea to post it in the same thread that the request was made. A maintainer will put the link in the spreadsheet so the author can easily find it. If you're still not sure that the author knows their review is ready, then Email them or send a PM to their FiMFic account.

Lyra's Day Before Nightmare Night, Candy-finding, Haunted House Adventure 1088

Title: Lyra's Day Before Nightmare Night, Candy-finding, Haunted House Adventure (Working title. I'm calling it what it is until I think of something better.)
Author: Bob From Bottles
Tags: Comedy
Synopsis: It wasn’t entirely Lyra’s fault that she ate all the candy for tonight’s party. If anything, Bon Bon needs to be more careful not to leave bowls full of delicious things unguarded. But, Lyra knows when she’s made a mistake, and now, it’s up to her to save the party. There is a slight problem, though: today is the day before Nightmare Night and the only place left with any candy at all is Pinkie Pie’s untested haunted house attraction.
Links: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z5Fk39ce-FJTBqUxa3KkEU03fuZ8j36U9iWwEKEvM2M/edit
Chapters: One
Comments: This is the opening scene of a longer one-shot. I'm mostly concerned with the narrative voice and Lyra's personality. Basically, I hope they don't come off as annoying.

1099

>>1072

Huh. Well, it seemed old; not reviewed since September by the looks of things. Owlor had claimed it in that particular thread, but I don't know what happened afterward. Maybe they worked on it and just forgot to tell the rest of us when they were done.

It could be that this doesn't matter anymore and I just threw something spectacularly useless out here. But I saw that old piece pop up and decided to try it out, just because waiting for over a month is unfortunate. Give me a second here to take a look at it again, as it now stands in its new habitat.



I still stand by the majority of what I said. To Ponibus' credit, the tagging was fixed, so that complaint is no longer valid, but the rather clunky form is still there, utterly unchanged. And I still think the whole "bang" shtick was overused just a bit.

What might have been fixed in grammar was lost in presentation. It felt too safe, like it was afraid to experiment with form and have some fun. Almost, formal, in a manner-of-speaking. Despite what seemed a completely out of left-field thing about Applejack and Rarity needing to get it on, suggested by Rainbow Dash. Oh, and apparently Rainbow Dash is getting freaky on occasion too. Maybe with Pinkie, maybe with someone else. I should of put this in my review, but that felt both wildly out-of-place and out-of-character to me. Maybe I was just unprepared because of that "Normal" tag, and now sound a trifle stuffy, but I still think that it could have been handled better even with these themes. If not with Cloud-Kicker, then certainly in regards to the Mane 6; I shouldn't feel like I'm being dropped into the set-up for clop, which I do not think this is supposed to be.

Not really bad, per se; I could at least appreciate it as a first go for a new author. But it could stand improvement, and in regards to the original request, I'll certainly continue to stand by what I said in regards to an EQD submission.

But it's now on Fimfiction and seeming to do fairly well for the moment, so I guess I don't really have much to say beyond that. Of course, now that I know that Ponibus is on Fimfiction, I can shoot a PM. It would be good if Ponibus, and/or the reviewer, were to tell us they had it covered in the future.

(I put "sage" in here now, right?)
This post was edited by its author on .

Study of a Winning Pony Review Reply 1102

>>1069

Thanks for taking the time to review this story. I'm working on a private message that I'm going to be sending your way in a bit.

CardCaptor Sakura crossover - reivew Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 1117

File: 1353178959130.png (457.96 KB, 700x840, Fluttershy_Rainbow Dash74703__…)

>>973

This is really cute. I made a bunch of comments in-doc. Ping me in the #fic IRC when the next chapter's ready.

Link: http://derpy.me/tI9xm

1118

>>1117
>CardCaptor and Ponies

I think of this everytime.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUIF4NQJB-g

Review response ProfCharles 1128

>>1117
Thanks for the review. I'll get on fixing it right away.

Quick question-
"X said, verbing" any general advice for avoiding this, as I tend to do it alot, as you might have noticed.

As for the alcohol thing, I'm following British law, cause write what you know, right? (Even if British alcohol law is weird. 5 year olds and older can legally drink, but it is illegal to give alcohol to anyone under the age of 16 (and then only under certain curcumstances)? what.)

As for the crossover thing, I am highly tempted to rewrite a few unwritten pieces and completly drop the crossover tag.

I also have a working title—"Expect the Unexpected"

I've already began work on the next chapter (which might be merged with the first chapter, but doing so would turn said first chapter into a 5000 word beast at the least), now I just need to learn how chat works…

Damn my insecurities!

Edit-
>snuggle scene.
Facehoof. Of course there needs to be snuggle scene. How could I have overlooked that.

>>1118
I wish I had seen that before I began writing…
This post was edited by its author on .

1129

>>1128
I usually just try to avoid using dialog tags (like said or asked) and just put action sentences by the dialog.

http://www.canternet.org/support

1135

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>>1128
Corrollary to what Azu said >>1129 : You may find this of use: http://www.crayne.com/articles/Dialogue--How-to-Punctuate,-Use-Tags,-and-Vary-the-Structure-of-Your-Dialogue.pdf

The important thing is to vary what you use to construct a flow. Sometimes you'll need
>“Oh my, did that really happen?” Fluttershy asked, looking up from her book.
other times you'll want
>“Oh my, did that really happen?” Fluttershy looked up from her book.
this is also useful:
>“Oh my, did that really happen?” Fluttershy asked.
very occasionally you might want
>Fluttershy asked, “Oh my, did that really happen?”
and sometimes you can just have
>“Oh my, did that really happen?”

But as Azu said, it's usually good practice to just do
>“Oh my, did that really happen?” Fluttershy looked up from her book.
because that's what you seem to be going for with the "she said, verbing"s anyway.

And don't forget that you don't have to tag every single line of dialogue! If two characters have a long enough back-and-forth, you can do a little ping-pong talking heads.
This post was edited by its author on .

1137

>>1135
>a little ping-pong talking heads
The key word being "little." This practice gets entirely grating if it goes on much longer than a few lines. You have no idea how many EqD rejection letters cite this practice. It can really remove the reader from a conversation, because the speech itself is only half of what's being said.

Claim + Review of "Lyra's Day BNN CF HHA" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1172

File: 1353331840834.png (370.05 KB, 486x570, patchy_approves.png)

>>1088
tl;dr synopsis and overly long name are this story's greatest weakness. I loved the rest.

What I mean by the above statement is this, put into sequence form:

1) I look through the queue for something to claim
2) I see your entry, and look at the name, which isn't very enticing
3) Synopsis is nice enough, but not a lot of wow factor
4) A few days later, I pick it up for a quick read, end up loving the thing

You're working on an alternate name, which puts that particular bit to rest. I'll let you work on that.

>It wasn’t entirely Lyra’s fault that she ate all the candy for tonight’s party. If anything, Bon Bon needs to be more careful not to leave bowls full of delicious things unguarded. But, Lyra knows when she’s made a mistake, and now, it’s up to her to save the party. There is a slight problem, though: today is the day before Nightmare Night and the only place left with any candy at all is Pinkie Pie’s untested haunted house attraction.

This is your synopsis. It's got an interesting focus, a summary of the setup, but, well, it's tame. The first two sentences are nice, and that's both a good thing and bad. Good, because it reflects the tone and style, and bad, as in, it's not snappy, and imo something snappy would be more grabbing. As in this current tame form isn't quite as grabbing as it should be, for the story that it headlines.

I've spent the past five minutes trying to find an example to give you, but I couldn't come up with anything. Now, mind, the synopsis isn't bad, and is in fact, overall, pretty good, but it's not outstanding. I am horrible with these, so I can only tell you what I saw of it, and nothing more, for which I apologize. I might possibly be more impatient or lacking in humour than the average reader, so, well, yeah. Not the best authority on synopses by a long shot.

You've got a few instances of odd word choice. Varying your descriptor aspects would be the next improvement for you to consider. Doing so keeps your reader on their toes, because you give them new information and have them invoke their memories of the previous descriptors surrounding said scene, thus strengthening immersion. Now, I'm guessing this works because you aren't overdoing your descriptors - the ratio of scene to action to dialogue and so on is pretty much spot-on.

Were Lyra and Bon-bon annoying? No. In fact, I loved the narrative voice. The first few paragraphs I didn't find funny, but amusing; it did however set the tone wonderfully, which I think is the greatest strength of your writing. The tone is established very well and it carries the rest of Lyra's hijinks. And I found the later parts to be funny, with quite a few laughs, if I recall correctly.

Anyhow, yes, you have done a good job, and this was indeed a good read. I'm sorry that I couldn't offer anything more that this. Keep writing.

Review response 1213

>>1172

Thank you for taking the time to review my fic. I agree that my working title is bad. I'm hoping to have something better leap to mind before I finish. I also agree my synopsis needs to be spiced up. I'll worry about these more at the end, though.

Your comments in doc have been helpful. I'll be sure to watch for repetitive word use in my edits and try to keep everything varied.

I'm relieved that you don't find the narrative voice annoying. I've had this nagging doubt that I've been injecting too much of Lyra's personality into it. I'll keep doing what I've been doing.

Again, thank you.

When Tomorrow Never Comes 1217

File: 1353374051877.jpg (9.76 KB, 202x250, 2.jpg)

#Romance#Sad#Dark#Slice of Life

She dreamt happily, mind fraught with Dinky's tales and all the adventure that had been accomplished that day. She dreamt of a brown stallion holding Mom close again, his soft stare. She would dream of crying out, dashing and embraces. Then there was that thought she would never think: tomorrow never seems to come, now does it?
An average day for a little-known family living on the outskirts of Ponyville.

aka, nonesense


http://www.fimfiction.net/story/2683/When-Tomorrow-Never-Comes

3,037 words.

So, I'm just posting this here. *looks around shiftily*
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming, "When Tomorrow Never Comes" 1220

Review, "When Tomorrow Never Comes" 1224


Hmm.

I really know how to pick me some stories, I can tell you that. You were correct in your comments section; I have no idea what I just read.

Some part of me should be really cheesed, but I’m not. So now I ask: why? Why am I not descending into a fit of indignant rage? By all definitions, I should be furious. Your style is broken, you tell way too often, you’ve made a fair number of technical derps, and your story confused me silly.

And your ending left me feeling… something. I don’t know what it is yet. It isn’t anger, it isn’t sadness, it isn’t even that hollowness you get when you read a horribly awful travesty.

It’s just… something.

Hmm.

I think it would be best if I came out and said it: you could do better. But that’s naturally why you’re here and you admit that to yourself freely. So, with the obvious out of the way and me just putzing around now, let’s see if I can somehow untangle this for both you and myself.

***

Let’s start with some technicals, as they’re the most obvious and surprisingly ranklish part of the story for me at this moment.

>However, it’s impossible to tell how such an affect could have been planned.


That “it’s” should be an “it was”. I think this is a tense derp. You do this very often, switching between a past and present tense. Stick with one, please, or it gets confusing and this is already causing me to strain my brain without trying to understand which point in time we are in.

>The elder sister, Sparkler, was plainly at the age where most ponies become mortified at such frivolous playtime.


become=became

>Sparkler didn’t even fret when Ditzy would plummet from above the clouds


I don’t think “would plummet” fits with the overall tense structure. “Plummeted” would probably sit better.

>Lift in her wings, the pegasus started to navigate the town.


This is a case of another derp common in here, which are some words just not fitting at all. I think you mean “lifting”, unless lift is a specific object that is in her wings. And before you say it, yes, I’m familiar with the aeronautical term “lift” as a form of noun. I just don’t think it works too well here.

>This one stood as tall as Sparkler.


In regards to its encompassing paragraph as well, I have to ask of this sentence: as opposed to what other ones?

>Walking down it she noticed the inclusion of discolored bricks and blackened bricks in the wall at irregular patterns. That’s something she liked, patterns. Despite this they still seemed beautiful somehow, maybe more so. There weren’t many ponies around the back part, here. She liked that, not that she likes being alone, but it made this a special place.


This paragraph is very confusing. That second sentence might fit better if it was placed after the third sentence, and those last two sentences might fit better in the beginning of the paragraph, or as their own paragraph entirely before the first three sentences.

***

Alright, I could carry on like that all day. Yet, in some ways your style, as telly and basic as it is, has this certain, inexplicable charm to it which I cannot explain.

Were it not for some more baffling moments of arrangement and wording, I might say I have surprisingly few complaints with it as a whole. It seems to fit a very childish narrative, which could be very clever if you were to go where I think you could go with this.

So, let’s go on to the plot.



Whoof. Where do I start? Okay, I’m going to lay level with you here. I thought this was absolutely crazy when I first read it through. You Alakazam might have two spoons, but I wanted to know what the heck is in those spoons and where and who you get it from. I’m pretty sure it’s all kinds of illegal.

However, after some deep thought, I think I found there’s a strange semblance of sanity in here. If you’re willing to humor me, I’ve an idea for what you could do to this story.

(Scroll over this if ye dare, young scallywag!)

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this point: The essential story is that Dinky and Sparkler miss their daddy, who had a relationship with Ditzy, their young, now-single mother.

The story held together in what felt an almost reasonable fashion until the whole kidnapping section, which felt like some other story had suddenly burst on the scene. I found myself wondering “What the blazes is going on here?!” more than once. It just suddenly materialized with no rhyme or reason.

Now, while some might advise you to cut it, normally I would include myself here, I have a different thought I’d like to share. Keep it all virtually unchanged. Yes, you heard me, keep this story almost entirely unchanged, except maybe for some refinement and a few pieces here or there that shall be discussed further.

Let’s have our desperate battle, father for his wife and daughter, terribly wounded but unbeaten by the evil unicorn and his dragon lackey. The final moment shall be, instead of Ditzy flying off as the father drags himself home all alone, now bleeding to death in the frozen wastelands (What the hell, Ditzy?! He just got freaking stabbed for you; so now you just ditch him?!), it will instead be a happy return of father and mother, leaving the mountain side-by-side with Dinky between them.

End scene.

New scene. Ditzy comes home, an unconscious Dinky in her saddlebags and groceries in the other. She puts the pooped filly into bed, maybe having a light hearted discussion with Sparkler.

“How’d it go?” shall ask Sparkler.

“Fine, she slept like a rock the whole way,” shall reply Ditzy.

Cuteness of sleeping filly shall ensue, hearts will melt and tears will flow freely. More discussion, all further cementing what our shattering hearts shall already be screaming at us: that segment was all in little Dinky’s dreams; it never actually happened. It was nothing but the fantasy of a very lonely filly, desperate to have her father come back and protect her and her mother again like he should.

The discussion will peter out, mayhaps quite awkwardly at the single, happily muttered utterance of “Daddy” from our still sleeping, little Dinky.

Silence. Sparkler shall find excuse to leave, maybe so she won’t see the hurt in Ditzy’s face.

To finish off all semblance of life in our now twitching audience, we shall once more delve into the mind of Ditzy for this closing note; screw the readers’ pleas for mercy. You shall yank out their bleeding hearts and hold it before their very eyes, you ruthless lunatic!

The tears still burned, as they always had, but she could not hold on to what was anymore, nor could she afford to have blind and foolish hopes for a future that would never be. She had two mouths to feed, two lives to watch, and so she must live for the two that were her responsibility at this very moment.

After all, the past was already gone, today was always here, and tomorrow…

Tomorrow never comes.


THE END.


How’s that sound?

If you like it, there are two things you should do to make it work really well.

-Sparkler needs to change in terms of her purpose.

Sparkler feels like a fifth wheel at the moment. But that might be because of how she fits into overall the story right now. I think she’d do much better in the background. Make her a very close friend, instead of Dinky’s sister. Maybe she’s just her foal sitter at times?

So, that said, rework some of her appearance to reflect that maybe she cares for Dinky like a sister, but there’s no actual blood-relation there. She’s a family friend at best.

-This is sort of like the above point, but I’ll state it clearly here: focus a lot more on Dinky and Ditzy.

That means entirely cut out these two scenes near your climax.


He was furious. Not just angry, spiteful or malicious. Those were lesser evils. His heart beat in rhythm double. His usual pains were catastrophes of agony. His thoughts where paced tenfold normal. His core body temperature had at least tripled. Steam and fog not only vented from his nostrils and mouth, but also rolled from his body. You might say he couldn’t think straight, but it was clear to him. This was not blind fury, oh he kept his wits, what little he kept about him in any usual circumstance. But, this went far beyond any usual circumstance.

He could tolerate any affliction to himself, that was never the problem, some just don’t constrict themselves to those stringent guidelines. If it could, his blood would certainly be boiling.

The clarity of thought was not helping him. The bluster shot needles into every exposed swatch of his coat, which was torment on his bare hide. His legs were caught in drifts constantly, requiring a few moments of attention to remedy. He was weary of his moments left unused.

***

Sparkler stood in the meadow, staring at a dandelion between her hooves. It felt so large and empty. It seemed to have lost its life and mystery. Seeing him had made her glad, but what he said had not. She wanted him to stay, but he didn’t seem normal right then. He had shouted; he never shouted. Something was wrong. She wanted to ask more questions, but he left. He left again. Dinky didn’t even get to see him. Tomorrow passes quickly.


A sharper focus on these two characters makes the ending all the more sickeningly adorable, terribly saddening and terrifically poignant. Sparkler and Sir Random-Paragraphs-for-No-Good-Reason are just distracting and add very little to the story.

Instead, make this whole scenario really pop at us for just how absurd it is. After all, the reason it seems so silly and trite is that it’s the feel-good fantasy of a lonely little girl. She very badly wants something, so her dreams make it happen and screw both logic and sanity with a rusty tent-spike. She’s happy for it, and we’re nauseatingly depressed by it. It also helps explain the very broken narration and, at times, simple language. It’s being mostly told through the viewpoint of little Dinky, with maybe a bit of melding into her mother’s viewpoint right at the end.

***



There you go, I hope you enjoyed it. I found this an oddly entertaining, if rather emotionally confusing, read. So tinker a bit with it and get a good ending on this. I think it’ll do pretty well if you do. You should run this by here again when you’ve got either that ending or a better idea of an ending for this story.

Now, if you excuse me, I think I need to curl up and stare at a wall for a few hours, dressed only in a fuzzy robe and clutching onto a small tub of gummy worms.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?
This post was edited by its author on .

ProfCharles 1236

>>1129
>>1135
>>1137
Great, thanks for the feedback guys.

Review Acknowledged 1240

File: 1353426757473.jpg (7.29 KB, 256x192, 8.jpg)

>>1224
Welp, I’m not sure if I should thank you or apologize. I posted this a year ago, and it’s been pretty much untouched since then. I decided to bring it out because, heck, it’s been a year, why not? And then you give an awesome review of it despite how awful even I know it is. So… I guess I’ll see if I can take your suggestions. That alternate ending is surprisingly well thought out. And, actually, I believe my original intention was that Ditzy/Derpy was following the trail of blood, but I wrote this thing in one night and logical thought doesn’t exactly come easy after the first five hours.

Sorry for the tense derping, the stupidly florid prose, the madness, and everything in-between. I am a different man today than I was back then. I’ll see if I can fix this monstrosity.

1281

>>1240

For all the madness and confusion, it's just the lack of ending, either implied or explicit, that gets you worst. For such a supposedly rough draft, I’m more shocked at how well this holds together. If it were given some sort of context by the end, I’d only be able to complain on a few technical points most likely.

The "florid prose" had a pretty nice feel to it at times, and that's part of what kept me on. With a little tinkering to get rid of the tense derps and a few of those oddly used words and strangely arranged paragraphs, it should fit the overall structure pretty well. As I said, I believe you need shockingly little in the way of drastic change; it's mostly a matter of tightening the focus some more and ironing out the details here and there.

The biggest things involve cutting out sections that don't add to the plot, and putting on some form of ending that makes sense to somebody. At the very least, you should be able to point it out and say, “This is where it was going,” with some degree of logic.


An alternate to that alternate ending could be a version where we find out it was just a game between Sparkler and Dinky, which could be similarly depressing and adorable. I suggested a dream because I felt it would involve the least amount of work for a still thumping good ending.

Of course, making it all a game might mean you could keep those scenes I suggested you cut out, as Sparkler or Dinky could be "imagining" that's what they're doing at the time if you implied it properly. You could even add more here and there, just to further confuse the crap out of us until you whack us upside the head on the end.
It could also make sense in overall context, as you start the story off with the two of them playing pretend in great detail. If you catch us just right, we’ll slap our heads and scream, "Why didn't I see this coming?! This was [i]so[i/] obvious, dang it!"

The dream seems the easier of the two goals, but it's ultimately up to you to decide how this story ends. Just give it some form of ending that makes some semblance of sense, or be prepared to argue why your current ending makes sense and why it’s a good point to leave us on. If you can’t explain it, it sucks. If you can make us agree with you that it works at some level, it’s clever.

On a separate note, I think I finally know what I felt about the story. That nagging feeling that haunted me the whole time.

“Bubbles”.

You actually made me read, “Bubbles” for the first time today. Literally as I was making this post: I opened up another window and looked at it for my very first time.

But, when I was finished, I nodded my head and said, “Yep. This could be a slightly different version of “Bubbles”. Cutely written with what seems a terrible level of childish prose and an adorable story with worrisome undertones that hint that something’s not quite right. And it all strangely meshes together fairly well for some reason.” Though, in some ways, you’ve made a slightly less depressing version of “Bubbles”.

It’ll still kill us with one of those endings, sure, but it gives us a different form of depression than “Bubbles” does. Yours could still have a very faint undercurrent of hope for those willing to think about it. Dinky may not have a daddy, or Ditzy a loving husband, but they still have someone. Each other.

The rest is mostly window dressing.




You have no need to apologize, though I appreciate the gesture. I think it a foolish person who journeys to the mine, expecting gold on the first swing of the pick. And, even if gold is found on that first swing, it would still need refinement anyways.

And if someone ever went into a mine, expecting to hack a fully finished gold bar out of the wall, that would be just plain stupid.

I wish you luck, and may you find your place here.
This post was edited by its author on .

Azusa's Guide to Tags 1347

File: 1353555329458.png (801.11 KB, 1011x790, Octavia_Vinyl allegrezza_by_zo…)

Okay, this is gonna be a little different. Awhile back I started writing an OP post for a discussion on the [Adventure] tag, but it mushroomed into an entire guide to the EqD tags. At the moment I don't feel that it's ready to be held up with the other guides on /fic/. I'd like to get more feedback so I can raise it to that high standard of quality.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12IxwsH4Xu3sx0fZ5x1Hx6t0V1EeCX6GnUZa1Pi5nHr4/edit

1348

>>1347

Holy mother of Pearl … those header fonts …

1463

File: 1353808234688.jpg (609.69 KB, 1400x1700, Unmarked Cover Art Final.jpg)

Howdy. Posting here (and hoping I'm not making another faux pas by doing so) to ask for a review on the story thus far. It's a big one (at 150,890 words currently) to tackle, so I won't mind if you just do one chapter and leave the rest to others. I'd just like as much feedback on it as possible before it's given its last (Completed) post on EqD, because even though I made it to EqD somehow, I'm betting there's still tons of room for improvements. Hoping for reviews of Characterization, Plot Holes, Coherency or even just a general review of what you like and don't like. So, thanks for taking the time to consider me and if you need anything else, just shoot me a response. :)

#Adventure

Purpose. In Equestria, where purpose is defined by the mark on your flank, it is often taken for granted. Yet Novell has grown to adulthood without a single explanation of where he fits in. It's not until a chance meeting with a particular Professor that he gets the opportunity to explore the world and find out exactly where he belongs. Of course, adventuring has a host of its own problems, as this blank flank is about to find out!

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/5108/Unmarked

Edit: Other works and profile can be found at http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Croswynd
This post was edited by its author on .

Anonymous 1464

>>1463
>Posting here (and hoping I'm not making another faux pas by doing so)
No faux pas there. This is exactly the place.

claim 1470

>>1463
> full full-length novel
> all OC
> author has decent non-fiction voice
> on FiMFiction, therefore e-pub
> knows what the word "Prologue" means
Ooh, yesss.

> prose


Oh. Oh dear.

We're gonna have some things to talk about. So here's what I can do for you:

1 - Reader response, take your plot apart, take a good hard look at your characters, etc. as requested. This'll take a little while, but I can do the whole thing. Unless it ends up awful, but I suspect it won't.

2 - It looks like you've paid attention in your English class. You know how to punctuate. You write standard English. You sound educated. It's a shame that we teach English in such a way that "educated" doesn't mean "is familiar with intermediate and advanced topics in grammar and composition."

Ever heard this?
http://marilynnbyerly.com/ingthemerciless.html
http://www.mcrw.com/index.php/why-present-participial-phrases-are-evil/

You might have heard this:
http://www.infoplease.com/cig/grammar-style/misplaced-modifiers-lost-found.html

But I'm pretty sure you've never ever come across this:
http://folk.uio.no/hhasselg/systemic/Textual.htm
(unless you're a total language nerd and we should be friends)

If you haven't, it's not your fault. Fortunately for you - or unfortunately - I've made grammar my hobby. I'm not terribly good at it, nor can I promise to line-edit your 600-page manuscript. But I'd love to have a study partner, especially if you're an aspiring author.

The downside is, if you go down this road, bad prose will forever distract you. I've heard stories of professional editors who can't read a newspaper without a red pencil in hand. You'll look back at your earlier writing (and damn are you prolific) with new eyes, much like the now-sober eyes the morning after one hell of a good party. It's much like this: http://xkcd.com/1015/

So I'll look over conceptual things this week and if you like we can delve into prose after that.

Anonymous 1471

>>1470

I love you.

You.. you are exactly the person I've been looking for to give me a proper critique on Unmarked. Too often have I had well-meaning commenters who just wish to praise me because I know how to string a few sentences together in a pleasing way.

Very rarely has there been a proper, honest-to-goodness critique on my work. I would normally have my writing website (which includes people I've been writing with for the last five years and who are all mostly talented) edit my story. Unfortunately they don't take MLP seriously, so I must turn to and find other sources of input.

You are that someone. I read through all the links you gave me and, aside from the first one where I overuse ""dialogue," he said, moving toward the door", I do pretty well. Thank you for sharing those anyway, though, because I love language. I'm an English major myself, so anything I can find I devour.

So let us be friends. When do we start? *bright eyes*
This post was edited by its author on .

Review request 1511

Scooter: A tragedy in three acts, by Tactical!Rainboom
#tragedy#slice of life

Act 1: All Scootaloo wanted was to fly.

This is the story of how she chased that dream, and of how her friends and mentors helped her along the way.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d9lQaInd5Fl09fIc4k34a3qYiOq_A-WD1nGaT6oNy8Q/edit

About 2500 words.

Additional: I would like someone to go over this who can help me slash exposition, quicken pacing, and emphasize things like chekov's guns while also picking over for awkward sentences and technical derps.

Seattle 1516

File: 1353928382624.jpg (44.8 KB, 515x497, 1320554976577.jpg)

Scooter by Tactical -review- Seattle 1519

File: 1353932234903.jpg (227.77 KB, 430x468, 110251 - badass meme scootaloo…)

>>1511
>opens doc
>dat title
Yep, I’m hooked.

Firstly, Imma recommend you go ahead and host the synopsis/intro/act-info in a separate doc, containing not only the above info, but compilation links to the different Acts. It’s my assumption this is your intent for the finished product anyway, but I wanted to reaffirm.

Now then, let’s see what’s goin’ on here…

Okay, you’re using double hyphens for em dashes. Whyyyyyy? You’ve just been around too long for me not to mention this with tremulous fervor. Especially given you get it right later on. Consistency!

>snatched her scooter from it leaned against

Word(s) missing here, methinks.

>you’re home!” She yelled back

Also got me scratching my luscious, full mane. You KNOW how dialogue tagging works, so why would you submit a fic for review with an error like this in the first few paragraphs?

Hmm, you seem to do this repeatedly. Sup with that?

You need to be careful and mindful of your action-oriented narrative. Take “Scootaloo untucked her wings…” paragraphs. The two pieces of description could be streamlined into something shorter that gets the point across faster and more fluidly.

>the sidewalk

Ponyville has sidewalks?

Word repetition becomes a notable issue when we reach the sequence with recess. One example is ‘swings’. Try to keep an eye out for this.

Your pacing feels a touch stagnant due to two main issues: odd transition breaks, and superfluous exposition that doesn’t really tell the reader anything terribly interesting or that they don’t already know. I’d suggest you focus more on character interaction to drive the pacing, personally.
For instance
>all three Crusaders—Scootaloo included—agreed
is an example of that which is redundant.

>Now hing she lived for.

Wat

>Apple bloom pouted

Derp.

>in stereo indcredulity

This line… is unique. I’m… huh.

Spell out your numerals mate.

Hmm. Okay, having finished, I’ve got enough perspective to work with ya on some of your concerns. First thing that comes to mind, is that you have two options: 1) Let well enough lie, and allow the reader’s pre-established investment in Scoots carry the day, or 2) Take the cut, encourage emotional hooks at every opportunity, make the narrative more visceral, the dialogue more powerful and driven… I realize this is only Act 1, and that my initial concerns are things you’ve already got in the works, so no worries there, but it’s never too soon to start sinking your reader in. By the time comes that you finally do the deed, they’ll be up to the knees in the muck and too sunk in to make a clean escape. Then? BAM, RIGHT IN THE FEELS.

Now, moving forward, as I canna really tell from the single act, is if you are going to have Scoot’s malady be a result of the crash (which I’d suggest, because then you get to incorporate heavy pathos from guilt-ridden comrades as well) or a pre-existing condition (which if you go with, it would make CG-drops a lot easier… for instance, have AB barely brush up against Scoot’s wing an have her reaction be way more pain-driven than the contact calls for, stuff like that.)

>Consider: make-everything-okay epilogue?

Noooooooooo! IMO

Cheers mate, keep writing!

Claiming "Draconequus" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1521

File: 1353936995503.jpg (8.63 KB, 192x192, claimed.jpg)

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#124636

14 days, and with charity? Oh dear. I'll get to you.

Claim post, so that the author doesn't get too discouraged, and because I'll be taking a while.

1525

>>1519

>em dashes

There isn't an em dash on my keyboard god dammit. I do this purely out of laziness. I know not to use spaces, at least, and usually (not always) I end up find-and-replacing double dashes

>capitalization

What kind of marshmallow-flavored acid was I taking? Ugh it's not like I haven't bitched at OTHER people enough times for this one…

>other technical derps

And this is one of the reasons I wanted to send it through TTG. I am terrible, *terrible* about author-blindness. I have been known to leave half-sentences sitting in the

>Scootaloo's problem

The original concept is that the crash wasn't so bad; it's just that when she gets taken to the doctor they finally figure out her disability.

The idea of her wings being broken beyond recovery was, literally, so obvious that I didn't even think of it, but the whole idea of bringing in the guilt does tie into what I was trying to say with Act 1's synopsis, doesn't it?

>Baiting out reader empathy

Not sure I understand the question. Are you saying I need to throw emotional hooks to make the reader invested in Scootaloo? Because the whole idea of Act 1 here is to show Scootaloo's optimism and enthusiasm for her dream before ending it with a conflict (even if it is a bait-and-switch conflict, it drops from happy to tense in a hurry)

>make-everything-okay epilogue

The ending with the broken scooter is the SOLE reason I tried to write in the angle of Calvin-style scooter-as-metaphor retroactively. I was totally proud of the idea.

With a downer like that, an epilogue that makes everything okay would be tremendously satisfying.

Is the theory. Someone might call me a sellout, too.

Three's A Crowd - review Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 1531

File: 1353962690207.jpg (70.23 KB, 500x432, Twilight163248__UNOPT__.jpg)

All right, so far this just seems like it needs some polish. I made a bunch of comments in doc. I'd suggest taking down all but the first two chapters from FiMFic, mark it as Incomplete, then submit to EqD… Except you're on your second strike, so you'll probably want another review after you finish editing, just to be sure. I'd be willing to look at the rest of the story after I get to a few other reviews that I've promised to do. That is if you don't mind waiting.

If possible, I'd like for you to make a separate doc for each chapter then put them all in a collection folder. The current doc is on the verge of crashing from too many comments.
This post was edited by its author on .

Seattle 1542

>>1525
>Are you saying I need to throw emotional hooks to make the reader invested in Scootaloo?
Ah so. Well, this really depends on the ultimate direction you wish to take it. I didn't actually think you were considering the happy ending theme as seriously as you are. Milage may vary in that case.

As to the guilt issue, it does, and is there, aye, but could be utilize more poignantly.

Also, you're welcome an stuff :P

1547

>>1542
I do not think a relief ending would ruin the story.

But it would take away the power of the ambiguous downer ending, which I want. Instead the ending would be on the power of maybe something else.

The MAIN reason I'm hesitant to do this—besides the fact that I know I have a solid ending lined up already—is because I would feel like I was chickening out of writing a crushing ending.

You've given me some good directions for improvement. Thanks for your good work.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming: Primary Colors Umbra!S7TySB6rOM 1575

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#i124932

This cross-chan thing is tripping me out.

Still too busy for a dedicated review thread right now, but I figure reading a few stories here and there can't hurt. I'll have a look at this tonight.

Anonymous 1576

>>1575
It should settle soon enough.
One side seems like it's going in a more book-club type direction focused on stories and discussion, and this is the reviewer-centric creation and critique board.

1577

File: 1354050963011.png (625 KB, 5000x5000, Applejack98330__UNOPT__.png)

>>1576
Funny how I suggested one board be book club-esque and the other be for critique back when the move was brought up and the idea was shot down.

1579

>>1048
I finished writing the first chapter, and after reading it a few times to check for any mistakes or errors, I think I managed to fix them and improve my skills since the last time.

Let me know your opinion and anything else than should be improved: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pzDrXehWqnGnuSlfpfc-qJZFUop3BdYo6DEKZ8mwfB4/edit

Anonymous 1580

>>1577
I think the idea is more to free /fic/ from it's previous ultra-strict rules which existed only because there was only one place, so that now we have more legroom it's just a matter of spreading out the load rather than segregating things. I am not sure how that would work with Demetrius idea to just keep everything within MLPchan, but I guess Filler and Seattle will figure something out.

Anonymous 1583

>>1577
You suggested it in reverse, though. ;)

>>1580
Depends on what exactly Demetrius is able to do. If there's a game-changing or killer app implemented here that makes lives easier for reviewers, there'd be little to no reason for that not to happen, regardless of Seattle or Filler's initial thought process.

Having both in any one place invariably means the longer, paced reviewer threads get pushed down by shorter, quicker-burning one-off casual threads. That's an inevitable conclusion to having that kind of content, as it only and ever attracts further that kind of content.

You really can't have your cake and eat it too, based on all precedent from all other forums and sites, whether it's mlponies, mlpforums, friendshipismagic.org, etc. It's why there's no other dedicated review community, and all other MLP fanfiction sites, boards or groups, no matter how they start out, end up casual, story-centric discussion communities. That precedent can't be ignored, and the reviewers inherently need and deserve dedicated space that empowers them and maintains a unified presence.
This post was edited by its author on .

Anonymous 1588

>>1583
>>1583
>If there's a game-changing or killer app implemented here that makes lives easier for reviewers
Oh, I agree, I'm just saying I don't see it working towards this "spread out rather than stake out" talk going on in the other chan. If implemented, it's just better to stick to the place that has it (at least, until some other silver bullet comes along).

>That's an inevitable conclusion to having that kind of content, as it only and ever attracts further that kind of content.

Which is why /fic/ had the rules it had, if I understand correctly. After all, it's so much easier to make a single thread asking people if you like a story, then spamming, then remaking it again…

> It's why there's no other dedicated review community, and all other MLP fanfiction sites, boards or groups, no matter how they start out, end up casual, story-centric discussion communities.

As I understand it, we have a review community because one guy (Samurai) hammer everyone else into actually reviewing and making itself into an actual same-goaled group because he knew of the precedent and did all he could to prevent it. Then, he just gave that work to the community. The precedent occurs because no one actually cares to keep that side of the matter in existence, and the fact two people are willing to mod over the community, a pair is willing to code for it, and dozens are willing to review to maintain it, seems to say it can handle itself even if they don't have an absolutist control over what can be posted or not.

That said, derail.

Claim of "Bronies Dawn" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1589

File: 1354065659249.png (261.36 KB, 525x217, claimed_2.png)

>>1579
Glad to have you back! I'll get to it when I do.

1601

File: 1354075701196.png (24.82 KB, 336x362, Sum_Pony_jaded.png)

>>1580
>>1588
>>1583
Let's keep it in >>1005, ye anons. TTG has already suffered one such derail.

Review: At Sundown, by Equ-us 1607

File: 1354095444603.png (2.12 MB, 1267x1940, hippieshy_by_speshal_snowflake…)

Slowly but surely, I am learning how to review longfics. An infinite number of apologies would not suffice for the length of time I have taken in producing this review, so I'll just dive right in.

I will begin with characters. Certain aspects of Pinkie's characterization were among my favorite parts of the story. For example, the part where she bakes horrible cupcakes until one batch comes out good, and she realizes that that means Rainbow is coming back, along with the ensuing antics with the scarf and whatnot—I liked that scene a lot. And in general, I think you have the "comedic Pinkie" side of her personality down pat. Even what I've termed "visual gags", such as the hula skirt, play well into that particular type of Pinkie. However, beyond the comedic aspect, you start to run into problems.

The main thing is that Pinkie is quite unresponsive to Rainbow's words and actions. It really makes the scenes feel unsettling. You consistently resort to writing pure comedy Pinkie during most scenes, and do so at the expense of allowing her to respond organically to the situations at hand. She feels more like a pet or a little child than like a person. Perhaps you will more easily understand what I'm saying if you think of how often you have Pinkie resort to making "that face" whenever Rainbow becomes ambivalent about doing something or other that Pinkie wants her to do. Instead of giving Pinkie an actually nuanced emotional response that might evoke some sympathy, you've invented a caricature that's easy to whip out to advance the plot in place of having your characters realistically work through conflict with more interesting and meaningful dialogue choices.

One small snippet of dialogue from Pinkie that I really liked was this:

>“What did I tell you?” Applejack hissed, stomping up to the counter.

>“Well,” Pinkie began, her hooves resting on the countertop, “I know you haven’t told me what you want to drink.”

The reason I liked this was that it seemed to hold some subtext, though I'm not entirely certain whether you intended it that way or not. It felt like Pinkie was admitting her failing to heed Applejack's warning, yet not quite admitting wrongdoing, as if she was nervous and uncertain about what she was doing, and perhaps a little ashamed. Unfortunately I didn't find much subtext in the remainder of Pinkie's dialogue. I did think this snippet stood out:

>“But you don’t have to try so hard. You can just talk about the same stuff you always do.”


A Pinkie who's not always alienatingly weird and ridiculous, who can come back down to earth to talk to us mundanes when the situation requires it, is far more interesting and sympathetic than "comedic Pinkie", and hence (in my opinion) far more appropriate for a romance story.

Moving on, I don't feel that Rarity or Applejack came across very powerfully. A lot of that feeling probably has to do with the subject-matter of their primary debate. It's hard for me to imagine either of them having such strong feelings about Rainbow's obscure problem that they would get into a shouting match about it. Then, too, there's the fact that I found the argument itself entirely stupid, which no doubt wounded my perception of the two of them. And in general I felt Applejack was more aggressive than she needed to be. The net result was that I got an indistinct impression of something which spoke like Rarity and something that had the same accent as Applejack, neither of which were very vivid or likeable.

As for Twilight, I feel like you used a sort of "comedic Twilight" a lot, which, while not as wildly inappropriate as comedic Pinkie, still contributed to the general confusion of the story's tone. More on that shortly.

And Fluttershy I felt was flat in a different way. She seemed too flawless, her dialogue too calculated, her advice too wise (in the context of the story). It didn't just feel like Rainbow held her on a pedestal, it also felt like the author was holding her on a personal pedestal of his own. The most important example of this problem, of course, occurs near the story's climax, when a few words from Fluttershy defuse the entire story's main conflict. As a rule, I don't care much for bandying labels about with reckless abandon, but I think Fluttershy was a bit of a deus ex machina, as we say. She was more of a Celestia-figure or a mother-figure than a realistic pony.

Which brings me to Rainbow Dash. I found a lot to dislike about her, as you may have pieced together from my comments. The most frustrating part of this story was the consistent lack of any satisfying justifications or explanations of Rainbow's thoughts and feelings. Instead of showing consistent trains of thought or nuanced, believable descriptions of her feelings, you resort to emphasis to hammer in the central points of your story.

>“The kiss was wrong!” Dash yelled, unsure where the sudden burst of anger had come from.

>One of Twilight’s brows snaked up her forehead. “In what way?”
>“In every way!”
>“Can you be any more specific?”
>“I don’t know. It was just wrong, okay?"

It was just wrong, okay? This is the pill that you are asking your readers to swallow in order to follow your story. And what a bitter pill it is. Let me be quite clear here. This is like writing a horror story that contains the line, "Suddenly a monster appeared, and it was really, really scary!" It's simply unacceptable that you leave this concept, the main source of conflict in the story, completely unexplained and unresolved. Why does Rainbow feel that it's "wrong"? What exactly is "wrong" about it? What about this "wrongness" is so violent that it drives Rainbow to abandon her best friend not once but twice? And am I really supposed to believe that this guttural repulsion, about which Rainbow makes such a fuss throughout the story, is simply dissolved by a few of Fluttershy's words before the climax? This has as much relevance to the plot as to the characterization.

There are other issues in this vein, too. You often show us how important being 'cool' is to Rainbow, but don't give any justification for this or explain why being 'cool' is so important to her. If I hadn't watched any MLP episodes except Read It and Weep and May The Best Pet Win!, perhaps I'd be more appreciative of this aspect of her characterization, but even then, I wouldn't feel you'd added anything to canon or shown me anything about Rainbow's personality that's particularly worthy of attention. What is so innovative or insightful about this?

>Trying implied the possibility of failure, and she didn’t fail. Ever.


Or this?

>And all of the sudden, she was angry. Dashie. It came as if from nowhere, starting deep in her chest and spreading to the very tips of her feathers. Dashie. Every one of her muscles writhed and shook with pent up rage, utterly consuming her mind. Dashie. All she could think about was that stupid little pet name Pinkie insisted on calling her.


Sure, you paint a good picture, but what's that picture portraying? Is it anything worth looking at?

Rainbow's characterization is very important to this story because the story itself is literally the story of Rainbow Dash coming to realize that she loves Pinkie Pie. The conflict of the story is Rainbow's internal conflict. If that conflict is portrayed unrealistically, flatly, given little justification and an unsatisfactory resolution—well, then, the story itself will be weak. But to portray this conflict vividly, in a way that makes it real and threatening to the reader and thus gripping and interesting, requires fleshing Rainbow out, explaining her motivations and reservations more clearly and believably than just saying stuff like

>No, she had just dramatically stormed off. Pinkie would never let her live it down if she went sulking back like some lost puppy. That wasn’t what a Wonderbolt would have done.


and expecting the reader to uncritically accept it.

Another aspect of Rainbow's character that caused me no end of confusion were those little hints you dropped that showed that Rainbow was secretly sexually attracted to Pinkie. I can't help wondering: What was all that about? I did not understand how it made any sense for Rainbow to simultaneously be attracted to Pinkie and repulsed at the thought of being intimate with her.

Anyway, to move on. I complained loudly in a number of places about the weirdly-placed cloppy bits you threw around in your story. I feel like I should elaborate on exactly why I'm saying they're so bad.

Sexuality is an important element in romantic relationships, because it allows the partners to express intimacy in a tangible way. Romance always portrays sexuality as inseparable from the personalities of the actors involved. Pornography, i.e. clopfiction, may follow the model of romance up to a point, but when it comes to the sex scenes, it will insert images and descriptions that are entirely gratuitous, are detachable in principle from the particular persons involved in the story actions, and serve only to cause the reader to feel sexually excited. The literary offense of pornography lies not in its explicitness or obscenity but in that gratuity which characterizes the pornographic parts qua pornography, that state of being unnecessary to the narrative and detachable from it. This means that a scene needs not be explicit or even sexual in nature to commit the same literary offense that pornographic sex scenes commit. Anything that has only a weak connection to the overall narrative, is detachable in principle from it, and is included only for the sake of an appeal to the reader's physical emotions, commits this same offense. Hence the general contempt in which "wish-fulfillment" fiction of any stripe is held, whether it's "My Little Dashie" or "Xenophilia" we're talking about.

When you write a story in which Rainbow Dash is not romantically interested in Pinkie Pie, and then punctuate that story with sensual, arousing descriptions of Rainbow obtaining pseudo-sexual pleasure from physical contact with Pinkie, it's an easy call for me to say that those scenes are detachable from the personalities of the characters involved and that they do nothing for the reader but stimulate him physically. Hence, when I say that such-and-such a scene "reads exactly like a clopfic", I mean that the scene feels artificially contrived, seems like it was added to the story for the sake of prurience, and is otherwise useless.

And don't be tempted to think that if you can find one or two ways in which a scene "adds to the narrative", you're therefore free of this charge. If you write a sensual description, then it's not sufficient to claim that the subject-matter treated of in that description is important to the narrative: the sensuality of the description must itself be important. Otherwise, the sensuality is gratuitous and detachable. Every element of a story is important, everything carries weight, nothing should be gratuitous.

So when I say that clop-esque scenes like these do not belong in serious shipfics, I say this beginning with the idea that shipping is precisely about the relationship between two specific characters, and adding the principle that whatever is irrelevant to a story's theme does not belong in the story. Unless the sexuality of one or both of your characters is something that's highly relevant to their personality, or illustrative of the same, I see little justification—on purely literary grounds—for including such details.

That is the general principle on which I've criticized your physical scenes. But, looking at those scenes individually, they're mostly ridiculous for other reasons, too. A cupcake-batter fight is such a hilarious cliche that someone I was discussing this fic with actually joked, after I had explained the set-up to the kitchen scene: "So, when do they start rolling around in the baking ingredients, wrapped in each other's embrace?" The premise of the preening scene, that pegasi cannot properly preen themselves, is something that stretches my suspension of disbelief past its elastic limit. The 'third date' is not quite so ridiculous on plausibility grounds, but it is the worst in terms of characterization, in my opinion—I'm picturing Rainbow Dash lying there, jerking around, trying desperately to escape Pinkie's kisses, and poor stupid Pinkie, thick as a brick, not picking up on the body language and needing to have the situation spelled out for her.

So, yeah, that is more-or-less why I did not care for those scenes at all. Moving on.


Continued in next post due to size limits… =/

1608

continued from >>1607

I'm sure you've heard the word tone before and know generally what it means as applied to literature. The tone of a scene lets the reader know how they're supposed to feel at a given point in a story. It frames the conflict, and it directs the reader's perspective and judgments in the proper direction for the narrative's purposes. It makes the good guys seem good and the bad guys seem bad. It makes home feel like home and a frightening scene feel frightening. Well, a majority of your scenes have an inconsistent tone, and the result is that I did not know what to think or feel at many points in your story.

What makes a tone inconsistent? Clashing details. And this is the biggest area where what I have styled the "comedic Pinkie" (and "comedic Twilight" to a lesser extent) really hurt your story. When Rainbow is feeling nervous, it doesn't do to have Pinkie pulling wacky stunts, and describing them in such a way as to make them seem funny and wacky. As a reader, I don't know whether I'm supposed to laugh along with Pinkie, or feel annoyed, like Rainbow. It's not impossible to portray those same physical stunts with a consistent tone, but you have to sacrifice the normal, wacky method of description, and find a different way, something more consonant with Rainbow's aversion to Pinkie's romantic advances, if you want your reader to feel what Rainbow is feeling. It doesn't do to have Pinkie and Rainbow laughing hysterically about serving Applejack raspberry lemonade instead of strawberry lemonade, while also portraying the setup of the prank in such lucid detail as to make it clear that the payoff was not worth the effort by several orders of magnitude. That clashing detail is what, for example, confused me enough to drive me to rage at the stupidity of the prank. You could have said a lot less about that scene and been a lot more effective. And so on. (Note that this criticism also applies to the "cloppy" scenes. If you want those physical actions to seem more "uncomfortably physical" than sexually arousing, then you need to modify your descriptions of those actions to convey more of an uncomfortable, anxious tone.)

Now, I think the biggest issue with this story is the plot, and this includes the pacing and characterization. Frankly, the plot was bad. That is a story's death knell. But let me explain.

The first three chapters set up the story, and the main conflict is introduced somewhat later: Rainbow Dash doesn't want to hurt Pinkie Pie. Very well, then, the resolution of the story must resolve this conflict somehow. A complication is introduced, which amounts to a redefinition of the conflict: Being in a romantic relationship with Pinkie is the only way to stop her from being hurt at all, but only if it's not dishonest. A dishonest relationship OR no relationship at all will leave Pinkie unhappy. Yet these seem like the only two options, because Rainbow is simply not romantically interested in Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash tries both options, and both lead to failures of sorts. In the end, Fluttershy shows Rainbow that her belief that she really wasn't in love with Pinkie Pie was mistaken, and therefore Rainbow is actually free to have an honest romantic relationship with Pinkie, thus solving the trilemma.

Now, the implausibility of this final solution is manifest. It's just irritating to think that if Rainbow hadn't been such a flat character, if she had sat down and thought about her problems for one damn second, she could have avoided all the trouble in the story. (I read 30K just to find out it was all a misunderstanding? Really?) Further, it's unsatisfying. It doesn't address and resolve the underlying conflicts head-on, it merely ignores them by a tricky redefinition. Talk about anti-climactic…

Further, consider the nature of the conflict. We are told that Rainbow "doesn't want to hurt Pinkie". Very well, then. But I do! I mean god damn, she never turns down the "irritating clown" dial to under 11 for more than a few paragraphs in the entire story. She's oblivious and inconsiderate from the start. If the whole story's conflict is about finding a way to avoid hurting Pinkie Pie, then I should at least be able to stand the bitch. Another irritant is the way you have Rainbow claim repeatedly that she "loves spending time with Pinkie" and yet show Rainbow being almost nothing but irritable in Pinkie's presence and Pinkie likewise being nothing but irritating. If you don't show me the love, then I won't believe you when you claim it's there. I understand that the game of tag was an attempt to serve this purpose, and the cupcake batter fight was also a bit of this, but the consistent avoidance and irritation that you have Rainbow express towards Pinkie really just weighs a lot more in my mind and renders those points of positivity less apparent.

Further, I kinda-sorta-maybe see where you're coming from with the story's themes, which you spell out in the argument between Rarity and Applejack and again at the end with Fluttershy's words. But I remained largely unconvinced, and you did so little in terms of justifying your thesis that I could never really understand or connect with Rainbow's desires. What is it like to have such a strong desire not to hurt someone that you would voluntarily enter a romantic relationship with them even though you aren't interested in them romantically? What is the justification for such a desire? What are the implications? Is doing such a thing really good, as you seem to be suggesting? You explored none of these questions, and instead lingered on the most facile aspects of the issues in a way that really surprised and frustrated me. I got no food-for-thought, no considered arguments one way or another. And the black-and-white terms in which you cast your themes were neither realistic nor nuanced and insightful. I feel mildly as though I was preached at.

So, overall, I didn't see the conflict as important, I didn't think the resolution was a real one, and I couldn't buy into the theme. Those are big, big issues that you'll have to fix to make this story good.

A word about the pacing. Different sections of the story feel a bit disjointed from one another. For example, the first three chapters are practically a story unto themselves—as far as the rest of the fic is concerned, they could almost be cut. (Not that I'm suggesting you cut them, of course, just pointing the fact out.) Then the transition from the end of chapter 7 to the beginning of chapter 8, specifically the change in Rainbow's attitude that takes place at that time, is quite jarring. And overall you could stand to make the relationship of the individual plot points more apparent. There is certainly a link, for example, between Rainbow's date with Pinkie at the Canterlot Gardens and the final resolution of the story, but it's not all that clear to me what that link is when I try think about it.

Anyway, to summarize. You could solve almost all of this story's problems by writing your characters with more depth and explaining and justifying their thoughts and actions more completely. Your ponies are the 2-d versions that normally show up in lighthearted comedies and other pieces of fluff, but you're trying to write a serious philosophical romance. Those flat ponies just won't do for this purpose. If you wrote your characters more believably and realistically, the tone would fall into place, the plot would be stronger, the conflict would seem more important, and you'd probably be able to refine your theme into something I could buy into. In short, you'd have a good story. So I really think that any revisions you do on this piece need to begin with a thorough and extensive fleshing-out of your characters.


And with that, I think I've said enough for now. If you have any residual questions, feel free to follow up.

1611

>>1589 Alright then. I'll try to write the second chapter meanwhile.

Review Acknowledgement Equ-us 1619

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>>1607

Huh. If I put a comment in the doc for the last part outlining some sort of general idea for a rewrite sometime today or tomorrow, would you mind checking it and letting me know if I'm at least on the right track? If so, I might ask a couple followup questions there too when I have the time really think about all this.

Thanks for the review. This actually isn't the longest I've ever had to wait here (wherever here is now), and it's far more detailed than I would have expected.

Karma claim and review request 1621

Karma claim: >>1460

I said a few words to the author of the Mario crossover already, and I have no interest in line editing it. I am aware of Azu's thing, and I'll just end up arguing with Azu if I claim it. And I don't have the time or mental fortitude to do 25k… sorry about that.

So I'll take the most recent story from the queue (look at this guy, what a plothole he is) as a karma claim. I'm going to try to do this right now, and if I don't manage to finish it in that time, I will temporarily relinquish the claim, because after that I have two days of probably not being able to work on the review, sorry.



What I want reviewed is my old old old thing, The Sixth Age. I've given it a quick edit sweep, though not a terribly comprehensive one, to bring it closer to what I'm capable of today.

I figure that if Seattle's Angels liked it, and because I'm a better writer now than I was back when I initially wrote it, I may as well throw it at EQD again.

The Sixth Age
#adventure#alternate universe
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/11808/The-Sixth-Age
Ivory spires that put to shame the mountain they're grafted to. Thousands of lives perched on a slab of iron bolted to the side of a cliff, with an artificial sun doin' its best to warm the shadows underneath. Then there's the aug-tech changin' the face of ponykind, runnin' right up against magic the likes of which the world ain't seen for centuries. This, all of this, is New Canterlot. A magical place, in the dangerous way. It's everythin' you ever dreamed of, and everythin' you ever feared. For what it's worth, good luck out there, chummer. I think you're gonna need it.

Review 1622

Review of "This Means War"

>><1460>


I can't line edit, so I'll give more general comments and only bitch about awkward structures and such if they really jump out at me.

>the opening gag

Good idea, but if you're going to do this, go balls-out purple. Just a simple weather report and a telly "oh it's so pretty" line is weak. Similarly, have some fun describing how disgusting the belch is. "Loud and obnoxious" is boring. Heck, change it into a fart and describe the fetid stench coming from—

Let's move on.

>"Ugh, well that came out of nowhere"

Bad structure. Consider: "Ugh! Well, that came out of nowhere."

The very next sentence feels like a run-on even though I know why you didn't think it was. Cut the words "princess celestia."

Okay. It's clear to me that you could actually benefit greatly from a meticulous grammar pick-over. You've got minor derps all over the place that I'm willing to bet are actual ignorance on your part and not just slip-ups. It's nothing to feel bad about, but this needs a cleanup. For that, though, you need to turn this into a google doc.

>The prank was unintentional and not meant for them;

You cannot sling this and then not explain it. Your voice is 3rd person omni, so the narrator knows what's going on here. The fact that we don't get this is irritating.

>As they usually say

This is bad grammar, just take my word for it. The pronoun "they" shouldn't be used this way.

>"I wasn't expecting anything from her.” she called back to the kitchen.

The dialogue capitalization talk! I love this one. Here's how it works.

Option 1) What you say after your dialogue is not a dialogue tag; it's just the next sentence.
"B-buck me h-harder, Applejack!" The love-drunk pegasus was shuddering so hard she could barely speak.
^ Note: Full stop (exclamation point, period, question mark) at the end of the dialogue, next word capitalized, and the second part is a complete sentence.

Option 2) What you say after your dialogue is a dialogue tag.
Applejack obliged with terrifying enthusiasm. "I got yer Iron Pony right HERE," she growled, clutching the bit between her teeth harder.
^ Note: Comma at the end of the dialouge, no capitalization.


>Rainbow Dash, the rough-edged, prismatic, and brash pegasus of the group

This is [i]worse
than Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. You've gone ahead and given us a quick and not very descriptive description of a character for no damn reason. "Prismatic" is just weird without telling us that you're talking about her color, and "rough-edged" and "brash" mean the same thing, and you could probably show-don't-tell that kind of thing anyway.

>pressurized can of flour

You've condensed an entire little moment down to a single sentence that makes no sense. Rainbow Dash "responded with" a prank. How? Did she sneak into the castle and plant it there? And you don't "respond with" an object, you respond by using an object to do something. Tear this whole little moment apart and rewrite it as an actual moment.

>Spike made his way to the library.

Suggests that he was some distance away. What?

>He found the lavender unicorn

There are no words.

Okay, fine, I'll give actual advice. "Lavender Unicorn" epithets instead of pronouns are okay if they somehow *matter.* In this case I would be less mad if you said "the scholarly unicorn" or something.

>He did not hold as vested an interest in magic as Twilight did. However, he respected her thirst for knowledge enough to leave her alone when she was off on one of her tangents, as did her friends.

Evaluate whether explaining things like this is relevant to what's going on. Do so throughout the entire fic and delete any instance that is irrelevant. Your writing can't handle doing things like this without making it clunky.

>her expression had changed

Tense derp.

Past perfect verbs like this mean that the thing happened a while ago, i.e. "Rainbow Dash remembered how hard it had been to take Applejack the first time, but over time it became easier."

>from an expression of curiosity to surprise, mixed with excitement

This is a good lesson in show-don't-tell. It's not inherently bad, but you should keep an eye out for it because more often than not you can create some nice imagery and cute writing flair with show-don't-tell that is lost when you just say "she said excitedly."

Example of show-don't-tell:
Rainbow Dash looked like Applejack was having an incredibly powerful effect on her body.
vs
Rainbow Dash's entire body shook as she wailed at the top of her lungs, neck muscles tensing and tail thrashing.


>wearing an expression of caution

Another bad example, even if it wasn't awkwardly phrased.

>"Meet back here in no more than an hour,” she ordered.

Show-don't-tell applies to things like this too. I'd accept "she ordered" if there was description somewhere else of how Twilight is acting right now i.e. is she pacing, rearing up with her hooves on her desk and giving stern orders, etc.

…I gotta say, I'm not liking your 3rd person omni voice. It's dry.You should use it to get inside all of the characters' heads, not as an excuse to just explain everything with the narrator voice. Maybe it's just that I don't like 3rd person omni in general, I dunno, I don't see it that often.

>“She just needed all seven of us to help and left it at that.” Twilight replied.

Second part isn't a sentence. As such, the dialogue should have a comma. The end of the dialogue's "sentence" is after the dialogue tag.

>Her questions were beginning to grate on Twilight. As much as she loved her friend, at the moment her questions were starting to feel like she was taking a hoof-file and was filing away at her brain. Twilight was about to respond when to her relief, Applejack, the orange coated, blonde maned, level headed farm pony of the group cut her off.

oh my god there is everything wrong with this. See that "as much as she loved her friend?" That's an ambiguous pronoun—I have to think twice to figure out what all the "she"s mean in this little bit.

Separate this into a couple of lines/paragraphs. Talk about Dashie and how she feels/what she does with one paragraph, then Twi with the next.

And I already bitched at you for how you describe Rainbow Dash, so the same thing applies here.



Okay. Your problems with your prose are completely consistent and I haven't even covered all of them because a lot of them are nitpicks with grammar and sentence structure and other assorted bullshit. What I just talked about is plenty of direction, I think—pay extra attention to "show don't tell," it's a very good lesson that is easier than it sounds and will greatly improve your writing.
This post was edited by its author on .

1623

I am through with indnividual nitpicks. I see at least one word choice that I strongly suspect is from a thesaurus, and I have at least one beef with pretty near every single sentence.

Okay wait okay one more nitpick.
>It takes quite a bit of concentration and mana to maintain one for even a second, and even then the most one could achieve is a change in gravity for just an area around one pony.
This is called exposition, or expo-speak, or infodumping, and it is bad. Always find a way to give the reader information without just having one character (or the narrator) lay it all out like this. At the very least, slash it to the bare minimum.

>Twilight had the rather clever idea at the time of reversing gravity to slide down the underside of a rather long spiral staircase. Climbing the staircase would have taken hours otherwise, and time was of the essence.

WE ALREADY KNOW



Comments on your ideas in themselves:

You have a few cute gags, which should be your obective in a comedy fic aside from telling some kind of cute story. In your case, that means having some kind of development as the fic goes i.e. change things up rather than just have Celestia play prank after prank, and then lead up to a big punch line or conclusion. Celestia has some kind of goal/endgame in mind, after all.

You don't play the gravity thing very well. Condense it into a few funny things and get to the point—try to convey the chaos and confusion with rapid jokes. Honestly, this scene should be so short and rapid-fire that hardly anything happens *except* gags.

Seeing as Princess Celestia being a goddess is not everyone's headcanon, limit how often you refer to her as such. Especially the very first time, where you imply that everypony thinks of her as a goddess, which is not true.

Not a lot happens here, and you spend a lot of time doing not a lot. Or maybe it just felt that way because there was so much clunky telling and exposition that I was constantly tempted to close the tab and be all "yep, your problems are totally consistent, imma pretend I read the whole thing but decided to tell you to just work on the systemic problems anyway."

The standard sign-off for a negative review is this: Keep writing. If you can get the systemic problems down, you will be well on your way to better things. You wanted to write a story about Trollestia messing with the m6 mercilessly because of a prank. That's fine. That's a good idea. One of the pranks was anti-gravity. Sure.

And no matter what I made it sound like, you are still a cut above the very dregs of FimFic that everyone makes jokes about.

Also, don't stress too much about fixing this thing up. You will learn by exploring your range as a writer and trying different things out. Editors point out things you did wrong; learning new things can only be done through experimentation. Read popular fanfics to get an idea of what flow and pacing should be like; heck, read real books to get an idea of what flow and pacing should be like. You'll pick up a lot that way, and once you start trying such things out for yourself, you'll be able to grow.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming "The Wanderer's Wife" by ARBPW 1660

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I'll try my hand at this one as well, since no one else is claiming it. Longfics ahoy!

Also: is there anyone here who reviews poetry, or would feel confident enough to take a crack at it? I'm working on a collection of short poems but it's so hard to get good feedback.

Need asstiance for my work! 1700

Greeting to all I'm looking for an editor to help me edit my fan fiction, and possibly original work that I shall be working in the future

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 1705

To any maintainers in the house:

I would like the link for my story changed to this, please:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Opduswm9YkkMx8xE-uyEtVHAImpaMwNcuAtW6a8KI2w/edit

1710

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>>1700
If you have a Pony story that you want reviewed, then please make a post with all the necessary information and submit it to the queue. For your original work, I would suggest submitting it to Garnot's thread here: >>714 or contact Casca in the #fic channel of the Canternet IRC chat room. I also post there often and might consider giving your original story a review if it sounds promising.

1728

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>>1700
>>1710
A better avenue would be to shoot me an email, which is in the trip (the thing that shows up when you hover over my email), but yep, go on ahead. In fact if you submitted it as a regular story to the TG, I would probably pick it up on general principle.

Claiming, "Autumn" 1788

I'll take a peek. Might take me a few days, but it'll get done.

oh man oh man 1790

>>1788

Wait a minute.

>derpy

>tragedy in her past

This isn't THE Minjask story, is it? Because I didn't read it the first time, but…

1791

>>1790
IIRC, that was "A Special Mare."

1792

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>>1790
Tac, I'm insulted. This is absolutely not the same story, and I worked very hard on it. The title isn't even the same. I thought we all agreed to let that die long ago. Azu and perhaps Minty are the only two who have any right to bring that up anymore, because they're the one's who saw it.

"A Special Mare" won't even exist once this story is completed; I erased the G-doc, and I'm going to erase the Fimfiction story when I finish editing this one. The only reason this story even exists is because Seattle said he wanted to see where "A Special Mare" was headed. So I started completely from scratch, and produced this. If you'd care to read it, and see for yourself what it is, I might tolerate your ignorance, because it would no longer be ignorance, but as it stands you are thoroughly rubbing my fur the wrong way, and you don't even have a right to it.
This post was edited by its author on .

!!Applejack 1794

>>1792
>>1790
Seeing as there's some history here, it might be best if this is kept off-site. I'm sure it doesn't need to be made an issue of and we can keep TTG free of an interpersonal issue. If you so choose, mutually deleting these posts might be for the best.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 1795

>>1792

>rubbing you the wrong way


I didn't realize you would get upset about me reminding you about it. Heck, you wrote it, and even if you were embarrassed about the reception, you were comfortable with it at one point.

If anything I was excited to see if you had taken your legendary bad first impression and tried to own it and make it something else.

Really and sincerely, I'm sorry.

Requesting review, Untitled fic, Soul EaterxMLP crossover 1813

Title: Untitled (Soul EaterxMLP crossover, need help with title)
Author: Alisa180
Tags: [Adventure] [Crossover]
Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle is called on to help with an emergency concerncing a city in the desert; a literal city of Death!
Between new friends, and a growing crisis, can she possibly stop the shadow that threatens to engulf not only Equestria, but the whole world?
Link:
Prolouge and Ch 1
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lizPDj10j4K9UOW3RW0uz7-fQ92U-xiE7OkiMHLQa4c/edit
Comments: I'm shooting for EqD! I'm looking for constructive criticism that will help this get there.
I'm already aware that there are several flaws, especially regarding my handling of exposition, as well as possibly Twilight's reactions.
Advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't plan on submitting this to EqD until several chapters are done and have been through the review circuit.

1829

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>>1813
In-doc comments aren't enabled; you will get a much more detailed review if you enable them.

Also I'd suggest changing the title of the doc to something other than SExMLP. Right now it's looks like the title of the worst clop fic ever.
This post was edited by its author on .

1837

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>>1795
Apology accepted. The main thing that upsets me is that nopony will let it die. I want to forget about it, and it's frustrating when I can't even mention Derpy and sad in the same sentence without somepony binging it up again.

1850

>>1829
Okay, I fixed both of the things you mentioned. Thanks for pointing them out!

Dropping “Regina et Equi Nox” by NejinOniwa 1891

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Ugh, so I found out that this was way more than I could handle. It would be negligent of me to try to hold on to this story for any longer, and I sincerely apologize for wasting your time like this.

I shall now walk the walk of shame.


Edit: Notified the author via PM.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review, "Autumn" 1931

Hmm.

Alright, let’s start with a few general points.

-Question: is this some form of sequel or expansion on the story of “Bubbles”? I almost feel that this could the case, and I would gladly argue why I believed so at times, should you be interested, but I want to be sure.

It might be that since this is Derpy, and that I read “Bubbles” a little while ago during one of my other reviews for some context, I am drawing lines that do not exist. For example, I sometimes felt you were making ties between Parcel and Derpy that almost made me feel he could have been the father from that story, and I was thus wondering where you could have been going with it, which would explain some of my confusion when it did not really go where I was expecting.

It might also effect just how I criticize you for this, because, if it is a “Bubbles” expansion, I will likely have some much better advice in a couple places. I believe I could have methods of making this work even better, were it related to that story, but I don’t know, so I cannot assume such. That said, I am going to try and work with this on its own merits as much as possible.

-The whole thing felt like we were supposed to be learning something, and we swung between her in the hospital, her in the dreams, and her with Jack and I wanted to find out more. However, it got confusing where several of the transitions and visions made little sense, like with the introduction and subsequent disposal of Dirk as a plot point.

He just sort of came in and faded out in favor of Jack, and I have no idea of his purpose beyond giving Derpy a kid to think about, and who I also have no ability to comprehend as to why she’s in the story. And then there’s the ending, which made little sense. The old “they were never real” reveal at the end felt oddly used, because I had no idea what true purpose characters like Dirk, or Parcel, or Nurse Redheart, really had in the story to begin with. It almost felt like you were just tossing them aside for no real good reason in favor of a happy ending.

-I also believe this is a third-person omniscient that you don’t use to its fullest potential. It currently feels rather detached and I think you could delve a little deeper into Derpy than the mere actions she and her surrounding characters take.

However, should you decide to keep the narrator detached from Derpy, and thus not mix their voices together, you could probably stand to shake up the narration with a better flow than I have used. Since the narrator is only an observer, you would not be bound to a perhaps simpler language as might be required were you to mix narrator with character.

As an alternative to even that, you might consider replacing Derpy as our protagonist with someone less known, and so avoid some of the conflict about how it sounds entirely, giving you both freedom and reason to be more eloquent with your speech. There were times I had to wonder why you were using Derpy at all, especially given that she rarely sounded like the clumsy little goofball I have often seen her made out to be.



However, without knowing what the goal is, here is a more focused look at points that I think should change, regardless of intent. Let us assume for now that you would not want to swap out our current protagonist for another character, and probably would keep a slightly simpler form of narration.

I didn’t see this as Derpy too often, and I think it has partly to do with how you’re making her talk.

>"It’s no use. I just can’t remember any more of it.”


That isn’t necessarily a bad bit of dialogue, but I think it sounds a little too formal and wordy for the character. How’s this instead?

>"It’s no use. I just can’t remember.”


A lot of the characters have this very long, almost formal sound to their speech and it feels dissonant given your simple sounding narrations.

Speaking of which:

>“Miss Hooves?” A firm but gentle voice called to her. Derpy opened her eyes. She was lying in bed in a white room. There was a second mattress above her. To her left was a window, which showed sunny skies outside, and to her right was a nurse wearing a pale green uniform.


This seems oddly put together and I think you may have been a little too wordy in it at times as well. That and the use of dialogue tags seemed a little strange, both here and throughout other portions.

How’s this instead?

>A firm but gentle voice called to her. “Miss Hooves?” Derpy opened her eyes.


>She was lying on the lower mattress of a bunk-bed inside a white room. To her left was a window, showing the sunny sky outside, and to her right was a nurse wearing a pale green uniform.


The section in which I found this had several paragraphs of dialogue following it, one after another. While you had actions, most of those paragraphs being fairly long, every paragraph of those several began with dialogue, which got a bit repetitive.

I’ll admit, I was trawling about chan and I saw your concern with talking head syndrome recently. Now, I don’t think you’ve entirely fixed it, but you made a start. If this was just long bouts of rambling before now, then you have added some actions and can be congratulated on fixing part of the problem. However, now you need to go through and make this interesting for someone to read as well.

Adding action is a good way of reminding us that these characters are living beings, and deals with talking head syndrome to an extent, but arrangement of action can help too. You do use action before dialogue in more than a couple places, but I feel you could switch things up a bit by using them a little more often, as well as using more paragraphs composed of nothing but narration. Some of the long paragraphs could stand to be split, like the above, while others just need some more variety between them. My own personal rule for repetition of structure (such as for paragraphs and sentences) is “Two is acceptable once in a while, three on rare occasions, but more than that is asking too much.”

For example:

>“Huh? What?” Derpy asked, rubbing her eyes as she sat up.


Becomes

>Derpy rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Huh? What?”


Or these:

>He merely smiled at this. “That’s quite alright. We’ll get to know eachother before too long. Hey! Don’t close the door just yet there, sonny.” Parcel called as they approached the window. “We’ve got one more hungry customer waiting.” The pony behind the window, who had been about to lift a large pot off the stovetop in front of him, slid it back with a smile.


>“Of course, Mr. Flight. She’ll be in for a treat, it’s potato soup today,” the pony said, ladling out a bowl for Derpy.


Become

>He merely smiled. “That’s quite alright. We’ll get to know each other before too long.” Parcel called as they approached the window. “Hey! Don’t close the door just yet there, sonny! We’ve got one more hungry customer waiting!”


>The pony behind the window, who had been about to lift a large pot off the stovetop in front of him, slid it back with a grin.


>“Of course, Mr. Flight,” he said, filling another bowl. “She’ll be in for a treat. It’s potato soup today.”


So, I think you need to go in here and rearrange these a bit further. Also, I think that if simplistic is what you are trying to achieve, you need to make the dialogue and narration mesh a little tighter in their tone as well as rework them to make them sound simpler, instead of just telling us what’s happening. Simplistic doesn’t always mean telling, it means being simple. Don’t use complicated word’s, but still use them in manners that doesn’t get too repetitive, mix it up at least a little more often so as to keep a reader interested.



Well, this is a sort of small overview of the story. I’d be willing to hammer this out with you more in the docs, should you so desire. I’m not the most grammatically skilled at times, true, but I think this could be interesting if it is worked on more to make it a bit more clear towards the conclusion. If you were to have taken this where I originally thought you were going with it, I believe it could have been even better, but that is likely opinion.

It started promising enough, even if rough in its execution, but I had no idea where it was trying to go by the end. If I was given more context as to the story’s purpose, I might be able to take a more in-depth look, but this is just how it looks right now.

Three's A Crowd - Review Acknowledgement 1935

>>1531
Thank you! I'm in the midst of finals right now, but I'll get them into their own docs and make the edits you recommended as soon as I get the chance.
It'd be great if you could review the rest later on, so just let me know if/when you get around to that.
Not sure if you'd know this, but would taking chapters off FiMFic take comments with them, or will the comments be left unscathed?

1941

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>>1931
Haha, Success! Strange as this may sound, you're reacting exactly as I had hoped; you're not supposed to know everything that's going on, but you're supposed to have a clue. I really don't want to spoil the story, but seeing as you're trying to help me write it, I'll need to bend a little.

It's intended that you not fully realize the backgrounds of the characters. This story isn't complete, and I've yet to write the prequel. No, this wasn't supposed to be related to "Bubbles", but the premise is actually quite similar. The prequel is to be a Derpy origin, and also a sad, but the inspiration is actually a song by Jackleapp: Autumn. I strove to emulate that song as best I could in my original abomination: A Special Mare, but what happened was far too broken to hold any water, so I chucked it and started over. The Prequel will show Derpy growing up, but here's the catch: Derpy never remembers the ponies from her past. Jack never has a clue what's going on either, but he helps her through it, but that's to come later.

Anyway, I'm going to tell her backstory from the POV of both Parcelflight her father, if you didn't pick that up and Dirk Daring her late husband. Dinky never exists, but I'll elaborate on that later.


Anyway, I think that answers most of your questions. The rest was probably just lacking in my writing ability, which I will attend to. So, if you're willing to help me tackle it, I would love to go back and forth with you in the Doc.

Thanks for looking at it, and thanks for all the advice.
This post was edited by its author on .

1944

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>>1935
I still have The Lover's Edda, which I've been sadly neglecting. TTG's been slow lately though, so I should have plenty of time afterwards. Which should give you the time to split the doc up by chapter so it doesn't take as long to load.

Review of "Draconequus", Chp. 5 - 7 Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1945

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http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#124636

First off, two disclaimers.

1) I haven't read the previous chapters, so understand the misdirection that I might be coming from. I'll try to compensate for that while raising points, but, well.

2) In my opinion, the most important thing for you to do is finish this, and worry about everything else later.

I'm not going to sugarcoat this for you, but there's not much to not sugarcoat. Chapters 5 to 7 were not bad, but nothing stood out to me, and I'm going to suggest a few possible reasons for this.

Tone and mood
I dunno, man. Maybe it's because I missed out on the setup, the build-up from the first four chapters, but the mood felt decidedly absent. I mean, I was seeing them pace and fret and talk, so I know what was going on, but I couldn't feel it.

This, in turn, I think, is because of the lackluster descriptions. Your scenes and setting never get more than three, four sentences, and after that the characters don't interact much with it, interact being the key thing here. If a room's dusty, make the characters itch and scratch themselves. If a place is muddy, have them scrape off the dried clumps, which do get pretty itchy, after a reasonable amount of time. Or have them wrinkle their noses when the smell of peat hits. Heck, describe the smell of peat! Forests, for example absolutely stink of the smell of life. There's faeces everywhere. Bird faeces in particular have this ocean-y, salty smell - the place where I lived had a duck pond rife with it. Environment is a powerful thing, but it isn't coming to life here because the characters are seemingly unaffected by it - the characters feel separate from the world. This is most evident in Steel Heart's office; this is avoided the most in Twilight's scene in the forest, which I thought was the most well done of all the scenes in the story. You can tell because I was demanding more details to flesh it out more.

While I'm on the matter, you've got plenty of visual descriptions, kinda okay on sensual, but audio and smell components feel decidedly missing. With show and tell, there are five senses at your disposal, and people don't give enough credit to smell and taste. Utilizing more of that rather than just visual will give you a deeper depth, so it's good to keep that in mind when you write, just as a general principle. As for amounts, well, I think you could stand to add more than the current level/ratio you have, but mileage varies with readers.

In addition, you've got a ton of descriptor pronouns, which results in repetition. And repetition is boring. Short, common words like "and", "is", "she" are words that people can glaze over, on account of being common; "young scientist" is not. A good exercise is to try and not repeat yourself with adjectives in narration. Always try to come up with a new way to phrase it, always try to find a new piece of body language that expresses the same mood. I reviewed a story once where half the dialogue tags for a character were "X smiled". I was not too amused.

I think you did fine on sentence structure, seeing as I didn't notice anything too repetitive in that regard, but it's also worth keeping in mind as more general principle.

Spicing up your vocabulary and phrasing would be good. Your prose is okay, it functions, but that's just it - that's all it is. I can't think of any examples, as a result of not having written much the past few days, but I'd recommend you to check out anything by Vladimir Nabakov, who is the extreme of the spectrum. This: http://onemansponyramblings.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/let-me-show-you-barn.html is a good example of what spicing up phrasing would look and feel like.

There's personification (My garbage cans made a run for it), interesting ways of phrasing (my prodigal waste receptacles), that thing like personification but relating to things instead of people (A chorus of chainsaws), spicing up words (piles of branches shorn of their leaves), and plenty of other things that might not be applicable to Draconequus but are still worth learning anyways. The key would be for you to come to terms with your own style, and see which combination of the many, many techniques there are you'd be comfortable with. And the point being to use more of these techniques, rather than the standard text. This is part practice and part realization, so I'll let you deal with that at your pace.

Above all, I think, is the way T.D. treats words. He expresses them with soul, takes us on a journey through the world through his eyes, made intimate by the interjections of his own opinions and thoughts.

Now, you're using 3rd-limited, I should think. That's fine. You can still express scenes and actions through the POV character's eyes. Things which hold more sentimental value would be looked at more. Things which threaten the comfort of one's life would be regarded with wary suspicion, a rising lump in one's throat, or maybe tension in the shoulders. Steel Heart was done on the whole fairly well, but he could have been done better, and this is probably the starting point of how to go about it - him, and other characters that you will undoubtedly write - by letting the character's backstory, needs, wants, desires, the whole shebang leak into the way the surroundings are described. When Steel Heart looks at his little metal badge, you don't have to say much. Something like "Faint recollections stirred at the back of his mind: the smiling, age-worn face of his grandfather, the weary, wrinkled, ever-stern face of his father, both who had worn the badge with pride. Who had been Hearts" would add so much more depth to the situation, rather than just "He adjusted his badge". It's not necessarily relevant to the plot, but it would establish the mood and tone, and with a [Dark] story like this, that's a main selling point.

Even so, I've got a couple of gripes with Twilight. You've got her presented decently, but she's just somepony who's done nothing but largely be scared, tone-wise. It's, eh, repetitive. Isn't there something she can do to keep her mind off it, so as to be not so one-dimensional? She could try to engage in hobbies. Her friends could try to kick her out of her slump. And that would create a deviation in mood, which would make Twilight more alive, because that's what people are like - they're not just one mood all the time.

Hmm…

The bits with Celestia were necessary, I guess, but utterly forgettable, on account of not having them do anything toward solving the problem, simply discovering it, which was what we readers could guess pretty much from the graying and the title. If the ending involves Celestia saving the day, though, this chapter would justify it because it would work as a setup to that end.

Potential plotholes, logical fallacies, etc. in the line-by-line.

Oh, one last thing: all questions are rhetoric, and are my way of telling you that things are unclear to me as a reader. If I ask you for clarification and you need to answer me via comment, then that means you need to put the info into your story. There's quite a few details that need to be made clearer, especially Steel Heart being the descendant of a Heart, because the connection flew over my head amazingly, and I felt almost cheated when I was told this via comment. I've gone over all your responses, so you're good to go.

So, yeah. tl;dr develop your style. Plenty of time to do it, though - all that's needed is to keep writing.

Review Acnowledgement cheezesauce 1953

File: 1354711910669.jpg (41.39 KB, 480x379, 556575_3418427456374_114048448…)

>>1945

Thanks a lot for reviewing. You aren’t the first person to tell me that my descriptions are weak. I’ve been trying to work on that lately. It’s hard to get right, but I do end up lucky every now and then. I guess it’s just one of those things that come with practice.

I think the excessive descriptor pronouns came about after I was told that I didn’t have enough of them. I’ve overdone it, and I couldn’t even see it for myself.

Celestia… well, Celestia actually pulls of a Deus Ex Machina at the end, which I’m trying very hard not to make it seem like one. Something tells me that it’s still gonna get picked on anyway.

You’re right about Twilight being a one dimensional scared-out-of-her-life pony. I find that there’s so little space between the action bits to let her mood change. She’s always getting chased or discovering creepy stuff, and she’s always thinking about the danger that she’s been placed in. Darn these horror stories…

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1955

File: 1354721973749.png (80.17 KB, 374x388, float.png)

>>1953
>Celestia… well, Celestia actually pulls of a Deus Ex Machina at the end, which I’m trying very hard not to make it seem like one. Something tells me that it’s still gonna get picked on anyway.
There are two fun ways you could go about it. Either have it come at a great cost, a little too late, for a bittersweet ending, or subvert it - Celestia comes but the cost of the solution, or requirements, or conditions, hits like a surprise. There's also the way of making the reader relieved with the Deux Ex Machina - really, the thing is as long as it's what people want to read, you're good. Kinda. Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray, My Little Dashie…

>You’re right about Twilight being a one dimensional scared-out-of-her-life pony. I find that there’s so little space between the action bits to let her mood change. She’s always getting chased or discovering creepy stuff, and she’s always thinking about the danger that she’s been placed in. Darn these horror stories…

You can always make space. There'd be at least two, three hours in between where she and her friends could just chill. Like have an indoor picnic, maybe, or something suitably light, where they do nothing but chill. It might sound boring, but I don't think it would be - it's a relief which people may very well take in their stride. Just don't have it too close to the ending.

Requesting review, Caveat Emptor: let the buyer beware Brony Z-Ro 1956

File: 1354724167166.png (486.38 KB, 829x664, 5117.png)

Wow, the thread move really threw me. Finally found it though.

Title: Caveat Emptor: Let the Buyer Beware

Tags: [dark][adventure]

Synopsis:
Twilight Sparkle is overworked. She's hearing voices, has constant headaches, and even parts of her memory are going blank. But when her friends show the same symptoms, these annoyances suddenly seem more sinister. Searching for answers, Twilight makes a horrifying discovery about a pony she has held in the highest esteem, and is presented with a choice that will change the course of history…


Links:
All the published chapters are here, http://www.fimfiction.net/index.php?view=referrers&story=5117

The chapter that really needs review is chapter four, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gqmsWeEySm_ZCbnFU_IX8aQX-iE07IUrCAyC2pI2-2E/edit


Anyway, hope whoever claims this likes it. I haven't gotten very consistent reviews, but I'm pretty sure the negative ones are more accurate. Already used up a strike on EQD, so want it to be much better.

Way old review that should have been months ago. Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 1962

File: 1354739698128.jpg (7.09 KB, 227x222, 368359824.jpg)

Okay, so, I probably owe somepony a huge apology for this, but I found some time and, well, I decided to finish it so, yay. This is a review of the second half of “My Little Old Rebublic” by AidanMaxwell.

>>Chapter 6

And the first thing I notice:
>Twilight smiled as well, reaching her hoof up to her ear and lowering her mouthpiece that hung there. “This is Lieutenant Sparkle, calling Volcano Base for clearance to hot-drop.”
Twilight should be placing a request, not a call. [i]”This is Lieutenant Sparkle to Volcano Base, requesting clearance to hot-drop.”
>“Copy that,” came a voice from over the microphone. “Hot-drop clearance given.”
They wouldn’t say ‘given’; it would be ‘granted’.

I’m a bit shocked that Twilight is suddenly a badass gunslinger with a huge cannon, when the whole time she’s been saying she wasn’t cut out for combat. I mean, yeah, special op and all, but come on!

Also, why the buck does Scootaloo know more about what she’s doing than Rainbow Dash? I mean, seriously, she’s a freaking wonder bolt! Doesn’t that mean anything? The best thing I’ve seen RD do so far is pop off a few Seps while taking multiple hits herself because she’s standing in place. I really wish you’d fix this.

As for the ending: I actually forgot about Bellis, but I’m glad you wrapped that up. I’m guessing you’re just going off of the ‘Spitfire and soarin were greedy fucks who were corrupted from the start’ schpeal because I really don’t see another way to rationalize their actions. Blind and dumb, but some criminals are I suppose.


Once again I must apologize profusely for putting it off so long, considering it really shouldn’t have been dropped in the first place. There’s honestly nothing particularly wrong with it.
This post was edited by its author on .

1966

>>1941

I'd be happy to try and give you whatever help I am able to provide. See you in the docs, Messr. Rain.

What She Didn't Want 1985

File: 1354767481103.png (328.92 KB, 1145x930, Flutterjack.png)

Title: "What She Didn't Want"
Author: Dubs Rewatcher
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Shipping][Slice-of-life][Sad]

Synopsis: When Fluttershy first came to the ground, everything seemed to be looking up for her. But after she is caught in a rough storm, she begins to have second thoughts. She is found by an earth filly, who quickly convinces her that perhaps the ground isn't the worst place in the world—and, at the same time, forges a bond that will last their entire lives.

LINK: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bSRmr-a3Hm5FpsRlIB_EdNlBsm-pW3zshlGwqKZVsZA/edit



Welp. It's been quite a while since I submitted something serious here! This is my first real attempt at shipping, and I'm very confident about it. I'm considering reworking it to get rid of the shipping aspect, and just focus on friendshipping, but I'd like another opinion. Those who have read it already have said that they liked it, but found it a bit boring.

1986

>>1985
Okay, two things: 1) Enable comments, please; and 2) submit your story to the spreadsheet here: http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit

Also this is a claim.

2007

>>1986
Comments enabled. Submitting now.

Sorry. :\
It's been a while.

Disgraced Equ-us 2067

Title: Disgraced
Author: Equ-us
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Shipping]

Synopsis: After it is discovered that Rainbow Dash cheated her way into the Wonderbolts, her life is shattered. Rejected and ashamed, she returns home to her friends, where Pinkie Pie is left to pick up the pieces.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1njz7oD8lvAbckFZNM23OwgJJQcfvyuU235iBUvLD9YI/edit

Comments: From EQD - Better, but still not quite there. Problems with spelling (typos), punctuation (dialogue punctuation, lack of commas where needed), questionable portrayal of characters, and show versus tell (character actions, expression of emotion, lack of description/detail) are present within the story and should be addressed during the editing process.

They also mentioned that it fell flat emotionally.

This actually on its last strike. I was going give up on it, but I figured I might as well give it a final shot.

Claiming "Disgraced" 2134

>>2067

Might as well leap right in and give this a try.

Mike

Review of "Disgraced" 2152

>>2067

Well, I've read through the story three times now:

And I'm still not sure what Rainbow Dash did exactly. The synopsis says that she "cheated her way into the Wonderbolts," but there's no indication of that anywhere in the story. All I know is that a mare's in the hospital, and Dash keeps saying over and over that she didn't do it until she finally admits to Pinkie that she did indeed do it. Did Dash have a reason for putting this other pony in the hospital? Why isn't Dash being arrested for assault? Is she avoiding jail time by accepting her dismissal from the Wonderbolts and leaving Canterlot? I have a lot of questions, in other words. The scene where Applejack confronts Dash is the obvious place for all the details to come out, but as the story is now, I have no idea what they're talking about and no idea what happened.

The shipping aspect of it took me by surprise, too. Are Dash and Pinkie in a romantic relationship before the story starts? Because there's no build-up to it in the story itself. Pinkie just suddenly tells Dash she loves her, and the next paragraph refers to Pinkie as Dash's marefriend.

For this to be a story about a "rejected and ashamed" Dash returning to Ponyville "where Pinkie Pie is left to pick up the pieces," I would need to know the nature of Dash's shame and rejection, and I'd need the picking up the pieces process to take more than the three minutes of conversation it does now. This could be a fine little story, but you've got to dig deeper into the characters and their motivations.

Mike

Claiming "The Sixth Age" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2154

File: 1354896031185.png (190.63 KB, 500x647, 132641576229.png)

Not that anyone likely remembers me, but either way, I'm back. The term has ended, I've settled into a new apartment, and I can finally get back to doing fun things.

First and foremost, however, I'd like to give a public apology to Writer's Block for my inability to keep on task with his work during the last few months. Between starting school again, moving, and not having consistent internet, its one of the many things that fell through the cracks. He and I have talked and come to terms (largely due to his initiative, not mine) but I still wanted to give a public apology before I started up here again. Step in with a clean slate, as it were.

All that aside, I'll be picking up tactical's The Sixth Age to start myself off.

Posted: 11/28 (charity)
Link: >>1612
Title: The Sixth Age
Author: Tactical!Rainboom

2155

File: 1354896331531.jpg (11.09 KB, 225x225, suwako_happy.jpg)

>>2154
Pshaw, nah, I remember you. Welcome back!

Grif 2156

>>2154
morning, I think you mean this link: >>1621

Re: Claiming "The Sixth Age" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2157

>>2156

Yes. Yes I do.

Posted: 11/28 (Charity)
Link: >>1621
Title: The Sixth Age
Author: Tactical!Rainboom

Thank you kindly, grif

2158

File: 1354896935304.png (74.94 KB, 649x732, Trixie_notamused.png)

>>2067
Also, you piqued my interest. So expect a ninja-review in addition to Augie Dog's.

alexmagnet, you there? Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2159

File: 1354898569442.jpg (194.06 KB, 989x742, byq6h.jpg)

Hi.

Someone marked you as having pledged to review "Wandering" by NejinOniwa (http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#124834) but neglected to link the post where you made that claim. Furthermore, I can't find any evidence anywhere of such a claim, and there are no comments on the queue entry indicating the claim was made through some other medium, i.e. email or the IRC. Was this a mistake, or are you actually going to review that story?

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 2160

Oh shi-

Hey! Morning_Angles! Don't review the FimFic version. I had the one in the spreadsheet updated to Google Docs, but the post is still outdated.

edit: herp, went to paste the link and saw his comments
This post was edited by its author on .

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2161

>>2160
Don't worry, I found it. Thanks though :3

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 2172

File: 1354908140620.gif (111.81 KB, 640x360, how did you do that.gif)

>>2159
I swear I'm losing my mind. I updated that about a week ago. It was there, I swear! Maybe he deleted the post and I never saw due to still having the thread open. Either that or I really am going crazy. Must be the latter since I always post the link… I don't even know.

Review Request 2183

Hey, this thread got a lot more active since I last visited. Nice.

Title: The Unexpected History of Golden Oaks Library
Tags: [Normal]
Synopsis: After living there for so many years, Twilight decides it's high time to research the history of her treehome in Ponyville. Though it starts simply enough, it isn't long before she starts to uncover some very unusual things in the history of the seemingly normal small town library.
Link (Chapter 1): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-qmQBzA85hzRxVq-1EwTo49sVH3X7yCPvOAERJaHHts/edit
Words: ~5.8K
Comments: Alright, this right here is my first non-Dark fic. Time to see if I can really make it through a whole story without killing anyone. My usual concerns when writing has to do with pacing and clarity, though I'm told I also use more adverbs, comma splices, and filler words than I have any right to (not to mention some rather repetitive styles of sentence structure). Plus, there's the concern I have with every first chapter of any new story I write, which is that what I've done is a bit too dull to really go anywhere without feeling forced.

Anyway, that's all the usual paranoia I've got when I'm starting a new story. Cheers in advance to whoever decides to try this one, whether they like it or not.
This post was edited by its author on .

2184

File: 1354928558010.jpg (15.17 KB, 413x314, Twilight 29.jpg)

>>2183
>Title: The Unexpected History of Golden Oaks Library
>mfw I read that as Gary Oaks Library at first.

Anyway, I'd suggest fixing the first sentence so that it's more obvious that it's her home at the library and not anywhere she used to live. I know her home in Ponyville should be the place that comes to mind, but that's not what I thought of at first.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Request: "In Their Highnesses' Clandestine Corps" 2185

Title: In Their Highnesses' Clandestine Corps
Author: AugieDog
E-mail: [email protected]
Tags: [Adventure][Shipping]

Synopsis: Prince Blueblood dislikes being secret agent Double-O-Zeta, but since no pony does it better, the princesses won't let him quit. On the trail of the mad unicorn Green Briar, Blueblood arrives in Ponyville and runs into Rainbow Dash, already investigating the odd new pony in the area. She resents this jerkwad of a prince suddenly butting in, but when circumstances force the two to work together, the unexpected feelings they arouse in each other might prove more dangerous than anything Green Briar has planned.

Links:
Act I: The Stallion with the Golden Horn - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1spFMKHHQJYpITP-GDjSIv-BoLXC-qqIuqSA6rZ8vaFA/edit?pli=1
Act II: Octopony - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V02DSIDqYWREnRQiDWuPEii0nkGA6aFsxNrfsh8HL1M/edit?pli=1
Act III: Thunderbow - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RfDMf1Ul0muri-Glp8ulkdU3DD1gfTvuJezqo2KRDE0/edit?pli=1

Comments/Requests: >>1617 is where I posted this review request a week and a half ago, but I've since been told by several folks—including the reviewers at SALT—that I should have posted it here. So I'll apologize and try to follow the instructions from now on.

The story's complete at just over 26,000 words, so while I'd like comments covering the whole thing, I'll appreciate however much anyone can manage. It's on its second strike from EqD largely due to my "awkward phrasing"—if anyone would like to see the strike letters, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oG9IUKIlhb1oaP8Xqt9gi0ax1isSqrTAOpef9xEbYuc/edit has the complete text of both. I've been revising busily, but I know it's still got issues with overly convoluted sentences. So any help will be great.

Thanks,
Mike

2194

>>2184

Yeah, that synopsis is a bit vague in that regard. I'll keep that in mind for the future (I'd change it now but I don't think I can edit posts here).

2198

>>2194
>This post was edited by its author on Fri, 07 Dec 2012 20:03:07.
See: >>2184

Edit: Scroll to the bottom of the page and look in the right hand corner.
This post was edited by its author on .

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 2199

>>2194
To edit a post, simply click the check box in the top left corner of the post you want to edit, then scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Click the edit button in the bottom right corner, and your post should pop up with editing available. Enjoy
This post was edited by its author on .

Well, I feel silly Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2205

File: 1354997002296.jpg (45.09 KB, 597x527, twilight-extreme-facehoof.jpg)

Ctrl-F yielded nothing in either thread for "alexmagnet" yet I recently found a post by "alex!magnet9W5w". That bang mark made all the difference.

Grif, just letting you know, "Wandering" is covered, though if you feel inclined, go ahead and review it (NejinOniwa will probably appreciate the extra help).

My bad.

2209

>>2199
>>2198

Well how about that! Learn something new every day. Edited it, hopefully it's a bit clearer now.

2210

>>2209
Eeyup! If you ever have any questions or wanna know more about the features/functions, check out out >>/site/616 , or feel free to ask any of the staff. There should also be some new features and such coming as soon as possible, more options and functions, so everyone is encouraged to be on the look out for announcements. (You can also hit me up on my Skype or Steam anytime, all connected to the email in the email field.)

Review Acknowledgement Equ-us 2211

>>2152
Thanks for the review. I guess I need to make the connection between 'Cheated her way into the Wonderbolts' and the mare in the hospital more clear.

I've already rewritten it. Do I need to make a new post requesting another review, or just resubmit it using the form, or what?

>>2158
Or would you be willing to do a write up as well?

[i]Unmarked[/i], Part the First: What Do? 2212

>>1463

I have to admit defeat. My opinion of this story is extremely confused.

I read as far as the start of the rhyming Everfree. That's when I realized the following aspects of my reader-response:

1 - I am more interested in analysing your poetry than anything that happens to the characters. (For starters, consonance between "on" and "calm" doesn't occur in my accent; the first is /An/ and the second /kam/ …)

2 - Novell is surrounded by mysterious intellectual know-it-alls who I can't tell one from the other.

3 - I'd like more shipping with Whisper, please.

4 - I do not remember why they were trying to make it to Canterlot.

5 - Oh, and apparently there's some kind of unspeakable ancient evil, who I can't find all that menacing.

Sometime between Hoofington and leaving the inn, I fell off the rails of this story. But I can't shake the suspicion that it's somehow my problem, that this is one of those cases where "Unmarked" + Wings might be a bad match.

You'll need at least one more opinion if you're trying to get a good picture of your story as a whole. After all, if folks are sending you fanwork of your stuff, you're probably doing something right.

So, I'm going to take a slice of the story: the Hoofington chapters and do those in depth.

Next up: The Outline

Unmarked - Review Acknowledgement 2213

File: 1355012348217.jpg (115.27 KB, 500x370, Chapter 1.jpg)

>>2212

Thank you for the criticism. I'll just jump right into the numbers.

1. I'm not a poetry or rhyming kind of man. I do it sparingly and I find it difficult to do correctly, so any way you can see to help that, please let me know.

2. Quills and Scrolls I can understand, because you've only just met them and I really don't give Scrolls the character development I gave anyone else. As for Professor Search, I'm sad that you feel the way you do. Means I'm not doing my job correctly. How would I go about fixing this, in your opinion? A lot of people have enjoyed the Professor more than everypony else, aside from Whisper.

3. The WhisperxNovell shipping comes slowly and, I hope, naturally. I'm not a 'fall in love at first sight and get busy' kind of romance writer. I prefer to have the story unfold and the characters get to know each other better before anything like 'love' happens. This may be because of the way love works in Anime, though, with one person unknowing and the other with the reader seeing right through the. But I hope it isn't as angsty and does feel nice, especially with the eventual [spoilers]payoff[/spoilers].

4. Oh? That's a shame. The beginning of the story outlines the need to go to Canterlot, but the events inside the mountain further act as an impetus. I admit that my writing is somewhat meandering. Any tips?

5. Ah, the ancient evil. I had hoped he was menacing enough with his treatment of Professor Search and the twins. But despite that, it seems I have failed. It may be because I had originally started out with the intention of having Unmarked be closer to the cartoon, with a cartoony vilain. Though it doesn't help either of us, the ancient evil does eventually do things and turns into a darker villain. In fact, the rest of the story does the same as soon as the first arc ends. The Griffon Kingdoms are definitely the turning point into more mature themes. So I would welcome any tips to maybe make him a little more frightening or interesting. As an addition, the ancient evil is more supposed to be a background thing, a threat hanging over the story, rather than a visible one. I suppose rather much like some rationalize King Sombra's appearance in Season 3, though my ancient evil does a great deal more through the course of my story.

I'm not entirely sure it is your fault, which is a very big part of the reason I decided to ask for help here on the /fic/ board. Unmarked was good enough to reach a Star-5, but that was only the first few days and, thusly, the first few chapters that people voted on. So I'm worried my succeeding chapters fail to keep up to the first few (if even they are up to snuff).

As for the fanart, I'm happy people like my stuff enough to send me it, but the vast majority of readers aren't literature connoisseurs, with all that implies.

I eagerly await further review and once again thank you for taking the time to read Unmarked this far. I hope it eventually meets your taste.
This post was edited by its author on .

Grif 2215

>>2211
Consider mine to be your second review then.

Chasing Clouds 2264

File: 1355108872115.png (445.44 KB, 994x559, Cloudchaser_and_Flitter_S2E22.…)

[Shipping]

https://docs.google.com/document/d/19DOFZg9TVWZCSxwpJ5WNbdReF7fXAqMuzN2OebyCCfg/edit

Synopsis: When Cloudchaser transfers into Flitter's class, they become fast friends. But when Flitter's old friends reject the new kid, Flitter wonders if her feelings for Cloudchaser are greater than friendship.

>Any thoughts on how I could make my synopsis better would be appreciated.


>SLP said it felt rushed in parts, though he didn't mark them because he thought it was intentional which it wasn't.

The Mare and the Mountain 2266

Tags: [Sad]
Synopsis: Thousands of years after Equestria has been reduced to a barren wasteland, an empress returns to the home she failed to protect to face the ghosts of her past.
Links: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18Yse-eLPzXfg22csprsv0Jor7RQQNF1cvMzd8P-dLzQ/edit
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/59146/the-mare-and-the-mountain
Comments/Requests: The pre-reader at Equestria Daily said:
• Relatively rare comma splices.
• Capitalization errors, especially with titles replacing names.
• Commas are always needed before direct address in dialogue.
• Comparatively rare dialogue tagging mistakes, becoming more prevalent as the tale continues, and especially in dialogue interspersed with narrative. For example, this : “Come on,” she said, “It’s time to go“ / Should be: “Come on,” she said. “It’s time to go
• >the mare // Look, I get this is a device, but over 100 uses? You REALLY need to mix this up. After the first couple paragraphs, there’s no ambiguity as to who the character is, so why the insistence on forcing it? This issue bleeds over into the opening in the way you’re setting the scene. Consider streamlining the intro to address this pacing issue, as your previous pre-reader noted. Poignancy, my friend, does not naturally occur with more words.
• There’s a niggling sense of dissonance with your timeline. For instance, the narrative reveals Equestria to be essentially a barren, lifeless waste, and then suddenly Spike, not even fully grown with a dragon’s indeterminate lifespan, but still an adolescent; this happens in a ‘recent’ memory. Granted, we’re dealing with the recollections of a disturbed immortal, but try to lend some clarity to this matter.
• Ellipses inconsistencies.

———

So, I have to say, I went into this piece expecting a carbon copy of the same theme on the woes of eternal life that I’ve seen a hundred times. I’m pleased to say that I stand corrected. This is a pretty engaging tale. The above issues aside, I would recommend only casting some more light on the nature of the tragedy that befell the land, that claimed Luna’s life, and bit more on the period that Twilight rules and the main six. This IS a good piece, but by god, it could be a lot better, and I believe you’re capable of pulling it off.
I strongly suggest you seek out a few reviews for grammar and thematic execution. Two prominent places to get quality feedback are mlpchan’s and ponychan’s /fic/ boards.

Check Eqd’s Editor’s Omnibus if you are unfamiliar or have questions regarding the noted issues.

This is strike two of three. Edit and revise thoroughly before resubmission, but with careful and judicious attention, I have little doubt you need fear the third round.

Best regards,
Pre-reader Seattle
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming "Untitled fic, Soul EaterxMLP crossover" 2281

>>1813

Well, well, another anime crossover I actually have some clue about.

I've only watched the anime dub, so be warned this is not the most comprehensive knowledge (no OVA's, manga, etc. will be covered) But if you need at least a glance over, I can be your Huckleberry.

I liked the anime, and watched it beginning to finale, so I'm admittedly intrigued to see how you bring might bring these worlds a-crashing together.
This post was edited by its author on .

Fragment 2290

Title: Fragment
Tags: AU, Adventure
Word Count: 5875 (for Chapter 1)
Synopsis:
The arrow of time moves from past to future. Try to change what’s set in stone, and causality loops as a circle. But introduce a paradox and reality twins. The journey of life doubles, and what might have become, is…

Much further downstream the river of time, a desperate experiment has unexpected consequences. An unwilling traveler of time and space, Twilight Sparkle becomes face-to-face with herself in an Equestria utterly unfamiliar to her. Gargantuan machines scar the land as they march into the chaos of war, great engines drive the sun and moon across the unfamiliar sky, and the spectre of Discord’s thousand-year reign haunts the landscape, threatening to drown all that stands. The legacy of the mysterious disappearance of Princesses Celestia and Luna over a thousand years ago.

For one Twilight Sparkle, it is all she knows. But the other can see all that is wrong with the world. Equestria shattered, the Elements of Harmony broken, a world torn by unrelenting storms of chaos magic. Through the earth-shaking tremors of a Rune War, Twilight Sparkle must teach her other self the power of friendship, and bring dawn to a dying world…

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ozHsRkAQgOWqmN0Oz1LWoJFS-CZ1-kw9AtxmZNG_nGM/edit

This is Chapter 1, I have 4 other chapters currently written, but they have not been formatted in quite the same way yet.

This is the review the EQD pre-reader gave me:

"Okay, you’ve got something here. This is one of the most interesting AU fics I’ve seen in some time, and you maintain the balance between intrigue and ambiguity just enough to keep the reader off balance, yet thoroughly engaged.

I strongly suggest you seek out a few reviews for grammar and thematic execution. Two prominent places to get quality feedback are mlpchan’s and ponychan’s /fic/ boards."

Claiming "Azusa's Guide to Tags" 2292

>>1347

I've already put a couple comments on the Google Doc for this, so I might as well make it official. :)

Mike

Sorry for the delay: Primary Colors Umbra!S7TySB6rOM 2294

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#i124932

I've had some rather important obligations to complete lately. I'll finish reviewing this within the hour and have the write-up by 10 pm Pacific.

Review: Primary Colors Umbra!S7TySB6rOM 2297

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#i124932

Well, look at that. It took less time than I thought it would.

Comments are in-doc, but I'll briefly explain the pros and cons.

Pros:

1) Very thorough descriptions. Too thorough at some points, in fact. More on that in a moment.

2) Great start to what seems like a promising war story. While I'm always skeptical of war stories (it's difficult to top the existing ones), you're doing rather well.

3) Nice character interaction and banter in general. Good dialogue is always a relief.

4) Stupendous editing. I'm not sure if you edited this alone or if you've had it looked at by other reviewers, but aside from some minor mistakes, your grammar is excellent.

Cons:

1) Your use of swearwords. I am not, by any means, against using them. Like I explained in the document, though, they should be few and far between. If not used in the exact right context, they take away from the maturity of the story; they make it seem like a middle school boy's attempt to sound like a badass in the lunchroom.

2) Purple prose. Your descriptions were excellent, but sometimes crossed the line into being WAY too flowery. Now, the definition of purple prose is not objective, so I would recommend getting a second opinion before a major overhaul. Personally, I found it irritating, but not damning.

3) Use of onomatopoeia. This is an extreme nitpick; honestly, I don't mind them, but some pre-readers prefer that you describe the sound rather than using a sound effect word. Food for thought.

Everything else is explained thoroughly in the comments. Overall, your story was quite good. Nice work, good luck on the edits.

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2298

File: 1355290364173.png (142.86 KB, 1067x749, 132636101144.png)

>Use of onomatopoeia. This is an extreme nitpick; honestly, I don't mind them, but some pre-readers prefer that you describe the sound rather than using a sound effect word. Food for thought.

This. All of my rage for onomatopoeia, but I can never fault anyone for using it because it's also just a personal nitpick.

Also, I had a question: Are we trying to get everyone over to this site, or will we be posting reviews to whatever site the request was posted to? ie; ponychan reviews to the ponychan thread, and mlpchan reviews to the mlpchan thread. Both threads seem to be moving at about the same speed based on the last couple days' posts, and I'm fine either way. Just curious if there was some grand and master plan I wasn't aware of with this move.

Grif 2303

>>2298
>will we be posting reviews to whatever site the request was posted to? ie; ponychan reviews to the ponychan thread, and mlpchan reviews to the mlpchan thread.
I would do this, though for now, I claim reviews only on Ponychan.

Brony Z-Ro 2312

Huh. Not sure how, but the link I gave to my story was broken.

Thankfully, noone's clicked it yet, so no harm done. Real link is http://www.fimfiction.net/story/5117/caveat-emptor-let-the-buyer-beware

Review of "Untitled fic, Soul EaterxMLP crossover" 2326

This is going to need quite a deal of elbow grease to get her presentable for EQD. But you know that, hence why you’re here, so let’s see what it’ll take to start polishing it up nice and spiffy.

I always like to start with the biggest gripes and try to whittle my way down. So, here goes:

***

Story

It isn’t that the story’s not interesting, it just whistles by so fast that I can’t really quite catch it. You’ve got the pacing of a runaway bullet train; slow down and build this world up more, especially considering that this is a crossover and some of us would have no idea what new and exciting things such a mashup means. Assume that your audience has only seen MLP, and has no idea what Soul Eater is, and react appropriately by building on what that places rules are in as timely a manner as possible.

You seem so eager to get the plot moving that you neglect to indulge us a bit too. Emotions, sensations, and other such tidbits help us connect with your story. Give us something to sink our teeth into. Your scenery could do with so much more description, and putting more humph in.

Another thing to remember is that, unless you tell us in either implicit or explicit language, we won’t see what you are trying to show us.

Put yourself into the situation of our protagonist, a smart and curious magician, and think long and hard about everything she would do. Would she gasp in shock at the splendors of Death City? Would she demand of herself to be cautious and controlled, but the sheer quantity of new things there are to learn here overwhelms her and makes her just as giddy as a filly again? Would she take the heat of a place in the desert well, or would she almost want to die from the dry air and hot sand that gets absolutely everywhere? How viciously would she read her books and study, trying to understand this new world before being sent on such an important mission? You hit the basic notes, but you don’t take us very deep within them, which is a shame because Soul Eater is a very fun universe to visit, full of a very special breed of insanity.

The first few chapters are your primary world-building. They’re your chance to introduce our main characters, at least hint at our main conflict if not establish it, and create our primary setting and mood. So take some time on these chapters. They’re your hook and they’re what will decide if people continue reading or abandon your fic entirely.

***

Plot

There are numerous questions which are left unanswered, or seemingly ignored entirely, and rules (mostly for the Soul Eater universe) that seemed oddly bent for no real reason.

-For example, our first encounter with a weapon and their meister is the mysterious swordspony. Now tell me, how often have you seen a weapon ever being sheathed in the Soul Eater universe? Most of the weapons stay in their human form (in this case pony form) and only become a weapon when it’s time to fight. There’s no need for the swordspony to carry his partner in a sheath if said partner is fully capable of moving on his own.

You do make an issue of how some of them are losing the ability to transform, but if this is the reason for not doing so at all, it will need to be properly explained at some point. Maybe some of the meisters and/or their weapons are so terrified of leaving the world defenseless, that the weapons are remaining permanently in their battle form until the mystery is solved. This could put a great deal of stress on both weapons and their meisters, due to the fact that the weapons are no longer able to assume a mobile form that can talk to other people, or even eat. It also means that the meister’s are having to carry their partners everywhere, and keep them at their sides at all times. This can create some interesting drama, with testy meisters and weapons that are desperate for a solution to be reached before they snap.

-Our little unicorn filly that Twilight encounters in chapter 1

Okay, so she appears to be a witch, one of the biggest enemies of the meisters. However, something you’re going to need to establish is: what separates a “witch” from any other unicorn? Could Twilight ever be considered a witch, for example? After all, she uses magic too, and some pretty darn powerful magic. What makes her any different from little Morning Glory?

-This statement, made by Twilight, in regards to Luna’s letter:

>Another thing that worried her was Luna’s insistence that Twilight’s friends not come along. Were her friends not one of Twilight’s greatest assets? Nevertheless, she trusted Luna’s judgement.


You said that they would be sent along later, if she needs them, but this makes little sense. In the Crystal Pony crisis, they sent the whole gang for precisely the reason Twilight thinks they should do so now. So, no, you have no excuse here to not have all six go along. You need a better explanation than “Maybe later”. It needs to be a concrete reason, something like, “Large groups would draw too much attention” or “This sort of problem is way beyond them”.

-Come to think of it, why is the ability to transform into a weapon so unique? You need to make this law clearer to encompass why this is so special in a universe where likely at least one third of its most numerous inhabitants possess magical abilities (We’ve seen spells do all sorts of tricks, like making a top hat out of a rock and alter ages. Pony-to-weapon just seems a logical step up from stuff like that).

Can earth ponies or pegasi transform into weapons too? Does race affect weapon type? Why can’t griffons or other such species be weapons, only meisters? What makes ponies so special in this regard?

-Why doesn’t anyone but a strangely select group know about Death City, despite it apparently being such a poorly kept secret?

For an 800 year-old city that Twilight has no idea exists, it’s kind of strange she meets a pony who tells her its common knowledge in the area. (In a bizarre, seemingly one-off usage of Vinyl Scratch for our exposition. She pops up, spouts our necessary dialogue, and disappears, never to be thought of again by the looks of things.)

Is there absolutely no communication between Los Pegasus and the rest of the world? Why would no one think it’s important to note the existence of an entire city that they know about? Especially if it’s an actual place the train makes a stop, either before or after going to Los Pegasus? No-one thought to say “This might need to be on the map” for any reason?

-Bit of a logic hole.

>“Well,” The other pony said, “I wasn’t either, so its both on us.” The other pony, an earth pony, had a white coat, green eyes, and her ashy blonde mane was done up in pigtails. A book with a picture of a scythe on the cover served as her cutie mark.


Okay, so the scene is thus. Twilight isn’t looking where she’s going, drawn in by the scenery as she is, and Maka is too busy reading her book to notice Twilight.

Crash. Bang. Hilarity.

However, here’s a question. How was Maka reading that book? She has no magic (earth pony), so was she just holding the book in her lips? It’s kind of awkward to read like that. A foreleg might be better, but it probably isn’t much more comfortable when you’re trying to read and the book keeps bouncing up and down as you hobble awkwardly through the streets on three legs.

-This statement, made by Twilight

>“I’m actually looking for either the Grim Reaper, or the headmaster of the school.”


Why doesn’t she know this? Either Luna should have explained this to her, or she should have read up on it on the train ride to Death City. There is not much of an excuse on her to be in the dark on this particular information.

-This little moment when asking for directions:

> The pony actually chuckled, “No map of this place. Defeats the purpose. Is there someplace you’re looking for in particular?”


Why are there no maps? The anime didn’t give the characters any maps because the characters were already established in this place and so didn’t need directions around their own school which they have been attending regularly for years.

Twilight’s new here.

It defeats the purpose? How? How does making sure your students actually find their classrooms defeat the purpose of a school? This makes no sense.

Just asking for directions would have been fine, but mentioning maps just so he can say “we don’t have maps” and give her directions adds nothing but a confusing layer to the baffling choices already being made by the characters.

-This statement, by Spirit:

> Twilight turned her head to see that Spirit was walking towards the door, “I’m going to see my daughter!” He replied, “I’d also like to get home early to my wife,” he chuckled, “Don’t want her thinking I’ve been hitting the cabaret club.”


Spirit in the anime was divorced from his wife because he’s a fairly shameless womanizer and alcoholic, which also led to quite a rift between him and Maka. She practically loathes her father, who she felt abandoned her and her mother for his own selfish indulgences.

Why is this universe different? Considering you’ve been trying to hit so many points of the anime, this is a wild break from the mold that comes out of left field and isn’t properly explained as to why.

***

Break Down

Let’s get cracking at some details and take a look at your first eight paragraphs to start with.

>A scream broke Twilight’s concentration from her studying.


Okay, you have my interest. Please continue.

>Her head snapped up to the nearby window, as Owlicious hooted in distress. Outside, the dark of night made it hard to make anything out.


Okay, not so engaging, but it gets the job done. Still, this could be given a more artistic flow to give it more atmosphere. Also, you misspelled “Owlowiscious”.

Maybe:

Her head snapped up as Owlowiscious hooted in distress, another scream of terror leaking in through the open window. However, when Twilight ran to peer outside her windows, the late evening darkness outside made it difficult to spot the source of the cries.

Moving on.

>Immediately, her thoughts went to the recent incidents, where a few ponies had gone missing in the middle of the night. The Mayor had warned the citizens of Ponyville not to go out at night. But how could Twilight stay inside when an incident was likely happening outside right now?


And you’ve lost me. Moving a bit too fast, I think. You’ve given us little room for atmosphere and those italics on the end feel wicked forced for some schmaltzy sounding drama.

However, let’s roll with it for a moment. How about we give it a bit more pizzazz?

Twilight rushed for the door, pausing only briefly as her hoof touched the wood. A few ponies had gone missing in the middle of the night recently, and the Mayor had warned the citizens of Ponyville not to go out until a proper investigation had been made.

However, a third scream, a wail of heart-wrenching fear and desperation, drove her to smash open the door and dash outside. Nopony else was going to disappear this time. Not if she had anything to say about it.


Moving on again.

>“I’m going to check it out,” she declared to her nighttime study companion.


>“Hoo,” the owl responded, flying from his perch and landing on Twilight’s back. She smiled at it, understanding his wish to go with her. She then carefully stepped outside.


What does Owlowiscious really add to the plot by going with Twilight?

Unless he serves some vital role later (which he does not appear to do), he could probably stick at the library, don’t you think? Also, given the tone, this sounds remarkably dry and sort of shatters the overall atmosphere with the whole “Someone’s screaming in terror when there have been numerous disappearances in the area at night? I better investigate!” shtick you see in cheesy horror movies with soon-to-be-deceased morons.

I don’t think it helps much.

>Twilight produced a light from her horn, then started walking in the direction that she had heard the scream in. As she walked through the empty streets, she couldn’t help but feel anxious. Normally, there were at least a few ponies out at night, nocturnal dwellers who chose to live under the stars in honor of Princess Luna. But even those ponies didn’t dare step outside their door tonight.


Another logic hole. If Mayor Mare has demanded that everypony stay inside, then it should be unusual if anypony actually was outside tonight. It’s part of the reason Twilight’s investigating: someone’s outside when they shouldn’t be.

So, that said, how’s about we give this some zip too and clean up the logic? Let’s completely remove the two paragraphs between this and my last suggestion. (The ones which involve Owlowiscious).

Twilight ran, her horn blazing like a fallen star to slice a path over the dirt. Yet, as she found herself swiftly making her way towards the edge of town, Twilight couldn’t help but feel a sense of unease stirring in her gut. The screams had suddenly stopped.

She ran faster.


>Twilight then heard a cry. It sounded like…a filly! What was a pony that young doing out this late? It didn’t matter now she supposed.


Hmm. Okay, I’d argue mine has a little more punch, but let’s say you choose to ignore that one for this one. (After solving our little plot hole with Luna followers being out normally when they really shouldn’t be anyways).

Don’t use ellipses in narration. They feel melodramatic and cheesy, like you expect us to gasp and say “By George, whatever could be following this?! Oh, the suspense!”

Ellipses aren’t really so much a pause, as they are a trailing off. And, even if they were a pause, you shouldn’t be using them here. ‘It sounded like a little filly!’ would have just as much punch, if not more, than what you currently have.

And you use these everywhere. Cut pretty much every single one of them out. Some in dialogue is fine, if used appropriately, but never in a third-person narration.

>“Hang on!” She yelled, “I’m coming!” She galloped in the direction she had heard the cry.


Two more problems very common in here is your use of tags.

Twilight galloped in the direction of the cry. “Hang on!” she yelled. “I’m coming!”

‘She yelled’ is attached not to the “I’m coming!” but the “Hang on!” Therefore, it doesn’t need to have a comma, only a lowercase to show it’s attached to the previous statement. Twilight running would make a better start to the paragraph, and make it sound less tagged on if she is running first and shouting after.

You also have a tendency to put commas on the ends of action tags as well, which also should not be done. (By which I mean that that above paragraph would then start like this: Twilight galloped in the direction of the cry, “Hang on!”)

The dialogue has no real connection to the action, which would have been the purpose of that comma.

If it had been: Twilight galloped in the direction of the cry, shouting, “Hang on!” then you might get away with it because now the dialogue is part of the shouting, instead of the running.

However, attaching dialogue this way is kind of rare, and not often liked, so it’s much wiser to separate action tags from dialogue unless an action follows a short dialogue tag (i.e.: “Put some dialogue in here, if you like”, the reviewer said, smirking like an arrogant arse at his own wit.)

This post was edited by its author on .

Review "Untitled fic, Soul EaterxMLP crossover" cont. 2328

>>2326

***

My Potpourri of Nag

>“Are you o-” Twilight started but was cut off.


The “… but was cut off” is redundant. You’ve already shown she was cut off, so you don’t need to tell us she was cut off.

Also, a misuse of the hyphen. You need an Em Dash.

That’s accessible by going to the menu bar at the top of Google docs, clicking “Insert”, selecting “Special characters” and then clicking “Symbol” and selecting “Punctuation”. Then you go to the thing beside it which will say “ASCII based”, clicking it, and then selecting “Dash/connector”.

A selection of various lines will appear in the below window. The sixth from the left will bring up “Em-dash” and/or “U+2014” when you hover the mouse over it. Click on it and then hit “Insert”.

After you’ve put in the doc, you can go back and use the bar titled “recent selections” to do that however many times you want throughout the doc. You can also preview, and make sure it fully replaces the hyphen, instead of being put on the end, by using the “preview” window and deleting the hyphen.

> n/n/n/n/


You use these to divide scenes and it’s really distracting. Either use three centered asterisks or some other such symbol, or go to “Insert” again and select “horizontal line”.

They look more professional.

>“…I’ll keep it in mind.”


This doesn’t work. The ellipses are not a pause here. They indicate we are coming in on something, an earlier bit of unheard dialogue, which isn’t the case. No.

>Prolouge


And

> Chapter 1


You don’t need these headings. Either make this all Chapter 1, or put these in separate docs labeled “Prologue” and “Chapter 1”. Then, only the docs themselves need to be called “Chapter 1” or “prologue”.

I advise the former, as it makes the whole chapter both longer and more concise. The prologue is pretty much the beginning of this chapter, and it doesn’t tell any sort of different story, so you don’t really need to separate it from the rest of the chapter.

>“I do wish we could come with you,” Rarity said, as they waited for the train to pull in at the platform, “I would love to see Canterlot again.”


>“Luna doesn’t want any of you coming along,” Twilight said, “I don’t know why, but I’ll find out soon enough.”


>“This sucks,” Rainbow Dash said, slouching in midair, “You’re going off on an adventure, and we’re stuck here.”


>“Aw, don’t be like that Dashie,” Pinkie Pie said, bouncing on her feet, “We’ll have lot of fun with just us here in Ponyville.”


Way too many “saids”. Also, every single one of these four paragraph begins with dialogue. Beginning even one with an action tag would help break up the monotony.

“I do wish we could come with you,” Rarity said, as they waited for the train to pull in at the platform. “I would love to see Canterlot again.”

Twilight shook her head. “Luna doesn’t want any of you coming along. I don’t know why, but I’ll find out soon enough.”

Rainbow Dash slouched in midair. “This sucks,” she grumbled. “You’re going off on an adventure, and we’re stuck here.”

“Aw, don’t be like that Dashie. We’ll have lot of fun with just us here in Ponyville!” Pinkie Pie said, bouncing on her feet.


Also, for Pinkie, “hooves” not “feet”. The anatomy is different here. Watch out for instances where you use terms like those. You don’t necessarily need to go pony on every expression, but remember that these are creatures that are not built like humans, and so do not necessarily follow all the same rules of that vocabulary.

> Applejack rolled her eyes and stepped up close to Twilight, “Listen, promise me you’ll be careful. I got a bad feelin’ about this, like somethin’ really nasty is ‘bout to happen. Promise you’ll call us if things get bad.”


A case (the above example has one too) of an action tag with an unneeded comma. Put a period at the end of “Twilight” because while the dialogue is connected to the action, it is not connected directly to the action.

***

Stuff I Liked

-As I said, the plot itself as a whole isn’t bad. In fact, I could be downright intrigued if you’d take a bit more time to at least expand on some of the more basic rules of this universe and taken your time for atmosphere.

-Also, while the method was baffling, I found the non-use of “Maka and the gang are teleported into Equestria, either as humans or being transformed into ponies on the way” a nice use of a crossover. Instead, you tried to make them both part of the same universe. Good show.

However, it means a much harder project for you, because now you have to make sure they mesh. You can’t hit the key notes of both and expect us to drool that you have some basic understanding of each storyline. They have to be melded together, because the rules of these universes are very different, and were not really designed to fit together without some tweaking.

Some of the rules (probably mostly those of Soul Eater, as this is a primarily pony fic) may have to be bent, or evenly entirely reinterpreted, so that they make sense. Some of the rules of MLP may have to change as well, because you can’t put Death City into MLP’s universe and not expect it to have some effect after 800 years of existence. Things are going to look different, to some extent.

-I’ll admit, when I got to the part with ponified Death, I smiled.

While your method of describing the way he sounds and looks is a bit rushed, and probably not quite clear for someone who has never watched Soul Eater, I was at least able to fit the dialogue to his speech because I know how he talks. And it sounded very much like him in my mind with that overall structure.

Also, Spirit and Maka felt in character for the most part. Some of Maka’s dialogue felt a bit stiff and formal sounding at times, and I still question that segment with Spirit’s wife, but otherwise they read alright.

***

Advice

-First off, watch the anime Soul Eater beginning to end if you haven’t, or do it again if you have. Make absolutely sure you understand it at its core, in terms of both characters and how the laws of that universe work.

-Second off, seek advice on how to mesh these two wildly different shows together in the manner you are seeking, if you can.

You chose an interesting path, but it’s a harder one because now you have to combine two sets of rules that are different in many key points. Some rules and expectations of one are going to change when they’ve been mushed with the other.

Conch Shell VII has an idea thread on here, so you might try and see how extensive his knowledge on Soul Eater is. If he knows the series, he can probably help you figure out how to manipulate some of the rules, and maybe even help you find which ones can be preserved, bent, or rewritten. If not, I can try and hammer this out a bit more with you. My knowledge on this isn’t supremely deep, but I can at least hopefully help you keep this in the realms of acceptable logic if we bash heads over it once in a while.

-Third, look at some of the helpful links regarding how to use punctuation and formatting under the section “Helpful Documentation” at the top of this thread. (Which should have included this link to a guide by Ezn, which I’ve found quite interesting and helpful: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xemG7BLk2rvAmQCREIaj5wX2ubvmVt7WziEvh7xXV9g/edit)

-Try going through this again after all that homework and edit yourself as strongly as you can. When you feel ready, submit it once more.

-You need some training, so maybe do some short stories in your spare time to work on your pacing and language use. Write what you know, be it a small sad fic or a hilarious childhood adventure. Start small and work your way up. Casca offered a good piece of advice to me: “Take a basic premise of your story, and make it into its own short narrative.”

-As for a title, that will come with time. When you find your central theme, or you find something that’s just too good to resist using, it’ll fall into place and fit. Be it snarky, grand, or hilarious, just remember that the title will say a lot about your story’s tone and theme, along with your synopsis.

-On that note, just to be on the safe side, you might consider also adding a “Dark” tag in the future. The constant mention of things like death and murder (also a mention of rape, though it was only in a list of various crimes) means this is not a very “family-friendly” story.



There it is. Good luck to you, and may you find your place here.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review aknowledgement "Untitled Soul Eater/MLP Crossover" 2329

>>2328
Thank you for the review!

First of all, thank you for the nitpicks. I'm going to go through and fix those.

Atmosphere and rules…I hope to expand on those in future chapters. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not really sure what kind of atmosphere I'm going for…I'm going to take your advice on the 'Dark' tag, for various reasons including the nature of the Soul Eater 'verse.

Believe it or not, I have most of the rules of this 'mixed universe' hashed out. I'm an avid watcher of the Soul Eater anime, AND I've read the manga, back to front. In fact, one of the first decisions I made was whether to use the manga or anime. I picked the anime 'verse because I was able to work out the 'Kishin Egg' concept in the MLP universe better then the 'Death's list' concept used in the manga.

'Mixed universe crossovers' are a specialty of mine, along with world-building (some trouble actually incorporating that world-building without a ton of exposition, but that's besides the point). A few things I still need to figure out include reconciling the idea of 'unicorns' and 'witches.' I should probably figure that out before continuing.

You brought up a few other points. The thing with Spirit's wife actually becomes a very important plot point much later down the road. You have a point about Death City not having an affect on Equestria after 800 years, and that's something I'm going to go back and work on. Part of the idea here is that Celestia engineered a huge cover-up of what's going on, but thinking about it, some things probably do leak through…

Actually, I may need to think more about this then I thought.

What I'm probably going to do is once I'm done filling in the cracks in my world-building is go ahead and write out this whole thing. I'll post chapters on ff.net since that helps me break it into chunks for writing and the reviews I'll get will be a good source of motivation. Then I'll come back here to get it polished a bit.

Thanks again for the review!
This post was edited by its author on .

Please claim Chasing Clouds 2331

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Okay, the new episode got leaked and Cloudchaser was one of the characters in it. Now Flitter was not in it, so it has not been confirmed nor denied that they might be sisters. But the episode ends on a cliffhanger and I fear what may happen next week on Sat. 22.

Could some kind pony please review Chasing Clouds. I want to try and get this on EqD before the 22nd if I can. Don't worry about having seen the new episode, I'm pretty sure I can work around the fact that Cloudchaser now wants to be a Wonderbolt since my story starts with them as middle school students.

Reviewing "Azusa's Guide to Tags" 2335

>>1347

I put comments in each section of the Google doc, but overall I think it's a good start. One thing I'd like to see, though, is more discussion of the practical dividing lines between tags. What in general makes a story cross the line between [Normal] and [Adventure] or vice versa? How scary can [Adventure] go before it becomes [Dark]? Can [Sad] stories have happy endings?

It's a worthwhile topic, and a little more focus on the elements included in each tag would make it quite useful to writers trying to figure out how to classify their stories.

Mike

not a claim but a quick run-through Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2337

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>>2331
Nor a review.

Some brief thoughts… I wanted to give something soon. Just as some small thing with which to thank you for all the work you've done keeping the place alive.

Edit: also, you should really look at the comments that other person left in your doc, which are far more extensive than mine; I agree with them, and they're good advice.

Flitter is rather overpowering, especially in terms of dialogue. Personality color-wise the Flitter-Cloudchaser combination is like neon plaid against earthtone suede. The pattern continues throughout the story, with Cloudchaser being very tenuous/subdued and Flitter still the bold one.

A few pages in, what I gathered about Cloudchaser:
- Comes from Canterlot
- Is shy
- Has more skill in math than Flitter
- Has alternate ideas about weather control
and as for Flitter:
- Seems to have an attention deficit and some academic difficulties
- Is crazy about fashion (i.e. has a huge closet)
- Manages to keep her room clean despite messiness elsewhere in the house, which could mean her mother is very strict with her and she's obedient, or that she has discipline in that one area at least
- Is very keen on having Cloudchaser for a playmate… Not quite to Pinkie-Pie-with-a-new-character-in-town levels, but close

The angry dialogue in the conflict seems annoyingly simplistic, but hey, the characters are kids.

Your resolution seems rushed and out-of-place because the conflict centers mostly around the jealousy of Flitter's existing friends and fuzzy new feelings, whereas Cloudchaser's lack of a cutie mark is not emphasized at all, not even once. Cloudchaser is also absent for what seems like too much of the story.
This post was edited by its author on .

2338

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>>2335
>>2337
Thank you so much. You're both wonderful!

Will properly reply to both when I'm awake.

Under Free Flag twillale!x2C2a1oy82 2341

>>2266
I am also clamining this.

@: [email protected]
Tags: [Sci-fi][Human][Adventure]

Synopsis:
A ship of unknown origin makes its way to the Everfree, forcing Equestria to face alien modes of being that they may be ill-equipped to comprehend.

Links:
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/59412/under-free-flag
Comment-enabled GDoc available on request.

From the views/reactions ratio on FimFiction my guess is that many people tend to lose interest after the very beginning, so I'm most interested in a review of ch. 1-5. Obviously, if anyone cares enough to continue, that would be more than fine with me. :)

Claim + Review of "Chasing Clouds" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2342

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>>2337
>>2331
AAA A would be me. Righto, let's get to it!

tl;dr deserves a lot more fleshing out to be substantial; conflicts need to be poked a lot harder from every angle to ensure their validity.
Now, the characters.

Flitter's use of interrobangs is giving me a hyperactive vibe. She strikes me as the air-headed but good-natured kind who can prattle on and on about nothing in particular; generally lively, with no extra depth to her. That's possibly why I felt a bit of dissonance when she first started showing signs of introspection and doubt. I mean, really, it's mostly the interrobangs.

Cloudchaser… I don't have much to go on, actually. She's a normal pony. Smart and somewhere between the spectrum ends of impulsive and assertive, but I don't have anything else to go on. I would strongly suggest you give her a lot more tone descriptors and body language in the opening scene to set the kind of pony she is. If she actually is the insufferable kind that answers everything, you need to present that pronto, because aside from the opening, I don't think you have more opportunities. There's also more of her you need to present; more on that soon.

While the clean editing is very much appreciated, there's quite a bit of room for improvement with style. I got a decent picture of what they were feeling and the tone with which they were talking, for the most part, but it could have been better by not relying on "smiled" so much for one. Scenes could have stood to have a little more detail; more sensory details would have been a boon. I've marked out the areas in doc.

The conflicts: oh boy. I've argued about them plenty in doc already, but prodding you a little more never hurt. There's impetus problems with Flitter's minor conflict with Cloudchaser, and the rest of the class' larger conflict with Cloudchaser. There's believability issues with the filly drowning scene. I could actually give the whole stargazing-cutie-mark-oh-lol-it-was-you! part a pass, if the filly drowning scene were more substantial.

Really, substantial - that's the key. Things aren't substantial without struggle. Lifting a piece of paper is an insubstantial action. Lifting 100kg, though, is worth at least a look. There was hardly any struggle in the filly drowning scene, which I seem to be harping on a lot so I'll stop on that account.

There's also a bit I want to talk to you on the development of relationships. The spark of their romance is Cloudchaser taking liberties with Flitter's personal boundaries. That's how I see it, at least. None of this would have happened if Cloudchaser was more self-aware, or more conservative. The problem is that I don't see Cloudchaser as non-conservative, so you need to build up that aspect of her before you have her carrying Flitter who she only met a few hours ago. I mean, the relationship could stand to be slower, and therefore become more organic. But to do that you need conflicts to sustain the story until then. That would be up to you to plan, of course.

I mean… it's the kind of thing that works, technically, as long as you don't try to unravel it in your head. There's the "aww it's innocent child puppy love" working in your favour, which I advise you to play by actually giving them an age somewhere in the story; there's also the "wait does this technically count as foalcon?" older brother lurking in the shadows. More out of amusement than malice, but still. But to get it to be more than just innocent child puppy love, you need to take your time with the development, and have them get to know each other a bit more than this. Because it's only children that can innocently pledge themselves at the mercy of a friendly stranger.

On the whole, it's not a bad shipping fic, and I think plenty of people would enjoy it. But it could stand to be a good deal better, not just in its presentation, but in its execution - the core of how feelings grow into romance.

Bear in mind I'm no expert on shipping or on EqD's stnadards on the matter, but I'd be as bold as to say hopefully I'll have helped you meet their goals writing-wise at least.

Keep writing.
This post was edited by its author on .

askin for review / corrections 2347

hi there,

as mentioned in the comments I wanted to ask for a review / correction reading of my first story

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/69592/gardening-with-derpy

it was written in german and then translated into english (and as you can see my english is not the best..)

Thanks in advance :)

Regards, Nate

2353

>>2335
Hmm, interesting questions. Thanks for taking the time to look it over. I'll probably get to your comments after I finish editing Chasing Clouds.

>>2337
Some of those points are going to be addressed in the next chapter. In fact, Cloudchaser acts less and less shy as the chapter goes on.

>>2342
*sigh* I was afraid of this. Hopefully I can salvage this without doing a total rewrite.

Thanks, everypony. Going to work on editing Chasing Clouds now.

Edit: Hmm, maybe it would be better if Cloudchaser wasn't shy at first and tried to act cool. It would probably fit better with the later parts.
This post was edited by its author on .

Brony Z-Ro 2354

>>1956


Hello again thread moderators. Sorry to be such a pain, but. I've decided to take my fic off the review queue. Sorry again for cluttering up the spreadsheet.

2356

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>>2354
> Sorry again for cluttering up the spreadsheet.
What…

You have nothing to apologize for. Even if what you mean by this is that you didn't really want a review from around here, it's not a huge deal.

As for the queue item, someone else took care of it.

cas (out of town) 2362

>>2353
Total rewrite? Pff, nah, surely not. Just tweak up the section marked and that should be all right.

Review Request Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 2367

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Stage Fright!
#Normal
"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."
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wdtekMJQFnKf1q8es-aFyd_2-TB3DW1qna4Xg_t4KaQ/edit
Words: 3419

This was my entry into the Hearth's Warming Care Package fic contest. It came third. Since that version, I've changed the ending and added a few little details here and there. Mostly I'd just like an editing sweep while I organise some cover art, but any suggestions for improvement are more than welcome.

Gardening With Derpy - Review 2373

>>2347 Here's your review!

http://bit.ly/TiscKr

Let me know if anything is unclear and I'll be happy to explain further.

You can knock this one off the queue now, whoever's maintaining it! :)

Claim: The Unexpected History of Golden Oaks Library 2381

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Hey everyone. I've gone and got sick again, so now I have loads of time to write and review. I'm claiming this here thing by Relaxing Dragon.

>>2183

2382

>>2337
>>2342
Oh, I forgot to ask, is my synopsis any good? Are there any ways that I could make it better? See: >>2264

Claim: Stage Fright by Ezn 2385

>>2367
Since I started this job, I should probably go through with it. Claiming.

Review: The Unexpected History of Golden Oaks Library 2389

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You say you've had problems with adverbs, comma splices, and filler words. You must have had stories reviewed before, then, because none of those really jumped out at me. Then again, spotting them is not my strongest suit. You may want to find someone who is a little more gung-ho about grammar to review this too, but I'm not sure that's necessary. You've got a decent start here. Your main problem is, as you guessed, pacing.

The most egregious example is that there are too many avenues of inquiry that turn up nothing. There should still be a couple, but I think one of them should turn up a concrete object (Spike's snack stash doesn't count, though you should keep that bit for characterization purposes), even if it's just a weird little “huh” thing, the relevance of which will only become clear in later chapters.

Even if it does end up feeling forced, my recommendation is to make the first chapter go just a little further. One more clue, or one more strange thing to make the reader want to read on. You can also improve the pacing by cutting out the intro, or making it shorter. I wish I could highlight more specific sentences that could be safely taken out, but you did a good job connecting them to each other. In fact, it feels weird leaving a googledoc without a plethora of comments in it. Maybe I'm just out of practice? In any case, I hope my thoughts help.

A critique of "The Sixth Age" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2410

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>>2381
Hail, Bronetheus!

Anyway. So I promised tactical!rainboom a critique quite some time ago, and spent my sweet ever-loving time on it. Just a little over a week. Not counting my failed attempt to cover writers block’s material (sorry!), I think this was my longest running attempt. Curse you Persona 4!


In the category of grammar and technical merit:

Most of this information is going to be rehash for you, tactical, as I like to think I left pretty detailed comments on your problem areas and how to fix them. But that’s primarily what I use these review posts for – rehash. Not just for you, but it’s also for anyone else reading this. Your biggest weakness in this category is when, where, why, and how to use commas. Within that, you had a tendency to overlook introductory phrases and nonrestrictive elements the most, as well as a few parenthetical expressions. An introductory phrase is any such phrase that is dependent upon the primary independent clause to stand. They offer background and contextual information to support the independent clause, but are otherwise separate from the independent clause itself.

> If not for their annual cider sales Sweet Apple Acres would go out of business.

Try and read that string in one breath. It feels rushed, doesn’t it? That’s because If not for their annual cider sales is an introductory clause. It can’t stand on its own, lacking a verb, but it does set context for a sentence that can stand on it’s own. Nonrestrictive elements and parenthetical expressions work in very much the same way. It’s all just a matter of where they are in the sentence. They all provide additional context for an already completed independent clause.

Another area you had a few strikes on was pronoun-antecedent clarity, which I think stems from a heavy use of actor-object syntax, but that’s for later. A pronoun, he, she, they, it, etc., is designed to refer back to the previously mentioned and applicable noun or proper noun, called the antecedent. Sometimes pronouns can refer forward, but not often. Your issue arises when you have multiple applicable antecedents for your pronouns.

> Twilight and Rarity both went to the spa, and she offered to pay for the both of them!

Is it clear who is offering to pay here? The pronoun she could just as easily be referring to Twilight or Rarity, given no additional context. Unfortunately, cases of ambiguous reference, as my little green book puts it, aren’t as cut and dry as misplaced commas. They often take reordering or sometimes complete revisions of the sentence’s structure to remove the ambiguity. Sometimes it’s a simple enough matter to replace the pronoun with its intended antecedent, but that would make this example just a touch repetitive to read for my tastes. Other times, it may become necessary to completely omit the use of the offending pronoun and slash or its antecedent, and find a new way entirely to convey your meaning.

Finally, hyphens. There’s only one place a hyphen belongs – between compounded elements. Either compound words, or compound adjectives. (Technically, they’re also for separating a word across multiple lines, but with word processors and formatting options like “justified”, that rule is mostly rendered moot.) For punctuation – such as noting a tangential thought, or abruptly interrupting a thought – you want to use either the en dash, “ – ”, as I have been making flagrant use of in this paragraph, or the almighty and multipurpose em dash, “—”. The en dash is always separated by spaces on either side, while the em dash is placed in contact with the characters on either side. Most American writers use the em dash exclusively, but I prefer a mixture of both. An alternative to these would be a double-hyphen, “—”, though most word processors will autocorrect the double-hyphen into an en dash anyway. If your word processor isn’t auto-correcting, an alternative alternative is to hard-input them in. An en dash can be input into most windows based word processors by holding down the ALT key and pressing 0150, then releasing ALT. For an em dash, do the same, but press 0151 instead.


In the category of stylistic performance:

This is where the meat of your issues reside, primarily in the field of showing versus telling. You like to tell. A lot. It’s very easy to tell a reader everything they need to know, but I tend to equate that kind of writing to a children’s storybook. It’s simplistic, but for a mature reader, it often lacks engagement. When a mature reader is told something looks scary or [I]looks angry[/i], they need some kind of justification to believe that. This guide can explain it better than I ever could.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/

Notice that the last parts of the guide show the exception that telling can, on occasion, be good. Telling is better for conveying factual points, while showing is better for conveying emotional points. For instance, at one point in your work, a character is relating her life story. You don’t intend for this scene to have any emotional impact. It’s just the facts of her life, that add up to something you intend to show later on. So as the guide puts it, “Show, don’t (just) tell.”

Next, you have a strong tendency to use an actor-object sentence syntax. This character did this, and then that character did that. This character also did that. This character also did this other thing. You have entire paragraphs that follow this syntax, and it becomes extremely repetitive to read. I’m going to have to put some of your work on display here as an example.

> Daybreak scratched at the cement walkway nervously. She wasn't quite in the shadow of the plate, but she was closer to it than she wanted to be. She raised a hoof and banged it against the door, tentatively. Her knocking made a noise so soft she could barely hear it herself, so she started pounding in earnest. This time, she thought she heard muffled shouting in response.

Every single independent clause in this paragraph begins with the character Daybreak or a pronoun referring back to her, and this style of sentence structure is symptomatic throughout most of your work. As I mentioned before, it results in a few instances of ambiguous reference for your pronouns and antecedents. While you want to try and remain in the active voice, you’ll want to swap the focus of some of your sentences.

> Daybreak scratched at the cement walkway nervously. The shadow of the plate didn’t quite reach her here, but she was closer to it than she wanted to be. She raised a hoof and banged it against the door, tentatively. The noise was so soft it could barely be heard by Daybreak herself, so she started pounding in earnest. This time, a muffled shout came from somewhere inside.

Just by swapping the focus of some of the independent clauses off of the actor, Daybreak, and onto the object she’s interacting with, the structure of this paragraph becomes far less monotonous. For the final clause, I removed Daybreak from the clause entirely, as she isn’t really necessary to convey the meaning behind that clause. Which brings me quite cleanly into my next point.

A few of your sentences tend to run on longer than they need to, usually as a result of redundancy, or overly complex structures. There’s a big gray area when it comes down to deciding the proper structures – when to replace three simple words with a complex word, or vice a versa – but it comes with experience. It’s a simpler matter to remove words that mean the same thing, and you’ll need to keep your eyes out for them. The context of sentences can also make certain words or phrases redundant, so remain aware of the meaning of your sentences as well.


In the category of story and character progression:

Right from the beginning, the idiot ball gets passed around quite a bit. Well, I say “the beginning”, but it’s really just the beginning of the plot, not the beginning of the story. But more on that later. One of the first things you try to do (once the actual story starts) is establish your protagonist, one Doctor Daybreak, as an authoritative and knowledgeable personality. Immediately afterwards, you chuck her the idiot ball in the form of the a mysterious and enigmatic employer, offering her a lucrative “research donation” to speak with five strange individuals. It’s not so much that Daybreak doesn’t question it. In fact, she does question it, and goes after it anyway.

Daybreak held onto the idiot ball for the majority of her conversation with Ironwood, striking me as contrary to her initial personality. She was acting out of character in order to fuel Ironwood’s introduction, and it wasn’t even particularly necessary. After their conversation and the introduction of your story’s third protagonist, Spectra, Daybreak attempts to pass the idiot ball to Ironwood. I can’t say for certain that she picks it up, because she does actually have legitimate reasons to act the way she does. Instead, Spectra picks it up. And good lord, Spectra…

We’ve talked – at length – about Spectra.

Now, Victoria was a well developed character. She was well described well portrayed. The story’s “list” marks her as a potential protagonist, but she acts like one of the story’s antagonists. A well developed villain can be just as important as a well developed hero. I’m curious to see whether or not she’ll end up as an anti-hero or an anti-villain, but I worry she’ll fall into the same Sue traps with her connections that Spectra does with her abilities. Be careful if you’re planning a fall from grace for her, as well. Story elements can become repetitive as easily as structural issues.

The story also has some slight plot and continuity inconsistencies, most notable of which is Daybreak’s ambiguity as to her title. She calls herself a doctor to start, is addressed as a professor, then introduces herself as a professor. The motivations for her actions at the beginning of the story are largely financial, lending credence to her role as a doctor of her science, trying to protect her department. Which I should add is a very underrepresented motivation. It really needs some more exposition to make it impactful. Similar to the discussion in the Style segment about showing and telling, you just kind of state that that’s her motivation, and it doesn’t seem to go anywhere from there.

A few other issues include your consistency with the nomenclature with months, some clarity concerns with the chase scene in the warehouse, and a need to further explain your universe’s background information in a meaningful way. That last one is of particular note, I think. You use “intermissions” between chapters to give additional context to the universe, and you described it as something similar to “Watchman”. I’m assuming the movie. I’ve never seen it myself, but there’s a bit of a critical flaw in your reasoning. The translations from a visual media to a literary media is rarely one-to-one. It’s rather hard to explain, but to me, the visual media is something that is experienced passively, but the literary media is something that must be experienced actively. Having to read through these extended intermission sequences when they don’t directly pertain to what’s happening can be a hurdle for some readers. This applies to your “Celestia” moments, as well.



And I think that’s everything I wanted to cover in the write up. You have a solid grasp of your grammar fundamentals, but need to work on developing a strong literary style. The thread of your story is there, but it’s flagging under the hyperbole of over-compensated-and-somewhat-confusing character development and a weak basis for your universe’s mechanics. Your story starts to pick up in chapter three – it’s much better written than the rest, like you were finally at the point where you wanted to tell the story. Give your entire story that kind of care and consideration and you’ll go far with your work.

Keep on reading, keep on writing~

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 2412

>>2410

Ooh. Watchmen? Rorschach? Dr. Manhattan? Ozymandais? Okay it's a visual novel—real famous one—that sometimes goes off on tangents where it shows pages of an in-universe comic book, or in-universe articles written about the events and characters.

I well and truly had no idea I was so bad about telling, but there were a few examples you picked out that were kind of wake-up moments because I would definitely have pointed them out if it were me giving a review.

Daybreak's problems were because I wrote her—intentionally—in a Twilight Sparkle voice. I'm noticing that my little retcons are actually pushing her *further* in that direction, which might make it less jarring when she gets handed the Idiot Ball, maybe? She's actually become rather ponyish with the little lighthearted elements I've given her.

I'm glad you liked Victoria. Because *I* like Victoria. A lot. Actually I love all the characters I've worked out so far, but especially Victoria and Ironwood.

I keep on fighting my tendency to write repetitive structures, but you've quantified the problem by pointing out "actor-object" and "introductory clause." Thank you for that.

>everything gets better around chapter 3

Yeah. That's when I started writing with something like the sensibilities I have now, as opposed to the sensibilities I had when I first started ponying. In a way, it's cool to see that I've come so far.

Quick question. Which chapter 3? Do you mean Spectra's introduction?

This is beyond a doubt the best review I've ever had. Thanks for your good work.
This post was edited by its author on .

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2413

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>>2412

>Quick question. Which chapter 3? Do you mean Spectra's introduction?


Victoria's introduction. I think Daybreak's introduction sort of bled into the prologue without a proper chapter heading of its own, so Victoria feels like chapter three to me.

And yeah. I was aware that the movie "Watchman" was based off the original graphic novels — we live in an era of reinvention — but the graphic novel and the movie both fall under that same kind of passive entertainment. Graphic novels less so than movies, but it's still very much a visual media.
This post was edited by its author on .

*Review of my review 2416

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First off, I forgot to put a * in the subject line of my review for like… the third time. Also, being terrible at all things imageboard, I either didn't set or forgot a password for editing the post. So anyone that wants to take a crack at critiquing my critique, please do. >>2389

Here's the doc with the comments in it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-qmQBzA85hzRxVq-1EwTo49sVH3X7yCPvOAERJaHHts/edit


>>2410
Hail, me! I mean, good evening.

>>2412
"This is beyond a doubt the best review I've ever had. Thanks for your good work." Yeah, that's how morning_angles rolls.
This post was edited by its author on .

In Her Majesty's Nightmare Service 2429


Tags: Action / Alternative Universe

Synopsis:

It is 5 years since the defeat of Discord and Equestria is enjoying prosperity and peace under the young Alicorn Sisters.
However, fractures are occurring in the sisters bond and a new enemy is surfacing to take advantage of the situation.


Follow the story of the Nightmares, a secret branch of the Equestrian government.
And Night Wing, a young Royal Guard Cadet. Does he have what it takes to be a Nightmare and help defend Equestria.

(Note: This story is set at least 1000 years before season 1 of MLP:FIM)


Links: https://www.fimfiction.net/story/31682/in-her-majestys-nightmare-service

Chapters liked reviewed: Chapter one which is all that is up so far.

Comments: Submitted to EQD, got this back "Thank you for your submission. However, due to issues with pronoun-antecedent agreement, sentence fragments, and capitalization, it cannot be forwarded to the pre-readers. This does not count as a strike.

All the best,
The EqD Team"

Review Acknowledgment: The Unexpected History... 2443

>>2389
>>2416

Hey there! Thanks for taking a look at my fic. First, good to know no serious grammatical issues jumped out at you. You are correct, this is not my first time through the reviewing circuit, and what I brought up was the sort of stuff that always nailed me in the past. I guess I'm still a bit edgy about it, since for the longest time I wasn't aware at all of when I was doing it wrong.

Also good to know the "weather report" at the start worked well enough. I was on the fence about that, since it will tie in later (natch), but I wasn't sure if this was the right place for it. I will trim it down a bit, including taking out the impossible descriptions (I actually didn't mean to use the word twice, that was my bad). Also very, very happy to hear I kept things (mostly) in-character, that's always my Number 1 goal.

As for the bulk of the story: I am a fairly wordy writer (I know, I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true, I assure you), so I tend to take my time and explore all sorts of little side things. Even if they don't go anywhere. Which is something I need to work on, because it makes for a very bogged down story after long.

For this, I'm going to pretty much retype the entire searching-the-tree section (and probably tighten in the archives part). They'll find more things at once (by which I mean more hidden panels and whatnot), but I'll try to keep it all at least linked so it's one giant clue all together, rather than a couple of little ones that don't seem to mean anything at all. I'll probably go to the archives together as well.

Also, nice catch on Granny Smith's cutie mark (I actually knew that as I was typing it. I think I just left out the word Pie by mistake).

Anywho, I'll get to work on this, and probably bring it back to this thread when I'm done. At which point you are free to take another look, or leave it to someone else to look over (which is fine by me, I always like getting as many different opinions as possible).

Overall, thanks much for the thoughts and help!

Claiming Fragment 2516

The Conversion Bureau: 52 2559

Tags [adventure] [dark] [comedy][crossover] [human]

Equus has been over by a combination of changelings and hoards of parasprites. the only remaining bright spot left on the planet.Princess Celestia is confronted with a terrible choice. In order to save her little ponies along with various reffuges from across Equus she must sacriffice the population of a world which has done nothing against her.

however the planet that the equestrians find themselves on is not as doomed as they first believed.

a MLP:FIM/ DCU crossover

links
Prologue:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzvZGbLLkl-Rd3dBTFE4QWdLdkU/edit

comments and requests:
I decided to write this because i wanted to see what would drive a more canon-ish Celestia to do something as destructive as a TCB event.

also i wanted to write a scene with Celestia and Superman having a cup of tea

this is my first fanfic so any constructive criticism, even if it's a bit brutal would be appreciated.

Ho

Review of "Bronies Dawn" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2562

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>>1579
Before I start, due apologies for taking so long.

Now for the review.

tl;dr improving, but you've still some ways to go. As usual, a lot of words inbound; take your time to digest it, and please do not hesitate to ask me if you've got questions or concerns.

In the previous review, you and I hammered out a lot of grammar issues, personality issues, and the entire structure of the story. In this review, we're going to look, in fact, almost solely on style.

Style. It's your approach to writing. I have my own style of writing, as you would have yours. Some people love using direct thought. Others shy away from it. Some people believe in rich descriptions and plenty of body language; others do not.

What you have right now is a developing style. You're not there yet, and it'll take thousands and thousands of words and feedback for your style to start solidifying from "no distinct style" to "distinct style". You need to find your voice. But you'll love it when it does.

For now, there's still quite a few grammatical edits to hammer out. Commas, that sort of thing. But let's ignore that and consider your style from three aspects: narration, dialogue and description.

Narration. You're using a first-person style. Narration is done solely through your main character, and indeed reveals the kind of person he is. What he notices, what gets precedence in the descriptions, reveals to us the kind of character he is.

Now, what does he notice? The scenery. Mecha doing things. A few interjections of his past. It's all very normal, and perhaps necessary, but that's just about it. There's no depth to what he sees aside from him seeing it. Let me explain a bit more.
–––-
I marmaladed a slice of toast with something of a flourish, and I don't suppose I have ever come much closer to saying 'Tra-la-la' as I did the lathering, for I was feeling in mid-season form this morning. God, as I once heard Jeeves put it, was in His Heaven and all was right with the world. (He added, I remember, some guff about larks and snails, but that is a side issue and need not detain us.)

It is no secret in the circles in which he moves that Bertram Wooster, though as glamorous as one could wish when the night has fallen and the revels get under way, is seldom a ball of fire at the breakfast table. Confronted with the eggs and b., he tends to pick cautiously at them, as if afraid they may leap from the plate and snap at him. Listless, about sums it up. Not much bounce to the ounce.

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse
–––-
When you read the above segment, can you hear the voice of Bertram in your head? There's a distinct way how he describes his mood from something like spreading marmalade on toast. It's quite informal and takes liberties with words, but it's pulled off because it establishes, first and foremost, Bertie Wooster as a personality.

The main character and the narration can either be detached or close. This is just my preference, but I like it when the main character is as close to the narration as possible. When they get intimate with the proceedings. Now, your character so far is pretty emotionally detached. Things happen; he kinda cares, but he kinda doesn't. There's a wispy quality to his personality as far as narration goes, you know, that as a reader, I'm seeing that eh, he's not worried, nothing too bad could possibly happen. He's a normal person. And so his temperament would be normal. That's logical, as far as things go, but it's not gripping.

What all of the above is telling you would actually strictly apply only to the chapters after, when something important actually happens, which then gives him a chance to be emotional. But what I'm predicting is a trend of your main character just being plain throughout the chapters, and that's not very engaging at all. So what I'd suggest is you keep an eye out for this and have him be increasingly emotionally invested in the description and plot and proceedings. There's a reason why the professional editing process is mostly cutting things out. You remove whatever isn't fantastic. If an event doesn't give your character the chance to be fantastic, it gets cut as well. Now I'm not that high-level an editor, and you're not at that stage yet, so don't go around deleting swathes just yet. Just keep this in mind as you keep writing.

Dialogue. I didn't mark any of this down, because I want you to comb over this yourself. Your main character's lines sound stilted, as in, forced. You need to do some roleplaying, get into his mind, and find what words would come out of his mouth, not what words would fit in his mouth.

Description. You can spice it up in ways described above. Notice how in the quoted section, there's no description of the dining room or tables or chairs, or a bunch of things which would have made a good scene. Part of it, I believe, is because Bertie Wooster as the narrator wouldn't care for the dining room on account of seeing it so much. It also frees up space for the more interesting things: the dialogue, and the action. Now, Jeeves is slightly different in that its selling point is its Britishness. The dialogue is so incredibly fun that the lack of body language and things doesn't matter. Not so with yours, because you need the body language to tell your story. However, the point is that for first-person, you have to consider what not to describe, and if you do want to describe it, how to go about it.

For instance, if it were me, I would describe a lot of things in detail. I'd describe even the Wasteland, but fondly, because I like it. And I'd let that leak into my style. Word choice, metaphors, the whole shebang. Is your main character that kind of guy? If not, then what would he describe, and how?

All of this really does require you to get into the mind of your character, and the only way you can do that is if you really want to tell this story. I don't doubt that you do; the path is here, and all you need to do is walk down it. When you close your eyes, be able to envision the Wasteland through his. Know what he smells, hears, tastes, feels. When he looks at electronics, what runs through his mind? When he looks at Mecha? When he holds a gun? Get into the mind and personality of your main character and bring it to life.

I did mention Show Don't Tell in my comments, but eh, I've decided you don't need that yet.

So, the shopping list:
1) Grammar
2) Personality
3) Description
4) Dialogue

And again, the question: what now?

First off, go for a walk. Go away for half an hour. No, do it. Go away and let it sink in. The most important things will stick, and that's all you need.

Back? Good, good. Now consider whether you want to mop up the comments in your document, or if you want to rewrite, or if you want to try your hand at something else. Remember, styles don't develop unless you write, and every moment you spend editing is a moment not writing. Personally, I'd advise you against rewriting, and just work on improving your draft, but I'd also encourage you to take an element of your story and make it into its own little piece. A fight scene, or a dialogue, or a bar scene. Something short to just write with, without all the hassle of being good or not.

From then on, it's up to you. I think I did this last time, but I'd strongly advise you to pick up anything by P.G. Wodehouse, or by Vladimir Nabokov. Find an e-version, for free, and read through their stuff. It should be an eye-opener.

As always, I'll be here to take you when you return.

Keep writing.

Review request of SK Brony 2-Ma-Ro 2565

Title: Silent Knight
Author: Brony 2-Ma-Ro
Tags: Dark, Comedy, Random, Adventure, Human

Synopsis: Nearly a year since Nightmare Night has passed, and just about everypony in Equestria has come to accept Luna as their loving co-ruler.
Regardless, the Princess of the Moon wishes to give something back to her people.
Tonight, she shall give them Equestria's first ever Night Show, a stunning display of nocturnal and astral wonders!
But then the mystery begins.
There is something troubling both the Royal sisters, and Twilight is determined to find out what.
But what she may find may not be what she expects…

Silent Knight:
https://fimfiction.net/story/6848/silent-knight

Comments/Requests:
When submitted to Equestria Daily, was given a list of grammar and punctuation errors, with the reviewer's admission that he was not entirely interested in HIE fics. While I have adjusted the necessary spelling and grammar, I'm just looking for a basic review. However suggestions grammar or story flow related are greatly appreciated.

2570

>>2562
Alright then. Thanks for all you're doing for me with my fafic. I've been searching for help a long time but I nopony wanted to even get past the title. I can't thank you enough for helping me grow as a writer.

Claim of "In Their Highnesses' Clandestine Corps" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2574

File: 1355922715540.jpg (8.63 KB, 192x192, claimed.jpg)

>>2185
Two weeks and with charity? Oh dear. I'll get to you. Partly also because I'm nearly done with the first chapter.

The rate I'm going, it shouldn't take too long. I'm just sorry you had to wait so long to get claimed. Righto, then, here we go.

>>2570
No worries; it's what we're here for!
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Request: A Really Bad Story: Chapter 2 Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 2590

File: 1355945722468.jpg (6.94 KB, 204x204, 5t746767.jpg)

Hey guys, remember that train wreck that had absolutely everything wrong with it? Well, here's chapter two, only this chapter is supposed to be slightly better. I'd have used the ponychan thread in order to take it closer to autosage, but I wanted to make a specific request, which I'll place at the end of this post.

Title: I'm a Filly and What is This?
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Tags: Normal, Comedy
Words: 1211
Synopsis: After a doing dare from Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo decides that writing might be her special talent, but she might not be as good as she thinks.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B4o_NKVIBVLeGXIw3kXILhSwkWS-K3rF_fDmjXmi04Q/edit

Request: Okay, so basically, this is a huge trainwreck. I know that it's really bad, but my initial inspiration is gone, so I'm banking on the additional inspiration I tend to get when I debate with a reviewer over what should be changed, but I have a weird request to make: Since this is so terrible as is (Pacing being the major issue) I'd like to request that the more seasoned reviewers leave this to the newbies. It's nothing personal, it's just that you'd find way too many errors, and this will probably be the breeziest review ever so I'd like to give some newponies a shot at trying it out. That, and I'm trying to get this done by Christmas.

tl;dr New reviewers please.

Thanks! 2598

>>2574

It's a longish story:

And a busy time of the year, so thank you for taking the time. I've already followed some of your suggestions in the first act, too.

Mike

2600

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>>2590
This is not a claim or review, but…
Meme in the title? I hate it already.
Way to much dialogue compared to action and description. AKA talking head syndrome.
You don't seem to take your writing seriously, why should anyone else?
Don't bold words for emphasis. It looks really bad.
You forgot to end quote to a few lines.
'Smile gone." is not a complete sentence and you aren't a good enough writer to be breaking rules.
You don't really show or tell, which makes for a pretty boring story.

Overall, it's rushed and juvenile.
This post was edited by its author on .

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 2601

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>>2600
Well, thanks for that, I suppose. You are correct, though. I wasn't taking this seriously. This story is a throwaway of mine, that I use to get the ball rolling. It's gotten some popularity, so I'm trying to fix it up a little, but I tend to focus more on slapping the work on there and fixing it later.

Thanks for your insight, and I'll get to work on that. As for the title, while I appreciate your opinion, I'm keeping it anyway.
>You speak is though you've known me for a while. I kind of wish you'd show your face/trip.

2605

>You speak is though you've known me for a while. I kind of wish you'd show your face/trip.

I don't know you and I don't have a handle.

Review Request and Claim Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 2607

File: 1355968651662.jpg (24.99 KB, 530x485, 28073_375971402491719_82612642…)

Sending this one through for another pass before I seek out a specific reviewer. Have at it.

Title: Autumn
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Tags: Normal, Sad
Words: 6565
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tFLIoXueuNkJSmBkAyHw8CXC2z7uApppVWVXpd9jN-E/edit
Synopsis: Derpy has been having some strange and frightening nightmares. In trying to make sense of them, she becomes lost inside the storms of her own mind.

Claim (http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#125538)
Claiming Predictions and Prophecies. Hopefully I'll have it done by this time tomorrow, but no promises. (Review will be under the name Minjask because reasons.)

2610

>>2608
Your displeasure is noted.

Well, it was.
This post was edited by its author on .

Brony Z-Ro 2648

Hello, it's me again.

I recently introduced my brother to the training grounds, and he put his story up a few days ago.

>>2565

But, so far, I can't seem to find it on the TG queue. Just wondering if it's there somewhere and I'm simply missing it.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2649

File: 1356108849597.jpg (1.94 MB, 3072x2304, img_0331.jpg)

>>2648
Said person did not submit the form
http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit
which is required for putting a story in the spreadsheet.

I've been lax as of late in terms of keeping up with the thread because usually when I get home at the end of the day Azu has already updated everything.

Soon enough we'll have a built-in system on this board for tracking submissions that will be far easier to use, and simpler. It all depends on when Macil has time to merge and test the changes I made to the codebase.

Oh, and happy end of the world, everyone!
This post was edited by its author on .

2651

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>>2649
Aww, I'm not the only one who updates the queue. Heck, I've hardly touched it lately. Mostly because it's already been updated by the time I notice the post in the thread.

By the way, I think it might be a good idea to have two separate "date" columns. One for when the claim was made and another for when the review was posted. It seems like it'd be less confusing that way.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2655

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>>2651
I could swear, it seems like five days ago someone suggested we do away with date columns altogether because no one who updates the queue has the gumption to insert the date. Might have been you, but I'm not sure.

I think one date column is fine (as a generic "last activity on this review" field). The one and only purpose it would serve to record both claim and review date would be to keep tabs on who takes the longest time to do their reviews. Once a review is posted (and mind you, the latter date field would be sitting around empty up until that point in time) the only place where the queue items would appear is in the "reviewed" filter sheet, whose purpose is to help authors find their reviews. How important is it for authors to see how long it took a reviewer to finish their work?

Anonymous 2657

>>2655
>That pic

Personally, I would. I don't know about you, but there hasn't been a single time I have seen a review where I went "yeah, this surely needed two weeks to be finished" and I would rather not deal with reviewers who do that. Nothing against them, I just don't want both of us to end up in a fight because s/he is slow.

2659

>>2657
For you, I added a link to the original claim in the recently-reviewed filter sheet. Tis much, much easier than adding another field, and provides easy access to the same exact information.

Also, let's face it: by the time a long-haul reviewer has posted their review, their claim has already been sitting in the "In Progress" sheet for many weeks for all to see. Hint hint. Those who take over a month have the date of the claim in red and yellow. Who's for changing it to one week?

2661

>>2659

If we change the "unacceptable" date to one week, what will become of the reviewers who take a long-fic?

The whole review would certainly take longer than a week, and so I might worry that they are being chastised for something that is a bit beyond their control. So would it be a matter of just making sure the timer is reset after every piece of review, such as one chapter a week?

2663

>>2661
Forget I proposed that idea.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 2664

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>>2657
>>2659
>>2661
I'm remembering back when I reviewed No Pony's Innocent. It took longer to review than any other fic and it was the second longest story I ever reviewed. The longest was AppleShy series. I do feel that the three months I spent was justified though. It was not an easy read. It wasn't about cute cuddly girl ponies kissing each other, it was a story of a colt who's driven to murder. Reviewing that story was pretty much the only thing I did in the last few days before I finished.

*sigh* I don't have as much time as I once did, especially for reading. My dad had a mild heart attack a few weeks ago, which means he has to stay out of work for a month. This means that I no longer have my morning quiet time, the time I used to have for reading prose fiction.

After my less than perfect review of The Lover's Edda, Simon suggested that I read through the story all the way before adding comments, meaning that my reviews will take even longer than they have. Though Dubs Rewatcher has agreed to wait a little longer.

I really, really don't want to stop reviewing, but at the same time I feel that have to have a book out and published now just so I can say that I'm not a lazy bum even though I'm unemployed. But then I haven't even gotten a story on EqD yet.

Ugh, this is turning into a feels thread. If you set change the "unacceptable" date to one week then I don't know if I can continue reviewing.


>>2663

Posted right when I finished typing this…

Claiming "In her Majesty's Nightmare Service" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2665

File: 1356162501551.jpg (207.81 KB, 1500x1113, 133920306248.jpg)

This one ought to be quick. It's a FIMfic link, though, so unless the author can provide a gdrive link inside of three hours, I'm going to have to post my comments here for all to see. I'll probably skip my usual post-review breakdown as a result.

Posted: 12/7
Link: >>2429
Title: In Her Majesty's Nightmare Service
Author: Gcsmith

2666

>>2665
Press ctrl+h before writing your review.

Review goes here.

2667

File: 1356163006464.png (1.63 MB, 1600x1584, 137900 - absurd_res artist som…)

>>2666
I know. I did that with my last one, as well. It really helps to break down on the clutter on this site. Even with that, though, this'll likely be huge. Hence my consideration to skip my usual post-work. Though, I have also considered just putting the comments in a gdrive link, then doing my post-work up here anyway. No way I'm putting both in here. My last posted review clocked out at over two-thousand words, and I don't even want to count how much I typed for the in-document comments on that one.

Critique of "In Her Majesty's Nightmare Service" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2671

File: 1356205700748.jpg (50.94 KB, 599x335, 132883097197.jpg)

So… yeah… 'bout that review.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZDbXayqNPpfZsPGrvfIUU2LU12whRdVO75-FMn4aOTU/edit

Here's what I got done in terms of commentary line-for-line…

…then your story started to get creepy…

…pedophile creepy.



…I don't want to read this anymore…

…I… I don't think anyone else should read this, either.

I can't imagine that this was intended, and I feel really bad just shutting this down entirely, but I got serious palpitations from a certain line that shall go unmentioned. Everything was going fine, relatively speaking, until that line. Maybe I'm just over thinking things. I certainly hope so. I'm not going to sugar coat this. This has all the makings of a Harlequin novel cross-bred with a lolicon doijin.

Start over. Just… start from scratch. Before you do, please, head down to your local library, pick a book that interests you, and read. Then do it again. And again. Never stop doing it. Never stop educating yourself and expanding your mind. I believe that is your greatest flaw right now — a lack of experience. That's… that's my only explanation for… that line.

Read. Observe the world around you and the works of masters. Then try your hand at writing again. Never stop trying. You've created something of a monster in my eyes this time with that line, but nothing should discourage you from trying again.

I'm going to go take a cold, cleansing shower now.

Even the title feels dirty now.



*shudder*
This post was edited by its author on .

2672

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>>2671
I know that feel. If you'd like someone to talk to I'll be in the IRC here: http://derpy.me/0XT50

Though I'm mostly asking because I'm curious exactly what line was crossed. I can tell the author isn't going to like this…

2673

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>>2672
I'm apparently completely incapable of navigating an IRC site. Otherwise I would come talk simply for the sake of ranting.

Ponies and Throwing Knives Equ-us 2683

Title: Ponies and Throwing Knives

Tags: Shipping

Synopsis: Applejack ties Rainbow Dash up to a board and throws deadly sharp knives at her.
And then they make out.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12QnpHgbNRkvnjlsiiB7uFCUQX5qEIIRbS6PTvwrX_IQ/edit

I wrote this silly little story for a holiday fic exchange, I'd like to try to polish it up enough to actually be published somewhere. Or just know whether it's even worth the trouble. And help with a synopsis would be nice too. I'm terrible at writing synopses.

"Nightmare Service" Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2685

>>2671
This is not a very helpful review. You really could have quoted that "one line," couldn't you've?

Oh. Okay.

> Okay, you do know that all mammals, humans included, go into puberty and start having their reproductive cycles WAY before its considered socially acceptable, right? Right? Some girls can start having their periods as early as eight years old.


Dude, take some deep, deep breaths. And a few more. We're talking about Luna here, regent of the moon for thousands of years, not some little filly. She's gotten temporarily aged-down, is all. On closer reading, I concede this point.

Now seriously? "Socially acceptable?" I'm trying very much to not blast you for parochialism, but how am I supposed to figure out what is "socially acceptable" for, say, a squirrel? Nothing "social" about them. They imprint on their mates and are anti-faithful. They reach sexual maturity within the first year of life. It's a weird and wonderful world out there, frequently gross.

Even if talking about our own species… dude. Human puberty is triggered mostly by body mass and composition, again like most mammals. Industrialized diets are really good at fattening livestock, ourselves included, so if you think it's messed-up for girls to have their menarche at 8 (and, yeah, it is), blame the industrial-grain-feedlot complex for fucking up our diet. I like to give ponies the benefit of the doubt: Equestria is a utopia and things aren't messed up until proven otherwise.

So unless otherwise demonstrated by the story, a filly's first heat doesn't happen any sooner than it should. This is a storytelling principle, too: if something's broken, the story needs to be clear about it. And if not, benefit of doubt / suspension of disbelief and all that.

Next, "socially acceptable." I assume you, angles, come from a society that is more likely to group 17-year-olds with 14-year-olds than with 22-year-olds. You have a long adolescence. That's okay, I come from one such society myself. But what we need to understand is that we are very social animals and that long adolescence is more social than physiological.

Being a social construct doesn't make it any less real, again because we are so social. To be clear, I'm not saying that thirty-year old men should be laying sixteen-year-old girl. But I am saying that a sixteen-year-old American girl is not as mature as sixteen-year-old women were and are in many, many other cultures.

Thus our comfortable common sense isn't even good within our own species. Physiologically speaking, puberty ends with the skeleton reaching adult size, which is 16 +/- 1 for women. And more to the point, we can't expect ponies to have the same attitudes towards late adolescence when we can't even agree in our own species.

(I personally write ponies with a period of early adulthood in lieu of late adolescence. Good riddance, I say.)

Anyway, we're conflating "childbearing" with the rest of sexual maturity, which is an uncomfortable distinction to make, but does seem to be relevant.

Turning to "Nightmare Service," then, I think it's a kinky clopfic that should probably embrace the clop if it is to continue. I can't give too much advice there, because it's not a kink I like at all (degradation - *shudder*).

I will point out two things

1:
> thy sadness will be not from a broken heart, but a broken friendship. That is why they must only be consorts, so when it comes to it, thou can take another.

Sex, it does not work like that if ponies pair-bond. And since they marry, I'm pretty sure they do. Now that's possibly okay; Celestia doesn't have to be right all the time, but savvy readers are now expecting her to learn a lesson. They will be unhappy if she doesn't.

2:
>Tis in thine best interest at any rate, it is mine fear that the next summer months will be a pain if thou hast not chosen by then.

SFW thread, SFW thread… Darn, I wanna nail this point with something really obscene and funny.

So, I'll try to keep it tame: getting laid is not like getting an appendectomy. It only feels like an emergency, it isn't actually one. It's one of life's great practical jokes, really, how the cure for libido isn't sex. Or the Magic Penis, which apparently Celestia thinks Luna needs. Again, savvy, jaded, mature readers are gleefully waiting for the hammer to fall.

I do get the sense that the author doesn't really know what he's talking about, but it's fine to keep the characters in the dark. Some kind of wink-and-nudge to the readers (Dramatic. Irony.) to convince them that the author knows what he's doing would be a good idea.

Unless the author really is naive, in which case nothing will save the story.

2687

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>>2683
Claimin'!

2701

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>>2685

I'm not sure if I'm being berated or comforted with this. It feels more like criticism, and I absolutely refuse to defend myself on this. Mostly because I don't want to bring the subject matter back up in public. I sincerely hope that nobody else will either. So you're free to say and think whatever you want about me and my review on that work. I'm moving on from it and never looking back.

>sage for nothing useful posted

cas onna phone 2702

Might as well mention that EqD doesn't take clop, sine it seems relevant to the topic at hand.

Anonymous 2703

I just read the story and… What's is the fuss about? Did a chapter get removed or something? Cause apart from bad writing, the fact it mentions sex is probably the worse part of it…

Anonymous 2705

>>2702
While true, I think EqD as an entity already has too much influence on the perceptions of what's good and bad in the fandom.

twillale!x2C2a1oy82 2707

>>2266

An apology and a heads up: I'm really sorry I'm taking such time with the review, holiday season is a very busy time for me and I've put a little too much on my plate. I'll try to get it done as soon as possible; hopefully before new years. Thank you for your understanding.

Anonymous 2715

>>2705
Even if I were to agree, how is that relevant and what would you do to change that?

Anonymous 2718

>>2715
It's relevant, because what was said is that "EqD doesn't take clop." That is the statement that lacks relevance, since the arbitrary opinion of one subsection of the overall fandom shouldn't be some sort of litmus test.

STOP DERAILING! 2720

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>>2702
>>2703
>>2705
>>2715
>>2718
Please take this to another thread or the IRC.

2723

>>2290
>>2516
I'm sorry your review isn't done yet, I was stuck in an airport the past few days without internet. Rest assured, you have not been forgotten.
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming, "I'm a Filly and What is This?" 2724

>>2590

Well, let's do it then…

P.S.

Maintainers, >>2185 has been claimed. But Augie's still in the spreadsheet.
This post was edited by its author on .

2727

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>>2724
Fixed it, thanks for the update.
and for that claim. :3

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 2733

Morning_Angles invited me to leave this here if I wanted him to read it, so here it is:

It's something I'd love to send to EQD, but it's got two strikes, so my hopes aren't too high. Regardless, my experience with Morning was positive enough so that I figure I'll just let him at it, and then send it off for the last time.

edit: hurpa durr adding a link would be a good idea.

It's "Assault Unit."
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/53313/equestrian-aerial-magic-assault-unit-00
This post was edited by its author on .

2746

>>1589 I wanted to ask you for a little help with the cover for the fanfic. I have a few versions, and I wanted to know which one would go better. If you think they don't fit, I can always draw a new one (The advantages of being an artist).

-http://i.imgur.com/5mUYa.jpg
-http://i.imgur.com/e6NjQ.jpg
-http://i.imgur.com/N9b4G.jpg
-http://i.imgur.com/jl2az.jpg

I'm trying to hide the main character's face, as I don't want to reveal the gender (This way people can associate easily with the protagonist, or if they want, replace the name with their own).

2747

>>2746
Of the four, I kinda prefer the first one, but I have a feeling that you meant to post something else. The other three all look pretty terrible. I probably wouldn't click on a story with that as the cover art. But I'm even worse at drawing, so I'd suggest taking those to /art/ and get some critique.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2749

>>2746
>>2747
Au contraire. I looked at the first one and thought "what the hell am I looking at." The other three weren't bad, but I couldn't tell them apart from a cursory glance.

Also, consider "Eclipse" by IncoherentOrange claimed.

Claiming "Equestrian Aerial Magical Assault Unit 00" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2751

File: 1356349428266.png (2.62 MB, 1920x1080, 133151081383.png)

>>2733

Yes, yes it would be.

Posted: 12/23
Link: >>2733
Title: Equestrian Aerial Magical Assault Unit 00
Author: tactical!rainboom

Bear in mind that the Training Ground isn't some magical panacea for your work, and I'm far from the end-all authority on the subject. Still, I'll give it my best shot to help you improve it.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2752

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>>2746
o_o
Okay, well, here's how it goes.

I know Fallout, so I managed to recognize the first after a brief second. The other three are what I'd call "all right". Now, they're a lot accessible to people who don't know Fallout, because you've got characters there which are identifiable. The first one, though, would do a lot more in impressing Fallout fans, methinks. Either way it would be good if you put your title/logo on it - maybe some simple, wide letters rather than the Fallout-stylized one, because that might ruin the effect.

I'm pretty bad at art, but that's what I'd think. Heh.

2758

I see. Thanks for your opinions.
I'm trying to have a good cover for my fanfic, and it's a bit hard to draw something that can attract people (Mostly because most fanfics I read have drawings from other artists, snapshots from the cartoon or from videogames if it's a crossover).

Even if the artwork for the cover looks astonishing, the fanfic isn't usually very good.

Now I want to make a cover that shows people what they can expect from my story without lying to them with a drawing made by any famous artist.

Review request, Untitled Lyra Story 2759

Title: Untitled Lyra Story
Author: Bob From Bottles
Tags: Comedy
Synopsis: Lyra messed up. She admits it. But really, Bon Bon should have been more careful with where she left unguarded bowls of delicious candy. Now, to set things right and save the 'Night Before Nightmare Night' party, Lyra is determined to search anywhere for more candy. Even the untested haunted house designed by Pinkie Pie. (Synopsis is a WIP as well)

I've had chapter one reviewed by Casca so I'd like to have the focus be on chapter two.

Chapter Two Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i4GC0iP5EnKsHyP74wAA5_JwyTZLnJF_UVqGwk-6-RE/edit - 7084 words

Chapter One link(if needed): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CmhSWaLvPQR_KGl1LzwV-H6sH7T8Ee2ssvSoKEBNqt4/edit - 3304 words
Chapter One Brief Summary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Od5uLctO281ZFOA42Jzd0Gpm_puvK3n-4YWoa9mUzq0/edit

Thanks in advance.

Through the Well of Pirene 2762

Tags: [Adventure] [Human]

Synopsis: Daphne has tried to live her life as any normal teenage girl would, focusing on school and the intricacies of adolescent life in an effort to forget her more imaginative childhood. Now, however, her kid sister has been kidnapped by forces she cannot understand and she is forced to chase after her into a land she had once thought only make-believe. Cast adrift in a strange and magical world, she must find her sister before she can use the Golden Bridle to take control of Equestria as the pawn of a dark and terrible master.

Link to the story:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/19WdPtLN9eazoiC1IpWaqrXMmFOJfArdbtJZNRp7HYKg/edit

Comments/requests:
First, I would like to say that this is indeed a Humans in Equestria story but it has NO BRONIES, NO SOLDIERS, and MLP IS NOT A SHOW ON EARTH.
Really, my inspirations are probably more Labyrinth, Oz, and Greek myth in general.

That said, I would like to focus on:

Grammatical errors
I've certainly made many of these. I've run it through a couple friends on the Study but I need a thorough look.

Continuity errors
In case I missed any.

Tells
I know in theory how to avoid tells but I’ve had an odd spate of inattentional blindness, so if any that I’ve missed can be pointed out, I’d like to at least know where.

(Not sure if it's kosher to repost here on MLPChan. Let me know if it's an issue, thanks.)

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2763

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>>2733

Looked for you in the IRC, but no go, so here's a post instead. Googledrive was being stupid earlier, but I've finally gotten started on that review. I generally invite my reviewee to come in and chat if they feel so inclined, so here's where I'm working:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M3B831QvKKbDUwQ5omSlWk44Mk508PRb72MBjBnXdIo/edit

It's kind of ass-backwards in that it's your story in my document, but that's the breaks when I get a fimfic link.

Review,"I'm a Filly and What is This?" 2772

Well, to be honest, I’m approaching this from a place of never actually having read the first chapter. So, all things considered, this did at least a fair job of starting the story, with the context given meaning I’m not entirely lost even reading this cold. So, some kudos.

However, the pacing is extremely quick. You take very little time for scenery, instead moving through both dialogue and actions as quickly as possible. You also have a few places, where an action makes sense only in the manner of what it’s trying to accomplish, but having extremely poor logical progression. Thankfully, these holes could likely be fixed without severe rewrites. It’s merely a matter of working the scenes so that they flow a bit better, and eliminating some redundancies.

***

Scene 1 (in its entirety)

So, here is my prime example.

>“Blegh!” Apple Bloom stuck her tongue out, squinting her eyes at the item in Sweetie Belle’s hooves.


>“What am I even reading?” Sweetie Belle asked, holding the parchment as though it were trying to eat her face.


>Scootaloo placed a hoof on her forehead. “Ugh, I don’t even know. You said I had to write a stupid love story with one of you, so there it is.”


>“Wait a minute.You mean that this is still from that game of truth or dare last week?!” Apple Bloom asked.


>“Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” Sweetie Belle laughed. “I thought you’d given up on it.”


>“Are you kidding?! I never give up on a good dare. So, what’d you think, was it good?” Scootaloo asked.


>Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom exchanged glances.


>“Well…” Apple Bloom began.


>“It’s really… interesting and all, but maybe writing isn’t your special talent,” Sweetie Belle finished for her.


>“But maybe it is!” Scootaloo exclaimed, eyes brightening. “Maybe I just need to learn how to write some really cool stories. I’m going to go ask Twilight. See you later, girls.” Scootaloo sped off on her scooter, wings propelling her as usual.


I saw your comment at the end, so you and I both know this is too short.

Another big issue is, without scenery, I have no idea where this is occurring. Are they somewhere in Ponyville? In the Clubhouse? Near the Everfree? Is it sunny or is it rainy; are there other ponies walking around; is there anything else going on while these three are talking?

You have very few paragraphs that are devoted solely to world-building. Most every paragraph is either laden with dialogue or composed solely of it, which is probably why the pacing feels so off. Dialogue, by its nature, seems fairly quick in tempo and readers tend to breeze through it pretty fast.

As important as characters are to the story, they need a space to inhabit, or action has no consequence. Knowing Scootaloo zips away from noplace in particular is not helpful when I try to put things together for a picture in my mind. It gives me no sense of size, or time, or place; all I have are these three, talking at one another. I think this exemplifies what is one of the largest problems here, and likely explains some of the problem with THS you can have. You have an alright grip on the characters, but you skimp on one of the biggest characters in the story: the setting.

Slow down in a few places and build the world up, even if only a little. It’ll make us take some time to truly appreciate your story if we can start putting the characters in places with one another. Is Scootaloo by the door? (If set up right with action and tone of voice, it could say a bit about what a rush she’s in to get moving.) Are Sweetie and Applebloom by the window, using every ounce of light available to read whatever this travesty to the written word is?

Show us more. More, more, more, more. Think through every detail of your scenes, and write them down. Every action, every twitch, every breath, and then you can trim it down bit-by-bit. Focus on the pieces that tell us something new and imply more. Pacing, sighing, grumbling, even just leaning against the wall and breathing slowly through your nose: all these actions imply that something is different. Something has changed and is no longer among the norm for their behavior. In the right combonations, they can imply everything from frustration, to boredom, to wistfulness and nostalgia.

Give us time when they don’t have to talk. Let us get out of the dialogue mode of reading and move into the slower narration once in a while. Give us time to mull over what was said, finding meaning in the scenery and actions of the characters instead of their words.

***

Alright, spiel over, let’s take a few specific examples from scene one for those other issues.

>“Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” Sweetie Belle laughed. “I thought you’d given up on it.”


I don’t know if that’s the appropriate use of this dialogue tag (that of “Sweetie Belle laughed”). Making it an action that happened between the two lines of dialogue might be better (Making it an independent sentence by ending the first half of the dialogue with a period), as the comma sort of attaches it to the former statement and makes it sound as though she laughed the statement, instead of saying it and then laughing or laughing while saying it.

Watch these tags.

>“Are you kidding?! I never give up on a good dare. So, what’d you think, was it good?” Scootaloo asked.


I question the use of bold-face as your emphasis, but you’re consistent with it at least, so this is probably a matter of personal tastes. However, it isn’t a common use of bold-face to my knowledge, so it does look rather odd.

Unless you’re really attached to this, like it would positively kill you without question to remove, I would advise swapping out the bold for italics. It’s more widely acceptable, and thus will attract more readers. Some battles are just not worth fighting, unless you truly think that the existing system is flawed and you can utilize the newer system to its fullest potential.

Also, it feels like there should be some sort of action between the “…give up on a good dare.” (I also advise you end that sentence with an exclamation point, just to keep up the energy.) and “So, what’d you… ”

The main reason is the severe swing this has in the tone. One second, she’s confidant and exclaiming such in her statement. The next, she’s asking in what seems a less sure manner for an opinion that, to be honest, has already been clearly made.

Sweetie and Applebloom have shown their feelings with the first two sentences of this scene. So you might want to blunt those, and make the reactions a little less of disgust and more just of bewilderment. After all, these three probably couldn’t write much better, and so might have very little ability to discern what separates tripe from steak. They certainly might not like the story, but unless they know who made this, all they have to go off that their friend just passed them a bizarre, terrible looking fic.

Then they find out who made it, so they obviously can’t tear the writer a new one or they’re going to lose a friend. So, they have to use a degree of tact in explaining that this is absolutely terrible without insulting Scootaloo.

>“But maybe it is!” Scootaloo exclaimed, eyes brightening. “Maybe I just need to learn how to write some really cool stories. I’m going to go ask Twilight. See you later, girls.” Scootaloo sped off on her scooter, wings propelling her as usual.


That section between “…cool stories” and “I’m going to go… ” needs something. It feels too wildly soon to leap from thought to thought without something to break them into chunks.

***

Scene 2

>“Yeesh, I was taking a nap. What’s a dragon got to do to get some sleep around here. Oh, hey, Scootaloo. What’s up?” Spike opened the door to find an excited orange filly bouncing up and down.


Again, a tag should be used if there is a point where the tone shifts. The “Oh, hey… ” pops out of nowhere, and the tag following the greeting makes no sense because it looks as though he knew who it was before he opened the door. I think that really should look like this:

>“Yeesh, I was taking a nap. What’s a dragon got to do to get some sleep around here.” Spike opened the door to find an excited orange filly bouncing up and down. “Oh, hey, Scootaloo. What’s up?”


So, that said, let’s move on.

> “Oh, yeah. She’s—” Scootaloo rushed in before he could finish, colliding with a large stack of books and causing a literary avalanche. “—re-organizing the library again, so try not to knock anything over.”


Not half bad, but maybe you should add a few more actions for Spike. A sigh, rubbing the bridge of his nose, etc. to really drive home the exasperation. Even a wince or a tired grumble would show something is going on with Spike. This is mostly his paragraph, so he should have a good bit of himself in it besides dialogue.

> “Oh, that sounds like the Daring Do series. I have them all, but I lent them to Rainbow Dash. You should go see her.” At the mention of Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo disappeared before Twilight could complete the statement.


That last statement rather contradicts the completed dialogue before it. However, by maybe fitting a few action tags to the dialogue and making “At the mention… ” its own paragraph (rewording it appropriately so that it flows better in overall structure) you can complete the statement, and then logically contradict it with a now new “However,” statement beneath it.

***

Scene 3

>cyan mare


I don’t think her color has much to do with the story right now, so you might wish to find some other descriptor.

>The smile disappeared so fast it may as well have never been there. “NO! you can’t it’s uh… not finished yet!” The smile returned as Rainbow Dash slowly rubbed the back of her head.


>“Oh, well, what’s it about?”


>Smile gone. “It's a story about two, um… colts! Named Scooter Lord and… Sweetie Bro! And it's about how they both discover something unexpected, but wonderful about themselves."


I might rewrite it this way:

>The smile disappeared so fast it may as well have never been there. “NO! You can’t! It’s, uh… not finished yet!” Rainbow Dash slowly rubbed the back of her head, a sheepish grin just barely pushing past the blush on her face.


>“Oh, well, what’s it about?”


>And, like that, the smile was gone again, the blush getting even deeper. “It's a story about two, um… colts! Named Scooter Lord and… Sweetie Bro! And it's about how they both discover something unexpected, but wonderful about themselves."


That “smile gone” is a little too clunky, and draws very little amusement from me as it also feels too abrupt and out of tone with the rest of the narration. Also, it’s the third time in three paragraphs you use the word “smile”. If you’re going to insist on keeping it, at least rework that first paragraph so it doesn’t sound too redundant. However, I severely advise you rework for a less abrupt and choppy form of comedy. Stuff like that sounds natural in dialogue, or maybe in first-person narration, but it sounds strange in a third-person omniscient.

Also, there’s more to the body than the face. Only about 10 percent of human communication is through words, 30 percent is through tone (which is very difficult in a written medium) and so we must use that other sixty percent. Body language. And there’s a lot more body than there’s mouth.

People who lie have a tendency to do things like avoid eye-contact, or shuffle in place, or cough in odd places, or, like you mentioned, start fidgeting around. Given that it seems Rainbow Dash seems to have made Sprained Spine Hillock over here, we’re talking major discomfort: blush, sweating, stammering, fidgeting nonstop, the whole nine yards. Just think of that episode where Rainbow Dash is trying to hide her newfound love of books, and how terrible she was at lying. She had no poker face, and her best defense was trying desperately to make sure her friends left ASAP.

P.S. Though not visible in this review, it’s right around here that patches of the story have gone into this light gray ink again for whatever reason.

> “What is it now? I’m busy.” Rainbow Dash asked.


Another case of the tag really belonging in the middle.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review,"I'm a Filly and What is This?" (cont.) 2773

>>2772
***

Scene 4

>“That’s really great and all, Scootaloo, but there is no writing competition. At least not to my knowledge, and I’m the town librarian, so if anypony would know it should be me.”


>“Wait, you mean there wasn’t already a writing contest?” Scootaloo asked. “But then, what was Rainbow Dash…


This seems really stupid on Scootaloo’s part, just parroting what she’s already been told. There’s little excuse for her to have missed that.

I’d advise a simple “Wait, what?” or “What was that?”, which would conveys the confusion, but doesn’t go through the process of repeating information that we already know. It also allows Twilight’s subsequent dialogue to feel properly steam-rollish. Since Scootaloo doesn’t reinforce the fact that it doesn’t exist, the audience is more inclined to believe that Twilight is just starting to whip up the idea with a bit of inspiration from Scootaloo.

>“Now that you mention it, though, that does sound like a really great idea. We’ll host a writing contest, and everypony will have so much fun writing. Yay!” Twilight bounced in a circle around the library’s main room.


>“Wow, that’s really great, Twilight. Um, what’s the prize going to be?”


>Twilight stopped bouncing. She blinked. “Oh, um. I guess I’ll just have to think of something. For now, let’s get this contest started!”


Too quick again. Scootaloo seems like she should at least be extremely confused, considering that this idea is just sort of sweeping her up.

Also, Twilight’s delivery in that first paragraph seems extremely flat. Considering how much she loves books, it should almost be a sort of dangerous subject for her. Also, that last paragraph feels a bit OOC. Maybe, instead of saying that she’s starting it immediately, she should start planning it first. This is a character with a very high sense of personal order and attention to details. She won’t go off half-cocked if she can help it.

Scootaloo can still get caught up in the excitement, and Twilight can have her heart go all aflutter. Try putting a little more oomph in that first paragraph with a more liberal use of exclamation points.

>“Love me, Scootaloo


>It was a beautiful spring day in Ponyville….”


You don’t need to use quotation marks. Also, maybe Twilight doesn’t need to know about the fic just yet. This might be better as a later reveal.

***

Something of note.

>(I’M A SCENE BREAK!!!)


Know I don’t know if you used these in your first chapter or not, so I don’t have much in the way of telling you just how tired this might or might not be as a form of a joke. But, if you did use them, then I might have a trick for you to try.

These scene breaks could be a very fun form of narrator-insertion. As you go through the story, playing it however you want to go, maybe Sweetie, Applebloom, and Twilight go on a crazy adventure to either dissuade Scootaloo from entering as subtly and nicely as possible, so as not to hurt her feelings, or to make her a better writer so she can win while avoiding the same. The lesson at the end of this tale: though you may fail, maybe even fail spectacularly, all one can do is try their best. After all, you miss a hundred percent of the shots you never take. these scene breaks are just fun little blurbs that you get to make jokes in; a whole new character totally outside the story itself which will have its own personality and view on the story.

For example, it might play out like such:

The first few scenes

>(I’M A SCENE BREAK!!!) or >(ANOTHER SCENE BREAK!!!) or >(GUESS WHO GUYS?!!)


After a climactic scene

>(WOW!!! WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT?!! THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME, GUYS!)


After a sad scene

>(W-where did the funny go? I WANTED A FUNNY STORY! BRING THE HAPPY BACK, AUTHOR! RIGHT NOW! OR WE”RE NOT GONNA BE FRIENDS ANYMORE!)


Now, the voice of this character can be as obnoxious, or cute, or funny as you want to make them. Maybe you’ll avoid all caps, making them a slightly less outstanding feature while simultaneously giving them a more sarcastic, dry personality, like they’re reviewing it even as we’re reading it. Or maybe you’ll make them a doe-eyed child who’s rooting for Scootaloo, no matter how bad the fic might actually be, and they’ll defend their chosen friend to the death, insulting whoever dares criticize this piece of… art. That includes you as well.

This could be your opportunity to make something about this really stand out. Even if the story isn’t terribly original, though you can do what you might about that too to keep it from feeling too trite, this sort of narrator could make it fun. We’ll read through the story, getting some amusement from it if it’s at least crafted suitably, but we’ll really be looking for those little breaks where a whole new character comes in to talk with us. It’d be almost a surreal journey, reading a story with someone whom we can’t see, but can certainly hear.

It might have a few issues of course, as there are only certain limits to which someone is willing to endure backseat readers, but if you’re careful and smart about how you use this extra character, it might be to your benefit. (Maybe you can even introduce a “rival” character, or include yourself in a separate form, and have these off-side arguments with this “break” character, a-la an almost Looney Tunes or Animaniacs level of self-awareness.), and it provides an extra layer to your tale. We have the main story, that of Scootaloo trying to make a book, and then we have this sort of off-to-the-side action with two characters arguing about the story itself.

Names are called, fights are had, hilarity ensues, and a strangely self-aware piece of fic is born.

***

So, if you want a bit of plot thickening, try this on for size.

-I don’t know how the first chapter goes, but I’m assuming it’s thus: Scootaloo is dared to write a fic; she does so, and we see every awful word of it until we want to claw our eyes out.

-Second chapter is mostly what you have here, though a few logical fallacies shall need to handled here and there: she shows the first travesty to Sweetie Belle and Applebloom; they probably receive it a bit better than most of us in the audience do, though not by much; Scootaloo is undeterred, so she starts looking around; after a few misunderstandings, she begins a writing contest in Ponyville, which shall be our driving force and our source of hijinks and main plot.

-After this, it’s mostly Scootaloo trying to write. Maybe she’s struggling with a bad case of writer’s block (heh heh heh). That or we could have her getting in a friendly competition with the other Crusaders, or all three of them in a less than friendly competition against Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon again or with some other fillies/colts. Shoot, let the whole town get involved in this monster.

The more I think about, the more I start wondering on if you should consider making this a group project. You’ll have this main story driving most of the chapters, and then you can have a short anthology of various short stories (of various qualities) compose a sizable portion of the body as “submissions” by other ponies. Maybe one of the write-offs could be fitted for this purpose, should you make a decent framework for it to sit in before the submissions come in (you could always ask Roger if he’d consider helping you in that regard).

-At some point, Twilight and/or the Crusaders need to see this new story Scootaloo is writing. Then, they either need to try and figure out a way to keep Scootaloo from entering the contest, and likely getting her heart broken, or to do everything they can to help her succeed.

-The ending would advisably be a failure, the severity of which would depend on how badly you want this to crush her before an either uplifting or sad ending. The overall message of a “happy” ending could be what I suggested earlier: “Though you won’t always win, you’ll never know until you try.”

Many budding writers, artists, and musicians learn this lesson the hard way: sometimes, you think you have a talent, at which you irreparably suck no matter how hard you try. However, until you at least try your best, you cannot say you gave it your all to succeed. This will be a story dedicated to those who, though they might not succeed, we can at least salute that they tried.

-That (I’M A SCENE BREAK!!!) could be made into a separate character, if you really want to keep this joke.

You can make a sort of sub-story about the invisible writer of this story and another reviewer avatar battling it out in-between scenes of the main storyline. Maybe, when you’ve got the main story finished, find the help of a really, really nasty reviewer like Cassius and just have this big honking war in the story, no holds barred. Let snark fly, let venom spew, let mothers be brought into places mothers should never be seen, and otherwise just let it seem like the classic reviewer/writer relationship: an overcritical jerk vs. someone who can’t take criticism well. (Of course I would hope that the two of you would agree beforehand that this is not going to actually get personal, it’s just going to seem personal at times.)

This plot can resolve however you want by the end, though I imagine an uplifting tone would be nice to see.

Maybe the writer is going to find some inner strength, and acknowledge that the reviewer is only trying to help. The bark is bad, but the bite is actually intended to direct them somewhere, not hurt them.

Maybe the reviewer can learn that there is a fine line between what is being critical, and what is being hurtful. There’s a difference between being critical, and being mean.

Or, just maybe, they can learn to get along with each other, each picking up a piece of what the other offers. Experience for a new view, an appreciation of the rules for an appreciation of exploration and new things, etc.


So, there you have it. Hope it helps.

Review Feedback Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 2778

File: 1356422045349.png (312.96 KB, 900x778, Everypinkie.png)

>>2772
>>2773
Oh, thank you so much! this clears up SO many stumbling blocks I was running into. Since you've taken the time to invest in it, I should tell you that this story was actually born of a bit of writer's block I had over the summer, and I only continued it because the readers said it was missing something. You pretty much guessed my outline of the story, but I will definitely give that collaboration some consideration. Comedy's never really been my strong suit, but that idea you suggested with the scene breaks is totally gold.

Oh, and by the way: I don't know how obvious it was, but Rainbow Dash hadn't actually written anything. She was just… clopping.

2788

>>2752 I've thinking about it, and I thought that I could change the title to "When two worlds collide", as to work in another direction within the same universe.
Besides, if I want to use the humans as the bad guys who started everything, they won't be related to the bronies in any way, which should please anyone who would be offended if I used the bronies as the first humans to visit Equestria.

cas onna tab 2792

>>2788
That title sounds cheesey bad though. I wouldn't worry about the peripherals just yet; work on your style and the rest is just icing.

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2793

>>2792
>>2788

I agree with cas. You shouldn't let the title of your story dictate what the story is or where it's going. A chef doesn't name his dish before he's crafted it. I mean, I've put nearly 40k words into my current work, and it's title is still up in the air for me.

"What She Didn't Want" review acknowledgement 2798

File: 1356596674808.jpg (43.42 KB, 838x452, rule 63.JPG)

Just letting Azuza know that I read his comments. Thank you!

2803

Thanks for all the feedback, guys. If I didn't have your help, I guess I could have done very bad decisions (Like whoever allowed Stephenie Meyers to publish Twilight without editing the books. Let's face it, it sucks, but it could have been turned into a decent saga).

2811

Sotry published in FIMFiction, currently with 3 thumbs up and 5 thumbs down, along with three posts from the same guy about how my idea is just shit. Luckily I don't give a buck like the last time or I would have deleted it right now.

I'll write a second chapter to show any of these idiots that I don't care what they think as long as I can write what I want.

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 2816

>>2798
Err… I'm not actually done reviewing it. I'll try to get it finished tomorrow though.
This post was edited by its author on .

Proofread/review of Eclipse complete Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2850

File: 1356675418330.jpg (89.65 KB, 974x956, NotBad.jpg)

The author requested pointing out mechanical issues and anything else that might be useful, so I did that. It was entirely done through Google Docs comments on BBCode (it's going back into FiMFiction when edits are done). I've been in communication with said person, so I'm certain feedback will be given outside the board. Thus, I'm removing it from the queue.

Author's Google Drive folder for the story:
https://drive.google.com/?authuser=0#folders/0Bx6xOdpeKPBSVjFDOGpudzhyNzA
This post was edited by its author on .

2852

File: 1356678695013.png (5.5 KB, 244x244, 1354749569952.png)

>>2816
Ohp!

Sorry 'bout dat!

Critique of "Equestrian Aerial Magical Assault Unit 00" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2895

File: 1356749258282.png (364.93 KB, 1200x700, 132831809352.jpg.png)

Round two for tactical!rainboom’s work. Much shorter work and I still took my sweet time with it. It’s becoming a trend. I try to work hard, I swear!

Because you gave me a fimfic link, my comments are in document here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M3B831QvKKbDUwQ5omSlWk44Mk508PRb72MBjBnXdIo/edit

In the category of grammar and technical merit:

Given that this is my second encounter with tactical!rainboom’s work, I can offer some comparisons between the two stories. I don’t know how much you applied my commentary on your previous story to this work before submitting it to the queue, and you still need to work on identifying the correct use of punctuation. When, where, and why to use commas, the different inflections that periods, question marks, and exclamation marks can bring to the tone of a particular scene, and a little scuffle on quotation marks. I still and will continue to protest your use of brackets to enclose direct quotations in some attempt to differentiate that type of quote. A quote is a quote in my book, and needs quotation marks. Literally, that’s what my grammar manual says. It’s in the book.

The other prevailing issues in your grammatical skills is some difficulty with your pronouns and their antecedents, and proper nouns. I covered these in my critique of “The Sixth Age”, so I won’t bore you with the details on those again. Plus, I need room for other things.


In the category of stylistic performance:

Telling remains a minor issue here, as it was in “The Sixth Age”. There’s less of it, but I don’t know if that’s a byproduct of experience… or a shorter story. This work also has symptoms of Talking Head and Lavender Unicorn Syndromes. The LUS outbreaks are minor enough that they could be ignored, but nearly instance of conversation after a certain point is a case of Talking Heads. You’ve even admitted that it was your intention.

You color coded Twilight and Dash’s dialogue in order to streamline their dialogue.

I find this to have been a bad design choice for two reasons. First, if for whatever reason your story loses its formatting, your dialogue’s cohesion goes out the window. I’m lucky that when I copied your story off of FIMfiction in order to do my commentary that gdocs at least kept Dash’s blue coding. Otherwise this would have been a nightmare to determine who’s speaking at any given time. Second, it’s incredibly lazy, almost to the point that I find it somewhat offensive as a fellow author. I won’t expand on that as it’s my own personal opinion, but you’re still trying to circumvent conventional rules in order to avoid typing additional words, and for all you know, your strikes on this came as a result of the EQD prereaders pulling this up on their black-and-white kindles, or reading it in an email where the formatting would be destroyed, and having no clue what was going on as a result. And what if someone was color blind? You should always aim to make your story as accessible as possible. Color coordinating your dialogue is a formatting choice I just can’t abide.

Stylistically, your biggest issue in this work is breaking your own tension. You do quite a good job of establishing a sense of danger and stress in some of your scenes, and then you immediately proceed to stomp all over it.

>Above what was left of the hotel, the looming hull of an airborne galleon filled the sky. A few menacing chunks of solid black stone jutted from the wooden underside like broadside cannons, except angled to bombard the ground. One of them, the one pointed at where Twilight and Dash had been mere minutes ago, glowed red-hot.

This warship seems menacing, and rightly so. It just leveled a hotel with a single cannon shot. It just made that shot, too, barely missing Twilight and Dash as they made their dramatic flight, and you allude to this by mentioning – point blank – that they were standing there just a moment ago, and not even in reference to Twilight and Dash’s narrow escape. You’re talking about the cannon. In another scene, Dash intends to take a bullet for Twilight, and you portray that by mechanically explaining how Dash physically placed her body between Twilight and the shooter. The worst instance of this has to be the following line, however:

>Poorly aimed weapons fire made the air crackle as Rainbow Dash rolled and swerved.

Nothing is less impressive than incompetent mooks. Your mooks are pretty incompetent, but its the degree to which you point that out that breaks the tension on so many occasions. It’s almost comical at times. Shame this wasn’t intended as a comedy.

Another pressing concern in this work is your tendency to do what I’ve heard called “verbal moonwalking”. And if you know where that’s from, you’re awesome. On occasion, you use a lot of words to say not a lot of things. This results in both bad pacing and a fair deal of redundancy and repetition in your work.

>Running at a speed resembling a gallop, Applejack slammed herself bodily into Rainbow Dash, upsetting her center of gravity and dropping them both to terra firma.

I can’t even come up with a good example that properly portrays the issue. This bit of heavy purple prose is the best I could come up with. It’s a case of not using three five dollar words where a ten dollar word will suffice, as well as not using ten dollar words were a single five dollar one will suffice. It isn’t a hard and fast rule – there a lot of exceptions, and knowing when to parse something down comes with experience. There are also times when you’ll need to expand on something. It’s all about being clear and concise with as few words as possible. Let’s look at that example again:

>Running at nearly full tilt, Applejack tackled Rainbow Dash, knocking her to the ground.

The word count in those replacements is less in every instance, but I’ve said essentially the same thing. It’s less so in some than others. The first replacement is only five-to-three, while the second is four-to-one. But the words are simple and easy to grasp, without losing meaning. That’s the key. If you can say the same thing in one word as you could in three without altering your meaning, then try to do so.

There’s a bit more I’d like to cover in this category… but I still have a long way to go…


In the category of story and character progression:

I’m going to get this off my chest right now. Your continuity is swiss cheese. It’s riddled with holes – fighter squadrons popping up where they shouldn’t, the size and design of the warship, rampant helicopters, teleportation mishaps, flagrant disregard for retreat tactics, ignoring physics, just general positioning of all your actors, a seemingly variable number of enemies at any given time made appropriate to the tension of the time (which you often promptly squander), questionable comm links, and the single most unbelievable sequence of events I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Dash has taken a shot to the wing. She’s flagging and won’t admit it. Twilight is running low on her magical reserves. So what’s Dash’s plan? Barrel through the enemy aerial squadron that she just had Twilight teleport them behind to dodge and were last seen beneath the airship and are now suddenly between Twi and Dash and their objective, unbuckle Twilight from her harness at Celestia only knows what altitudes and speeds, and throw her across the deck of the airship to launch one last magical blast against the vessel’s engines in order to cripple it. Dash then intends to fly under the ship she intends Twilight to blast out of the sky in order to catch Twilight on the other side as she careens majestically from the flaming and collapsing wreckage of her kill. Dash then over exerts her wounded wing and doesn’t have enough time to pull up because she’s wasted time watching Twilight take her shot before swooping majestically beneath instead of over the flaming wreckage of the warship.

All of this completely ignores that fact that this airship is an unshielded balloon and Twilight can lob shots akin to artillery shells, by your own words no less. The whole time this was happening, well after it and well before it, I was constantly screaming, “SHOOT THE BALLOON! SHOOT THE BALLOON! JUST SHOOT THE @#$% BALLOON!”

Finally, your characterization of Twilight and Rainbow Dash feels backwards at times, and other times it just feels out of character. Twilight is the militaristic one and Dash’s sloth is taken to out of context. The sexual tension you have budding between the two of them is overbearing at times for an [adventure] fic. At it’s roots, this story is a [shipping] fic, and needs to be tagged – and treated – as such. I think everything will go over much smoother if you do. At the moment, you’re straddling that underlying intent of a [shipping] fic so hard while trying your damnedest to not be a [shipping] fic that your poor story is chaffing from the friction. Give it some tender loving care.

And maybe some lube.


I understand why this story is on its second strike from EQD, and after giving it a careful twice-over, I have to warn you that this story is a very long way from something that I think would pass their quality standards. I don’t know. I’ve never submitted anything, but I have worked on things that have passed submission. This is not at that level, but it’s far from irreparable. Read through the document comments, give your revision some careful consideration, and run the story through the queue again before making your final attempt.

Keep reading, keep writing, and most of all, good luck~

Review Acknowledgement 2920

>>2671

Thanks for the review but I need to set something straight. Luna isn't a filly. Not in this story. I would instead put her close to 50 years old. The thing is, Being immortal beings, their development (At least in this story) is slower. That and the fact that things were held back during the battle with Discord. This story isn't meant to be a clop fic, instead the "Consort" finding is meant to be a mechanism that drives the story forward.

It's hard to say too much with only one chapter, but the idea is that Luna chooses Nightwing as a possible consort, and to test him, she inducts him into the Nightmares. A all mare secret organization - or it was until this point.

Thanks for the review anyway, and sorry for any misunderstanding. Been a way at family for a while so sorry for late reply.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2921

File: 1356808351935.png (364.35 KB, 500x473, Monk-HTT-scaled.png)

>>2920
> Rationalization of implied borderline foalcon via making barely-pubescent Luna 50 years old and thus more mature
If that's your gig, just make sure that you give her the maturity and wisdom that comes with having extra age à la Alia Atreides. You cannot justifiably make her all cutesy and young in her mind and call it not-pedo, because then 50-year-old Luna would be practically indistinguishable, for all intents and purposes, from 8-year-old Pip.

2922

>>2921

There is no reason Luna cannot be In experienced. She is a sheltered character, even in the show. Her sister holds her back and because of this she has little experience.

The story will show her wisdom. However this wisdom is based in her dealings with the night and warfare. It has very little to do with "Day to day" life. Because she was quite a bit younger than Celestia when the war started. Meaning she has been restricted in some parts of her development.

The story will show some of her development, and show the fallout of her sister's over protectiveness.

2923

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>>2922
My point is that if Luna is child-like, she might as well just be a child at that point. Your story would hence be entertaining the topic of sexual activity with someone who is a child/minor in every sense except the amount of time she has existed on the planet.
This post was edited by its author on .

2926

>>2923

Don't worry, she won't be child like, she just doesn't know much about love, sex and relationships.

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2934

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>>2920

> isn't meant to be a clop fic

> the "Consort" finding is meant to be a mechanism that drives the story forward.
> she inducts him into the Nightmares. A all mare secret organization

> him

> all mare secret organization

> him

> all mare secret organization

Mine countenance whereupon…



I have nothing against clop fics. I really don't. I'll even admit to having read a few. I also have nothing against shipping, or comedy, or adventure, or dark, or anything except human-in-equestria, but I'm trying to branch into that. But it drives me insane when a story tries to be something that it isn't, or tries to hide something that it is.

You're throwing a guy into an all female military organization. Give me ten minutes and google and I could find you an adult doijin that follows that exact concept. If you're trying not to write clop, you're going in the wrong direction.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I could have been more helpful with my coverage of your story. That line with Luna threw me off my game completely. So I'm going to be a complete jerk and point out the flaws in your logic here. Counter-intuitive, I know, but I hope it'll save you some heartache in the long run.

First of all, Luna is sheltered because she spent a thousand years on the moon. "Sheltered" isn't even the right word — she's out of touch, a time traveler, cut off from the world she knew. Possibly even from her own actions, which has made her wary and cautious around new things, which is now everything. While her time before Nightmare Moon is open to interpretation, using her present disposition to justify her past self is all kinds of backwards.

Next, you mention that (paraphrased) "as immortal beings, they develop slower" and "she's not a foal, she's fifty." These statements are counterproductive to one another. When I blend these two concepts together, I come to the conclusion that fifty is young for Luna, because she's immortal and because she develops slower than one would expect. Which still puts you quite firmly within, as Demetrius put it, "foalcon" territory. I seriously doubt that this was your intent, but nevertheless, that's how it comes across to me. The chronological age of a character has nothing to do with their maturity.

Finally, you mention that one of the driving story mechanics you plan to employ is (paraphrased) "Celestia holding her sister back", or "being overprotective." I don't know what your story's take on the arrival of Nightmare Moon is, but I always envisioned the battle against Discord as being the catalyst for that. Nightmare Moon's coming about may not have been immediate, and maybe it's this coddling by Celestia that brings it about, but I just can't see Luna as being submissive and inexperienced in this time window. I see her being rebellious.

So I pose a couple of questions, and I want you to really chew on them before you head back into this: does it have to be Luna's first consort? Or, does it have to be her first… *ahem*, "cycle"? Is there some kind of plot significance that requires that these things hold true?
This post was edited by its author on .

Midnight Service, again Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2935

Dearest gcsmith,

My advice to you splits into three forks. And I have some idea what I'm talking about - I like clop, I critique clop, I'll chase down story ideas that unsettle most people…

- If you are not writing a clopfic because you are opposed to clopfic or too young, you should drop the idea. Plain and simple. Come back to it when you have your hormones and/or scruples sorted out. Normally it's really bad business to get personal like this, but the artistic success of this story depends very greatly on you, the author, personally.

You may not be ready for this story now or ever - and that's not a bad thing.

See, I once spent a lot of time trying to present a character moment that depended on a rather specific sexual event - while shoehorning it into a T-rating. Eventually, it came to me: you cannot show a pony doing X in a T-rated fic. There is nothing wrong with X, but it is just not appropriate.

So I gave up, and then much later shortskirts managed to show X in a T-rated fic and it managed to be non-offensive, but it did confuse a bunch of too-young readers and was generally a bad idea.

- If you are not writing a clopfic because you're not confident in your ability, the audience, or something like that, write the damn harem-doujin foalcest clopfic that this thing wants to be and get it out of your system. But not here, because make this story explicit and you run afoul of the rules even for restricted threads.

Trust me: the audience will show up. Edgy clopfic gets more attention than artsy non-clop by a factor of four to one - actual numbers, actual fics released the same day: 458:100.

Trust me: ability is not really in demand. The best clopfickers are writing out of crafts-pride, not because anyone cares.

Points to consider:

Dem and M_A are right. Foalcon isn't a number, it's the combination of two things:
underage - a character is not biologically ready for some aspect of sexuality
sexualization - but gets forced into it anyway

Luna doesn't feel the need for a consort. Celly makes her get one anyway. Never mind numbers, that is abusive! You might soft-pedal it. I wish you wouldn't. You do get a choice whether to show explicit bits BUT you run into the same problem that shortskirts did with his story. You don't really want kids reading it, 'cuz they just won't get it. You should hope they don't get it. I like the option of Luna defying her sister on this issue, by the way. Better to be rid of it.

But the part that makes this a clopfic is the whole dire-need-for-sexual-release motivation… thing. Heard of Fallout: Equestria? Kkat, the author, sealed the story's fate when she made the main character's sexual frustration an explicitly-depicted issue. It feels incomplete without the clop-scene, Pacce had to write it, and you're digging exactly the same hole. Since it's the inciting incident of the whole thing, you need to decide now.

- Third fork:
Drop the cloppiness. Want to write a story about the first stallion in an all-mare military outfit? That's enough to motivate a story! By itself! Leave the sexing out of it, and just deal with issues of sex-equality - plus whatever normal new-cadet bullshit they'd put any new mare through. Simple. Non-problem-causing. Luna becomes a character, not just her mareheat. I like this option. You probably don't.

2936

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>>2920
>>2935
>- Third fork:
Or just write a story about an all-mare military outfit. Though this is coming from someone who's sick of audience-surrogate-self-insert characters* read: most harem anime, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

See: type 3. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AudienceSurrogate

2937

>>2935

There may be things I need to change. Like the fact it's her first heat. Instead make it simply her first consort since it would be unseemly to continue like they had in the past. But the idea of the consort is that if she has to choose someone, then she wants to make sure he is right for her.

To test him, she puts him in this organization that helps protects the dreams of the ponies in the kingdom. The fact it's all mares is based on the fact that normally they take the guise of Luna in the dreams so ponies just think they are dreaming that pony up instead of them actually being there.

The fact of the matter is it's likely they wont ever get to be together physically due to the "Nightmare" arriving before they have the opportunity.

2938

What is it with foalcon lately? Must be in the water.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2939

File: 1356860478387.jpg (31.88 KB, 512x384, 130723378114.jpg)

>>2935
It gladdens me to see you give such level-headed advice to this author who badly needs it.
>>2937
As for you: you'd best heed his words. Regardless of what you want the story to be about, or even your own motivations / intentions in writing it, if you stray into certain specific territories people will view your work in a way that reflects most unfavorably on you. Thus, touting the finer points of your story as clarification or rationalization (if that's what you're up to) is a vain exercise and may (in other less lenient settings) actually make matters worse for you.
>>2938
> pic
This post was edited by its author on .

Gilda VS. Whole Equestria Kikuto!DzGJPbzzD2 2943

#Comedy #Adventure

Fluttershy has kidnapped Rainbow Dash! It's up to Gilda and Ditzy to save her!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EUN6zkvOuSHeW1ndV3ZfyBWMaXou4y1R2upRVotbi_s/edit

1452 words

I'm just asking is there any hope for this fic (grammatically). Hopefully I understood correctly how this review request should be submitted.
This post was edited by its author on .

2944

>>2943
Two things—
1. You need to share your document. Use the top right button on the doc, then change it to "Anyone with the link" and "can comment."

2. You should submit your story to the Training Grounds spreadsheet so we can keep track of things. Here's a link to the form:
http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit

Kikuto!DzGJPbzzD2 2945

>>2944
Done.

Collective Memory Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2946

File: 1356907870883.png (386.64 KB, 544x500, Screenshot - 12302012 - 02:45:…)

Okay, now I have a story (and I'm claiming >>2607). Nicknack is currently helping me a bit quite well with this, but I'm going to submit it to the queue for a few weeks down the line when someone else has the time to give opinions on it as well. Since I have mostly fallen out of practice with writing, any and all brutally honest opinions to help set me straight would help. I especially want plotholes pointed out, as well as inconsistencies in characterization. I also would like to know where I go too far with boring & dry exposition, and where my writing turns stolid or drab (I get the sense that this is the case) and suggestions/thood for fought in the process of fixing it. I'd also appreciate comments or suggestions on a better title, synopsis, and of course, cover image.

Title: Collective Memory
https://drive.google.com/#folders/0B-AQzDU7RlujaWwweEp5UXlQM2c
#Sci-Fi #Adventure
Synopsis: A great natural disaster known only as "the great wave" that occurred deep in Equestria's history is about to repeat itself. Only the most elite of Equestrian supernatural researchers have any knowledge of its imminence. To address this, the Fount of Creation Research Institute has gathered to it certain youths who have exhibited the profound ability to speak directly to nature, and in some cases, to influence it. However, what most of these scholars don't know is what the most clandestine inner circle of scholars actually intend to do with these poor youngsters, and how they seek to wield the great wave as a terrible weapon against Equestria's enemies.

Two of these youths managed to escape, aided by staff from the Fount of Creation who cared for their wellbeing and the peace of our world. My name is Jade, and I helped make this happen.


A.K.A. The story where I manage to rip off both Hayao Miyazaki and James Patterson (and to a lesser extent, Douglas Adams). It probably also has some of GRRM's narrative idiosyncrasies sprinkled about it as well (I've been trying to avoid them; I just got through five books of them, so bear with me).

Current length: ~13k ~14k words (actively working on this; just massively re-wrote chapter 1). The fifth chapter is only half done, but I expect it to be done by the time someone claims this story. I'm going to add a new Eddy Current/Redcap POV right after chapter 3, and hold off on chapter 5. The new chapter won't be necessary to understand what is currently chapter 4, though, so chapters 1-4 should be good to go, while chapter 5 can be ignored for the time being. I'll update this post as it becomes necessary to give more information.

One additional disclaimer: it's written in markdown, so whenever you see text enclosed in asterisks, that means I meant it to be italicized, and when you see it enclosed in double-asterisks, that's when it's boldfaced. I do this because I don't write in Google Docs any more, but I copy to Google Docs for commenting and editing, and then copy back into my favored medium before converting to BBCode for FiMFiction.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review of Ponies Throwing Knives Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 2948

File: 1356915506586.png (578.69 KB, 945x945, z21626__safe_rainbow-dash__art…)

>>2683
A few thoughts while reading this.

>While it seemed natural for Dash to act shy around AJ, I don't think she'd act that way around Derpy or the other characters.


>Applejack doesn't really have any problems with lying. See yesterday's episode. It's more that she values honesty. She just isn't good at keeping it.


>Don't mention making out in the synopsis. I was disappointed when I got to that part, when the scene would've otherwise been fine.


>The whole thing seems like it was written by Rainbow Dash. This is a very good thing. Consider changing this to a first person PoV as told by Dash. Though to do this you'll have to cut the scene with Applejack at Rarity's house. This would easily fix the second point I mentioned.


>Also, I'd suggest adding the [Comedy] tag and getting someone who's really good at comedy to help you punch up the jokes. I'm not very good at comedy.


Feel free to reply to this post, any of the in-doc comments, or ping me in the #fic IRC* if you have any questions.

*Link in case you don't have it: http://derpy.me/VW9tw

Review: Autumn Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2950

File: 1356930209994.jpg (11.07 KB, 270x203, 270px-ST-TNG_Frame_of_Mind.jpg)

>>2607
Left editing comments in the doc.

Okay, so this is a sort of David Lynch-ian psychological thing. I like this sort of thing. I think it has a good balance between actual scenebreaks and seamless/subtle transitions between realities. However, I get the feeling that the hook is just barely strong enough, and that it might be not vivid enough. Part of maintaining a good illusion is giving the illusion more visceral depth. If you focus on anything when improving the story, focus on making environmental descriptions more vivid, especially near the beginning. They're already good, it's just that I have a hunch they could be better.

Some random links I thought appropriate to include in this post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_of_Mind_(Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sting_(Futurama)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CuckooNest
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllJustADream

Review of "In Their Highnesses' Clandestine Corps" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2955

File: 1356958797376.jpg (13.38 KB, 244x207, righto.jpg)

>>2185
It'd be pretty bad to leave this until the new year, so here we are!

Line-by-line in doc. There wasn't much for the first two chapters aside from small suggestions to flow; word choice, dialogue, almost everything was pretty much spot-on. As the setting expanded, and more and more landmarks were introduced, keeping track of them and the relative distance in between them began to be a bit fuzzy, so I've marked those down too. You have the unenviable position of handling such a large piece of land, especially one that you've done research for but your reader might not necessarily remember, e.g. me. Or, in short, write and describe in such a way as to not expect your reader to know/remember the setting. Reference to its canonical establishment via throwaway remark or its ilk would suffice. Also, it's Blueblood's first time in the ravine, so he'd be all analytical and everything, which would be a good guise under which to justify filling in the details.

You have a tendency to overuse "though". You should pay attention to that. Also, I'm conservative with special punctuation like interrobangs and emdashes, hence the comments marking out the former. Just to let you know that there is some personal preference involved on that front. =s

This was well-written. Every technical aspect was handled skillfully, with a kind of one-size-fits-all style that carries plot events nicely. However, I can't say I loved it, and after a bit of mulling, I think I've managed to mark down the reasons. Mind, this is just a reflection of my own opinions. In no way am I a good measure of the populace's perception. Don't let this get to you or result in any overhauls, because the story doesn't need it.

Also, this may sound hella pretentious, so apologies in advance.

The first is personal preference: I don't think much of Blueblood in general and can't really sympathize with him. It's not a dislike, it's just indifference, like how I'd look at Cloudchaser or Daring Do. So when I read a story about him, I didn't have that initial investment the story needs to get me excited. There's no "hey, this looks cool" thought,which encourages further investment in the story.

The second is Blueblood's stock-standard character, which resulted in a degree of detachment.

James Bond is an action adventure thingy. Action and adventure are its hook; intrigue and class are its sustaining force. But when you peel that back, you realize there really isn't much to the character of James Bond himself personality-wise. He's an agent, he's good, he's determined, he gets stuff done, and often gets out of stick situations on strokes of fortune or inspiration, but emotions don't really factor into it. His actions are professional. The romance parts in James Bond don't really get me feeling anything, nor do the parts where he suffers from blows or wounds. I'm watching to see the action and the twists in the plot, not because I have an investment in the character himself.

Now Blueblood is more or less played like that. He's a snob, he's an agent, he's good, and the other add-ons: his insecurity, his refusal to admit pride in the Corps are what I'd call standard. It's a well-explored archetype that's being presented, and as a result, part of me goes, "Oh, okay, I've seen this before", so when I'm presented with development, I take it in its stride without much emotional feedback. It's faithful to canon, certainly, but it's also just there. On one hand, the quick setup allows you to dive into the plot, but on the other, the lack of a more well-rounded character exploration - possibly on the grounds that there is not much else to explore - weakens the parts of emotional conflict, i.e. the romance and betrayal sections.

The effect? Rather than feeling anything per se, I felt that the romance and the betrayal were there for the benefit of the plot, because they were called for. They're rightly placed and fit in perfectly with the story, but I see them as such, not experiencing them. I can appreciate it, but that's about it.

How might this be significant? Well, FiM is character-driven. A lot of fanfiction is character-driven. A stock character which isn't given unique spins aside from the archetype list (Blueblood being a spy is unique enough, but as far as James Bond-esque spy characters go, there's nothing new, I mean) might not be as gripping as some of the other stuff your audience consumes regularly. It's influence at play. Just thought I'd propose this little hypothesis, because you might find it interesting.

How is this not significant? Well, your story isn't one where the lurve and pain are felt. It's an action adventure story. Action and adventure are your hooks, and intrigue is your sustaining force. That's what you're selling, and you sell it well. Just, perhaps, you won't get as many buyers, on account of them having fed on something else for so long.

Let me get this straight: this is, overall, good. I work with Seattle's Angels; you may have heard of us. This is the kind of story I'd approve for recommendation on account of solid writing and solid plot. I'd also praise it for being something fanfic authors don't tackle very often - while the character traits are not special, the nature of the story itself is. Like I said, anything close to a rewrite or overhaul is strictly unnecessary; the above is just, really, Opinions. It's part of the package.

Re-reading the rejection letters, I have to say, aside from the many "though"s and that hadn't've (cue hissing), I didn't find much in the way of convolution. There were only a couple of instances of sentences which could have been shorter for effect, which I marked out. Perhaps it was because I got used to your style? I dunno. Maybe it'd be a good idea to show the EqD pre-readers this overall? Maybe not. I've asked the question in the thread on Ponychan, so we'll see.

All in all, well done. I'm not the kind of reader you're aiming for, but I am impressed with your skills (and I've always been mildly curious about the style of your work, along with others such as Sessalisk, Mystic, so on), and yes, I can say this was a good read.

Keep writing.

Review Acknowledgment 2956

>>2955

Thank you so much! With your comments, the ones Aquillo and cheeze sauce gave me at Saltblock, and a very thoughtful note from Cloudy Skies on FiMFiction, I've been busting up sentences, rewriting descriptions, and thinking about why specifically Blueblood and Dash might be interested in each other.

That last is the hardest part of this thing for me. As you point out, it's essentially an action-adventure story, and with Blueblood, there's only so far I felt I could take him as a character in one 36 hour period. What I need to focus on, I think, is that this is just the start of Dash and Blueblood's relationship. Then things can develop as they get involved in more adventures. Which I guess means I've gotta write some sequels! :)

Still, another pass with a few specific rewrites in mind, and I think it'll be ready for its third and final submission to EqD.

Thanks again,
Mike

Review Acknowledgement Equ-us 2957

>>2948
Thanks for the comments.
I've never written first person perspective before. I don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I tried.

I didn't mean for this to be a comedy. Are there really that many jokes? Or does it have more to do with that ridiculously stupid synopsis?

2961

>>2957
>I've never written first person perspective before. I don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I tried.
It wouldn't be that hard, just change a few "she"s and "Rainbow Dash"s to "I"s and cut the scene with Applejack, which you should do anyway. Though it's your story, I can't force you to do anything.

>I didn't mean for this to be a comedy. Are there really that many jokes? Or does it have more to do with that ridiculously stupid synopsis?

Yes, there really are that many jokes and they're pretty much all told by the narrator. Hence why I suggested changing the story to FPPoV.

2973

Howdy! My first time in TTG since the move from /fic. Got my first one-shot here!

This is a little experiment I did a few weeks ago. I wanted to see if I could sit down and write something coherent in one sitting. This is what I got:

Title: The Conversion Bureau- Last of My Kind
Author: Jake The Army Guy
Words:4,500
Tags: Normal, Slightly-dark-ish-like

Synopsis: Seven years.

Seven years since a botched experiment ripped a hole in the fabric of space.

Seven years since two worlds, once separated by infinity slowly began to merge.

Seven years since the thick blanket of thaumatic radiation, the wondrous energy that gives ponies their magic and is deadly to humans, began to coat the Earth.

Now, as full integration looms, all mankind has been converted into ponies.

Except one.

Meet David Savoy, the last human on Earth, and a man with a message for the universe.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L0MMUPt--3o1iATKqrSk2bxgi5bIE4Fn3D_jTD9Cs1k/edit

A couple things of note:

1. I literally thought up that synopsis as I was typing it. I apologize.

2. I also dropped this in Umbra's thread. Thanks!

Review Request: Twilight's Odyssey Chapter Two 2975

Title: Twilight's Odyssey

Author: DemPonies

Tags: Adventure, Alternate Universe

Synopsis: In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Little does she know that her very existence is about to set a series of events into motion that will take her far beyond the borders of Equestria itself—and change the fates of both her nation and her life, forever.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H8VciwN33C-OEh2TdH9MQtY34gesC4C_whIMapMFMk4/edit

Comments: If anyone who hasn't read the first chapter wants to pick this up, you can either read it here (http://www.fimfiction.net/story/24518/1/twilights-odyssey/chapter-1-summer-sun) or read the tl;dr version here:

In an alternate Equestria that isn't ruled by Celestia or Luna, filly Twilight walks through Canterlot with her family during the Summer Sun Celebration. She gets separated from the rest of her family, and stumbles unto the tent of a sooth-sayer (who happens to be Trixie's mom) who shows her ominous visions of her future. Her brother interrupts the visions, and takes her back to their parents after breaking the news of his eventual departure to Saddle Point, Unicornia's top military academy. Reunited with her parents, Twilight participates in the raising of the sun for the first time, which inspires her to find out more about magic.

I'd recommend the full version, but I'm biased, of course ;)

I would like to request that you specifically look for awkward phrases, words, or weirdly structured sentences. If you could also read the chapter once—forming an untainted, initial impression—then go back and check the (no peeking)
pacing
again that would be great. Those are the things I'm most concerned about.

Thank you in advance!

Edit: Also, for those who are curious, the chapter is about 7000 words long.
This post was edited by its author on .

morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2977

File: 1357088352807.jpg (185.3 KB, 894x894, 132641534555.jpg)

>>2975

If I didn't already have things on my immediate plate, I'd offer to pick this up, as I recall a fair bit about the first chapter — having been a reviewer for it. I recalled the work, but I'm terrible at remembering authors. I'm not sure how traumatic the experience was on your end, though, so I'll leave it up to you whether or not you want me to take a look at this one, as well.

2979

>>2977

Oh, you're more than welcome to take a look at this chapter as well :)

I admit I had to go back and check which review was yours, but once I found it, I instantly remembered. It was very helpful and fair, and I could tell that you put a lot of effort into helping me. It would be great if you could do that again!

I'd like to think my writing has improved quite a bit since back then, but why not let you be the judge of that ;)
This post was edited by its author on .

Claiming "Twilight's Odyssey, Chapter Two" morning_angles!fNwdme31rQ 2983

Posted: 1/1
Link: >>2975
Title: Twlight's Odyssey (Chapter Two)
Author: DemPonies

Going to go ahead and put my stamp on this one, then. Don't expect anything immediate, as I will be going through your chapter one to refresh my memory and see what (if anything) has changed. Obviously I won't be commenting on that as it isn't what you've requested, but if I run into anything glaring I'll probably bring it up in the write-up once I've gone over chapter two with my usual fine-tooth comb.

state of the queue Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2988

File: 1357120933371.jpg (30.55 KB, 319x337, gentlecolts.jpg)

We've got quite a few reviews in progress that are sort of lagging behind. In the live queue I see comments that excuse or explain the tardiness of Azuza on Stars & Stripes by Wilgrove and troubleTransistor on The Mercy of Screwball by Professor Coruptus. As for the rest…what is happening?

Reviews that need to get finished:
AidanMaxwell: reviewing Not Exactly Green; No ODST Is by SpilledInk (claimed 11/11/2012) submitted 11/10/2012
alex!magnet: reviewing Wandering by NejinOniwa (claimed 12/7/2012) submitted 11/19/2012
Nietzsche: reviewing The Wanderer's Wife by Arbpw (claimed 11/30/2012) submitted 11/22/2012
Eustatian: reviewing Unmarked by Croswynd (claimed 11/25/2012) submitted 11/24/2012
Azusa: reviewing What She Didn't Want by Dubs Rewatcher (claimed 12/6/2012) submitted 12/06/2012
Figments: reviewing Pony Tropes by Shader (claimed 12/10/2012) submitted 12/08/2012
twillale: reviewing The Mare and the Mountain by Enter Madness (claimed 12/13/2012) submitted 12/09/2012
Anonymous: reviewing Fragment by Heliostorm (claimed 12/17/2012) submitted 12/11/2012
Filler: reviewing Stage Fright! by Ezn (claimed 12/15/2012) submitted 12/14/2012
morning_angles: reviewing Twilight's Odyssey (Chapter Two) by DemPonies (claimed 1/1/2013) submitted 01/01/2013

Reviews Awaiting Acknowledgment
This Means War by Regi (>>1622) submitted 11/24/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Tactical on 11/28/2012 (>>1622)
Primary Colors by The epic Bobster of Bobsvale (>>2297) submitted 11/25/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Umbra on 12/11/2012 (>>2297)
Bronies Dawn by Sayer (>>2562) submitted 11/28/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Casca on 12/18/2012 (>>2562)
The Kingdom of Discord by The Pirate Prince (>>125418) submitted 11/29/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Seattle Lite on 12/08/2012 (>>125418)
Gardening With Derpy by NateNarcieq (>>2373) submitted 12/13/2012 ✻ Reviewed by WaferThin on 12/14/2012 (>>2373)
You will always be… by Brotato (>>125819) submitted 12/17/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Mattatatta on 01/01/2013 (>>125819)
Ashes to Ashes by Caveman2012 (>>125654) submitted 12/19/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Professor Hugbox on 12/19/2012 (>>125654)
Autumn by Bleeding Raindrops (>>2950) submitted 12/19/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Demetrius on 12/30/2012 (>>2950)
Equestrian Aerial Magic Assault Unit 00 by tactical!rainboom (>>2895) submitted 12/23/2012 ✻ Reviewed by morning_angles on 12/28/2012 (>>2895)

Unclaimed Stories
12/09/2012 ✻ Utopia: The Prometheus Saga by Eschatos Initiator >>125467
12/13/2012 ✻ Under Free Flag by twillale >>2341
12/21/2012 ✻ Silent Knight by Brony 2-Ma-Ro >>2565
12/23/2012 ✻ Through the Well of Pirene by Ether Echoes >>125704
12/24/2012 ✻ Untitled Lyra Story by Bob From Bottles >>2759
12/25/2012 ✻ The Guardian (K)Night by InfiniteBrony >>125723
12/27/2012 ✻ The Adventures of Dewey Decimal and Steven! by The Pirate Prince >>125745
12/27/2012 ✻ The Doctor and Derpy Play Minecraft by ConfusedBrony >>125752
12/30/2012 ✻ Gilda VS. Whole Equestria by Kikuto >>2943
12/30/2012 ✻ Collective Memory by Demetrius >>2946
12/31/2012 ✻ The MMMM Conspiracy by The Pirate Prince >>125800
01/01/2013 ✻ The Conversion Bureau- Last of My Kind by Jake The Army Guy >>2973
01/01/2013 ✻ Survivor Shy by Mattatatta >>125818

Claim of "Under Free Flag" Casca 2989

File: 1357126818520.jpg (8.63 KB, 192x192, claimed.jpg)

>>2988
TroubleTransistor has completed his review of "The Mercy of Screwball" here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zh6q-vZrBc5BsNHWxhVl81HucqOOPtCIvcGeP0ciaQI/edit. Which, I might add, has waddled past the border from "mighty fine" to "pretty bloody amazing".

Also claiming "Under Free Flag": >>2341

Croswynd 2992

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>>2988

To be fair, Unmarked is 150k+ words. However, it has been a month and I was hoping for his mini-review of the first few chapters he mentioned last time, at the least.

Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2993

>>2992
I've got an annotated-diff-edit-thing going on for the first chapter, which I hope will get you thinking about style. Depending on how helpful you find it, I'm willing to do ch 2 and ch 3.

But, I can't keep my attention on the rest, not with my own muse starting to act up. Please don't think it's your fault - my roots in spec-fic, romance, and shorter works are asserting themselves recently.

And my apologies for not positively dropping earlier.

If I can make a suggestion, http://jamesscottbell.com/styled-7/styled-8/index.html James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure has an exercise in it where you dissect a novel - basically, you un-write it from text to a specific kind of outline. Apply that to Unmarked and a 600-page published novel of your choice. Then compare the two for lessons learned for future projects.

Review of "The Mare and the Mountain" twillale!x2C2a1oy82 3002

File: 1357221890133.jpg (104.08 KB, 800x500, Derpy.jpg)

>>2266

Done.

I am truly, truly sorry for the time I took to review this. Let that be a lesson to me about time management.

In broad strokes, your story is very good. Certainly better than what I could do with the subject matter so the validity of the
whole review is a little questionable, perhaps, but the best coaches aren't always the best players, right…? ;)

From the start, the world feels very desolate and dangerous, and you paint a very good picture of post-apocalyptic Equestria. The descriptions of the terrain don't devolve into paragraph-long descriptions, but still convey the threat the environment poses, even to a being like Celestia.

Despite some minor repetition (mentioning how Celestia instinctively tries to use magic every once in a while and that it hurts in two consecutive paragraphs, for example) the story flows well until "the mare" reaches Canterlot. I think the greatest stumbling block for me is that you seem to want to describe the events of the story from the perspective of Celestia herself, while sometimes slipping into the role of a detached, external observer. This manifests most clearly when you Write out Celestia's thoughts (e.g. "It burned her mouth and throat, but she didn’t care. She deserved it. She had deserved every horrible thing that had happened to her since she left."); this is all well and good, but when you also begin matter-of-factly describing what the other characters think and feel (e.g. "All fear that the filly felt was washed away with that smile and soon she had returned to normal.") it often comes across as a little tell-y rather than show-y.

The last quote above also highlights a what I experienced as a minor pacing issue, emphasis on minor. At times, perhaps consciously, some bits of the story seem to cut a little short (to re-quote, "[…]and soon she had returned to normal."), more so towards the end than at the beginning. This combines with some confusion about the use of "the mare" versus "Celestia": in some memory sequences you use the names interchangeably, while in some you stick entirely with the former. Because you don't have any stylistic indicator to help separate the memory (and to a lesser extent, dream) sequences from "real" events, I can't help but feel that those sequences might've stood out more if you would consequently have used "Celestia" thorough.

The same thing applies to the names once she reaches the garden at the top of the mountain. Without preamble she begins calling herself "Celestia" again (which seems like a conscious decision on your part, considering the consistency from there on). Considering she still doesn't consider her actions forgiveable at that point, it seems like an odd decision in the light of her earlier actions.

At the end, a thing that was left bothering me was the fact that we don't really get a good grip on what kind of calamity would actually drive Celestia to leave Equestria behind? Right now the whole apocalypse felt a little Sombra-esque, in the sense that it was simply a looming, nondescript evil lurking behind the scenes of the story. Furthermore, if Luna has the ability to move freely between the worlds of the dead and the living (as you have Twilight posit at the end), how come she didn't contact her sister before? What I'm getting at is that the Celestia who lived between the fleeing monarch and the returning penitent is a complete unknown, and thus feels… vague. If you can really impress the heaviness of a thousand years in exile her subsequent self-forgiveness would mean that much more to the reader.

Well, as you can see, the core of my critique is just nitpicking. All in all, the story was really good, though my overall impression was that you could've made it that much more emotionally powerful with some tiny adjustments. I understand that the tone of my review might come across as quite negative, but I assure you there was much more good than bad.

Cheers,
twillale


P.S. I noticed a few minor puctuation errors(?):

1) Inconsistent amounts of spaces in the indentation of the first paragraphs (fluctuating between 7 and 9, mostly).

2) "When she reached the top, she[…]" ← an extra space after "top,".

3) "of…what?" ← not sure if intentional, but an ellipsis should, according to most style guides, have spaces around (or after) it.

Claiming, "Silent Knight" 3004

>>2565

This might take a while, but I'll get cracking.

3005

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>>2762
Now I'm at the top of the queue with an almost identical-length fic that is also HiE, I can't be long now! *boundless optimism*
This post was edited by its author on .

Review Request: On Thin Ice FullmetalPony 3006

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Title Change: I don't feel the Same
Tags: Slice of life
Description: School, friends, family. Things seem to keep changing around Pound Cake.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pXnbcAdgauq6mueqAjZzTYX8bj9WyO-Mmnh-0sBWL1c/edit

Issues: Probably some mechanical ones here and there.
This post was edited by its author on .

What Shouldn't Be... Onward Conwardicus 3008

I hope I'm putting this in the right place…

Description: Twilight is saved from a boring and unplanned Sunday when a unicorn crashes into the roof of her house. But when he shows some odd qualities at the hospital, will Twilight be able to keep her interest in him only scientific? Or will other interests come into play?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RT-hncDdAGgwZqLRz9JHHsgks1P6jMDrERX16DN4jNk/edit

#Twilight #Romance #Mystery

3009

>>3008
Yes, this is correct. Sorry I wasn't active in the IRC when you popped in. The only other thing you need to do is fill out the submission form so that you get added to our queue spreadsheet. The "Submission form" link is at the top of the page, under "For writers."

What should't be - review Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 3018

File: 1357278849337.png (1.14 MB, 800x951, Twilight Corruption.png)

My New Year's resolution is that I am going to finish every review in one sitting. I am no longer going to claim stories, I'm just going to review them. If that means that an author gets two reviews, then… well that's probably a good thing.

>>3008
>I mentioned this in the doc chat; just leaving this here as a reminder. You don't need to indent your paragraphs, since you have them double spaced.

>Try varying your sentence structure more. You start too many sentences with names and pronouns.


>You're dialog is awkward and/or robotic in places, especially the doctor's. Not that Doctor. :P Try saying your dialog sentences out loud.


>A lot of your narration reads like it was written as a first person PoV by a character who speaks in the third person, but not in the good way. I would suggest changing this to a FPPoV fic from Twi's perspective, but you don't have that good a grasp on her characterization yet. I think cutting the sentences that I marked should fix this, but I'd watch for it in the future.


>Why are her friends suddenly there at the hospital waiting room? This kind of thing makes me think that this is one of those fics where that the author only writes to fulfill a fantasy of meeting the mane 6. This is reenforced by Rarity's reaction. For that matter, they should all be more worried that their friend who they've known for a couple years now is homeless than if "Lonely" will play with them. I know that it isn't but that's what it looks like.


>Twilight's total aversion to dating seems strange. Lon isn't a mare. When Rarity mentions the idea of dating him, Twi should just brush her off.


Okay… I know you've only seen five episodes, so I won't assume that you have total knowledge of the fanon hive-mind. Your OC reminds me a lot of Derpy. You'll know her when you see her in Feeling Pinkie Keen. I'd suggest changing this to a TwiDerpy fic, but it doesn't really work with a pegasus and I know you don't want to write this as a F/F. The way this is, people are going to compare him to Derpy. Though this would be fixed if you added the crossover tag suggested in the doc chat. Think it over at least.

I'd get some more reviews, read some more books I'd recommend The Dark Half by Stephen King, and overall keep writing.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Pony Tropes 3022

File: 1357327071038.png (563.33 KB, 1366x768, Creed.png)

Now, before I babble on and on about some random crap that probably won’t make any sense, let me say this: For the most part, I’m sane. I think. I don’t know about the other 75%, but I don’t think it’s much too good.

What does that mean? Well, I guess you’ll find out.

Plot & Storytelling

So first off, I understand that each of these things is a separate story that have no connection with each other. For the most part they were handled well enough, but could be better. I’m going to break them down individually.

Oh My Celestia! A Meat Eater

So, first vignette. It started off a bit weird, as in “I really don’t think the opening lines were necessary.” It seems like you were trying to introduce questions that really didn’t need to be introduced right then and there.

Next up, tense changes. You started with past tense but continuously switched back and forth between past and present. Keep it consistent. Stick with what you started using.

Since this was in first person, tell is to be expected. However, the way you word the narration makes the character seem, at least to me, a pretentious douchebag. Go through and fix up areas such as the ones I pointed out in-doc, and any others that I may have missed. If you think I’m incorrect, please let me know. Not going to lie: I love it when people prove me wrong.

Other than that, a few awkward sentences to fix and heeding the comments.

Arrival in a Deathtrap

A few strange descriptions that I think you should fix are there. There was a couple things you should cut out, and I made note of that in the doc. There were a couple of tense changes here, too. Make sure you go through and fix that.

The big thing in this story is the overuse of line separators. Sometimes, it felt like you were being lazy because you didn’t want to describe some things, since some of the scenes had endings that were closely related to the next scene.

Remember: When changing a scene, it’s a different scene. It should have a coherent flow, but when scenes are too closely related it begs the question of why they’re even separated at all. Go through and change them. Either make them actual scenes or describe what needs to be described to move on.

Cutie Mark Everfree Forest Explorers, Yay!

I’m still questioning why the first scene ever needed to be mentioned at all. That’s a big indicator that something is really wrong. Look over and figure out what should be done, because I don’t get it.

All-in-all, it wasn’t bad, but I really didn’t care at all for the story.

Immunity to Magic

I’ll say this once, and I’ll probably say it many times afterwards: you need to introduce your characters right from the get-go. We get unnamed protagonist #1 being chased by an unknown mare. It takes too long to get to the part where you finally identify her.

Never use parentheses to highlight something. Always use either en-dashes or em-dashes.

There’s a lot of clunky dialogue in this one. Go through and spruce it up a bit.

My biggest problem with this is how quickly the mare figured out why unnamed protagonist #1, codenamed Human, was immune to magic. The way you made her sound, she seemed a lot more furious than that. In a rage, people tend to not logically think things through. Story-wise, it’d be much more logical for Human to figure it out first while the mare constantly fires magic at him.

Acceptance of a Hero

Not much here, except that Human comes to the conclusion of not risking his life very quickly. You need to fix that.



Grammar & Mechanics

Besides from tense changes and things like that, it was pretty solid. Good job.



Overall

You promised comedy. Most of the stories didn’t deliver, and instead I was given flat jokes and only two instances of situational humor that I chuckled at. However, there’s a lot of potential. I may just not be your intended audience.

In any case, you have a good grasp of grammar, but one thing I should point out is double-spacing after periods. While not entirely incorrect, it’s not really relevant anymore considering the fact that barely anyone uses them anymore. Whether or not you get rid of the extra spaces is up to you.



And that’s about it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. I’ll be glad to help if I can, and point you to good places in instances where I’m not much help at all.

Cheers!

-Figments

Review Acknowledgement Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3024

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>>2988
Can I be excused due to the fact that I've been building a house down in New Orleans for the past week, and haven't had access to my computer because I chose not to bring it with me, and as a result I didn't even know about this review until now?

>>2950
Ooh, goody. A late Hearth's Warming Eve gift. Thanks, Demmy. Sorry I couldn't respond; I was busy working.

Claim of "Collective Memory" 3032

12/30 >>2946 Collective Memory
I'll go ahead and claim Collective Memory by Demetrius.
I'll try not to be too harsh.

When possible I'll point out grammatical mistakes, but I warn you that I'm not a grammatician. I'll leave comments and a formal follow up when I'm done.

Another Thank You 3033

>>2956

Folks:

I just got the acceptance e-mail from EqD for "In Their Highnesses' Clandestine Corps," so I wanted to say thanks again to Casca in particular and the whole board in general.

Mike

I need help with multiple stories! 3035

File: 1357341568076.jpg (52.79 KB, 901x1000, Phoenix Quill 2.JPG)

Please help, I have three stories that I am working on, and I want to submit them to Equestria Daily.
All of them always return rejected for punctuation errors, and one even had a capitalization error.

I hope I am doing this right, I never really use chan sites.
Here are the story links,

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/61742/captain-kirk-equestrian

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/67871/the-great-and-powerful-escape-artist

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/65714/only-shadows-of-the-past

I hope so much that I did this right…

3049

>>3032
> I'll try not to be too harsh.
No, be as harsh as you like. I'd really like to get this polished story-wise first, so the more scrutiny the better. Even if you use snark in your review I'll make effort to interpret it in a way that is useful. If I'm making stupid mistakes like inconsistencies in characterization or plot holes, I want to know about them.

3055

>>2943

Claiming this fic. As requested, I will only go over grammar. If you'd like me to also look at the plot or flow or anything like that, let me know.

3057

>>3055

This was an extremely short story, and all I was looking at was grammar by request, so it's done already.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EUN6zkvOuSHeW1ndV3ZfyBWMaXou4y1R2upRVotbi_s/edit

You seem to have an extremely strong aversion to the words "the" and "a". Nearly every time you should use one of those, you did not, and so that completely butchers your story.

In addition, you are a heavy violator of "lavender unicorn syndrome," and refer to characters almost always as "pegasus" or "griffon" and suddenly start calling Derpy a unicorn half way through the story. Since this fic has three pegasus as main characters, I was immediately confused by just about everyone being called "pegasus."

You also switch tenses a lot, and it's unclear to me if you want this to be in past or present tense. Pick one.

The plot is also extremely weak, and if you want that reviewed you can resubmit and request me as your reviewer and I'll take a look at it. The story itself is incredibly silly (not in a good way), but that's for another review.

3058

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>>3035
I fixed your entries in the queue. Next time submit each story by itself. Also, it's recommended that you post your stories in a Google document with the comments enabled. That was you'll get a more detailed review.

3065

File: 1357383429641.jpg (52.83 KB, 613x613, yes.jpg)

>>3033
This news pleases me greatly. Congratulations! And hey - you're the author, after all.

Thank you very much 3066

http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/525.html#3058
Thank you, I was unsure even after reading directions.

The Muse of Madness ProfCharles 3092

Name:ProfCharles
Tags:[dark][crossover][tragedy][v. light gore]
Synopsis:Lovecraftian horror. Rarity is invited to join the Ponyville Royal Art Society. However, one artist isn't all she seems to be, and discovering the truth may cost Rarity more than she can imagine…
Link:http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55371/the-muse-of-madness
Comments:
Pascoite assisted with the first draft a few months ago, but I am not bothered as to who picks it up.
This has been bounced twice from EQD, but only on grammtical issues.
The EQD prereaders said:
Look for errors in the following areas:

Hyphen/em dash confusion (use hyphens for stutters and em dashes for longer breaks and cut-off speech)
Possessive noun use (Singular possessive nouns that end in an s still need an apostrophe)
Homonym errors (Most notably its/it’s confusion)
Contractions (they need an apostrophe)
Dialogue punctuation

The grammar is literally all that's stopping the story; I found the revision improved the content of the story quite a bit, but the mechanics just aren't quite there. I would dearly love to post this if it comes back proofread.

Thanks in advance!

Review of Collective Memory 3108

So I've already talked to you personally about this in greater detail so I'll be brief here.

Characters were not bad. They couldn't hurt to have more focus paid to them as characters. Still, your OCs look like they definitely have potential and their own unique character. Still, Snails as a main character, really? :D

I might compare your use of adjectives to an addiction. There are times when your descriptions become bogged down. The worst part, however, is that there's a lot of times when you could be using much more descriptive spiels in place of a bland, adjective-saturated statements.

You need better sources of tension or you need to drastically cut boring, drawn-out scenes. If it wasn't someone walking it was people talking back and forth, and I didn't really feel involved like I might have in a better story

Cut down on the heavy exposition and be more subtle. I'd rather figure things out over time than be told them right off.

As I indicated, once you've given it a good re-writing, shoot me an e-mail if you'd like me to look it over again.

Hope I helped!

3118

>>3108
Sent an email.

Thanks!

cheezesauce 3126

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>>2956
Ah, I was wondering why your name seemed so familiar. I'm glad that you've finally made it to Equestria Daily!

3181

>>2993

You can contact me anytime at [email protected] Please do, in fact. Looking at your edits made me pretty excited and, combined with Umbra review, inspired me to write through the drought I've been experiencing.
This post was edited by its author on .

Reply to Review: Pony Tropes Shader!lUykKY/81I 3196

>>3022

I think my real biggest problem is that I was attempting (badly) to make them funny. It went nowhere, and I just made a stonking big mess of things.

I also didn't do much (any) editing myself because I really needed another person to take a look and give a 'Yay, this is funny', or 'Nay, try something different'.

As I've found out, I was right not to spend too long on it. Probably going to rewrite them into a Slice of Life and stop trying to force the funny that's just not coming.

>Oh My Celestia! A Meat Eater

I was attempting to write the thing in present tense, with him describing what had happened in the past. Going to have to rethink that.
Mostly happy with it otherwise, though do need to de-doucheify him

>Immunity to Magic

This was the worst one out of the lot. Couldn't even figure out a bloody reason for Celestia to chase him. And the freaking punchline was "Shit"… It was dead the moment the talking started.

Personally, I'm mostly happy with CMC Ever free explorers, and I do think the first scene should be there. It's actually showing the consequences of the equivalent of playing in freeway traffic, something that's sorely missing from a lot of depictions. Although I might merge the first scene with the second, and use it as a memory of some kind. Maybe.

TL:DR I gotta throw out the corpse of comedy. Because I killed it.

3230

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>>3006
Pumpkin's first appearance makes me think that she's going to be the antagonist of the story. I'd suggest making her less of a jerk if this isn't the intended audience reaction.

>Mr. Cake watched his wife lead Pumpkin into the kitchen.

I think it's around here that my "reader" half quit. I get that you're trying to make the audience empathize with the characters—they get in trouble and almost everyone has gotten yelled at by their parents before, so it's very relatable—but reading it here makes me feel like I'm the one getting grounded. And because of this I don't want to read your story anymore.

Though this is just my opinion. Tangent: One of the things that makes me so torn about whether or not I like A Song of Fire and Ice is how the characters in it feel pretty miserable most of the time, so I feel miserable while reading the book; so I stop reading it. But that series is popular, it's sold 15 million copies. I guess you should wait and see what Umbra has to say about this.

Mr. and Mrs. Cake feel like they were written by someone who's never had kids before. Get some help with their dialog from someone who actually has kids. I think there are a few parents who post here, but I'm probably wrong.

Your PoV is very inconsistent. First it's on Pound, then Mrs. Cake, then Pumpkin, then Mr. Cake. Keep it to one character. These sudden PoV switches are kinda jarring.

You really need to improve on your character introductions. Good first impressions are very important. They color how we see the character for a good number of chapters.

You need to learn how to properly write a Texan accent. I'd suggest watching King of the Hill.

This feels like a M/M shipping fic. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just kinda guessed that that isn't what you're trying to write, what with the lack of a [Shipping] tag and all. I guess if you played up the whole Pinkie Pie x Pound Cake thing more that could fix it, but I'm not sure if EqD would allow that. For that matter, I'm not even sure they'd allow it with how he feels now. Though I really wish you wouldn't cut those parts just to get onto EqD. I'm kinda getting into it now. I think it could be really good.

FullmetalPony 3246

>>3230
Yikes okay there's some work that needs to be done here.

Although, why'd you bring up Song of Fire and Ice? It's a good series but what's it have to do with this?

3251

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>>3246
>Tangent
I mentioned it because I felt that it help to show that this part was opinion based. I'm not entirely sure if others would feel the same way as I did. Again, wait and see what Umbra says, I guess.

Also, if you want to hear more of my thoughts on A Song of Fire and Ice, we could talk about it in the #fic IRC channel. Link: http://derpy.me/BRnAQ

FullmetalPony 3254

>>3251
Got it.

Looking at some of the other issues though:

PoV: I can see what you mean with Mrs. Cake and Pound since I gave them both thoughts and separate scenes. I don't fully get where you got the Pumpkin pov and the Mr. Cake PoV though. Overall what I was going for was third person with focus on Pound Cake.

As for the shipping no just no. The Bran Pound relationship was friend only and dealing with changes around them: Pound being one of the last colts to get a cutie mark and Bran being a crystal pony

Then there's the Pinkie Pie stuff. Did I really write it like that? I'm quite disgusted with myself if I did. I was aiming to make it so that Pound and Pumpkin saw Pinkie as the "cool" adult, the one who'd play games and pranks with them.

A Really Bad Story: Chapter 2 Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3255

File: 1357683181821.png (164.03 KB, 1330x1556, 133633494049.png)

So, submitting this again, after fixing most of what Writer's Block mentioned. Once again I think I did poorly, but it's at least better than what I put him through. (I might need to find a better title for this chapter at this point, or just leave the title blank)

Title: A Really Bad Story: Chapter 2
Author: BleedingRaindrops
Tags: Comedy
Wordcount:2321
Synopsis:After completing a dare from Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo ends up writing possibly the worst story ever. Ignoring her friends' advice, Scootaloo sets out to improve her writing skills, taken by a strange excitement in the craft.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B4o_NKVIBVLeGXIw3kXILhSwkWS-K3rF_fDmjXmi04Q/edit

Comedy's not really my strong suit, so if anypony knows how to improve on my terrible jokes, that would be appreciated.

3257

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>>3254
>PoV
You misunderstand, I don't really have a problem with telepathic narrators because "What the hay? Why not?" You start with Pound Cake, who's acting like the ending of a certain infamous Sonic Sez. Then you show Mrs. Cake alone in his room. Then Pumpkin… I take it back. You don't go into her head. Then Mr. Cake sees this: "Cake now saw that Pound’s attention had been on his empty tan flank and not the floor." So, yeah. It isn't as bad later in the story.

>Shipping

If you feel that way then I strongly suggest adding the [FriendShipping] tag. Be very clear when submitting this to EqD. This will set what the story is and isn't about in stone right from the start. Besides, we haven't had a good friend-shipping story in awhile anyway.

>Then there's the Pinkie Pie stuff.

I wouldn't worry. It's just me looking too much into things.

TheAlmightySage!!qJzKsStV3/ 3261

Alright I'm already lost-ish.
Where and how do I get reviews, suggestions, and request editors for a story in progress on FIMFiction?

!!Spike 3262

>>3261
You can do that in this thread, or any other thread marked #Reviewer. Just post:
-Story title
-Story tags
-Story description
-Story link
-Word count
and fill out the form at http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit if you submit to this thread. (It helps keep track of things.)

Edit, to Training Grounds regulars: What do you guys think of switching the positions of "Word count" and "Chapters" on the form? At the moment, word count comes first, which makes it look like it's for the entire fic, not just the part that's supposed to be reviewed.
This post was edited by a moderator on .

Anonymous 3263

>>3261
Right here.

Just post like you see others doing; your story, with its summary, a link to your document (with comments enabled, of course) and any other info about it you think might help.

One of the "house reviewers" will claim the story and offer you a review; you can request a specific focus, if you'd like - for example, on how your characterizations are and how to improve them, or a focus on your narrative, etc, and they'll do what they can to offer a critique that can help you improve the story.

There are also specific, individual reviewer threads, if you want to look them over and see if there's a specific one you'd like to look over your piece.

The list of them is here - >>159

>>3262
>got inb4'd by /fic/mod
>but he forgot to link the post! haha, I win!

3264

>>3261
>>3262
You can also follow the link to our IRC channel (near the top of the thread) and get some live help with the submission process, or possibly discuss your story there, if you only have a few questions.

Anonymous 3266

>>3264
>>3263
>>3262
2helpful4me
good job, /fic/

TheAlmightySage!!qJzKsStV3/ 3267

>>3263
>>3262
Ok then.



First time posting here. Bear with me.

So I've written the story Apples and Wheat and it's gotten surprisingly good reception. However, I've been told it needs more polish by the EqD pre-readers. Specifically

"-Talking heads
- Show vs. tell
- what seems to be a majorly close, if not almost outright plagarizing of the first episode of the 'Spice and Wolf' series
- dry descriptions
- use of numbers below one hundred without spelling them out (as is stylistically correct in several writing manuals)"

I'm not exactly bent on getting my story on EqD, but it would nice. Plus I don't see half the problems the pre-reader pointed out.

Anyways, the main reason I'm putting this up for critiquing to improve my writing plus I'm bored out of mind. I'm doing this all through my phone so bear with me. Plus I have never been to this chan board before.
.

Info:
Tags: Comedy Crossover Slice of Life

Description:
The Apple Family decides to plant wheat this year and end up with a surprise house guest.

How will the Apple clan handle having a wolf in their home? Let alone, a Wise Wolf that's obsessed with sweet succulent juicy apples?

––-

In a nut shell it's a crossover of Spice and Wolf with MLP. The main focus is how the Apples handle have Holo in their home. How Holo handles being with the Apples and in Ponyville. Plus I explain/explore the relationship that Holo and Granny Smith have in chapter 3 and in future chapters I have yet to write out.

FIMFiction Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/67672/apples-and-wheat

TheAlmightySage!!qJzKsStV3/ 3268

3271

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>>3262
That's a fair point to bring up. Honestly, it makes no difference to me, but if it makes things easier for everypony else, I say go for it.

>>3261
>>3267
I'm impressed that you made it this far. Most get lost before they notice the sticky, and end up posting a hilariously over-tagged thread asking for advice. And your submission post wasn't actually half bad for not having been here before so, kudos. The others have answered your question already, so I'll just cut here to avoid being—

TheAlmightySage!!qJzKsStV3/ 3274

>>3271
Eh I'm stubborn like that. Plus I have nothing to do at work.

3276

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>>3262
> What do you guys think of switching the positions of "Word count" and "Chapters" on the form? At the moment, word count comes first, which makes it look like it's for the entire fic, not just the part that's supposed to be reviewed.
What? It wasn't already that way? It should be that way!

Fixed.

Claim: Untitled Lyra Story Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3279

File: 1357708303691.jpg (18.14 KB, 480x360, 1068089465_SeanRaven2.jpg)

I have no idea what the mint green background pony is up to, but I am bored, and am on a comedy fix as of late. >>2759 you are mine. See you all in about 1400 minutes.

Seriously? I can't surround the link with parenthesis? That's dumb. Thony, fix it.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review of "Under Free Flag" Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3285

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>>2341
>>2989
>pic unrelated, but I never thought I'd actually have a chance to use it
I've decided to come at this from a different angle. Your style is strong and editing's good, so you've got no need for the whole GDocs shebang. Here's what this review will consist of. I've read Chapter 1, and will offer my reflections regarding each scene. These should help you to gauge regions of reader interest, and thus answer your main concern.

Scene #1: Celestia and Luna

Nothing happens.

So Luna talks about dreams and Celestia nods. That's about it. It also took me two reads to get this, because the first time my thoughts were choked trying to parse Luna's archaic language. It's difficult for you in that 1) it's an unexplored field your reader probably feels alien in; 2) there's no apparent significance to the story, so by the time we finish the scene, we don't get some form of return for our investment. That's quite a turn-off, because we start thinking, "So I read all that for nothing?"

Solution: don't let Luna be the exposition character, or have Celestia chide her for speaking in Ye Olde and have Luna revert to making sense easier. See, this is the beginning of the story where the reader has absolutely no idea what's going on, and are trying to adapt their comprehension to fit your style. But when you throw a bunch of information in a way that's hard to parse - and information which seems unimportant at that - you're setting a bad precedent for your readers.

Actually, hold on to that thought.

Scene #2, #2.5: Twilight and friends

It's all right. AJ's accent cripples her dialogue, which is a pity, because she seems to speak normally later on in the chatter part, so I'd advise axing the accents, especially that "ta".

Scene #3: Big italics chunk

Holee wall of text. It was interesting for the first few lines, but then the novelty wore off and my heart sank. Because, seriously, wall of text, and you want me to read that? I believe that aesthetics play a role in reading, and I felt discouraged when faced with that big thing. Partly because I doubted whether the words in there were worth reading, and partly becaus it got hard to follow. You know, lack of logical breaks, resulting in me trying to handle the entire sentence and failing, so on. Any sense of meaning kinda glazes and blurs after a while. I'm sure there's a better word for it, but I blame aesthetics.

Solution: Break it up. It's really as simple as that. I'd suggest using emdashes, and then starting a new paragraph. That means finding places of logical development and then breaking it up there, so each "point" receives its own paragraph and thus is easier to swallow.

Also, take a good, long, hard reflection at those sentences, and I challenge you to tell me that every single one of them are vital to understanding the story. Because they're looking more like hurdles to cross than rivers to swim in when it comes to enjoying the story.

Scene #4: More Mane 6

Your dialogue's somewhat sparse in the way of supporting body language, facial expressions, things which make a scene rather than merely a voiceover. I'll give you the benefit of it due to them not having much room to do anything, since they're all sitting down, but facial expressions and small movements would help liven up the dialogue. You know, RD would fidget, and Fluttershy would be content to stay still. Maybe AJ would lean on somepony and Rarity would make conscious efforts to sit up straight every so often. It's the little things which make the characters, and adding these in will help with characterization. As it stands, there's plenty of room to do so; your dialogue is literally just lines.

Scene #5: Big Italics Chunk 2: Chunk Harder

Because I skipped the previous chunk with no severe consequences to comprehension, I am very much tempted, and have, skipped this chunk even though it looks shorter and possibly more important. I can't say. The short of it is that I'm glazing over this because it looks unappealing, and I don't mind very much if I suffer comprehension from this because I don't feel invested in the story, because it's not very easy at all to do that.

Let's take a quick stock of plot points and hooks.

Luna talks about dreams, there's a meteor shower, and some monologue thing. The hook that would drive the reader on is "how do these matter?" or "how does it come together?", because nothing more significant than that has happened. Righto. Moving on.

Scene #6: Aliens At Last

Second paragraph is overglorified scenery. Slash your descriptions so that you can cut to the chase already. And by slash descriptions, I am asking you to slash descriptions by, eh, maybe a third. That means compromising on the elaborate scenery, because after the midway it ceases to be interesting and starts becoming merely long.

>“Twilight, should we maybe send a letter to the—ulp”

Delete the "ulp", and just end on the emdash.

>“…and it only says this:”

Delete the ellipse. That much inflection in her tone can be implied, in the same way "inflection in her tone" could have been implied in this very sentence. Leave things unsaid. Being subtle has your reader filling in for you.

>“Well that’s… uninformative. And boring.”

Who says this? Rainbow wouldn't use "uninformative", though the rest of the ponies wouldn't use "boring".

Yeah, your dialogue really needs some tags to make things clearer. The lack of attribution makes following things hard when it goes longer than, like, three or four lines, and when that happens, there's confusion followed by detachment. The trick is to make your tags interesting, and what's interesting would be body language and expressions which allow us to figure out for ourselves what they're feeling, emphasis less on "what they're feeling" and more on "allow us".

> the buttery yellow pegasus

Please no. This goes for things like "the lavender unicorn" as well. Just "Fluttershy" will be fine. It's almost as comical as saying "the chocolate brown African-American" or "the fair-skinned Asian", and these hurt the sophistication of your style.

>“But what if there’s an emergency going on! Or brewing! We have to be prepared for every risk!”

Lines like these are perfect goldmines of body language, and you need to exploit them.

So, the short of it is aliens. As of what they are, who they are, and whatnot, it's all a big question mark.

I would advise that this is in fact a problem. See, the aliens are your conflict, and that's what drives the story. Your conflict is still vague, shapeless and unformed, resulting in a distinct lack of urgency or pushing in the tone. The spirit of the story is reflected pretty accurately in Rarity contemplatively sipping her cocoa, and I don't think that's quite what you want.

Nor it is what I want, either. I was told there would be a lofty first-person narrator, space travel and grand adventure from the synopsis, but I received none of that. For 6000 words. In a strange subversion of the line, where is your OC and why isn't he/she here yet?

As expected of a 3rd-omniscient narrator, there's a certain degree of detachment between reader, events and characters. This is a problem solved by introducing a character for us to be invested in singularly, for the time being - like an anchor or a landmark. I'm reminded of Jeffrey Archer's Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, where for the first two chapters it's something of a biography for the antagonist, Harvey Metcalfe. It's really just "In 1945, he something-something", "In 1960, he sold this and bought that". Well, somewhat more interesting than that, but only somewhat, and yet he went along and did it anyways. And it paid off. Why? Because we become interested in Harvey Metcalfe, who backstabbed and bought his way to the top, and now that he's cheesed off a group of intellectuals, he is going to fall, but how so?

With that in mind, I'm going to suggest that you replace your first chapter altogether. At least delete the first scene; it does nothing for establishing background, nor is it relevant to the plot as prescribed in the synopsis. Start with a prologue if you must, maybe a journal or a short section or something with that narrator character. Or, put another way, deliver on your synopsis.

A couple more possible, heavy-duty suggestions include going right to "First, there is no sound. The only heralds of the world changing are a string of bright, white lights seemingly sliding out of thin air to harshly illuminate the sleeping Everfree forest as well as surrounding hills and mountains. " and having everypony be stunned, surprised, all that. Hinting at the background quickly to explain things, e.g. "The meteor shower behind the veil of smoke, not five minutes ago the object of their undivided attention, fizzled out to a close". You know, getting to the point.

Dialogue needs some beefing up either way. Barebones is a pretty good way to describe it.

You may have noticed that I've hammered out a few points more than once. That's my rather redundant way of telling you that that's important.

And it is a bit of a pity, because you've got a strong, evocative style and you clearly know what you're doing with words. You managed to stage a Mane 6 conversation without it disintegrating into chaos, and that is something I don't think I could do. The grammar's clean, the sentence structure is nice and varied. I managed to get a good idea of what was going on when I could immerse myself in the words. You've got the writing chops without a doubt, but it's the writing wisdom that you lack - the wisdom to see what matters to the reader, because it's they who are reading your story. But that's all right; that's what we're here for. It's all part of developing.

I'm not going to tell you to rewrite this. You're 52k words in, and I'm more or less in the same position as you are, so I know that feel. What I will advise you to do is give Chapter 1 a facelift, because there's just too many hurdles keeping the average reader from proceeding. Cut it down to 3k, 4k words if you must. Wordcount doesn't matter; word relevancy does.

Post-review, I'd like to invite you to join the /fic/ Write-Off, which is probably going to happen soon. Or just write a small something, whatever it may be, pony or not. The aim is to deliberately break out of your comfort zone and style, and explore other ideas, so that you can come back to this with a fresh appreciation for your natural state. It really is refreshing; I could say more, but there's not much need for that.

Please feel free to ask any questions or raise any issues. I'm far from being the final say on writing, and not even a very good reflection of the populace at that. >_>

Keep writing.

Story for review: Magitank 3288

Title: Magitank
Author/screen name: Broznik
email address: [email protected]
Tags: Adventure, Dark
Synopsis: Twenty-four years have passed since the fall of Nightmare Moon and the death of Celestia. Equestria lived contentedly under the rule of the new Empress. That is, of course, until the meteors fell. Destruction rained over the land, and it seemed that all life was extinguished. Even if anything survived, can any hope flourish in the ruin of civilization? (Advance Wars: Days of Ruin Crossover)
List of links to the story:https://docs.google.com/document/d/18KVBUvaSoGn809ePk2eny35VlfEYU6Q1oo_K5ACybcI/pub

Comments/requests: This will be the first outside feedback for this story, so I apologize in advance for my lack of writing talent.

Kikuto!DzGJPbzzD2 3289

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>>3057
I'm a bit late, but thanks a lot going for trouble checking grammar and reviewing it too! It sucks but writing it was fun so that's okay too! You are right I need to check will I stick to past or present tense, it was careless of me.

I really consider this just practice, but I try to be serious so I can improve my writing! I will try to fix all grammar problems you mentioned.

3291

Finally finished reviewing What She Didn't Want. Comments are in the doc.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Untitled Lyra Story Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3293

File: 1357797531300.png (80.83 KB, 300x384, Bunny_Raven_by_teentitans.png)

Did I make it? Oh, bollocks! I went over by nearly an hour. Oh well. here's your review, Bob From Bottles.

Okay, the first thing I would like to say about your story is that you know the art of showing without telling better than most I’ve looked at. I’m kind of jealous.

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.

The comment about remembering the CMC’s names felt like it was trying to be a joke, but ultimately fell flat. The following gag with Apple Bloom’s ‘fangs’, however, was pretty funny.

>Using every fibre of her being, Lyra shut her mouth and willed herself to stop speaking.

I almost missed this one. I had to go back and read it twice because it seemed out of place at first. 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.

>“I’m a fashion disaster! Rarity said my costume was the most terrifying thing she’s ever laid eyes on.”

Yeah, I have to laugh at that. Fashion disaster is right.

>“Apple Bloom was saying that you needed formaldehyde to sweeten your dates?”

I tripped over this for a good while before moving on and receiving the answer as a pleasant surprise. I don’t know if this was your intent, but the sudden realization of said head-scratcher garnered a chuckle.

>Fear-o-meter

Twilight would have that. You’re definitely getting me to laugh via ridiculousness.

I think it’s fair to say that most of your jokes are funny. Pinkie Pie on the other hand, feels a bit off. You’ve got the silliness part of her down, that much I don’t doubt, but she feels almost too clever. The way she manipulates the CMCs is far too smart for Pinkie. I don’t like insulting best pony but she’s really not that smart. Honestly:
>Rainbow Dash thinks Fluttershy is a tree.
>She’s not a tree, Dashie.
She’s that thick. Pinkie Pie survives on sheer dumb luck combined with her physics get out of jail free card and her Pinkie Sense. I don’t think she would beat around the bush the way she did. I rather think she’d just come out and say it. “That’s okay, girls. I’ve got something else I need you to do for me. It’s really important and I just can’t do without it.” Then introduce the blue balloon card.

>Randomized parted mane syndrome.

Okay, this one gets all my applause. Very nice, I about woke up my parents in the other room. Kudos for this one.

Upon conclusion of this story, I was disappointed. Mostly due to the fact that I’d gotten so involved in it, only to find out that it wasn’t finished. I must have moar! Seriously though, this was pretty good. I refrain from calling it gold, because I’ve seen far better, but your story wasn’t without merit. The pacing is nice. All the scenes happen at what appears to be the proper speed. The CMCs aren’t too poorly characterized, and Twilight feels spot on. I still dislike your Pinkie Pie. Other than that, though, I really can’t find much to complain about. Well done, and I wish you luck with the rest of this.

As a suggestion for a title: try something simple, like “Pinkie’s Haunted Mansion”
This post was edited by its author on .

Minjask!!kxcakJFkZl 3294

File: 1357798002379.jpg (36.64 KB, 300x225, RavenTeenTitans_6857.jpg)

>>3293
Has— good heavens. My tripcode is different. Thony, Macil, what did you do?

3295

>>3293

Be proud you even have a schedule and try to keep to it. My reviews just kind of happen when I have time.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 3296

File: 1357809394862.jpg (40.53 KB, 500x495, wonka.jpg)

>>3294
Your tripcode is the same as it was a month ago on mlpchan.net; just Ctrl-F your name and you'll see. Furthermore, in every Google-returned page with your username in, the tripcode is the same as it is here.

The issue is that you're using a secure tripcode. Secure tripcodes use a secret hash salt stored on the server. The salt differs between servers, and thus, so do secure tripcodes. !!DlLGtkAQR2 is your ponychan.net tripcode.

You probably just haven't noticed it until now.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 3297

>>3296

But… my tripcode is intact.

3298

>>3297
You're not using a secure tripcode.

3299

>>3297
That's because you have a regular tripcode. Notice how yours begins with one bang and Minjask's begins with two?

Review acknowledged 3300

>>3293

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

>>3285

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.


P.S.
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)

>>3300
>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.


>>3296
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)

>>3318
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.
http://derpy.me/EznGuide
http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/02/pony-writing-guide.html
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMMs8H-GpFIXPsQeC0RNu8V-Cq6uyGl_UERpOUK_6KY/edit
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.

3323

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

>>3320
Yeah… this is why I was waiting for the author to finish making the edits her last two reviewers had suggested before starting this.

3325

>>2973
Howdy! Can we please remove this story from the queue? I'm shelving it for a bit… plus Umbra just ripped it to shreds. :)

3326

>>3325
Done!

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)

>>3326
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)

http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/123480.html#125818

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)

>>3327
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).

3339

>>3338

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.

>teleportaion

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
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/57284761/FicTemplates/ttg-template-mlpchan.html#525
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?


https://docs.google.com/document/d/15iwE3W8cFv37JFly9EAowPg91Ouwj7uJ7f1hZ61jkhU/edit

Claim 3364

>>3035
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

>>2367
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.

-Consider:
>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.

>…audition.

>Later…
-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.)


Overall
-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.
This post was edited by a moderator on .

Review Request: Time Turner’s Discordian Detective Agency: The Missing Kitten of Inspiration 3376

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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

Synopsis:
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

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>>3376

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

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>>3375
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

>>3376

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.

>>3377

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

>>3035
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.

Line-by-line:
>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

>Thatt'le

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

>>3035
>>3385
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.

>buisness

Use spellcheck.

>reveling

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

Spellcheck.

>"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.
However
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

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>>3383
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.
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/45342/time-turners-discordian-detective-agency-the-missing-kitten-of-inspiration
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.

Link:

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)

>>3401

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

Azusa!fG2qnvpWXU 3403

>>3401
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…)

>>3092
>>3399
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)

>>3358
>>3399
~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 .

3413

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

>>3403
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.

Believability:

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

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>>3406
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.
>~70 comments
>~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

>>3340

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.

>PROBLEM!?

>THINKING!?
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)

>>3415
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.

>Conclusion

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)

>>3415
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

Accuracy
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”

Clarity
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

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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)

>>3428

First off: Thank you.

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

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

Redundantly

>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.

>>3427
>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


>>3422

>"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.

>"HA HA HA HA HA HEE HEE HE HE HE HE HE AHA HA HA HA"

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