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Golden Vision Reviews — Summer Edition 5634

Hi there! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Golden Vision. I like ponies, time travel, long walks on the beach, and tearing apart the heart and soul of any aspiring author who thinks they can write fanfiction.

Oh, don’t worry. You can come closer. I won’t bite. Much.

So, this is a review thread. In it, I shall glomp, wub, and boop your stories until they fall apart of internal bleeding. The times shall be hard, you and your ego will suffer, but I can promise that you’ll be a better author for it. Golden Vision Reviews™ does not actually make any legal claim to this effect, and is not responsible for the failings of n00b authors who do not know an em-dash from a proper noun.

This is a bit different from some other review threads, however. The preferred submission type is Google Docs; however, I will refrain from commenting on your fic Unless I really like you, or think that your fic so good that only a few minor corrections are needed. Instead, this thread will have a format more similar to that of a prereading one. For each story that I read, I will return a laundry list of problems that I found, as specific as I can make them, accompanied by at least one example for each (if at all possible) to give the author some perspective on what the problem is and how to fix it. Should anyone require a followup meeting with me to go over how, exactly, they can fix the listed problems (assuming that they’re unable to understand the resources I’ve provided them), I’ll be happy to take an hour or two to help you understand how to improve that part of your writing.

Just some quick rules. First, be reasonable and polite. Don’t flame me or anyone else in this thread, and don’t submit anything that’s just plain ridiculous (I usually start to back away around 10k words, or one chapter; by that point, I probably have a pretty good idea already of what your problems are). You are indeed welcome to resubmit, but if I see none of those problems fixed, that fic will be blacklisted and ignored until you can prove to me that you’ve done your utmost to address those issues.

Secondly, as I would suspect would be obvious, no clop or gore. Do your best to stay within MLPChan's standards; you should all know the rules by now. Thirdly, you are required to submit your fic both in this thread and in my reviewing queue, which I have linked below. Fourthly, if you have an update about your story, or want me to drop it, please post it in the thread below. You can semi-regularly find me hanging out in the #fic IRC on irc.canternet.net, should you want to chat me up (email works too).

Happy /fic/ing, everyone!

-Golden Vision
AKA G-Vizzle, GVeezy, Golden Showers, That Weird Arse What Was His Name Again

Submission Form: http://derpy.me/txBQo
Submission Queue:: http://derpy.me/Y6ETx

Useful Resources
Ezn’s Guide: http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/
The Editor’s Omnibus: http://derpy.me/EditorsOmnibus

Review Request for Playing Along 5635

File: 1369535574072.png (763.22 KB, 900x950, 45857__safe_twilight-sparkle_f…)

Allow me to steal this thread's virginity with Onyx Origins and the Or

Whoops, that was a close one!

But seriously, I would appreciate your opinion on a little piece of mine that goes by the name of Playing Along. As for its contents, well…

#Slice of Life

Tea parties, being the quintessential event of any young filly's life, are one of Twilight's favourite things to do, especially when her friends join her. However, it just isn't the same without her mother's fancy porcelain set, and so the young unicorn embarks on a personal journey of self-improvement to prove that she can use it.

Never did she imagine the ways it would strain her and, more importantly, her friends.

Twilight Sparkle has to grow up, and it's breaking her heart.


Apologies for the messy document; as I mentioned in the IRC, it's already been visited by an editor (thanks, Morning_Angles!) and I'm still working on fixing the problems he pointed out. I hope the comments aren't too distracting.

Thank you in advance for your assistance ^_^


File: 1369536284558.gif (2 MB, 400x244, 28Kbl7c.gif)

>I like ponies, time travel, long walks on the beach, and tearing apart the heart and soul of any aspiring author who thinks they can write fanfiction.


File: 1369592079255.png (266.94 KB, 900x1286, fluffy.png)

Hmm, so Golden Vision is back in the review game? Welp, to complete the nostalgia… Let's submit an old Chapter of my fic!!

Title: Under A Luminous Sky
Author: Jake The Army Guy
Tags: Dark
Word Count: 2830
Synopsis: Ponyville, the humble village known for its peaceful tranquility, is shaken to its core when a body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. As the townsponies grieve, the strange, pale Special Agent Bentgrass, from Their Majesties' Royal Investigative Service, arrives at the Books and Branches library and drags Twilight into a world she's only read about: lies, corruption, suspicion, and murder.

Faced with an indifferent police force, and Agent Bentgrass's infuriating methods, Twilight must put the pieces together and catch the killer. But as blood continues to spill and questions pile up, one thing is terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at play than mere murder.


So, yeah. As you know, this is being picked up by the Pony Fiction Vault, so I want to go back an polish it up. I feel the first few chapters are lacking. I already had someone do the prologue, so now it's this one's turn. Anything that doesn't make sense, bad sentences, awkward… anyhting, really. Take no prisoners, friend. Be brutal.

For your troubles, I off you this fluffy Twilight.

Welcome back to the game, brother!

Review: My Mortal Big Brother 5641

File: 1369594706261.png (69.09 KB, 250x304, 83643_r.png)

Ta-da! My thread's inaugural review. Dash Attack, I know I've been working with you for a while, but I hope that this review gives a comprehensive list of what needs fixing in your fic. If you need any help or guidance on how to fix these problems, I've pointed out (and corrected) at least one example for each in GDocs; the resources provided in the OP are also very useful for simple (or not so simple) storytelling and grammatical mistakes.

So, let's get started, shall we? Remember: this is a pre-reading style thread, so the only thing you'll find below (excepting a few explanations of things that I didn't want to point out in a specific comment) is a (I hope) comprehensive list of problems I found while looking through your chapter.

Title: My Mortal Big Brother

Author: Dash Attack

Plot Holes
Confusing Structure

Out Of Character (Protagonist) — I found it hard to believe that Shining would suddenly forget about all he'd just learned from Gaia after receiving the results of the pregnancy test. After all, wasn't the entire point of the test to see if his nightmare would come true? You need to put the two emotions side by side—pride and horror—in order for his reaction to be believable.
Out Of Character (Side Character)
Unbelievable Character Development — Twilight and Cadences' apathy (if not outright hostility) to Shining's presence in the future is nothing if not OOC for them, both relating to their canon personalities and what we would expect from them even in the future.
Unengaging Dialogue
Poorly Developed Personality — Shining's son had virtually no character, and was pretty damn uninteresting to boot.
Poorly Developed Background — See above. It also felt like you should have done more to "Show" us Cadence and Shining's potential future to together.
Passive Characterization — All of them—Shining, Crystal, Cadence, etc.—did pretty much nothing active, and merely stood still and reacted to what happened to them. They weren't active by a long shot.
PoV Inconsistency
Stilted Dialogue
Inconsistent Vernacular

Capitalization Errors
Punctuation Errors
Quotation Formatting Errors
Common Typos
Spelling Mistakes
Run-On Sentences
Clunky/Awkward Sentences
Comma Splices
Subject Inconsistency
Spacing Errors
Sentence Fragment

Purple Prose
Telling (Emotion)
Telling (Action)
Modifier Overuse
Inconsistent Tone
Overly Simple Sentences
Unnecessary Detail
Word Choice
Overuse of "Began"
Name Repetition
Lack of Body Language

Overall Score: 1/10

I know you've been working hard on this, but if you put the brunt of your time into fixing these problems—and preventing them in the future—you'll have an excellent fic in no time. I believe in you completely!

This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Playing Along 5645

File: 1369605431800.png (763.22 KB, 900x950, 1369535574072.png)

I love that picture. It's goddamned adorable.

Title: Playing Along
Author: Ion-Sturm

Out Of Character — The parts where Shining/Twilight's mom tell her that the dolls are just inanimate toys come off as far too heavy-handed. Instead, have them a bit more genre-savvy; make them aware of the dilemma, doing their best to be subtle, but have the ultimate (accidental) distinction or effect come from Twilight herself. If you have Shining telling her, "He's just a toy," you're doing it wrong (unless there's some kind of buildup in tension or anger beforehand, which there isn't).

Clunky/Awkward Sentences
Comma Splices
Semicolon/Colon Confusion
Ending With a Preposition
There's literally only one or two instances of any of these in the whole thing, as far as I could see. Unfortunately, since I couldn't comment, I just had to mark it up here. Do a final sweep over the doc to see if you can catch any of them yourself; it shouldn't be too hard.

Word Choice

Overall Score: 8/10

You wanted to know if this was an enjoyable read, and it definitely was. Fix up those OOC moments with Shining and Twilight's mom, and this should be just fine. I definitely had a good time reading this, and filly!Twi summoned many d'awws from the cold depths of my heart.

In conclusion…

…Go write moar! D:<


File: 1369608449284.jpg (91.22 KB, 900x675, 92857__UNOPT__safe_twilight-sp…)

Heh, I'll see what I can whip up in the coming days weeks months years (maybe).

And I'll see what I can do about Shining Armor and Twilight's mother.

Thanks for taking the time to read it!

Review: Under a Luminous Sky 5663

File: 1369759501148.jpg (186.19 KB, 1000x750, 40634.jpg)

Hey Jake! Nostalgia, huh? Well, let's see if I can't bring up even more of that nostalgia by whuppin' yer private ass till you cry for uncle!

Bad Scene Flow — You really need to learn how to do tension. I know you got the hang of it later on, but these earlier chapters really do highlight your weaknesses from back then.

Inconsistent Vernacular — Only happened once or twice.

Spelling Mistakes
Run-On Sentences
Subject Inconsistency
Sentence Fragments

Telling (Emotion)
Telling (Action)
Inconsistent Tone
Overly Simple Sentences
Word Choice
Name Repetition
Similar Sentence Structure
Lack of Setting
Non Sequitur

Overall Score: 5/10

Yup, sorry I had to go so hard on you, but you know you love it. Keep in mind that (except in some parts toward the end), I most certainly did not point out every individual instance of error, so it'll be up to you to use this review as a checklist for what you personally have to fix. If my queue's still empty over the next few days and you want a more in-depth look, feel free to poke me over email or Skype or something; I'd be happy to help if I've got the time. Anyways, this laundry list might help you out with revising other "older" chapters, so feel free to use this as a forecast for those as well, if you want to give them a touch-up before submitting (should you choose to do so).

Good luck revising!


Damn. I really did suck back then, didn't I?

As always, thank you for the brutal honesty. I'll tweak(hurr) it and ask you for hints if I see you on Skype at some point. You rock, brah.

Oh, one last thing. Before you get all high and mighty for finding so many errors, allow me to take this time to remind you of this: way back when, the last person to see this chapter before it was published… was you.

Smooches! :)

Review Request: Ice & Fire Casca 5670

File: 1369799435947.jpg (19.85 KB, 403x403, goody.jpg)

Huzzah! Welcome back, GV =)

I submitted this to you eons ago, but Garnot took it from you. Been meaning to see what you'd think of it, and shopping lists are best lists.

Title: Ice & Fire
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
1) This is not pony. If that's not your thing, it's kay.
2) The combined length of chapters 1 & 2 are daunting. You don't have to do both - only if you think it's worth reading on past chapter 1.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KFwsKJkIpBzswONREeBBiiQi5ULMIh-JNuQvrvOqEBo/edit

Thank you kindly!
This post was edited by its author on .

Heavy Crown... again FullmetalPony 6007

I'm sorry, I'm not fully sure what to do, but I'd like the first scene reviewed.

Synopsis: Princess. Mi Amore Cadenza had the title thrust onto her the day she was born. Her family was torn apart by it. All she wants is somepony to see beyond her crown.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s5i0a2kgvCDnB2iqbx_2KEMjEBcoYmJFzN95RlrgZO4/edit

Tags: Sad, Slice of life

Words: 780

I'm sorry

Review: Ice & Fire 6078

File: 1371088111600.jpg (112.39 KB, 1056x792, 71312.jpg)

Pre-Read List of Problems:

Plot Holes Found
Uninteresting Story
Bad Story Flow

Unengaging Dialogue
Poorly Developed Personality
Poorly Developed Background
Stilted Dialogue
Inconsistent Vernacular

Common Typos
Spelling Mistakes
Clunky/Awkward Sentences
Comma Splices
Em-Dash Mistakes
Subject Inconsistency
Spacing Errors
Semicolon/Colon Misuse

Telling (Emotion)
Telling (Action)
Word Choice
Name Repetition
Passive Voice

Note that these are not necessarily a comprehensive list of problems, nor are the examples-in doc anywhere near an exhaustive list of errors found. It’s your responsibility to go back over this and edit it properly, looking for the things that I’ve pointed out above.

Okay, so let’s just go down my thought process for this thing.

–In the opening, I thought that your lead-in paragraph was a bit…much. It works as a bit of hyperbole, but the blood and mucus put it over the edge (even though I know later that it’s just a nosebleed)

–”Ultima?” What is this, Power Rangers? Also, you’re introducing Important Plot Elements too early.

–Australia is an…interesting choice of location. I can see you’ve chosen to subvert the standard America Is The Only Nation On Earth trope, though whether that’s by design or happy (re: quirky) accident isn’t exactly obvious. I’m not quite sure why it needs to be in Australia, unless you’re writing for an Australian audience.

–Cross has a weird, inconsistent vernacular. Make him either an uptight prince or a snarky teen. Not mouth. The monologue’s vocabulary and diction must match those of the dialogue. You can’t switch between twenty-first century and seventeenth-century whenever you feel like it. Consistency is key in establishing a character’s voice.

–So…I have no idea who (wosname; I keep forgetting this) Dallos is. Is he a bodyguard? A butler? An uncle? I guess he’s a mixture of the first two, but I’d like a bit more of an explanation of who, exactly, he is earlier on in the story (which I still don’t have). He’s just kind of…there. Mr. Subtle Snarky Manservant Plot Device.

–Moreover, I have no idea who the guy at the airport is who picks them up. Is he being paid (i.e. mercenary)? Is he loyal? How much does he actually know about what’s going on? For the record, I’m getting a very weird “Spider Riders” vibe here (if you’ve ever read/watched the books/show), in which Earth is somehow connected to a more mystical realm. It’s quite anachronistic, and unlike in other works of urban fantasy, feels very…clunky. Awkward, even.

–You’re giving off too much infodump, too quickly. Wait to explain just who Cross is, why he’s here, and his background until we’ve got an audience surrogate (i.e. Alicia) who he can explain it to. Don’t just dump it through narration; that’s lazy and provides no real character development. Stuff like “I have standards and principles” are okay, but you need to be subtle–there’s no use ramming us over the head with “glacics” and “alien worlds.” That stuff is best to put off until after Alicia comes into the picture.

–but srsly pls no xplane and normal world and scientists n stuff pls kthx

–Why is he (was he) in London? Why is he in Australia? What’s going on? Why does the location matter? There’re too many questions and far, far too few answers. I almost want to throw this book (were it a physical book) across the room in frustration. It feels like it’s asking us to take far too much for granted.

–Why doesn’t Alice have a smartphone to look shit up on? Or maybe I’m just a confused suburban white boy and not every person in the first world has a smartphone (though I wonder how she was listening to music, then…)

–Don’t do the “introspection, vulnerability, dreams” thing with Alice. It’s too much. Show us that she wants adventure. Show us who she is; don’t just monologue it.

–”Maybe he was magical” and its surrounding lines are just…way too much. It’s hitting us over the head with the shuddering remains of the fourth wall. Please, no.

–I want more of a stronger feeling/personality/emotion from Alicia, especially during her time with Cross. She feels extremely boring to me–why doesn’t her mindset/dreams affect how she acts?

–Y’know, why did Cross give her his real name? Or which one is real? I’m confused. Is not gud for reeder to be confus.

–The portal formation? Your one chance for a climactic opening scene and NOTHING HAPPENS? No interesting character action or development? No conflict? No reveals? What? I assume you’ve read One Piece–this whole bit with the rogue, exploring Igniter reads like Luffy pushing the zombie on Thriller Bark back down into his grave and just shrugging with a goofy smile on his face. It’s silly, but not entertaining (not here, at least; you’re no Eichiro Oda).

–I’d like to discover that Alicia can make ice in some way that doesn’t involve a mere boring handshake. Make it interesting!

–How the fuck is an incantation of “Grazenlock” not magic? What the hell does ESP have to do with anything? Son, I am again confus.

–Stop bringing up the Ultima unless you’re going to tell us what it is. It’s fine in another setting, where we’d only get Alicia’s perspective and she constantly asks about it with hints coming every so often, but if we’re getting Cross’s perspective, then it’s just annoying.

–”If only he wasn’t addicted to glacics.” Stop dropping bombshells like that; gawd. Show us this instead of casually dropping it like a nuke over our heads. Speaking in a literary sense, it’s quite rude.

–When speaking of the longterm effects of Grazenlock, I found myself wondering why it wasn’t just like training wheels. It’s standard magic practice in certain settings to lock the powers of infants so that they’re not a danger to themselves or others (see: MLP). Why would the suppression seal actually damage the recipient? I guess it is somewhat nice to see an exception to the trope, but the brazen, uncaring way with which Cross uses it seems to show that he doesn’t really care about glacics, or is just an asshole.

–How the hell did he convince those two guys that he was a lifelong Australian with a British accent? That shit does not come in three days of school. Who are they, anyway? Why are they there? Why are they so friendly with this weird alien enemy…person? What’s the situation, anyway? I just feel so frustrated with this. Oh, and also, learn to scene break, bro. If you’re cutting to Hole Explorer Boss, then don’t have it on a continuum with Cross bitching about something.

Overall Verdict:
Ultimately, I think most of this story’s faults came from a single source: it read like a manga.

Seriously. Or at least an anime. You’ve got the pretty boy grump who has some kind of magical power, along with his overpowered, knowledgeable, subtly snarky butler. You’ve got the dreamy girl who has something in common with magical boy, and you’ve got some kind of ultra-Earth setting waiting in the wings. You’ve got said pretty boy grump being casually dismissive of dreamy girl, as well pretty boy grump also being overpowered and important in some way. Seriously; it reads like the beginning of some supernatural harem fic. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but its influences are literally everywhere.

For the record, there is a reason why the picture for this post is Toshiro Hitsugaya.

Telling us directly about Alicia’s dreams? In text, that doesn’t work, but it’s a standard trope in manga. You’ve got the pictures of flashbacks and dream sequences that cover a single page, with little text boxes floating throughout. Works in Japan; doesn’t work here. Cool, unknown, named things with presumably magical powers? More Japanese stuff! Every bit of their interactions is more easily visualized through picturing some kind of chibi style cutscene than actually envisioning the action through text. This story, as you’ve written it, would be better suited for a manga than western literature.

…But, then again, even manga has its own successful tropes. It’s a trope, whether it’s Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fullmetal Alchemist, YuYuHakusho, etc, that the untrained protagonist only unlocks or learns of their powers after being put in some kind of mortal danger and then rescued by a mentor and/or father figure. Here, that kind of happens with the portal, but it doesn’t, really; Cross just pushes the guy back down, they shrug, and we move on.

And that leads into the even bigger problem with this. I can take the Japanese influences. I can take whatever other weird stuff you choose to put in. But the worst offense of this story is the utter lack of any plot. The entire story feels like, again, the two chapters of the first volume of a manga, wherein the protagonist is readjusting after learning of their power and introducing us, the reader, to their surroundings. But even then, there’s always some kind of conflict. Ichigo has to defeat the Hollows. Naruto has to pass the Genin test. Luffy has to defeat Alvida. On, and on, and on. But here, life just…goes on. Literally the only element of continuous plot is Cross doing something something Ultima (which we don’t even understand), and random people showing up who we don’t know or care about.

I don’t know what the Ultima is. I don’t know what glacics are, or why you chose to introduce them and Cross’s background in such an unsatisfying, tedious manner. I want something climactic to happen to introduce them. If you’re going to go manga style, then go all out–as in the style of your typical hero’s journey, you need a moment when we “Cross the Veil” or “Enter the Magical World.” If you do that, you need a climactic, action-packed event that draws our attention and shatters the illusion of normalcy. But this…doesn’t have it.

That’s the final issue I have with this. Whether it’s glacics/igniters, Cross’s princely status, something something dimensional holes Australian firebenders (is that what an igniter is?), you’re asking us to take too much for granted. It’s like being thrown into the Ministry of Magic without even being introduced to Hagrid. It’s too much. It’s traumatizing for the reader, and seems completely inane–almost as though it’s a fanfiction of some other, original, better-introduced work. As though we should know what glacics are, already. I’m wracking my brains as I rock on the floor right now, but I’m coming up with nothing. Sorry.

Score: 3/10

In Conclusion
I’m sorry, but this needs a complete rewrite. It failed to hold my attention, didn’t have much in the way of interesting or even comprehensible plot, held far too many manga tropes for comfort, and just seemed awkward in the worst sort of YA novel way. Stylistically, it’s perfectly well-written–were this a fanfic, it would be perfectly fine. But for original fiction, it falls incredibly short of the bar for any short of publishing standards..

If you have any questions, email me or (try to) spam me on the IRC. I’m always available to chat.

Best of luck revising!
-Golden Vision

Casca 6141

File: 1371126764944.gif (57.53 KB, 55x105, bobbing.gif)

Oh boy oh boy oh -

Oh. Hmm.

You know, that's actually a really good perspective on the matter. I was slightly worried starting out that manga might influence my plotting, but promptly forgot that as the months passed by. So, thank you for your time and critique - I'll give it careful deliberation before deciding what to do with the novel. Thank you very much - I really wouldn't have seen it from that angle if you hadn't told me.

Review Request: Repetition Axis of Rotation 6168

Well, I'm dying for feedback on this thing, so here I am. I'm also posting this over in the training grounds thread, in an attempt to get as many people on the boards to see it. If this is somehow going to be an issue for you, we'll work something out.

Title: Repetition (very much a working title)
Tags: Slice of life, sad…ish
Length: just shy of 5000
Status: complete

Synopses: (I'm actually really struggling with this bit)
Twilight has always asked questions. But are there some she shouldn't?


This is an attempt at a character piece. I'm not very confident you'll like it, but we'll see. At the very least, I have a few ideas on what you'll pick out as needing improvement, but perhaps I'm wrong.

I do have one request, and that is if in your review you say "Telling (emotion)" or "Telling (action)" that you elaborate a bit more on those, since I'm not entirely sure what you mean. I'm assuming it's addressing a show vs. tell problem, but I'd rather know for sure.

Thanks for the time Golden Vision - very much appreciated!


File: 1371242316242.gif (140.75 KB, 300x160, Nigel-Thornberry-Smashing-Gif.…)

Sorry, but until you submit this to my queue, I'm afraid I can't (or won't) look at it.

Review: A Heavy Crown (Scene One) 6288

File: 1371255041357.gif (83.58 KB, 466x500, princess-cadence.gif)

Bad Story Flow

Unengaging Dialogue
Poorly Developed Personality

Comma Splices

Word Choice

Not really much to say here, given that it's just an opening scene. I get the feeling, though, that it shouldn't be the scene to open the fic. I think I'd prefer it if you opened with the parents up and about, doing something and setting the scene, and then have the water break. Having the father present (if available) would add something to the scene, especially depending on how you choose to characterize him.

The nurses and doctor seemed very flat; though you made some effort to give them character, I would've liked more. A longer, more drawn-out scene of the birthing process would be much better for establishing tension and characterization here. That brings me to my comment on "Bad Story Flow"—it felt like the whole thing was over far too quickly. The moment when the narrative reveals Cadance's true racial identity ought to be set up more, with a better establishment of tension that has an ultimate payoff (a "shock value" moment) at its end.

Best of luck writing the rest of this,
Golden Vision

FullmetalPony 6289

> I get the feeling, though, that it shouldn't be the scene to open the fic. I think I'd prefer it if you opened with the parents up and about, doing something and setting the scene, and then have the water break.

Sigh, already tried that and other reviewers tore it up and shot it down.

So, can't write with the parents, can't write without the parents and back as square one once again.

Axis of Rotation 6294


I don't want to step on Golden Vision's toes here; this isn't my review thread, and I'm sure he'd be willing to help you work out this particular issue.

That being said, if I could offer some advice, it would be that you will rarely, if ever, write a story that satifies every reviewer and critic on all levels and in all of its parts. It just isn't going to happen. What you need to do is to look at all the critiques you've been given by all the reviewers, and evaluate them. You have to make a decision about who you think offers sound advice - which will aid your story in going where you want it to - and who doesn't.

Arguably, this presents a problem; after all, don't we go to a reviewer to submit to their higher knowledge, and if we just follow their suggestions our story will be the better for it? If the writer starts picking and choosing what he wants to listen to in a review, how will he overcome his faults, since all writers are blind to their own failings (or at least, see very poorly)?

Well yes, this is certainly a risk, which is why you as a writer have got to educate yourself about what it is you're doing: writing. A musician may sit down at his piano and play a piece he just composed to a friend to see what he thinks, and then he may alter his work based on his friend's advice…but, he still knows all about music, doesn't he? He may know more than his friend, even. So I don't think we ought to go to reviewers to simply give in to their assumed superior knowledge. We should go for a second opinion. After all, what do you do when two reviewers give contradicting suggestions? Either there's a single issue hiding beneath the rug that neither recognize but they sense is there, and addressing that issue will make them both happy without necessarily following either suggestion, or…one of them is wrong, or they're both wrong (as far as you can be wrong in story telling).

The point is, (and I'm saying this from experience as a reviewer myself, and not to offend anybody) a reviewer's word is not automatically spoken truth. You have good reviewers and bad reviewers; reviewers who know how to help others improve, and reviewers who are caught up in their own ego. So take everything you've been told, stack it all up, and compare side by side. Think critically about the advice you've been given, do your best to sort the good from the bad, and move on from there. Sometime down the line, you may learn you didn't do the best job of it, but that's okay. We're all here to learn. If you're not confident about your ability to pick good advice over bad, then go out and learn about what those reviews say; find out what purple prose is, or what show vs. tell means. Like, learn learn.

It might turn out to be a heck of a lot of work, yeah, but that's the price to be a good writer - it takes work. Or you could just say fanfiction isn't worth all that effort; but then, you probably wouldn't care too much about what any one reviewer says about your work anyway.

But considering all of this, I would say: write more of your story before you try all of this correction business with your opening. I mean, I've gotten hung up on openings before, where I feel it needs to be perfect before I move on, since I think (not know) it'll effect the rest of my fic. But, I think, if you start writing more of your story, you may find that you have a better idea of what you need to do with your opening, and it might be something you haven't thought of yet, or it might not be.

Case in point, I would try not to let all the conflicting suggestions from many different reviewers stop you from writing a story you want to write. You might just find that you learn more from actually writing it then you do from any one reviewers opinion of it.


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>tfw good advice

Alicorn of Steel FullmetalPony 6306

Oh, this is rich. I mean, divine intervention rich.

FIrst thirty minutes of Man of Steel is exactly what I want. Start with birth of protagonist. Birth is first kind of its type in centuries. Parents die and lives with foster family that tries its best but mainly tells them they have to find their own path. Hero must deal with being different throughout youth. Accepts powers when duty calls upon and gains a normal character's friendship and eventual love. Has to fight an insane conquerer.

Maybe it's desperation, but yeah, that's a clear image of how things should be.

Dublio 6309


You know, I just saw that movie today and that was the first thought that popped into my mind. Funny how life works, eh?
This post was edited by its author on .


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MrHill!LNP3bq.Q5c 6374

Go ahead and remove mine from the queue, after looking back over it, even I can tell it needs more work. I also took down the rest of my posts.


Done. Best of luck with your revisions!

MrHill!LNP3bq.Q5c 6380

Thanks, I might not be back though due to the "No gore" rule. Some of the revisions were adding detail. Some of the descriptions, not just those of the morbid variety, were pretty lack luster. I might just redact and return though.

Review: Repetition 6381

File: 1371567748510.png (236.17 KB, 800x450, 800px-Worried_Twilight_Talking…)

Hi there, Axis! Sorry if this review's taken a while—I hope it helps!

Uninteresting Story
Bad Story Flow
Confusing Structure
Weather Report
Lack of Setting

Out Of Character (Protagonist)
Out Of Character (Side Character)
PoV Inconsistency

Capitalization Errors
Punctuation Errors
Clunky/Awkward Sentences
Subject Inconsistency
Spacing Errors
Sentence Fragments
Missing Scene Break

Purple Prose
Telling (Action) — This means that you're skimming over an action—i.e. giving us the peripheral description—when you really should be writing out/describing it in full. Don't just take actions for granted (or tell us outright what we should think of them).
Modifier Overuse
Inconsistent Tone
Word Choice
Name Repetition
Lack of Body Language
Spelling of Numbers
Non Sequitur
Use of "Suddenly"
Dialogue Tag Abuse

Obligatory Disclaimer that I didn't mark every error, just every "type" of error that I noticed, and that it's your responsibility to go back over this draft and catch them all.

Overall Score: 2/10

Final Thoughts
I'm sorry, but I can't really say I enjoyed this. At no time did I really understand the context of this story, nor did I understand why you needed to tell it. The characterization was off, Twilight didn't seem IC at all (since when has she cared what others think about her books?), and the entire thing was both confusing, erratic, and very much forced. Hell, a fic about RD's fear of being shamed would have worked better—IC, that is. The "moral" or resolution just didn't make sense, and the entire story just felt like one long excuse to have Twilight angst about her friends judging her over things that don't even make sense.

Honestly? I'd recommend an entire rewrite.

Best of luck with your revisions,
Golden Vision
This post was edited by its author on .

Review request 6794

Hello, Golden Vision. I hope this thread is still active. I have a story I'd love to get some critique on.

Title: Cloud Stories
Author: Bob From Bottles
Tags: Random (I'm not too sure what to tag the story yet)
Word Count: 7769
Synopsis: An entire skies’ worth of storm clouds has gone missing, and somehow, Derpy, Pinkie Pie, and Sweetie Belle were the culprits. If Rainbow Dash is to avoid the mountain of paperwork from reporting this to her superiors, she needs to figure out how it was done and if it's even possible to undo it. Unfortunately, the answer she seeks lies in the most unlikely of stories. (Still a WIP)
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OYXFydZ89FTTkiLLyyg5KVcYPuVGZJGdciSt4VA8rGY/edit

Let me know what you think of the end. I think I might have ended the story too early, but I'm not sure how much further I should go.

Review: "Cloud Stories" 6796

File: 1373825948696.png (166.55 KB, 1128x1236, 37912__safe_pinkie%252Bpie_clo…)

Plot: 5/5
I really enjoyed reading this. You may notice that my comments started in high volume, but then began to wane in frequency over time. I was most certainly encapsulated by this story, and I wanted to see it to its end. You structured each “account” very well, and I liked how each seemed to interlock, creating a (mostly) clear narrative while also giving us different possible ways to look at the story. Good sense of tension, good storytelling, and good imagery.

Characters: 4/5
I contemplated giving you a 3.5/5, but I couldn’t really justify it to myself, especially given that you were so close with everything else. Derpy was a lot of fun to read, and you had a nice little spin on her—such as with the “Ye Olde English” habit—while Pinkie was also quite in-character. Both accounts’ diction, vernacular, and general tone were very well-suited to the character in question, and I enjoyed the “cuts” between their stories and the “real life” reactions (Rainbow Dash, for the most part, played her part well).

My main objection, then, lies with something that I believe to be obvious—Sweetie Belle’s vocabulary and mode of speaking. Now, it’s entirely possible that you will disagree, or that I am entirely incorrect, or some other issue, but I will stand by the comments made in the GDoc that the way of speaking you gave her fails to fit within that of the show. I’d like to, again, suggest that you watch a CMC episode focusing on her (“Sisterhood Social” is a good one for a multi-emotional look at her character and speech) before going back and redoing several of her lines to better fit her speech patterns.

Of a minor note, I believe Rainbow Dash could have been a little bit more aggressive and, well, “Rainbow Dash-y” (in relation to her outspokenness, as well as her tendency to leap to conclusions) at times. It’s not a major problem, though, so see to it as you will.

Setting: 4/5
The opening paragraph was pretty much the only major problem I had in this respect. Given the negative impact that it had on the entire rest of the intro (approximately half a page to a full page into the story), though, I believe that there was significant weight to be placed on such an error. In addition, you may want to rethink some of the transitions that you have into and/or out of certain sections, with Sweetie Belle’s final lines being the most prominent example.

Mechanics: 5/5
Fairly impeccable, save for one or two hiccups. Nice job editing (or writing, I suppose).

Concept: 5/5
This was a very fun little story, comprising three things that really made it work: worldbuilding (“The Heart of the Storm?”), good characterization, and a very well-structured execution. It was a pleasure to read, and I have no doubt that the masses of FimFiction will jump on a well-written “Random/Comedy” fic just as quickly as EqD may jump on…well, a well-written story.

Monsieur Bottles, you deliver your irreverent comedy once again. Do feel free to come back any time.

Best of luck,
Golden Vision
This post was edited by its author on .



Thank you for the quick response. I agree that I need to rewatch some Sweetie Belle episodes to get her speaking pattern down. Thankfully, she doesn't have that many lines to edit.
It's funny that you mention Rainbow Dash isn't aggressive enough as one of the criticisms during the write-off was that she came off as too aggressive. I guess I swung the pendulum too far in the edits for her.
I also see what you mean about the opening paragraph needing to be reworked. I'll be sure to make it more engaging in the next round of edits.

Dediles!YZ0ZK6Tqco 6883

Ok, first of all, thank you for your time.

Second I wish this review to help me understand how willing someone would be to read my work.

Thirdly this an EQG universe story.

Title: Same coin.
Author: Dediles
Tags: Slice of life, normal, Human(obviously)
Word count: 6500ish.
Synopsis:Collin Mercer Is a loner. He likes it that way, But when he moves to canterlot from Frezno, His new school turns him upside down. The crazy school and the crazy students make no sense to Collin, all he wants is to be left alone, but five special girls won't have that, He will change, and accept friendship, but not all at once.

Also since you are doing this for me(if you do it.), If you need anything just ask.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/180v8Xg2ngMkTqz9D0w4VutZBa8ZAhI6nEidS0lE3-YE/edit

EDIT: Ooops. my browser crashed and when i reopened it it resubmitted my story to your queue. So sorry.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Same Coin (or not...) 6929

File: 1375222247569.gif (1.11 MB, 278x338, 112173__safe_rainbow%252Bdash_…)

I am very, very sorry, but I cannot in good conscience give this story a review.

No, it’s not because I haven’t seen Equestria Girls (though I have seen the opening, ending, and know most of the now-spoiled plot). No, it’s not because I felt like reviewing something else, or because you submitted twice to my queue (seriously: don’t worry about that. Brainfarts happen).

No: it’s because I couldn’t make it past the second page.

I went into this fic with some caution, noting the mispellings and grammar mistakes in the OP and synopsis. I did have some optimism, though, hoping that my first-ever EqG fic would be something different from the average, run-of-the-mill SoL/HiE fics. I’m sorry to say that I was quickly disabused of the notion.

The daydream opening was the first thing to raise warning signs, and the multiple “Huh?” moments scattered throughout that scene alone were enough to turn me off completely. Red flags went up when I read “zebra mount,” saw the word “screwed” used in a Medieval context, and when I saw absolutely nothing pony-related at all.

You may take objection to that last sentence: this is, after all, an EqG fic, and not a FiM one. But allow me to expand upon this later.

Your overuse—or simple use, really—of caps lock made my eyes legitimately hurt. I noticed more grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in one page of text than I do in whole chapters of most other fics. Very quickly—and perhaps most damningly—I realized that your protagonist was little more than a self-insert character that wouldn’t be out of place in Human in Equestria story—except this wasn’t in Equestria.

Your main character daydreams about being a hero before waking up and yelling at his dad for driving the car poorly. He plays League of Legends and goes to school while his father has a suspiciously specific job description. His father makes bad, corny jokes as they move into a new house. He hints at adoption or remarrying—his family is moving to a new town, and his mother is…dead? Divorced?

Yeah; I haven’t seen this before.

Look: I’m sorry if this comes across as harsh. I don’t intend to be cruel. But skimming through the rest of this fic, I can see that it isn’t much more than your average HiE fic where the main character:

>Goes to new town/place/world

>Meets the Mane Six and freaks out about their (flanderized) characterizations
>Does Humany things
>Ends with Pinkie Party

You even quote Twilight’s line from the pilot (“All of the people in this town are crazy!”). You made the protagonist into an antisocial, loner teenager. You misspelled Cheerilee’s name.

I’m really, really sorry, and I feel terrible for writing this, but I’d strongly advise you to give up on this story. It really looks like nothing more than self-insert, wish-fulfillment fanfiction, and there’s nothing on the Internet that /fic/ hates more.

So the question becomes: where can you go from here?

Now, I can’t force you to give up on this story. Maybe it’s important to you; maybe you don’t care about my opinions and really want to finish it. And that’s okay—again, I can’t force you into anything. But please don’t let this be the end of your writing experience; everyone writes something like this at least once in their career, and is similarly disabused of their self-esteem.

Keep writing. Ideas are cheap (quoth fantasy author Brandon Sanderson), and you’ll stumble across something else that you may want to write soon enough. Keep practicing; keep working on your skill. Read. Read good stuff—I’m about to read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for the first time, and I’m really hyped up about it. Take that hidden advice as an example; take it to heart, and do your best to develop your technical and stylistic expertise. It’ll take time (I’ve been writing for almost four years, and I’m still shit, relatively speaking), but believe me: if you care at all about writing (which I hope you do; there are never enough people interested in and capable of writing, even if they choose not to pursue it professionally), you’ll find something else to do, and you’ll enjoy that just as much—if not more than—as this story.

Should you choose to write something else, I’ll (hopefully) still be here. Feel free to drop by any time.


Dediles!YZ0ZK6Tqco 6933


Thank you.

Seriosly. I had no idea my story was coming off so far from the mark.

First of all I tried to make my character a loner becuase I wanted Him to be pulled into the action rather then jump into it, and i wanted him to change his veiws over time. truth be told this guy is about as far removed from myself as i can get.

You are completly right about the plot as well. I thought if i got through all the Character meetings in one chapter then i could get the real story in motion faster.

Also I have a learning disability and no editor, so that would explain the grammar and spelling.

Finaly, I want to thank you for pointing all this out to me, I'm sorry I had such a terrible story, And it was hard for me to read something that made it out worse than i thought it was. However I'm Not done with this story, the first chapter was only the begining after all, And I'm reworking the character, considering alternitaves like making him female or using EQG twilight. Once I get this sorted out I will write the story from scratch and give it another go.

Thanks a ton.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 6934


I wouldn't get too attached to the idea of making this fic good. Just removing some of the aspects of the character that people find annoying or self-insert-y isn't going to fix very much.

And a lot of your problems will never be fixed just by addressing things like that–you also need to become a better writer, plain and simple

Write what you're gonna write, then write something else. There's only so much you can do by revisiting the same thing.

Dediles!YZ0ZK6Tqco 6935


Yeah, You are right. I slept on It and I'm putting this in the ideas that I'll get to later bin. Thinking about doing a superhero pony fic instead for right now. Maybe not, Idk. I'll think about it more before i dive headfirst into writing.

Review Request: Twilight's Odyssey, Chapter 4 DemPonies 6957

File: 1375379229632.jpg (55.8 KB, 800x518, twilight_on_twilight_by_envidi…)

Yeah, it's this thing. Go read it and tell me what you think can be improved!

Title: Twilight's Odyssey (Ch. 4)

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.

Word count: ca. 5100

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Br3a0cV534mjtxUH65MDN2xNbFXOjWgK8Jd_3ha6-60/edit

Tactical 6958

Oh hey it's this thing. I might give this a quick read, because nobody seems to want an edit from me.

Review Request: The Pony On The Wall Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 7002

File: 1376082353500.png (5.89 KB, 200x200, ink blot cutie mark bloody.png)

Okay, so my last post here didn't last long. I decided to go ahead with Ink Blot's version of the story and I honestly like her idea better. Anyway, here is the first completed chapter of my newest story. I would very much like if you could run your incredibly proficient reviewer eyes over it for me. Thanks in advance.

Title: The Pony On The Wall
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Tags: Dark
Characters: Apple Bloom, Zecora, and Ink Blot, so far.
Synopsis: What was back there that Apple Bloom didn't want her to see? Why was the old building abandoned? While chasing after a mischievous thieving phoenix, a young filly uncovers one of the most horrible and tragic blunders ever to happen to a citizen of Ponyville. As her mother and friends try to cover up their past, Ink Blot will learn that some jokes are not funny at all.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u1cd8gSMUwTJlvl4PIlVZt6lM8d2Opo7vTX61zIrv-Q/edit
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Twilight's Odyssey (Chapter Four) 7003

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Hullo, DP!

First off, sorry for taking so long with this thing. I’m getting back on a schedule—I promise! In any case, this was a nice little read that didn’t take too much to get through (which is a good thing! I swear!).

In any case, let’s get right down to it, shall we?

So, just to kick things off, let’s talk about character a little bit—specifically, Twilight. Now, your previous chapters have somewhat faded in my mind by this point, but something that strikes me as just a bit odd was how…un-fillylike Twilight sounded. Now, it’s entirely possible that this is a moot point (it’s possible to pull off an unchildlike child—just ask O.S. Card), but there were a few moments of inconsistency where I questioned the fluidity of your narrative voice and diction.

Furthermore, I enjoyed Fancy Pants, for the most part. However, he did suffer much the same problem as Blueblood (who we’ll get to in a second): he didn’t quite pop. Now, this might be one of the most useless descriptions in the universe, but I’ll run with it for a bit. Usually, in MLP we’re used to very clear, colorful, charismatic characters—Fancy Pants’ dialogue in Sweet and Elite certainly cemented his reputation in the fandom as “The Most Interesting—and Polite—Pony in the World.” I’m not saying that he was OOC, per se, but he came off more as a generic sort of “benign noble” than the more colorful character that we’re used to. Again, I’m sorry if I’m not quite addressing the root of the problem, but I wanted him to “pop,” and he fell more flat than I would have liked.

Blueblood had the same issue. Now, let me be perfectly clear: Blueblood is a villain, and, moreoever, he’s one that we love to hate. He’s pompous, arrogant, spoiled, and a whole host of other synonyms that all add up to being a Royal Pain In The Flank. Here, though, he only came off as vaguely antagonistic, and moreso to Fancy Pants than anything. His apparent threats weren’t really threatening, and though I’m beginning to hold a minor distaste for his character, I don’t truly hate him. Not yet. And, unless that’s intentional, that’s certainly a character weakness that you ought to look into.

Storywise, this chapter was fine. It was a bit slowly paced at the beginning—what with the books and all, which was really just more filler than anything else—but it sped up somewhat with the familial farewells, and certainly found its stride around the pair’s entry into the castle. It was an introduction chapter, not an action one, so I can’t really blame you for taking it easy throughout. The bit at the end with Trixie was a nice touch—if a mite clichéd—and I have to say that I’m interested in seeing where you’ll take it. Insofar as the setting, I somewhat liked the castle’s introduction, though I can’t help but think that I wanted a little more—which, amusingly enough, is much the same sentiment that I held toward your characterizations. The castle was interesting, I suppose, but I wanted to see it filled with ponies, filled with description and scenery, filled with life.

Just a minor note, but although you’ve come quite far in your prose since I first met you (which I specifically noted in a comment on the doc), you do have the rather unflattering habit of constructing long, winding sentences that mix together every actor, action, and line of reasoning under the sun. Do try to split those up if you can. Perhaps use fewer speech tags as well (though that really is just a stylistic choice, albeit one on which I hold a firm position).

In any case, this was a nice little read that got me interested in what comes next. Good luck!


Review acknowledgement DemPonies 7007


Thanks for the review, GV!

Yeah, I can definitely see what you're saying about the characters. I'm not exactly sure how to make them be more "pop" though, but I'll see what I can do.

I guess I do have a habit of making long-winded sentences on occasion. I think it stems from a desire to cram as much into individual sentences as possible (unless I make a consciously short sentence for a particular effect). Something I'll keep in mind.

So, I'll start working on the comments you left and some characterization and description jazz. Again, thanks for your help! :)


File: 1376231844644.jpg (29.41 KB, 896x504, 19483298432423423432.jpg)

Tell me about the difference between insufferable cunt of a villain and the ability of feeling happy for a villain's achievements.
Same for enjoying a villain's suaveness as opposed to being creeped out by it.


Sorry—you want advice on that?

Review: The Pony On the Wall 7018

File: 1376268795368.gif (62.27 KB, 126x126, 147768__safe_twilight-sparkle_…)

Hi Raindrops, and welcome to your review! As a random aside, it was fun seeing you at Bronycon—I hope I’ll see you again next year. In any case, let’s get started, shall we?

Just to start mechanically, you had quite a few typos. Not quite a buttload, but enough to make me concerned. From missing quotation marks to improper spacing, and from comma splices to miscapitalization, you had your fair share of technical errors. Furthermore, I noticed a fair few redundant description—”she crept slowly forward,” for example—which meshes well with my next problem: the severe overuse of adverbs.

” She placed a hoof down firmly in frustration. I mean, really? “Slammed” would work just as well, and it’d be less telly besides. Find stronger, more emotive words to use—you shouldn’t be messing around with these clunky, ambivalent phrases.

Stylistically, you had this odd (and rather uncomfortable) habit of writing really, really sparse descriptions when discussing an action or setting. You tended to just “assume” that action or scene, if I may use such language, rather than laying it out in full for the reader to see. For an example of what I mean, take a look at my comment on Zecora’s introduction. In your original phrasing, you just mentioned, “Oh, Zecora is here, and she does X thing.” I tried to expand that—to paint a picture in the reader’s mind while thoroughly establishing the setting and character(s).

I’ll just say it again—I really disliked Apple Bloom’s accent. Like, really really hated. You may think otherwise, but I believe that you entirely overdid it. “Jus’” is acceptable. “Ain’t” certainly is. “Yer” is pushing it, and “yew” is just asking to get slapped with a fish.

When we come to the story itself, I couldn’t really be bothered, at first, to care about your OC. She lacked a clear and distinct voice, to begin, and simply wasn’t very interesting to read about. I didn’t know the context—if you hadn’t told me OOC that she was Pinkie’s daughter, I would be very, very confused. I didn’t really get a good feel for Zecora or Apple Bloom; the latter fell especially flat, considering how much of her active personality we see in-show. I would’ve liked to get a firm time scale, and it certainly wouldn’t have hurt to have hinted at a clear place in the timeline during which this fic takes place. You somewhat managed it, but clumsily—”Aunt Apple Bloom” and “the older mare” are a bit hamfisted in how they accomplish this goal.

You had a very big problem with exposition—an unhealthy addiction, even. You never really inferred anything through dialogue and/or action when you could exposit it instead. You’d give us little “As You Know” nuggets of information through Ink Blot talking to herself, which is the worst way of exposition invented since cheesy 90s action cartoons.

Moving right along, I never really felt that you’d built up enough tension or atmosphere in your scenes. If anything, your clunky language obfuscated any meaning that I could try to glean from each turn of events—the “monster pony” thing at the end is a clear example. When I ask, “wat the fuq,” it’s not because I think that things are weird—it’s that I honestly have no idea what just happened. This also relates back to your problem with expounding upon each given scene or action; things were so truncated that I sincerely could not follow.

I’m sorry, but I must recommend a full rewrite for this chapter. Between the uninteresting characterizations, the technical errors, and the narrative issues, this really just didn’t work for me at all. If you have any questions, comments, or objections, then please don’t hesitate to let me know about them.

Best of luck!

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 7019

File: 1376273199193.png (305.78 KB, 1000x800, Ink Blot filly.png)

I still disagree about the accent, but since I'm only half writing this for myself, and particularly since it's not really important to the story, I see no problem in dropping it.

I'm not sure I follow you when you say I just assume the action or scene, but I suspect it's the curse of seeing the scene in my head, and being unable to tell what it looks like on the other end of what feels like an adequate description. Which is where you come in, and that means I've failed that part. I can try to fix this, but it's going to be a royal pain in my flank for as long as I hold this proverbial pen/quill.

>I couldn’t really be bothered, at first, to care about your OC.

Now that you mention that, it's funny. I don't really know what I want the reader to like about her. I feel as though she exists simply to move the plot along, though she's the one really telling this story, so I guess that makes sense. Huh. After I ran through such a fun panel, you'd think I would be a pro at this. I'll give that some work.
The timeline is as ambiguous to me as it is to you. I would put Apple Bloom at a bit older than the mane six in canon, but I don't see a need to actually state it any more than there is need to state what the mane six's actual ages are.

>You’d give us little “As You Know” nuggets of information through Ink Blot talking to herself, which is the worst way of exposition invented since cheesy 90s action cartoons.

I actually don't know what you mean by that. Could you explain it in a bit more detail?

>When I ask, “wat the fuq,” it’s not because I think that things are weird—it’s that I honestly have no idea what just happened.

Well, I can try to work on that, I suppose, but I honestly can't figure out what it is you're trying to get me to do. I've done my best to describe what was going on, and I read things over a bazillion times to make sure it's describing what's going on in my head, and you still don't have a clue what's going on. I feel like you're asking what color Fluttershy's yellow coat is.

I think I need to run this through my own review thread, but sadly the world doesn't work like that; I'm still only me.
This post was edited by its author on .

Sparklez 7020

Yes I do, if you feel you're up to the task.


File: 1376339673722.jpg (354.06 KB, 1200x718, 31756.jpg)

Sure. It's been a while since I've done any sort of big-scale report.

So, by the way you've laid things out, you have three types of villains. Each has their own personality, methods, and goals, which make them unique in how they appeal to the audience.

1.) The Insufferable Cunt of a Villain: Let's start simple. The ISCV (as I have now abbreviated) is the Character You Love To Hate. They're the Dolores Umbridge, the Prince Joffrey of literature. In MLP terms, this villain might be equated to Diamond Tiara—she's fucking annoying, has no redeeming qualities, and exists only to Make Life Terrible.

Now, this doesn't mean that this is a bad villain. Blueblood, for example, in most fanfictions, is wonderfully portrayed as the kind of fucked-up, self-centered bastard that you would gladly send into next week, and quite often, that's a character who needs to exist. Fiction reflects reality, after all, and we've all met at least one insufferable cuntnugget like that. What makes these villains special, then, is their lack of perspective or empathy. They think in the short-term, and think of nobody but themselves. Their goals tend to link back to this, with each “evil plot” only coming back to give them a sense of immediate satisfaction, often with limited effect. Blueblood doesn’t care if his machinations cause Equestria to fall so long as he makes Rarity lose her job out of a sense of egotistic revenge. Joffrey plays dice with the security of the Realm, but as long as he gets to chop off someone’s head and brag about it to Mother, he doesn’t care.

The reason that you, the reader, can’t bring yourself to like these characters is because they exist not for you, but for themselves. They’re cancers in the story, and you grind your teeth with every word that comes out of their self-righteous mouths. That means that the author’s doing their job—I’m sure J.K. Rowling is extremely proud of her Ministry villains.

2.) The Endgamer: This is a villain with a plan. You may know your motivations or you may not, but they have a reason behind everything they do. They’re willing to give up a little to gain a lot later on. The Joker knows this—he wants to prove the fallibility of humanity, and he’s okay with losing out on some cash or manpower if it means that he takes a closer step to his goal. What makes this villain unique, then, is the sense of pride that they instill into their methods. They’ve removed ego from the equation, and instead devote themselves to their ideals over their pleasures. When we watch Queen Chrysalis, for example, we can hold a healthy respect for her skills in espionage and battle tactics. We may despise her as a person while still maintaining that recognition for her achievements and methodology.

If you’ve read Watchmen, then you’ll know that Ozymandias fits this label so well that he’s basically a complete antivillain (if not an antihero, depending on who you ask). He’s devoted his life to a dream of worldwide peace and prosperity, and there’s a level of gruesome fascination and awe involved with watching what is, undeniably, a master going about his work. The sheer complexity, skill, and power involved are mindboggling to the average reader.

If you’ve read Harry Potter, than this well-explains the fascination that Dumbledore holds for Tom Riddle (Voldemort). We readers gain a perverse glee with watching the progress of the Dark Side, because let’s face it: these guys are cool. They think in the long-term, they have awesome powers, they have the best and coolest toys—what’s not to like?

3.) The Entertainer: He’s suave. He’s slick. And he knows how to get what he wants. These are the Discords of the villain world: the Qs, the Crowleys, the Lucifers. This is a common overlap with the No. 2 category because the two have something in common: they tend to be quite coolheaded. They know what they want, and they know how to get it. They know how to worm their way under your skin: how to twist your head with their pretty words, and how to mold you like putty into just the right shape. And you’ll let it happen, simply because they’re so damn fun to watch.

If you’ve ever seen Ocean’s Eleven (a movie I highly recommend), then you’ll know that it’s clearly about a team of Villain Protagonists. They cheat, they lie, and they steal things. Yet, watching George Clooney exchange a knowing smirk with Brad Pitt over a bottle of champagne, we can’t help but love how bad they are. These are the leather-clad James Bonds of Mordor, the Silvertongues who’ll do whatever—and whoever—it takes to get their mark.

Discord is fun. He’s crazy, whacko, off his rocker—but you know what? He never loses his cool in the whole two-parter (aside from his little tantrum over Fluttershy). You can hear his honeyed tongue with each lie that drips from his lips; you know that every word that he says is for his benefit, and his benefit alone. Yet the Mane Six fall to his machinations, and we can understand why—each of their fears are more well-grounded in reality than we’d like to think? Pinkie? We’ve seen that side of her before, in Party of One. Applejack? The gang’s definitely had problems before, and there’s no reason to believe—as someone who hates to sugarcoat the truth—that reality might not just come crashing down later in. Rainbow Dash? This is her home; the place where she grew up—her parent might still live there.

And Twilight? Well: how hard is it to become something that you’ve lived for your entire life?

Ultimately, the difference between being “an insufferable cunt” and “enjoying their achievements” stems from the way that a specific character looks at the world. A villain is enjoyable to watch when it’s clear that there’s a master at work, but “suave” is a measure of quantity, not quality. There’s a reason why Discord rapefic is a thing: absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I can’t be the only one wondering if Bellatrix has used the Imperio spell for…personal reasons in the past. It’s a fine line, really: an uncanny valley in which your villain shifts from “real person” to “complete monster.” It’s the line between, “that’s hot,” and “that’s sick,” and for many different people, that line can lie in different areas. When writing, it’s all a matter of keeping your audience in mind, and above all, never forgetting who your characters are. “Would X stop here? Would Y go further?” Depending on the answer, you may want to re-evaluate what kind of story you’re writing.

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 7025

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Hopping in here.
The way to write an insufferable cunt is to simply create someone incredibly self-righteous and wrong. Moreover, making a villain get away with horrible things is one of the greatest ways to give a villain weight. A villain who just fails at everything they do is pathetic. A villain who pins the hero underfoot and cuts off his arm is a real menace.

This is by far the simplest way to make a villain have weight: have them actually succeed. Saturday morning cartoon villains usually show up with some big bad plan, but then the good guys defeat them and nothing changes. Having the villain do something very real (something very real that affects the protag) gives that villain more weight. The reason insufferable cunts are what they are is because they get away with doing things time and time again, and are usually protected by some bullshit that is beyond the protag's control (ie, Joffrey is (son of the) king of the realm, you can't touch him. Umbridge is a teacher and her authority superceeds even Dumbledore's.) Spoiled. Self-righteous. Arrogant. There's a wide variety of things you can choose from to make them despising. Just look for shit people really hate. Bad bosses, celebrity assholes, any person in a position of power able and willing to abuse it who has horribly misguided notions.

I also would categorize the joker and discord as 'spontaneous/unpredictable villain' rather than endgamer. Spontaneous villain being a villain who flies by the seat of their pants and likes to lead the dance, as it were.

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