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File: 1371406722417.jpg (220.34 KB, 770x1024, towaulait-sparkuru.nohooves.jp…)

Minific Write-off Round #3 6342

Accolades: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/scoreboard
Overview: http://writeoff.rogerdodger.me/event/17-Minific-Contest-3

Starts Sun, 23 Jun 02:00 UTC. 400–750 word limit. 24 hours of writing time. 7 days of public voting.

For those of you unfamiliar with the write-off, here's the gist:

– Participants write stories over a given time period
– The stories are written from a prompt decided at the event’s onset
– Participants submit their work to an anonymous anthology
– Readers then rate the stories
– Finally, everything gets wrapped up with author reveals and winners announced

Good luck,
Roger out


File: 1371408416540.gif (393.34 KB, 500x400, i.chzbgr.gif)


EDIT: Also, Rog—would you mind making a thread for this on the FimFic page?
This post was edited by its author on .

Whitty 6349

Sweet. Minifics are something I can do.


Axis of Rotation 6350

A chance at redemption!!

After just missing the deadline for the last one, I'll be sure to make it this time. I won't fail. I musn't! I shant!

Anonymous 6352

If he wanted anyone to post the thread, I'm pretty sure he'd have done it himself.

Dublio 6356


Azu asked Roger first. He said it was okay.


I meant if he[Golden Vision] wanted anyone to post the thread, he[Golden Vision] would have done it himself.


File: 1371439026926.jpeg (183.96 KB, 1311x958, 20_32_43_237_file.jpeg)

>Azu asked Roger first. Roger told him to do it himself.
Fix'd that for ya.

Yes, cause GV clearly doesn't want more traffic for the FiMfic group he created.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 6362

I'm just excited I can actually submit prompts for once. :D

NTSTS 6370

Does anyone else feel like this is going to be harder than the full-size writing event?

Ion-Sturm 6371

File: 1371526269853.jpg (55.38 KB, 451x600, 1342612616178.jpg)

I've found them to be easier, actually, both to write and review. Since they're short people tend to experiment a bit more, meaning there's plenty of variety, and if they screw it up, well, it's over pretty quickly.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 6385

Hey Roger, why does the site say writing goes from Sunday to Wednesday?


File: 1371609236997.jpg (64.04 KB, 512x384, ZZZ.jpg)


Because I filled in the form wrong.

All fixed now.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 6398

Whew! Thanks, Roger. :D

Dublio 6440

Are yall ready? It's almost time for prompts!

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 6441

And like a dumb, I totally missed prompt submissions. >:B

NTSTS 6444

>tfw 'le epic pony face' didn't win

I've never been more crushed. ;_;


File: 1371960135142.jpg (20.65 KB, 462x462, 12118425_gal.jpg)

no u

Whew. Looks like we've got something I can work with. Let's go.


How strict is the word limit rule? Would something less than 1k words be acceptable?

Anonymous 6449

The word limit is from 400–750.

The only acceptable length is less than 1k.

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 6450


NTSTS 6452

oi u wanna go m8 i'll reck u i swear on me mum's life u wanna get #dunked?

Anonymous 6453


Author of "Worth It." 6454

So… I tried to think of something this prompt works for other than "X and Y have a reunion" or "X reminisces about their past". I came up with something, but I feel like I have to explain how it's tied to the prompt.

Basically my story's about the mischief we all used to get into as a kid, especially on those long, boring summer days.

Anonymous 6455

So, no prompt? Just write anything pone?

Anonymous 6456

naw, m8

prompt is:

"For old times' sake"

Anonymous 6461

I was worried about prompt relation too, but I think as long as you get some variation of the key words and the notion of 'remembrance', you're probably good.

Anonymous 6463



File: 1372039172588.jpeg (144.01 KB, 640x480, Writer_Wreath_1.jpeg)

Entry finished and submitted. I planned on doing many more, but a lousy day in addition to a complete lack of inspiration from the prompt killed my productivity. I am feeling good about the one story I did, however.

There's still two hours left to write and edit, so good luck to everyone still plugging at it and everyone who submitted their work already. Can't wait to start reading tomorrow!


>not staying up all night until the entries are visible and then reading every single one of them before you go to bed

what a casuals


Joke's on you, the entries become visible for me at 8 AM. There won't be a night to sleep through if I do that.


(づ ̄ ³ ̄)凸

Anonymous 6468

>Not voting on the fics after reading them.

Jesus, do you guys even try?

Anonymous 6469


>There's still two hours left to write and edit

There are? Isn't it 0230 UTC on Monday 24th right now?


>It is currently Mon, 24 Jun 2013 02:37:17 +0000 (UTC)
>Writing ends Mon, 24 Jun 2013 04:00 UTC

The site footer has the time in it btw.

Anonymous 6471

16 minutes to go and we currently have as many entries as the last write-off, with multiple participants surely writing multiple entries.

is this an unusually low turnout for such a low word count?

Anonymous 6472


Yes. The last minific competition had 33 entries in it. So this one is small in comparison. I think it's because there was just a regular writeoff a few weeks ago. That and the period only lasts 24 hours. People could have been busy today.

Anonymous 6473

dag, yo


File: 1372046369334.jpg (31.87 KB, 500x312, Look at me, Hector.jpg)

>submitted in last five minutes
>terrible title
>terrible pacing


Anonymous 6475


>didn't submit in last five minutes

>only halfway done

Anonymous 6476

Well, this is gonna hurt like a motherfucker.

I'm honestly shocked I got these in on time. The general idea I had was to write three stories that could exist as separate entries, but formed an entirely different story if read successively, and I… have no idea if I actually pulled that off. Whatever.

I guess I won't spoil which three entries are mine, but it really shouldn't be that hard to figure it out.


File: 1372047793003.gif (Spoiler Image,1.65 MB, 640x360, lLHA93k.gif)

Would it be possible to have the stories linked to in the voting page, that way we don't have to keep the Gallery and Vote pages open?

Anyways, let's do this! Voters, roll out!

Le Epic Review Face Guy who wrote some stuff 6479

This is a very overdescriptive, telly piece that doesn't make good use of its word count. The whole thing felt a bit overblown, and there's no proper resolution, or conflict - just a summary of how much BP's life sucks.


I like the intrigue generated in this piece by the uncertainty of the perspective it's tied to. It left me with a fair few unanswered questions, but they feel like they're more fun that way. Would have liked just a little more sureness to grasp at though.


More than Tradition
Interesting metaphors and pieces of description that give the piece a lot of character. The dialogue, regardless of how it might be situated in chronology, felt very wooden in places. The letter was sweet and simple, but the circumstance of its inscription is a big question mark. Clever, but it felt off in places.


A Chance Meeting
I don't really feel there was anything interesting that occurred in this story. In addition, there were some grammatical errors, and the incomplete allusion of Inkie (I believe this is the correct spelling) being Octavia, or at least implying to it, just made the story a less enjoyable read.


A Mistake From the Past
Very awkward construction/phrasing. Language is equally bothersome to parse. Several grammatical errors. The overall feel of this story is vague and purposeless. It was almost upsetting to read, but not in a rewarding way.


A Trick of Memory
This story made me approve of a weird ship, and I'm not sure how to feel about it. The dialogue felt too obtuse to be Pinkie in most places, and awkward in others. Good execution on the prompt, but it seems to be hinting at value without revealing it. Some extra telliness in parts that detracted a bit.


Marry Me
This story didn't inspire any particular emotion, though I feel like it was well told. It feels that it aimed at a purpose but didn't quite accomplish it. Good scene to display though, so it gets points for the demonstration in description if nothing else.


Glass Creations
Don't beat me over the head with the metaphor or anything :V
I'm pretty sure I know who wrote this, and at the risk of being blunt, I'll say you're selling yourself short while possibly misapplying your sentiment. I'm not sure if this fits as a story, but it might be worth hearing you talk about otherwise. Hang in there, and don't give up.


I loved this story right up until the last line. I feel like it killed all the subtle emotion that had been building. In fact, if you had just cut off the last two sentences, this would have been a relatively unimpeachable entry. As is, it's a flawed but lovely story.


The Night Mare and the Dream
Wow. This one is a really rad idea, and a powerful delivery. The only bit tripping me up is the obtuseness of the dialogue – it didn't feel quite real to me. That said, it was still a lovely read, and I have to admit I didn't see the ending coming, which made it that much more enjoyable. Good stuff.


Living for The Chase
Cool premise with sloppy execution. Also a number of weird grammatical errors. I feel like this story would have been more powerful if Discord had learned to grow or reached some kind of compromise with Celestia, instead of just being a dink.


While the narrative voice here is embellished to a point, I found myself enjoying it at several points. It did leave us with a purposefully ambiguous end to the story, but that's kind of used to communicate the message. I feel a favour to dialogue and unspoken incidents would have furthered this story's execution, rather than bluntly describing the dilemma.


A Chance Encounter on Route 66
Horse puns, pls.
Some weird awkward overdescription here.
First one I've laughed at though. It was a blast to read once it got going. Not much to say about it other than it was unexpected, and I feel it deserves a kudos for that. I also think I know who wrote it. :V


I feel like the description here is aping something, but I'm not sure what. The ending section felt a little sharp in contrast to the rest of the story's delivery, and the prompt's inclusion was evident without mentioning it. Good scene-setting picture, though there's no traditional resolution.


Over Milkshakes
A bit cloying and some awkward construction. I didn't feel the conclusion was particularly powerful, though of course expecting spectacular insight in such a limit space is always a bit self-defeating. Some can do it though, so it's a worthwhile standard in my mind.


I fear those big words which make us so unhappy.
If you're aping the apex of literary vernacular of yore, your delivery is falling short :V
If this is the author of 'War Horse' from the last write-off, you need to be smacked with a 'check-your-verbosity at the door' flier rolled up and delivered smartly to the nose. The vocabulary is hugely distracting in this piece and adds nothing to it beyond bloat.


Trixie's Revenge
The build up wasn't worth the pay-off. Not much more to this one than that.


The Battle of Checkerboard Field
Ew, VinylTavia.
"She was white, and Octavia was black." - I'm not sure if this line was meant to make me laugh, but it did.
Really cool idea that was overdone a bit, and the tone of the description didn't match the characters it was engaging. The conclusion also feels completely lacking to me. Still, neat concept, just not a steadfast execution.


Guiding Light
Very inelegant description and a fair few grammatical errors. Didn't really give any meaningful narrative, and overall just felt clunky and purposeless.


Pareidoilia, or the Importance of Crochet
I think that title is a typo.
I feel like this had the potential to be creepy, and I'm not sure if it was or not. It didn't sound like Pinkie's voice, not in most places anyway. Cool idea though, and the delivery was interesting, speech narrated as narrative description from a first-person perspective.


Worth It.
Love that opening sentence. Really grabs you.
Narrative voice doesn't really match the character, and it's a bit awkward in places. You change POV incorrectly when you shift the focus to Rarity, and sub-tense as well, going from progressive/continuous present to simple present. In fact, you seem to do that mid-sentence in places elsewhere, even into past tense when it's not really appropriate. A challenge of the viewpoint, I suppose.
Mildly interesting idea without an execution to hold it up. The conclusion felt lacklustre as well.


Rusty in the Giddyup
Oh god the narrative voice is killing this. It's so stuffy.
This is a really funny idea that suffered from its execution. Less is more in a story like this, and I feel like you went way overboard with the description. The setup was nice, but the pay-off didn't quite cap in a resounding fashion.


Point of View
Am I the only one who thinks there's a weird amount of Pumpkin/Pound stuff in these stories? Didn't know those two were so popular.
Oh, I see. This is a companion to that other piece. IT'S ALL COMING TOGETHER NOW. I think that's cheating though.
Sentiment is a bit cliche, and I'm not sure if its work with the other story adds or detracts from it's value. It didn't hit me in the same way, in any case, though it's told well enough.


The Ocean and the Clouds
Weird tonal shift after the intro, though I suppose it's reflective of the narrative perspective. Beginning description wsa a little off to me. This reminds me of something, but I'm not sure what. The ending description felt really powerful to me, though the allusions were slightly clunky.

8.5-9/10 (not sure)

Evening with Sweetie Belle
I feel like this is a reference to something… or it feels too similar to one of the other stories? Not sure where the prompt fits in. Also feels unfinished.


Nice crop overall, though nothing that blew me away like last time. Hard to do that in so few words though, I guess.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of the reviews roll in. I can't believe we have a week to read these!

Author of "Worth It." 6481

File: 1372077758597.jpg (267.49 KB, 553x720, i_wasn__t_prepared_for_this_by…)

Jesus fucking Christ. How did I leave so many typos in? There's more typos and slip ups in that page and a half than in most of my first drafts.

Author of Pareidoilia 6482

Actually, it's a pun on "pareidolia" and "doily". Despite, y'know, not being a comedic fic. This story idea was incepted upon me learning of the former word for the first time. Just clearing that up!

"Guiding Light" Author 6484


Thanks for the review and i got to agree with you.

Ended up being 3 in the morning (so hmm 3 hours before the deadline?) so just said screw it and wrote whatever came to mind.

But still this is interesting.
Mainly joined to "force" myself to write stuff and try to improve. A little feeling of "competition" might be a good incentive.

Anonymous 6498

>tfw ded

Anonymous 6505

Very nice imagery in this. I feel like a few too many things were left out and not hinted at quite strongly enough. And can you actually go blind from drinking bad alcohol? That seems an awfully cruel fate for a pony already so put upon. I am surprised, however, that I’ve never really seen this sort of story done for Berry Punch; usually, they’re based around Derpy.

I’m not too sure how to react to this one, so I’ll go with the positive: you set up and resolve a single scene in short order, which is not easy to do in 500 words. I’m not overly entirely certain what happened here, but I do know it was done efficiently, and I can appreciate that.

More Than Tradition:
This is an ever so slightly different take on the longevity Spike trope, but I was disappointed to see it lapse into sad territory by the end. That said, you definitely need more words for this story. The setup was well-done, and like I said, different from what I expected, but I have no idea what they were writing letters for, or why Twilight was dictating in different voices (?)

A Chance Meeting:
Pretty basic take on “Inky as Octavia”. I like the trope, personally, but… Well, you just didn’t do anything with it here.

A Mistake From the Past:
I figured out it was Tom pretty early on. I hope I’m not being too biased here, but I feel Rarity/Tom stories need a certain amount of self-aware humor, and this lacks that. It wasn’t over the top either, leaving me having to deal with the idea of Rarity actually dating a rock. And I don’t think I can handle that. Maybe it’s time to move away from this joke.

A Trick of Memory:
Gilda and Pinkie being friends? I find the concept thoroughly charming. I think you played the backstory here pretty well, though Gilda keeps asking questions and responding “I know” to the answers, which I thought was an odd quirk. I like this though; you packed a lot of stuff into a small space.

Marry Me:
This is cute, in that I’ve never seen end-of-life DinkyPip and it’s a favorite ship of mine. But that said, it was painfully obvious early on that he was talking to a dead pony, and the phoneticization of “luv” also made it obvious who he was. Actually, the first line, leading into the second piece of dialogue, did make it sound like someone else had said the first line, so that was partially confusing, and didn’t quite work as a monologue.

Glass Creations:
I smell allegory, and not terribly well executed at that. Doesn’t look like you gave this a second look for proofreading, either. The main character’s whining and belligerence make him thoroughly unlikeable by the scene break, so I can’t really invest myself in the ending, as it appears he’s meant to be sympathetic. Sorry, this doesn’t work for me.

Interesting backstory for these two. I felt like the emotional investment wasn’t there, though, nor did the two scenes really have any effect on each other. Not really sure why.

The Night Mare and the Dream:
I didn’t like this at first, but I feel by the end that it had a real impact on me. The main flaw I would point out is the fairly expository block of dialogue from Pipsqueak. Well, and also she calls him a foal, which confuses me on his age with the other context given. But that’s about it. You built up a very interesting relationship between them, using them far better than many others do, and the revelation of just what Luna was doing at the end played out remarkably well. Good work!

Living for The Chase:
My only regret is that I’ve seen this idea done before in comics. But you give a tremendous motivation for Discord to act the way he does in that comic, and the denouement is thoroughly satisfying. I love thinking about post-Keep Calm Discord in this way, and watching him goad Celestia was just delicious. High marks!

Oh, and now I know which is the series of entries. The perspective in this is, ironically, a little shaky, as it seems to switch back and forth between the two. And part of me wants to say that it can’t stand alone, but actually it just becomes a better story when read after Outlook. Pound Cake is characterized marvelously, and this stands very well on its own. I can’t wait to find the rest of them now.

Once again, I find myself going, “Oh hell, Gummy’s dead” and that dragging down my enjoyment of the story. Maybe it’s just the repeition of “Gummy, as usual, was mute”, even after the reveal comes. I kind of want to see more of this, and I kind of don’t, macabre as it is. I think that Pinkie’s emotional reaction to Gummy’s death could be better envisioned with more words, though.

Over Milkshakes:
This starts building up steam and then doesn’t get a chance to do anything with it. I’m not sure what you could have cut out really, other than maybe the first half. Sweetie’s revelation should have been the focus here, along with her friends’ reactions to it. Also now I’m confused because Pumpkin is in it but I don’t think it’s part of the series.

What? I get that the first part is Celestia’s (I guess) final thoughts, and the second is Twilight standing vigil by her grave and dealing with loss, but those final two lines make no sense at all. When working at this level of wordcounts, you really can’t afford to be this erudite, and with your verbiage so dense, I couldn’t really make any sort of connection to what was being presented. Not to mention I found the rhymes overly cutesy. There was just no way I would like this kind of story, but I really think you wasted a chance here.

Trixie’s Revenge:
The moment she said “tool”, I knew she was fighting a wheel. And despite the fact that the revelation was so completely telegraphed, I don’t think the joke really worked. Not to mention the Dragon Ball yell was just silly. I didn’t think I’d say this about any of the entries, but this one could have been a good bit shorter; it really belabors its point without actually being effective as over the top comedy.

Old Friends:
I’m kind of impressed by this. The revelation at the end, and Twilight’s reaction to it, just gut-punched me. The unexpectedness of both made them feel particularly real. Yeah, I really like this one, and I daresay it did the best with the prompt (so far) without resorting to schmaltz.

The Battle of Checkerboard Field:
I don’t think this worked at all. Why didn’t Octavia want to play? Why did she give in so easily? The whole “epic battle being waged in their minds” was really undercut by continued explanations of what was actually going on. When you’re doing something like that, you really have to stick with one or the other, otherwise it comes off with this weird disconnected unreality and… This just didn’t have any effect on me at all.

Guiding Light:
I’m sorry, the writing in this is not good, and that’s highly distracting. I see that you got another review stating that, so I won’t belabor the point. I’ll just say that approaching Twilestia in this manner does the ship no favors.

Worth It:
I love that first line. That said, I’ve never thought of Opal as Sweetie’s, so I was momentarily confused when it became apparent who was narrating. Highly amusing, and totally worth the payoff. I’m sure someone more pedantic than I will point out the mistake or two I noticed, but I highly enjoyed this.

Point of View:
I thought Pound was working in Cloudsdale. I’d place this second in the series, not my favorite, but still good. I think it might depend on the other two more than the other two depend on it, or it could be the order I read them in.

The Ocean and the Clouds:
I feel like this owes a lot to Bubbles. And that said, it feels a lot like that story, if mostly for the voice. Derpy getting her cutie mark, too. Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it (mostly for the narrative voice), just that it feels like retreading covered ground.

This is disturbing in all the right ways. The best part is I can only speculate about things. Utterly tantalizing.

Evening With Sweetie Belle:
Cute, and believable for Magnum. I felt it was a little telly, nothing left to the imagination, but for what this sets out to do, it gets accomplished. Not bad at all!

Anonymous 6539

>tfw four days in and only two sets of reviews

You guys said minifics would be EASIER to review!


They are, but there's not much to say about minifcs beyond whether you liked it or not, and that's not really actionable feedback. I'll read them and vote, but I hadn't planned on posting reviews.

Anonymous 6568

Reviews! Yay!

So…Berry Punch goes blind? Because of alcohol? And backstory, expodump, angst, and flowery writing? Mreh. Not much to see here. 2/10

Innocent filly watches her mother have a one-night stand. Eh; interesting, I guess. I didn't really enjoy the OCs, though I suppose that the childish tone was nice. 4/10

I like the ideas in here (transformation via transfer of wealth, some dragon backstory, etc), and "King" Spike/Princess Twi were fun to watch. I can't help but feel there's something missing, though; the ending kind of confused me (why is he king? Why isn't Celestia there? When is this happening? What happened to her friends?). 6/10

A Chance Meeting
The concept is nice, as is the characterization, but the prose kind of trips in several places. Still enjoyable. 7/10

A Mistake From the Past
Eh. I realized who (or what) it was about pretty quickly. It could have been funny, but you played the tragedy up too much in the end. It could have been tragic…but it was Tom. 2/10

A Trick of Memory
I definitely enjoyed this. It wasn't the most complex of stories on the surface, but you could easily make this into a full-length fic that even Nicknack would approve (assuming he wasn't the one writing this). It raises more questions than answers, but in a good way. 8/10

Glass Creations
Okay, if I'm wrong about who wrote this, then I'll eat my hat (though I'd have to acquire one first). In any case, I definitely get the metaphor, though I'd question how well it works in the given circumstance. I'm not going to give this a score—as someone already said, you're selling yourself short here, so I wouldn't say that this is anything more than your place to vent. Don't be so down on yourself! NA/10

I think you could've kept just the first scene; it works better without the second (although you could've put in a bit more to establish the protection of Lotus without needing a whole other scene). Still nicely-written, and in a manner that reminds me of that Octavia fic in the last write-off. 7/10

The Night-Mare and the Dream
I really like Pipsqueak as a character, and his relationship with Luna is (sadly) often overdone in a painful or awkward way. This was very nice to read, though, and again, even though there was some difficulty with the prose in some areas, I certainly enjoyed the idea of Pip—an Earth Pony!—as the "gifted student" of Luna. The bit about Tia in the end was great, too. 9/10

Living For the Chase
Fun, I guess, but a bit-overly childlike in the prose ("Royal Canterlot Voice"? Really?). Discord is an interesting character, especially after his "redemption," but I didn't really feel that enough of his voice came through. 4/10

There're a lot of good ideas in this write-off, but unfortunately, the executions aren't quite as good. Remember how I said that "Trick of Memory" raised more questions than answers, but in a good way? This did the same thing, but in a bad way. That story hinted at everything without actually revealing the specifics; this one doesn't even so much as hint. 3/10

A Chance Encounter on Route 66
Aw. That's adorable. Nothing too complex, but certainly a nice bit of comedy with enjoyable "characterization" for our favorite little GIF pone. 8/10

…I have no words. No. Just no. 1/10

Over Milkshakes
I seem to be saying this a lot, but this was nice. It felt like…exactly what it said on the tin. Nothing more than two-dimensional d'awws of nostalgia, but it didn't need much more. In a way, it reflects the simplicity and attitudes of the CMCs themselves. 7/10

Soooo….angsty immortal Twilight? Or something? Yeah, I done seen dis before. And the ending doesn't really make any sense (not to mention the loads of purple scattered throughout). 2/10

Trixie's Revenge
I think "lol" is the most appropriate response here. Still, it wasn't very highbrow, interesting, or actually meaningful; it was just…Trixie beating up a wheel. Go throw it on FimFiction and give it another 2k words; they'll lap it up. Or sell the copyright to Blueshift. 3/10

Old Friends
I have a feeling that I know who wrote this (if I'm wrong, I'll be at least somewhat surprised). In any case, nicely-written, good characterization, etc, etc. 8/10

The Battle of Checkerboard Field
Interesting, I suppose. Quite verbose, if I may say. It wasn't bad, certainly, but felt a bit…I dunno. Interesting. 6/10

Guiding Light
I think it would've been better to play off of the original shrine-finding (and make it full Humor) or else reference it in a post-NMM conversation between Tia and Twi. This felt quite…inconsistent? I'm sure I'm forgetting the right word to use; it'll come to me later. 4/10

I like the imagery of Granny Pie; the voice was subtly done, and I was happily surprised when the speaker was revealed, clue by clue and step by step. Nicely done as a nostalgia piece, and of course Pinkie is the last one to go. 9/10

Worth It
I like Sweetie Belle's voice here, though it seems a bit too adult. The actions are juvenile, as is the tone, but the diction isn't quite there. Still, nice little vignette. 7/10

Rusty in the Giddyup
Hue. Entertaining, I'll give you that. Not too deep, but not too shabby, either. 6/10

Point of View
I like this little series. I can't help but feel as if you cheated a little bit (by making a "larger", overarching fic as your submission, even if it is divvied up like this), but this was definitely my favorite of the series. The problem is, of course, that the only work when put together. I'd give you an 8/10, but seeing as I only understood this by reading the others, I'll give you a 6/10 instead. Sorry. 6/10

The Ocean and the Clouds
G'bye Derpy's mom. Not entirely sure I get what happened, though, and it all feels a bit too vague for my tastes. There's Derpy done right, and then there's…this. Not bad, but certainly not good. 3/10

Wow; that's bittersweet. Celestia's getting on in years, and Twilight really needs to be her number one assistant. Again, it manages to be bittersweet, but without hitting you over the head with SAD SAD SAD. One of my favorites, if I might be honest; the perfect mix of hints and vagueness and provocative detail. 9/10

Evening With Sweetie Belle
It's interesting how, in fanon, at least, people tend to ignore Rarity/SB's family. I think this is a nice little vignette portraying them as an "everyman" family. I couldn't help but picture Magnon grabbing a beer and watching the Big Game™ right after this conversation ended, though. A bit simplistic on the whole, though. 6/10

Reviews, part 1 6572

Order is random, generated by a RNG.

Worth It:
It’s hot, and Sweetie Belle hates her cat.

Although it’s not really hers, since Rarity brought her in first.
The errors are the first things to stand out in this one, especially the random tense shifts.
And while the situation is kinda fun to imagine (it did bring a smirk to my lips), and the author does attempt to capture that feeling of childish mischief, including the “I don’t know why I did it, lol” conclusion, the narration never goes deep enough, and sometimes word choice even works against immersion.
All in all, this really needed more time for editing.

Rusty in the Giddyup:
A stallion finds the mare of his dreams. Unfortunately for him.

The title just makes me giggle, and I’m not sure why. Teehee.
The reveal was hilarious enough, and utilized a random visual gag from the show in a great way. I did have fun reading this, but I feel that more humor could have been stretched from the joke. As it is, this is more of a long anecdote than a proper story, although that’s not really an issue in a minific contest.
One thing I will note is that the tonal shift, while appropriate for the comedic reveal, is a bit too sudden, mostly due to the awkward stretching and overdescription in the beginning.
Still, a good entry overall.

Pinkie Pie really got into doilies.

Had to google the title, my reference didn’t have the word. The dictionary’s fault, really.
While the narrative voice was a good attempt at capturing Pinkie’s personality, there wasn’t really much story to this piece, and it certainly doesn’t have a plot. Once I realized what it was, this fic read as another one of a veritable million of other sad fics that merely present the situation without really trying to capture emotion. Yeah, okay, five out of six friends are dead, so what? I’m sorry to say, but it was cliché, and did try anything else.
That said, the prose itself wasn’t bad at all, so points for that.

Glass Creations:
A cry for attention by a disgruntled fanfic author glassblower.

I don’t know what to think of this. I’m honestly not sure. Allegory definitely has its place in fiction, but it cannot be rightly placed with more… sincere pieces? On the one hand, subtlety and aesthetics are paramount, and on the other, the sentiment expressed is not untrue.
In the end, this fic tried to present a political (for a certain meaning of the word) point first and elicit an emotional reaction second, something better done in an essay form than prose, so I cannot rightly judge it too well. That is compounded by a less-than-stellar execution. No errors really stood out, but the main character was, from the very start, more of an authorial mouthpiece and/or stand-in than a proper character. As a result, no emotional connection could be made, which was probably one purpose of this piece.
All I can say is that I certainly hope that the author does not feel like the character of his or her story, for it is a frustrating way to feel and the wrong attitude to have.

A Trick of Memory:
Gilda and Pinkie hang out in the clouds.

It took me some time to realize that Dash gave Gilda the Element of Loyalty, presumably after something had happened to her. I’m not sure that that’s how it works.
While Gilda had a convincing enough voice, I really couldn’t hear Pinkie in this at all. Too wordy, to precise, too obvious. This was an interesting idea that really needed more deliberation. The wordcount is, indeed, very limited, but the whole introduction was taken up by an exchange of jokes that had nothing to do with the story. And speaking of which, the narrative voice isn’t entirely up to par, especially in the beginning, feeling too obtuse and telly.
All that said, I did like it, and the concept certainly has potential.

Trixie’s Revenge:
Trixie vs. a wheel.

There, that’s the whole joke. And, unlike better single-joke entries, it’s not told well enough to be funny. The voice and mechanics, especially with the inner monologue, completely killed this story. The tone doesn’t even attempt to set a comedic atmosphere, and the narrative was too sequential, too ordinary to engage with prose alone.
I’m sorry, but this piece was a dud.

Celestia is sick, Twilight is tyrant.

Or, at least, I think so. This fic achieves a pretty interesting effect: showing a lot and yet keeping the reader completely in the dark. On the surface, it appears that Celestia fell ill, either naturally or through artificial means, and Twilight rules in her stead as a tyrant. How did this happen? Was the oppression necessary due to some hostile outside influence, or is it just Twilight putting on the Reich? Where’s Luna? The answers are never given, so we are forced to invent explanations by ourselves. And in accordance with Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is first: Twilight’s gone full Caligula, ponies are stormtrooper’d in the streets to supply leather for jackboots, and Luna’s locked away as the woobie she is. I’m sorry, but that’s what I make of it.
Another thing is point of view. Were this written from Celestia’s POV, we’d be treated to a deeper sense of mystery, more interesting details, and, possibly, an interesting stylistic effect due to her mental condition. But this Twilight’s POV, and instead of all that, the previously mentioned problem is compounded, as we expect the viewpoint character to be sincere with the reader, or at least a bit more clear.
I love stories that ask questions, not those that leave crucial details in the dark. Harsh, but I’m afraid that that’s my verdict.

A Chance Meeting:
Inky is Octavia.

There isn’t much to this besides a scene exploring the old “Inky is Octavia” trope. Although I think the proper spelling is “Inkie,” like “Pinkie.” There is nothing interesting happening and the narrative voice is awkward and obstructive. Not much else to say.
By the way, it’s not a chance meeting if Pinkie asked Inkie to come.

The Battle of Checkerboard Field:

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again: action, by itself, is not enough to carry a story. And this fic was nothing more than a description of a game of chess, turn-by-turn, no less. Although the SFX were kinda epic, which makes me wonder if that was Vinyl’s (?) imagination or an enchanted chess set, and if it’s the latter, I totally want one.
But even the colorful narration can’t make this interesting. For one, it made some parts confusing, and trying to imagine a game of chess using only descriptions is immensely hard. It’s impossible to know where any piece is, and that’s kind of the whole source of tension in the game.
Of course, a chess game can be a part of a scene, but only when there’s something more to give it weight. Going in, I thought there would be some character tension between Octavia and Vinyl, and the game would demonstrate that, but no such thing materialized.
All in all, the only thing that gives this any interest is the descriptions, which, looking back at it, kind of remind me of Heroes of Might and Magic.

Celestia departs into the effervescent ethereal voids while Twilight meditates upon the concatenation of her verisimilitude.

This is the shortest fic in the write-off, yet the time it took me to read it felt like a crawl. This is a good example of purple prose, especially in the beginning. The fic attempts to woo us with big words and mystic descriptions, without really trying to explain anything. Especially the ending: what was that? I understand that the author was going for something, but here’s a tip: don’t be coy, and don’t try to be more beautiful than you are. Interest in fiction comes from the ideas presented and the way they are presented, not from foggy what-is-happenings and what-could-have-beens. Don’t be coy, don’t be purple, and you’ll be on your way to improvement. And always be proud of trying.

More Than Tradition:
Spike and Twilight write letters.

Interesting, but there’s that feeling of not-quite getting there with the substance of the story. What is Spike the king of, and how did he get there? Why and where did he transfer all that gold? (Surely not simply to fit in doors?) What happened to the others? I presume they’re all dead, but that would be a very simple and cliché explanation, while the little details like Spike’s rapid size change show that this story can be more clever than that.
Another thing is dialogue, which was a chore to follow due to being cryptic and mundane at the same time.
In the end, it’s not a bad try, but it needs some more imaginative mulching.

A Mistake from the Past:
Rarity X Tom.

I admit, I thought it was Spike at first. Before his first italicized “reply” to her.
It’s a single-joke story, like many others, but it fails fundamentally in the execution. Not on the prose level like some other one-joke stories (though there were grammar errors), but in the approach taken. There’s just too much “serious romance fic” in this, and not in the deadpan delivery sort of way. It was like the joke was told by Robert Pattison, when it should have been told by Leslie Nielsen. In fact, I would have been fine with Nick Cage, too.

A Chance Encounter on Route 66:
Wild Fire meets… wait, what?

Oh god it can’t be her. I know who wrote this. I know wrote this so hard.
I could tell from the beginning that it would be a fun ride, and it was. The horse puns at the start zoomed past at eighty miles per hour, but were a fun piece of scenery while they lasted. But the moment the second pony wheels over, the concept becomes clear, and it turns out to be hilarious all the way to the finish line. I understand that it’s a meme that will become unfunny faster than a Ford assembly line spits out another Focus, but right now, it made me laugh.
Kudos, I liked spectating this. Honk Honk

Guiding Light:
Celestia remembers a funny story from Twilight’s time in the castle, before getting yoinked by NMM.

Oh dear, I’m not liking the amount of mistakes in this. Some proofreading is necessary here.
There are two concepts at play here, or maybe even three: Celestia thinking about Twilight before the events of the first episode, the funny scene with Twilight’s little secret, and suddenly, Twilestia. The problem is that the first thing doesn’t go well with the other two, and it happens precisely at the point when Celestia agrees to let Twilight court her. I feel like there was genuine potential in the “Twilight venerates Celestia as a goddess” concept, if it was shamelessly played for comedy, but the weird blend of sad/romance just doesn’t work in this context.
I will give you a point for attempting to spice up your prose. Even with all the grammar problems, it still felt a bit fresher and less straining than many other entries.

Old Friends:
Twilight meets Rainbow for dinner, and a sad revelation.

The writing was very good and kept a consistent, plausible tone. The prose flowed at a delightful pace and I liked the descriptions. Twilight’s and Rainbow’s emotions were portrayed well.
But at the same time, I felt like I didn’t have the emotional connection that this sort of situation called for, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was the fairly bare-bones setting, or the general atmosphere. It could also be the unspoken assumption that Twilight was spared from aging, unlike her friends, which I always dislike. But I recognize that it’s a purely subjective view, and won’t let that affect my vote, as the execution made the story worth reading.
Oh, but the ending bit didn’t work for me, at all. Weather as a metaphor for emotions is just too cliché for my tastes, subjective or not. But otherwise, good entry.

Reviews, part 2 6573

Marry Me:
Pipsqueak X Dinky, or what’s left of her.

I think I understand what’s happening here, but not too completely. I suspect that Pip’s old, and Dinky’s dead. And that makes the whole premise, well, damn creepy.
But the main problem I have is that there isn’t really anything happening in the story. It’s just a long, rambling monologue that doesn’t really evoke any emotion. The descriptions are concrete, but not particularly interesting. I guess that that’s the real problem with the story: nothing’s happening.

Berry Punch reminiscences.

The narrative voice was weird: it felt purple without using any particularly purplish words. There isn’t much to plot here besides an collection of bad things designed to elicit sympathy for Berry. But it doesn’t work.
I do believe that one can go blind from bad alcohol (living where I do, that tends to appear on the news). But who would give an alcoholic a job composing wine menus? Unless that’s because of Berry’s nebulous cutie mark talent.
In the end, it’s simply not interesting. The prose doesn’t catch the eye, and the plot is non-existant.

The Night Mare and the Dream:
Pipsqueak & Luna: Dreamwalkers.

There’s quite a lot going on in this piece at the same time, which is a definite plus. However, I feel that going for density, which is always hard, put too much strain on the author. There’s the distinct feeling of interesting ideas not quite being developed enough, like Luna’s change of attitude towards Pipsqueak’s level of maturity, where she first tells him to play with the other foals and then asks him to prepare his dreamwalker… stuff.
That said, I liked this a lot, but I had the distinct feeling of reading something similar already, or at least a technique like this employed somewhere else.
Unless… wait a minute.
The Night Mare and the Dream?
I sea what you did there.

The Ocean and the Clouds:
Derpy remembers how she got her cutie mark.

I want to say that this is yet another one of those sad fics where sad things happen because they’re sad, but the execution is competent enough to let it stand out. So, like “Bubbles,” I guess?
There is an honest attempt to portray the sense of childish confusion during the memory scene, and there’s an interesting transition effect between Derpy’s adult and foal voices. But at the same time, I’m not sure if it’s subtle enough. The voice in the memory is too confused and unwieldy even for a child, though you may debate me on that point.
In the end, I didn’t really have enough of a reaction to this, probably because of the mundane concept. Something bad happening to Derpy in her childhood is just overdone by now.

Over Milkshakes:
The grown-up CMC meet over milkshakes.

There could have been something here, but the story feels like it deflates by the end. The Sudden Revelation is a tried and true trope for the write-off thanks to the density of emotion it can convey, but there was no such thing in here. The Sweetie’s revelation didn’t move me in the slightest, but it could have, if the emotion was delivered better.
In addition, the prose was often telly and couldn’t deliver the lesser reveals with proper timing.
Those problems combined make a story that simply fails to deliver what it promises.

Gummy is being, as usual, mute.

Well, I can say that the atmosphere is built up nicely. But there wasn’t really a story to hold up to it. What happened to Pinkie? Where is her new house? And what was that word that washed off the wall? And those aren’t the sort of questions you can ignore, because they’re kind of crucial to the story’s telling. As it is, it’s just a bleak nature morte (ha) with Pinkie and Gummy. While it does succeed in being creepy, it doesn’t go far in doing anything else.
The final descriptive section really falls as far as POV is concerned, so it feels out of place. I don’t see anything else wrong with the prose itself, however.

Living for the Chase:
Discord trolls Celestia.

Quite a few errors here, and they’re very distracting. The narrative itself felt a bit flat, with neither enough humor nor enough feels to hook. Discord’s second trick was pretty funny by itself, but the first one didn’t seem particularly Discord-y to me, or at least it wasn’t presented correctly. I mean, merely dancing statues? He’s more inventive than that.
Character-wise, the fic felt… stale. The dialogue was pretty wooden, especially from Celestia, and the emotional subtext of their interaction was underdeveloped and not shown enough.
More brainstorming is definitely needed.

Pound Cake visits his sister, Act 1: The Daughter.

Okay, I admit, I’ve read the other reviews so I know that it is a part of a series. I had a similar idea for this write-off, but then I got lazy and couldn’t do it. So I’m not gonna say like that’s cheating or anything like that.
But I’m also going to look at each of these individually, without the context from the other stories. A story in a write-off has to stand on its own, even as part of a series.
And this doesn’t, not really. There’s no clarity or sense of purpose conveyed. The whole plot is “Pound Cake visits Pumpkin Cake, tells her something bad, leaves, Pumpkin cries.” And that’s not much of a story. What did he tell her? What was that magic? I understand that many people like stories that leave unanswered questions. I’ve got no problem with that, but only if they first tell a proper story.
The prose is good, however. I didn’t notice any errors, and the descriptions, particularly in the beginning, felt good. The POV was captured well, what with calling Pound “Stallion” and the aside about Vanilla’s friends.

Aloe, Lotus, and the crap they put up with.

The author demonstrates a very good handle on emotion here. I’ve never seen a fic where the Spa Twins had a love/hatred relationship between them, but this was a believable and interesting portrayal. Personally, I dislike the abusive parents trope, but the reveal in the first scene was done well—and unexpected, too!
No problems with the prose, although the charm of the constantly rising tension unwinds by the end, like a loose strand on a braided rope. I’m not really sure what else to say here. Good job!

Evening with Sweetie Belle:
Magnum comes home. Sweetie Belle proceeds to be cute.

Sort of cute, at least. This piece unfortunately lacks both a creative concept and a sound execution. There were far too many instances of bad telling and exposition, and beyond that, there wasn’t much that the story tried to tell. Not that you can’t have an interesting story about the relationship between Magnum and his family, but the way it was told robbed it of any such potential.
But it still feels like a good try. The author had a clear intention when they started writing, and they arrived there. Maybe this isn’t the apex of storytelling, but I certainly can’t fault the author for trying.

Point of View:
Pound Cake visits his sister, Act 2: The Mother.

All right, back to this series. I think that the steady point of view (ha) makes this better than the first part (which I suspect is actually the last part), and the description feels even better. But it still has the same problems as the other ones. I’m starting to see a pattern, an elephant central to the room, but only because the other story provided the context for it. Otherwise, if I forget the first story, all I see is a vaguely sentimental scene between a shattered family, albeit one delivered well.

Pound Cake visits his sister, Act 3: The Dude.

Okay, never mind what I thought was the idea before. He just abandoned his sister, which turned out to be a bit of a letdown. Also, looks like this is the first one. Oh well.
This is the one I liked the least of the series, again, due to the chosen voice. It’s too vapid and purply for my tastes. It also happens to be the one entry in the series with the least things happening, and the emotion isn’t only pretty shallow, but it also grabs the least due to boring description.

Ion-Sturm 6576

File: 1372652131599.jpg (777.26 KB, 1600x830, till_it_all_falls_down_by_fedt…)

Well, that was far from my greatest showing.

Gah, dialogue is usually my strongest aspect.

Twilight's changes were meant to be the tone of the letters

It was a yearly remembrance for Twilight to make letters to their friend and Spike to send them to, well, wherever they were now.

>{why is he king? Why isn't Celestia there? When is this happening? What happened to her friends?)
Arguably doesn't matter in the context of the story. She's passed on (I subscribe to the "there can only be two alicorns" Faust theory). Dead.

>What is Spike the king of, and how did he get there?
Again, does that really matter in the context of the story?

>Why and where did he transfer all that gold? (Surely not simply to fit in doors?)

Got it in one. And to hold a quill, I guess.

>What happened to the others? I presume they’re all dead

Two for two.
This post was edited by its author on .

Present!PeRFeCt9JM 6580

FFFFFFFFFFFF @[email protected]

I'm so glad people liked that one. :D Which is weird, because it seemed to be getting the most average reaction from the reviewers here. (I figured Chance Encouter would do better, given the reaction.) Thank you!

And NTSTS got robbed, if you ask me. :B

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