Hey, Grif! Took me long enough, I guess. Let's get into this, shall we?
———————————Title: The Horse Whisperer
I like it. It's kinda both creative and clichéd at the same time, if that makes sense.Synopsis:>An accident leaves Lyra with the ability to see beyond the veil of the dead. How would our carefree unicorn handle her newfound abilities?
Okay, you broke Rule Number 1: No rhetorical questions in synopses. Secondly, it's far too short, and doesn't really get to the actual plot of the fic. Let me suggest something for you:
>When a bolt of lightning strikes Lyra and sends her to the hospital, she's surprised at what she sees when she awakes. Lyra Heartstrings, musician, fillyfriend, and hopeless layabout has suddenly been gifted with the power to see the dead, and even worse, they won't leave her alone. As her relationship with Bon Bon becomes strained, and each phantom becomes a more oppressive force in her life, Lyra is forced to find what's keeping them here—and how to get them to the next life.
This is better because it sets out the characters of the story (Bon Bon, Lyra, and the ghosts), the major conflicts of the book (their relationship, and the inability of the ghosts to leave, and their own bad influence on Lyra's life), and a general tone for the overall piece.
The overall concept seems fine, but the plot itself needs quite a bit of work. To start, I found quite a bit of small "plotholes" that could negatively effect the story, which are listed below:
1.) There didn't seem to be any conflict over Lyra knowing Peach's name—IIRC, she never even asked! If you wanted to make it some kind of goal with obstacles, why not have him suggest it to her as a test, and have her run into several failures before finding it, which gives him some respect for her?
2.) When Peach first tells Lyra of his inability to leave, and the reasons why, Lyra offers to help. Help with what, though? There's nothing obvious to do—unless you meant, "find a way for him to leave the mortal plane," which should have been explicitly stated if that was the case.
3.) When they're first entering the house, and Bon Bon's angry at "Mr. Pervy Ghost," wouldn't it have been obvious why there was nopony there? He's a ghost—he can disappear if he wants, and presumably has been able to do so for years (if his tales of spying on the two can be believed). So why does Bon Bon suddenly turn on Lyra over a believable problem? If he thinks there might be trouble, he's hardly going to be present, is he?
4.) Why doesn't Twilight like ponies in the library, and why does Spike so easily go against her wishes? You'd think she would LOVE to have more ponies who like learning in there, reading books and gaining knowledge.
5.) …How in the hell did Bon not comment on Lyra's reading material when she confronted her over their Anniversary? I'd be a bit more concerned about my SO being taken with Satanic ritual and occult spells than about her momentary mental fuzziness.
6.) Telling Sunny that she was from Ponyville should by no means be enough—have her father slip one thing in passing, or have Lyra put two and two together to get something a little more impressive about her home life (that her dad died when she was six?) instead.
7.) Not really a "plot hole" but salt isn't a drink. A salt lick
is a deposit of mineral salts that animals use to supplement their nutrition, so it'd be more of a liquor-y type of cocaine than anything.
Finally, we do need that intermission scene (as Pasco remarked earlier), as that one scene change—you know what I'm talking about—is far too abrupt. Furthermore, you could have definitely done much more to set up the overall plot. Once you got to the end, it seemed like everything was happening at once—the preceding 50% seemed to have been a complete waste of time, as nothing of import had happened whatsoever. The beginning was basically just Slice of Life, taken up to eleven, save for the possible title "Ghosts and their Wacky Shenanigans" (which is hardly a story). You need to put more subtleties and development into the ideas of ghosts, and a history that is lying beneath their noses, just waiting to be discovered. Maybe Lyra discovers a secret room in the house before she even finds out Peach's name?Characters 2/5
First off, Lyra and Bon Bons' relation seemed far too animesque; I failed to glean any real emotion from it. It seemed like a collection of cheap romantic buzzwords, and the occasional Tsundere moment. Their relationship, especially toward the end (as you set up a conflict and then never really developed it or showed what happened as a result) needed a lot more focus.
Lyra herself didn't have the most distinctive diction (in fact, aside from the Drama Trio and the Spa Sisters, nopony really did). The ghosts themselves, up until the halfway point, were pretty much all just cheesy and cardboard-y. Overall, they didn't have much depth, or any real point at all. Setting 2/5
First off: you had an overdose of SDT. Nothing absolutely terrible, but enough to be noticeable. This was especially apparent when you were either informing us of the tone of somepony's voice, or their expression or features. You shouldn't Tell us this directly; instead, you should imply it through body language or dialogue. This is also seen in the problem of exposition—you should almost never directly exposit information to the readers, and you made a more than liberal use of it. Insteag, again, imply that through events or dialogue. One bit of exposition—Lyra's unemployment—can be exposited through her looking at the Employment section of the newspaper, or promising Bon Bon that she's going out to apply at the Music Store again for a job.
Then, some little things. Keep the PoV consistent—in this case, 3rd person limited (only Lyra's thoughts or perceptions). Don't abuse LUS, even when applicable (there are only so many times I can take "librarian" or "mare friend," even when it's technically appropriate). Don't use so many adverbs as well—"irritatedly" loses its strength when you use it instead of implying with body language.Mechanics 1/5
Let's just make a short little list:
—Small problems: Missing connecting words (had/to)
—Occasional spelling mistakes
—Choppy sentences (one of your worst problems)
—Sentence Fragments (another bad one)
—Missing contractions (I instead of I've; I'd)
—Incomplete colloquialisms ("shrank" v. "shrank back")
—Occasional tense issuesEnjoyability: 2/5
Again, I like the concept. I think it could be good. But your execution doesn't do it much justice at all. You're going to need more, better developed scenes that add onto your plot and increase your characterization. I left this fic feeling somewhat cheated, as though the entire plot had been a non sequitur, and the characters cardboard cutouts that could have been any given pair of ponies—there was very little to make them feel unique. That's a definite problem, amongst your several others, that you're going to have to work against if you want to make this story good.Total: 9/25
Okay; let's clear something up. By now means was this a bad
fic. It certainly wasn't terrible either. Yet it was certainly a mediocre one. I know that you can put a lot more work and thought into this, and believe me when I say that I'm interested in seeing the finished product once you have. But until then, you'll have quite a bit of obstacles to get across, so get join'.
Ready for EqD?: No
Rewrite Recommended?: More like "more development requested."
Best of luck,
This post was edited by its author on .