Hey DemPonies! Again, sorry for putting off your fic for so long. Unfortunately, I have some additional bad news for you, as you may have seen in a comment:
I should have rejected this fic long ago.
That's not an outright condemnation of your writing, but the fact that it contains so many of the errors that I pointed out in my OP ought to indicate something. I apologize for wasting your time, and I do feel somewhat bad for wasting that of the others in my queue when you could have just as easily clicked one of the links above and gotten your help there.
Well. Now that that's out of the way, let's begin, shall we?
—————————————————Title: Twilight's Odyssey
Interesting title. Something that's nice is that you could potentially use it as symbolism—i.e., not literally representing a journey of Twilight Sparkle's, but instead referring to a quest done to bring about the twilight of the status quo, and of the world itself.
If it actually is just a literal fancied version of "Twilight Sparkle Goes on a Journey," though, then this is a bad title.Synopsis:>In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power,
Delete "Pony" before "Princesses." If you must, replace it with "Celestial".
>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 won't just take her further beyond the borders of Equestria than anypony before her, but will also change the fates of both the nation and her life, forever.
Change this to:
>"that will take her far beyond the borders of Equestria itself—and change the fates of both her nation and her life, forever."
The plot itself was interesting enough, I suppose, along with the backdrop of Unicornia. However, you needed to do much more to make the disappearance of Luna and Celestia apparent. I saw almost nothing in this chapter that I wouldn't expect from a canon Equestria or Canterlot. Meanwhile, you had a tendency to skip along plot points without giving us a connection between them (as in Shining's departure to the Celebration Twilight's apparent scientific revelation at the end), or without developing them fully (see: Trixie's mother and her prophecies).Characters: 1.5/5
Pretty much the only thing I actually liked in this was the little interplay between the Sparkle parents, and that was about cookie-cutter as you can get (perverse Dad + strict Mom). Meanwhile,1. Twilight never sounded like Twilight
Presumably, she's the one narrating the story (albeit from a third-person perspective), yet not once did the writing style actually resemble her voice. What's more, she barely sounded like a kid—sorry, filly—when speaking at all. Filly Twilight, regardless of intelligence, would still have said "kinda" rather than "I suppose so." Furthermore, look at her reaction to the Summer Sun Celebration—why is she worried? Why is she conflicted? Look at Cutie Mark Chronicles
—the real Twilight Sparkle wouldn't be 2. Shining Armor never sounded like Shining Armor
The same thing applies here. His vernacular wasn't just out of place for a relaxed, friendly adolescent, no matter what his maturity level. "Make haste"? Really? This is Equestria, not Skyrim. His actions never really cemented him as a character either, and that leads into problem number 3.3. Twilight and Shining Armor never had a real dynamic.
They're brother and sister—they should have a relationship that goes beyond words, and that should be apparent in the slightest glance between their eyes. I myself attempted to capture this in my own fic, What We Leave Behind
. However, in your fic, their relationship felt forced; wooden, even. Shining was merely going through the motions of being a big brother, and I never felt any warmth between them that wasn't just "Hey, the plot says I must proclaim my sidlingly love for you now, so here."
I guess there were a few other problems with characterization—I wanted to see a lot
more out of Trixie's mother, even in the short period that she was onscreen—but you can't get everything you want, I suppose.Setting: 1/5
You did fine with scenic description, and the occasional body language, but that's all I'm willing to give you. Though this would be one of the better stories on fimfiction, compared to the things that I accept, this deserves no higher than a 1/5.
First, don't exposit in narration if you can avoid it (i.e. why Twilight is at the SSC that day). Instead, Show it, whether through inner reflection, or outward dialogue action. Failing to do so makes your reader feel patronized, as if they need to be told everything up to what your protagonist had for breakfast today.
Learn to use descriptions more appropriately. Description is always vital to setting a scene, but especially toward the beginning, you had several lines that added nothing to the scene itself.
Add more depth to your body language, and just plain add more. It does us no good to know if Twilight is confused (or if Shining has "a disapproving look on his face") if we can't visualize it in terms we can understand (i.e. Showing, rather than Telling). Likewise, don't use speaking verbs like "berated"—that's lazy, and it avoids actually giving us a clear picture of events. Instead, say, "…Shining Armor said with a harsh edge to his voice, and a dark frown across his face." This problem with word choice extends all across the board—don't pick words that sound fancy just because, or ones that are just inapplicable. Really evaluate the words that you're using as you're writing them down.
Finally, don't mark dialogue with things like "asked again" or "repeated." It's redundant, annoying, and just plain sloppy.Mechanics: 2/5
You had quite a bit of choppy and stilted writing, and there were awkward sentences and phrasing all across the board. I recognize you said you weren't a native English speaker, which is a fair enough trait, but if so, get a personal beta/editor who is
, and who will happily slap you across the face if you mess up. I myself have three (mostly just RL friends).Enjoyability: 3/5
I guess this story has the potential to be interesting, and I guess I might have kept reading if only to find out what in the hay happened to make Unicornia into Equestria, and what Twilight is going to do in the future, but the characterization and just general choppiness of the plot would almost undo it all for me. You've clearly got your work cut out for you.Total: 9.5/25Final Thoughts:
Seeing as I've spent the past ten minutes beating your ass, I feel like I'm obliged to remind you that with my new thread, standards have gone up. Way up. Things that would have merited a three in the past now receive ones, for the simple fact that my scales are relative, and that things that would have formerly gotten below a three are no longer allowed in my queue. If you use the system that I had on Ponychan, then this was easily a 13 or 14 out of 25. But we're not there anymore; we're here. And frankly, anything that would have been below a 10 back then is in the negatives now.Also note that I certainly didn't mark every instance of SDT, LUS, and so on in your fic, even among the comments that I left, so you'll have to find much of that yourself.
I suggest you take a long, hard look at the resources I have posted in the OP of this thread. If you have any trouble with concepts, or just want extra help to learn about writing, feel free to email me at [email protected]
, as I do offer one-on-one sessions. Otherwise, just keep writing—you'll get better in no time, if you properly apply yourself.
Ready for EqD?: No
Rewrite Recommended?: Partially, yes, if only for style.
Best of luck,