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Garnot Reviews 714Locked

#Reviewer

Some of you may know who I am, but most will not. Keeping introductions short, my name is Garnot, (pronounced Girr-naat), I’m somewhat of a silent veteran, lurking about around the fandom since its inception. I’ve been around, and as such, know a thing or two about writing. To that end, I’ve decided to officially open up a solo thread to help anyone who seeks my services.

You’ll find me to be a fair reviewer, one who will tell you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear, regardless of how ugly it may be. My one goal is to see you improve; see you take your place in the sun. That is my goal.

I strive to write unique stories, and as such, I also take on unique tales, tales other reviewers might not have a taste for. My forte is world building, creating engaging scenes, strong syntax, and good pacing, but I can also help you with dialogue, characterization, and making your story show, not tell. I’m familiar with just about any genre, though I tend to do best with Dark, Adventure, and Drama.

Here is my previous thread for those wanting to know more of my previous work alongside SLP: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/110925.html

As for the purpose of this thread, well, that’s a bit tricky. While I’m open for anyone to submit, I’m not going to take just any type of story that is tossed at my doorstep. Instead, I will take stories that show promise, as well as effort.

If you want someone to look at your self-insert with shallow humans, little prancing strawberry elves, and more sues than can be counted on one hand, then you are best served with another reviewer.

If, you story is well thought out, has a theme that ties character and narration, and shows effort, then you are by all means welcome with open arms. This thread is more about getting the story on track, ensuring plot works, and themes and ideas that go beyond the mundane.


GLOBAL RULES

1) Google documents only. No PDFs, no FIMfics (unless said FIMfic provides GDoc links), and no pastebin.

2) Your google document must be viewable by those with the link, and have comments enabled. No commenting rights=no review.

3) Ensure that your document is clean, neat, and devoid of as many grammatical issues as possible. If your story is riddled with errors, do not expect me to read beyond the first page.

4) I do not take uncommon formats such as poetry, scripts, or screenplay. Such things can be in the story itself, but cannot BE the story.

4) You will put your title, author name, word count, and synopsis in your post unless we have made a previous agreement via email or chat. You must also submit your story to the queue form. Stories that are not in the queue form will not be reviewed.

5) The max length I will take for any one chapter is 20K words. Any more, and you better hope I like it, or I will not continue.

6) You are allowed to resubmit ONLY if your story has changes incorporated. If your tale reads the same, then it is an instant rejection. I’m here to help, but you must be willing to put in the work for my aid to sink in.

7) All authors must submit an email. Failure to do so will result in the review being rejected till an email is provided

Failure to follow any of this rules will result in an instant rejection!


Submission form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dE5kMUVmSjNPbjhKS2toMVA0bS05MlE6MQ#gid=0

Queue: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtkQ3lLbn7K4dE5kMUVmSjNPbjhKS2toMVA0bS05MlE#gid=0
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Sky Matron 717

File: 1352343313847.jpg (27.14 KB, 672x274, ... (1).jpg)

New Board, and new faces. New everything, save my original goal. Here I stand, no longer confined to the boundaries of my old identity, but instead ready to forge a new fate for myself. While I do miss what I’ve lost, the gains to be made are potentially greater, not just for me, but for you all as well.

At any rate. Today’s review is one that has been waiting in the wings for some time. It’s about pirates, and freedom, and going down your own path even if the world hates you for it. It is off to a great start, and honestly looks to be one of the next few stories to really become a fan favorite

However, it’s not without its blemishes. And of course, it is my duty to aid in the removal of said blemishes. This will be short review due to the fact that it was quite good.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.


As always, what I say in any of my reviews is solely my opinion and no one elses’. I, under no circumstance claim to be wholly correct on any matter in particular. Take my words with a grain of salt and draw up your own conclusions on the review presented. You are the writer, you have the power to shape the story as you see fit; I’m merely here to aid you in that regard—nothing more, nothing less.

-Points of interest-
*Usage of the name “Illusive” and its italics far too often—This concern, while minor on the surface, actually causes the story to be less powerful as a whole. “Why is that?” you may ask. The reason is that by using the name so many times, the ship is given less of a flair of mystique and grandeur, and it instead becomes just a term. By using it less, you give the name a sense of grandeur while also showing us that it’s not just a ship, but almost a character of its own.

It has been brought up to my attention (by someone I believe is Umbra) that you can use italics in such a manner. While I personally believe it does nothing to the story and causes it to drag, if it is part of the rules, it is part of the rules.

*Action is a bit dragging at times—Sky Matron is a story that tells us of an epic struggle between the orders of freedom and the forces of overbearing order. It start off with a battle that nicely sets the mood for what is to come.

Unfortunately, this same greatness is what causes the story to falter in place. Some locations have interactions and descriptions that cause the narrative to drag. I believe I’ve pointed these out in the actual document, but they still linger for longer than they should. Such scenes as the boarding of the Task Force, the sometimes purple-prose like details given to the ship, and of course, some of the battles. It would be best if you found a way to balance descriptions with interactions and narration. One such way is to be subtle. Have implications, that paint the image rather than dedicating entire sections to descriptions. The more you can imply and subtly narrate, the more power you will have as a writer.

*Anatomic details—This one is a minor, yet grating issue your story presents. You provide great descriptions for the fights, the world, and the characters, yet at times, you seem to forget that ponies don’t quite work in the same way humans would. You have mentions of ponies wielding armaments in their hooves, moving about bipedially with great dexterity, and even engaging in interactions that seem a bit far-fetched. One such instance is the general of Celestia’s forces seemingly using her flintlock without much issue. The gun is not given any description to let the reader know that it is designed for pony hooves, and she’s also seen reloading he weapon without issue, a feat that would prove difficult for a creature with hooves. No mention of her magic is made in this instance, which would be the logical thing to do for her character. Scootaloo also gets a mention, as she’s described as bearing a small blade in her hooves while racing towards the fray. This would be very difficult for her to accomplish, to the point that she would be unable to move under normal circumstances was this the case. Other ponies show this as well, including those of the Task Force, as well as a few random privateers.

Make sure that when you give descriptions to battles and interactions, you ensure to keep in mind that the anatomy is as accurate as it can be. Liberties can be taken, so long as it fits into the world you’ve painted.

-Detailed Review-
*Characters—Characters are the heart of any story, and Sky Matron is no exception. Characters, despite being wildly different than their ‘canon’ counterparts, are quite well done. A few felt a bit off however. this is due to the nature of the story as a whole however.

Naturally, Rarity, while different, was quite well done. Her reasons for being a pirate are not yet fully explored, which allows for a build-up of her character. She’s determined, ready to fight, yet manages to retain the class that made her the classy and well-spoken unicorn.

Next is Dash, who still bears the same brash and daring nature, while at the same time showing a commanding side that is quite nice to view. Her actions are all for the good of the ship and its captain. Still, this being the first chapter, her character still has development to undergo. Still, not a bad start at all.

Pinkie pie is a little more difficult to pinpoint. on the one side, she’s still the same carefree pink pony that everyone loves. However, her persona here goes beyond the standard ‘party gal,’ and instead dives into the territory of an engineer/tinkerer. This surprisingly suits Pinkie rather well. Her character quirks fit this well, and a result, we have a Pinkie Pie who is both old and new at the same time. It will be interesting to see just where she goes as a character from here.

Finally, the last main character to speak of is the General. She’s perhaps the one that is the most different, her life revolving around serving her queen. She views Rarity and her crew of pirates as one of the greatest treats to Equestria, and demonstrates the zeal needed to hunt down and eradicate such individuals. The general still shows a great sense of care for her troops however, to the point that she’s willing to strike directly at Rarity and her band. She’s a competent fighter, and a wise leader. Her future development already appears very promising.

The rest of the cast is still a bit too underdeveloped for me to pass fair judgment. However, they are all on the correct path, and despite their small parts in the story, some already come off as strong individuals to keep an eye on. A very good sign indeed.

*Plot— The plot told so far begins with with a rip-roaring instance of piracy on the high skies. It sets the conflict between pirates—who represent freedom—versus the crown—which represents subjugation. It is made clear that things aren’t peaceful in Equestria, and that the world has changed to accommodate this. While the first chapter does not contain much int he way of exposition, what is there is paced well, allowing both action and context to coexist in a way that still moves the tale forward while giving the reader something to enjoy. Aside from a few moments where the tale dragged, this story is heading down a great path.

The few things that need to be changed are stated above, along with the inclusion of more background on certain aspects, such as the Elusive. This might come in future installments, so for now, its a non-issue that will be brought up should you fail to deliver on that end.

*Mechanics—Aside a few small hickups here and there, the mechanics are quite solid. Punctuations are present and used well, sentences flow how they should. No run-ons nor fragments, and syntax was adequate for the story told. Being that I’m no complete expert on this matter, I will suggest you seek the aid of Samurai, and Seidio, soon as he returns.

All in all, an enjoyable start to what will no doubt be a series to keep an eye on. Goes without saying that I enjoyed it, and recommend it to anyone looking for piracy in the high skies.

Next set of reviews, I will do completely in-docs, and I will also request you are present to maximize the effect. Till then, I look forward to the next chapter.
This post was edited by its author on .

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 725

File: 1352351043989.png (149.53 KB, 599x600, cirno_seeking_help.png)

Hello Garnot, gots a special request for ya.

Title: Ice & Fire
Author name: Casca
Word count: 11k + 11k
Synopsis:
Cross is on a mission: to find the Ultima, and to end the war between the Frigidoric Kingdom and the igniter tribes.

Alicia is an ordinary but wishful schoolgirl, who yearns for fantasy and adventure to sweep her off her feet.

When the two cross paths, things take a turn for the unexpected.

Notes:
This is an original, i.e. non-pony work. Just thought that I should mention that here as well as in the submission form. I'd appreciate it immensely if you'd accept it, but if you'd rather not, I understand.

Also, while this is a fantasy, most of it, I feel, is decidedly slice-of-life. Just a heads up. I could be wrong, though.

Thank you in advance.

Ah, also, the link again: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aq7_dJ-Dr0-lpMFCihxVzuoPwRGu1Nx9W6qHXvbix68/edit
This post was edited by its author on .

Review JC Borch 739

File: 1352373518222.png (211.13 KB, 400x400, When The Moon Comes Over The L…)

When The Moon Comes Over The Library Part 1/2

Twilight is anxious to teach Luna about friendship and Luna is anxious to learn. But as passions are ignited, mishaps occur.

9.085 words

Not gonna lie, I’m really satisfied with this story. Sadly doesn't mean it's free of errors. I assume that you wanted me to repost here? As in, resubmit the whole story?

745

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>>717
>I should bring up the fact that all of the instance of the name appear to be italics. While this does add a certain flair to the name, it does nothing for the story as a whole.
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/italics.htm
See "Names of Vehicles."

751

File: 1352391743573.jpg (15.83 KB, 304x333, ... (3).jpg)

>>739
Yes. Your submission is appreciated. I shall get to work on this ASAP.

>>745
Well, what do you know, you ARE supposed to do it. That still does not change the fact that I personally believe the name is used too much, and using italics causes the story to drag, adding nothing to the narration.

thank you so much, Umbra
This post was edited by its author on .

Acknowledging Review 806

>>717
Thank you for your time and patience, Garnot. I will take what you said into consideration as me, Luce and Mikhail revise the first and second chapters.

If you're aching for the third, on the first chapter, there's a link that leads to the Ideas Sheet document. There you can find the [VERY] rough version of chapter 3.

842

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GENERAL NEWS
Evening folks. I'm writing this in a moment of down time. I'm entertaining an out-of-country guest for this weekend, so I'm going to a slight halt to the reviews. I shall be back to full speed by Tuesday morning.

Now, the rest of the comments.

>>806
We've spoken about this, so you know the deal by now. I shall be present soon, and I hope to see great things in the future. You know how to contact me should anything be needed.

>>725
First original piece of non-pony fiction huh? This one, I shall enjoy reading. Expect my thoughts on it very soon,

985

File: 1352847385624.gif (2.68 MB, 255x191, 1352748756166.gif)

Well, I'm back!

I apologize for the weekend away (which included yesterday of all days). Have already started work on the reviews still pending.

JC, you are up next. Then Casca, an finally Hiigaran.

Review: Equestrian Crisis Chapter 3—The battle for Ponyville 1066

File: 1353019896268.jpg (59.85 KB, 600x541, .. (77).jpg)

Here we are, continuing the story that might just give these two unlikely combinations a chance to shine. Chapter 3 opens with quite the ominous scene, and while the story remains more or less light-hearted, it does show stumbles here and there. However, it is coming along very well.

Let’s dive in, shall we?


As always, what I say in any of my reviews is solely my opinion. I, under no circumstance claim to be wholly correct on any matter in particular. Take my words with a grain of salt and draw up your own conclusions on the review presented.

You are the writer, you have the power to shape the story as you see fit; I’m merely here to aid you in that regard—nothing more, nothing less.


-Points of interest-
*Dialogue is somewhat wooden— The dialogue in this chapter feels a tad incomplete, as well as devoid of emotion. It feels almost as if you attempted to speed through it without really stopping to wonder “Now, how would this character react to this situation?” The dialogue does nothing to show us character, and if anything, it leaves the reader wanting more.

You need to have characters emote more while speaking, as well as making sure the dialogue itself holds weight. make us feel for the characters, and the story will thank you for it.

*Details continue to be something that is lacking— This is something I’ve been mentioning since the beginning, and you seem to still lack a way to fix it. Your story bears very few details that the reader would find agreeable. Characters are often left vague, situations are left vague (such as the pony in the well, which despite it being mentioned, does nothing to resolve it, or even hint at a resolution), and worst of all, the plot itself is left vague at points. What became of the other potential guild applicants? What happened to Pinkie once she bid AJ farewell?

You need details, you need closure, you need to give the reader a sense that the world they are reading about is larger than it is made out to be. So far, you’ve not accomplished this at all. You need to conclude the Baltimare trip, give us some detail as to what Pinkie was left doing as AJ left, more on Rarity’s little breaking and entering, and more details as to what AJ faced on the other side of the gateway. All of that and more needs to be expanded upon.

*Formulaic story that does not draw the reader in well— This is the third chapter, and I must say that while your writing prowess is indeed improving, your storytelling remains a bit dry and formulaic.

There is far too much jumping around for the reader to grow comfortable with any one character or event. Because of the jumping, the characters come off as shallow, the very conflict itself is in need of improvement, and the story slowly starts to stagnate.

What this story lacks is a driving force. The intro was great, as it more or less got the ball going, but events are now playing out in a matter that does not crate any sort of engagement that a reader may hold on to. This needs to be corrected if the story is to achieve its true potential. Worry less about following the set formula and experiment so that the story can flourish in its own way.

*Title—I feel I should bring this up. The title of the chapter is “battle for Ponyville,” yet, this does not happen at all. Instead, the story jumps around to show us all what is happening to the others, and then concludes just as the battle for the town is about to take place. If anything, the only ‘battle’ present took place on the other side of the gateways, which means this chapters should have a title that fits that motif, “Beyond the gate of ruin” or “Crossing into destruction” or so. The title is misleading in that regard, so I suggest fixing it.

-Detailed Review-
*Characters
AppleJack—
Applejack’s character in this chapter came off as strong, but slightly out of character. She shows the willingness to fight, a trademark of her’s no doubt, yet doesn’t seem as willing to accept help up until she’s on the other side of the gate. He interactions with Silver Lining felt weak, and her reaction to seeing Dash in the cage might have come off as too overtly-dramatic for a pony as headstrong as she is. Her tears came at a time when they were not needed, and as a result, made her seem out of character.

Rarity—Rarity is an odd one. She appears to be solely concerned with getting to Fillydelphia, and as such, takes on the challenge given to her with only a few small quarrels. Her whole scene could have been better played. It felt short, vague, and underdeveloped, like you just wanted to present it to us for the sake of having it in the story. As a result, Rarity is given no chance to grow, to show off her charm and mannerism, nor her ingenuity when it comes to talking her way out of messy situations.

Fluttershy— Fluttershy is unique. Her character sticks closest to what is known, and as such, her side of the story blossoms. The situation she finds herself in works well, and as such, forces her into a world she’s unfamiliar with. I also find her interactions with a certain chaos lord, while somewhat lacking in intensity, at least done well enough to draw the reader into Fluttershy’s particular situation. I would suggest you expand on her situation, while also keeping the current interactions as they are.

*Plot—The plot, for the most part, works. It moves, albeit slowly, and it shows us what each character is undergoing.

However, therein lies the issue: It moves TOO slowly, and it focuses too little on the characters its supposed to showcase. Each character section feels like it could show more, yet does not. The story moves ahead regardless of events being resolved to their fullest. Characters are left vague, situations are left incomplete, and the general sense of pacing and world-building are left cut in half. The only section I felt satisfied the needs in particular was the AJ scene, and even it felt lacking in details, and as such, fell short of expectations. It could have been so much more, but it sadly wasn’t.

That’s where this story needs the most work: details, completion of events, characters being developed.

That concludes this review. Keeping it short since I have a few other reviews to work on. Still doing “Age of wings and steel” on the side, (fist of many review posts coming soon), as well as aiding others as they come. For now, I sign off. JC’s next story is up for review.

Review acknowledged Anonymous 1087

>>1066
As always, thank you so much for going through my story and for your patience with my shortcomings. I still have many things I need to work on, even things I thought I had come past. I will do better, it's what I strive to do

Review: Age of Wings and Steel—Chapters 1-3 1193

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Chapter 1

Now, DNS, you and I have been talking pretty closely about this project. It’s a long one, but i’ve taken it on. The notes I wrote here are for record keeping purposes. I will only posten once, and then do the rest of your reviews live when possible, posting only when I’m unable to reach you.

Without further ado, let’s get started on this long tale.


As always, what I say in any of my reviews is solely my opinion and no one else’s’. I, under no circumstance claim to be wholly correct on any matter in particular. Take my words with a grain of salt and draw up your own conclusions on the review presented. You are the writer, you have the power to shape the story as you see fit; I’m merely here to aid you in that regard—nothing more, nothing less.

-Points of interest-
*First chapter feels somewhat uneventful— this is strange, because I know there are a lot of interactions happening in the actual chapter. You have the training course, the interactions and subsequent rivalry between Rye and Fritz, the actual running, and subsequent failing of the course by Rye. You have all it takes to have great chapters. So why does it feel uneventful?
In my opinion, that’s because you do not give enough emphasis to the emotions building up. You have them there, yes, but you can expand on them. Rye seems to be no stranger to discrimination, yet not once do we get this feeling from the other recruits or the instructors, just from Fritz, who you’ve established as the asshole.
My suggestion is that you find a way to show more of Rye’s struggle with discrimination as early as possible, maybe tossing a recalling of bad times.
The rest of the chapter also needs a slight boost. See if you can be a bit more descriptive while still keeping the pace you’ve build up intact. I say this because the intro you have seems a bit formulaic. It’s active, yes, but it feels a bit overdone.

*Fritz— Fritz feels like the stereotypical asshole. He’s done well in this regard, and already appears to be on the path of being the Main Character’s foil.
This is where I feel this character is gone wrong. He feels TOO formulaic so far. While I know it’s a bit too much to ask for a character to start showing ulterior motives and deep crack in personality this early in the story, my hopes are that Fritz becomes a character that the readers loves to hate, but also has moments that makes us question why we hate him, and should we even continue hating him. When he called Rye a ‘freak,’ that was the moment I knew that Fritz could be played as the racists xenophobe who learns to accept that which is different.
Again, maybe I’m asking a bit too much too early. Only further reading will let me know for certain.

*Formatting—I wonder, as I was reading, why your story has no spaces between paragraphs. It’s not ‘bad’ per say, but it feels odd to read it, especially if you consider the fact that a simple mess-up of formatting by Gdocs (as it has been known to do from time to time) could result in your entire story becoming one big block of text.

You’ve more or less explained it to me in a way that is clear. So, just putting this up for the sake of a record.

Chapter Two

-Points of interest-

*The dukes— The way the two dukes interacted with each other was convincing, while also quite enlightening. At the same time, it felt a bit shallow. Not enough emotion was presented to really sell how each viewed the other outside of dialogue. This is telling far too much instead of showing. You could have used more descriptive scenes of the two douches glaring at each other, sweat building up as each tried to intimidate the other by looks alone. Maybe give the description of how cold the air around the two felt, and how ‘sharp the daggers in their eyes’ looked and whatnot.

*Celestia—The princess seems a bit quiet during the whole conversation. While this can add to her mystique and presence, the dukes don’t seem that intimidated by her, and her lack of thoughts on the situation makes it feel as if she’s not entire there. Perhaps if you add her thoughts, her character could be seen emoting what she feels is happening, yet still keeping her distance as required by her role.

*Background—The sudden jump to what is happening to Equestria as a whole is very nice. However, it feels a bit short. You could have gone a bit more into the details of how Celestia banished her sister and the effects it had on the populace at the time. You could also explore a bit more of Celestia’s sorrow, though I believe what you have so far is good enough. This isn’t a complaint as much as a something I’ve noted.

I’ve got nothing else for this chapter. It’s quite good.

Chapter Three

-Points of interest-
*The Market—The market is shown in exquisite detail, and a lot of information is revealed in those short few minutes. The only thing I felt was missing was detail in certain aspects, such as the general size of the market, and just how busy the streets were supposed to be.

*The battle— The battle was very good. The pacing felt correct, and the action was consistent. However, some areas could have used expanding. A bit more detail could have been afforded to the griffons. Dawn Sparkle could have also been given just a bit more details as well. Finally, when the deed is finally done, you could have Rye SHOW his horror rather than just tell us about it.

*Overall details— I felt that some areas lacked the needed details to really sell the story. I already mentioned the market. The next one would be the bakery, which seemed rather empty aside from the one pony, and of course the forest, which felt less developed than it should have. I should also mention that the first time Rye meets Dawn Sparkle, it sets it up a bit differently than that turns out to happen.

Chapter four an onward, I’ve, done with you live. If you wish it, I will post the notes, otherwise we will resume this in person (so to speak).

>>1087
You've improved, quite a lot actually. You've still got some things to cover, but with work (and extra help), you will be writing wonders in no time.

Expect your next review after the holidays.

1195

>>1193
Did you take that disclaimer from somewhere? Well, not take, but like, based it from something? It just seems so familiar and it keeps bugging me…

1205

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>>1195
well, It is sort of based off various 'I'm not the best, but I can help you as best as I can' disclaimers, but nothing really concrete.

Basically, it's my way to letting those who want my advice know they should take whatever I say (and what others say was well) with a grain of salt.
This post was edited by its author on .

Propositions Anonymous 1232

File: 1353403649940.jpg (10.92 KB, 248x300, Applejack-s-Gala-Dress-appleja…)

Howdy there Garnot! This is not me being impatient, I'm busy with your last review after all, I just have a couple of ideas I want to toss out there.

1) The second part of When The Moon Comes Over The Library is done. Do you want to treat it as one story (bringing the total up to 22.396 words)? Or should I just submit it when I'm done implementing your suggestions to part 1?
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ObGeFu0Bt6xHwJSkztDBy3VArnaN26k51eIiBkIXhr4/edit

2) If you do original fiction, maybe you'd like to help me write a novel? Well the novel's already been written, but it took me song long that I got better ideas for a lot of early things. Essentially I need to give every chapter the old once-over before I can let my pre-readers have it.

1273

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>>1232
1. I would prefer you drop it after I conclude your chapter, since I've been rather busy as of late. I will get to it soon however, don't worry too much about that.

2. Again, been busy, but I wouldn't mind looking over your written work. Just make sure you give me some time to get to your other work first.

Anonymous 1298

File: 1353493597602.jpg (62.54 KB, 812x983, ____so_awesome____applejack___…)

>>1273
No worries, it usually takes me some time to get my things finished anyway. Thank you! I'll try not to burden you too much

MAJOR UPDATE 1442

File: 1353750599488.png (1.43 MB, 680x507, 5d8.png)

Greetings to you all. I've got some updates to pour on you all, so its best you all listen well.

First off, wanted to wish everyone merry holidays. With that out of the way, let the news flow.

NICKNACK HAS RETURNED
Some of you may not be fully aware of this, but Nicknack, once famed reviewer and writer on the old chan site has made his public return.

First of all, I'm glad he's decided to once again return. While he had made several short contact messages (all of which will remain undisclosed for privacy reasons), he had never made it clear that he would be returning.

However, I've been proven wrong, and I am quite glad of it. That means that from this day forth, I'm no longer bearing both his name and my own, but rather only my own name. Just like I was once born form shadows, to shadows I return.

HEART OF GOLD, FEATHERS OF STEEL IS LIVE
This one is the big one. Heart of Gold has been fully published on Fimfiction. It will still undergo whatever changes need to be given, otherwise, it is now completely up to Nick as to where he will take it from here.

I will say I feel saddened by the sudden lost of this tale from my hands. Its sort of bittersweet seeing it return to its owner after I raised it and nurtured it. But I know it's the right thing to do. After all, my job had always been to care for it, and be ready to hand it back to its owner should he ever return. Now that this has come to pass, I find myself… somewhat hollow.

Still, it's for the best. It was an honor working on the story.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/65059/Heart-of-Gold%2C-Feathers-of-Steel

TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF QUEUE
Unfortunately, work has suddenly increased for me, and while I would LOVE to sit down and pump review after review, my time, at least during this holiday season, has become very much restrained. Those of you who are on the Queue and wonder why I haven't gotten to you yet, keep in mind that I too have a life to tend to, and other reviews to perform as well. The ones I have here are only HALF of the others, which I do live with the authors whenever possible.

Matter of fact, that's how I want to start doing my reviews, live. I find it far more productive that writing down notes and hoping the author understands them.

I will be implementing this soon.

Now, what this means for the thread is that I'm going to close the queue and SLOWLY work on what I already have.

and that brings this rounds of news to a close. Have a pleasant rest of the morning.

1462

I should've realized this a long time ago, considering how much that thing has been thrown around—

An idea I've loved for a long time now has no right to be written because of Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel exists.

It's a couple thousand words long, but I didn't even get to name it and now I'm just gonna have it put down.

I don't have a sad frog image because I'm not a /co/friend or a /v/irgin.

1478

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>>1462
An idea, no matter how it appears, is still an idea.

Ideas are not bad in themselves. Rather, it's how they are executed that either makes or breaks them.

Do you have what it takes to make your idea a great one?

Thread Update 1646

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Ladies and gentlemen, I'm once again making an announcement. This one is quite important, so listen carefully.

First order of business is to inform everyone that my thread's queue is still closed. I'm not taking any submissions, till I conclude at least half of what I already have in my wait list.

secondly, I would like to remind everyone my reviews may be a tad slowed due to my sudden workload, but that does not mean I won't stop doing them. Those who are still waiting, I greatly appreciate it. Those who have become tired of waiting, all you need do is make a post stating that you wish to be removed from the queue, and it will be done so.

Thirdly, and this is important, I'm instituting a new rule to for posting: writers must submit their emails so that I may better contact them once their review is complete. Writers who fail this will be removed from the queue.

Because of this new rule, I need everyone who is on message me either via this thread or my personal email to
A. Provide the story title
B. Author name
C. Email to be used

It's important that anyone on my queue do this, otherwise you will be excluded from the review process.

Thanks you all for your understanding, and here's hoping I can get back into a more constant groove for reviews very soon.
This post was edited by its author on .

Review: Ice and Fire 1648

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>>725
Casca, my sincerest apologizes for taking so long with my evaluation of your work. Also, as you requested, I made no notes on your work. Yet. If you wish it, I will do so, but for now, have my review.

As always, what I say in any of my reviews is solely my opinion. I, under no circumstance claim to be wholly correct on any matter in particular. Take my words with a grain of salt and draw up your own conclusions.

-Points of interest-

*Disengaging Story— Ice and Fire is a story whose premise I found a bit hard to follow. Let’s go back over what has been revealed so far. You’ve got two factions of humans capable using fire and Ice at will, the two seemingly in conflict. The main character, Cross (we will get into him later), seeking a source of power named ‘ultima,’ and a female character named Alicia acting as the character the readers are to associate with and actively feel for.

Unfortunately, the story itself feels as if it missing the factor that makes it engaging and memorable. This causes the characters to feel underused, and the situations as a whole missing the needed impact to carry the tale where needed.

Allow me to explain.

The first of the instances of the plot becoming disengaging comes when Cross is first introduced. While it can be said that he makes his intro as the “average” individual. He’s soon revealed to by anything but average, yet this is done is a way that makes it feel underwhelming. He gets off his plane, prepares to go about his business, and complaints about his nosebleed. His skills are not shown in action, and are merely mentioned, as well as his role in the tale as prince to his people, and his quest to find the ‘ultima.’ Other than that, he’s not given much in the way of character. He does not have real personal goals nor does any of his goals seem like it could lead him to have some type of change in the near or far future. While this issues could be chalked up to the story just starting, having some foreshadowing would be nice. Anything to hint at a possible change to come, or even just making Cross seem more complete.

The second instance has to do with the nature of the conflict between the Glacists and Igniters. For that, I refer to this:

Glacists did not kill, nor did igniters, as ironic as it was. For all the viciousness of war, actually taking the life of the enemy was simply not done. It was bad etiquette.

Oh, sure, he mused. Accidents happen during skirmishes, and maybe a Glacists would end up cutting open a vital vein in combat. The next day, you'd bound to have a report on your desk, telling you how an Igniter "accidentally" burnt someone to a crisp.

It was a twisted sense of "do unto others" that had developed over decades. People were largely thankful for it, despite the very persistent danger of almost losing one's life, and for some reason, amputations and blindness were deemed to be fine, but outright death? No.


The idea that a conflict can exists where the two sides do not kill each other seems completely seems like wasted potential, especially since earlier, it was mentioned that the war was vicious in nature. That brings up the question: how can a war be vicious, yet few die in it? How can two nations literally hate each other without there being much blood spilled due to it? While honor and ‘etiquette’ can play a role maintaining a semblance of order, there need to be more deaths for the conflict to carry the weight needed, otherwise it’s lost potential.

Finally, the last issue that causes the story to falter is the pacing as a whole. So far, there have been few hints that the characters are even on the route to a goal. It could even be said that the characters are just going through the motions of life, which is fine by all means, yet is ultimately handled in a way that feels like a slight drag on the reader. Here’s an example of what I mean.

You have the first chapter moving along a very nice pace. You introduce the characters and give the main one a reason for his move, as well as some character quirks (which still need work, but we’ll get to that). However, the second chapter deals less with the movement ahead, and seems to stall a bit, especially when the rips in reality (portals) come into play. This entire scene feels like it goes on longer than it should, and does nothing to grow Crass as a character. More focus needs to be placed on him overcoming the issue while keeping his cool head intact.

*Flat and wooden Characters— The characters presented so far, while interesting to read, fall flat as individuals the reader could potentially care about. They feel underdeveloped, as well as under explained. They are missing a certain factor that makes them stand out as more than just individuals with names that happen to have roles in the story.

Let’s start with Cross. He’s given a sort of lukewarm personality, one that clashes with his supposed ranking among his kind. He doesn't come off as imposing, nor is he played weak enough to warrant his rather meek persona. Cross either needs to be up played so he fits his title, thus forcing him to learn humility if he is to fit in, or downplayed so that he has to grow into the title and ‘king it up.’ The level of his abilities should also be presented early on, so that there is far more of a measuring stick the reader can gauge about his potential growth.

Next is Dallos, who strikes me as an ‘Alfred’ type character. Wise and mentor-like. However, his personally is virtually blank. He has shown neither real desires nor goals other than serving his Lord, which can be a personality trait, but isn't used as such. He feels underused so far, and his character thus feels flat and wooden. He plays an active role, yes, but what does he bring emotionally? Does Cross care for him like family? Is Dallos willing to risk his well being for his Lord for other reasons than it being his duty? Answer these questions with Dallos, give us an introduction to his character that shows how he’s more complex than a simple man-handler.

Finally, we have Alicia. Her character feels off to me. She’s a girl that, for the most part, is lusting for ‘adventure,’ yet doesn't really radiate this vibe. She seems quiet and reserved, which doesn't translate well into bearing a lust for adventure. When she finally has the chance to partake in her dreams, she seems a bit underplayed. It is said she’s ecstatic, but this is told to us, now shown. This, couple with the fact that she just so happened to be able to use Glacis out of thin air, makes me feel this character is dangerously close to being sue-ish, especially when Cross admits that she’s ‘pretty’ and does not mind her company. She also suffers from Dallo’s issue that while her character is there and provides some quirks to move the story forward, her real thoughts, ambitions, and even personality comes off as vague and a tad underdeveloped. She needs to open with a more concrete set of challenges that she and she alone must overcome if she’s to be a character the reader feels for.

*Formatting and Dialogue— I’ll just get this out of the way: the story was more or less well written. It carried the plot ahead, and it did show us just how events played out, emotions and interactions more than accounted for. However, your dialogue felt flat and stilted, and the formatting could have been better performed, with you using more varied comma placement and punctuation used with more finesse.

My advice is that you first go over your dialogue with a fine-tooth comb and physically voice your characters. Play their dialogue more like you would a real conversation. Give it more weight, more description. Show us how they emote, and make us their words. You’re already there; you just need to provide more physical feedback, as well as tone.

Far as punctuation goes, I’ll admit it’s a bit trickier, but still doable nonetheless. What you need to do is stop and feel the story’s rhythm and mood, feel how the narration moves with the feelings and the overall mood. Use this to decide how to use your pauses, and when to use them. I would also suggest you get acquainted with semicolons and em-dashes, as they can be used to improve the flow of narration.

This concludes my review/first thoughts/evaluation of your story. This has been rather odd for me, as I’m used to first making notes on the document itself, followed up by this review. That can still be done if you so desire. Let me know via email or a thread reply if you wish me to do so.

I would also like your email for the sake of convenience and to facilitate future reviews. Till then, here’s hoping this story resumes. It holds promise, but requires a bit more refinement. If I can make notes, then I can easily point out the areas that need touching-up.
This post was edited by its author on .

Note to Casca 1649

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>>1648
Three's a Crowd took way longer to review than I thought it would. Since Garnot has finished reviewing Fire and Ice and I haven't even started it, could you ping me in the IRC when you're finished editing and I'll look at it then?

1652

I don't suppose you have an ETA on when the queue will be reopened? I'd like to have my story reviewed by your clearly capable hands sometime in the future, so I was hoping you'd give me a good time to possibly start checkin' in to get first dibs.

Apologies if this is annoying, against your rules or ingratiating in any way. It is simply a question, rather than an attempt to curry favor.

1653

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>>1648
So, let me try to boil it down:

1) More foreshadowing for Cross' motivations
2) overall conflict needs to be more weighty
3) a more concrete set of challenges
4) dialogue which builds character better
5) punctuation

Hmm. All right, so I've mulled over this. First and foremost, my deepest thanks for your time and thoughts. You've pretty much hit a few key worries of mine right on the head, i.e. personalities not being too vibrant, dialogue being flat, motives not being evident.

Part of the reason is because Cross is a lukewarm kind of character. He's something of a "converted introvert", who has no real attachments, emotional or otherwise, to anything, which makes him apathetic to a lot of things. I did try to up his whiny factor in the beginning, but other than that, he's just a guy who's trying to get things done. His change in the story would be to finally grow to care about Alicia, because she's the only person who's shown care to him (he's blind to Dallos' fumbled attempts at being fatherly) - power-, position-wise, nothing actually changes. You could almost say that his side of the plot is "Cross makes a friend". Any thoughts on conveying this, or should I just alter his personality to be more imposing?

I'll admit Alicia's an iffy character for me. I'll work on getting into her mindset better.

Dallos, however, was meant to be decidedly a side character, of whom not too much is seen. Most of the focus was given to Cross' and Alicia's introduction, and I'm worried that putting more of Dallos' quirks in would disrupt the flow. Would it be better to change the sequence of events entirely to give Dallos a chance to be introduced? Because the way things are, Cross doesn't need emotional support at all - he's more of a "grit your teeth" guy - so he doesn't have much chance to bounce off and thus reveal things about Dallos.

You are right about needing a more concrete set of challenges. Like I mentioned, this had a slice-of-life feel to me, and that's probably because nothing difficult to deal with happens. And in turn, characters aren't given a chance to develop. Gerard is probably the only real source of lasting conflict; Alicia doesn't have one, in truth, on account of her being a normal girl living a good life, and nobody really after her head. The portal thing was actually a setup for another plotline, which was Foster's - after seemingly being resolved, Foster's hijinks continue on, and more plot.

RE: Alicia's challenges, do you have any suggestions? Most of her was supposed to be just a foil to bounce dialogue and snark off; her value to the story only plays out much later, when she explores Gerard's side of the war.

Now, the introduction:
I was going for a low-intensity event. The quirk of the story, or so I'd like it to be, is not actually fantasy played straight but subversion - no fighting happens, nothing happens from the scream, nothing happens in the car, something happens only during the next day, and more of that kind. And because the intro was low intensity, the rest of the story ended up following suit. That's also why the extent of Cross' abilities wasn't revealed - I didn't want to make "powers" the focus of the story, but the almost-normal interactions of the characters. Will this be a problem?

>more physical feedback

Righto. I thought I had enough in there, but I'll work on it.

>Use this to decide how to use your pauses

Sounds interesting. Hmm…

If I were to ask for you to leave notes, would it take very long? I'm asking this for the sake of your queue, not for me, because I like trying to figure things out for myself. If it wouldn't take long, then yes please, especially about the punctuation part.

Ah, yes - email's in the trip.

Once again, I'm very thankful for your insight.

>>1649
No worries, will do.

Update JCBorch 1654

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A. When The Moon Comes Over The Tower
B. JCBorch
C. [email protected]

I love your reviews, Garnot, and I hope the best for you

1853

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>>1652
My current ETA stands at "after the holidays," assuming of course, we are all still here (heh, doomday proponents are starting to get unberable).

However, do send me an email with the details of what you have. If I do like what I see, I'll go ahead and add you on. Just make sure you follow all the guidelines.

>>1653
As of late, I've been somewhat unable to tend to the queue due to various reasons. However, putting notes on your tale shouldn't take more than two hours or so. I've already read it twice, so I sort of know where to add the notes needed (not to mention my own notes on it).

I'll probably get to it either tomorrow or Wednesday.

I would like to talk to you more about this via voice chat, as that's far more constructive than just putting notes down. If you are able, let me know.

>>1654
Thank you JC, and thanks for the kind words. I'll be sure to continue my work as time (and energy) allows. I should hopefully get to yours within the next few days, seeing how Hiigaran has yet to provide any information.

Till then, everyone have a good day.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 1888

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>>1853
>voice chat
Sounds awesome. That would be Skype, right? The name's ian.casca.

My timezone is GMT +8, though, so we might run into problems on that front…

JCBorch 2320

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Just a heads up, I'm getting another writer to look at "When The Moon Comes Over The Tower" as well. I am eagerly awaiting your expertly written judgement, but I am getting antsy about this particular story. Please don't take any offence! I'd still like you to look at it very much, and I also have chapter 3 of Soul Survivor for you to ganter at when the queue opens again.

Best of luck from me

2490

>>2320
Apologies for being, well, dead. I've been far more than occupied lately with work. Holiday rush is going to kill me soon. Already, I can't fell my legs at all.

At any rate, I'll see about getting to your story tomorrow. I've put it off long enough.

JCBorch 2514

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Well, Garnot, looks like you will be the first pre-reader on my story after all. The other thread looks deader than… something that is dead. Anyway, I submitted it to EqD and implemented a few changes, but I hope that your expertise can get me in the second time around!

Also, sorry about your legs. I hope you will feel better soon and hopefully get back to reviewing as well! No pressure, of course. I don't really have anything else that can't wait.

3003

Hey Garnot. I haven't seen you in a while.

The last I heard you on "Knightfall" was the ninth of December, so I was wondering if there's something wrong. Did I mess up and forget to give you something you needed, and so I was dropped, or have you just been extremely busy as of late and I just got lost in the pile somewhere?

Awaiting your answer with baited breath.

3013

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>>3003
The last I heard you on "Knightfall" was the ninth of December, so I was wondering if there's something wrong.
>Work my friend. Work. Also, holidays. I was also a bit, well, hasty, in jumping to help GV just as he closed up his shop. I've got two stories to work from his queue on now, on top of you guy's.

Did I mess up and forget to give you something you needed, and so I was dropped, or have you just been extremely busy as of late and I just got lost in the pile somewhere?
>You didn't do anything wrong per say, so you haven't been dropped. Again, I got unbelievably busy at work, and had to put my review and writing save for those who are very close.

I'm glad to say that starting next week, my schedule will clear up significantly, as I no longer have the job that made it all but impossible to do anything (Long story short, a round of lay-offs struck).

I appreciate your patience, and hope my slow-down was of no issue to you or anyone else.

JC, DNS, Casca, and anyone else who is still waiting on my lazy ass, I also apologize to you guys for keeping you waiting.

3014

>>3013

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Though I am sorry to hear about your lay-off; I hope you find new work before long.

Knightfall review 3283

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Okay Writer's Block, everyone, I'm back. I've had a bit of a rough time recently, and the holidays left me quite drained. However, the new year is starting, and I'm not going to let it pass me by without me doing anything of value.

So, with that, let me bring out my Necronomicon, and let's revive this dead thread.

CURRENTLY, THE QUEUE IS CLOSED. I WILL RE-OPEN SOON AS I COMPLETE SOME PENDING WORK. ETA, ONE WEEK.

so, without further ado, let's jump in. I'm going to hide the reivew, as it contains some spoilers.

Chapter 1
1. Character is too Gary-Stuish

Your main character veers into Gary-Stu territory due to several reasons. The biggest is that he stops a storm by screaming at it, one that Dash is shown to have considerable issues with. Next, he's shown to be a friendly eldritch abomination, appearing to be gas and solid at the same time. Finally, he uses tendrils like a Bulbasour, almost at will. His origin thus far (being found underground) adds to the list of aspects that make him too powerful for his own good. The final nail in the coffin however is the description of his voice, which is supposedly like "silken chocolate."

The issues as to why your character (Knight) comes off as a Gary Stu instead of this deep and mysterious individual has to do with how much of a personality you give him. Or, rather, the lack of one you provide off the bat. Sure, he comes off as a slight prick due to not wanting to give his name to Twilight, and outright insulting Dash for attempting to move a storm she couldn't cope with. He also plays himself as a mysterious stranger, which doesn’t really help his case much. Either you need to play him as an outright enigma (that means having him speak little to nothing, merely acting, and even then using his actions as double-edged swords that could be seen as selfish actions that so happened to help others), or reveal more of who he is, and why he does what he does, while using that to build on his actual character traits.

The oddest thing is with the main characters. Other than a few "he can do that?" moments, no one seems to wonder how this pony can do what he does. Why he used his voice to destroy a storm, how he can summon black tendrils from his back, or how he can create small clouds that seem capable of healing ponies (he uses these to repair the ponies’ ear drums after his screaming fight against the snowstorm).

Knight seems like the stereotypical "dark and brooding" character. He's not really given a clear goal, and his personality seems to jump from dark and ominous, to simple dark, but helpful. An argument could be made that he's attempting to fit in after who knows how many years of being entombed. But still, he acts in ways that are pretty inconsistent with his powers. If the story, according to the synopsis, heads where I think it does, then Knight is supposed to be the antagonist, though I could be wrong about it. If he's indeed the antagonists, then his actions could be seen as either those of a lost 'boy' attempting to fit in (and failing), or a baddie who plays his friendly cards to gain favor. If that’s the case, then I advice caution when playing either card, as it could backfire.

Twilight and the others are finely portrayed for the most part. Other than Dash acting a bit more prideful than usual, they don't really bring anything new to the table nor detract from the story. The only real issue is, again, seemingly lack of detail and explanation. Spike outright disappears halfway in the story. He goes to help Rarity out, yet, when she shows up again, he's nowhere to be found Adding single line to let the reader know that he either went back to the library or stayed behind to clean up would dissolve this issue. Same goes for the diamond dogs. They literally open the story, yet after they are left dangling in a black ooze by Knight (who then seems is going to kill them, yet doesn’t) they just disappear. No mention of their fates by Knight, (who could have introduced himself by not only saying he met them, but making a subtle implication of their fate). Granted, they may show up later, but some hints as to their fate would help.

All of these little issues build up to create the issues in this first chapter.

2. Missing words, wrong and odd diction
This one is simple: you’ve got words missing and you sometimes use odd choices in meaning. They were all noted on your doc, so you should have no issue finding them and looking them over.

3. Lack of detail
For a story that needs to have details poured in to really be appreciated, you seem to lack many of the finer points needed to really build up your world. Many aspects are glazed over (such as the diamond dog tunnels) and as a result, it’s a bit difficult to really get a feel for what is being described to the reader.

4. SDT and LUS
Another simple thing that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Your story bears a lot of moments when you tell far more than actually show, and give characters purple descriptions that lead to contrived wording that only serves to slow down the narrative. Show more than you tell, and strive to give each character proper naming instead on relying on descriptors that become irksome far too quickly.

Chapter 2
1. Punctuation
Sadly, your punctuation is, in short, lacking. While you have it down in the rest of the piece, you make two critical errors that need to be addressed ASAP. The first is your use of punctuations while using quotations. In this case, you put the mark outside of the marks, which is not how it works. When using quotation marks, especially dialogue ones, you always put the mark inside of the quotations so it looks like this:
“This is dialogue.” I say, tone a bit weary. “It isn’t too hard to remember that you always put your marks before it ends.”

You need to learn how to punctuate dialogue with more finesse. Remember, a variation of “X said” follows the line, then you need a comma or other special punctuation mark (not a period) to link it to the phrase. There is no capitalization of the beginning of the phrase in these instances.
Standalone sets of dialogue get solid endings, and the next word is capitalized. If you reverse the order, then you place a comma BEFORE you go into the dialogue and end the spoken line with a period, exclamation point, or question mark. Refer to these examples:

“Screw those damn cults.” He said as he gulped the whiskey down.

“I hope that one day," the detective moaned, "they all crawl into a hole and die.”

“I don't know why so many think they are devoid of ‘sin’,” he whined. “Bastards kill for fun!”

“Why do so many make the mistake of trusting them?” he mused.

The Detective looked at the badly cut-up body of his original client, “When I find out who did this to you my friend, there’s going to be hell to pay!”


2. SDT and Redundancy
You continue to strive towards a narration form that more or less tries to shove the information down the reader’s throat. That isn’t how you create engaging storytelling. You need to allow elements of the narration to grow on their own. You do not need to spend entire paragraphs telling us extra bits of information or comments on a situation in order to allow an idea to shine. Show it to us, and let us come up with our own conclusions. That’s all for now.

3. Character continues to be too Gary-stuish
Knight continues to be a character that, despite your best intentions, continues to be far too perfect for his own good. I already wrote a bit about him in the first chapter, and almost all points of that still stand. You did resolve the Diamond dog and Spike issues, but you somehow managed to create a bit more issues with how Knight is portrayed. This wouldn’t be so bad if he was made a bit more concrete and/or downgraded in both power and attitude. This is really the only issue that continues to plague the story, as it moves well and is building up towards an intriguing payoff. All the notes on Knight are in the Doc.


That concludes my review so far for Knightfall. From now on, the rest will be in-doc.

Let me know just how much I've screwed-up on your review Writer's Block. Email is always open for you or anyone who needs help.
This post was edited by its author on .

3308

>>3283

>3. Lack of detail

This probably comes from the severe rewrite I had to make of this story.

In my older drafts I had purple prose which dripped soap opera all over the place. So, when I remade it, I went for the "less-is-more" approach, keeping the bare minimum of details, keeping only what I felt vital to moving the story along. However, then that was seen as too little description, I tried expanding a bit more, while still keeping it as far from useless blathering as much as I could. I had a bad habit of getting so caught up in the moment, I made it way too strong at the expense of making sense, or just sounding long-winded.

I suppose this is mostly a matter of me needing to find exactly where I have to expand and take some artistic license or risk losing interest and coherence, versus where I need to pull back and let the audience fill in the blank instead (which is why having someone read it besides myself is extremely helpful).

Subtlety was part my goal (one of my favorite tropes is Fridge Logic/Horror/Brilliance, where things make even more sense the more you think about them later), and this story was fairly heavily influenced by this trope, with even small moments designed to be seen later as actually being logically sound. Everything should mean something, or at least fit in to what is revealed later. It should make sense by the end of the story, but make even more sense when you really think about it.

Which is why it’s nice to have someone go through and help reign back some of the moments where I went a little too far again, pr not far enough (darn my excitement for the ending).

>1. Character is too Gary-Stuish


Grah. I hate hearing that. Gives me the willies.

Here’s my understanding of why some of the behaviors should make sense (Or at least I had these in mind when writing the scenes, so please bear with me):

-The reason I have for a less than jaw-dropping amazement at some of his feats is that magic is fairly common in their universe. Hence, why the tendrils that come from his hood are not seen as "AH! RUN AWAY!" nor are the super-scream and healing mist: they’re just different forms of magic. While the scream is a particularly powerful magic, it’s still something that is shown later to be within mortal confines.

My thought was they would immediately assume he is a unicorn and just move on from there, especially since Twilight taught them the lesson to “not judge on appearance” when they first met Zecora. So I felt they wouldn’t be panicked by the sight of some guy with a cloak and red eyes who has not yet acted in a manner that proves he’s going to hurt anyone. At worst, he’s just sort of goofy looking to them because he looks so melodramatic.

-About my only excuse for why Knight seems so simple for now is that the show did it first: if you think about it, the Mane Six themselves weren’t all that developed in the beginning, as the first two episodes mostly focused on their main traits to carry the story. Twilight had the most character, mostly because she was supposed to be the main character.

Think about it, what did we really know about them in the first two episodes beyond the singular personality they had (crazy, tomboy, girly, shy, no-nonsense, and egg-head)? Virtually nothing. It was only later that the show started exploring the other aspects of their personalities and we got to know them better than their mostly one-dimensional traits.

Also, the villains in the show have a tendency for very little development (Luna’s the one with the probably the most backstory and the most subsequent screen-time).

I aim to change that. My story was designed with the show’s-style in mind, but there is much more to Knight than meets the eye. We haven’t seen the last of him by a long shot, and I have not yet even begun to dismantle this world piece, by piece, by piece, and introduce it to the darker shades of gray.



I look forward to more reviews, and I hope you shall be the first to reach the conclusion and see if I have taken this tale to where it was supposed to go. The story was made to be many things, and one of them was to introduce a layer of complexity in a show-friendly manner that would truly test the boundaries of thought. Everything was planned with this goal firmly in mind, and, while my execution can be a bit rough, I strongly believe the end results will be well worth the journey.

P.S. I had a crazy thought. What do you think would happen if I switched the first two scenes in chapter 1: making the scene with the Diamond Dogs happen after the scene with Twilight and Spike going to Applejack’s? Would that be more dramatic, less dramatic, or would it not make any difference at all? I’m also wondering if it would at least dull some of the over-the-topness by making the first character we meet Twilight and not Knight, thus giving her top-billing for the focus of the story. Though Knight is a large part of it (his name’s part of the title, which I another little treat I hope you’ll find enjoyable by the end), the main character that we’re going to follow is Twilight with dips into other sections on occasion.

Review: When the Moon Comes Over the Library, Part One 3319

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First of all, I must apologize for the lateness of this review. It really is bad of me to have left this for so long a time (almost 2 month’s worth of inactivity). My excuses are petty, and I deserve no real leeway for my lack of activity.

Regardless, I feel obliged to complete this review. It really is the last I can do to attempt and atone for my rather late review of this piece.

So, with that out of the way, let us get started then.

you know the drill with my disclaimer. In a nutshell, I’m liable to be wrong, and as such claim that I’m not perfect. (I really need to make an abridged version).

Since this review also contains some story spoilers, I'm going to hide it.

Points of interest
1. Good prose, somewhat dull execution (details are too blunt, extra words that add nothing, far too much telling instead of showing). Narrative is a bit dull. Picks up towards the end, but quite a lot of detail can easily be omitted without any real repercussion to the story.
This story was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one side, the premise is wonderful, and the prose you have build is also quite good, weaving a story that really engages the audience while also letting your style shine in many places. I particularly liked how you set up the final thirds of the chapter, with the sudden shift to a much thicker plot.

Unfortunately, just as your story is filled with many wonderful moments, your tale is also filled with dull and somewhat redundant times as well.

For starters, you give many scenes a lot of focus. Perhaps too much. One such scene has to be the very intro scenes, with Twilight and Rarity. While it does build up a nice scene between the two, it feels like it drags a just a bit too much. The train scene is another. While it is important, as that’s where we get a look into Twilight’s possible feelings towards a certain regent of the night, I can’t help but feel you could have easily played that during the dinner, or even prior to that, as perhaps Twilight wrote it down before her departure for Canterlot.

There are many more scenes like these, and they all make me wonder if you can streamline details that may slow the narrative down, as again, it makes getting to the good bits a bit of a chore.

2. Some characters feel a bit OOC. Thankfully, Twilight isn’t one of those characters. Luna is also not one of those characters.
This is a small issue, but one that I feel needs to be addressed before the story goes on. Some of your characterization feels a mite off. Prime example is Fluttershy, whom I felt acted a bit too enthusiastic, which is somewhat rare for her, especially considering the situation she was in was a simple gathering. Rarity also felt a bit off in her mannerism, but that could be accounted to the fact that she’s focused on her work more than anything else. The two characters whose personalities are what matters, Twilight and Luna, felt spot on, as such, need little fixing. Again, the only real things I would correct are Luna’s slight somberness when prompted about bits of her past and Twilight seeming lack of alcohol tolerance (seriously, on cup and down she goes?)


The rest of the comments I found are in-doc. They are quite numerous to list here, so I’ll let you go over them when you get the time (assuming of course, you are still even interested in this late review of mine).

Hopefully, the next chapter down this line does not disappoint, as this story is off to a great start.

With that, I conclude this review.

–––––––––––

Ladies and gentlemen, now that it is a bit earlier than originally stated, but I feel confident that I’ve taken care of almost all lingering threads (DNS, I still to conclude your work).

But, nonetheless, the time has come.

THIS THREAD IS NOW OFFICIALLY RE-OPENED. DROP YOUR STORY IN WHILE IT’S NICE AND FRESH.
This post was edited by its author on .

3321

Yo?

3322

>>3321
Don't worry bro, you are already in the queue. You're next actually.

Croswynd 3332

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>>3322

Oh, good. Thought you may have forgotten me there for a bit. :P Just thought I'd let you know, also, that both Umbra and Eustacian are reviewing Unmarked, as well, though it's been while since I've heard from either of them.

Thanks for considering me, though. Look forward to speaking with you about Unmarked.

Review Request: Black Box Breath of Plagues 3414

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Screw the rules, I have your permission!

Title: Black Box

Author: Breath of Plagues

Word Count: 6,500

Synopsis: Cutie Marks:Their appearance marks a very joyous occasion for the youth of Equestria, but not all cutie marks are innocent. Some unlucky foals develop much darker natured marks. These young ponies all soon disappear without a trace, never to be heard from again. They disappear to Black Box.

Notes: Okay so it's a little violent, especially with the start of the third chapter—just warning you. I also really encourage you to read the second chapter. It has a lot of important establishing bits, but if you really don't want to, then you'll probably still be able to get by. Besides though, I think it's the best writing I've ever done so it should be fun to read through.

To whom it may concern 3482

Ed's going to be offline for a while. From what I gather, everything is okay except his Internet connection.

However, if you're waiting for a review from him, please email me with your story (check the trip), and I will review your story in his stead.

Croswynd 3489

Will he be reviewing anything you do when he returns or are you truly in his stead for the time he's absent?

Review JCBorch 3497

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PPjReLWlSP8f3bmKQoBMFFOrr9CcE9btxAv-sMSxpes/edit

I was wondering if you would like to take another look at my story. Well actually, I just want you to look at the new ending. I decided to break the story differently so the first scene from part 2 is now the ending of part 1… when you get the time of course!

Otherwise, this new guy might want to have a look?

Farewell 3670

To those who still care about me.

First of all, my sincerest apologies to all of you who wanted to obtain a review from me. Recent circumstances have forced my life into a bit of a talespin, one I hope to rectify soon, but one that may also cause me to crash and burn altogether.

If and when I return, I vow to work on any and all reviews that arrive in my lap, working on them Live (via chat or actual conversation) or offline if necessary.

Should I not return as expected, then I would like to thank every one of you for being such great writers.

I would like to thank Golden Vision for his invaluable help and all-round jolly nature

I would like to thank Nick for being a good friend, even if he did leave for some time

I would like to thank Umbra for his uncompromising reviews and incredible guidance

I would like to thank SLP for being a good friend and good partner

I would like to thank Khakis for being, well, Khakis.

I would like to thank Ion for always bring a smile to my inner cynic

And I would like to thank Casca for being such a patient individual, and another good friend as well.

I truly have been honored to work with you all, and I wish you all fortune on all your respective journeys.

Finally, I guess I would like yuo all to wish me a bit of luck, because I may soon need it.

If this is to be my final goodbye, then…

…well…

Goodbye I guess.

-E.D. Garnot


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