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Mar 31With the Merger coming up soon, we have created an official steam group for the combined sites. It can be found at http://steamcommunity.com/groups/PonychanSteam

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106597 No. 106597 [View]
#Discussion #Research
So, I have been working on my Mane 6. Specifically, I am trying to get their dialogue to sound natural. The key, I think, is to have a handle on their idioms. I started with Applejack, as she is the most distinct of the Mane 6.

Then I thought you all might like to see the entire list of canonical idioms for Applejack from the first two seasons. I will post what I derived from the MLP Wiki transcripts, broken down into a few simple categories.
8 posts omitted. (Expand)
>> No. 106615
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You could pull out some of these and place them under the category of descriptors. Such as:
Doozy of a downpour
hill of beans
hog sized surprise

Some others could be placed under a secondary category, (name tbd)
a mite stubborn
all saddle sore
all worked up
bona fide
>> No. 106616
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This. Columns for maximum ease of reading, please.
Was about to ask if you could make them alphabetized, then I realized you had already done just that. I tip my hat to you, for you are a gentleman and a scholar.
>> No. 106643
It's kinda funny how the character that uses some of the most stereotypical idioms is the hardest to write.

Useful list. Just hope writers don't see it and start abusing these things in their stories.

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101097 No. 101097 Autosaged [View] [Last 50 posts]
Hello again, fillies and gentlecolts, and welcome to the tenth installment of the “Ask An Equestria Daily Pre-Reader Anything Thread”! Feel free to ask us anything* and we’ll do our best to answer.

*Disclaimer: Our knowledge of quantum physics is limited, so please try to keep questions on that subject to a minimum. Also magnets are kinda hard.

We’d also like to include a brief FAQ in this initial post, since we seem to hear a lot of the same questions:

Q: How long does the pre-reading process take?
A: A few days. If you don't get any sort of response after a week, you can send us an email asking what's up.

Q: Am I allowed to respond to pre-reader feedback?
A: Yes. If you feel that we were incorrect in some assessment of your story, feel free to bring it up in a reply email. Just try to be polite about it.
Oh, you can also send a reply to just say “Thank you.” We like that.
455 posts omitted. (View thread)
>> No. 107153
Seriously, best thread ending evah. +1, would watch again.
>> No. 128106
Thanks for promoting Owens' 2012 Administrative Professional Day, Rhonda. I can't wait to help acendiue members rekindle their ability to and provide inspiration for achieving their dreams. It's going to be a fun day, and I'm dreaming that we'll have a packed house.
>> No. 129076
This <a href="http://njmrto.com">ineudorcts</a> a pleasingly rational point of view.

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97121 No. 97121 Locked Autosaged [View] [Last 50 posts]
#Discussion #General, Story Ideas
Hello, and welcome to the Story Forge, /fic/'s story idea and brainstorming general thread!

If you have a story idea that you do not wish to write, or are looking for a seed of an idea upon which to build your world, consider this place a literary take-a-penny jar. We can also help flesh out your story ideas, but do suggest that once you get the ball rolling, to move the conversation to one of our many fine Review Threads. If you see someone asking for fic ideas, or posting a few, please direct them here.

Previous thread: >>91817
Image source: http://deathpwny.deviantart.com/art/Ponyception-291106077
413 posts omitted. (View thread)
>> No. 127317
>> No. 127318
>> No. 127319

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106256 No. 106256 [View]
#Discussion #Normal #Sad #Shipping #Teen Pregnancy
This story takes place several years after the current time in the show, when Spike and Apple Bloom are teenagers. The story follows their relationship, but things take a serious turn when Apple Bloom becomes pregnant with Spike's child.


It's a very well-written fic. Obviously since this deals with teen pregnancy the tone is pretty heavy, but the author does a good job presenting conflicts.

There are some parts I'm unsure of, such as Rarity's rather bigoted viewpoint on Spike and Bloom's inter-species relationship, although I'll have to concede that it probably IS in-character of her to feel that way.

For the record, the story is pretty tame in spite of the subject matter.
>> No. 106261
In a similar vein, I recommend Birthright, which is a short story about Rarity seeing the doctor after she becomes pregnant with Spike's child.

To understand the whole story, you'll want to read his other fic, Tales, which is also an excellent read. However, it's not necessary to understanding Birthright; it only sheds some light on Spike's current standing.

Nice to see a half-decent story discussion thread. I might just give it a read just because you actually put some effort into it.
>> No. 106262
I actually rather enjoyed it.
>> No. 106276
One thing I find interesting about this fic is that pregnancy ISN'T presented as all sunshine and flowers. It actually dwells into negative consequences teen pregnancy holds, especially in Apple Bloom's nature (since it's a pony/dragon hybrid).

I'm impressed that the author even brought up abortion as an option.

In short, this is a pretty emotional story.

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98978 No. 98978 [View]
#Reviewer #Shipping
Hello, everypony! I am Baron Von Clop, and welcome to Ponychan's Equestrian Postal Service branch!

This is a review thread! As the name implies, however, I review ONLY shipping stories!

I'm kind of a sucker for them. Can't help it.

I do have a few rules, however:

1. All stories must contain a main character of your story being shipped. If your story contains grimdark, comedy, etc., alongside the shipping, that's fine, but there has to be shipping somewhere.

2. 10K word limit. More than that and I will just start repeating myself. 10K words is plenty to see what your weak/strong points are and for me to review them.
16 posts omitted. (Expand)
>> No. 104946
Or, rather, added my fic to be reviewed.
>> No. 106161
Okay, so I'm working on a Big Macintosh// Fluttershy story, titled "Caring for a Certain Stallion". I've gotten 2 chapters written, though I've only transferred 1 to Google Docs as of yet. I set you (Baron Von Clop) to be able to edit the story, which I'm pretty sure means you can comment on it too... Anyway, I'm going to put a link to it on here... and if I'm doing it wrong, please tell me so.
>> No. 106162

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105347 No. 105347 [View]
Pic is kinda related?

Hello, all. I've been writing fanfics for about two and a half months now, and I've learned a lot about not only writing as a craft, but also as a hobby, if that makes sense. While I only consider myself a slightly above average writer at best, I'm hoping what I've learned will help others who are struggling to find their way as an author.

I've gone through some rough patches. There have been times away from the keyboard where I've had too much time to think, and I almost decided to give up. In fact, a couple times I DID give up, only to be drawn right back to the keyboard a couple hours later. Either I truly do love writing, or I just love to torture myself.

-Besides the number one rule, which is KEEP WRITING, I'd say the most important thing I've discovered is do not compare yourself to anyone else. The moment you start kicking yourself for not being good as some of the better writers in the fandom, you have lost. You won't be able to focus on your own writing, only how it isn't the best. At times, I've been heavily discouraged from the simple thought of "I'll never be as good as SSnE, or device heretic, or Absolute Anonymous, etc." Do not do this to yourself. No writer is going to get as good as them overnight, or even within a few months. The only thing you can do is keep writing, get constructive feedback, and keep improving. If you can't shake the jealousy, then channel this jealousy into passion to get better. Don't ignore the works of better authors just because you're jealous. Instead, try to thank these people for crafting such fine works that you can learn from. Bottom line: enjoy the writing of others, but never let it detract you from your own writing and ideas.

-Patience is extremely important. Again, I've irrationally kicked myself for not having written a super cool epic yet. But you know what? These things take time. Of course I'm not going to have written an awesome novel length story in just a couple months. Like any other
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>> No. 106102
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There are several things here that I love.

First of all, I love how this board is filled with people from completely opposite ends of the social interaction spectrum. We've got people who will downright insult writers who waste their time with mediocre fics, and we've got people who will come from the outmost humility just asking for some motivation.

Speaking of spectra, I also love how there seems to be no middle ground as far as self-assurance in writing goes. I know a lot of amateur writers, and it's like you're either on top of the world with the will to take it on with a story to tell and the talent to do so, and then, you're sitting alone crying in a corner believing that you have every reason to stay there.

I'm afraid that I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but I wouldn't mind sharing some ways that I use to motivate myself.
One thing that helps me sometimes is this.
I don't listen to this for the lyrics, but more for the kind of "pep talk" at both the beginning and the end of the video. Of course, I have no reason to believe that you'll get what I get out of this.
>> No. 106120
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God I hear all of this bro.

My stories aren't new, my first is incredibly cookie cutter and the second is parody. But I think I can write emotion and excitement okay, certainly that's what people have told me anyway...

But my mechanical writing? Big time suckage.

I am the exact same way with the Show/Tell, really, really struggle with it. But I think it's just something you pick up from reading and writing a lot. I dunno, maybe? XD

Bleh, was going to try and give you advice on not being so fixated on "success" and just to enjoy writing but I can't seem to get ir right.
>> No. 106190
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This is how I think about it.

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105916 No. 105916 [View]
I'm not really even meaning to talk about the length of these stories, but about the content; however, it seems like "important" stories about Celestia's death or the return of Discord or what-have-you are disproportionately long rather than short. So when I talk about or make reference to "long" stories here, you should understand that I mean this certain kind of story, the kind that's about "important" events, which generally include but are not limited to saving Equestria from certain destruction, fulfilling a timeless prophesy, winning a decades-long war, etc.

I've noticed that almost all my favorite stories focus on what are, objectively, rather small events. Stories about the mane six, or perhaps one of the princesses, saving all of Equestria (or perhaps the entire universe) by defeating some timeless evil prophesied about since before the beginning of history tend, as a rule, to feel underwhelming, while "less ambitious" stories are often much more rewarding. (I'm too lazy to give examples.)

Surprisingly, I've even found that the worlds featured in expansive stories about universe-rending demons often feel much smaller than the worlds of some more focused, tightly-woven stories about everyday events.

What's up with that? It seems like the bigger a story tries to be, the more claustrophobic and sterile it feels. As far as I'm concerned, most big stories fail at the very thing—a feeling of the world's bigness—which seems like ought to be their main advantage over smaller stories.

Is there some reason for this? Is it because authors tend to spread their ideas more thinly in big stories, and they end up feeling less dense and less deep as a result? Is it because novice authors tend to bite off more than they can chew? Is this just a problem that novice authors have, or is it a problem inherent to writing long stories with epic arcs?
5 posts omitted. (Expand)
>> No. 105968
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Akira fucking sucked, though. The ONLY thing it had going for it was the setting, which they promptly did away with in favor of secret technologically-advanced laboratories and militarily-cordoned-off streets that made you forget that it's supposed to be a post-apocalyptic story.
>> No. 105982

To be honest, I think the answer is more evident than most people seem to think. The reason why it's easy to botch an epic story is because there's so much more world to build. Think about it this way: Have you ever had a DM who just fills the world with names and locations but forgets to give any context to them, or, even worse, elects to make every village the same as the last? This is poor worldbuilding, and happens all too often, especially when writers resort to common plot devices like defeating "a timeless evil as prophesied since the beginning of time".

Well, what makes a big world interesting? First, every location needs to feel unique. If I walk down the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, it's going to be a much different experience from walking down Wall Street. Indianapolis is fundamentally different from Saint Louis. Heck, even a small Midwestern city is much different in structure and culture from a small coastal city, and those are all examples from one country. The point is, every location needs to have its own flavor and culture, or else the world will feel like an old cartoon, the same background following the characters as they run around.

Second, every location needs to lend towards the uniqueness and feeling of the narrative. Following Nick's example, a world that removes its only identifying elements in favor of cliche and boring environments is a world that will quickly lose its luster. Needless to say, stick to the theme and design your world and adventure around that.

Third, and finally, you need to understand how politics work. Not just modern politics, but Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Early Industrial politics as well. Understanding the hows and whys of history assists immensely in developing and creating kingdoms and countries.

Typically I find that fanfic authors (ever-so-surprisingly) don't really put that much effort into worldbuilding, which is why their story usually turns out glat. The world is as much a character as the rest
>> No. 105991
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Naw, those other settings were awesome too. I beg to differ.

What appears on the surface to be a nonsensical clusterfuck of wanton destruction is actually a somewhat poignant allegory about drug abuse. The symbols are everywhere; Tetsuo just wants his power high and it turns him into a monster, the naive populace want their radical, supernatural change high and it destroys them. Let's not forget about the fact that the biker gang is called "the capsules" (and pop pills sold at that bar), the pants-shitting hallucinations that Tetsuo has, and how the mole on the exec council actually, literally OD'd.

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101428 No. 101428 Locked [View] [Last 50 posts]
#Reviewer #Discussion #Presidential
Greetings fellow bronies and brothers in democracy! I am Richard M. Nixon, (former) President of the United States of America. As president, I was a man of firsts. I was first to open diplomatic relations with China (that’s right, you can thank me for ninety percent of the plastic in your home), to make charming home videos about my work in Congress, and to resign the office of president (I didn’t want to be president anyway). Today, I would like all non-Communist brony fan-fiction writers to experience my next first: the first review thread with an objective scoring system.

The units are apples, as IMDB stole my idea for stars (Plus, Applejack had a lot of extra apples lying about).

For information on how scores are calculated, go here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PUSHBP3Rca3y6fWCuOkkiHKo6TWXKbJhrFIMCXlEZzI/edit

Here is how you may interpret each score:

10 apples: Your work rivals the toils Jonathan Swift, the very first writer of pony fan-fiction.
9 apples: Some very excellent work, consider posting to Equestria Daily
8 apples: You are near perfection; a little bit more effort will make your story wonderful.
7 apples: A very good story, two or three more rounds of editing will make your story something special.
253 posts omitted. (View thread)
>> No. 105903
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I'm so sorry guys, but I simply can't keep up anymore. I have summer assignments for two of my AP classes, and I'm trying to get a few scholarships. Since this king of stuff is important to my future (keeps me off the streets and whatnot), I have decided to close the thread without finishing my queue. I hope the people waiting for reviews can find some way to forgive me.

If you still want reviews (which I'm sure you do), visit MintyRest or Chocolate Milk. Mr. Milk doesn't really review; he proofreads, but his work is excellent nonetheless. In fact, Chocolate Milk inspired me to review here, so you can be confident that his work is superb. Make sure you check if Milk's queue is closed. I've read a few of MintyRest's reviews, and all of them are top-notch. Even if you don't get a review from him, check out his work. I guarantee you'll learn something.

So long Ponychan! It's been absolutely terrifying (seriously, I feared for my life on a daily basis). I will haunt the Training Grounds during my precious spare time. Ask for your story to be scored with apples, and I might do it. This September, I either return as Nixon or do reviews as Jack the Ripper instead. I request a thread lock.

May Fortune ever grace you with its smile (or some other cheesy closer to that effect),

Richard M. Nixon, (Former) President of the United States of America and not a crook.

The Top 3:
1) W.O.M.P. by John Meihaus 8.98734 apples
>> No. 105904
Yes I see the typo. Shut up; I think it's pretty.
>> No. 105912
Thread locked by request.

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105859 No. 105859 [View]
#Author #Collection
Well, I've been heavily contemplating making an author thread for a while now, and I figure I have enough fics to justify my own thread, if only to have a few posts before it descends into oblivion. I look forward to being a massive disappointment compared to other author threads here.

Why should you read my fics? Um, I guess my two EqD fics are sad in a more realistic and relateable way? And my most notable non-EqD FIM Fiction fic I've dubbed a "bleak fic." So, maybe that's enough to get you interested?

Anyway, here are my notable fics that I'm hoping are around above average quality.

One Simple Choice
When Rainbow Dash is offered a high ranking weather position in Cloudsdale, she must choose whether or not to continue down the path of becoming a Wonderbolt, an eventual possible outcome of accepting the job, or remain in Ponyville and risk letting her dreams slip away for good.


Currently a work in progress, and I intend for this to be a massive Rainbow Dash character study. Let's hope I can pull it off. I have a lot planned out for later, but any ideas are greatly appreciated.

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105650 No. 105650 [View]
#Discussion #Normal #Sad #Gender Identity
Okay, I messed up the first post. Here's my repost of this fic with the correct tags.

I didn't write this fic, but I felt I had to share it.

The story is that Spike, after the Great Dragon Migration, questions his gender identity and concludes that he's not a boy.

So yeah, contains discussions about being transsexual, gender-queer, and "filly-fooler". Still a well-written fic.

>> No. 105658
It was decent. Well-written, a few typos, and Spike seemed a little too wordy for his age. That could possibly be written off due to him living in a library with a book-obssesed unicorn, though. I think I'm just not empathetic enough to really connect with the story, although I'm happy to say that it didn't try to beat the sads into me like so many other emotionally-pandering stories.

On the topic of your thread, don't state it's a retry; mistakes make you look weak and unsure of yourself. I don't know if you care enough to redo it a second time, but keep that in mind if you drop something off here again in the future. Also, keep in mind that you should read the sticky (if you haven't already) sicne we do have a general for story recommendations already made, and it tends to get more traffic than stand-alone threads.
>> No. 105708
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Strangely, this was already in my queue of 'Things that I will read once I get free time'.
Already watching uberPhoenix because of World Without Rainbows which I'm still behind on and... *sigh*

But yes, Spike's much wordier then I would give credit for his age. Plus misleading tags because it's not really sad.
It would be more heart warming if the story did something, but it's Slice of Life, so that's to be expected. Overall I think the idea is good, the execution is okay, but I'd really want to see where the idea could be taken. It doesn't really do much beyond the coming out phases.

So I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it, but it's not really on recommended list.

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105538 No. 105538 [View]
#Author #Normal #Sci-fi

I bet none of you guys even remember who I am. ;_;

17 posts omitted. (View thread)
>> No. 105575
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Well, if you know !!Pinkie works around here, then shouldn't you know how to make a thread?
>> No. 105576
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Can we cut the off-topic chatter about myself and my colleague?

I'll edit the OP's EqDaily link into his post in a moment.
>> No. 105578
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Okie dokie lokie. Couldn't resist

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105247 No. 105247 [View]
Didn't see any thread that recently discussed this issue, so I'm making one.

Hello everypony. My name is Khakispony, and I’m fairly new to the reviewing scene, but I have found one particular writing habit in both fics I’ve reviewed that bugs me immensely. Therefore, I’ve decided to start a discussion thread to see how other reviewers feel about this.

The error I’m referring to is when a writer says the same thing twice. Example: Cherilee stood up, starting the day’s lesson. Starting her lesson, Cherilee...” whatever, I’m too lazy to find a good way to close the sentence. But you see how the first sentence is entirely superfluous. I don’t claim to be a great reviewer, but every fic I’ve reviewed has this problem at some point. Another similar problem I’ve encountered is just adding information that is easily inferred. Now maybe I’m crazy, but when someone writes, “A breeze flowed through the open window.” I always find myself snarkily laughing, like the author expected me to think the window was closed. Its completely superfluous in my opinion. So I wanted to know if any other reviewers run into this problem frequently, or if I have a knack for picking fics that have this problem. Furthermore, is it even a problem in the first place, or am I looking at a pet peeve rather than an actual story hiccup. Finally, if it is an actual hiccup, I know of a term used by my history professor that I like a lot that I would like to introduce into a reviewers lexicon: The Department of Redundancy Department (or Redundancy Department of Redundancy). Thanks for your opinions.
10 posts omitted. (Expand)
>> No. 105517
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>> No. 105519
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Repetition in the name of poetry is Ok, but prose should be purged of all lazy words. Prose should be cut until the story bleeds a bit. Show no mercy.

That said, one of my favorite authors is positively voluptuous with depictions of landscape to the point where his work makes me a touch dizzy to try and drink in. In those cases where there is a lyrical quality to the description, I do not mind the languorous style. Again, the words are in service to the poetic qualities of the piece.

Most new writers have a difficult time finding the balance between the hard-edged prose that forms the structure of the piece, and the little flourishes and details that make the story special. It's all part of the process.
>> No. 105520
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I use that picture so much for a second I thought I had posted that. I was like 'I don't remember writing that...'

No. 105337 Locked [View]
#Author #Discussion
Alright. I have never written a fanfic before, so I need a tad bit o' help. I already have an idea, I just need help fleshing it out.

What is my idea, you ask? "What if Heroes happened in Equestria?"

I welcome critisism.

>> No. 105338
We have a thread for this sort of thing, called the story forge:


Also, you'll need to know a bit more about your idea than that before you'll get significant feedback/help on expanding it.
>> No. 105355

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101201 No. 101201 [View]
#Author #Discussion
Hello all! Golden Vision, reviewer, here.

I've noticed that inexperienced writers tend to have trouble "breaking into" a fandom, especially one with such relatively high standard for writing as MLP:FiM. I've also noted that quite a few more "experienced" writers tend to be very well accomplished in most areas, with one or two that they just can't seem to get right.

To help with these issues, you can, of course, always read such wonderful contributions to the community as The Editor's Omnibus or EZN's Guide (links at the bottom of this post). I'm not saying that these aren't extremely helpful—they're really wonderful for any aspiring writer—but sometimes words on a page aren't really enough. Sometimes, a more hands-on approach is needed.

So! This Wednesday, May 9th, at 3:30 PM EST, I will be hosting a livestreamed Writing Workshop in order to help any authors who might be interested. Though novice writers are the main demographic, I will gladly lend a hand to any others who think they need or want a hand with a specific issue. Other reviewers or prereaders are also welcome to attend if they would like to help out as well (especially because I hold no illusions that I am the perfect author—I have my blind spots as well).

So, any authors wishing to attend may submit one or two issues in a post through this thread, and I will add it into a queue of things to address during the livestream. For example:

>Can you go over Show, Don't Tell? I keep getting people saying that there's too much of that in my stories, but I don't really get it.
41 posts omitted. (View thread)
>> No. 105216
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And since I made the ribbon in order to make that last pic, here it is on its own for anyone else that wants it. Might be useful... :)
>> No. 105218
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>Heh, that ribbon is pretty cute. I might have to use that.
>Oh ponyfeathers, that's going to be every third image on TTG, won't it?

>When I find myself needing to reword, I aim for something smaller and/or tighter rather than expanding the word count. That reduces the final name and pronoun count.
Mmm, maybe that's my problem. Per my examples, my rewords tend to increase word count. I always justify it, in that my first draft is usually dry and needs more description and showing and whatnot anyway, but it often introduces clunkiness. I'll try keeping things tighter like you suggest. Cheers.
>> No. 105229
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All finished! Very useful stuff. Thanks for hosting that.

If you run another one of these, I'd enjoy seeing an expansion of the dialogue section. Namely, you were pointing out that it's possible to overdo most character quirks if you aren't careful. Rarity using "darling" every sentence, Pinkie Pie using excessive laugher or exclamations, AJ using "Ah" (personal pet peeve), anything involving "Lunalogue" as the chatroom named it, etc. Maybe it would be helpful to crib some examples off existing works, and say "this is a good balance, while this is overkill."

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103947 No. 103947 [View]
#Collection #zine #TheSolarFlareReview
I'm putting together a regular e-mail/blog 'zine dedicated to fanfiction as a craft. It will feature stories, essays, and how-to columns.

This is both an ego-trip, and my attempt to create the 'zine I want to read.

Compared to Equestria Daily (because everypony will compare this to Equestria Daily):

- SFR will be opinionated and unapologetic. Stories will reviewed*, not just posted.

(*not critique and development "review," the "why you should read this, what's good, what's bad" meaning of by the term.)

- SFR will invest very little energy in developing specific fics and authors. Its goal is to be a showcase for good examples and good theory.
18 posts omitted. (View thread)
>> No. 105159

The gatekeeping process is underway and it's looking good. Here's to garnering more interest.

I don't know about other people, but I would love to see us as an "alternative" publication, throwing in works that we see as significant or underappreciated- as well as just generally giving viewpoints on fanficdom.
>> No. 105170
File 133870996587.png - (284.92KB , 500x540 , tumblr_lwhwauhOG71qmc4dp.png )
>mfw I didn't get this much interest with the Quill when I wasn't busy
>mfw I won't be able to do anything with the Quill for another two weeks because finals
>> No. 105192
Your presentation wasn't all that great and I still have no idea as to what that is other than simply a bunch of stories. Plus, email.

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