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101097 No. 101097
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.

Q: What’s the criteria for a 6-star story?
A: Average rating of 4.9+ after 50+ ratings. If your story is at this point, email Seth and he’ll add the 6-star tag.

Q: My story was rejected despite the fact that my FimFiction/DeviantArt/Fanfiction.net audience loves it. What’s the deal with that?
A: Congratulations on having a story that’s well liked! However, Equestria Daily tends to have much higher quality standards than the sites mentioned above. Don’t be upset about being rejected; use it as an opportunity to make your story even better. We’ll be happy to look at it again once edits have been made.

Q: How does the Three Strike policy work?
A: Authors have three chances to submit their work before we stop adding it to the pre-reader queue. Every rejection counts as one “strike”. The idea is to have authors edit their work sufficiently before submitting it. We’re not editors, and there’s been a growing issue with authors thinking we are. Bear in mind that if a story is really close to being approved and is on its third strike, we’ll give it a bit of leeway. This policy is more to cover stories that haven’t had any significant changes made despite multiple submissions.

Q: Can I ask who my pre-reader was?
A: Yes, but they’re not obligated to tell you. Some of us prefer to remain anonymous.

Q: I was told to post my story on FimFiction. Why is that?
A: Generally when we recommend FimFiction it’s because we believe a story will do better there than it would on Equestria Daily. Don’t be offended. EqD and FimFiction just serve different purposes. And yes, you can submit different stories to us for review.

Q: Do you ban/blacklist authors?
A: No. However, in cases where authors have been particularly rude to us or the blogponies, we generally wait for some sort of apology before looking at their work again.

Q: Can I touch the beard?
A: We do not have the authority to handle beard-related matters. Please forward all beard inquiries to Twilight Snarkle.

Q: Who is best actor?
A: Nic Cage
408 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 106461
File 133956005611.png - (413.50KB , 900x900 , 123282 - artist SpeccySY Fluffershy fluffy fluttershy.png )
If I'm not mistaken, the anon you quoted was referring to the PRs receiving unhelpful critiques of "suck less, guys". Not delivering them.
>reading comprehension
>"I read quite fast too."
>year of the pegasus
>> No. 106463
Samefag here, and that's exactly what I meant.
>> No. 106467
Not quite.

I don't think anyone can do EqD's job (appeasing the masses) better than EqD without being EqD.

But I do believe there is a future EqD that can be a better EqD by doing things differently than the current EqD, and while I don't have all the answers, I'd like to be a helpful thorn in the side.

R/R's are helpful to the extent they help the writer make one crucial decision:

Do I revise or do I spin a new story?

I can't tell a polite rejection from a real "we enjoyed this and want to work with you" without trying to read tea leaves like "strange complaints about BGCs = fic boring and needs to be taken behind the shed" or "extensive criticism of minor issues = try again."


Because it's late and I'm currently mentally lacking. Most of the time this nice little thing called social inhibition gets in the way which is why I let myself get frustrated and blow up periodically. Take my ramblings as you will.

Yes it's largely a process of taking away, and facial expressions are a bad way to characterize emotion for a number of reasons that I can't get into because late (it's the same as why a character can't have physical sex appeal in prose in the same way he or she can in image). Your prose is really pillowy, saying the same thing, repeating things, wasting motion. And Twilight just found out that somepony wanted to kill one of her best friends. Wouldn't she be at least a little out of sorts?

Ah logic? and connection to the topic? tricky

My point is your ability to judge stories is (like that of everyone who doesn't specifically practice for it) limited by your own tastes and skill - and I don't think you're an outlier their either. Your comments on "The Mill" were particularly... close-minded in that way - and I feel representative of the close-mindedness of readers (PR and otherwise) in general.

I don't think you're capable of appreciating subtle points of execution that you're bad at. It's certainly my error to attempt to "school you" at something I'm bad at myself. (And while I fixed that horribly bad "who," I introduced an ambiguous "she" in one of mine. I hope you see it, I really do.)

Telling and appreciating stories is like playing and appreciating music. There are skills to both and separate skills for creation and appreciation of both, too. I believe a system that not only judges stories from one persons perspective only but then proceeds to dictate corrections from that position of power is horribly broken. IIt gives bad advice, something I've known for months - you don't have to spend long in TTG to see. It very well might halt your development as a reader as well.

In fact, I recommend dropping by TTG. Take some time and really think about your colleagues' R/R notes - not just a once-over like you might do now but head over to TTG and try to fix broken stories. My personal favorite quoted historical facts about the Wright brothers as a reason to reject a story about magical ponies.

Really. Worst note ever. It should have been honest and said the story was boring and likely impossible to fix.

Or to turn Anon's point around, I really do think "suck less, guys" would make better rejection notes because they demand the author do the research to figure out what went wrong. At the very least they won't be misleading.
>> No. 106468
Yes, because giving rejections without reasons is really going to help soothe the anger of all those people who accuse us of being arbitrary.
>> No. 106469
Ach, I misread it.

My advice to PRs:

Embrace the fact that you can't be both gatekeepers and editors at the same time. An editor must see all the flaws and believe in the possibility of perfection.

A gatekeeper must accept that real storycraft (opposed to ideal) is tradeoffs and imperfection (like wine and romantic partners to paraphrase Samurai), that there will always be an element of arbitrariness* in decisions (which can be reduced only at the cost of more eyeballs per submission), and that the next story on the queue is on average better than a bad story in front of you.

*the word "objective" makes me scream

Or simply, suck less.
>> No. 106473
I'm not entirely sure what you mean. We're not editors. We don't try to be editors. The only reason stories get anything more than a "Yes" or "No" answer is because authors will complain if we turn them down without a reason. Some pre-readers do this in a sentence, some do it in 1000 words. But our purpose is not to help author's improve their work, which I believe is the definition of editing.

We accept that there is imperfection in all stories, but that doesn't mean we don't want the ones that come our way to be as good as they can possibly be.
>> No. 106480
File 133956240547.jpg - (61.24KB , 800x505 , 6e78e78ca12fff2ca4cd6bceef71f240[1].jpg )
>I don't think anyone can do EqD's job (appeasing the masses) better than EqD without being EqD.
>But I do believe there is a future EqD that can be a better EqD by doing things differently than the current EqD, and while I don't have all the answers, I'd like to be a helpful thorn in the side.
I don't necessarily follow all of the arguments being made here, but this sentiment? I can respect the shit outta this.

>Or to turn Anon's point around, I really do think "suck less, guys" would make better rejection notes because they demand the author do the research to figure out what went wrong. At the very least they won't be misleading.
I mean, according to this thread and TTG, PRs do occasionally send these, right? "This has a ton of grammatical errors and needs a lot of fixing up. Take it to the TTG before resubmitting." And then from there, /fic/ reviewers give the author a better sense of whether the fic can be salvaged, or if it should just be chalked up as a learning experience. Along your point of PRs serving as gatekeepers, I suspect that keeping the R/R more to the form of "you have overarching issues of A, B, and C", and letting /fic/ do the nitty-gritty, is probably in everyone's best interest. By keeping the R/R broad—as long as the PRs are willing to defend/discuss it, which they always seem to be, at least on here—it's easier to defend the rejection, especially when someone on TTG can find 20 instances of A, B, and C at a cursory glance.


Semi-related question for PRs: I get the sense that if a fic comes back for multiple strikes, standard practice is that it just bounces around to whichever PR is free atm. For the sake of consistency (i.e. >>106373), what are your thoughts on having the PR who gets the first revision "owning" that fic through each of its subsequent revisions? That PR could still consult with other PRs to get extra opinions, but in the end, the PR who "owns" the fic would get the final judgment. It would lead to less second-opinion surprises like >>106373. Would a change like this totally fubar the queue times?
>> No. 106481

Glad you enjoyed the kettle corn.

As a note to you all:
I personally think that there is a system. The system works and the majority of people are happy with it. However, like all things in life, there are people who aren't happy with it.

Then, we have the few people, and I'm sure it's not hard to guess who I'm referring to, who are trying to make a system that makes everyone happy. The problem is, this aforementioned person is doing so without realizing that it is impossible to make a system everyone will like. At some point, you have to stop trying and say, "I'm just wasting my time right now. The majority of the people like this system and the ones who don't are free to try and find one to their liking."

That's it folks. Take my opinion as you will.

Also adding to the inventory: Skittles, chocolate milk. Help yourself.
>> No. 106482
I think part of the problem with some "sub-par" pre-readers is that they were grandfathered in from the time that Seth needed just about anyone to simply read whatever got submitted. I for one would welcome a pre-reader purge and re-instatement of the competent ones.
>> No. 106485
It's not an official policy, but generally the first pre-reader that reviews a story sticks with it throughout the rest of the submissions. We don't make it a set rule, though, because frankly there's no way to enforce it. Also, it would certainly be hell on the turnaround time for resubmitted fics.

Thank you, sir. Chocolate milk sounds awesome right about now.
>> No. 106491
>PR messages with suggestions
>PRs do occasionally send these
As far as I've seen, almost all do.

>what are your thoughts on having the PR who gets the first revision "owning" that fic through each of its subsequent revisions?
I'm personally behind that. Aside from explicit requests for second opinions, which I imagine isn't all that rare.

>from there, /fic/ reviewers give the author a better sense of whether the fic can be salvaged, or if it should just be chalked up as a learning experience. Along your point of PRs serving as gatekeepers, I suspect that keeping the R/R more to the form of "you have overarching issues of A, B, and C", and letting /fic/ do the nitty-gritty, is probably in everyone's best interest.
>> No. 106496
File 133956947906.jpg - (119.15KB , 774x600 , rainbowdash.jpg )
You know, I read through this entire thing, and I thought I'd be mad about something. Eustatian practically telling the prereaders what to do. Some of the prereaders being incompetent and bad at their job. Some authors wanting to reform the system because it doesn't fit their vision. But you know what? I'm not mad. I don't think I can be mad any more, not here. I can certainly be mad when ponies are jerks to the prereaders for no reason. I can be mad when a good story is poorly executed simply because the author lacks the will.

However, all I feel right now is disappointment. The system works well enough. It can be optimized, yes, but I also see the diligent ponies working as prereaders trying to do that as best they can. So can we, and I mean everyone here anons, prereaders, and Eustatian alike, please stop squabbling over petty, insignificant details and try working together please? Working as friends is always more effective than antagonizing the ponies you want to help.
>> No. 106497
You're still off in looking at my characterization. Twilight freaked the fuck out at the end of chapter seven. You mentioned not having exposition at the start so I figured you had read from there but you haven't. She freaks right the fuck out.

I've been around the WTG back when it was doing prompts weekly and look at reviews often (lots of prereaders give them and I'm friends with people like Snarkle already), but I don't aim to review. I don't give the 1k long reviews, I give a list of issues that is halting a fic from passing. While I'm sure my prose could be improved, the very same could be said for any piece of literature that's been finished.

I do wish we would stop talking about my fic now since it has absolutely nothing to do with this topic, as I don't give reviews.
>> No. 106506
File 133958527115.png - (28.85KB , 500x517 , Purple_Pussy_Make_Everyone_Die.png )
What the hay you two are talking about? Nines, your writing sucks; Eustatian you aren't actually talking about anything relevant? Does that sum it up?

Consider the following:
>pic related
That's what happens when you take all this too seriously. Also, working with the pre-readers would mean they would become pre-readers or something? I mean, /fic/ is the closes thing I can think of working with the pre-readers and I recall them saying they couldn't even officially link them in EqD. Or talk about them. Or help them at all. Point is, how would working together even look like? What would the goal be?

Don't take things too seriously, don't take EqD too seriously, and all will be good.

I was asking a question, I don't want no sudden upheaval for no reason. Plus, what standard would you use for that anyway? The public pre-readers for the most part don't actually fulfill the requirements for being pre-readers, but a good deal of them know what they are doing for the most part. How would you deal with them?

That's a terrible way to look at things. That's basically asking everyone to stop trying to improve things, which is just as stupid as it could possibly get. People were quite happy with the horse, then a better alternative came along and replaced it. Same with everything. Now, if they can actually make it better is not really my point, because I don't really have a way of improving it short of doing something I don't want them to do. I just felt like pointing out how stupid your comment was.

At this point I have no idea what are you going on about. Keep in mind I'm on your side.

The nature of the job means you kind of are. I mean, pre-reader roulette thing above(below?)?

But we were talking about their critiques, in normal English you have to establish when a new thing is spoken about rather than just throwing it out there and hoping people catch your meaning. That means that is terrible English.

Nice. I guess I can give it a try if it comes out some time soon, otherwise I think I will just not care. Sorry, it is a good story and all, but I frankly don't feel like re-reading it to get back to understand the thing.

I see the emails themselves, you can actually go and ask people in FiMfiction and they will show them to you without much issue.

Do you know the statement "use it or lose it?" I don't care what it is, if you don't actually do something for a long period of time in one way or another, you will lose ability with it. Reading and grammar rules are no different. I still hang out with my chess buddies, but I certainly can't play at the same level that I used to. I don't see how that is so illogical when a person hasn't done a single one in months. I was joking about the book club thing, but yeah...
>> No. 106514
Clearly the solution is an EqD pre-reader rejection review thread, where fic reviewers can review and if necessary reject the rejections of fics reviewed for EqD by the pre-readers to determine which reviews come from pre-readers that the other pre-readers should reject because their reviews were rejected in the rejection review thread.
>> No. 106516

Okay, okay. Hold the phone.

Why do you keep bringing my story up?! I see nothing close-minded in Nines comments on it. Blunt, honest criticism? Sure, but not "closed-mindedness."

Continue your feud if you must, but please refrain from bringing "The Mill" up. I'd prefer to not have a fucking target painted on my back over your drama.
>> No. 106517
This would interesting to watch. I have no idea who would do it, but it would be interesting to watch.

>I'd prefer to not have a fucking target painted on my back over your drama.
What does this even mean? Who will have a target now? Why would you have a target? A target for whom? I think you are making pre-readers sound a bit too petty.
>> No. 106520
File 133960220447.png - (36.52KB , 263x200 , Stopit.png )
Dammit... little late to the party.

But for future shitstorms, remember this picture.
>> No. 106521
File 133960287217.gif - (475.13KB , 500x273 , catch 22.gif )

This is actually more appropriate.
>> No. 106523
File 133960337912.gif - (1.07MB , 302x201 , CoolStory.gif )

Love you, Anon.

But seriously, it's that type of attitude that gets people blacklisted. Or beat up. Or just generally hated.
>> No. 106524
File 133960366140.jpg - (18.30KB , 299x225 , 1322149814316.jpg )
Would this be more appropriate?
>> No. 106525
File 133960388643.png - (52.31KB , 300x153 , Goingon.png )

Hehe... change 'nerd' to 'internet' and it would be perfect along with an offer to serve everyone some ice cream or something.

This picture would be even more appropriate.
>> No. 106527
File 133960478873.gif - (477.74KB , 499x371 , internetfight.gif )
>this is now appropriate discussion image thread?
>> No. 106528
File 133960491683.gif - (966.78KB , 300x168 , AbandonThreadHolmes.gif )

Only because it's on sage and the storm has passed.
>> No. 106529
File 133960493110.gif - (0.97MB , 250x271 , 1321541949391.gif )
>Theoretically, there is still discussion going on, here is the last relevant post.

>> No. 106531
File 133960511908.gif - (849.82KB , 509x344 , 1337900379468.gif )
Honour and curiosity demands it: size of your reaction folders?

>> No. 106532

92 give or take about a dozen that I couldn't use without giving myself up or aren't really reactions so much as content.

That's not including my pony reaction folder of 104.

And then I have reaction images floating around in various files. So... give or take 210ish in all?

Anyways, I'm off to take a nap. Be back in 2 hours.
>> No. 106542
File 133961383249.jpg - (53.49KB , 741x487 , user29636_pic24344_1324550692.jpg )
>Wasn't sure if I should use xzibit reaction image or "that is my fetish" reaction image. Eventually decided on former.
>> No. 106543
File 133961397640.jpg - (23.06KB , 499x307 , PonyXzibit.jpg )

Take this and go with... well... go with something
>> No. 106548
Exactly. And if we stopped doing what we do in favor of just saying "No" when we reject something, we'd look even more arbitrary.
>> No. 106550
File 133961597232.gif - (384.77KB , 186x234 , wqtc3.gif )
>still the last actual point... I think.


Not saying that you won't, just pointing out that it's a losing battle cause of the way the thing works out.
>> No. 106555
Jesus fuck what happened to this thread I closed it when it was suggested I make more direct disagreements with the PR. That didn't go well but anyways.

Thanks for the critique but I'm going to keep writing From Scratch because I want to. It's a project I took up as it was something I wanted to write. I mostly got harassed into submitting it to EQD in the first place. I'm not too fussed with the fact that it got rejected just more of the way in which it was rejected.

I'm tempted to weigh in on this PR but I'll pass.
>> No. 106560
File 133962073860.jpg - (19.78KB , 217x208 , 131388417785.jpg )
This book apparently got opened.
>> No. 106585
Last night was a performance of "Opinion Unexpected." I played the villain of the piece: the holder of the unexpected opinion.

I don't actually have a problem with Nines, I don't actually think he can't write, I mean, gosh, I only skimmed a couple thousand words before shooting my mouth off. That was the part: I wasn't allowed to fold no matter how bad the opinion.

As an actor, I thank him for playing the hero beyond my expectations, especially without seeing the script or rehearsing the part at all. +9000 respect.

As the title suggests, this play begins with an unexpected opinion. Like many improvs, the ending is open.

I'd like to share my interpretation:

There are two kinds of opinion: (in my opinion)
- Opinion of quality: is this good?
- Opinion for improvement: how can this be better?

and to illustrate the difference here's a little metaphor:

It's the highschool dance and there's this one girl whose cute and funny and a real pleasure to be around. All the guys want to dance a song with her and you know what, she loves to dance, too. Only problem is this shindig is a total sausagefest and she's gonna have to disappoint a lot of guys.

OoQ: She only dances with the well dressed guys.
OfQ: She insists on fidgeting with every lapel in the room.

Arbitrary and mysterious are attractive. Justifying Opinion of Quality weakens it. Or in short:

Vimbert, I'd rather have you as my mother than my girlfriend.


Short note:

Note that where things really blew up was when I started critiquing for improvement. This is not an accident. Confrontational or high-stakes interactions are a poor place for CfI - it simply becomes too polluted with the dynamics of the situation or relationship.

You might reasonably say that PR opinion isn't unsolicited. That's half right. Anyone who submits to EqD should reasonably expect Opinion of Quality. But the presence of the other kind of opinion is the opening line of this nasty little improv play and it happens again and again every day.


And where do I stand, myself not the villain of the story?

First, I want people to understand the issue, the complex mechanism of how EqD hurts feelings. Author's pride is quite complex.

Second, by making this confrontational, I've lost my standing to make real Criticism for Improvement.
But then again, I don't ever really have that power until I am specifically asked for it.

Third, I think Razed's comment is the saddest in the thread and begs for resolution.

Fourth, yes, I understand that I've pretty much burnt my chances of ever having something approved under this name. I certainly hope I've opened minds.
>> No. 106586
File 133962804823.gif - (491.07KB , 200x200 , eric_wareheim mind explosion animated.gif )
>> No. 106593
So you were trying to manipulate people? I know of a single psychopath in /fic/, I'm pretty sure it is not you.

If you weren't, that's a shitty way to make a point.
>> No. 106596
File 133963528274.png - (112.24KB , 500x393 , triptych.png )
>Fourth, yes, I understand that I've pretty much burnt my chances of ever having something approved under this name. I certainly hope I've opened minds.

No. No, you haven't, because at large, the pre-readers judge the STORY, and not the AUTHOR, and I, for one, would appreciate the constant insinuations otherwise cease.
>> No. 106605
File 133963657187.jpg - (39.68KB , 704x528 , 1338249888392.jpg )

>Q: Do you ban/blacklist authors?
>A: No. However, in cases where authors have been particularly rude to us or the blogponies, we generally wait for some sort of apology before looking at their work again.
>> No. 106606
File 133963707258.png - (210.64KB , 616x1024 , Lol_I_Troll_U.png )
>> No. 106610
'at large', and 'particularly rude'. Trust me, he has nothing to worry about as far as the 'particularly rude' bit goes. He, at least, has neither threatened us nor made outright claims of mental, moral, or sexual deviancy in public about us.
>> No. 106611
File 133963757559.jpg - (19.14KB , 300x393 , 133883183126.jpg )
Suddendly, everyone is anon. What gives?

>Was anon before it was cool.
>Actually, was anon before everyone pussied out, but that's just, like, my opinion man.
>> No. 106614
File 133963836817.jpg - (8.05KB , 354x354 , 1337192855930.jpg )

You rejectd my story cause the plot was bad? You don't knw who yu are messing with, so do yourself a favor and keep your mouth shut unless you want to die. Next time you think about saying something like that to me I want you to remember one thing. I know the guy that created google maps and I can locate you in the time it took me to type this.Don't want anymore problems....didn't think so faggots. You have any idea what gorilla warfare is? I do, I was in the US Marine Core and I perfected it. I'm fully capable of using it on you motherfuckers. Do you know the dander you're in if I find you? I am 100$ serious. Bunch of god damn faggot stuffy librarians here and I will not have it. At least I've had healthy relationships, not being a scat bitch, and gotten a pulbitzer, and pubish unlike you fucked up pieces of unliterate SHIT!

>Trying too hard?

In all seriousness, this whole thing is retarded. Unless you have a better system than EqD, shut your trap and take it like the good bended-over stump you are compared to pre-readers, who might be as shitty as you but they matter, you don't.
>> No. 106621

You're right. I shouldn't have made implications. I believe if I manage to earn a blacklisting, I'll hear about it.

But on the other hand, I don't like to trust anyone's subconscious, not even my own. Can I share a story there?

I recently bought a Nook and I load it from FiMFiction. As it happens, the default interface doesn't show the author's name from epub files.

I also happen to be biased against a handful of authors for almost-completely petty reasons - and I won't name names because they don't deserve the infamy. Consciously and rationally, and I don't want to hold anything against those authors (well, except for one). But at the same time I know that I evaluate by gut.

Well anyway, I was impressed by a story. So impressed that I asked "who wrote this; it sounds like X..." I opened the properties page. "Oh, it is X, but I didn't think X could write like that..." Could I be that open-minded knowing the author's identity?

I honestly don't know. I hope so, but I can't think of a way to test. In the end, I'm more comfortable author-blind.

(Brief insinuation) I'll take a guess at why EqD asks for pen names and e-mails: You need to contact and occasionally even credit people. Evil!

So, I'll continue to to write under this name. I like being a cantankerous loose cannon, and I'll trust all you guys to continue to shoot down my stories on their own demerits (loose canon?) and not my cantankerousness*. I don't like how clumsy I am with people's feelings and I apologize for that.

(*next plot bunny is really cool and I can hardly wait to write it)
>> No. 106652
>> No. 106662
What's going on in this thread now that it warrants so many post-autosage posts?...
>> No. 106671
New thread is up

>> No. 106679
File 133964888412.png - (37.74KB , 480x403 , mlfw2506-fluttershylookofdisappr[1].png )
Shitty, yet oddly poignant. I think.

Ah well, new thread. Goodnight, sweet prince.
>> 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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