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111783 No. 111783
#Collection #Contest #HAADO GAY WOOOO
STORIES HERE: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/38855/MINIFIC-MAYHEM

STORIES IN PLAIN TEXT HERE: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BwZA5uM12MBlYWx0dEhBRVZfMU0

VOTING FORM HERE: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHg5UEZwTy0zT2tndzFRUlc1aEZHcUE6MQ

What up my ponies? WE HAVE GONE LIVE, THAT'S WHAT! The minifics in all their restrictive, condensed mininess are now on FimFiction for your perusal. A few entries stealthed in literally at the last minute.

Now is the part where you, the unwashed masses, get to have an impact on who wins the FABULOUS 10 DOLLAR VALUE PRIZES. Go and read these fics. Read the everloving [yay] out of them. Then tell the judges how you felt about them with the handy dandy voting form. Comments and feedback on the fics are strongly encouraged; half the point of this contest is as a way for the entrants to improve their writing. Plus, don't you want the authors to hear what you thought of their work?

As I've said (multiple times, pay attention, geez), The standouts will be considered finalists and a winner and runner-up will be chosen from among them. The top score will be an automatic winner! Even if we elitists on this side disagree with the voters, getting readers to love you does and should matter.

Enjoy the fics, please leave comments, and have fun!
29 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 112305

Um, I have an opinion about those.

They're the very short ones, right?

I actually hated them. Look at Infiltration, look at At Day's End, look at In Need of Healing. These are stories crammed into 400 words, not just a short, bland moment that happens to involve the prompt.

No matter how amusing of an idea it is to name a baby Dubstep.

Who was the surrogate father anyway? And who was the one who had to go through childbirth?
>> No. 112306
Anyway. Author of Descent and Invisible Warfare here. I'd like to hear opinions on them, I don't care from who. Just thoughts, why you liked or didn't like them, they are minifics after all.
>> No. 112315
No one's left any thoughts on my stories. I wouldn't mind hearing from you about them.

I'll be honest: Descent struck me as odd, as if it was trying to be a contemplative thing. It didn't make much sense to me, and I had a hard time finding something to enjoy about it. Invisible Warfare seemed a crossover fic with The Matrix, but the allusion that the protagonist was disabled is interesting. I didn't feel like I was being drawn into anything, though, and too much was left unsaid.
>> No. 112317

I... don't understand how anyone would draw any conclusion from that except that it was Screwball
>> No. 112319
Oh, I totally understand that it's Screwball, but I just couldn't see what the point was.
>> No. 112320

It's her going crazy. Or being mind-raped. It's someone turning into her.

Anyway, if you didn't like it you didn't like it. I'm not terribly upset about these not doing well.
>> No. 112321
Le-sigh. Unless there are quite a few folks voting and not commenting, this is having a poor turnout. I fear that at this rate, some stories will be looked at only twice, or once, or maybe a few not at all!

I'm gonna scramble through these now and dump some quick thoughts.
>> No. 112324
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Of the three you mentioned, In Need of Healing was the only good one. At Close of Day is not a story, it's just two characters talking with a cheap twist ending and Infiltration would've been better without the word limit.

I asked for a review, not "did you like them?" Just telling me that you hated them, won't help me to improve.

Oh, you're the one who wrote those two walls of text? I couldn't even finish those.

I loved The Balcony, but I figured out the twist in Big Mac Gets a Date pretty quickly.
>> No. 112326
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Seriously though, expand on Infiltration. 400 words isn't enough for us to really care about OCs.
>> No. 112327

It's not that I hated your prose or whatever, I just thought they lacked meaning. You just wrote really obvious interpretations of the prompts starring Tavia and Scratch who are a couple. Sorry, I don't mean any offense, it's just that I don't get why they're entertaining or meaningful.
>> No. 112329
Short reactions and arbitrary 0-10 (based on expectations of microfics, not ordinary expectations) scores GO! Also... ignoring errors unless really egregious because for some reason most of them seem to have a few. Really, how hard is it to stamp errors out of a 400 word piece? (This is your invitation to yell at me for the errors that undoubtedly snuck into mine)

Big Mac Gets a Date - Decent enough, if a bit lacking. Yes, you do only get 400 words, but pulling off exactly ONE thing does you no favors, especially when that one thing isn't particularly interesting. 3/10
Infiltration - Actually pretty smooth and enjoyable. 8/10
Vinyl is Toast - Nah. This accomplishes even less than BMGaD. 2/10
Twilight's Guts - Once again, the one thing. This one was interesting (as Pinkie's ideas tend to be) but a bit out there. I can't actually see Pinkie doing that. 3/10
Typical Pinkie... Or is it? - I'm not sure I understand. Really pretty lolwut material here. 3/10
One Truth - I like that you were willing to try something interesting, but by trying to "distill" The Matrix into something so tiny, you've actually just done a barebones compression of it that lost the magic of the original. 5/10
I Miss You - Hmm... not sure. I liked it more than most of these, but I can't really point out anything it did particularly well. 6/10
Not That Kind of Service - Have you ever seen "The Room?" The first part of this (as if it were even possible to talk about PARTS of these little things!) feels like the flower shop scene. That's not a good thing. 3/10
Midnight Feeding - I'm starting to feel like a jerk for putting so many of these down. Please don't hate me? This one is pointless. Really. Nothing happens. At all. 1/10
Out of Context - Here we go, this one was pretty neat. The beginning part was a bit weird and I thought you were going to pull an unusual style (that might have worked), but then you snapped out to ordinary dialogue. Regardless, fun enough. 7/10
Into the Sky - This was pretty well written for the constraints. I think I would've really enjoyed a more traditionally sized oneshot based on this. 8/10

Sorry about that. I'm not sure if I'm being mean or overly critical or if these stories all suck or what. Maybe I just don't have much appreciation for microfics? I feel like the ones I liked would've been better as larger works, but then the rest were... eh. I'm honestly not even sure what I should be looking for when trying to judge these, so all I can really say is what I felt.
>> No. 112332
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No, I haven't seen The Room.

I admit that, in hindsight, Midnight Feeding is the worst one I submitted. Originally it was going to be longer, but I've never been a parent so...

> I feel like the ones I liked would've been better as larger works,
That's how I felt too. This is why all mine were attempts at humor. I knew I didn't have enough time for an actual story with a beginning a middle and an end, so I just went for sketch comedy.

But sadly, my understanding of how comedy works in prose is... lacking.
>> No. 112334
Random comments:

At End Of Day: I liked this a lot. It had a nice atmosphere, its flow and such were good, and it's an interesting premise, which is more than a lot of these can say. I'll give this a 3 or 4.

Big Mac Gets a Date: This isn't interesting at all. Obvious use of prompt, only manages to say something really simple. 1.

The Play's the Thing: Author, I want you to write this fic three more times, each time with a different incident that Twilight has to apologize for. This is glorious. 5.

Typical Pinkie... Or is it?: This one just kind of made me groan at the forced humor until I realized the trick. This is a double use of the prompt. It's about the knife, and THEN it's about a second surprise at the end--it's not what the READER thinks it looks like! I'll give this a 3 or 4, I can't decide.

Not That Kind of Service: An ultra-obvious use of the prompt without anything else going for it. 0.

Absolutely Anonymous: A trollfic at its finest, because it isn't a trollfic. Right down to the wordcount. I would've scored this down for just being amusing and meta without any real meat to it, but it has a punchline that works well, so it gets a 3.

Journey to the City of Fire: And this is meta done not-so-well. I don't understand this one, sorry. I'm giving it a 1 because it wasn't completely banal, just strange. Whatever point it's making, it kinda didn't.

Vinyl is Toast: The <200 word TaviScratch ones have got to be by the same author. I'm not going to comment on them; the same complaints apply.

One Truth: Cute idea, but some things about this are making my eyes burn. You have rocky scene transitions that threaten to obscure the point of the story. Still, creative use of prompt and amusing punch line. 3.

Encoded: First, what the hay does the title mean? Second, is anything happening besides the obvious? 0 because I liked the writing and such but this just isn't communicating a thing to me.

In Need of Healing: This is pretty fantastic actually. It's got nice imagery, it gives us nice details about the character, and the ending twist is built up very nicely. 5 just for being IMO a clear standout.
>> No. 112335

Unfortunately, nobody seems interested in commenting/critiquing. I'm running this so I can say that... not many people are voting either... Maybe people don't want to read this many things even if the wordcounts are small.
>> No. 112336
For Science - Okay. I may not have liked the ending much, but I can respect this enough. It built up a lil' mystery with a payoff that wasn't out of left field. It feels more... constructed. 5/10
Forever Dummy - This is the first one where I have no idea what the prompt connection is supposed to be. I also don't know what the title is getting at. I also feel like the conclusion wasn't satisfying. But! But but but! I smiled at Twilight's thoughts on Lyra's face. One positive trait for any of these is going to end up being worth a lot. 6/10
Voices at the Pool - These Tavi/Scratch things are very dry and lacking. They quickly set the stage to fulfill a prompt, do that with one or two lines of extraneous dialogue, and then leave. I can't really find anything in these to speak positively about. They're just... empty. 2/10
Half-Baked Musings - Okay. I think this is the first example of what these are probably supposed to look like. It doesn't fall flat on its face, nor does it make me thirst for more and get upset that it's only a micro. Set stage, do the obvious next step, conclude with something interesting, and make each sentence fun to read. If I'm judging these by how good they are as complete micro packages and not just the premise and execution, this is probably the winner so far. 9/10
Encoded - Mine, can't actually give unbiased opinion. I'll instead just say that I regret choosing this title instead of a different one I could have used.
The Apple of my Red Eyes - See now this one actually gets some points for doing something. I didn't get to the end and feel nothing. You took the prompt and did something fun with it. It wasn't actually clever being so incredibly literal, but it was fun. Not what it looks like indeed. 6/10
The Balcony - Torn here. I want to score it well, but I am not a fan of shipping out of the blue like that. But that isn't fair to you, because in only 400 words there isn't much room for shipping to come out of. You sorta have to assume it's already there. This is the score I have the least confidence in so far. I think it should probably be higher. 6/10
Playing Dress-Up - This feels like I think microfics are probably supposed to feel. Points for that. I do subtract a little though on the lead-up to the ending. It could stand to be a little more clear. 7/10
To Those Who Wait - Once again, structured more as I feel these should be. This, however, loses even more points than the last on the ending, though this time not for lack of clarity but lack of consistent quality. The beginning was so much better than the end. 6/10
The Voice of Reason - Daww... once again, the structure I thought would be more prevalent. But now it is? Just all the stories in the first batch were different? Whatever. Yes. This. Tied for victory. 9/10
At Close of Day - Oh my yes. Stunning. Exemplary. Even the twist, which usually in something this short feels cheap and could probably have been un-twisted without hurting anything. This one, though? Loved it. 10/10

Alright. I feel better now that I'm giving a lot of higher scores, but still I'm not sure I'm doing this right. There has to be more than one way to write a microfic, why do I only seem to be accepting of one type? Maybe if I actually spent some time with these instead of just running for the goal and trying to look at them all...
>> No. 112339
A Tight Spot - So very obvious, and yet executed well enough to rise above that. 7/10
In Need of Healing - Another one I thought I liked, but that feels like it would've been better longer. Maybe not a full length thing, but more than it was here. Maybe one or two thousand words could do it? Eh. 6/10
Absolutely Anonymous - This one knows EXACTLY what it's doing, and it does it flawlessly. You have earned your way into the ring for second place, and your odds are good. 9/10
The Night Watch - Alright. Without being explicitly funny or sad or d'aww or anything of the sort, this one still was very enjoyable. Good show. 8/10
Treehouse of Horror - A bit TOO reliant on the gimmick at the end. Everything up until that was basically grimderp. Still, I see what you went for and I will reward you for it. 7/10
Descent - Another like the earlier crop that does exactly one thing, and that one thing not being all that entertaining. 3/10
Invisible Warfare - Very much enjoyed the beginning, not quite as much the end, and then left wanting more - in a bad way. Another victim of better-as-a-longer-piece-itis. 6/10
Journey to the City of Fire - Incorrect meta. Show don't tell. Nothing happens on camera. 3/10
Daring Do Revolution - Does one thing, not particularly interesting. 3/10
The Play's the Thing - I... may have to retract my statement about the winner. Brilliant. Enormous smile. It's gonna be hard to pick between the two. 10/10

And that's it. I'll think over these scores a little more, adjust them a tad, smoosh them into the 0-5 scale, and send off my ratings in just a minute. See how quickly that went? It's not hard. More of you need to do the same; we can't have a proper contest if nobody votes!
>> No. 112341
Okay, scores tweaked, vote sent. I apologize for my harshness toward some of these.

My own story got a zero from me because there is no "don't vote" button. Don't count that one. I'm a bit sad that Tactical also gave it a zero, but both options (way too obvious and way too obscure) are worthy of that. After results are in, I'll say what it was.

Also gave a zero to Fallout Dashie 3: Past Sins of the Cupcake Bureau * PART 2: WHAT MUST BE DONE for obvious reasons. Totally count that one. Any zeros I gave other than Encoded are valid.

I think I've taken sufficient steps to mask my identity, but there's not actually enough meat in any of these to play the author guessing game, so it doesn't matter.

Ramble ramble ramble tired sleep.
>> No. 112344
What could have made it more interesting?

Never cared for your opinion anyway. Would've been nice if you said something contructive.

Any other thoughts? I was thinking about expanding this, using it in another story.
>> No. 112349
Alright, here’s a quick mini-review (read: near stream-of-consciousness first impressions) of all the minifics besides my own. Read on at own risk: any potential spoilers will be unmarked.

Big Mac Gets a Date
It certainly followed the prompt, but there wasn’t anything which really stood out about it. It did one thing, did it okay-like, and ended. The story, the images, the characterization, nothing struck me, and none will likely be sticking with me. As for another note on the dialogue, the Apple family accent orthographic representation was… excessive. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, so maybe others were not so bothered by it.

The only line I think I enjoyed was the last, as it injected a bit of humor into a rather dry story. Anyway, I had no clue what was going on. There’s minimal context, no reveal, no real enumeration. I suppose the intent was for the reader to fill in the blanks and come to their own conclusions? While a certain amount of that is fine, here it just seems lazy. Maybe narrowing down the scheme of the fic would have allowed for more contextualization? Anyway, it had an interesting premise, but not enough for me to really enjoy it.

Vinyl is Toast
Alright, first thing I can say about this one is: Where’s the meat? The second thing is: That’s one powerful toaster! There really isn’t anything to comment on, however. It’s a scene, we see a little characterization for Octavia and Vinyl, and then it’s over. I mean, it’s not even a pun or anything, just slapstick. I could see this fitting in a larger fic somewhere, but alone it doesn’t have anything compelling to it.

Twilight's Guts
The first sentence is awkwardly worded. I only point this out because it’s the first sentence, and seeing a mistake right out of the gate is either an automatic turn off or serious red flag for me. Maybe you were going for something poetic? The whole fic was disconcerting. The imagery sounded very similar to one of the examples in ‘How to Disembowel a Pony.’ Other than that… uh, “wat” would be very appropriate. This felt like one long WTF moment. No much to say. Maybe I just didn’t “get” it, but there wasn’t anything I found worthwhile.

Typical Pinkie... Or is it?
HUH? I—I… what? Didn’t get a feel for this one at all. It felt like a crackfic with nothing else going for it except shock value, except it isn’t very shocking. Besides making me recoil with a grimace on my face, this entry didn’t really do much for me.

One Truth
I must not have gotten the joke (if there was one). It starts of with humans, does nothing of value with them except a little psychological babble that doesn’t end up amounting to anything. Then ponies. Then end. That’s how it felt reading through it. Not only did the pony element feel extraneous, the other 90% of it felt completely pointless!

I Miss You
Reading through it, I thought this was a rather stalker-ish Twilight doing God-knows-what in the Apples’ home. I can’t tell if the reveal (I really should have seen it coming, but that particular piece of canon slipped my mind) made Twi more or less stalker-ish. Overall, it was kinda-sorta decent, I suppose? There was a tinge of sweetness, but it felt more like an artificial sugar kind of sweetness: it was faint and tasted unnatural.

Not That Kind of Service
Okay? Wait, was that it? Ugh, again, there isn’t anything really to comment on. There’s some okay characterization of Tavi and Scratch, but there isn’t a story. The humor is just… meh.

Midnight Feeding
Ow… twang of pain in my brain for that one. This is a token review, since the author has stepped forward to say that they had written all of the TaviScratch fics. They’re all pretty much homogenous.

Out of Context
Interesting? I don’t know, but the characterization of Dash seemed a bit off. I never really thought of her as quite that brash. Since the title sort of explains which trope this piece is working off, I guess I understand it a bit more than I normally would.

For Science!
It was weird. The last line gave me a nice little chuckle, though, so I guess it was worth a read. However, my brain still can’t quite process whatever went on in the preceding paragraphs.

Forever Dummy
I neither play bridge nor know anything about it. It was okay as piece about Dash trying to play cards, but I feel I’m missing something by not knowing much about the game. It was very… meh. There wasn’t much going for this piece, and I don’t think it did anything well which stood out.

Voices at the Pool
This feels like it sort of has an arch to it (albeit an incomplete or weak one). It’s kind of humorous, though no more than the ones before. I’m partial to the aesthetics of swimming pools at night, so I probably enjoyed this a fraction more, if for that reason alone.
>> No. 112350
Halfed-Baked Musings
Well, that was dark and thematically existential. It’s humorous… in a really skin-crawling kind of way. Its premise is brain-melting, but that’s… an unfortunate side effect. Not much else I can say on it.

You have an interesting premise. However, it feels like the tag-line/synopsis of a longer work. Nice prose. Other than that, not much here struck me as being really good or really bad.

The Apple of my Red Eyes
This one made me want to through things at you, Author.

The Balcony
I’m sorry, but I couldn’t judge this objectively as I don’t like overt shipping. I’m fine with friendshipping, or really, really subtle stuff, but I just couldn’t like this one. As for my other subjective thoughts about this one aren’t very informative, so I’ll exclude them.

Playing Dress-Up
Being right after ‘The Balcony’ probably really helped this piece look better to me. The subtlety is just right for me to like it. Rarity didn’t come off as stalkerish, and Pinkie seemed in character. It gave me that twinge in the heart that I didn’t allow myself in the previous work.

To Those Who Wait
I think this one actually gave me shudders (and not the good kind). I mean, really? Twilight’s basically been drugging her friend, and she wins her over anyway? That feels somehow wrong to me. Again, there’s some serious bias on my part regarding shipping, but this went beyond that, I think.

The Voice of Reason
This piece put a grin on my face. It was lighthearted and had a sincere sweetness. I might like this work more simply because, if the title is anything to go by, it’s a matter of Enlightenment vs. Romanticism, with the latter winning over in the end. Admittedly, it had a rocky start, but by the end was in full stride.

At Close of Day
This would have to be the fic I second-most enjoyed. It didn’t have much to it, but what it did have it did pretty well. Luna was probably OOC, but I think it was an acceptable, and well-used, break from canon.

A Tight Spot
With one of the prompts being what it was, I suppose I should have expected a ship tease (Big Mac’s doesn’t count). However, I didn’t find the ending funny. Granted, I don’t have a good sense of humor, but that was the only thing going for it—the humor.

In Need of Healing
This made the contest worth reading all the way through, for me. I liked this. My eyes might even have watered. You, dear author, have given me something that I won’t soon carelessly toss out. You, dear author, have given me a feel(ing).

Absolutely Anonymous
Commendable. Meta, but not so much that it completely engulfs the story and leaves nothing for the reader. It’s silly, rather fun, and lighthearted. Cheers and well done!

The Night Watch
Okay, well… this is either the most complex, nuanced, and subtle horror I’ve ever read, or it’s a failed attempt to endear the reader to the doll. I’d probably say that latter. I think the phrase that really made me imagine horror was
>A smile formed where there was no mouth.
Good-ish job? I don’t know. Here, have some chocolate instead.

Treehouse of Horror
Well, I guess I laughed at it. Though I think this thing might have nearly put me in a coma… I don’t remember much. There was something about Scootaloo, yes?

This felt like it was really going for something with emotional weight… except they forgot the emotional weight. The metaphor didn’t really fly with me, and ending had no impact. It felt like her sanity was simply usurped, not eroded or unraveled. (This, in all likelihood, could have been your intention.)

Invisible Warfare
At first I thought this had something to do with Ghost in the Shell. It had a similar mood, and the imagery seemed similar or at least reminiscent. When this turned out not to be the case, I was sort of disappointed. The premise is decent, and the OC’s characterization didn’t leave too much to be desired—as far as one can characterize an original character with a 400-word limit.
Journey to the City of Fire
Ehehe— … Ya, too meta for me. The last gave me an honest chuckle, but it didn’t really do anything besides give a vague synopsis for a story. The story itself is probably a better review, as it really says it all. [Insert here obligatory stock rant about Show vs. Tell.]

Daring Do Revolution
… Eh, there’s been worse. Just—never mind. I’ll be butting my head against a wall if you need me.

The Play's the Thing
I was a little suspicious of this one at the start. By the end, I really liked it. Very, very good execution. The intonation of the prose sung. As far as fitting a story into a minific, this one probably did the best. It was not, however, the one I enjoyed most.

And that’s just about it!
>> No. 112353

Yes, in Descent the character is actively having her sanity destroyed. My concept was that the first bit was her world being destroyed by the madness, and in the second part she embraced the madness. It was meant to convey atmosphere, a little bit of emotion; you're meant to understand that blissful acceptance of chaos was a relief.

That's all I actually knew I was doing with it so it doesn't surprise me that it fails to be a proper story.

I wrote Invisible Warfare because it struck me as a cool use of "into the machine." It's meant to be Ghost in the Shell yes. I don't like how it came out. It got some nice description and characterization in, but no meaning. I forced meaning into the very end and I KNOW it sucked because nothing led up to it. If I'd had a chance to do an editing pass, I'd foreshadow that and I think it would make the fic much better.
>> No. 112355
I will admit that I wrote more than one story, and in all honesty, I considered this to be my weakest entry. Hmm. I'll have to re-examine my misses.
>> No. 112362
A different premise or more ideas. The only concept in it was "Applejack thinks Twilight is dating Big Mac" and by itself that's not that compelling. Even if it were full length, the only real value I could see being pulled out of that is a lesson requiring Applejack to trust her friends more (which you would definitely need a longer story to do) or some comedy, of which you have none.

I guess there's also Big Mac's orientation and the consequences thereof to explore, but I feel reasonably confident that you had no such intentions. You used it as an explanation, not an idea in its own right. I don't think there's much you could have done with this premise and this length other than shooting for comedy.

Two for two, then. Maybe I should just say that the story IS longer than it looks. Let that be a lesson, folks: effectively invisible meta is effectively no meta at all.
>> No. 112397
Well, I know it was a bad fic. I wrote it for fun, and I apologize for making you all read it. I just really love DDR.

And if you hang out in IRC, you probably already know who I am.
>> No. 112406

For what it's worth, I thought it was kind of clever how you used the acronym.

But it should've been an actual Daring Do themed game, not DDR proper.
>> No. 112407
First, the ground rules.

I realize that everyone's mechanics aren't going to be perfect in a timed event, so I'll allow some leeway there. Hell, I made one of my own just from a cut-and-paste derp when filling out the form. It's also an awfully small word count to define, build, and resolve a conflict, so I don't so much mind ones that present a scene more than a complete story. While completeness gets bonus points, I won't require it. I also won't be tearing anyone down (I know, right?). Constructive only, though not necessarily positive only.

Vinyl is Toast
Cute scene with some light humor, but there's not a lot there. I know I said I wouldn't hold completeness against anyone, but you had plenty of word count left to get it there, and some of the verbiage already in place could have been cut. You get some leeway on being reasonable and in character for comedy, so I can excuse Octavia from being an asshole and walking off from her injured friend. However, she completely contradicts herself in that regard by asking if she's okay first. And if Vinyl can levitate the knife over, why can't she just levitate the toast out? Wacky is one thing, but the setup still has to make sense. A couple of mechanical problems were too big to ignore: smug what?; sound effects in narration; missing verb about Vinyl's eyes. And what about the ending? You had space to elaborate. I can't tell how mad she is. Is she going to work Octavia over or "work Octavia over?"

Not That Kind of Service
Again, not a bad little comedic moment, if a bit obvious, but just not enough was done with it. It would seem more plausible that Vinyl would fall on Octavia because she was off-balance from grabbing at the remote, not from lack of concentration. You use a "she" for the hotel worker before you even mention her existence. And we're denied the best part of the story. How do they try and explain to the server? Don't they run after her to get their food? Why was she opening the door without knocking first anyway? It also would have helped if we had some idea as to why they're in a hotel. The server enters through "a door?" Which one? Was she grabbing a quick shower first? You likely wouldn't have been able to go into all of these, but you pick your battles and work with the restrictions you have. There certainly was word count available to bring this scene to life.

Midnight Feeding
I appreciate the humor here, but it is a bit incongruous with canon, where earth ponies seem to be able to perform any number of fine motor skills with their hooves. And having someone just give in doesn't resolve a conflict; it avoids one. I would have liked to see more to their argument, to where they realize they'd spent so long fighting that it would have been quicker just to feed the baby. Unless Dubstep is an extremely new arrival, they must have encountered the situation before, so don't present it as new. It'd be more of a "not this again!" I'm pleasantly surprised at the lack of mechanical problems.

The Apple of My Red Eyes
This one stretches for the joke a bit too much. Vinyl clearly said "groceries," which has nothing to do with a craft store. Play the situation out longer. All we have here is a sight gag, but I'd like to see you use it to reveal something about one of the characters or their relationship. How does Vinyl react? What was Octavia doing at the craft store? She's never been portrayed as someone who likes crafts, so I'd like to see that explored some more. What crafts does she do? Why does she enjoy them? For a story, we need to see a conflict set up and resolved, or for a scene, we at least need to see something revealed about the characters that we didn't know before.

Into the Sky
If that opening bit is from something, the reference is lost on me, and it's got a few mechanical issues that made me wince. So, I guess this takes place a short time in the future, given that Scoot can fly, but they still don't have their cutie marks, but... Apple Bloom is doing her building thing, and it's unclear whether she built the prosthetic, or she's just helping with it a bit. The doctor doesn't know his patient's name? It's presumably on the clipboard, and he's been treating her for days... In any case, this was a cute story and well-written, fit neatly within the word limit, but that could be expanded to a much bigger tale later on. Nice work.

While I do appreciate the immersion into the character, nothing comes of it. Screwball doesn't interact with anyone so that we can see what the change means, nor do we see her change from the perspective of anyone on the outside. The imagery and writing are good, and there are only a few minor mechanical issues. I wish I had more to say about it, but even among the entries that are only single scenes, at least a sequence of events happens. Here, there's really only one event, so... yeah, I got that. Now make it mean something. Still a good story when factoring in the writing quality and descriptive language.

Invisible Warfare
I don't get the "Warfare" part. It sounds more likely that she's combating cyber attacks or that in the future wars are fought by proxy online, but she could be just playing a game as well. The thick layer of jargon is off-putting. It does feel derivative of something else, and there's nothing irrevocably pony about it. This could take place on Earth and nothing would change. We have two instances of "hooves" and one each of "unicorn" and "galloped." Swap those out, and it's a human story. At least there is a sequence of events here, and they're all reasonable. You still get points for writing quality, with only a few slip-ups.

Big Mac Gets a Date
Enough mechanical problems that I can't overlook them: tense shifts, inconsistent and overdone accent, punctuation problems. I am a staunch convert to understated accents. There are a few nice touches you can use, like clipping the g's off -ing words, using o' for of, and 'em for them, as examples. A little goes a long way. It's more about word choice and colorful expressions. That said, at least this story did bring up a conflict, but only to the point that there was revealed to be no conflict. Applejack is uncharacteristically playing all angles here; usually she's pretty single minded. At first, she's upset about what Big Mac might be doing to her friend, then what her friend might be doing to Big Mac, immediately jumping to the conclusion that they're in for heartache. Is love that dismal in Equestria, or does she not trust them in particular? When it's revealed Twilight's interested in someone else, Applejack doesn't have a problem with it, and she's less surprised that Big Mac is gay than at the propspect of his involvement with Twilight. Characters can't be wishy-washy like that. They have a fixed set of likes and dislikes, and have to behave more or less according to some reasonable pattern. Decide what you want Applejack to be, make that mesh with canon (unless you're going alternate universe), and stick to it. You did have a nice, sweet feel going at the end.

The Balcony
Actually, this story felt nice and sweet, though even within the context of a very short story, we're lacking any back story for their relationship.
>I can't stop thinking about today...
It would only take a few words to say something about what did happen, and it would go a long way toward bolstering their connection. We've got nothing hinting at some sort of emotional connection or even physical attraction, which is too often the case with shipping, even in full-length stories. That's really the main issue here, as the writing is pretty solid, I don't see any mechanical problems of note, and it's got a light, innocent feel to it. You should probably call attention to Twilight's line near the end. Of course she's nervous; it's just bravado. Sure, she can draw strength from Dash, but that won't make her get over her nerves entirely. Give this some back story, which I think you can do, based on the writing here, and you could have something good.

Email requests:

Forever Dummy
Another single-scene piece, but I found this one rather amusing. Dash is pretty funny at the covering-up-her ignorance-with-bravado thing, which I can see as being in character, though in canon she does sometimes readily admit when she doesn't know something. I'm not sure whether the "dummy" is Dash, in a quite literal sense, or Twilight, for being stuck with unreliable partners. "Forever" seems to imply a chronic thing, which would point to Twilight, but it still seems to fit Dash better. Anyway, I don't know how to play bridge, but do play enough other bidding/trump type games to get the gist of it, and this has a nice, authentic feel. You've packed a surprising amount of charcterization in there for Dash in particular, and it's just a fun piece. I'd count it as one of the better fics here, definitely a top-ten finisher, if we are to be privy to overall rankings like that, and among the best 2 or 3 comedies.

The Play's the Thing
Okay, that was brilliant. Shit. A couple of my entries were doing well, but... I only saw one or two minor mechanical things that I can't even remember now, so they didn't stand out. Perfect timing on the punchline, and it fit so well within the word limit. However, I could easily see expanding this with back story of rehearsals and fighting off the illness to the point that it'd be long enough for a standard-length one-shot. Unfortunately, I had to read the raw text version, due to FiMFiction's ongoing troubles, so I didn't see whether you properly italicized the foreign phrase.
>censor his emissions
Goodness, that sure does open up some possibilities.
The only nits I'd pick are that 1) Twilight is attached enough to Spike that while she actually may have had to learn of his whereabouts from the newspaper, she surely would have been engaged in a frantic search in the interim (granted, you do get some suspension-of-disbelief leeway for a wacky comedic bit), and 2) a narrative-heavy format, which you're pretty much locked into with a letter, does tend to be telly, yet I was engaged with the story the whole time, so you pulled it off. And a fellow two-spaces-after-a-period writer! I just divested myself of that habit within the last month, and was sorry to see it go. In my estimation, this is a serious contender for top comedy and top overall.
>> No. 112417
Thanks for the review! To answer a few of your concerns:

The opening paragraph isn’t a reference to anything. It was metrical, rhymed verse that I scribbled down when the prompt inspired my original premise, as verse is easier for me to write in than prose. It was rather stupid of me to keep it in the finished product, and I probably could have developed AB making the mechanism with the extra room that would have given me.

Now that you pointed it out, it was a serious oversight on my part to have the doctor not know her name. That was just dumb. Sorry, I have no clue what I was thinking. 9_6

As far as not having their cutie marks yet, I don’t seem to find any mention of it in the story. I mean, even the doctor’s mark isn’t mentioned. Exactly how old they are is another matter, since canon seems, to me, a little epileptic in this regard (in the aging of ponies, that is, not in the CMC’s relative ages). I would say that they’re old enough to have earned their marks. Apple Bloom was the one who made the prosthetic.

I’ll look into its one-shot potential, seeing as that’s a fairly consistence response being given.
>> No. 112419
My assumption that they didn't have their cutie marks was based on their still referring to themselves as the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
>> No. 112426
Ah, alright, I see what you're saying. My intent was that Scootaloo said that as a nostalgia joke, referencing back to their younger days. I see now that I didn't really make that clear in the fic at all.
>> No. 112427

>The Play's the Thing
Glad to hear you liked it so much. In all, this story seems to be getting a much better reaction than I expected, considering that most of it's just setting up the punchline. Twilight's search for Spike was one of the many things I had to cut to make the word limit--no argument from me, it would have been nice to include that. C'est la vie. And yes, I did lose a few italicized words and phrases from both stories, but nothing to crucial, thankfully.

>Forever Dummy
I am seriously shocked that you have nice things to say about this one. It was almost 1200 words in its first incarnation, and in trimming (well, mutilating) it down to size, I ended up with a story that relies way too much on its audience knowing bridge (or similar games), among other problems. The title's actually a bridge joke; you see, whoever bids the highest is the Declarer (Dash, in the story), and their partner is the Dummy, in the game's parlance. If someone says they're "forever dummy," it means that their partner is too aggressive and makes foolish overbids. Yeah, like I said; too much bridge humor, not enough accessibility to generic pony fan X. Glad the characterizations were good, and it's nice to know that story did work for you. Now I feel much less embarrassed about submitting it.

Thanks for your reviews, Pascoite. It's always nice to have a little feedback.

Also, while I'm here...

Yeah, that's more the reaction I expected to get from Forever Dummy. Glad you liked my other story, though!

And thanks to you, too! I can't disagree with any of your criticisms of the first; if I ever try something like this, I promise not to write such a niche story. And even if The Play's the Thing wasn't the fic you enjoyed the most, I'm happy enough knowing you liked it.
>> No. 112438
My pleasure. I'm a regular reviewer here in the Training Grounds if you ever want an opinion in the future.
>> No. 112450
FimFic was coming up okay yesterday, and all but two of the fics I clicked on had 27-30 views, with the two outliers being 24 and 34. Of course, the voting will be considerably less than that...
>> No. 112474
I'm taking this as you mean that you don't think it's bad, rather that it's misplaced as a story of its own. When I was writing it, I was actually thinking of it more as the intro to a story, not so much its own story. I suppose 400 words wasn't enough to tell even an intro, but I tried. I'm probably going to expand it into a full story, though.

And thanks to everyone else for your opinions, varied they may be.
>> No. 112475
Any more takers? Time's running out...
>> No. 112483
I guess I, as the author behind "For Science!" would be curious about your opinion on the story, Sir Pascoite. What is your take on it from mediocre to fine?
>> No. 112490
File 134285482703.png - (1.36MB , 1600x873 , Octavia you_come_back_here__by_alliszero-d4m5tyq.png )
Thanks, Pascoite. Maybe I'll rewrite these into one big story about Octavia and Vinyl's life after they get married.
>> No. 112554
Voting ends tomorrow, when-I-say-so o'clock.

Reading and voting should take you 2 hours at absolute maximum, lazy asses. Go vote.
>> No. 112583
Voices at the Pool
Sorry, didn't catch this one on the first go-around.
A little meatier this time. Still a cute slice of life, but... hotels generally don't have a lifeguard, especially at night. Interesting that Vinyl's first reaction was to look at the water, not deny that she colors her hair. Anything to that? They didn't really do anything that would make a lifeguard mad, and he didn't tell them to leave... This entry does more approach what I'm looking for—a series of events that has a beginning and an end—to constitute a full scene.

For Science!
Cute story, and it was well-planned, which isn't as common a thing as it should be. For example, you gave the reasons why Dash was the test subject so that it doesn't feel contrived and convenient. The punchline was funny, though not that much of a surprise, given Rarity's involvement. The main thing hurting the story is its mechanics. There are a LOT of grammatical and punctuation errors, and they make it hard to read. A big spoonful of editing help is need to make this a nice little story.
>> No. 112599
Could I possibly have your thoughts on Infiltration, even with the small amount of time left?
>> No. 112612

>Nopony, at least.
This line felt like you meant to have some further description or to write it as "no pony."
>their presence would cause no small amount of trouble for his plans.
You probably shouldn't have mentioned the plans, since you never deal with them again.
Direct thoughts are more commonly done in italics, but what you have here isn't wrong. The writing's good, and the mechanics are solid. I just have no context for what's going on. It's disorienting to drop right into the middle of things, which can work as a hook, but we never get the guided tour, so too much of the plot is implied. As a short work, it leaves me confused, but it would do well as part of a longer story.
>> No. 112614
>once again, the structure I thought would be more prevalent. But now it is?
The stories are posted in the order they were received. Some authors submitted theirs all at once, and you've just read several in a row by the same one, I'd reckon.
>> No. 112717
Things are a little messy and I thought I'd wait until I've got a decision on winner and runner-up before I say everything, but for now, how about some fun stats?

I'm still not sure that I've properly picked over the database, but fortunately, some of our standouts are really clear. Without further ado, useless random stats!

YES: 3

FICS: 32




And of course, your finalists:

In Need of Healing with a score of 4
The Play's The Thing with a score of 4.222
Absolutely Anonymous with a score of 3.6
The Voice of Reason with a score of 3.5

This means that The Play's the Thing by Chris is the Readers' Choice winner! Congratulations, contact me ([email protected]) if you want those Riot Points or whatever else I'm able to give you.
>> No. 112739
Lest people misinterpret, I would like to go on record as saying this story was strictly friendshipping. No romance whatsoever. Rarity just wishes her friends would see how much of herself she puts into the work she does for them.
>> No. 112750

Hooray validation! I'm not surprised to see any of the other three at the top; if I remember correctly, I gave all of them 4s or 5s. Looking forward to hearing "everything," and thanks for running the contest; sometimes, you need an excuse to try something new, and a 400 word story certainly qualifies as a new experience for me.
>> No. 112872
Closing post coming soon.

I'm making Vision clean it up because I don't have the energy.
>> No. 112903
File 134310100153.jpg - (43.80KB , 500x500 , 41d.jpg )

Selected from the finalist entries, we are proud to present your First Place minific:
In Need of Healing, from local author/reviewer, Pascoite! Congratulations, Pasco!

Coincidentally enough, we also have two runner-ups. The first is the Readers’ Pick, which goes to: The Voice of Reason! So, congratulations to that author!

The second runner-up is the Judges’ Pick, which was a work that didn’t make it to the finals, but which we felt was excellent quality regardless. So, without further ado, congrats to Pascoite again, with his other minific, At Close of Day.

Golden Vision kind of went nuts with his verdicts, giving out ratings and commentary to every single fic submitted. You can find the full spreadsheets of his thoughts and scores here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkUMuMIFL1l4dDAyZHZDQnlhUFdDWDhudFZ1Y2xvcXc#gid=0

Filler’s remarks on the winner and Judges’ Pick can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1COZ4qu_5CCXI9_BrEaMDZkPmMe6228oWR3jfASwiuJc/edit

A final thanks to all of you for making this such an amazing and enjoyable Minific Mayhem. May it be the first of many to grace the boards of /fic/.

Your Judges,
Tactical, Filler, and Golden Vision
>> No. 112904
Please note that the Winner and Runner-Ups were determined by the judges, and not by the voting values.
>> No. 112924
Wow... the ones that did the best weren't necessarily the ones I had the most confidence in, but it makes the time investment worth it when it pays off.

So, when's the next one? Crap. I already used all my ideas...
>> No. 112961
File 134313145716.gif - (2.79MB , 680x383 , 64a.gif )
Bump for great justice!
>> No. 112972
File 134313844290.jpg - (10.97KB , 134x127 , Psychic.jpg )
Golden Vision’s comments on Into the Sky:
>I like you. But you could have taken more time to expand the setting or characters’ actions more. Cutting the opening bit wouldn’t really have hurt you.

I like you too. Also, this:
>It was rather stupid of me to keep it [the opening paragraph] in the finished product, and I probably could have developed AB making the mechanism with the extra room that would have given me.

Thanks for your thoughts. Now I’m already ready for another one of these contests.
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