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118335 No. 118335
#Reviewer #Discussion #Presidential
When I look over my not-so-illustrious political career, I am always extremely disappointed in the part that was my second term as President of the United States of America. Even more depressingly, the only thing for which I am remembered is that particular part of my career; the lousy pigs Woodward and Bernstein made sure of that. At times like these, I usually think about just putting it all to an end. After all, I'm ninety-nine-gong-on-one-hundred. What else is there to see or do anyway? Well, yesterday, I had an epiphany: I shouldn't commit suicide, as committing suicide would only allow me to turn my mental pain into physical anguish for an instant. I needed something worse than death, something that would allow me to cry out in agony every night until I was finally granted the sweet release of death---I needed to review fan-fiction again.

For those of you who do not know me (about fifty-percent of you), I was formerly a reviewer here on Ponychan with my own little review thread that was "locked by request." I had a street-rep for being very good at finding grammar errors, and I intend to hold myself to the high standards I have set. I've been working very hard to get my plot-judging abilities on par with my grammar-judging abilities, and I think those of you who are familiar with my work will be presently surprised at the change in quality of this area of my review. Now then, shall we get to the part were I make a bunch of lists that dictate how this thread works?

Things You Should Know About Me:

1) I print your story. It helps me to see your errors more clearly, and, since I cannot access Facebook from a sheet of paper, it keeps me focused on my work. What does this mean for you? It means that any last-minute changes you make will not be seen, and you will only receive comments on a GoogleDoc after I have posted my review on Ponychan. I do keep your stories in a portfolio, so, if you are uncomfortable with someone keeping a print copy of your work, don't ask for a review from me.

2) If you want to discuss a review with me, then the easiest way to do so is via e-mail. My last thread got very cluttered, and I often missed review responses. I will try to respond to you if you post on Ponychan, but there is a very good chance that I will miss your response.

3) I am pedantic when it comes to getting you a review. What this means for you: I will update the queue regularly, post messages simply to say that I saw your story review request, and tell you periodically how far I am into a review if I don't finish in a day. That being said, my review thread may be bumped up to the board several times without your review. Just be patient.

4) I am open to suggestions. Have a problem with one of my reviews? Just tell me, and I'll see what I can do. I like to believe that I'm amiable, so I'm sure we can have a pleasant chat (then again, I also like to believe that I did I good job as president, so, if any of my remarks offend you, tell me to tone it down a little; I'll be happy to oblige).

5) I'm a busy man. Since you all don't pay me to do this, some things take precedence, so please be patient with me.

6) For those of you who already know me, I am scrapping the scoring system, as it was superfluous.

The Simple Five-Step Review Process on Nixon's Board:

1) You post a request for a review. Example (hopefully your grammar will be better):

Read my story plz! Its 'bout Fallout: equestria.

Title: Velamity

Tags: [Grimdark] [Shipping] [Puppies!]

Link to your story

Synopsis: Velvet Remedy and Calamity get funkie!!! lolwhat. Then Arbu residences eat they're flesh! *slurping noises*

2) I acknowledge your review request. Example:

Review request received. Celestia help us all.

3) I give you a review. Example:

My overall thoughts on your story: Surprisingly well done. You delivered an interesting analysis of the post-war pony's psychology and how it affects the romantic relationships of said ponies by juxtaposing the relationship of Velvet Remedy and Calamity to the relationships between the ponies of Arbu.

Grammar errors: I threw up a little---terrible. [insert a detailed analysis of your grammar here]

Plot errors: Very few of these. Well done. [insert a detailed analysis of your plot here]

4) You respond to the review and cite any problems you have with my review.

Thanks mister! I is really liked you're review but can you not tell me to fix the grammar errors that I don't make when I don't make them? Totally spelled "apple" right. Computer spellcheck tell me, so dont be saying Im rong on tht 1.

5) I respond to your response, and we continue debate until you are satisfied with the review.

Da Rulez:

1) No pony porn. It's standard /fic/ rules, and I personally can't stand the stuff. Sorry.

2) I reserve the right to reject your story if I find it unsavory.

3) I reserve the right to reject your story if it is basically unreadable (I will almost never do this!).

4) If you also want to review someone's work on this thread, I don't care so long as you ask me permission first.

5) I don't care if you swear, but try to spoiler tag your f-bombs. The word is just annoying, and it doesn't add anything to your post (expect making me think that your vocabulary is very limited, which is a bad thing for someone to think on a board dedicated to writing).

So, Ponychan. come at me! Give me your tired, your poor, your muddled passages yearning to be read by me, the wretched refuse of your creative mind. Send these, the grammatically-offensive, the holed plots to me, I offer entry to the golden door of brilliant writing! (I totally didn't steal that from the bottom of the Statue of Liberty. Shut up!)

Happy Writing!

Richard Milhous Nixon, (Former) President of the United States of America
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 118336
yay! You're back!

Note: this is also in TTG.

Title: Under A Luminous Sky
Author: Jake The Army Guy
Tags: Dark
Word count: 6026
Synopsis: Equestria is a land of peace. Violent crime is almost nonexistent. Ponyville in particular hasn't had a single case of equicide in all its years of existence. But nothing lasts forever.

A body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. Shortly thereafter, an enigmatic stallion arrives at the local library, dispatched by Celestia herself. Faced with an obstinate police force, Twilight and this strange new pony must put the pieces together and catch a killer. But as the blood continues to spill, one thing becomes terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at stake than mere lives.

Chapter Synopsis: Twilight and Bentgrass examine evidence from the last murder, and we learn some new facts about a certain number one assistant. Also, Big Macintosh gets a surprise visitor...


One thing that I'm sure needs changing is the ending bit. For one, I want to keep the gender ambiguous, mainly because there are certain ponies I want people to think could be the killer. Two, I tried to do my best to avoid saying exactly what was going on, partly because I think it adds depth, and also because it's kinda gross. Any help on that is MUCH appreciated.

Also, I lknow you said you liked this story, so here's the link if you need to catch up:


PS: Made it to EqD, bro! Thanks for your help getting there!
>> No. 118339
Good to see you again!

Congrats on EqD! I'm so glad I could help. :) I'll start on the story tonight and see if I can get the review done before tomorrow.
>> No. 118341
Hello, Nixon! From one reviewer to another, glad to have you on board for another term! Tonight's course includes some unfinished fanfiction by yours truly. Breadsticks will be served prior to such works. Thank you for your patronage.

[Title] Requiem
[tags] dark
[link] https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B6iP3UfYCl_pQ15PARGwHLnkfFG47b9XBUUecNMoIJI/edit

[synop] Twilght explores the meaning behind a recurring dream

Thank you for your patronage!
>> No. 118347
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Oh, neat; a new to me reviewer. That's pretty coo--

>Implied editing skills.
>Doesn't require GDocs.
Hello, new friend!

I am absolutely interested in this thread, good sir! I won't put my fic up just yet, though: I recently recieved reviews from MintyRest and Minjask/Bleeding Raindrops and I've yet to make an editing run.


And once that's done I should really finish my next chapter...

But soon*! Soon* I shall come back here and drop my fic on your doorstep!

Until then, welcome back, Mr. Nixon!**


**Even if you do represent a ridiculous pre-Equestrian governmental system wisely discarded long ago by the earth ponies.
>> No. 118349
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I was wondering when you'd get back. Wait a minute... second term. Second term... Nixon. Second term... Nixon! Ahh I guess its not important. As a question how are your plumbers? I've got some real bad pipes and am looking to get them cleared but I hear yours can be a bit CREEPy.
>> No. 118361
My basic thoughts on the story: It's always great to get back into the swing of things by reading from a writer with which you are familiar, especially if you enjoy his work. I must admit: I opened your story with high expectations, and you met them. Your allusions to the show were subtle enough to be witty, your shipping of Rainbow Dash and Big Macintosh was surprisingly well put together, and your use of literary devices sometimes rivals that of a professionally published work. That being said, there were some problems. I'll start with the grammar ones:

Grammar Goofs:

I can tell you've taken my advice on syntax very well (i.e. commas, periods, et cetera), but you are still not using the semicolon to its full potential. Take this sentence from your story:

"He was right, they had a job to do."

With the comma and without the conjunction, this sentence becomes a comma splice. Semicolons are most-commonly used to create a compound or compound-complex sentence without the use of the conjunction. That's grammar fancy talk for this simple formula:

independent clause + semicolon + independent clause = compound sentence.

You may also use semicolons to:

separate items in a list when objects in said list contain punctuation
create a compound-complex sentence with a conjunction when the first independent clause is after an introductory clause
show that you've been to college

For my taste, you used to many ellipsis---thirty-three to be exact. I know why you use them, and sometimes they can be great at establishing tone, but thirty-three is a little excessive, don't you think? Maybe try indicating a few pauses with em-dashes?

Your word choice was not always the best. Example: "'[A] massive trot[.]'" The words here imply a giant pony trotting down the street as opposed to a pony taking a rather large stride. I know that you were going for ponified speech, and I admire that, but you must do it well. Speaking of doing ponified words well, "fillystine" was absolutely hilarious.

In other places, you were too repetitive. Example: "Taking it with her magic, she took[.]" I already know that she took, as you mentioned it in the introductory clause. I'm not too terribly worried about this problem, as it always goes away after a round of editing.

You used the wrong "its" several times near the end. Remember: It's = It is; Its = Something that belongs to it.

When you're trying to be ambiguous on the gender of an individual, it is proper grammar to use the male form. For example, if you have an ugly kid who sits next to you on the bus that's so hideous you can't even tell what gender he is, it is grammatically correct to refer to him as a "he," even if it ends up being a girl. You may feel that this rule is a bit sexist, so, if you are uncomfortable with using "he," you may use "it." You may not, however, use them interchangeably---consistency is key.

Who is for subjects; whom is for objects. The same follows with whoever and whomever.

You aren't doing the titles correctly anymore, but I've decided to give up on correcting you for that.

Plot Problems:

Once or twice, the tone of the narrator or a character confused me. The easiest one for me to describe would be Rainbow Dash's reaction to three ponies dying. Sure, she gets sad about Berry Punch, but her tone when she talks about the other ponies dying is way to casual. I know she's an aloof character, but murder is almost a foreign concept in Equestria, as you have pointed out in your synopsis. I'll highlight what I'm talking about in the GoogleDoc.

The scene at the beginning of the chapter was very informative, but I found that the mood was a little bit confused. At first, I'm feeling suspenseful, wondering what the thaumatic signature will tell our heroes. Suddenly, I'm feeling a romance between Twilight and Bentgrass, and then I'm feeling sorry for Twilight because Spike is ceasing to be a part of her life. You just need to have to make it so the moods flow better. We'll work on it on the GoogleDoc; you'd be surprised at what moving a few words around can do.

Once again, good job. Expect GoogleDoc comments tomorrow.

Pleasure working with you again,

President Nixon
>> No. 118365
I'll review this story tomorrow. Listen: Could you give me the risotto with the shaved truffles in bearnaise sauce with an arugula-rutabaga salad to go along with those breadsticks? Thanks!
>> No. 118366

I can't wait to see what you've got!


My plumbers straightened themselves out after a little "gentle persuasion" in the form of waterboard torture and shock therapy (also stabbing). Just don't leave any tapes around when you let them clean your home. Trust me; you don't want to know what they do with them.
>> No. 118370
File 134655984268.jpg - (127.35KB , 1280x1024 , Lyra132640934273.jpg )

Gdocs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RbahWiTAo5hs7agHgG6I-y8aaHW7b_v7zg493SrueMQ/edit

FimFic: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/12225/No%2C-you%27re-a-unicorn.-Now-act-like-one!

Synopsis: Bored with high school, Lyra's life changes when she's brought to Equestria and turned into a mint-green pony with a magical horn bulging out of her head. After an embarrassing incident, Bon Bon decides to help Lyra adjust to life as a pony.

PR comments: The concept of Lyra being an inexplicably transformed human is novel enough on a basic level, and that's a good thing, as it means the story as a whole is salvageable. However, novelty will wear off quickly without a strong narrative and engaging characters to revel in it, and so far those seem to be what this piece is lacking. We get no real sense of who Lyra is as a character, nor of why her parents might've chosen to give her the name Lyra in the first place, a moniker that despite Bon-Bon's protestations still sounds more appropriate for the MLP universe than ours. And beyond that, each of the experiences she has within Ponyville that might've helped develop her is rushed through too quickly to hardly even understand what's going on, let alone why it's important to the plot. The lack of any noticeable transitions certainly doesn't help to make the narrative any easier to follow.

And you are not a crook!
>> No. 118371
Claims to be a grammar expert.

Uses the wrong form of "too."

Oh well, I am a politician. What did you expect me to do, tell the complete truth?
>> No. 118401

Well, hello there. It's nice to see you back.
I'd like to request a review from you, if that's not a problem.

Title: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.
Author: DeiStar
Tags: Comedy, Slice of Life.
Words: 7127
Synopsis: Twilight was expecting to have a nice, relaxing morning bath. What she did not expect, was for Rainbow Dash to interrupt her by crashing through the window. Twilight, instead of yelling at Rainbow, invites her to take a bath together.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FFmfrM4q8fG0BwGTumrQNmWaOs7XSkQNpG7gJl7dsSs/edit

Note: Despite the title and description. This is not a TwiDash shipfic.

Note 2: I'm as well requesting a review from this review thread: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/110925.html Just to let you know.

I'll patiently wait for a review. And thanks for your time.
>> No. 118402

We'll see if I can get you to EqD! I might get to this story today, but I will definitely get to it tomorrow.


Hey. it's the "Rarity's Bad Mane Day" guy! How have you been? Expect a review tonight or tomorrow.
>> No. 118440
Huzzah! Nixon is back!
>> No. 118448
Hey. Your premise intrigued me to no end, so I took a peek. Sorry!

Very cute and funny, but you may want to go back and look at Rainbow's dialogue. It seems kind of... proper for her.
>> No. 118451
My overall thoughts on your story: Good. You are definitely skilled writer of suspense; I'll even admit that I was a bit nervous around the beginning of your story. However, the work suffers from silly typos and some uncertainty about how much you want to tell readers and how much you think they should already know. In addition, I got a lot of background information about Twilight but not as much personality as I would have liked; this was only chapter one though, so I expect more expansion on her personality in upcoming chapters. Now then, let's get to the specifics.

Grammar errors:

As to be expected from a fellow reviewer, your grammar was very nice; but there were enough errors to detract from the quality of your work (keep in mind that I'm very picky when it comes to grammar).

A compound sentence is two sentences for the price of one period. They are constructed with a independent clause, followed by a comma, followed by a conjunction, followed by another independent clause, and capped-off with a closing punctuation mark (ie . ! ? ...). When in doubt, follow this simple formula:

independent clause + comma + conjunction + independent clause = compound sentence (Note: the comma + conjunction may be replaced by a semicolon).

Beware! Just because you can make a compound sentence doesn't mean you should. Example: I went to the bathroom, and my fish burst into flames. Unless your waste depositing caused the spontaneous combustion of your beloved pet fish, these two sentences should not be connected. By use of my comments, you may have noticed that you made an error similar to this (though not quite as terrible as my example; I exaggerated to stress my point).

You have to be more careful with your word choice. Take this snippet from your story:

"[R]ead the sign that hung perpendicular to the door..."

I know what you meant, but telling me the sign hung perpendicularly to the door adds ambiguity to the whole affair. I have really no idea where the sign is. I know this sounds like nitpicking, but you'd be surprised at how many readers stop reading at the smallest sign of confusion.

Plot errors:

Your biggest problem: you don't know how much you want to reveal to the audience. For example, you include that Twilight studied at a library in Canterlot, which is something that anyone who has watched the show would know. However, you include the name Nightmare Moon and don't explain who she is. If you're going on the assumption that your readers already have a good background of the show, you shouldn't tell them things they already now; but if you're going to tell them things they already know, you have to tell them everything. Otherwise, you're not being consistent with the information you're giving.

Speaking of telling the readers everything, keep in mind where your characters are in relation to one another. When Twilight slams the door, Shining Armor is behind her; so she would slam the door in his face, but, somehow, he ends up in the room with her. It's little details like these that separate a good story from a bad one.

I hesitate to call this next problem "show; don't tell," as it is a little bit of a variation of the error. You have Twilight read a passage to the audience when you could have simply copied the text from the book into the narration. The entire reason the characters read text aloud in drama is because the audience cannot read the text for themselves. You did try to rationalize this by saying that you were showing that Twilight read the book a lot, but a better way to show that would be to have Twilight recite the passage from memory. You could read this passage aloud, but I wouldn't know by observing you read it aloud that you have read this passage many times.

Good job!

Happy Writing!

>> No. 118452

You have more stories for me, I hope? I really loved WHOMP.
>> No. 118453
File 134663781947.png - (126.07KB , 300x300 , lyra___vector_by_epicgaara-d42d5lm.png )

Thank you for the review of this (completely and utterly drawn out) story!
Here are my rebuttals, because no good review goes without them!

>your grammar was very nice; but there were enough

Why is that semicolon there? That's improper grammar, mister. *wags his wittle finger*

>inconsistent information

I'll chalk this up to style issues, but here's my reasoning: I pointed out that she
studied in a library in Canterlot to further enforce aspects that would affect her
condition later in the story especially when you-know-who takes center stage.

The only reason why I also briefly pointed out Nightmare Moon was because I felt it was
worth mentioning considering that this book is of great importance to both her and
the story as an entity. It is her guide, the only voice of reason keeping her sane
in the events that begin to transpire around her. Giving it more weight seems to me
suitable for what it is.

>copy the book's text into narration

There's a specific reason why I didn't do this: because it loses its voice. Here's what
I mean: if the reader can attach a voice to a bland piece of narration, for example in this
instance where you wanted me to just clip on the book's text right smack dab into the narration,
it leaves the reader struggling to attach a familiar voice to it. Plus, it the main character reads
it out loud, this is my general expectation: "Oh, the MC is reading something that she loves out
loud! It must be important!"

Anyway, that's my two cents. Take it as you may, I'll be back for more. I is hungry for more words!


>> No. 118456
Actually, the semicolon is proper English. When you construct a compound-complex sentence in which the first independent clause is preceded by an introductory clause, the conjunction must be preceded by a semicolon instead of a comma. Don't believe me? Read Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein;" she uses the construction a lot. :)

Fine! That makes sense! XD

I see your reasoning. I'm still not a fan, but I can respect what you've done and feel fine removing the error status from this passage.

Can't wait to see what you've got next!
>> No. 118465
I'm having trouble seeing why that semi-colon is there, too. Conjunctions like "but" are generally designed to eliminate the need for punctuation. The two parts are related to each other, so it's unnecessary. Since it's informal, you could get away with a comma there but not a semi-colon.

Also, good to see you back.
>> No. 118467
I'm sorry if this comes off as pretentious, but it's a rule I picked up from Mary Shelley herself, who has a classic piece of literature and a modern pop culture icon to her name. I'm going to trust her judgement above yours.

Good to see you again too! :)
>> No. 118468
Well, Frankenstein was written in an era when semicolons were cool. Nowadays, semicolons aren't really all that cool. It's not incorrect, just old fashioned.
>> No. 118484
Exactly. You do know that I, Richard Nixon, am a conservative republican? Old-fashioned comes with the territory. =)
>> No. 118495
Would you be willing to review a plot outline along with a chapter 1?
>> No. 118496
Sure! Expect a review tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
>> No. 118532
File 134676688926.jpg - (70.44KB , 250x370 , sadcadance.jpg )


Title: A Heavy Crown

Synopsis: I'll tell you a story. It's a tale about a unicorn with wings. I'll tell you about the Princess that kept her alive, the filly that taught her to care, and the stallion she loved. This is her story... it's my story.

Tags: Sad, Romance,

Word Count: Chapter 1 (3,914), outline (2,817)

Links: Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L-YDdQXu-NGrZZWzXeQU3GT5MeYb3GMjghxTAcDIGmY/edit

Outline: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xEolagJkW5YtVT2cPfqPUukKJonr05BZ9Wi1MwXQoXU/edit

Comments: Pre-readers mentioned issues with comma splices, word repetition, passive voice, and tautological issues.
>> No. 118534

All right, can't wait for it.
>> No. 118536
I'll just put this here so it's not publicly visible to my readers.

Hi there!

My name is Richard M. Nixon (of course it's a screen name!), and you recently asked for a review from me on Ponychan. Well, Ponychan doesn't seem to be working for me today, so I'm just going to give you your review on FIMFiction. Okay? Great! :pinkiehappy:

My overall thoughts on your story: Although your grammar was some of the best I've reviewed on the /fic/ board, I must concur with the pre-readers---your characters simply fall flat. The errors you have made are similar to errors that I make, so I'm fairly confident we can work together to get your story on Equestria Daily.

Grammar problems:

Once again, excellent job here. There are just a few things I would like to point out:

We need to talk compound predicates. Compound predicates allow a subject to perform to actions in a sentence without a conjunction. Example: Nixon ate a hot dog and watched the baseball game. There are some schools of thought, however, that insist that a comma must be used to separate the verbs. Example: Nixon ate a hot dog, and watched the baseball game. Which one should you use? I could care less, but you must be consistent. In other words, you must have the comma there all of the time or none of the time---there is no in-between.

Alright is not a word; spell-check has lied to you. You must always use all right, as alright is on the same plain of speech as ain't, which also isn't actually a word.

Nix (no pun intended) the italics nesting tags. They look unprofessional.

Plot errors:

If I could describe Lyra in one word, it would be lazy. Therein lies the problem: I should never, ever be able to describe your characters, especially the protagonist, in one word. Take Rarity, for example. You can't describe her in one word, can you? Yes, she's snooty, but she's also generous and cares for her friends. Although neatness is important to her, she also understands the importance of family; nonetheless she is still bad with kids (or foals, as it were). At the same time, she also struggles when she really wants something or doesn't know whom to be generous to. You'd be hard-pressed to describe all these elements in one word. Well, there is only one word: Rarity. :raritywink: Your characters should be this way too.

You may have noticed that the comments are asking for more detail, mainly having more of Lyra's reaction to being a pony. What they're really asking for is a deeper character. By her reactions we can extrapolate her character. Reactions are not the only way to develop character, though! Consider describing Lyra's appearance more. For example, take this line from Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley:

"I was seated in a chair, my eyes half open, and my cheeks livid like those in death."

In context, the reader notices that Frankenstein's description of himself is very similar to the earlier description of the monster; so by giving us Victor's appearance, he has told us that his self is starting to become like the monster he created and that even though he tried to make the monster in his image, he is becoming the image of the monster. This insanity also shows that Frankenstein is innately good, as he feels remorse over the crimes that the monster has committed in his name. That's a lot to get out of one tiny sentence! :pinkiesmile: You can achieve a similar effect if you use your word effectively!

I think that if you apply these changes to Lyra, you will find it easy to deepen Bon Bon's character, as Bon Bon is Lyra's foil (or least that's how the story seemed to me---Lyra's a slob, and Bon Bon's a neat freak). With a foil, all you need to do is make each character the opposite of one another so as to accent the qualities in the characters. For a great example of foil writing, check out Trigun and note the relationship between Vash and Nicholas. That, or just look up foil on TV Tropes.

Pinkie Pie was strange, but not in a Pinkie Pie-y strange kind of way. She was strange in a out-of-character-y kind of way, and that kind of Pinkie Pie is not the kind of Pinkie Pie that should be read about---her strangeness simply is Pinkie Pie-y enough. :pinkiehappy: Try using puns and wordplay to liven her dialogue up a little, and have her initial reaction to Lyra be stronger. After all, if she pulls off a show tune for Cranky Doodle Donkey and a surprise party for Twilight, why doesn't she react stronger to seeing Lyra for the first time?

Bon Bon couldn't have known that Twilight was the librarian if it was Twilight's first day here. If she did, you need to explain how she got this information.

A very nice try. Work on it a little, and feel free to give it back to me if you want another review (that is if Ponychan ever comes online again).

Happy Writing, and Vote Nixon 2012! :twilightsmile:

Richard M. Nixon, (Former) President of the United States of America
>> No. 118541
It would appear that the Ponychan gods have accepted my sacrifice, as my thread is finally back up!


Thanks! Pleasure doing business with you.


Expect a review soon, as in today. I haven't had access to Ponychan for one-and-a-half days, but I'm working on your review now.


Awesome! I expect to get to this tonight (tonight being a relative term).
>> No. 118563
Yo, Mr. President! I would like you to review my next chapter, if you can. Please not this is also in Khakis's thread. I'm dropping it here because you are somewhat familiar with my shlock.

Title: Under A Luminous Sky
Author: Jake The Army Guy
Tags: Dark
Word count: 6105
Synopsis: Equestria is a land of peace. Violent crime is almost nonexistent. Ponyville in particular hasn't had a single case of equicide in all its years of existence. But nothing lasts forever.

A body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. Shortly thereafter, an enigmatic stallion arrives at the local library, dispatched by Celestia herself. Faced with an obstinate police force, Twilight and this strange new pony must put the pieces together and catch a killer. But as the blood continues to spill, one thing becomes terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at stake than mere lives.


I'm really worried about the second half of this one. I banged it out in like thirty minutes, and I'm not sure I accomplished what I wanted. I await your scathing words!
>> No. 118564
Ack! I just realized I never acknowledged your last review! Thank you so much for that! I heeded all your advice, and I think it turned out well. "My readers" seemed to like it over on FIMFiction!
>> No. 118576

My overall thoughts on your story: This story suffers from the same problem as "Rarity's Bad Mane Day---" the story itself is very good, but the grammar leaves much to be desired. You tell the stories in a similar manner to what I would see in an episode of My Little Pony, and, for a fan-fiction writer, I think that's a very nice compliment indeed, but you lack basic English abilities such as verb conjugation. Also, I'm very happy you took my advice on all right.

Grammar Problems:

Heh. Yeah, you better have some free time on your hands (hooves) before you read this section.

Let's talk about conjugating verbs. Verbs, in their purest form, are infinitives, and infinitives are generally preceded by "to." Examples: to run, to dance, to impeach, to assassinate, to paralogize, to be. Whenever something wants to preform any verb, the infinitive is conjugated to fit the object preforming said action. I've made a table with to assassinate:

I assassinate.

You assassinate.

He assassinates.

We assassinate.

They assassinate.

Conjugations will not always be this simple! Take, for example, to be:

I am

You are

He is

We are

They are

It gets even more complex when you want to change tense. Look at assassinate in the past tense:

I assassinated (Kennedy).

You assassinated.

He assassinated.

We assassinated.

They assassinated.

Seems simple enough, right? But look at to be in the past tense:

I was

You were

He was

We were

They were

You had some major issues with conjugation. When in doubt, read your sentence out loud. If it sounds wrong, it probably is wrong. There are even more conjugations than I have listed here, but, in the interest of keeping this review shorter than "Les Miserables," I have only given examples of the basics. For a more in-depth look at tenses, go here: http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verb-tenses.htm.

You have a problem that most of us editors eloquently refer to as "verbal diarrhea." In other words, you use too many words. More specifically, you use too many working words. Take this example, take it!

I am not currently aware as to how that particular situation came into existence.

That's way too many words! You could have just said:

I don't know how that happened.

That's an eight word difference! You'll find that your writing sounds more powerful when you are more succinct. Most of these errors were marked in the comments as "delete this" or "delete that." In contrast, you sometimes aren't specific enough. You can't just say that somepony doubted; the reader has no idea what or whom is being doubted!

A preposition is something that a sentence should never end in! It's just sloppy, and it's also something that Grammar Nazis (like myself) like to point out to make authors angry.

At this point in your life, (I hope) you know the basic recipe for a sentence: a subject and a verb. However, you still wrote some fragments. Look at your sentences and make sure they do in fact have a subject doing something, and also make sure there isn't a word that turns the whole affair into a dependent clause, which makes the phrase a fragment even if there is a subject and a verb. Example: "Has a pet dog" is a fragment, "Nixon has a dog" is a sentence, and "Since Nixon has a dog" is a fragment.

You sometimes just use words that don't make sense in context. Just proofread a little more, and this issue will clear itself up almost instantaneously.

In general, your story got better grammar-wise as it went along, but you'll need to clean it all up much more before you go sharing this somewhere.

Plot Errors:

There's not really much to report here---I really liked your story! I do concur with Mr. Army Guy that Rainbow's dialogue was a bit formal sometimes, but it was informal enough to not bother me. Other people pointed out in the comments that you hit the moral home too hard, but the show itself is often guilty of this, so I don't want to penalize you for moralizing too much.

What I loved the most was the characters. You stayed true to their forms from the show, and you strengthened the bond of two characters that I really think that the show hasn't really dove that deep into. Because of your story, I can appreciate the show a little bit more; so I want to thank you. Your stories are always innocent and have a good moral, which is why I was attracted to the show in the first place.

You have the talent. Now, you have to learn the grammar, which, honestly, is much easier to learn than tone, characterization, pacing, et cetera.

If you'll excuse me, I really want to take a bath now.

Vote Nixon 2012!

Richard M. Nixon, (Former) President of the United States of America
>> No. 118577

Fantastamagical! I'll look at it tomorrow or the day after (once again, these times being relative to myself---EST).
>> No. 118579
File 134682010130.gif - (133.73KB , 480x540 , ukyo.gif )

Whew, thanks for the extense review.

I do realize about the flaws I had, along with many other stuff.

I am now aware of more grammar rules and stuff like that thanks to this review.

I seem to understand the point on many of the comments you pointed out. I'll make sure to make an extense proof-read to improve.

I realize I still need a lot of practice. I know it's not an excuse, but English is not my main language, so writing fics is like training for me.

I'm sure that with enough practice and training, I'll get how to structure sentences better.

Thanks again for the review, Mr. Nixon.
>> No. 118581
I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to making Lyra a deeper character and show me what I could change or add to the story to make this happen.

I really don't know how to fix it be myself.
>> No. 118595

Sure! Maybe we should discuss Lyra in real-time on the GoogleDoc. What times are convenient for you? I would prefer 8:00 PM EST on any day but Tuesday or Thursday (Band practice!).
>> No. 118596
Okay, how about later today?
>> No. 118603

Goody! We'll meet on the Doc at about 8:30 PM EST, if that's okay with you.
>> No. 118604
>> No. 118638
Mr. President, I have some documents for your perusal.


Title: Star-Crossed
Tags: [Adventure]
Word Count: ~9000
Synopsis: A fire in the Royal Archives. A mysterious, unreadable scroll. An enigmatic figure cloaked in darkness. Fate conspires to draw the Mane Six into an adventure that will decide not just the fate of Equestria, but the doom of the entire world.
Prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kW46-21M4PAPmNG5aGXT7C08VGc3SHhG4_Y6-V03F-o/edit

Chapter One: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1385LPqBZQm66vgVFgSNgCS2UZ8R3dyp4ExTKX2v9YC8/edit


I've already submitted this to the Training Grounds, of course, but more feedback is never a bad thing. I don't believe I've made any glaring grammatical errors, but I'm sure the plot has some kinks that need ironing out, especially around the midpoint of the first chapter.

Thank you in advance for your consideration, Mr. President.
>> No. 118656
File 134695441779.png - (226.84KB , 727x725 , paper_bag_princess.png )

Mr. President, I have a submission for your consideration.

Working Title: The Potato Sack Princess
Tags: [Slice of Life]
Word Count: 6004
Synopsis: Rarity was raised to be a charitable soul, but cannot get over her discomfort in asking for donations. During a particularly heated conversation with Applejack, charity turns to competition and soon Rarity must ask if she is strong enough to endure the public humiliation she herself had gambled.

Chapter 1: (of 2)

I offer this to you for your perusal as a special nod; your thread "A picture is worth 1000 words" was the original impetus for this piece. At 6000 words and a second chapter on the way, you can see why it never made it to submission.
>> No. 118660

Hey guys! You should expect reviews this weekend.
>> No. 118702
I haven't gotten a good chance to work on my fic since we finished talking, so could you check on it Saturday instead of today. That should give me enough time.
>> No. 118725

That sounds awesome. I've had a pretty long day, so I appreciate the the break. Thanks! =D


Soon, my friends. Soon.
>> No. 118768
File 134703032949.png - (718.03KB , 904x937 , scrunchy_rare.png )
Hooray! Please note I have requested a review from Golden Vision as well, since his queue just opened after a several-week hiatus. He has a few stories in queue ahead of me, so I expect you will be finished before he can start.

Let me know if you need anything, and thank you so much for your help!
>> No. 118882
File 134713435132.jpg - (166.87KB , 815x1024 , PHO-10Sep21-253344.jpg )
All right, Google Maps tells me it's 434 miles to Chicago, I've got a full gallon of cranberry juice, half a box of Goldfish, it's sunny outside, and I'm reading stories about a little girl's TV show. Let's roll.

For those of you who haven't been following my thread that closely: I'm going to get my queue cleared out this weekend. Expect a review by Sunday at midnight EST.
>> No. 118884
File 134713628058.jpg - (50.15KB , 576x590 , 1323289947422-_n1333213563494_.jpg )
I'm not even in the queue and I'm looking forward to this!
>> No. 118891

You had no real consistent errors. There were problems here and there, but they looked like typos. Just for a quick review:

Sometimes verbs need a little help in the form of a helping verb. Example: Nixon is watching TV. "Is" is a helping verb, or a verb that serves as a bridge between verb "watching" and subject "Nixon." Without it, the sentence does not make sense. Nixon watching TV.

Whenever writing a compound predicate or list, helping verbs and adjectives carry over the compound predicate or list. Example: Taft is fat and ugly. Notice that the "is" was not repeated. Notice the "is" is repeated in your story. Strive to emulate my example (I must know something; I was president, after all).

All writing is equal, but some writing is more equal than others. Writing with colloquialisms is less equal to writing without colloquialisms. I won't tell you to take them out, but I will strongly suggest that you remove them (I'm meeting you halfway, you stupid Communists!). If you got either of those references, you're awesome.

The formula for is for a compound sentence:

Independent clause + comma + conjunction + independent clause=compound sentence.

Please, use it well. Remember: just because you can make a compound sentence doesn't mean you should. A compound predicate will usually suffice.


Let's talk about your major plot hole. The changelings are a source of love? What!? Why do they even go after ponies? If Chrysalis is so evil, then why doesn't she just eat the hive? In fact, it's canon that the changelings can absorb love whilst their hosts our still alive. Why isn't the hive simply like Equestria? That way, they can feed off one another.

I just don't think having the changelings be able to love is a very good idea. In fact, I think it is a bad idea, a double-plus ungood idea to be exact. I know you were trying to build the Queen up as a villain, but I honestly think painting her as a starving mother trying to feed her children is much more interesting. Also, seeing a society without love would be cool, kind of like the Vulcans from Star Trek.

I'm also not a fan of how you told your story in the present tense. It creates all kinds of uncomfortable plot holes. Like how did Aria manage to narrate when she couldn't even make out basic shapes? Also, how is the speaker recording all her thoughts? Do you expect me to believe that the protagonist was carrying around a little notebook her entire life, and wrote in it every second she got? Yes, I know large releases like "The Hunger Games" do this, but that doesn't make it okay for you to do it.

Good job, and happy writing.

Richard Nixon/Freddie Mercury 2012!

>> No. 118913
My overall thoughts: You've done it again! Another chapter I liked! That being said, there are some issues that will take your story from the "flingin' flangin' fantastic" level down to the "just good" level. Of all the things I enjoy, I like the relationship between Twilight and Spike. Yes, you made Twilight like a mother and sister like in the show, but you've also added a paternal element to Spike that I find awesome. But enough of accentuating the positive! Let's get to the part were I point out all the problems.


Seeing as you've gotten three or four reviews out of me by now, I'm sure you're aware of what a semicolon is and how it works, namely making a compound sentence without a conjunction or comma. However, I'm not sure you know what qualifies as a independent clause. Let's see if I'm correct, shall we? Quick! What's the subject of:

"Trust me."

Is it:

A) None, it is a fragment
B) You, implied
C) Twilight Sparkle
D) Seven because purple is a catfish!

If you answered B, you are correct. If you answered D, well, you should brush up on your English. "Trust me" is a sentence in its own right and therefore qualifies as a independent clause. Because it is an independent clause, it deserves a semicolon or comma and conjunction like any other independent clause. An example from your story:

"'See Me, Hear Me'" should be "'See Me; Hear Me.'"

Quotes only need to be introduced with a comma when somepony is saying something. If you're using the quotes to refer to a title or trying to invoke doubt by use of scare quotes, the commas or any other punctuation is not necessary to introduce the quote.

At one instance, I felt that Spike's conversational dialogue became just a tad too conversational. He says, "Eventually found a book[.]" That's a fragment. The ponies (and bipedal baby dragons) manage to choke out the subjects of their sentences on the show, so your writing should mirror this.


Granted I've only seen two chapters of this story (including some portions of "Bloodline" that closely resembles this), I think I've developed a semi-mathematical formula for your chapters:

The first chapter I reviewed on this thread:

Information on Killer + Spike Subplot + Cameos (Big Mac and Rainbow) + Crazy Killer Dude = Chapter

The second chapter:

Information on Killer + Spike Subplot + Cameos (Zecora and Shining Armor) + Bentgrass Collecting Info = Chapter

Notice how similar these chapters look. Coincidence? I think not! I hesitate to call your chapters formulaic, as I've only seen two of them. Even so, shows like "Phineas and Ferb" and "Three's Company" got very popular from being predictable, so I can't really tell you that this is a mistake. I can strongly suggest for you to vary your structure, but if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Zecora didn't rhyme all the time. If you don't want her to rhyme, I can respect that (most fans won't), but you have to completely take the rhyming out. For the record, Zecora rhymes in couplets, which means the end of her lines must rhyme. The opening sentence of this paragraph? That's wrong. The Zecora version would be: "Your Zecora didn't rhyme / The one in the show does all the time."

I felt that the green-dust induced illusion provided by Zecora was too jumpy. One minute, I was in the grass fields, then I saw a zebra being killed by some stallions who wanted to be very clear about how evil they were, and then I was on a battlefield littered with corpses, a line of soldiers charging at me for no reason, as all the ponies surrounding me appeared to be dead. All of a sudden, they're attacked by monsters that probably show up in Pinkie Pie's nightmares. It wasn't confusing so much so much as disorienting. Forgive the immature analogy, but I felt that Zecora's magic dust may have been laced with the smallest amount of LSD.
>> No. 118914

Good job, and happy writing!

Richard Nixon/Davy Crockett 2012
>> No. 118915
These people can expect reviews tomorrow:


This person can expect comments tomorrow:


This is a random number; I don't know where it leads (that's not sarcasm; I literally just made it up):

>> No. 118928
My overall thoughts: A decent opener. It grabs the reader's attention, even if the twist can be seen coming from a mile away. Luna's character is so far flat, but I don't even know if she'll play a major role in the story, and I haven't really seen much of her yet, so I guess I can let that slide. On a side note, the unicorns of Canterlot are hilariously incompetent.

Grammar (which should technically be called "Mechanics and Style," but I just felt that sounded too prolix):

Actually, your grammar was very good. Good for you! In fact, I've decided to take the opportunity to tell you why some things that were marked as grammar errors weren't really errors (because it's never to early to get fellow reviewers angry at you!):

Never put spaces around your em-dashes, ever! You can however, do that with en-dashes, but never, ever, ever do it with em-dashes (No, it's not that big a deal, I just like being dramatic).

"As quietly as possible, he hauled himself[.]" This is not contradictory. Hauled means pull or drag with force. There is absolutely no reason why this can't be done quietly! The connotations behind the word don't even imply noise (Even if I'm wrong about this, just claim that you're using an oxymoron and trying to emulate Shakespeare; the audience will love it).

Nothing is wrong with the word "padded." In fact, it's probably a more accurate term for horses than it is for people, given the hooves.

The phrasing of the guard is not awkward. He is obviously using a formal tone because he is talking to his boss. Have you ever told your boss that he was a littla chicka that gawt no swag and is too legit to quit? I didn't think so (Once again, I exaggerate for dramatic effect; I'm such a thespian).

More wrong is correct. If you ever use wronger, I don't know you. I can see why Mister Spark thought it was wrong---you're either right or wrong. Unfortunately, this is boolean thinking, which doesn't apply to real life that often unless you're programming a computer. Some events, people, ponies, bipedal baby dragons, monsters (minotaurs!), and griffins can be more wrong than others.

Flashed is a fine word. It's used in larger releases, and I think it fits in just fine.

Choppy sentences are fine at a scene of great devastation. The focus jumps about because the mind of the protagonist is also jumping about. It just makes good sense.

Everything else Mister Spark said looks exactly like my notes, so do those things. I see no reason to repeat things you've already heard.


The unicorns of the Royal Guard suck. Seriously, what do they do during PT (or MT, in this case)? They honestly couldn't use their magic to soak the library? They had to use buckets? Why didn't they know drying spells for the books?

Luna's character: flatter than a shadow, which is very hard to do, considering it's one of the few true two-dimensional objects in the universe. Sure, she feels bad that the fire happened on her watch, but that's all we ready get out of her. Then she just stands there for Shining Armor to bounce exposition off of her. I'm very early in the story, so I can't call this an error yet, but if she ends up playing a major role in this story, you're going to need to puff her up a bit as a character.

The twist is very predicable. Sorry.

Good job, and happy writing!

Richard Nixon/Dan Aykroyd 2012!

Ever get that feeling that you're talking to yourself? Sometimes I do.
>> No. 118935
File 134720645311.gif - (99.65KB , 450x280 , OOOOOOOHHHH.gif )
Hmm. Hello Tricky Dick, good to see you're back. How's your queue going? I ask, and here's why: I've been keepin' an eye on you for sometime, and I've seen nothin but progress in the content and quality of your reviews. Your insight into character dynamics and thematic convolutions has only evolved, and damned if it wasn't bad to begin with.

As such, I'm contemplative as to how you'd feel about having the 60k+ word child of my soul, blood of my blood story tossed at you.

I await your pleasure, you economically delusion socially bankrupt person you. Cheers :)
>> No. 118972
Thank,s sir!

Now, you say the illusion scene is jumpy. That was my intent. I wanted a flash of scenes that show how bad Zebrica was back in the day, plus tell the tale of the Mbwun.

As for Zecora not rhyming, I'm gonna need those comments you've promised. I've been over it, and the only one I could find that was iffy was the "herd/hurt" rhyme. I know it ain't exact, but I figured it was close enough.

One thing that troubles me is you saw the Mac/Dash scene and Zecora's scenes as cameos? Um, those are semi-important plot points. Mac and Dash's relationship will become very important by the end, and Zecora is equally needed. Did those scenes come away as unneeded? If so, then I have a problem...

The formula you speak of, I see it indeed, but only in the past two chapters. I do vary it up as far as structure, at least I hope I do. If you have the time between writing reviews and kicking some Veitcong ass, I'd like it if you could read the whole story. Just to check that I'm not being repetitive.

I fixed the other issues you posted. I can't thank you enough.
>> No. 118979

My overall thoughts: Whaddya know? Something good really did come out of my accursed failure of a contest. This was chapter one, so I expected to see a lot of character development, and, boy, did I get what I expected! Rarity's character was spot on, and her father was more than just a cheap, last-minute explanation as to why Rarity was generous; he had character too. The conflict I saw forming---Rarity struggling to be generous when others help her because she feels that she is inconveniencing them---was actually very interesting. Oh, and most importantly, Rarity's dialogue wasn't so annoying that I wanted to rip off my leg just so I had something to throw at the screen. If I still did the point system, you would probably get bonus points for that!


I've been blessed with stories with good grammar all this weekend! Just three things:

Appositives, little snippets of information that are accessory information to the sentence, are set off by commas, as I am sure you know. However, adverbs, which modify adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs, are not set off by commas. When I post the comments, you'll see where you made this error. I have to admit: This mistake is unique; I have never seen this error before. I would say it's a typo, but the sentence just doesn't feel like it was the result of a typo, if that makes sense.

Okay can be spelled OK, ok, or okay. I don't care which one you use, but you need to be consistent.

Make sure that when you're creating a compound sentence with a semicolon that the two clauses you are connecting are indeed independent. You'll see examples in the comments.


In the interest of being a jerk, I would like to point out that the contest does not solve the dilemma that Rarity presented. Because the loser still gets nice fabrics, Rarity has still made Applejack give her nicer fabrics out of guilt. Sure, Rarity thinks the tablecloth is ugly fabric, but Applejack still values the tablecloth so much that she eats dinner from it every night, which means she is still making a sacrifice in the name of Rarity's charity. I know you said something about making the contest "all or nothing," but you never made it official that they were doing this. I guess you could sum up my argument this way: fabric value is the eye of the beholder.

Let's talk references. I've been personally turned down from Equestria Daily for including too many blatant references. Example:

"[W]orst. Possible. Thing."

Yeah, not so subtle. You do know how to make subtle references, however. Take this other example from your story:

"One simply did not see such hoof-crafting in any store save the most exclusive boutiques specializing in haute couture."

While the meme-dropping may not be so subtle (one does not simply drop memes into fan-fiction!), the reference to haute couture is a very sly reference to the show. Fluttershy implies in "Art of the Dress" that haute couture is some fancy sewing, and saying that the style appears in top-end stores further reinforces this claim from the show. This is a well done reference; the one above it is not. It simply repeats something that was said on the show---a monkey could do that.

Back when my critical reading skills were not as sharp, Rarity's hatred of apple-flavored tea but want of apple cider would have totally thrown me. If I may be so bold, I conjecture that Rarity's hatred of apple tea but love of apple cider may be symbolism/foreshadowing for Rarity's upcoming showdown with Applejack (i.e. the hatred of the tea) but love of Applejack as a friend (i.e. the love of the cider). If this was your intention, pat yourself on the back for being the best fan-fiction writer I've ever reviewed, but if it was not, this little detail will throw off picky readers.

Fun fact: this is the first review I've written which has a longer plot section than a grammar section.

Excellent job, and please keep writing!

Richard Nixon/Rainbow Dash 2012!

P.S.: I'm not sure, because I only got one entry, but I think your story would have fared well in the contest. The picture accompanying the review request was the image that inspired you, am I correct?
>> No. 118980

Well, thank you very much for your review, sir.

It's good to know I'm doing the right thing grammatically. That's one less thing to worry about. And as far as the plot points you raise are concerned, if I may spell out my thoughts...

First, with regards to the guards and their incompetence: that's canon, honestly. And as I'm not out to re-write canon, I have no choice but to leave it be. You will accept this, and you will like it!

In all seriousness, though, I see what you're saying about the lack of magic usage during that passage. Here's my thinking on this, though: if I start the fic by having unicorns solve every problem quickly and simply with a little glow from their horns, it sets the wrong precedent. It would then become far too easy for any subsequent sequence I write to be solved with magic, and when it isn't, the reader will cry "plot hole!" By placing limits on what unicorn magic can do, I hope to make the coming struggles more interesting. And since we've never seen evidence that unicorns can conjure water from nothing or blast drying winds at things, I think canon grants me a little leeway with this.

As far as Luna's characterization is concerned, I believe you to be very right. I'll try restructuring that scene to give her some more involvement. Perhaps having her act as investigative partner to Shining Armor instead of just the recipient of his report will be sufficient?

And finally, on the twist at the end... well, I wasn't out to make it too obvious, but I wasn't trying terribly hard to hide it, either. Now, if you'll permit me to pick your brain, I have a few questions about it. First, at what point, exactly, did you first see the twist coming? Right from the synopsis? The end of the first segment? I'd like to know so I can gauge how much more carefully I'll have to bury my hints in the future. Second, did you still find the sequence engaging despite knowing where it was going? Did you still have a desire to read on even after you got to the end? That's what really matters, here--whether or not I kept your attention despite the predictability.

In closing, thank you again for the review. I'll get to fixing up the Prologue, and in the meantime I look forward to your review of Chapter One. It is coming, right?
>> No. 118981

Omigosh! The Seattle_Lite in my thread! I'd be happy to look at your story. Because it is long, I'll probably add you to the queue a chapter at a time. What does this mean for you? All you have to do is give me the link. Then, I will move chapter one to the bottom of the queue. After I review chapter one, chapter two will be moved to the bottom of the queue. After chapter two is done, three moves to the top, and so on and so forth. Is that okay with you? I just don't want my queue swamped with a huge story. If business is slow, you'll get reviews fast; if business is fast, you'll get reviews at a slower rate. I'm really excited to see what you give me! =D


At the end of the day, I can't go against artistic judgement (after all, I'm not the author). I'm still not a fan of the jumpy nature of the Zecora section, but I can respect why you wrote that way.

Ah! So the reviewer becomes the reviewee! "Cameo" wasn't the best term for me to use; I did get a feeling that these characters were a little more important, but, at the moment, I couldn't think of a better word.

I'll start on your entire story and comments A.S.A.P. I'm not going to make excuses (the coward's way out!), but I will say my computer is not in the best condition (i.e. I'm borrowing a different computer, as mine is broken), so I will be a little later than expected. I'm terribly sorry.
>> No. 118984

I see your response, and I do have things to say, but I am borrowing a computer right now (mine is broken), and, as I type, the owner is demanding her computer back. You will get a chapter one review, and very soon at that. Right now, however, I owe some people on the queue comments. I'd expect a review no later than Tuesday. Not that you care, but I should have my own computer again on Thursday.
>> No. 118986
If you could get to it ASAP, I'd be very grateful. Monday morning is my usual publish time, but I'll hold off because I'd like your line-by-line.

NOT trying to rush you, though, Take what time you need. :)
>> No. 118989
Sent stuff in an email about acknowledging review, did you get it?
>> No. 118990


Your courage and dedication to your duties even in the face of such adversity is an inspiration to us all, Mr. President. I wish you the best of luck in acquiring a replacement computer.
>> No. 118992
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Wow. Such a thoughtful and coherent review of my first work! Thank you very much.

To the details!
Appositives. Check. Adverbs: not appositives. Check. I will look for that one.
OK, ok, okay. I hear you.
Silly compound sentences! I can't believe I missed that one.

Be a jerk, I say. It makes me think. And you have a point, which does need tending. I am trying to show Rarity, ever so slowly, losing her cool until a bad decision is made. If this is not clear, then I need to add a little extra sweat to her brow or somesuch break in her facade. Would that be enough, do you think, or should I reconsider the approach as a (perhaps) cleaner way to get to my destination?

References. Yes. Can you tell that was my first full paragraph? I started on easy mode and then cranked it up from there. We'll be pulling that line for a makeover.

Apple tea vs. apple cider. Mmm. Yes. Something between deliberate and accidental. It was deliberate. Entirely so. But the first scene is chronologically *after* the showdown with Applejack, so it is not foreshadowing for Rarity, only the reader.

Is it clear that the first section follows every other section in the first chapter, chronologically? If that does not stand out in the initial reading then I may need to adjust a few things. Let me down easy, please.

That pic was the one I had found that piqued my interest. What on earth was Rarity doing in a sack? It made me chuckle, and then I started daydreaming, and then it was all over but for the typing (and shouting and swearing, and blown deadlines, and 4000 extra words, etcetera)

Such an excellent review! I needed a critical eye, and I got exactly what I needed. You have helped me immeasurably, and you have my vote. Excellent choice on your running mate, FWIW.
>> No. 119002
Hello sir, I have a fic that I'd like you to read. I hope you don't mind, but I've separated out the chapters into separate documents and have provided the links.

Title: Harmony's Rule

Tags: [Normal], [Adventure], [Slice of Life]

Chapter 1:

Synopsis: Centuries after she was elevated to the status of princess, Harmony is faced with events that she is still unprepared for. She begins to weave the story of her life to her students, hoping to bestow a final lesson and understanding upon the young ponies should her fears become real.
>> No. 119020
File 134730209325.jpg - (32.83KB , 236x176 , 1316267305688.jpg )
Beautiful! Your conditions are most amenable, and thank you for your time! You'll find the opening chapters rather short comparatively; the tale doesn't pick up to its full 'holy shit wtf is going on' momentum till around Chapter 3-4.
I very much hope you enjoy the story, and can't wait to hear your thoughts!

>tfw my story number is 231, and the fic that just hit the post queue is 50,481
>> No. 119041
File 134730761763.png - (30.96KB , 200x200 , Mr__Waddle_by_CatnipFairy_3599.png )
>tfw my story number is 231, and the fic that just hit the post queue is 50,481
You mean this feel here, amirite?
>> No. 119042
File 134730881125.jpg - (28.21KB , 499x453 , 133992969787.jpg )
Hah hah, pretty much.
>> No. 119046
File 134731711134.jpg - (29.88KB , 638x425 , portfolio_angrySock.jpg )
<--- When I saw this photo, I thought of you.


Afraid that the unicorn magic will serve as an easy way out of situations? There's actually a term to describe the effect you fear: deus ex machina, which literally translates to "god of the machine," the machine being the plot and the god being the magic that can oh so easily manipulate said plot. It is a good thing that you fear this, as the fear of gods of machines is the beginning of wisdom. However, you can make the unicorns a bit more powerful without making them "gods." It is perfectly conceivable that they levitated water from a nearby fountain into the library, and I can hardly image the antagonist being killed of by something as simple as a drying spell.

As soon as I saw, "dragon fire," I thought, Wouldn't it be really nifty if it was Twilight and Spike? Then as soon as you said something about a magical roster of visitors to the library, I knew. I didn't lose interest, and I don't think your audience will either. Think of the source material. You probably guessed the end of "Party of One" and "A Bird in the Hoof," correct?

Talk to you again soon!

Richard Nixon/Dr. Zoidberg 2012!
>> No. 119047

The chapter splitting is not a problem at all! Expect a review as soon as I help >>118370 with his characters and give some other people comments, review someone's chapter one, and comment on a plot outline (They know who they are!).


Review coming soon. It's going to be flingin' flangin' fantastic
>> No. 119077
File 134733377360.jpg - (9.91KB , 125x125 , Sock Avatar.jpg )

Ha! That paltry piece of pod-protection is nowhere near as pugnacious as me!

I still eagerly and patiently await your review.
>> No. 119078
Awesome! ^^ I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
>> No. 119200

Not to be rude or anything, but with regards to the >>118928 review, could you please stick to reviewing the story and not my commentary? You're the second person now to review my review, and this time without my asking. Most of the points you bring up are simply restating the points made >>118646 here.

All I'm saying is that this review is for BelligerentSock, not me. I never asked for this critique, and now I'm asking if you could please cease it (if a bit late, as I've gotten another email or two from Google Docs just while typing this out).

Thank you, and have a pleasant day, Mr. Once-a-President.
>> No. 119207

Uh-oh. You're not going to like chapter one of Mister Sock's review. You reminded me a lot of myself when I started reviewing, and it pains me to see people make the same mistakes that I did (trust me; I've made my fair share of mistakes---three usernames worth).

May I give you a bit of parting advice? Being vindictive gets you absolutely nowhere, and all it really does is make the reader mad at you. In general, you need to smile more, or at least write in a tone that makes me think you're in a good mood. That post you just typed? It sounded almost rude. That probably wasn't your intention, but I just got that vibe.

Have a pleasant day Mister Spark,

Richard Nixon/Paul McCartney 2012!
>> No. 119219
>May I give you a bit of parting advice? Being vindictive gets you absolutely nowhere, and all it really does is make the reader mad at you.
Simon Colwell, Chef Ramsey and Donald Trump would like to have a word with you.
It's not being vindictive that's the problem, it's being vindictive without the necessary amount of flair and vitriolic humour while not providing any meaningful help.
>> No. 119233
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Not to put pressure on your already busy schedule, Mr. President, but I have not seen any comments posted on my google doc, and so I am struggling to find the adverbial clause that was treated like an appositive. Can you point me in the right direction here?
>> No. 119234
To the President:

I just had a glance over your in-doc review, and I understand your tardiness, considering how late you were up commenting last night. That said, however, you promised a review "No later than Tuesday." It is now Wednesday, meaning you have failed to uphold that decree.

I must therefore charge you with the high crime of lying while in office, and under Article II, Section Four of the Constitution, call for your immediate impeachment. I'm sure this is one matter the House of Representatives will be very decisive on.

Seriously, though, take your time. Oh, and let me save you some typing: I understand about LUS, it's just a few bits of it bypass the filters sometimes, y'know? I should have warned you about the indents, as well--that's just a formatting error in transferring from Word to Gdocs. It's my own dumb fault for not catching more of them in my initial sweep.
>> No. 119240

>under Article II, Section Four of the Constitution

I gotta give you props for not just making that up.
>> No. 119244
File 134747249913.jpg - (42.93KB , 500x357 , 1344616309036.jpg )

Of course! I am an AMERICAN, after all.
>> No. 119260

I owe you two apologies: for being late and for the run-in with the other reviewer. As to the former, I offer no excuse, but as to the latter, I hope you realize that most of those replies were for you as well. Nothing hurts a story more than bad advice. Anyhoo, your review:

My overall thoughts: Your story is beginning to give off an intense anime vibe. If that was intentional, good job pointing your tone, pacing, and characterization that way! I think the most anime-like thing in your story is the antagonist. He's visually unique, vomits some garbage about fate that makes him look intellectually superior to the protagonist, and his first interaction with protagonists involved the protagonists totally getting owned by his unique powers. Add shiny glasses that conceal his eyes and... oh, wait! The hood. I'm not familiar with any modern anime, so would you mind telling me if you based this off a particular series? Grammar and plot, shall we? We shall:


So, semicolons. If you've read any of my reviews, I'm sure you're familiar with how to use a semicolon (I only bring it up every other review!). Once or twice, as you've seen in the comments, you didn't use the semicolon correctly to form a compound sentence. Also, some sentences just sound better with a semicolon. Example: "Like charges repel. Opposites attract." Since it's just assumed that when I opposites I meant charges, a semicolon provides maximum clarity, as it accents that I meant "opposite charges."

Remember that the two clauses of a semicolon compound sentence still need to be independent. The only thing you're removing is the comma and conjunction. I think I've already given you the formula, but just in case:

Independent clause + semicolon + independent clause = compound sentence.

Whenever you build a sentence, there are at least two parts: a subject and a verb. The matter gets a bit more messy when you add what are called direct and indirect objects. Direct objects are the "butt end" of the verb, so to speak; they receive the action from the verb. For example:

Oswald shot Kennedy.

Can you see that "Kennedy" is the direct object? Kennedy received the shot from subject Oswald. An indirect object takes it back one more level. The indirect object is reacting with the direct object. Example:

Nixon gave Oswald the gun.

Can you see that "Oswald" is the indirect object in this case? The direct object, the gun, which is being given by Nixon, is reacting with indirect object Oswald, who is receiving the gun.

Now why did I tell you this? Well, whenever you introduce adjectives and pronouns into the whole affair, it can get confusing as to what or whom is being described. In the comments, I pointed out where what the adjective was describing was ambiguous. You'll notice that you didn't make this error much, but this error is so common in English texts that I feel compelled to make a big stink about it so that you never do it again. When in doubt, nix the pronouns, as it is never wrong when you use a specific subject.

I appreciate the occasional use of a fragment for dramatic effect, but some of the fragments were just too out of place for me, especially that one with the em-dash.

Just because of how English pronunciation works, co-operate should be written with that hyphen or an umlaut over the second "o." Recently, people have begun to type cooperate, and that's become acceptable because it's used so often, but if you're really cool, you'll do it the old-fashioned way.


I hate to repeat myself, but there was little development on Luna again. We learned in the prologue that she feels responsible to the ponies and feels guilty when she fails them, and in this chapter we learned that she feels the night is unappreciated by the ponies. Not don't get me wrong, this is much more development from the prologue, but I'd still like a little more. It would take her from good to awesome.

I can see that you're against using ponified speech. There are some ways to get around it (i.e. I'm being politically correct, as I'm including griffins and dragons too), but there are some cases where you'll have to use words like "everypony." I hate to play this card, but you are breaking canon if you don't use somepony where applicable. The reason for ponified speech is world building; it helps give the reader a sense of place. World building isn't as crucial in fan-fiction, as the writers of the show have done most of the work for you, but taking away the ponified speech is like hiding a part of the world from the reader.

I trust that you're going to use the "Cadence is famous" subplot to deepen her character a bit. Am I correct in that assumption? (Wow! I sound pretentious on the Internet!)

I also found it odd that Celestia penned a letter for Twilight. However, it's not that big a deal, and only the cynical will have a problem with it.

Good job, and keep writing!

Richard Nixon/Madame LeFlour 2012!
>> No. 119267
File 134749709407.jpg - (32.80KB , 600x336 , cherrilee_learn_on.jpg )

Fantastic catch! I was simply not seeing the error there. Thank you most kindly, and I promise to be as patient as you require for the remainder.

> me gettin' my learn on
>> No. 119269

Aha! Very tricky, Dick, leaving me in suspense this whole time and then posting just as I'm away at dinner! Anyway, to respond to this most graciously-given review:

>My overall thoughts: Your story is beginning to give off an intense anime vibe.

That wasn't necessarily my intention, and indeed, I'm not too familiar with anime these days. I suppose upon reflection, this fic of mine may be borrowing some elements from the shonen genre, but to my knowledge, I have not based it on an existing IP (aside from the obvious, of course). All I've done is take some of my favorite villain tropes and used them to build an antagonist who, I hope, is an interesting character in his own right.

Which leads me to this question: did I succeed? I can't quite tell from your opening paragraph whether you consider the "anime-ness" of the antagonist to be a positive or negative thing. Going further, I notice both you and Azure Spark left almost no comments on the entire ACTION! sequence, so I'm wondering if I did good by that part or not. I'm always looking to improve, and a lack of feedback either tells me it's good or it tells me nothing. Either way, I need clarification.


Good points, all well-made and well-explained. It's always nice to have a refresher course on this sort of thing. Rest assured, I'll be coming back to you for grammatical reviews.

>there was little development on Luna again

Yes, I have had a bit of trouble nailing down her characterization thus far. Perhaps it's because we've seen her for all of a handful of moments, or because I haven't absorbed enough fanon, but nonetheless, it's something I have to work on.

>I can see that you're against using ponified speech.

Honestly, I'm not. I just lack experience writing in this particular 'verse, and thus it'll take a bit for these little quirks to become second-nature.

>I trust that you're going to use the "Cadence is famous" subplot to deepen her character a bit.

Perhaps a little, but with where the story is headed, we're not going to see a whole lot of Twilight's foal-sitter once the adventure really gets underway. I have left spots in the plot outline to potentially check up on how the other characters are doing, but the focus is almost invariably going to be on the Mane Six (and Spike).

>I also found it odd that Celestia penned a letter for Twilight

Roger. Fortunately, I have a solution which will take nary a sentence or two to implement.

And on a final note, permit me to explain the opening "poems," since you asked about them. They're not poems, really. They're just a little rip-off homage to one of my favorite authors, one that also serves the purposes of distinguishing each chapter, giving the reader a glimpse of what's to come (which actually ties in with the overall plot), and building suspense during the same.

Again, thank you very much for the review, Mr. President. I look forward to our future discussions. Now, I'm off to Capitol Hill to see about withdrawing that motion of impeachment.
>> No. 119280
>Just because of how English pronunciation works, co-operate should be written with that hyphen or an umlaut over the second "o." Recently, people have begun to type cooperate, and that's become acceptable because it's used so often, but if you're really cool, you'll do it the old-fashioned way.
We still use a hyphen in the rest of the world.

>> No. 119288
Mr. President, sir. I know you've already begun your reading of my fic, but if you're interested, I just uploaded chapter 2.
>> No. 119667
Thanks in advance for your help. I submitted this to EqD a while back and the pre-reader rejected it saying that, although he liked the premise, the narration was "really dry and not engaging at all". He also suggested that I needed more world-building. I edited the fic to account for his feedback, and am seeking a second opinion before submitting again.

Title: Journey to Equestria
Author: Aldrigold
Tags: Dark, Adventure
Word Count: 9908
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/120rfXQM5eLeYIrfYd7-dUGBdMy4rHjpLVFdyrmhbPnE/edit
Synopsis: Three hundred years before the banishment of Nightmare Moon, the world was a very different place-and some ponies lived very different lives. A pegasus who serves the gryphons of Eaglesburg is fed up with the way he and his fellow ponies are treated. But escape from the cruel gryphon overlords seems impossible, and he has little hope.

Then his grandfather tells him of a legend-a young country ruled by kind pony princesses, where pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies can live peacefully. The pegasus and his earth pony friend, along with a small unicorn filly who is in immediate danger from her gryphon masters, make a daring escape. They head north toward their only hope for freedom-the land of Equestria.
>> No. 119867
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Is it possible for us to talk in the Doc again. I'm not sure how to get Pinkie more... well Pinkie.
>> No. 120149
File 134826208998.png - (153.38KB , 500x338 , tumblr_m13fasVtpK1qgaob4.png )
Soul Survivor

Human, Adventure, Crossover


A good 16 years before the return of Nightmare Moon, another fantastic event occurred in Canterlot. All it took was one human who discovered the secrets of ponies, a zealous guard that would do everything for his country and a Princess who only wanted the wellbeing of her people.

A general list of my problems (that several edits later still infest my woodwork like... some kind of wood eating ant): "spelling (typos, missing words, poor wording), punctuation (semicolon abuse), lack of exposition (Lars' background, humans in general), lack of depth in characters (Lars' lack of faults or traits that make him stand out beyond just being a human), and show versus tell (character actions, place and time, lack of description/detail)"

Hope to hear from you soon, Ronald Reagan
>> No. 120587
File 134854797481.png - (216.63KB , 501x553 , Raindrops131698095887.png )
Are you still reviewing, Nixon?
>> No. 120589
Just a random guess: he has a lot of schoolwork.
>> No. 120590
Worse case? Email him.
>> No. 120617
I'm pretty sure he is, but he seemed to have three or four things to do before he got to reviewing my fanfic... though he did print it out a week 1/2 ago.

Just give him time.
>> No. 120638
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It's okay, I thought of somepony who can help me with Pinkie's dialog.
>> No. 120722
Gah, I just need someone to look over a plot outline
>> No. 121145
I might have my weak points when it comes to the technical side of writing, but I'd be happy to take a look at your outline.

Also, now I'm getting a little worried about President Nixon, he's been quiet for a couple of weeks now. :c
>> No. 122487
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<Return to this world, Nixon; your people need you.>

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